A mosaic of personalities and love! Tips on co-writing from Remmy Duchene.
I’m excited to welcome Remmy Duchene, author of a number of fantastic m/m reads including Redemption, Caged, Country Soul, and Ripped Apart. Remmy has written several books with co-authors, and she’s dropped by today to share some wise words on that fine art
First I’d like to thank you to Kay for letting me come by and crash her crib for a quick moment. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Remmy Duchene, a Jamaican living in Canada, and as for those of you wondering, I have no clue why Canada – lol. Anyways, I’m published with Silver Publishing, MuseItHot Publishing, Loose Id and Rebel Ink Press along with a few things I self published.
Why am I here today? Well, I am here to talk about co-authoring. Yes, I know, it’s not the easiest thing in the world but technology, believe it or not, has made things much easier. Think about it. Before things like instant messenger, co-authoring a book would mean a lot of headaches if you didn’t live in the same town, next door to each other, or could meet regularly.
These days? Not only can you co-author with someone who lives in a different town, or city—you can write with a person who lives in a whole new country! How fabulous is that?
I co-authored a book called This is Love with a friend of mine, Allisson Cassatta. She is amazing but lives in a different country. How do we make it work? Well we use instant messenger and emails a lot, but most importantly we use google docs more often than not. You see in google docs, I can see what Allison is typing as she types it, we can have conversation in the chat on the same page, and when we’re finished we just download it as a word document—epic.
But before you get to any of that stuff, you have to pick someone you can actually write with. Let me tell you how I’ve tried writing with other people who either flake or just turned into duds. If your personalities don’t mesh—don’t write together. It will never end well. Make sure you actually like the person you’re thinking of writing with.
That may seem like an odd thing to say. But some people write with just about anyone. If you don’t like the person you’re writing, how can you write romance or any kind of intimacy truthfully? Sure it can feel like the truth, but readers aren’t that blind, and they can tell when there wasn’t feeling behind what was being written. So like I said before, ensure you like the person you’re writing with.
Don’t change your writing style because you’re co-authoring. Think about it. When you write with yourself, you have to play both roles. When you’re with someone else, you have to think solely (in our case) as one character and any supporting characters you create. Your character(s) are (is) a part of you, and if your writing partner can stand you, then they are willing to create characters that can mesh well together.
When Allison and I write, for the most part we don’t plan the stories. We just write and a few times I find myself saying to her in chat “oh no you didn’t!” But not in a bad way. It’s – “*Gasp* he put his tongue where???”
See, we play off each other. Instead of changing our styles, we blend them. Two amazing writers working together should be able to put out a kick ass story. So, be like you and your writing partner should be like Canada, a wonderful mosaic of different personalities.
When you promise your writing partner you will show up for a session, show up! Sure life gets in the way sometimes, but with all the technologies of facebook and instant messengers and emails and texting and SMSing and tweeting—there is no excuse to leave your writing partner stranded. You two have to build a trust and dependency that can be counted on. Do not break writing dates if it can be helped, and if it cannot be helped, call, tweet, facebook, instant messenger, text—tell your partner you can’t make it.
And finally for this blog post, editing.
You wrote an amazing story, but we all know we are not perfect, so the dreaded editing monster raises its head. It has to be done. Do not take offence at edits each other do. Sure it will be hard to watch your work get marked up, but you don’t have to accept the edits. You can use those edits, reject them and re-write things. That is why we edit before submitting to publishers. Work together in putting out the best story possible. If you find the other writer’s edits are too invasive, have a conversation about it. Not a screaming, yelling swearing conversation—but a logical conversation—one that will leave you still friends and able to finish your work together and move on to another lovely story.
What am I trying to say? Writing with someone else isn’t easy. Sometimes the story is moving way too fast. Other times not fast enough. But think about it, our parents always told us to share and writing something artistic and wonderful with someone is one of the best ways of sharing.
I coauthored a short story called Ripped Apart. with my good friend Lee Owens. It was a heartbreaking story tale but we enjoyed writing it.
Blurb. One act of violence is enough to shatter a love that should have lasted a life time.
One act of violence sends Colby Master’s life spiralling out of control and sends his lover Leo Giofranco from his life. It took a year of healing to give Colby some time to come to his senses but is he too late? Has he hurt Leo too much to be forgiven? Will Colby be able to make amends or has Leo moved on?
Find out more or buy Ripped Apart.
Please visit my website at www.remmyduchene.com
I am also the creator for a website for LGBT authors KoolQueerLit
Thanks for dropping by, Remmy. Not sure I’d be good at co-authoring. I might be one of those loners, but I’ll never say never!