I’ve been writing in Google Docs for a while now. I started in WordPerfect for DOS, moved to Word for Windows, migrated to Scrivener and loved it, but have settled now on Google Docs. I still dictate. I still use pen and paper, though not as often these days because my eyesight requires I use a Sharpie and that means I need different paper than the billion notebooks I have.
I started using Google Docs when writing Icefall with Walt. It was the easiest way to write together because we could do it live. He did most of the drafting and I would come behind and edit him. Other times he’d get stuck on something and I’d fix it while he waited, me in my office, he in his. He’d either grumble or yell, “Thanks,” depending on what changes I’d made. Lots of times he’d fix my fix to one that was better suited to his voice, to what he was trying to say even. Editing on the fly. Perfect. It was a lot of fun watching him, literally, grow into his writing self. Icefall was his first book, though he’d been writing lengthy blog posts for years, and he was a story guy from the very beginning.
As I do every day, this morning I pulled up My Drive in Google and went to my Books folder. It was sorted upside down which put two subfolders I hadn’t thought of in ages at the top of the queue. Both started with S. Curious, I opened one then the other and read the pages I’d written.
One of the projects was Walt’s idea. As always with Walt’s ideas, it was a good one but I couldn’t quite get a handle on it at the time. Reading through all these months later, a year or more really, I loved it. The narrator came alive on the page and surprised me. I’d let it slide because she didn’t feel right. And because I needed to do some research to figure her out.
The second was the same. That one needed to be plotted before I could dive in due to some intertwined storylines and some historical backstory details. In my chapter, my female protagonist was twenty-six and in my notes she was thirty-eight, so yeah. That one needs some work, too, but it sucked me in since I’d forgotten most of it. I read it as a reader, anticipating.
Funny part of this was that in both ideas there was a throwaway character named Bingo. No clue why because the name means nothing to me but now I’m thinking I’ll put a Bingo in all my books just for fun! My own personal Easter egg, and maybe readers who see this will laugh. In fact, I think I’m going to go all out and add a dog named Bingo to the book I’m working on now. I’ve got the perfect spot to put him, the perfect role for him to play! And dogs always make books better!