As we embark on this journey to write a series of novels together, we are becoming more and more aware of the challenges. There are a few universal obstacles; time constraints, writers block, finding a market, developing an audience, making plot devices unique and interesting for our characters and potential readers…..the list is long.
We readily agreed on a working formula, in that each book will feature the characters created by one author, that author will be the primary with the other two providing supporting cast and secondary plot lines that will lead into the next books in the series. So what happens when the stories converge? Inevitably there will be three versions of the crossroads, despite HOURS spent creating outlines and mapping out the major story climaxes. We are fortunate to be friends who have been writing together as hobby for a couple of years, usually we are in the same chapter if not the same page and compromises come easily. However we are not naive. These characters, and stories are as much a part of us as fingers and toes. We are protective and occasionally possessive. What happens when the primary wants to take the characters and secondary plot to a place the others didn’t envision? While the big things may have been discussed…we are jumping into the pool in chapter 4. I do wonder if the devil, as with most close relationships, will be in the details….one wants a cannon ball, another wants a swan dive and the third thinks we should take the steps.
During our first official gathering we did have some hurdles. Several late nights and rehashing of ideas. Lots of “did you mean this or that?”. Being new to the process, we were delicate and I might even say sometimes vague in an effort to be nice, preserve feelings and respect the work done in creating these characters we wish to bring to the public.
At first I thought “this would be easier if we didn’t want to maintain the friendships and have fun.” However, I’m not sure that is correct. Sure there are advantages to detachment. Expedient expression of opinions for one. “That plot line is crap. Find something else.” But that does not necessarily allow for the collaborative experience. As friends who enjoy each others writing and care about the characters each one has created, we are able to collectively find the best possible path for the story…the highest scoring dive into the water.
As we progress and become more comfortable with the new direction I believe we will also become better critics and co-authors. Better in voicing ideas and better in accepting opposing points of view. Of course the ultimate goal is a cohesive piece of work that easily flows from one book to the next, weaving the plots together seamlessly while maintaining our individual style and personalities within the fabric of each book.