Collaborative Writing!

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Firstly, it’s fun. Secondly, you might learn something from working with someone beyond just giving your opinions and suggestions. And thirdly, it’s fun. That last one was worth mentioning twice.

I’ve been lucky with one particularly critter I met last year. She’s become my best friend even though we’ve never met. But we think so incredibly alike that I wonder why we didn’t collaborate sooner. 

I started Out of Ashes a few weeks ago, but was letting the ideas float around before committing to the plot and story. Now I have it all outlined, I’m on a roll. I was thinking about the word count and if it would make novel status rather than novella, not that it matters. 

But chatting to my friend, I said it would be great to have another POV to fill in some of the gaps. It’s all in 1st POV so I wasn’t planning on having more than one POV, but I thought it would be fun to add to it. I have more thoughts on POVs for another post.

I knew our approaches to writing match closely enough that we wouldn’t clash in our processes. Also, while our styles are different, they express the same level of emotion, characterisation, exposition etc, so would compliment each other nicely.

Like two different instruments playing a duet, they need to have complimenting tones and play in time to one another even if their notes are different. It’s called harmony. Even the unmusical can understand harmony. 

So this is our literary duet, with me as first chair, and my friend as my harmoniser to give a fuller richer experience. I want the best out of my work, and this would really bring it to life more. 

And since starting this post, she’s written the most amazing chapter for me. I’m still deciding whether it should be a prologue maybe, and have it as a one-off if she’s too busy with her own WIP. But either way, I hope she writes more if she can. 

As much as I hate to think of her not being able to write more, life doesn’t always go according to plan. So I’ve planned the outline in such a way that the story works with or without her chapters. But I have one for now. And her personal additions have helped set up ongoing details and given me more ideas.  

So thanks, best friend/writing buddy, for helping me give readers more and for offering such a perfect chapter. 

Writing in Style!

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One reader will enjoy a simpler prose while another, me, will enjoy a more colourful and descriptive style. Sure, this risks falling into the category of purple prose. Why is purple prose so bad? What’s so terrible about pushing the English language to its limits.

I’m guilty of a little purple prose so I’m bias. But I agree that it can overload the reader with too many senses or emotions or visuals that are hard to imagine all at once. But there is a balance for all of us. I’ve happily compromised a little here and there for those who appreciate my style and prose. 

However, I’ve outright ignored some because they demand I change my voice and style completely. These and NOT good critters if you want to stick to your voice and style. They are rigid in their style and try to impose it on others. This is where you need to think about whether this person is going to make a good critiquing partner for you ongoing. 

Having said that, if you want your style to fit a certain box, then there is a chance they may be the best critiquer for you. So go ahead, decide for yourself if you want to adapt to a particular market or if you want to write in your own style. There’s nothing wrong with either as long as it’s your choice. But style and voice isn’t easy to change by force, so I suggest you work on maybe toning down parts of your style without feeling like you’re sacrificing. If you sacrifice too much to get published, then what’s the point? But again, this is just how I see it. I’d rather risk being unpublished than change too much.

I’ve had many people point out their “issues” with my style. And that’s okay if they don’t like it. You can’t please everybody. But I’ve also had people compliment me for it and make more suited suggestions. So I’m confident that it’s likeable enough to not sacrifice it. 

I decided long ago what style I was heading towards. Whether I’ve achieved it or not remains to be seen, but I know my voice and how I want my words to come across. If you know this, then you’re already a writer with style.

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For more information on finding your style… here’s something from Self-Publishing School

For My Goddaughter on Her First Birthday.

book page formed as heart
Photo by Aung Soe Min

Introducting the With Love collection. It’s going to be fluffy and cute and adorable and sappy and full of the things that we should appreciate more.

Enjoy…

For My Goddaughter on Her First Birthday

They say good things come in small packages, but your heart is forever growing.

Your heart can hold immeasurable love and beauty.

Your heart can keep you going when life tires you.

Your heart can light your path when darkness falls.

Your heart can warm you when you are cold.

Don’t let your heart stop growing.

With love,

Your Fairy Godmother.

What Is It? #2

Every day, I bear the weight of others. Sometimes light and only at my centre. Sometimes it presses down with a darkness that makes me lose my balance. They move me as if I am an inconvenience, grinding my heels until they splinter. They constantly adorn me to suit their ever-changing ideas. They won’t let me leave, though. I am their prisoner. They will keep oppressing me until they have no use for me, and I will become embers before falling ash.