A New Writing Project?

Okay guys, I think I’ve made it pretty clear that writing is just not my top priority right now. I’m in the midst of figuring out something that I believe is far more important. I have a WIP that currently sits at 30k words that I haven’t worked on in months. I honestly don’t even think about the story anymore. Fellow bloggers have told me to start something new or do this or that and I’ve said that I didn’t think abandoning my story would help. That was until very recently.

I’ve openly admitted that I know several writers who are all-around better writers than I am. I don’t see anything wrong with that. And I also said last week in this post that I could see myself working on a book with a number of writers I currently know. Well it looks like it might actually happen. I’ve never tried writing with anyone else, but this particular person is immensely talented and I imagine easy to work with. I don’t know what she’s doing wanting to work with me. Ha. The best part is I know some of you know her. She has a blog too. AND the person I’ll be co-writing with is…Jess from LikeStarFilledSkies! You should be following her blog. Right now.

So Jess and I are still thinking about all the things you think about when you begin a new story. The MC. The setting. Plot. And a million other things, but we likely have a name. You don’t get to know that yet. You have to wait for it to become a bestseller. Ha.

Anyway, finally something (someone) is getting me back into writing!

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Can you Co-Write a Book?

I’ve had this on my list of potential topics for some time now. And I’m wondering what some of you think about it. Co-writing. Hm. I have to admit that I’ve never co-written anything before. Maybe that’s just me being stubborn, but I’m just not comfortable having someone write what I should be writing. I’m not talking ¬†only books here. I mean, remember in high school or even a lower level English college class in which the teacher/professor would have you pair up with one or two other students so that everyone could have a different set of eyes take a look at their paper? I do. And this is how it would go. I’d mark up all over the paper (if that was allowed) and give it back to them with some feedback. Then I’d get mine back and ignore everything they said, if they said anything at all. Why did I do this? Because I knew my writing was so much better than theirs and that anything they “corrected” was likely something they corrected because they didn’t want to give me back a paper with no corrections.

You’re now thinking how stupid I am for thinking that blah blah blah. The truth is that I still believe my writing is significantly better than all those people who aren’t writers and who will never write anything outside of an academic setting. But my fiction is just okay. And I can name off a number of bloggers who are much better writers than I am. My reasoning for telling you all this is because imagine that guy I just described to you trying to co-write a book. It wouldn’t happen. But now, who knows?

I know authors co-write books all the time, but the only one I can think of off the top of my head who does it regularly and successfully is James Patterson. He gets a lot of flack for how he does things, but I’m not going to criticize a guy who brings in more money than any other author in the world. Nope. Not happening. For those of you who think he doesn’t work on the books that are co-written with other authors, I have to say that I think you’re wrong. I read an article some time ago in which he described the entire process in a recorded interview. He said he typically writes the first draft of the story and then hands it off to the other author to write a subsequent draft. Then they work together to polish the second draft. Patterson doesn’t just throw his name on the cover of a book written by someone else. Come on.

But when it comes to me, I’m a little on the fence. I mean, my ideas and intentions and everything going on in my head is going on in MY head. And some things aren’t always easy to communicate. There are so many things to think about when it comes to writing a book and adding another person just adds more things to consider. BUT I think there are a number of writers I know today who I could easily work with on a book. We write differently and in different genres and our ideas are not the same, but I think a great writer and an okay writer (me) could come together to write a pretty good book.

What about you? Do you think you could co-write a book?

Novel Writing: Should your protagonist be autobiographical?

Photo Credit: Cinderella in Combat Boots

I’ve written extensively about the fact that my protagonist from my first book is me. He’s more funny and probably smarter, but he’s still me. I’ve also read blog posts and articles in the past that say the practice of creating a fictional character who takes after the author is not all that uncommon, especially when it comes to first books. Two authors who come to mind when I think of this practice are Sue Grafton and JK Rowling. Sue Grafton and her fictional California-based PI are one in the same. I believe, though I’m not checking right this second, that JK Rowling and Harry Potter share a birthday.

My reasoning for doing this had only to do with the fact that I felt it would make the story better. I wanted to put myself in Andrew’s shoes every step of the way during that first case. I wanted him to face some internal dilemma that couldn’t be seen from the surface. I wanted him to be real. And I wanted the reader to be able to relate to him. I have no idea how well I was able to do this in my first book, but it was constantly on my mind as those 21 chapters were written.

So now you know that Andrew Banks is really just John Guillen in disguise, but what about you? Have you written a protagonist who perhaps shares some characteristics with you? Or who maybe shares something like a birthday with you? Tell me!