Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Co-Authoring

What am I reading now?  Balthazar (Claudia Gray)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  I admit that Balthazar is my favorite character from the Evernight Series. Bianca and Lucas are ok, but I think Bianca should have chosen Balthazar. Of course that would have spun the story in a completely different direction.
Oh, back to this book--Balthazar is such a great guy, for a vampire. What I really liked about this book is that it goes back to what makes a good series--it's about the relationships among the characters! It isn't about epic battles and hordes of evil creatures in conflict. Have you noticed that? A series starts off so well, then the third book is about a war.
Seriously? Yes, there's conflict in a war, and there is danger in a war, and there are choices to be made. It is false to believe that that kind of tension-building increases the reader's satisfaction to continue to read a series.
This book didn't forget that the tension YA Paranormal readers enjoy is between people. This book reclaims that. The tension is between many interrelated characters. Great book!
On Co-Authoring
This past week Tristi Pinkston asked Deanna and I how we work together as co-authors. Before I answer that question watch this video (Walk off the Earth)--I'll use it as an analogy to how we work together:


Yeah--so it's kinda like that!
Kinda sorta.
We each have parts that we bring to the story.

Usually one of us owns the idea. We thought of the premise of the story and present it to the other. We might have written a bit to try it out.

**This is the most amazing story!**
Then we get together and talk about the main plot points we see for the protagonist. We might draw a picture of how we see the plot moving, or what changes we might see in the character.
The person with the original idea takes over on the first draft. She writes scenes that could develop the plot points we chose. Sometimes the scenes veer off into ideas we didn't anticipate--that's ok, go with it.

**This is the point where we are sure we HATE-HATE-HATE this story**
The other person will read the draft now and again to give input.
If one of us gets stuck in a story, they can pass it off to the other person to take over for a while. But the original idea-person maintains control of the story and can veto anything they want to.

**A little glimmer of hope here**
After the first-draft of the story is written, we print it and each read it, jotting notes in the margins.
If a scene is flat we'll get together to flesh it out.
Then all the notes are addressed in a second draft of the manuscript.
That draft is sent to Beta-Readers.

**Maybe this isn't such a bad story after all**
When we get back their comments we sit together, side-by-side, usually on a couch or on someone's bed, and go over each scene for revisions--AGAIN! Grrrrrrr.

**DONE! Will this never end?**
Write the query.
Write a one page synopsis.
Write a two page synopsis.
Send it out!

3 comments:

kbrebes said...

Interesting! How many books have you guys written together?

Donna K. Weaver said...

As hard as you make it sound, I'll bet it's even harder as you're going through it.

That video is an awesome example!

Jennifer K Clark said...

Sounds fun. I've done the co-author thing and it can be a challenge, but it's great to have 2 people dedicated to polishing a manuscript.