Today’s guest blogger is author and academic writing teacher Elisa Lorello, who has a new novel out called Ordinary World. Elisa is participating in a blog tour through WOW, Women on Writing, and one of the topics she offered to write about was working collaboratively on a novel. Yes! I thought. Tell us more! Here’s the twist: She didn’t collaborate on Ordinary World. But I’ll let her explain how one thing can lead to another.
Thanks so much for being here, Elisa. Take it away!
How it began
My collaboration with my writing partner began back in 2005 when I had assigned her to read the manuscript of my debut, Faking It, as part of a Directed Study on Stylistics. Back then, she was still technically my student, but she had given me so much feedback that much of my revision was based on her insights into the characters and story, not to mention editorial suggestions here and there. In fact, one exchange of dialogue between Andi and Devin was the result of each of us writing line by line in response to the other (in character). It’s the scene in which Andi and Devin are at the Monet exhibit, and Andi has the audacity to “adore” the Impressionist painter. It’s our favorite scene in the entire novel.
She knew the novel so well that it made sense to ask her to help me adapt it into a screenplay. (Better still, she had taken a screenwriting course and knew the basics of it; I, on the other hand, knew nothing about screenwriting.) Thus, she moved in with me during the Winter Intersession of 2006 (aka “winter break” for college students) and we spent the next four weeks collaborating on the first draft of the screen adaptation for Faking It.
It was a match made in heaven. I think we both knew that we’d crossed the line from student-teacher to friends and peers (a rather uncommon occurrence), and that we’d collaborate again, although we didn’t know how or on what.
We went our separate ways, so to speak. She graduated and went into the medical field, while I relocated and wrote another novel called Ordinary World, a sequel to Faking It. Finally, approximately two years later, the moment to collaborate again presented itself. By this time we were regular readers of each other’s blogs, stylistically stealing and gleaning ideas from one another constantly. When one day I’d blogged about a novel idea I had (and at the time I was joking about the premise), she emphatically insisted that she had to write this novel with me. And thus, Why I Love Singlehood was conceived.
The Difference [Read more…]