I took a pause in my revision work this week to take a turn on my other ongoing project – I’ve mentioned before that I’m writing a collaborative novel with three other authors, Pesto, Pirouettes and Potions. We’re writing it round-robin style, each writing a chapter then passing it on to the next person, and my turn came around again this week.
I had a lot of fun reading through the five chapters we had so far, and then writing up Chapter Six. I got into a nice flow of conversation between the characters, getting to know their dynamics a little more. I had the chance to play with Charlie and Lola, our two heroines, and their friends Nathan, who dances in the ballet with Charlie, and Mario, Lola’s roommate. Mario is a flirt who thinks Charlie is cute, Nathan likes to tease straight guys who assume he’s gay (he isn’t), Charlie is totally freaking out over her crush on Lola, and Lola is trying to convince herself not to crush on Charlie–so it’s awkward all around and so much fun to write.
This was the first chapter I wrote picking up after other people wrote theirs – I wrote Chapter Two previously, but since it was introducing Charlie (while Chapter One introduced Lola) it was pretty independent. I really enjoyed being able to riff from things other people had written–like continuing Charlie’s tic of saying “oh goddess,” or building from a previous-chapter moment when Charlie introduced her dog. I probably wouldn’t have thought of either thing, so I loved springing off of the ideas to continue building. Here’s an excerpt that shows both those ideas continuing to grow!
Was this whole business, stalking the Pilates classes, showing up at brunch, going too far? Was Charlie building way too much on one charged exercise class, and one not-quite-a-date?
But it had been such a good sort of date. It had been a long time since she’d felt a connection like that. And Sammy had liked Lola—who had understood his name. Charlie only introduced him as Samwise when she wanted to see if someone would catch the reference, pick up the semi-secret code she was sending out. And Lola hadn’t just asked about Lord of the Rings, she had asked Sammy if he was a Hobbit. So adorable.
Oh goddess, she had it bad.
One thought on “Writing Wednesday: Riffing Off of Awesome People”
I like hearing how the creative process works for you when you are collaborating with other writers. Thanks for sharing your method.