If you’re tired of hearing about Will Steal for Shoes (and frankly, we know you’re not), let us tell you more about our new manuscript project, code name: HSOTI. We gave you a tiny hint a couple of posts back, but for the most part it’s still top-secret. At least as secret as the more big-mouthed of the Lisas can keep it. Anyway, here’s the skinny about starting a new project from scratch; the good, the bad and the utterly disgraceful:
Coming up with a vague plot is easy. Coming up with a solid beginning, middle and end is not. Lisa2B’s first instinct was to go in a direction as far, far away as possible from the last project. But the more she and LisaA1 discussed it, why mess with success? (Not that we technically have any yet, but why quibble over semantics?) In other words, we know where our strong suits lie, even if one of us can’t remember the last time she actually wore a power suit of any type. We have a feel for certain story lines and characters; to change it up too much for the sake of change alone could prove unwise. So we ditched the b*tchy new wife idea and stuck with the middle-age heroine.
We get the pleasure (and labor pains) of choosing character names. This is yet another example of where writing with a partner has more pros than cons. (*The biggest con btw: one of us may be secretly plotting to do away with the other over projected meager advance earnings and royalties.) Two heads are always better than one, so when we agree on names, settings, locations, etc., we’re confident slavishly devoted readers will appreciate our choices. When we agree on times and dates it’s a total crap shoot, we’re both lousy with numbers.
We don’t always see eye to eye. LisaA1 refuses to write things she believes are unrealistic (she would say “stupid”). Lisa2B has fewer qualms. Lisa2B will do anything for a laugh. LisaA1 is frequently embarrassed. There is much reigning-in, testing out and heated debate with the oft overheard, “big patootie” and “fun sucker.” “Show me,” and “prove it” are other popular refrains.
In the end (and the end is the most important part, after a killer beginning and a strong middle) it’s still a thrill to create something from nothing. Although for the sake of the world at large I think we’re all in agreement it’s a good thing our fictional “baby” is all we’re dealing with here. Hey, we warned you mental pictures could get ugly.