As you know, Konnie and I are writers, and quite a few of our fellow authors have suggested that we should collaborate on a story. Others have been surprised we haven’t even considered such a thing. Then the other day Konnie, her youngest daughter, and I were all on Skype together. It all started with me asking Konnie for some help with a scene I was writing, which just wasn’t coming out right.
Konnie didn’t have a solution, but, considering the age of the character, suggested I asked her youngest daughter. Long story short, we ended up in a three-way chat to solve my problem, then Konnie came upon a passage she was having trouble with in her WIP, and finally her daughter brought up her own writing conundrum.
We were all working on our own stories while also online helping the other two.
Did it faze us? Did we even find it unusual? Cripes no. Adding in one of Konnie’s daughters is a bit uncommon, but Konnie and I do that constantly. If we’re both writing, we’re both online, and inevitably, we’d end up brainstorming. And both us at some time or another have helped her daughters.
And this isn’t the only way we instigate a brainstorming session. Sometimes, it starts with one of us emailing an excerpt, or even the whole file to date, to the other with a notation of, “Help,” or variations of thereof.
Generally speaking, I send her a scene saying I still don’t like how this is reading, asking for help, then we discuss it and hammer out a much better scene.
In fact, when it comes to writing a story, Konnie doesn’t always get the male characters right. Something I seem to be able to do automatically. I can’t tell you how many times she’s sent me a scene, asking if it works.
It usually doesn’t, not in the least bit. I can always tell why. It’s either that guys in general, or that character particularly, wouldn’t respond or react that way.
As I said, Konnie doesn’t always get it right. But she has enough brains to know when a scene isn’t quite right, and sense enough to ask me for help.
On the converse, I’m not all that good with shy characters, on top of that, I can handle a character with a phobia (unfortunately, I know how that works all too well) but I’m at loss with characters which are a bit jumpy for some reason or another.
As much I correct her male characters, she corrects my characters on the above points. Without her assistance, some of my stories wouldn’t ring true, and the same goes with her stories without my help.
So, in a sense, we do collaborate. I certainly know her stories as well as she knows mine, but the result is our own work, individually.
No matter how many times we concoct scenes suggestions for each other, the wording and phrasing, in the final version is always the author’s language choice. Suggestions are just that, suggestion.
And personally, I think having a brainstorming partner, is the best way to collaborate.
What do you think?
Happy writing, everyone. J