Well, that’s done. 🙂
It was lots of fun collaborating on a novel from November 1 through November 30, but I am glad it’s over. I haven’t the faintest idea whether the story is any good (try asking somebody sometime for an objective opinion about their own kids) but I certainly learned a lot by going through the exercise.
The most notable thing is the way that characters have a tendency to come to life. And once they do, they clearly have very strong opinions about where they want to go. You can plot all you want, but they will follow their own instincts – and characters definitely have their own instincts. You end up hanging on for dear life, as your psychic progeny figure out what they want to do with their lives.
And of course writing with a collaborator is a distinctly odd way to go about it. It’s a bit like marrying into someone else’s family. You love all the children, of course, but you only really understand the ones that sprang from your own metaphorical womb.
There is something astonishing about the process of seeing these people emerge out of words and sentences. I begin to wonder whether we each contain within us a variety of virtual selves, awaiting only the right impetus to emerge as fully formed psychic entities. As Whitman said, “I am large. I contain multitudes.” Perhaps this is true of all of us. Maybe the number of souls born each day is far greater than the number of bodies, and all those extra souls emerge into the sunlight only when they show up in the stories we write.