Candice: Phil wanted me to write about our trip to the Writing West Midlands event, which I will do, but actually I thought it would be good to comment on our meet to discuss Book 3 on Friday.
People always ask us how we write as a partnership, who does what, and how it works. To be honest, it’s like being in a working relationship with anyone, some are better at some bits than others. I’m more ‘task’ focused and Phil can be more ideas. We are each others ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’. I can be as creative as you like when the need takes me but I had limited time on Friday for discussions so wanted to get our timeline sorted. Why was the timeline so important? Well, we had reached that point, 35k words in, that we’d written lots of sections that tailed off at the end because we kept asking the question ‘what happens next?’.
Everything, whether book or work project has a beginning, middle and end. There are probably ups and downs before you get there but without knowing your end goal then you won’t be able to achieve it through these bumps. Writing is the same, if you don’t know where your characters end up, all the lovely set pieces and plotting come to squat as you end up writing something that doesn’t make sense.
Part of the other problem with Phil and I is we like a chat. He talked about his holiday, I talked about mine and the next thing we knew an hour was gone. Then he starting firing storyline ideas at me. I had to put my hand up and say ‘STOP’. The ideas might all be great but we need the timeline.
The other thing you need to make sure you can deliver on your project is the right tools. I hadn’t ga ot pen or paper so off I walked to WHSmiths and bought post-it notes and coloured pens and then we were ready.
The first job was to write out what we’d already written and put it in the correct order (as in the book it’s not linear). And then work out the gaps. Time was ticking and it became like a game of ‘Countdown’ – we’ve got two minutes how do we solve it.
In the end, we only built the comedy storyline, the love one still needs work, but that means that a few more thousand words can be written; and a few other ideas were bounced around.
Tea drunk and off home I went, feeling satisfied with our activity. Now I just need the time to write 🙂