Thursday, June 11, 2009

A BFF Giveaway & The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading Takes Over for the Day

I'm honored to welcome the fabulous and super nice Darcy and Charity, authors of THE GEEK GIRL'S GUIDE TO CHEERLEADING to my blog today to talk about writing a book together. Not only are they amazing author partners, but they're also extremely generous. Go here to enter to win a Geek Girl BFF prize bag which contains a copy of their book, an IPOD shuffle, and lots more for you and your BFF.. 

Writing Together

Darcy and I met more than ten years ago when we each signed up for a free online writing class and then joined an internet writing community. We became fans of each other’s work, then critique partners, then friends. And then, through a few twists of fate, we became co-authors.

A few weeks ago, Darcy wrote down a few of the guidelines that helped us through the process of writing together. Today, I add my take as well--because this is the way we work. She sends me something, I tweak it, and then send it back (and vice versa).

Darcy says: Charity says on writing together:

Darcy says: Choose a partner that you genuinely admire, respect…and like. You will be spending a lot of time with your co-author.

Charity says: A word of caution: someone can be a great writer and not-such-a-great online communicator. We had the advantage of many years of online communicating already behind us before we started working together.

Darcy says: Stash your ego in the closet for the duration of the project. It isn’t about you and it isn’t about her (or him). It’s about the book.

Charity says: So true. I don’t have much to add to this one except stashing your ego in the closet is all around good advice for writing and publishing.

Darcy says: Examine your own strengths and weaknesses and understand your role in the project. Charity was the chief engineer of our novel due to her amazing plotting abilities. I was the “sparkly eyeliner applier” due to my generally goofy nature. The book needed both of us.

Charity says: We also found that when one of us didn’t understand something in one of our revision letters, the other did. And when we both didn’t understand, we could puzzle it out together.

Darcy says: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Don’t let trouble fester. If you are frustrated by some aspect of the story or the process, talk it out. Chances are, if you’re feeling uncomfortable, your partner is too—and that’s counterproductive to good writing.

Charity says: Also, if you’re frustrated with a scene, there’s nothing like handing it off to your writing partner to “fix.” But our best ideas came when we were working together, brainstorming via IM. What seemed insurmountable worked itself out when we worked together.

Darcy says: Enjoy the process! Writing a novel together is a unique and amazing experience. Have fun with it!

Charity says: And when you have something to celebrate, you get twice the excitement and joy. 

Thanks, Charity and Darcy!! Sounds like a blast. 

Here's the blurb: 

When Bethany -- self-proclaimed geek girl -- makes the varsity cheerleading squad, she realizes that there's one thing worse than blending in with the lockers: getting noticed. She always felt comfortable as part of the nerd herd, but being a member of the most scrutinized group in her school is weighing her down like a ton of textbooks. Even her Varsity Cheerleading Guide can't answer the really tough questions, like: How do you maintain some semblance of dignity while wearing an insanely short skirt? What do you do when the head cheerleader spills her beer on you at your first in-crowd party? And how do you know if your crush likes you for your mind...or your pom-poms?

One thing's for sure: It's going to take more than brains for this girl genius to cheer her way to the top of the pyramid. 


ProdElektra said...

Wow...I never really thought collaborative writing could be such a good idea before this! I mean, writing is such a personal thing, yet you guys seemed to have kept it personal, but within two people rather than one. Great interview again, guys. Yes, yes, I love following you around. It's a highlight of my day:)
And please pray my friend, May, wins today. She has an artwork up at a renowned local art competition. She's an amazing artist, btw, compared to me who can maybe draw but colouring? Uh...well...let's not go there:D

Charity said...

Prodhi, thanks so much for following us around. We really do appreciate it.

Writing together is a strange thing. You create what the book Script Partners calls "a third writing ego." It's not one or the other, but the two combined.

And good luck to May! I hope she wins. I can't draw or color and admire those who can.

PJ Hoover said...

Great interview! I always though co-authoring would be way fun!

Keri Mikulski said...

Hi, ProdElektra! I know.. What a great idea. :) Good luck!!

Hi, Charity!! Thanks for taking over today. :)

Thanks, PJ!! It does sound like a blast. :)

Charity said...

Keri, thanks so much for hosting us and linking back to the BFF contest!

Sheri said...

Cute concept and it sounds interesting to co-author a novel. For some reason I can picture doing PBs with a co-author and screenplays but I just never saw novels. So, it was very interesting to me to hear how they work it out... and then I felt a little lonely... *sniff*

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Nice post you guys. I like hearing about co-authoring. It does seem like it would be fun, and you DO have someone there to help you along. But very true...gotta make it easy on yourselves and be honest. :)


ProdElektra said...

Thank you soo much for replying to my comments, Charity and for this time, Keri! I felt all giddy and jumpy when I saw you replied:P

Charity said...

It is fun to co-author, although, yeah, you got to be honest with your partner.

I want to thank everyone again for stopping by. I was off line a bit last night for my daughter's dance recital (which really, is more stressful for the parents than the girls).

Summer said...

great post. Having a co-author takes a lot of work! It's interesting to think about. I've never thought of it before.

Keri Mikulski said...

Thanks for taking over, Charity! It's nice to have you and great information on partner writing. Hope you had fun at the dance recital. :)

Hi, Sheri! I was thinking the same thing - how lonely one person writing seems now. :)

Hey, Lauren! So true. :)

Awe, thanks, ProdElektra! :)

Hi, Summer! Now I want to try partner writing out. :)

Stacy Nyikos said...

Writing can be such a lonely business. How cool that these two writers got to collaborate. I'd love to do that someday.

Keri Mikulski said...

I agree, Stacy!! ;)

Erica said...

What an inspiring post!

Llehn said...

I never tire of hearing the story of how you ladies get together.