(Reposted from 12/04/07)
For anyone familiar with my fondness towards video games and action movies, it’s probably no surprise that my writing tends more towards action and less towards… everything else. And despite the fact that I’m well aware of how important “everything else” tends to be, I’ll confess that I usually grumble mutinously whenever JLY reminds me that we need more dialog or plot-related scenes and less senseless violence.
And I have to admit that Chapter 5: Nobility, was one that I grumbled particularly loudly about. Not that Nobility wasn't a nice chapter. I understand the importance of it, and I enjoyed writing it, but not as much as, say Chapter 6: The Undead Rune, for reasons that I imagine will quickly become apparent.
Each chapter of SFA is made up of scenes written in two different ways. Most of the time, one of us will write the scene and send it to the other person for writing. Usually, we talk beforehand so we both know what the scene is basically about and how it fits into the chapter and the story as a whole. Even though we've gotten to the point where we know each other's style (and the SFA style) well enough to blend the writing styles together, there's still a different energy to the scenes.
However, SFA is also made up of a second type of writing. There are some scenes that JLY and I write together -- sitting next to each other, taking turns typing and talking-- and these always end up being my favorite. We have this remarkable tendency to keep each other in line... and not always, as you might expect, with myself as the advocate of action and JLY proposing more dialog.
Instead, it's more a process of writing and refining. We both throw out rough ideas and then refine them. A typical writing session would hear something along the lines of:
"Something about how today is different than other days because... there's a messenger. But make that pretty."
Yes, we can come up with any string of incoherent half-thoughts and assume it makes complete sense as long as we conclude with make that pretty.
And now you know the secret of writing.
Well, at least the secret of writing SFA.