The Collaborative Art Process
Angel writes fast.
She doesn’t just write quickly–7 books published in 3 years–she writes dynamic action scenes that move the character from place to place and point to point at a speed that leaves the reader (and often the protagonist) breathless. Her plots tear through single summers, a few days, a school year, in chapters that drive in fifth gear with the top down.
I write slower than a McDonald’s shake through a skinny straw.
Research takes up at least three quarters of my writing time. I will spend 2 hours reading up on exactly how a poison affects the system, and if it is plausible for the victim to be able to work his fingers over a cell phone while in the death throws of an accidental yew berry ingestion, all to write a single paragraph.
“Showing” takes up the time that I am not looking for weird ways to authentically kill people. I am absolutely unable to tell the reader that Jack went to the store. I will describe Jack’s bicycle, the cute cashier that always waves but he can’t talk to, the fluorescent lights flickering over the dairy aisle. Him knocking over the row of drain cleaner because his hands are shaking, the cold sweat that slimes under his tee shirt when Officer McTavish steps into the checkout line behind him with his deli coffee and package of Nutty Bars.
Put us together, and you have a whole lot of conversations that go like this:
A – Let’s have them do this and this and this!
K -Oh, that sounds awesome! Is that even feasible, and what’s their motivation for doing that?
A – Well, how about this, because he he has an irrational fear about that, so he would avoid it by going here.
K – Makes sense. Okay, so you bare bones it, and I’ll look up coulrophobia.
A – brb. Okay, done. Here’s the first five chapters. They go from here to there and then back. Make it pretty.
K – Oooh, look at all the scary clowns. Y’know, we could have a circus mafia thing going on. Did you know that in the 1920’s the carnival circuit had illegal deals with the railroad, and
A – Run with it. I have to go pick up my kids and teach this art camp and publish this other book I wrote last night.
K – Can we have a scene where a clown stomps on someone! y’know, with the big shoes? To keep our theme tight. Ooh, he could have flashbacks that show his phobia. Or perhaps we can show him going to group therapy!
K – I should probably look up the history of clowns. Oh, commedia del’arte! MASKS!
K – Hullo?
Our book is up at amazon. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it with Angel.