Guest Authors Noon and Wilder – Tiger Tiger, When Two Write As One

TigerTiger72webWhen Rachel and I meet readers and other authors, one of the most common questions we get is, “How do you both write a novel?”  The second most common has to do with specifics: do we write one chapter and then switch off, how often do we talk, how do we come up with a cohesive voice so it doesn’t sound like it’s written by two people.

Thank you to Charlie Cochet for sharing The Purple Rose Tea House and inviting Rachel and I to talk about our process a bit.

While it’s tough to distill what we do into a simple formula, I’ll describe it a bit and then share some tips if you are interested in trying it for yourselves.

When we write a story, we write enough to get the ‘feel’ of the world and the characters.  For me, that takes a large chunk of writing, around 30,000 words.  I usually catch the feel pretty quickly, around 1,000 to 2,000 words, but I don’t get a good idea of the overall plot until that magic 30k.

For Rachel, she has a more internal process and when she gets a story, she works at it in her head and has the outline pretty well established fairly early in the process.  To be honest, she doesn’t share with me how early because I find an outline to suck a lot of the juice out of the story for me.

Instead, we do a lot of brainstorming.  We both think out loud, so this is a lot of fun.  We talk either on the phone or via Google Talk daily, as well as share emails when one or the other of us are at our day job and we can’t communicate.  I also leave occasional voicemails on her mobile when she’s at work and I just have to talk something through – we often joke that I use up all the voicemail tape.

For those of you curious about trying it yourselves, here’s some tips to avoid confusion:

1 – Start small.  Pick something new to you both or use a short snippet of something you’re not strongly attached to so you can experiment and see how well you work together.

2 – Don’t force it.  Be gentle with the process – it takes time to learn how you each think and communicate, as well as what gets each of you onto the page.  It may be different for each of you.

3 – Respect each others’ process.  If one of you is a night writer, and the other an early bird, don’t try to force either one to the other’s way of working.  With the internet, you can both write when you’re “on” and share it.

4 – Be patient.  Between time zone differences and different work styles, it can take time to get ideas to coalesce.  That’s normal and part of the process.

5 – Practice good communication skills.  Restate what you think you hear so you’re sure you understand the other person.  Use your emotional intelligence and don’t be afraid to have fun.  That’s what it’s all about.

To see the latest results of our collaboration, check out TIGER TIGER, available from Samhain Publishing on July 23rd.

Write on!

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Blurb:

Chicagoland Shifters, Book 2

Veterinary trauma surgeon and animal empath Sasha Soskoff has found everything he ever wanted with his new partners Neal, Steve and Carlos. Life feels as safe and secure as it can be among a group of ex-Marine tiger shifters. Until a homeless man is found, gruesomely mauled and murdered, near Neal’s BDSM club.

When it’s determined a rogue tiger did the deed, the jaguars’ accusing eyes turn toward Sasha’s lovers. The precarious balance of peace tips dangerously toward war.

Neal knows damned well none of his tigers committed the crime. Someone must be in Chicago without his knowledge or permission, and they’d better find him fast before uncertainty and conflict rip the tight-knit band apart from the inside.

As Sasha struggles to heal the stress fractures forming among his tiger family, he begins to wonder if his dreams of a home, and love, were too good to be true. And it’s precisely that moment the killer strikes at the heart of the tiger clan—Sasha himself.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

– E.E. Cummings

 

My links: Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | LinkedIn | Pandora

Knoontime Knitting:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Ravelry

Noon and Wilder links: Blog | Website | Facebook

The Writer Zen Garden:  The Writers Retreat Blog | Forum | Facebook | Twitter

Team Blogs: Nightlight | Nightlight FB Page |  Beyond the Veil | BtV FB Page | LGBT Fantasy Fans and Writers | LGBTFFW FB Page

Publishers: Samhain Publishing | Torquere Press

 

Check out BURNING BRIGHT, available from Samhain Publishing.

Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.

Check out “Taking a Chance“, available from Torquere Books.

Check out COOK LIKE A WRITER , available from Barnes and Noble.

Watch for TIGER TIGER, coming July, 2013, from Samhain Publishing.

Watch for “Seeking Hearts”, coming soon from Torquere Books.

 

A. Catherine Noon – Information Overload

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One of the largest problems of the internet culture is too much information.  We are bombarded with too many options.  Back in the day it used to be just television.  Now it’s television, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, smart phones, tablets, and more – distraction, distraction, distraction.  Then there are the real demands on our time:  kids, spouses, friends, work, chores, school, etc.

If we are an author, like to write, or even just hoped one day to set fingers to keyboard, what are we to do to get around these pitfalls?

I wish I had a magic button for us.  (It’s the X key on the keyboard.)  I wish a spell could do it for us.  (Get a black cat and let him sleep on your computer.)   But it’s like they say in the Nike ad – “Just do it.”

Great.  But how?

My advice?  Cheat.  Beg, borrow, or barter.  Play with it.  Experiment with any idea that you can get your hands on.  Lock yourself in the bathroom with your laptop.  Hide your notebook under your shirt and go for a walk in the park.  Take a bus ride and let the people around you distract your brain so you can concentrate.

Think I’m kidding?  I’ve done all of these things.  So have others I’ve known who write.  You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to write.  Which is all well and good, but about what does one write?

If we don’t already have an idea (and, let’s face it, if we did, we wouldn’t be asking this question, right?), there are lots of places to get them.

Here are a few ideas:

Beg – set a digital timer or the timer on your smart phone for twenty minutes and sit with a blank page in a notebook or on your computer.  Close off all other distractions – unplug your internet or turn off your wireless, don’t answer the phone, and ignore the doorbell (you might warn your family and close friends first so they don’t panic if you’re suddenly AWOL).  See what comes out of your mind without judgment.  Just write whatever’s there.

Borrow – enter “writing prompt” in Google to see all the options available to you.  Pick one at random and go for it.

Barter –  play with your memory.  Make a list of everything in your bedroom or your desk at work.  Then do it for your desk from ten years ago.  Then try ten years in the future.  Experiment with moving your imagination from place to place.

What works for you?  I’d love to hear in the comments.

Join me during the month of April for a free workshop on Coffee Time Romance, Using Prompts to Expand Your Repertoire.

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“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

– E.E. Cummings

 

My links: Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | LinkedIn | Pandora
Knoontime Knitting:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Ravelry
Noon and Wilder links: Blog | Website | Facebook
The Writer Zen Garden:  The Writers Retreat Blog | Forum | Facebook | Twitter
Team Blogs: Nightlight | Nightlight FB Page |  Beyond the Veil | BtV FB Page | LGBT Fantasy Fans and Writers |LGBTFFW FB Page
Publishers: Samhain Publishing | Torquere Press

 

Check out BURNING BRIGHT, available from Samhain Publishing.
Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.
Check out “Taking a Chance“, part of the Charity Sips 2012 to benefit NOH8, available from Torquere Books.

Watch for TIGER TIGER, coming July, 2013, from Samhain Publishing.

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