After reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer, both Allegra and I wanted to write a story set in Wonderland, so we decided to collaborate one one. (I’ve mentioned this story in a post here on Scribes & Archers—”My Experience With Collaboration“—and also a couple of posts on Our Mind Palace which are no longer available since the site has been taken down.) The idea is that the main characters of Wonderland are dying, and eight people from the real world are brought in to take their places, but they have to go on a quest to find various relics representing the characters first. Here are the first two sections of the prologue, which introduce my POV character and Allegra’s (in that order). Enjoy. :)
My Experience with Collaboration
I’m currently working on a couple of writing projects that I’m co-writing with my best friend, who goes by the screen name Allegra. These two stories we’re working on are vastly different, one being a futuristic sci-fi and the other being a fantasy set in Wonderland, and they’ve each presented their own challenges and joys, which I’ll try to go over a bit in this post.
The first story we started working on together is a sci-fi called Unstoppable. It’s the first of four books, and it follows a group of twelve escaped test subjects who have been genetically modified to have superpowers.
With this one our main problem is keeping the story going. We’re both kind of hazy on how the plot should go, so we plan on putting together an outline before we continue, or least part of one.
Allegra’s favorite thing about this story is getting to see through her MC’s eyes. Each of us has a character we write the POV of, and hers – Dagmar – is a very harsh, angry character, and she likes getting into a head so different from her own.
I’m not super in love with any part of the story, to be entirely honest, but if I had to choose a favorite thing it would probably be my POV character Raegyn or the character Trey who ends up being her boyfriend at some point. Actually, I think I probably like the overreaching, evil government the best, or Dagmar, because they’re probably the most developed parts of the story. I think Unstoppable needs some more work.
The other story we’re writing is currently just called Wonderland, since we have yet to come up with a better title. It’s also part of a series, called The Looking Glass Chronicles. It follows eight MCs as they hunt for relics from each of eight significant characters in Wonderland, who are dying and need to be replaced. The MCs are there to replace them.
There isn’t really a main problem with this one at this point, but to begin with we really butted heads on a few things because we’re both really stubborn and we saw a couple of the characters different ways and wanted to write the same characters. It was kind of a mess, but we got it sorted out.
Allegra and I both really, really like this one, so lowering down to one favorite is practically impossible. She said she likes how the two POV MCs – Chess (mine) and Hattie (hers) – are polar opposites. She also likes how the characters interact, and she really likes the base of the story itself.
I have to say I agree with her on all of those things. I also really love the majority of the characters. Probably my favorite character relationship, though, is between the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat. It’s really fun to write them bickering constantly.
Overall I think I like collaborating, though I can only probably handle a couple of collaborations in the same time frame before it can get frustrating. It can definitely help to have someone else working on it, too, because there’s another whole brain full of ideas and they have a different viewpoint on things than you do, so it can be frustrating but also really interesting and helpful.