So it seems that along with the blizzarding cold and various personal problems that January brought with it, it also blessed Turner and I with severe writer’s block. My poetry well has run dry and Turner’s story weaving has halted.
We’re hoping to shake this when the warmer weather starts defrosting February and along with it, hopefully our creativity. Thanks for hanging with us through the dry spell this blog has been experiencing!
Here’s to a fresh start.
So Turner and I have half a chapter left to write and then we are finished Unit 17. Of our three projects, this is the one we feel confident in pursing to publish. We will be working with a beta reader and also try to design a cover. So surreal. And terrifying.
In a week, we’ve already planned our next project, and we’re extremely excited to share snippets with you all as the story begins to form. Right now let’s just say California, 1960s, surfing, Vietnam war.
Turner and I have been diligently writing away on our “Unit 17” novel. We are about 75% done now. It’s interesting to compare this project to our two previous ones. The first novel we started together took nine months, the sequel took seven months. Unit 17 looks like it’s going to be finished in two months. It’s neat to see how you can improve the time it takes to turn something out. The more you write, the more you understand your characters, how pieces fit together, how plots should develop. With each project, you hone your skills. Turner and I are discovering this. We don’t feel like we’re groping in the dark for the light switch to shed light on the next chapter anymore. We know where the light switch is and can easily turn it on if we need the light.
Let’s talk about something you have to deal with when writing with a co-author. The word is patience.
When you write with someone else you need to understand they have their own responsibilities and schedules. They may not be able to write as often or as much as you are able to. This is where things can get tricky. You may be may be frustrated because you’ve written up a story and you’ve gotten half way through the book and your partner is only on the third chapter.
This is where you practice that thing called patience. A good way to do that is to talk with them. Talk about they chapters they’re working on and possible things they could mention or how to write it. Work with them to fill your time so you’re not just sitting there waiting for them to send you pieces. This will also help to make sure their pieces flow in the same pace as yours.
It’s Turner. I know, it’s been a while. But I am still around! I do still check up on the blog. Collins is a great partner, so I know you haven’t been too lonely without me. All the poetry up in here is awe-inspiring!
I decided to post a song today, because, everyone loves new music…at least I do. This is an oldie, well, if 2008 is old, but there you go. A little different then the normal style I post, but it has always been one of my favorite songs.
We have hit the writing of our new novel like race horses out of the starting gates. Somehow we have planned about 60% of our chapters within a week, and our characters have been created. We are falling more in love with our characters’ stories and struggles, and are wrestling with creating a believable story in the environment we set our people in. In the following weeks we will be sharing some character “get to know me’s” so you can familiarize yourself with these loveable guys and girls. Until then, all I’m going to say is this: super humans. We’ll let your mind wander with that idea for now.
We are excited to almost be finished our sequel to “Betrayal Comes First.” Just having one more chapter and then an epilogue to write is crazy! After brainstorming different genres we could write, we finally settled on a story that grabbed our attention. This story will fall into the sci-fi/super human genre Currently we are in the character development stage and we are pretty excited about this. Although it is a little strange to jump into another character’s head after you’ve been in your previous character’s head for a year and a half.
We are excited to start this new journey and share with you lovely people, characters and snippets are they come.
P.S … For someone reason I just love naming new characters. They have to have the perfect name and sometimes that takes a lot of searching. Other times a name just pops into your head. It’s also hard to make your names unique, as you try to avoid using common names from other books. The struggle. Often times, I’ll look through names lists from the early twentieth century to find some gems, or I’ll use interesting names of people I’ve met or know.
Let’s talk about communication. About how important it is in joint-written novels. Without constant communication about your plot and characters, your story could turn out like a haphazard stew with odds and ends throw in. You must make the commitment to communicate with your co-author to take on responsibilities fifty fifty.
Talk with each other to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses lay. Much like any relationship, you want your weaknesses to be complimented by their strengths, so if you suck at chapter planning, it just so happens that your partner loves to organize. You must understand each other’s characters and how your characters would interact in each other’s pieces so everything flows together seamlessly.
It can be difficult to find time in your life to talk with your partner, but if you want your novel to succeed, you must try. One last thing, make partners with someone with whom you can confidently share your work with. Writing is a very personal affair and showing someone your inner workings takes guts. Your partner should be supportive and likewise, you should support them as well.
So we are closing a chapter (pun intended) in about a week. We will be finishing the rough draft of our sequel to “Betrayal Comes First.” This is both exciting and saddening. Exciting because our characters will reach a culmination to all they’ve worked towards, and saddening because these characters are real people to you and it’s like saying goodbye to a friend.
We are finding ourselves unsure of where to go after we finish. Which story do we pursue next? Not sure about you, but we have about a dozen other possible stories that we have thought up. Basically we are Alice in the forest, reaching the sign with six different paths to take.
So what’s the word on killing characters? Turner and I have been pondering this question the past few days. When is it necessary? When is it believable? When should it happen?
In addition to wading through the editing pool of “Betrayal Comes First,” (we are about waist deep right now), we are about three quarters through writing the rough draft of the sequel. This book has given rise for the need for certain characters to die, and it’s a fine line deciding who to off. It’s much like playing god, or being a heroine on an adventure with sacred prophecy to fulfill. In the end, characters must die for the plot to be furthered, but who to kill is the ultimate question.
When you decide who to kill, the problem becomes how to kill them and how to make it believable. You don’t just want to shoot everyone (well sometimes in your head you do, because it would be easier) but you can’t do that.
Comment below about how you deliberate killing characters and how to do it. We’d love to hear how our fellow writers deal with such hurdles.