As co-authors, we’re often asked the “how” of writing together. People are curious about our process. Fortunately, both of us are solidly in the middle of the pantser/plotter road. We begin by talking about the central idea of our book then narrow that down into a solid premise.
Before we type the first word, we build the story world. Who lives there? Where does it take place? What happened to the characters before they appeared in those first chapters? We spend about a month talking, thinking, and developing our characters and their stories. We come to the first draft with a broad overview of the plot, usually knowing the beginning and the likely ending, but allowing the rest to develop as we write.
Once the writing starts, we assign each other scenes and email them to each other daily. Late afternoons are reserved for Facetime where we discuss what we’ve written and give feedback to each other. The first draft is akin to play time.
We place no constraints on each other and allow the characters to lead the way.
Valerie may tell Lynne, “I didn’t know Julia’s mother was murdered.” and Lynne will answer, sadly, “I know, it’s tragic.”
In our current work in progress, Lynne was surprised to open Valerie’s email and discover a new character they’d never discussed. “Where did she come from?” Lynne asked, and Valerie answered, “She just showed up on the page.” And then there was the time while writing The Last Mrs. Parrish that a gun suddenly appeared, CONTINUE READING