I was pondering what to write about this week as both Toni and I have been making some very tough decisions on where we see this journey of ours going. I got to thinking about where we started, where we have been, as well as, where we plan to go. I came to an interesting discovery. There have been a lot of tough decisions along the way.
The first started when Toni and I embraced the concept of writing together.
I thought writing was a solitary thing, something you struggled through on you own, at least where your writing was concerned. The possibility of sharing this crazy dream with someone–wow, consider mind blown. Then a hundred other questions popped up. COULD we actually write together? How the hell do the mechanics of that even work? I’m a night owl. Toni is a morning dove (although sometimes she beats even them awake). She’s a plotter. I’m a pantser. Yet, we shared a connection about these stories, understood one another and these crazy character that showed up begging to be written.
But like every adventure, you have to take that first step, that risk. Make the decision to stop talking about writing and ACTUALLY write.
So we jumped.
Ours started with NANOWRIMO. I had done NaNo, the year before. Came close, but didn’t quite finish. Toni had also done NaNo previously and was the one who pushed me to go for it that first year. For those of you who have never tried it, it’s an exciting write a 50,000 word novel in a month challenge. Intense, fun, insane, drive-you-crazy, but so worth it. When she suggested we try the challenge together, I figured, what the hell, lets go for it.
First hard decision – what in the world do we co-write? I had an idea that had been stuck in my head and I had been brainstorming to Toni about it. I actually considering trying to use the idea for NANO but couldn’t see the other MC’s POV. Toni pipes up “I can see that character fine.”
Well then, guess that settles that part of who writes whom. It was hard, but we did it. That first draft, *shudders* it wasn’t good, however the premise of the story held real promise and Toni and I both adored the concept. Thus SC Series was born.
Neither of us could get the story out of our heads. So we decided to take that NaNo throw-words-together story and beat it into a rough draft, or several as the case became. We scrubbed and polished, hammered and ripped to shreds scenes, chapters, lines. Worked with critique partners and beta readers (Yes I know, darling daughter – CARMEN is a girl!) Finally, we had a book.
Next hard decision. Submit for publication or was this just a writing exercise? Once again, we held our breath and jumped, submitting SC to various publishers and contests. Got some great feedback. Meanwhile, we started on what was supposed to be a prequel novella. The characters decided they wanted their own book-a whole freaking novel length book. We flew threw the second book in record time, having learned so much from the first book. BtI came into being. We loved the story but it had changed SC.
Talk about writing yourself into a corner or a series as the case became. Once again we struggled to decide. BtI won, we just adore the story and actually liked the changed it made to book 1 (now book 2 – yes, it confused us too). More edits, revision to BtI, off to beta readers, more revisions. Just when we think we have it all figured out, ready to go, the next wallop of a decision smacks us in the face.
The next step in the adventure is facing us and this one is a doosie. We’ll keep you posted on which cliff we have decided to jump from. Either way, the journey will be amazing! And Toni and I will jump into it together – as usual *grins*
What tough decisions have you made during your writing journey?