The first step toward my goal of becoming a published author, is completing the book with Jane. (Did you read her post? Don’t you just love her and her voice, already?!)
People ask us all the time, “How do you write a book together?” That is a good question. We’re different in many ways. She’s democrat, I’m republican; she loves cats, I tolerate them; she lives in green mountains, I live in an irrigated desert; she’s shy, I’m not; she’s an amazing poet, I try; she doesn’t like to cook, I do–it goes on and on. But we’re great friends. I once said we are sisters with different mothers. Except that doesn’t quite fit, because we have different fathers, too. We’re soul-sisters.
One thing’s for sure, we don’t fit the Mormon Mafia writing profile myth either. http://editorialanonymous.blogspot.com/2009/12/publishing-myths-contest.html We are both Mormon. But, neither one of us graduated from BYU (though I have been on campus a lot recently). Neither one of us has 3 kids (I have more, Jane has less). Neither one of us is in our 30s (Jane stopped having birthdays completely, though she does celebrate the anniversary of her 22nd birthday).
So, how do we write together? We don’t alternate chapters or write only for certain characters as some co-authors do. We’ve developed a different method that works for us. First, we discuss plot ideas and determine the direction we’re going with a chapter. Next, I write a draft in my sort of direct-no-nonsense-style. Then Jane “flowers it up” in a rewrite. Then, I check for consistency, and we read the chapter together making further changes. When we’re done, we have a compromise that we both like and that is better than if just one of us wrote it.
My daughter, Tracy, says it is like the 2007 movie, Music and Lyrics http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758766/. We need both of us and together we really do make one heck-of-a-good writer.