Pros of Collaboration 2: The Sequel Post

As Krispy noted previously, we have slowed down a bit. I too place the blame on midterms and the tantalizing approach of Spring Break, though a recent negative reason for the lack of productivity is my potentially ill computer (not virus-ill but hard-drive-making-disturbing-hacksaw-noises-ill) because, as noted previously, we do 98.5% of our plotting via instant messaging and I've had limited internet access these past couple of days.

However, a slowdown in our mad headlong rush towards our novel is not necessarily a bad thing. It provides time to look back over what we've planned and spot plot-holes and inconsistencies. Also, since we have gotten around to some more substantial world-creation, building things from the ground up, and now we have time to explore what we've created and work out some of the finer kinks and details. We get to add to and refine our cast of characters, work on the little details that will show their personalities and motivations, and give them their little quirks and mannerisms that will hopefully make them unique and noteworthy instead of being cardboard cutouts. For this, they need to have backgrounds and reasons for doing things, which are of course not at all mutually exclusive.

Like angst. I abuse the term generally and broadly, but we decided that one character needed a better reason to stick around than the vague one we'd started out with, and so want of reason led to want of angst, and want of angst led to suffering. Things were going just too easy, you know, and we can't have that. (This is frequently how it works when I'm writing solo: I'll decide that things are going just too jolly well for said characters, so it's time to complicate matters and beat them up and add a judicious touch of betrayal, maybe a sprinkle of angst, a dash of guilt or shame, suffering and self-recrimination. Character development calls for a complicated recipe unique to every character, after all.)

Krispy, I believe, is far too disparaging of herself in the previous post. She's a great one for those little details that make our characters into people, and for keeping things reasonably realistic. Like, you know, I'm all for great plot twists and drama-llamas galore and maaaad ideas, and I know that sometimes I get a little too excited (particularly when the sugar-and-caffeine-highs hit late at night) and start blurting out random crazy things, and Krispy is like my combination psych and muse, able to sift through this barrage of semi-lucid images and semi-idiotic plot devices and pan the gold from the gravel. (Not that there's a lot of gold, or even gold every time. Would that there were.) And from these raw nuggets of inspiration and even from these coarser granules of stupidity, she's able to dredge further ideas that are usually great and sometimes brilliant. Pulling a diamond from a pile of pebbles? That's my Krispy.

Our general plan so far has been to just plow through the general story and get that basic outline finished, after which we'll go back and flesh out further and revise and edit and eviscerate and adjust and add all our bells and whistles, our stripes and spots, our fangs and claws, our laser-vision and fireballs, and generally polish it up just fine and dandy, spruce and dashing, and then get down to the actual business of writing it out. We're constantly editing and revising as we go along, too, going back and adding key scenes and inserting new characters. And our antagonists do need quite a bit of rounding out, some spit and elbow grease, polish and varnish and lacquer until they're shining examples of—you know what? I don’t even remember the metaphor I was going for right there. Oh well.

Like Krispy, I have no frelling idea how we're going to go about the writing. I suppose one way to do it would be to split up points of view and scenes and split the characters between us, in which case the difference of voice could be used to an advantage, though that does seem rather limiting as I think there are characters and scenes we'd both like to write. Or we could actually write it together a piece at a time, sending bits back and forth, which seems terribly cumbersome and like it would take forever and a day. Or we could do as we've done in the past and simply write segments and take up where the other leaves off. Or we could do a combination of these things, or work out something new. No idea at this point.

(Krispy, by the way, exaggerates my huge vocabulary, because I'm pretty sure I don't use hugely impressive-sounding and gobbledygookish words in my normal writing. I only toss around words like "defamiliarization" , "dystrophic", and "thalassocracy" in analytic papers in a vain attempt to sound all smartful. And because my professors said to remember them because they were cocktail-party words with which to impress slightly drunken people. And then tell Krispy these big huge words I learned, from which she receives her false impression.)

I fear matching my writing to Krispy's marvelous voice for beauty. Seriously, there are times when she writes and what comes out is as much poetry as prose, be it drama or dialogue. Because, see, when I say "beauty" I don't mean just pretty images, but, like, beautiful prose. Not purple prose, not melodrama, but just quite frankly beautiful writing.

I guess we'll just have to do our best to live up to each other's legacy, Krisp.


Krispy said...

Alz! You make me weep with your praise! STOP FLATTERING ME. I ALREADY HAVE A HUGE EGO. Also, your plotting skills are crazy, as well as your writing skills. I also like your recipe for complication. I just tend to...kill people to complicate things. I'm not sure that's a good thing... Hahaha.

Okay, I'm going to stop rambling now and also apologize a bit for my post before. I was writing it in a haze left over from trying go finish up work and wanting to sleep. XP

Alz said...

THAT'S RIGHT YOU BETTER APOLOGIZE. And I think we're mutually stoking eac other's egos, haha. WHAT A PAIR WE ARE. But we have our baby to show for it! And what parents AREN'T proud of their baby?

We should kill more people. *cough* I mean, in our novel.

Krispy said...

We should kill more people. *cough* I mean, in our novel.
I know right?! Considering us, there's been a surprisingly low death count. Let's "24" this shizz up.