Sunday, August 14, 2005

My eye was twitching!

On Saturday at my local RWA meeting, two writers who are collaborating on a book gave the program and explained their methods. I was fascinated. I was also amazed. And I had to hold my eye to keep it from twitching.

The two writers met ahead of time and went over every aspect of their compatibility. Impressive. They made lists and charts and got down to work and made more lists and charts. They planned how many pages and words and how many chapters and then how many pages her chapter and then how many scenes per chapter and whose point of view those scenes would be in.... They had the details of every chapter written down!

Every chapter. I asked to look at their chapter notes. Uh huh. They knew what was going to happen in every chapter. But the question I didn't have a chance to ask--because it was off topic for collaborating, but that I plan to ask when I have lunch with one of the authors this week is: How did they know what to write down?

How did they know what was going to happen in each chapter? I mentioned before that I'd tried that method and just sat staring at note cards for a week solid. The concept does not gel in my brain. How does a writer know that stuff before they get to it?

Back to this: The right way is the way that works for you. I guess I'm still doing it the right way. But I'm still astounded, too.


  1. I have a friend who is always teasing me about writing out of order. I can't do it for the life of me. I don't see scenes until the scenes before those have happened. Now, I can outline an act of a book pretty well, but things always change. So if I outlined much further, I'd be in for too much work!

  2. I hear you, Alison! I have written a few scenes out of order -- mostly love scenes! LOL And on rare occassion a dramatic scene -- just to get the dialogue down while I know what I want. But, like you, I can't see the scenes ahead to know what the characters are going to do or say. It's a process that escapes me, and I'm just amazed at those who do it.