Daily Archives: May 11, 2015

Writing with a Partner

I do love to write with other people for numerous reasons.

  1. It isn’t so lonely.
  2. You get to end a chapter and then send it off without having to figure out what comes next.
  3. You do half the work (like Carol said).
  4. You get someone else to help you figure out your writing problems.
  5. It’s kind of a game.

The cons are about the same. You don’t have as much control. You have to be adaptable. Schedules and writing times can vary.

For this book, it’s true, I kept feeling like we needed something more in the plot. We needed to up the ante. Carol, on the other hand, told me not to worry. That everything would fall into place.

She was right.

And I was right.

It was awesome to get the first draft done. We did it! And it was pretty solid. Now we have something we can work with. I realized through this process that sometimes I worry in the middle of my novels and stress about the trajectory rather than pushing through and finishing. With Carol assuring me that a) my character wasn’t as boring as all out and b) that even if it DID need more plot-wise we’d figure it out, the book got done much faster.

Now we are trying to figure out who to revise–in a big way–to add that plot thing.

Also, we are having issues with logistics. Should we be using word? How should we save each draft? Do we download it every time? Should we be using google docs? Dropbox? Email?

If you were writing a novel with someone else how would you navigate that part of it? Have any of you done this? Tips?

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Ann Dee and I Have Been

working on a  novel together. You know that. We’ve talked of it.

We’ve done a draft and a half.

I love the book and my agent feels like we can  sell it. (Where to go, where to go?)

But, there are hard things to writing together. This week, Ann Dee and I will chat back and forth about the pros and cons of writing with a partner.

I’ll start:

#1 PRO  When you find someone easy to work with (Ann Dee and I work well together. Cheri Pray Earl and I work well together. Laura Williams and I work well together. I have written with several people that I had a hard time with. Too bossy. Didn’t get back. Wanted things one way and wouldn’t listen to my ideas . . . .), you write half the words you’d normally write. And that is cool.

By the time we had finished the first draft–neither of us knowing where the book was going at first–I felt like it had been a  far easier process than writing a book on my own.

#1 CON: Finding time to write is hard enough. Put two busy schedules together and it can take a long time to get a draft. So, Ann Dee and I were pretty fast–when we wrote. However, we dealt with each of us buying a house, me moving, her remodeling a home, caring for children, teenagers, terrible news, having a beautiful baby, our callings in the LDS church, teaching schedules, normal life’s wear and tear, family matters and etc. This was tough. We’d go a week or two or longer without writing. And then we’d write four or five chapters in a day.

I know for a fact Ann Dee was worried about the novel not having enough and I was always saying, let’s keep going and just see. That might be something she can talk about.

So–here’s your challenge–for the rest of May write with someone else. You can work on a picture book, mid grade novel, YA–whatever. Maybe your partner will never have written before. Maybe you will write in very different ways. Maybe you’ll want to pull your hair out. Still, set some rules for yourself and see if you can find an idea, a writing partner and a first paragraph by the end of this week.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Exercises, Life, Plot, writing process