Today I am super excited and by excited I mean, I am jumping up and down screaming like a crazy fan girl kinda excited to have the wonderful and amazing author of one of my favourite book series on my tiny blog today!!!!! So I shall let you read the guest post provided by Evie Hunter while I go scream some more ;)
HOW TO WRITE WITH SOMEONE ELSE.
Evie Hunter is actually two writers, Caroline McCall and Eileen Gormley.
EILEEN: One question we are always being asked is, “How do the two of you write together?” and we joke that we just try not to kill each other. The truth is that it does take a lot of organization and planning.
CAROLINE: Shhhh, don’t mention the killing bit.
EILEEN: We write split point of view. Caroline usually writes the girl parts and I write the boy parts. This means that each of us can get to know our own characters in depth but are sometimes surprised by what we discover about the other one as we write.
CAROLINE: I love doing the visual stuff at the beginning. I’m a big Pinterest fan and spend hours hunting for the hottest hero, the perfect house and the sexiest outfits for the heroine to wear. Having the same picture in both our heads helps to cut down on continuity issues while we’re working.
EILEEN: From a writing point of view, split POV means each character has a strong voice and personality, with their own particular mannerisms, curses, speech patterns and annoying habits.
CAROLINE: We like our characters to drive each other nuts, just like they would do in real life. It makes for great arguments and lots of sparkage between them.
EILEEN: When we are writing, I do the day shift, writing in between school runs, breastfeeding group and Homestart. In fact, I often write in McDonalds, just so that the disorganized mess in the house does not distract me when I’m in the middle of writing a difficult scene.
Yes, McDonalds is noisy, with kids running around and making a racket, but they are not my kids and I don’t have to do anything about the noise except ignore it. So I tune out and immerse myself in the world of Niall and Sinead and their passion.
As soon as I finish writing, I email it to Caroline.
CAROLINE: I work the night shift. By the time I get out of the office and onto the train, I’m already thinking about what I’m going to work on that evening. If it’s a physical scene, I take it out on the vegetables. My husband wisely stays out of my way until the food is on the table.
After dinner, I check my emails and see what Eileen has been up to during the day. We call our work in progress ‘The lump.’ For practical reasons, we smooth each other’s work as we go. If there is a line of dialogue that my character would not say, I change it and Eileen does the same with my scenes. If we have serious differences of opinion as to how we think a scene should go, we comment using tracker.
I write on from where Eileen has left off and email it back to her before bedtime. On Saturdays, I often write in bed with the cat.
EILEEN: Every evening we chat on yahoo, discussing what we have written and what we are planning for the next bit. Sometimes there are squawks of protest. “What did you just do to Sinead? You can’t do that. It’s inhuman.”
We also make suggestions about how to throw more horrors at our poor characters.
CAROLINE: Eileen is often very, very mean to my character, which is why hers tend to end up getting injured at some point in the book (laughs evilly).
EILEEN: We are now working on our fourth novel for Penguin, and every single one of them has had an insane deadline. We don’t have time for writer’s block or lengthy rewrites, so we plot out the story in as much detail as possible before we start.
CAROLINE: This usually involves a biro, a napkin and pots of coffee. Eileen has a serious caffeine addiction.
EILEEN: A novel will start with a vague idea: “I’d love to write about someone stuffy who is a burlesque dancer at night,” and we brainstorm it and fine tune it until it turns into a tightly-plotted story of danger, romance, fabulous jewels and family secrets.
CAROLINE: We take our research very seriously. For The Pleasures of Autumn, I insisted that we both went to burlesque classes. That was a real eye opener and it did give us a peek into the world of costumes, fans and boas.
EILEEN: Once we have our plot and start writing, we edit as we go. When I sent my scene to Caroline, she goes over it, checking for emotional development and making sure I didn’t make her heroine do anything out of character. When I get her scene, I read it for logic (If she’s wearing a seatbelt, can she physically reach into the passenger footwell with her right hand?) and structure, and I fix the punctuation as I go.
CAROLINE: She hates my commas and I don’t drive.
EILEEN: Writing sex scenes are always fun. We try to out-filthy each other, and get ever so slightly competitive about who is more kinky.
CAROLINE: I am more kinky! Do you want to take this outside….
EILEEN: However, according to my long-suffering husband, the most important point when you are doing a co-write is to make sure that all the sharp implements are kept locked up.
CAROLINE: Yep, child-locks on the cutlery drawer, an essential part of the co-writer’s took kit.
Buy The Pleasures Series on Amazon UK:
#1.5. A Touch of Winter
#2.5. A Touch of Summer
#3.5. A Touch of Autumn