Assembling a story is like doing a jigsaw. You just have to find out where all the pieces fit.

JigsawPhil: As Candice mentioned on Tuesday, we had a really good booking session last week. Cakes the size of paving slabs, space for a laptop and a flow of ideas. What more could you want?

(Actually, I should point out that the “I needed three hours for a cherry bakewell” isn’t entirely accurate. You can see in the photo that much of this was wolfed down before I could get the camera out. My roulade on the other hand, was still a little bit unfinished when we left.)

Plan A had been to do some typing but this was quickly swept aside in preference for planning. We’d both written chunks of text in the run up to the meet and are getting close to having the bones of the book together. My latest offering had been slotted into place and we then discussed how well one of the new character worked within it. In the first draft, you might get the story but not the correct tone.

Every so often someone would pull a “Shut up Phil” face and I’d know that I was probably barking up the wrong tree. That’s fine, I’ve learnt when to back down and sometimes I even work this out before we get there. Occasionally, I even get a win – one of the main sticking points I had with a new passage is to be sorted out with a new, and potentially very funny scene that forces our character to admit something to herself which follows on to the next chapter.

Fortunatly, we can both take criticism from the other. Candice has written a lovely scene with our IT guy and our Femme Fatale but she can’t get into the mind of the nerdy man as well as I can, so it’s gone back with modification. My take on a character was deemed to give away too much at the wrong stage of the plot, so she’s going to have a crack at fixing this.

Anyway, I’d assumed that my work was pretty much the conclusion of the book but as we threw around ideas, discovered it wasn’t. There is a really big scene to follow it, one we’d talked about but not found a place for. Once we worked out where this all fitted though, it was as obviously right as it is when you place the final piece in a jigsaw.

Even the writing shouldn’t be too hard (!) as we’ve left lots of lose ends to tie up and these dictate what has to happen. As long as the characters behave when I start typing, all will be well.

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