By Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount
Hi! Thank you so much to the crew at Writerspace for having us on their amazing blog! We really appreciate and are so excited to be back with you and talking about co-writing and creating a lot of content in a short time! Oh! Be sure to read all of the way to the end of this post! We have two giveaways below!
Co-writing five books during a pandemic when we live across the country from each other…that was a fun challenge.
Google Docs, Facetime, texting and phone calls, that was our recipe for success. Let me tell you a little bit about how it worked.
It starts with a daily check in, via text or phone call, chatting up what we’re going to get done that day. Now, Kelly Anne is in the Eastern Time Zone, where I’m in Mountain Standard Time (I’m in AZ, so I never turn my clocks back or forward), so yeah, she’s either two or three hours ahead of me.
I never realized how much that could affect things, but it does, because sometimes I’m just getting up when she’s been up for a few hours. Especially with a 2-year-old to tend to.
Our check-ins usually consist of what we plan on getting done that day and/or if we have any questions for each other. We also love to just chat about life. So, there’s usually a fair bit of that going on, too!
As far as the actual practice of co-writing, overall, we start with coming up with a plot for the book. It is most likely just a few sentences, but it helps us to start with the entire process. We try to address the overarching Goal, Motivation, Conflict (GMC) of the plot. All of this can be changed or modified once we start writing. We also create character descriptions for each of our characters. We make sure to cover everything from their physical attributes to what fragrance they wear. We record this in a Google Sheet, so we can refer back to it at any time. Then we work on the outline. It’s basically a rough look at the entire book, broken out by chapter with a brief summary of what might happen in that chapter. That’s what we follow (but it can change if the characters demand it.)
So, back to the daily check in! We will usually check in every morning to see what’s on tap for the day once we’re up in the morning and ready to get started. Then we get writing! We work in shared Google Docs, so we can see our work real time. Kelly Anne will write a chapter, then buzz me when she’s done. Then I’ll jump in the doc, read what she wrote, then flow right into my chapter. Once I’m done I’ll let her know. It goes that way until the entire first draft is done. It’s a messy first draft with lots of notes and questions, but that’s okay, because you can’t edit words you don’t have written down.
After the first draft is done, we usually take a day or two to rest our brains and chill. Then we’ll jump right into edits. That part takes the longest, actually, because you really have to start fine-tuning the timeline, the characters, and all the details.
As we get deeper into the timeline of the entire Twin River High series (which is slated to be 12 books), it slows things down, because we need to make sure we’re not crossing timelines or doing something that contradicts previously written/published books.
In 2020 we wrote 5 books through tag-teaming chapters, edits, and also navigating living our lives through a pandemic. It was a strange and exciting year that’s for sure. This year, 2021, looks to be very busy as well! We’ll keep writing the Twin River High series, and we’ve also got another joint project coming out. The book is already written and with the publisher for edits, so we’ll let you know when that book comes out.
Individually, we both have projects we’re working on as well. So be sure to stay tuned to our social media accounts so you don’t miss a thing. And if you want exclusive, insider info, before it hits the social media waves, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters and our street teams. You can find the links for them below.
Thank you so much to everyone at Writerspace for hosting us! In order to say thank you, we are giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card! To enter, click here. For extra entries, leave a comment below with the title of your favorite co-written novel! Each comment with a pick-up line is equal to one entry. You can earn unlimited extra points this way, so feel free to post several of your favorite co-written books!
P.S. We have another great giveaway going on with a signed copy of IN THE PENALTY BOX and swag! To enter, click here.