Writing a book is hard. Co-writing a book has a whole other set of rules. I had no idea how to write with another author when Crystal Crawford and I came up with the idea to write what we affectionately call our weird alien romance. In hindsight, that was probably a blessing. If I had known what I was doing, I don’t think our book would have become the strange, funny, wonderful thing it is.
Crystal and I first met on Wattpad, a writing app where authors can post their work for others to read. I read her book, I Am Not a Stalker, and she read mine, The Yellow Note, then we started messaging privately about our writing. From there, we started beta reading each other’s books, then I joined her hugely supportive beta reader group (who are also dear friends of mine now). After that, the next logical step seemed to be to co-write something.
Even to that point, we had never met in person. We had also never spoken on the phone. We did all of our planning via Facebook Messenger and in Google Docs, proving the level of our itnrovertedness. Is that a word? No? I’m making it a word… introvertedness.
Moving on, with some semblance of an outline and a lot of pantsing, we managed to chug out quite a few chapters on our own from our individual character’s points-of-view—Grace and Alexia. Then came the tricky part. We had to seamlessly merge our writing styles and our characters into a meeting scene, then move forward to complete the book together. It was definitely an interesting experience that taught us a lot.
We had loads of fun on Google Docs, taking turns writing bits here and there, live on the Doc at the same time. It took us a while to get into the groove (and a lot of laughs), but soon we were building something amazing.
What started as a little idea we bounced back and forth became The Extraordinary Extraterrestrial Love Lives of Doppelgangers! We didn’t intend to write a 100K+ word soft science fiction novel, but we did! We also entered the book in the Wattys, a writer’s award presented by Wattpad. WE WON for our category! And it was the day we won that Crystal and I finally picked up the phone and had a real conversation.
We had a lot to discuss that day, including what we wanted to do with our book. At first, we left it on Wattpad, but we decided to leave the platform and self-publish our book. Together, we created Considerate Malice, our joint publishing brand, where we will also publish the sequel to TEELLoD and a NEW superhero series that is under construction! That’s all sort of hush, hush for now, but I can say if you liked TEELLoD, then you will love the superhero series!
Now, here we are, years later, and Crystal is one of my best friends. We still haven’t met in person, but we spend a lot of time messaging and discussing our brand via lengthy phone conversations (that almost always take multiple tangents, with many ridiculous ideas for books).
So, the point of my blog post today is this… sometimes jumping into a project with little to no idea what you are doing can be great. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re, say, an architect, but for two writers, it turned out to be a great thing that let our creativity thrive!
And that’s sort of the point of writing, isn’t it?