Friday, June 29, 2012

Guest Blog: The Writing Partner Tango

My name is Francene Stanley, and these are my experiences with a writing partner.

Four years ago, I first 'met' Edith Parzefall on The Internet Writing Workshop. She gave wonderful critiques for three novels I posted, one chapter a week. And I did the same for her--probably not so well at the start due to lack of skill. The experience forged our friendship.

My original novels featured a gentle woman wearing an inherited moonstone ring which whisked her away into visions. Just recently, I missed Liliha and wanted to reconnect. It just so happened I had skimmed over six months of her life. I decided to use this time to good advantage. Lonely, Liliha needed a purpose to hold her life together. Unable to stop a perpetrator in her vision, she decided to search for him in real life. Only natural--that's what I'd do. And so Liliha became a detective of sorts in trying to track him down and rectify the offence she'd seen in her vision.

I couldn't say I'm clever like Rick and his protagonist. My main character is a quiet woman who sees everything with understanding eyes--suspecting nobody of any evil. Rather like me. Funny that.

During our critique sessions, Edith influenced my writing, not so much my style, but by demonstrating how to create a unique voice for different characters. She pointed out that the charming rogue in Still Rock Water sounded too sophisticated for a man with his background and rewrote a few paragraphs to establish a different voice for Harry. This first exercise in collaboration encouraged me to experiment and planted the seed for a series set in the future.

When I contacted her with the idea of writing a post-apocalyptic fantasy series based on my theme of a moonstone ring, she agreed to join me as co-author. She went along with the way I'd begun the story and wrote scenes for several characters, made them her own and eventually changed them as they took over in the imagery of writing. Double Dragon Publishing released the first book, Wind Over Troubled Waters in April.

Together we've written three more books:

*  Knights in Dark Leather (coming out soon)
*  Golden Submarine (ready)
*  Long Doom Calling (ready)

...all with the warped name of a song as the title. And each critiqued by the wonderful people at the Internet Writing Workshop.


Edith Parzefall said...

Hi Francene,

I'm really happy and proud that you invited me a long onto this amazing journey into the future. May the ring keep radiating its magic.

I'm really excited your first solo book Still Rock Water will be released soon. Isn't it amazing how the Higher Ground series sped past our first solo novels which brought us together?

Wish you all the best!


Francene Stanley said...

Couldn't have created the wonderful, futristic series without you, Edith. Your love for the characters you created drove the story forward to its exciting conculusion.

dolittlesaymuch said...

Warped song titles! Hah! I hadn't figured that out. Glad you mentioned it. LOL!

Another great article, Francene. I love reading the stuff you two put "out there." :-)

Kw mccabe said...

That's a really good point about creating a voice that fits the character's personality. Wish someone could post on steps to learning how to do that!

Edith Parzefall said...

Best way is to listen to strangers around you and their different speech patterns. Then the words won't distract you so much. Or they might, which can be fun. :-)