Monday, 25 November 2013

Writing in tandem?

I am far too sporting to review a book I have partly written but I thought it might be useful to talk about how it works when two people write one book.  For drabble novices, I will explain that a drabble is a complete story told in exactly 100 words.  This form of flash fiction is becoming popular and there are now numerous practitioners of the Dark Art!  Jonathan Hill was the first to have his published in the daily Indie Book Bargains newsletter.  This summer I had a idea for a drabble and submitted it a little sheepishly.  After this the ideas came like hailstones!  Hard and heavy!  

We have been asked how we managed to write a book together.  Did we do half each?  Did we decide beforehand who would write what?  Initially it was Jonathan's book; a sequel to his 100 One Hundred Word Tales.  We developed the habit of trying our drabbles out on one another.  This regular exchange of stories - sometimes several in a day - led us to come up with the idea of sharing a book.  To do this successfully you have to like one another's work and of course, to get on well with one another.  After an initial period of diffidently pointing out errors or failings to each other, we soon felt able to be perfectly open and honest when a drabble didn't work.   This 'shared book' idea only works when you trust one another.

It can't be looked at as a means to fill a book more quickly!  Because we were frank when we knew a story wasn't up to snuff, we discarded a good many.  Things you might have used if you were putting together a collection of your own work were scrutinised through another person's eyes and sometimes found wanting.  Only those which made us both say 'Yes!' made it into the final selection.

I know that some people manage to write a whole novel as a team.  I have no idea how that works!  You'd have to do some serious planning and maybe divvy up the chapters.  

Will we do it again?  Who knows?  We each have something different on the horizon now but prepare for a Drabbly Advent!

If you haven't seen it yet - here's the book's blurb - 

The world of drabbles awaits you! 

A drabble tells a story in precisely 100 words, and this book is packed with drabbles that will move, shock and entertain. 

'Beyond 100 Drabbles' features 120 new miniature works, written by two of today’s most formidable drabblers. Jonathan Hill and Kath Middleton showcase some of their finest drabbles here, resulting in a collection that demonstrates the indisputable power of this popular flash fiction form. 

The authors cover a plethora of genres and even take the drabble one step further by interacting in a series of ‘challenge drabbles’. 

The stories are ideal for reading back to back, or individually in spare moments. The question is, can you stop at just one?

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