Collaborative Mayhem

It’s been a while since I posted anything. But! It hasn’t been more than 24 hours since I wrote something of substance. I’m on the writing train again, and have been for the past couple of weeks. It’s been a gusher and I couldn’t be happier.

I have a friend to thank for that.

She’s an author, too. And a while back, she honored me by asking if I would help edit one of her manuscripts. For myself, I know that’s a heck of a lot of trust to put in someone: having them criticize your work. So it meant a lot to me that she asked. It meant even more that she really wanted the criticism and valued it.

What that process did, though, was immerse me in the world of her novel. That wasn’t difficult since I’d been hooked from the first reading. The editorial process only strengthened the connection I felt to it. In particular, there was one character that jumped out to me who seemed to need more depth.

Since she and I met on Improbable Island and had been writing together there for months, it seemed natural to take this particular character on her own journey, and in the format of writing lines back and forth between us like we did with our characters on the Island. Except, this time, we wrote the background and the details as we went along, rather than playing around in someone else’s world. IRC technology came in handy for this.

It didn’t take long for this new tale to acquire legs and start running on its own. My friend has already said that the things we’re writing together there are going to be canon in her novel. Again, the honor she pays me is incredible. And so humbling.

Now, we have shared files full of character details, plot ideas, world-building, and debates about motivations and feelings. And we have five chapters of what is turning out to be its own manuscript.

Not content with writing together on the Island and now co-writing a novel, we also began a new story in one of my writing worlds. The Painted Corner.

For those who wondered what in the world the “Hotel Bismarck” was about on the main page of my site here, you’ll be pleased to know that it features prominently in the story we’ve started in the Painted Corner.

Freed from the confines of the Island (which we still do play with), the quality of our writing – and the strength of the trust and bond between us – has grown by visible leaps and bounds.

So I am very pleased to announce an official new project (yeah. I know. It isn’t as though I don’t have a few already): a new novel in draft: The Guest In Room 1209 and Other Tales: A Collaboration. Take a look on the Projects page for more information.

And thank you, Melanie. This is fantastic.

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