If you haven’t figured it out yet, we write together or not at all. Some days it’s the best thing we’ve ever done and other days we want to kill each other. But mostly, it works. We’ve managed to finish five novels and two short stories by working collaboratively.
We start with one of us proposing an idea. This might be met with excitement, doubt, or counter-proposals, depending on the day and how much coffee we’ve had that morning. Whichever of us is the most enthusiastic about the idea usually signs on as main writer and then we choose our co-writer or our co-writer chooses us. In this manner, we are able to work on two projects simultaneously. We’ve learned the hard way that we can only work on two manuscripts at a time and still keep our stories straight. Right now, Nancy is main writer on the Ocular and Eric is co-writer. Anne is main writer on Hunters of Gaia and Eric is doing double duty as her co-writer. Once those two works-in-progress are complete, we’ll start the process all over again.
After identifying the who’s who of the writing process, we meet to flesh out our story arcs and from there, we develop a chapter map. Each chapter of the novel is preplanned but that doesn’t mean it is a static document. It changes over time as new developments and plot holes make themselves known during the writing process. All three of us get a crack at edits as the novel progresses.
Keys to successful collaborative writing that we’ve learned the hard way ~ leave your ego and your ownership of the story at the door. Passionate defense of your ideas and story contributions will ensue. Don’t forget to give out the tough love and above all, don’t kill each other.
This week we’ll be uploading Holly Virginia to Smashwords now that our KDP Select enrollment has expired. Work continues on the Ocular and Hunters of Gaia. Never fear, we’re making progress!
Anne, Nancy, and Eric