Phoenix Will Rise.
That's what I think should be the tagline for the new novel I'm working on. Number seven...or was it eight? Possibly nine.
Either way, this is number one in its own right because it's the first novel I'm working on collaboratively.
That's right. I'm writing a novel with someone. Even better, I'm writing it with two someones: my dear friends Alli and Leticia, more commonly known as Lettuce. We concocted this crazy idea on a five-hour car ride from school to Alli's house, where we are spending Easter Break. It started as a way to pass the time on a road trip, but quickly developed into something more. I mean, what do you expect when you put three writers in a car together? Of course we're going to plan out a novel.
This is such a weird experience, because it's the first time since 6th grade, really, that I have worked on a serious piece of writing with other people. Collaborative writing was one of my first introductions to the act of storytelling, but it's been a while since I've indulged in it. And I'm learning a lot about the differences between writing solo and writing with other people. Here are a few of them:
- You have to make some compromises.
- When you're working on a project with other people, you can't have everything your way. Occasionally, you have to compromise what you want for what the group thinks is best. It can be hard, if you're used to writing solo and doing whatever you please, but it's kind of an Iron Sharpens Iron situation, in which perhaps the piece will be better off because of it. Which is actually Number 2.
- You get [a lot] of constructive feedback.
- That's right. Almost every idea you come up with will either be accepted, rejected or improved upon. Instead of looking at this negatively, think about it as a way of strengthening not only your own writing, but the story as well.
- Sometimes other people have better ideas.
- There are some aspects of Phoenix's story that I absolutely love, and never would have come up with on my own. Three minds, each working in their own individual paths, will come together and come up with some really fresh ideas. I'm excited to see where this novel is going to take us, what with the combination of three different writing, storytelling and thinking styles.
- Outlining is hard and can be crazy.
- We spent last night editing a Google doc that contains our outline, and that was...an experience. I mean, first we just had to play around with the fact that we could all three type at the same time! And then we hashed out our ideas on the document, and since we are three people who like to have fun and aren't always serious, we talked about a lot of silly things. Like ruggedness. And really horrible ways to kill off characters.
- You will have a ton of fun.
- This one is pretty self-explanatory, I think.
So there you have it. Stay tuned for Phoenix Will Rise, which will surely become the next great bestseller and skyrocket the three of us to fame and fortune. Even if it doesn't, I know I will have a ton of fun writing it and I hope you all get to read it someday.