We are now nine days into National Novel Writing Month and I am over ten thousand words into my project. Yes, that does mean I am behind the pace. However, I’m not upset about it because I am behind solely due to my cowriter being in a curling tournament.
As I mentioned last month, I’m participating in NaNo WriMo alongside my son, who will turn fifteen halfway through the endeavor. Our story is about a college freshman named Janequa who attends a magic university to study fabric wizardry. Her roommate is a seadragon, and her friends include a catboy and a demon. They all get drawn into a battle against an anti-nonhuman organization and a compromised magical intelligence.
The experience of working with someone is interesting, and still fairly new to me, although this is actually the second collaboration I have started. The other story is being written with an adult in another state, and is told in alternating voices. So my co-conspirator writes one character, and I write the other. We take turns at this, each doing a scene on her own before getting the other to read over it and continue the storytelling. We exchange frequent messages about the direction our scenes are taking and what’s supposed to happen next, but we do the actual writing independently.
In contrast, while writing with my son, he and I sit at the same table, and discuss each line that gets typed. At least, that’s the theory. In practice, I have a bad tendency to start typing away and forget to stop for his input for a few minutes. He says he’s going to take the draft when I’m done and edit it to get more of his voice in. He was, and continues to be, an equal partner in the plotting, so it is fair for him to have more say in the exact wording.
I am finding that there are advantages and disadvantages to having a writing partner. The advantages are that you always have someone to talk to about what’s coming up next in your book and, when things are going well, your enthusiasm feeds that of your partner. The primary downside appears to be that when neither of you are feeling enthusiastic, it’s all the harder to sit down and write something, because those “I don’t wanna write” feelings feed off each other too.
Today is a “We don’t wanna write” day. If it were just me, it would be hard to sit down and write anyway, but I know from experience I could do it. However, with me and the kiddo both feeling this way, we just keep sighing at each other. There is a way forward, but we have to overcome two people’s worth of inertia to get moving.
We have a solid outline. We have good characters. We have a basic ability to craft sentences. So, the good news is that I am optimistic that we have more high output days ahead of us, days where he jumps up and down proposing dialogue while I type as fast as I can and we both have a blast. Those aren’t gone. They’re just not today.