So today i went to my appointment and to Lowe’s to pick up hardware cloth for the deck so Milton cannot fling himself in his exuberance through the cables to his death, and then I came home about 4 PM and caught up with Lani and Krissie in Campfire.
Campfire is an online conferencing site with private rooms for, well, holding conferences. Since it’s for business, you can also upload photos and files, which makes it perfect for us. We open the room in the morning and go in and out as we work on things, posting scenes as we finish, critique, and revise them; asking each other questions and talking out thorny points in the story; and sometimes just being us: you can’t work 24/7 without getting giddy. (There are Campfire transcripts up at the Dogs and Goddesses website until the category “Sundays” since that’s our weekly meeting day.) (2020 Note: Campfire is no more, we now use Slack. And the D&G website is gone, too, so never mind any reference to that.)
Lani and I already had our first two scenes from Act Two up, but Krissie is still finishing her copy edit for her novel, so we caught her up to speed and she told us she’d fried her computer by shorting out the power cord, and we expressed sympathy and told her to join us when she could. Then we talked about what we had done and were doing today: I had a Kami vs. Sam scene to write and Lani had finished a Daisy vs. Jamie scene for me to look at, which I had to do because my scene after that was a Kami vs. Jamie and I had to know where he was coming from. She also gave me a Word doc with the questions that Jamie would be asking Kami. Then she went off to see her family and I started work: Lani and Krissie are morning and afternoon writers, and I don’t really hit my stride until the sun goes down. That meant that I was posting my Kami vs. Sam scene and my revision notes (using track changes in Word) on Lani’s Daisy vs. Jamie scene at 2AM this morning, so it would be up there when she rose with the birds at dawn.
One of the visuals in the Kami vs. Sam scene was a poster that Kami has made to advertise her temple, and after I wrote the scene, I went into Curio and made the poster. Actually designing it showed me that some of the wording had to change, so I went back into the original scene and changed that, then uploaded the rewrite to Campfire and deleted the old file, and uploaded the poster so that Lani and Krissie could see it. Then I put the poster up on the Dogs and Goddesses website since that’s what we’re using to keep track of all the work we’re doing, post our research, and generally have a good time while leaving a record that can be turned into a website page if and when we sell this sucker.
And then, since it was only 2AM and I was still going strong, I went in and wrote the Kami vs. Jamie scene in very rough form and posted it at 3AM so that Lani could go in and fix Jamie’s dialogue and we can talk later today (Wed.) about what the scene needs to be. These are all roughs because we all have to look at them, tweak them so our characters are right (Kami is my character, Jamie is Lani’s), and generally tighten and escalate them through rewrites. So getting the roughs up is a fairly fast process. And now I’m writing this blog entry and then I’m going to crash.
So that was Tuesday, into Wednesday morning. Today, Wednesday, I have to write a Shar vs. Sam scene that’s going to be tough, but not as tough as the elide and later Shar vs. Sam scene I have to write. We’re trying to get the roughs for Act 2 done by next Monday, but I’d like to beat that and get started on my Act 3 stuff. How do we know what’s in each act? We make a list of the scenes we’re likely to want to do for our romance plots and likely to need for the external Kami plot, put them in order, number them (the first scene in Act 2 belongs to Abby, so that one will be labeled 2.1.Abby.draft1.doc), and then mess with the order when new things crop up as we write.
The key to all of it is flexibilty combined with hammering out the roughs. Because we do so much of the writing collaboratively in the rewriting, we just need to get the basics down on the page so we all have the same thing to look at. For those of you who have been with me for my previous Twelve-Days-Of posts, you’ll notice how much more focused I am. In part, it’s because this project is pretty far along, and in an even larger part, it’s because I don’t want to let Lani and Krissie down, but I think the biggest difference is that collaboration just makes writing easier for me. And definitely more fun.
And now I need to get some sleep because I’m babbling.