Part 3! Today I'm going to discuss our personal process of co-writing, and how that might help you.
Dee and I, for the most part, are pantsers (meaning: we don't plan our book before we write). Sometimes, we'll have a basic idea - for Project Raidaya, our mermaid/pirate fantasy, we had a rough beginning, rough middle, rough end, and maybe some extra points in between. But for Project WxK, we did absolutely no planning before we started writing.
Since we started working together, a lot about our process has changed. We used to open up a document and basically write at the same time, starting where the other stopped, continuing on the story.
Now, we write a chapter each, going back and forth between the two characters created. I have one, while she has the other, and we wait as the other writes before starting our next chapter.
When the book is done, we leave it for 3-6+ weeks before we each do a personal read through and take notes, focusing especially on big picture changes.
This is when we tend to actually plan. usually, we discuss the plot and issues/ideas we had, character changes, etc. before sitting down and completely re-planning the book. this is technically the 'first' draft, as the previous is really us just getting the ideas out.
When we re-outline, we also work properly on characters, world building, plot, etc. so we both have the same idea about everything.
Then we begin writing with an outline, which means we can write out of order and thus write a whole lot quicker. When we do this, we edit as we go, meaning we make suggestions as we read the others chapter, especially about characterisation and certain scenes. This helps us when we revise our outline later to decide whether or not something needs to stay, change, or go.
Once the draft is finished and we've done our first read through, we do a 'workshop'. This is when we pull up each chapter, one at a time, read through, make extensive notes and turn on 'track changes' to do further edits. This is also when we talk through each chapter, about the characters, plot development, pace, etc. to determine what needs to be re-written, or stays the same, or what needs to be cut.
And when that's over, we send out to beta readers!
Next post will be a Q&A so if you have any questions ask them below!