Writing as two

Candice:  Phil wrote in our last blog about not having the speed to write everything that was going round in his head.  Now, I’m a bit of a better typer than two fingers and the thumb but it still doesn’t mean you can get everything down.  But to be honest it’s a nice problem to have.

I probably went into delivery mode when we met the other week.  That comes from how I work, and what I have been hired for over the years, problem solving and getting things done.   Phil had been saying he was going to write that section of the book for awhile but I think he was struggling with where to start, I got the iPad out and an hour later we’d thrashed out the ideas.

It makes me wonder though, what you do you do if you don’t have a Phil and Candice? We are the exception rather than the rule, being two heads writing one book.  In years to come I see that is what the interviews will be about, “So tell us, how do you write a book with two people?”  To be honest, in other writing circles its not that unusual.  TV and Film particularly usually have more than one writer, sitcoms and soaps could have five or six to keep the ideas flowing week on week.

In our case I don’t know exactly how or why it works. I have to say if you put Phil and I together you’d think we were an unusual, non-romantic, couple for many reasons, but some how our brains are on the same wavelength.  And we know our characters.  I can just see where, when writing this now three part chapter, when my bits fit and then where I need Phil’s comedy expertise.  If this was my book on my own, it would be funny but not as funny at it is as a two.  If it were Phil’s it would be much more comedy and less romance.

Going back to the brain storming, I just don’t know how you do it without a sounding board.  I can write happily on my own once I have the structure.  It actually a strange process as I am writing the present but plotting the future in my head.  Sometimes you get a bit confused as you are so far ahead in your head, you forget what you want to say here and now, but it also means you can see where your characters are going which helps shape the present.  But what Phil and I do is work out the big picture, how do we get from A to B.  Often the route doesn’t stay exactly the same as we originally worked out but its gives us a starting point.  Without that you don’t have a cohesive book.

So it was a good job we both got a contract five years ago in an obscure quango, else we’d never been a quarter of the way into Book 2.

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