Friday, June 19, 2009

Odd Moments in Collaboration - and a Contest!

Let me tell you a short story. Very short.

Once upon a time, there was a baby writer who wanted a critique partner. After numerous failed attempts, she found one. Hooray! The relationship between the two writers grew, with each coming to appreciate the unique perspective the other brought to the work. For simplicity, we'll call the baby writer Elise (hey! that's me!) and the fantabulous CP Emily (hey! that's my crit partner!) [side note: this is not to say that I haven't had other writers read specific works and make valuable comments and provide excellent feedback - I have. But Em is my go-to gal].

In any case, over the course of a working relationship, Emily and Elise learned to appreciate the specific and unique perspective each brought to the work. And they discovered that they had similar responses to other people's writing, and to ideas about writing. Mostly. So the germ of an idea manifested - hey! Let's do a joint website. That'd be cool. We can each have our own areas, but a joint blog that spreads the work out a bit. Awesome! And so Scorched Sheets was born.

While discussing what we wanted on the site, we hatched a plan (have you noticed I gave up trying to convince you it isn't me? I switched to first person. Bad writer.). Our plan was simple: let's create a new universe and populate it with characters we create together. Then we can set episodic stories in our little universe and make a kind of serial free read. Thus was born our idea for, well, not exactly a Space Opera. More like a Space Soap Opera.

It's an odd thing, sharing your mental space with someone in a collaboration. Odd, but good. Em is much more precise, more terse with her prose than I am. She helps tone my purple prose down to a liveable lavender. I, on the other hand, am a freak about world building. I mean spreadsheets and diagrams and powerpoint presentations kind of freak. It's a little scary. But, it does keep us from making mondo inconsistency errors.

We each write episodes in real time on google documents, so the other can read, make suggestions, and point out any issues. Some entries are truly joint efforts, so we had to make a joint signature tag for that (okay - plug for Celia Kyle, who designed scorchedsheets. She did a great job and was really nice about going back and fixing things we broke after the site went live).

Anyway, you probably want me to get to the good part. You know, the contest part. So, I'll skip to the end of this little story. The GMS Mercy serial on our site is the product of all this collaboration and mucking about in each other's writing. We think it's pretty darned spiffy. And we want you to read it. So.... here's the contest: Go to Read the Mercy stuff (by the way, some episodes are NOT work safe, so be aware of that). Come back here and tell me what your favorite episode of Mercy is and why. On Monday (I want you to have plenty of time to read and enjoy our little universe), I'll come back and pick a winner from the comments. The winner will be chosen randomly from all valid entries (i.e., those who name their fave and why it's most coolio), likely by my five year old daughter (random!). What will you win? A copy of my release Dining In and the winner's choice of an e-book by Emily Ryan-Davis (her releases are listed on the site under her section). Good luck, and I look forward to seeing what you think of Mercy.

Happy reading!


Cathy M said...

I like the May 28th piece. It showcases Neve's strength of purpose and her leadership. She took command of the conversation, was very clear and said what needed to be said. I really appreciate those strengths.

Minx Malone said...

What a cool idea! Love the website. Off to read about Mercy now...


Elise Logan said...

Hmmm. well, since only Cathy met the criteria, she wins. lol.

Cathy, if you'll email me off the scorched sheets site, I'll get you Dining In. Also, let me know what of Emily's you want so I can have her send it.


Cathy M said...

What a treat, thanks so much. Will get an email right out to you.

Janice said...


Ah, I found you.

I was trying to find your Thursday's thirteen, well maybe next time.