In less than four weeks we’ve created a writing partnership, embarked on a very public project and begun the tedious process of nailing down a solid novel framework.  To say we are overwhelmed would qualify as the understatement of the year, if not decade.  Did I mention that we’re attempting this while living 1000 miles apart?  Bring on the Thorazine and straight jackets.  No really, does anyone have any Thorazine?

Week 1 was spent nixing countless ideas for back story, novel setting and characters.  This has to be the most depressing aspect of the process because it takes a hundred “hell no, are you kidding?”s to reach that single “holy hell, that’s perfect!”  (Notice that Hades is involved either way.)

Week 2 had us doubting the plausibility of the entire idea.  We hung up the phone, stopped texting and told each other we would NOT talk about the novel and simply let the book marinate. 

Week 3 proved that we are tenacious, if nothing else, because the “marinating” didn’t last more than 36 hours.  I began a picture timeline, nailing down events and dates.  Eric got a firm grasp on a character that had been eluding him.

And, week 4 looks to be spent doing my best to get a single blog post out of Eric because the man is showing all the signs of blogaphobia.

So, yes, it’s glaringly obvious that you can’t erect a 45-story glass and metal mega-skyscraper without first pouring a solid foundation.  I know that.  We know that.  Which is why we’ve been slaving away to perfectly mix the concrete. 

But, someone should check the receipt because I’m beginning to wonder if we accidently bought Bisquick instead of Quikrete.     



02/03/2012 10:32am

Do you ever skype? It's so much easier to figure things out face to face. I don't know why, it just is.

02/03/2012 11:53am

You know Margaret, we did talk about that in passing when we started this project but have yet to try it. It might just be the small change that helps things run more smoothly. Thanks for the advice!

02/03/2012 2:44pm

OK everyone...everything will be allright. Lets all take a deep breath and relax. Here I have some koolaid for you to drink...huh...oh crap, wrong group...this is SPLIT FICTION er.......
Thorazine...yes! I have some. Its a little out of date....left over from a "vacation" in 1977. Let me know if you need the to the koolaid. Nice blog site...still like the idea.

02/03/2012 4:36pm

Thanks DJ. Appreciate the support. I'll pass it on to Eric because I'm not sure he even reads this thing let alone POST anything and how the heck are we supposed to get a novel written when ... Okay. Right. Deep breath. Relax. All very good advice. And helpful. But did you say something about Koolaid? I might need that. ;-P

02/03/2012 5:34pm

I suppose Shelia and I are doing much the same thing but that 1,000 miles of separation makes it harder.

Two authors can work together to produce a work which is better than either can produce on their own.

In our case Shelia writes the romantic bits, puts in the dialogue between characters and comes up with some great plot ideas. She gets me to do the technical bits, to figure out methods, keep a timeline and curbs my natural tendency to verbosity. (I do tend to call a spade a 'long handled implement for the excavation of earthy material.)

I do much of the research. Come up with plot ideas involving technology, invent theories to explain things which would otherwise be paranormal and try to keep a curb on Shelia's flowery bits - the 'kissed her passionately' e.t.c. I format the finished books and prepare e-book versions and covers.

We both argue endlessly about grammar and synonyms. Whether to use English UK or English US spelling. Should that be 'ran' or 'run' in 'we've run into a major snag'?

We both go endlessly through the books, proofreading, cutting and re-writing.

Doing it with a 1,000 mile gap between us? No-thank-you. We know because once Shelia lived in Louisiana and I lived over the pond in England.

02/03/2012 6:25pm

Ok. So it's a process, right? Nice and slow. Mistakes are allowed, also remember Anne Lamott and you'll excuse the language: "Shitty first drafts." I should know. I have a real stinker in my hard drive I'm ignoring right now because I can't figure out the backstory of the fathers. Ah well. Pass the straight jackets. should be a fun ride.

02/03/2012 6:56pm

@John, Louisiana and England?!? I feel lightheaded just thinking about spanning that distance. Of course, really, what's the difference between 1000 and 10,000 if you're never able to sit down face to face. (I'm beginning to think Margaret's right on about the Skype idea.) But, it's very interesting the different roles you and Shelia take throughout the process. Assigning the right tasks comes with experience, I imagine.

@Jennifer, you're right - it's a process. However, this particular process may end up with a second (or even third) shitty draft :-)


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