Monday, January 30, 2012

Predictable? Me?

In our last blog, I alluded to the challenges Larry and I faced writing a novel with series characters and how it wasn’t really a whole lot of fun.
So he and I have decided to try another stand-alone to see if we could get back to having fun with writing. We are three scenes in and the good news is that yes, we are having fun again. Actually, I’m having a great time, and he’s busy trying to predict what I’ll write.
          Silly man.
          For those of you unfamiliar with our methods, I write a scene, send it to Larry, he writes the next scene, sends it to me, then I take my turn, and we work back and forth until we’re done with the story. There’s no editing as we go, no plotting, no planning. The only loose rule is that we try to surprise each other.
Larry didn’t disappoint. I laughed out loud at his scene more than once. Then he decided (without me knowing it) to write a scene three at the same time I did, to see if what I produced was close to his. After he saw mine, what he said was this:  

“I read your scene, it wasn't predictable, it was far different from what I wrote.  I'll attach what I wrote so you can see how differently we think…” 

“I was sure you'd go that direction but I was wrong. In my warped mind that seemed to be the most obvious way to go...” 

The first thing I thought was, “When have I ever been predictable?” It is always my ultimate goal to surprise the reader with my fiction, even if that reader is my writing partner. Then I thought, “We are VERY different people.”
It is our life experiences that make us who we are and influence what we put down on a page. The people we’ve known, our personal hardships, blah blah blah. This is not a literary novel where we are continually examining the human condition and bemoan fates and foibles, but who we are absolutely affects what we think is an “obvious way to go.” Because I didn’t think his scene was particularly obvious,either.
Now I’m waiting for his next scene. He said he has an idea, so I have to be patient and allow it to germinate and see what kind of craziness he produces. Because honestly, Larry is the predictable one—he seldom disappoints.

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