Sunday, November 15, 2015

More Co-Authoring Q&A: The Ending Series

****PLEASE NOTE: This is an old post. I no longer post on this blog. For more information, to visit my new blog, or to contact me, visit HERE****

For those of you who frequent my blog, you've probably read some of my posts about what it looks like to be a co-author and my recommendations around it. However, some of you haven't, and as The Ending Series comes to a close, Ending fans have a lot of questions about the series and what it's like to co-author a series. Well, here are some of my answers...

1. How does the writing process work with two authors?

It's morphed a bit since book one, but essentially we brainstorm together (in person) and then we outline the book by characters and storylines. Sticky notes and google docs are VERY helpful in this. After, we start writing and continue to check in with each other as we write and read each other's chapters. This way we can make sure we're on the "same page" so to speak. 

Also, we both write our own camp of characters. For example, I write Zoe chapters and her characters include, Harper, Sanchez, Tavis, Sam, Jake, Becca, Sarah, Clara, etc. and LF writes Dani chapters, Jason, Chris, Carlos, Gabe, Vanessa, animals, Mase, Grayson, Ky, etc.) However, when our characters crossover into each other's chapters, like Jake being in a Dani chapter, for example, LF will write her version of Jake's responses and I will come in and make sure his reactions and dialogue are true to his character. Now that we're on book four, we know the characters so well and there's generally little altering needed. Then there are characters, like Dr. Wesley and General Herodson, that we both write. They aren't really "one person's" character, as we've created them together.

To read more about our actual process, check out my Writing The Ending Series post.

2. Do you ever disagree on the direction of a character or the plot?

We definitely have different ideas about how things should progress throughout the series or what should happen in between major plot points sometimes, but we talk about them and figure out a compromise--why it would or wouldn't work. Sometimes we leave the questionable pieces of the story in the first draft for beta readers to comment on during the first read-through. If they don't think something fits or works, we change it so that it does. 

3. Do you market the book any differently with it having two authors?

No, not really. It's pretty much the same. We used to have the edge of how "different" we were with two authors, especially with us having the same name, but now it seems more and more common for a book or series to have co-authors. And, writing together is actually a tad more difficult to market in some cases. It helps that we both have our own websites and blogs and author platforms in which we can market our work. But sometimes forms or publishing accounts or listings that we're using to promote our series only have room for one author's name, so it's difficult to keep both of our names connected to the project at times. Since we decided to list our names in alphabetic order, LF is generally the name that's attached, and I've just had to get used to that over the last four years.

4. Which do you prefer, writing as a sole author or writing with another author?

There are definitely perks to both. When you're co-authoring, there's someone to partner with, who's invested in the project as much as you are. It's nice to have someone helping you celebrate the good and shoulder the bad. But it's also difficult given our different schedules and pace of working. 

LF loves writing paranormal, so it's great for her to be able to focus on her solo projects with a, well, paranormal flare. I am much more conventional in my writing in that I like to write historical and contemporary romance with a dash of adventure. My first solo book comes out in January, Whatever It Takes, and it's completely different than The Ending books, which was a nice break. Although I love our Ending characters, it will be really nice to explore my own stories for a little while, though there are more stories in the world of The Ending that we plan to explore in the future.

5. Does one Author “take the lead” or do you both have equal input into the writing of the book and it’s marketing?

Things have altered over the years. Right now, I'm more active in all the social media and communication with fans and subcontracts, like with the cover designer, our editor, beta readers and reviewers, getting us book tours and giveaways with fellow authors, etc. LF focuses more on the promotions side of things.

6. How do you decide who writes which part of the book?

We decide what we want our character arcs to be, agree that they work together and fit into the goal of the story, then we pretty much plan our own chapters, as long as we're clear on the overlapping pieces and what we need our characters to accomplish or experience together. Sorry, that was a long sentence :) Again, we plan out our chapters ahead of time, and we read each other's as we go so that we know where to pick up and where the other left off. This is VERY important when our characters are together.

7. Are there certain traits or an interview-type process you go through when choosing authors to co-write with? Or is it a less technical approach with two author friends deciding to co-write?

For us, it was an organic, logical step given our hobbies and friendship at the time, a step that has since turned into something bigger than we had originally expected. There was no formal process, though I recommend that anyone jumping into a project with someone else keep some things in mind. You can check out my 4 Things Writer's Should Think About Before They Commit for more. But, the gist is this: pay close attention to a potential co-author's work ethic, their pace, their ability to communicate, their attention and dedication to their projects, etc. All of those things are important. Writing with someone else is a HUGE commitment, so make sure your writing partner is someone you trust and foresee in your writing career long-haul...once you publish a book, you're tied together. 

8. Do you ever get together in the same room to do the writing or is it all done via computers? 

With me in California and LF in Washington, we try to meet up at least twice during a project--once for the initial brainstorming before we start writing and then for the final read-through and publishing of the book. Other than that it's all emails and video chats for us.


If you have any other questions about writing in general or about co-authoring, feel free to email me or comment below!

Happy Writing!


Twitter: @LindseyRPogue

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