Firstly, as of yesterday, we officially finished book 1 of Monsters! After the third installment of Kali with Marionettes, Monsters begins with this book. Seriously, the cast in this book really did some things that we were not expecting. Victoria had planned the ending to go a very different way before one of the characters decided, "Hey, umm, I'm gonna do this thing right now. Good luck."
Yeah. Thanks for that, character.
But, either way, the ending killed us. It KILLED us. I mean, we're over here trying not to cry and crying anyway. I can't wait to make you all cry too.
What happens next is Victoria's first time revising a full manuscript. At least she has a coach who's very experienced with the art of revision! Tralala.
Victoria and I have been writing together for a heck of a long time. Maybe about ten years now. Even while I was over here in California and she was in Pennsylvania, we were writing together. So, we've had a very long time to develop our styles and learn how the other thinks and writes.
Basically what we do is roleplay. I have a cast of characters that I play, and she has a cast that she plays, and when we write a scene where these two casts mingle, we trade posts. Sometimes a post is a single line. Sometimes a post is paragraphs. The key is to make sure that our posts flow together like any other narrative, so that there's no break in continuity. A lot of this is fixed during revision as well.
(Sometimes we'll write a little extra than necessary and edit it out later, or we'll explain what a character is doing or what something looks like specifically so we have similar visions of what's going on.)
It also helps that we have very similar writing styles and voices, that way we stay consistent throughout the story.
When we get to later books, especially after one series ends and the other continues, we plot together, and we pretty much do it everywhere we go -- in the car, when we take our walks, when we go out, when we're with people who have no idea what the hell we're talking about -- we're always discussing what's going to happen.
But sometimes we can't always plan for what happens. Characters often surprise us (like I mentioned above) and do something completely unexpected. Or, sometimes we just know to anticipate that we don't know what the characters will do, so we'll plan a few steps and then write ourselves into the answer.
Next, I'll be taking about a week's break from the writing blog to focus on revising book two of Monsters. Hopefully the proof for the first book will be here by Friday or Saturday!