Monday, November 09, 2009

Co-Writing


Current Project:For A Sister's Love
Status: 80 pages

I've been working on a project with another author. She approached me several months ago with an idea of two sisters who crossed the plains in a wagon train and their parents were killed. The girls were adopted by different families and our book takes place with the journey of the two young women trying to find one another. She is writing the journey of the younger sister, and I'm writing the journey of the oldest sister. Her thought was the sisters were different to start with and then being raised differently the stories should be told differently.

Anyway, after the initial, "yeah, this sounds like fun", we instant messaged three times, discussing the family background of the girls, what each girl would be like and the heroes that they would encounter on their journeys. After each discussion we'd both think about our story and characters and then we'd get together again and do more brainstorming.

What I've found interesting in this process, is the other author started her story first. The catalyst that starts that sister looking for her sister has to do with the hero my sister encounters. And what she writes about that character I have to know to make my story work with hers. So in a way, I'm writing to a synopsis in that I have to make sure the information that she imparts is incorporated into my story. Very little of what I write pertains to her story, until I write the epilogue when they find one another. (the other author wrote the prologue about how they became adopted)

I'm finding I like this corroboration. It makes me think ahead more in my writing and gives me more points I have to make work in my story. I'm finding it challenging and fun. I hope our efforts pay off.

Could you work with another writer on a project that is interconnected? Do you think it would be fun or hard?

8 comments:

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty, I've never written a book in tangent with another author. It sounds like you are your partner have worked out a good way to make it happen, though. Will this be a TWRP release?

I have friends who do books in tandem or as part of a continuity series sometimes originated by Harlequin itself and given to different writers to accomplish. One woman in particular finds them challenging and frustrating but that describes pretty much every project I've ever undertaken -- challenging and frustrating.

I'm sure your books are going to be great fun and I'm glad you're enjoying the process.

Paty Jager said...

Alice, The book was originally being written to send to TWRP for consideration, but the other author has since been picked up by Harlequin and when they asked her what else she had in the works she told them about this story and they ask her many questions about me and told her to send them the book when we're done. So in a way it's a requested book by Harlequin.

Lisa Leoni said...

Paty, that sounds fun! I hope it works out well for you. Eli and I messed around (a couple years ago?) writing something for fun. Just taking turn writing scenes. I enjoyed it :)

Genene Valleau said...

Paty, this sounds like fun as well as a great opportunity! Congratulations to you!

Chris Young, Chris Kraemer and I are writing three novellas that are linked for a St. Patrick's anthology scheduled for release by Rogue Phoenix Press in March 2011. I'm really excited about working with the two of them and think the stories are going to be a lot of fun also!

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- That's exciting news! Oh, so both halves of the story are going to be in the one book, it's not two books? Duh.

Oh, and Lisa, I keep meaning to tell you how cute your new photo is!

Kendra said...

This is too cool, Paty. I love the idea. It'll be interesting to see how different your voices are.

I don't know if I could do a project with another person. I'd imagine it'd take a lot of communication and patience.

Paty Jager said...

Lisa, Lori and I messed around a few years ago writing a murder mystery to help her dissolve some demons. It was fun and we had a hoot making up characters and running with the story but this one is a serious commitment to making a good read.

Genene, That's true I forgot about the book you three were brainstorming at a meeting. It's a lot like that. Bouncing things off one another.

Alice, no it isn't two books, it's one with my friend writing the beginning half and I'm writing the second half.

Kendra, it will be interesting. My friend writes sweet and funny while I write steamy and a trace of humor, which is what she wanted two totally different sisters. So we'll see if it works!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

I've never done anything formally with another author. Lisa and I dinked around with a story idea back and forth, but that was just for fun. And my CP and I used to play with scenes using the characters from our books, but that was more a writing exercise rather than anything serious.

Sounds like a great opportunity, Paty. Good luck to both of you. Keep us posted!