Posted by: Kerry Gans | December 15, 2011

Collaboration: The Meeting of the Minds

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my middle grade WIP, The Egyptian Enigma is the product of a collaboration with two totally awesome co-writers, James Kempner and Jeff Pero. You will also know that we just got incredibly detailed and spot-on notes from developmental editor Kathryn Craft on said WIP. So now we have massive revisions to do.

How do you do that with three people?

The revisions are fundamental in that we have to restructure the plot. That means adding scenes, re-envisioning existing scenes, and cut, cut, cutting what we already have. In essence, it means starting over.

I don’t mean totally, of course. There are many existing scenes we will be able to rework and salvage, and our characters will remain much as they are. But since the plot needs so much work, our process is starting over again.

We are having a meeting Dec 28 to discuss everything and get a new outline for the book. We have an agenda, because with 3 authors it is important to know what we will talk about so as not to waste time or run off on tangents. We know from experience that we can only work productively together for about 3 hours and then our focus collapses. So we have no time to lose. Thus the agenda.

To make our time even more efficient, we are all going to email each other our ideas for the new plot. We will do this a week before we meet, so we have time to read and react and absorb everyone’s ideas. Then we will discuss on the 28th and come to a final plot, a final outline. The hope is that the best of our ideas will come together and create some alchemical magic so we have a lean, strong, potent new outline.

Once we have that, I get to work. I will write the new first draft. Then it goes to Jim, who gives it to Jeff, who gives it back to me for a final voice revision.

Before all of that, though, there will be the meeting of the minds—and the synergy that comes with it.

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Responses

  1. I am saying some good old fashioned prayers for you guys, this is a wonderful book, with a lot of energy in it’s prose. It is very encouraging that you have the comments from which to work.

    Like


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