Saturday, January 24, 2009

Procrastinating again...

You can always tell when it's my turn to edit because I start posting hourly on the blog. It's still writing, so it has to count for something, right?

Anyways, our friend Jill Wheeler (who has a FABULOUS excerpt of her latest work on her blog that makes me green with jealousy) asked a great question about how Laura and I write together.

The truth is, writing together is easy for us. To be perfectly honest, I don't think I'm smart enough or talented enough to write on my own. Plus writer's block is never an issue because whenever I get stuck on something I just send it to Laura. And my favorite part about writing together is getting a chapter that Laura just wrote. It's like reading a whole new book and it gets me excited to continue our story.

And of course, there's also a teeny tiny element of competition. After all, we are sisters. So whenever Laura sends me a great chapter that she's written, it totally makes me want to write a better, funnier, more entertaining chapter afterwards. You know, just to show her who's boss.

There are a few other things that make it particularly easy for the two of us to write together.
  1. We plot out the book together and outline each chapter together. So we always have a basic idea of what's supposed to be happening in each chapter. Of course, our outlines are usually pretty vague and we both tend to interpret things differently, but that's half the fun.
  2. We both have different strengths as writers, so we balance each other out. Laura is always good about capturing the details and setting the scene, while I tend to write the random one-liners and witty (well, that's what I keep telling myself anyways) observations. We have a process where I write one chapter, Laura edits that chapter and then writes the next chapter and sends it back to me. So we do a lot of editing as we go that helps us create a unified voice and balances our writing.
  3. We like a lot of the same things and we have a similar sense of humor, so it's rare that either of us reads something the other person writes and says, "Man, that sucks. What were you thinking?"
  4. We encourage each other along the way. One of the best things about writing as a team is that whenever I send a chapter to Laura she calls me and tells me how great it was, and vice versa. And while we're obviously totally biased (and huge dorks) the fact that someone else has confidence in our work always keeps us going.

So what about the rest of you writers? Don't you get lonely writing all by yourself? I can't imagine writing and querying a book without my partner in crime.


Marty said...

Over from Jill's blog and I have to commend you two on writing together. It is great that you both have a "partner in crime."

Jill Wheeler said...

That sounds awesome.

When I was writing Drawn to You, I sent each chapter to my mom when I was finished. She was only allowed to tell me encouraging things (until I finished and went back to edit). That was enough to keep me going!

I agree, it's great to have someone to cheer you on.

Lisa said...

Marty - It is amazing to have someone to write with and commiserate with throughout this insane process. Thanks for stopping over!

Jill - How amazing that your mom is so supportive! And seriously, keep working on Matched. I can't wait to read the whole story some day. I'm totally hooked.

lisa and laura said...

Lisa--let's not forget my lonely days as a poet. I have a poem book from high school that houses a few winners. If the book doesn't work out for us, we can always create an anthology. I'm sure editors would be all over it.

lisa and laura said...

Laura - How could I have forgotten? At least you have a fallback career in writing. If our book doesn't work out, I'll be stuck at my dead-end job FOREVER.

God, you're always bragging about your poetry talents. SO unfair.

Isn't it about time that our readers hear from the other half of the L&L team? You're going to have to take on blogging responsibilities when I'm on vaca in Feb. Better start flexing those blogging muscles again...

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