Alison Kent's Blah Blog: Blah Blog

March 7th, 2014
Quiet does not mean gone, and co-authoring …

I’ve missed blogging. Many times when I have something I want to say on Twitter, it requires a string of tweets to get it all in, and who knows if anyone ever sees the entire thought. I realize blogging has lost its luster, but I’m going to revive mine. It feels like home. I thought today I’d mention that I have not been 100% true to my vow to give up social media. I still haven’t read my Twitter tweet stream or my Facebook news feed, but I have checked for mentions. I keep up with my kids and other family goings-on on FB, so I do check my “family” tab once a day. And if I have responses or tags there, I’ll take a look. That’s my personal profile, but I do the same with my author page, and it’s easy to check Twitter mentions.

But having been gone for most of two days now, I have finished a complicated synopsis that I’d been dallying with for weeks, and sent it off to my agent for input. It doesn’t matter that I have 50+ books under my belt, I still get a little thrill when I send something off. My career has bounced between so many publishing houses over the years, that I don’t have a long-time home, so no guarantee what I’ll be writing next, or for whom! I do have ideas for two more Hope Springs books.

But, honestly, whether I write those depends on how Luna and Indiana sell. Like I said 50+ books under my belt, and the industry shifting so quickly… Sometimes it seems like it’s hard to find a solid foundation. And I like writing so many different things. Right now, I’m working on a HUGE project with my husband, and having a ton of fun with it. We’ll eventually have a website, and we do have a Twitter account already. We’re just determined to focus on the writing, and to not talk about the specifics of the writing until we have the bulk of the story drafted. And it is SO AMAZINGLY COOL I can’t WAIT to talk about it!

But what’s equally cool is the co-writing process. I don’t know how other author teams work together, but it took us some fits and starts to get into a routine that still has flaws. Like someone deleting someone else’s words ::SOB:: without making a copy for future reference. (I’m over that now. Almost.) I stopped writing in Word a couple of years ago. I now write solely in Scrivener. The license allows for use on more than one machine, so we started out there. It quickly got too hard to manage because there was no easy way to work at the same time. So I kept using Scrivener, while the husband began working in Google Docs. Soon, I joined him.

What’s so amazing about Google Docs is we can both be writing on the same scene at the same time. We can delete or rewrite each others words, and we can both see it. We rarely do this. We’re usually writing in two different spots in the story, having already worked out what happens in each of the three acts. We’re deep into act two at the moment, and every day we figure out more and more things that we can add down the road.

The coolest thing of all, though, is how much reality is going into this work of fiction. Reality SHOULD be in fiction, I hear you saying, and I agree. But this is different, and I can’t explain without…explaining. The husband susses out the most amazing news and science articles, medicine, technology and the facts are dovetailing so perfectly with our make-believe world. And there ya go. I’ve told you the big truth. This is all made up. ;) Which is why he’s taking the storytelling lead, and I’m following behind with my editorial whip.

I’m writing, too. And he’s also editing. But the closest I’ve come to working with another writer was when sharing worlds for various mini-series. Men To Do. For A Good Time Call. From 0-60. Red Letter Nights. Do Not Disturb. In those cases, however, my story was mine. And I wasn’t in the next room from the other authors. This marital co-authoring venture is a true collaboration. And if we survive the year and the 225K or so words we have planned, I’ll probably say it was the most fun writing I’ve ever had!