Welcome back to another installment of collaborations: what do they look like and how do I make mine work? Okay, actually, I’m continuing the discussion from last time. After all, this is supposed to be a blog, not an ongoing saga. I also want to apologize for any strange grammar or punctuation errors in this entry because I’m using Dragon instead of actually typing on a keyboard.
WRONG DRAGON! SORRY DIDN’T MEAN TO WAKE YOU UP, SIR. PLEASE JUST GO BACK TO SLEEP!
Whew! Anyway, I’ll be sharing my adventures with Dragon Speaking Naturally software, and learning how to use it, in another blog entry, For now I’m going to continue to share my experiences with collaborations
Now, last time I talked about my collaboration with my old friend Rich Caminiti, today I’m going to be discussing my other collaboration with my wife Helen. First off, unlike with Rich, I am able to work with my wife, face-to-face.
Being able to spend time with each other in real life instead of waiting to go on Skype to plot or give feedback like I do with Rich. This gives a whole new dynamic to our collaboration since we don’t always have to be at our computers to work on the story. Instead, we could be driving someplace or having dinner at a restaurant and will be discussing ideas and scenes for the story. Being able to operate like this gives us a distinct advantage to rework a scene before we actually put it to paper. We get the chance to work out the dynamics between the characters, feelings, emotions, reactions and have a more clear idea of how we want a scene to read.
Does this automatically mean that we have every scene worked out perfectly? Absolutely not. In fact, we will rework a scene time and again until we find a version that we both really like that works. Even then we will occasionally go back to that scene and rework it with new elements that we hadn’t thought of before to improve it.
Furthermore, we may not always agree on exactly how we want a scene to play out. There might be elements that one of us thinks would work better in a later point in the story. In cases like this, it’s much easier to have the other person there with you to work out those differences and come up with a common solution that we can both live with. Another benefit is on occasion someone might forget a detail or plan that we decided to use in a scene a few days before. This actually happens quite often due to my fibromyalgia. I get the infamous “brain-fog” and forget things. Luckily, Helen is always around to help me remember what I forgot what we had planned for a scene and proceed to fix it. I often refer to her as my spare brain in these cases, since they happen rather often to me.
As you can see, we rely on each other quite often which makes our collaboration work even better. Mind you, we don’t always work on the project together at the same exact time. In fact, since she’s a bit of a night owl, I’ll find that she’s been in the story working on it during the night while I was asleep. This is actually a lot of fun for me, because then I get to see all this new material as if I was the reader and now I get to react to it. And of course will be times when I’m working on the story when she doesn’t know what and when she goes in show find what I’ve written and then it will be her turn to react and come up with a new scene or response. In a way to sort of the game of role-playing for us except that were actually putting together a story for others to read and enjoy.
Now as I said in the previous entry, Rich and I also take turns working on different scenes as well and we get the same effect. But with Helen, I get to see the reactions on her face and get her input and feedback a lot sooner which gives me a great deal of pleasure.
So as you can see both collaborations share a lot of similarities but there are also a number of differences. And there are number of ways that you can make a collaboration work, it’s all in how you and your cohort approach things. Most of the time you’ll find there is always a way to make it work, it’s mostly a question of what method is going to work best for the two of you.
And that’s all I have to say for now folks, so until next time, take care enjoy the summer and keep writing.