Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Co-writing a novel


I’ve just heard back from my co-author Jane, and she likes my second batch of the book (10,000 words). Yay! This is the first draft and it will need a lot of further work, but it’s 80% there.

Friends still ask “How do you and Jane write a book together?” And I explain that the thus-far untitled comedy we’re writing is Sally Howe’s diary (next instalment after Plotting for Beginners) and that I write the diary in Sally’s voice, but Jane and I have together planned the storylines, the characters and the texture of the book.

I often get stuck. Last week I had to write Sally’s birthday and was stumped for ideas as to what she was going to do on it, so I sent a quick email to Jane. She responded with a plan of Sally’s day, including the character(s) she spent it with. So that was fine, and I started writing it, but then was stuck as to what X said when he and Sally visited somewhere before lunch.

Another quick email exchange yielded some detailed phrases and sentences that X would use. Jane knows X  a bit better than I do, and specifically she knows how his mind works. 

We did write a piece for a magazine about how we wrote Plotting for Beginners together and it’s on my blog here, if you’re interested.

If you haven’t read Plotting for Beginners (shock! horror!) don’t fret. The sequel we are writing is a stand alone novel and doesn’t require prior knowledge. But when you read it next year, you may well want to go back for the earlier instalment.

The photo at the top is of Jane and me at the launch of Plotting for Beginners.

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