Co-Writing Adventure

Blog post by R. A. Gates

Anyone who thinks that writing is a lonely pursuit has never been to a writer’s critique group. I’ve come to realize that it takes a village to write a book. At least a good one. And then there are the writing conventions and workshops writers attend to hone their craft. I’ve met some wonderful writers and friends through these avenues. And lucky writers like me get to co-write a book with some exceptional writers.

The first project I co-wrote with four other writers was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, The Servants and the Beast. In composing that novella, each writer had a section they were in charge of. We all read everything over, made suggestions and edit recommendations but the writer in charge of that section had the final say.

Currently, four of the five writers of that book are venturing on a new project. This time instead of each writer being in charge of certain sections, we are alternating chapters. I believe this project will be more challenging than the first because our writing styles need to mesh more than before. We all have to be more in synch with how the plot plays out and how each character develops.

We spent time last September creating the main character, Lola, in a writing exercise. Then we plotted out the story so we have a nice outline of what is supposed to happen in each chapter. I got the privilege of starting us off by writing chapter one. The chapter that is responsible for hooking the reader and getting the ball rolling. The chapter that introduces the reader to the main character and her situation.

No pressure.

I did my best to show who Lola was without being info-dumpy or having her look into a mirror and perfectly describe her appearance. It’s a lot harder than you think. Then when I had a decent beginning to our story, I sent of the file to the next writer to complete chapter two. It will be passed along round-robin style until the last few chapters which we will write together.

We’re aren’t sure how well this will work or if we will actually publish the story when it’s completed, but the experience so far is a lot of fun. Having four creative minds come together to plot out a story was amusing. Hopefully we can pull it off.

This is the first  in a new series of blog posts; each of the co-writers of this new novel will be sharing their experience as the drafting continues.