We want to welcome Stephanie and Jean, who write under the pseudonym Alicia Hunter Pace, to our blog and congratulate them on the release of their new novel Sweet Gone South. Thank you for joining us today!
We are so excited to be here with Sara and Staci to talk about writing with a partner—almost as excited as when we first met them a few years ago. They were the first of "our kind" that we met, and it was wonderful to sit down and compare writing processes with another team.
We learned that our styles are very different. While they write together, taking turns at the computer, Jean sits at the computer and puts the words on paper. But writing is so much more than typing the words. We plot together before Jean implements the plan. After that, we get back together and go over each word, tweaking everything from punctuation to word choice and the mood it all evokes.
We have even learned through the years that the process changes over time and, depending on the project; ours continues to evolve, especially now that we have sold and are writing to a firm deadline.
Well, that is how is supposed to work, at least. In the book that is being released this week, Sweet Gone South, we were about 85% finished, when Jean says, “Hey, I need to talk about a plot point.” Well, a couple of days or maybe even a week goes by, and we are finally together talking about the pages going over word for word, line by line, page by page—just as usual. Then Jean drops the big bomb; she wants to change the black moment.
Only she didn't know it was the black moment. She has never really bothered herself to learn the terminology. We are talking about a woman who used to call the external conflict, "Who's going to be the bad guy?"
But Stephanie knew it was the black moment, and she was a having a little black moment of her own just then. “WHAT?” Stephanie screeched. You could almost hear the,"Seriously?" that Stephanie wanted to scream, but being in a partnership can mean learning when to just be quiet for a minute or two.
Okay, this wasn’t “talking about a plot point” as much as it was changing the ENTIRE climax. Since Stephanie is a 100% plotter, this was a lot to take in all at once. She had to think through what it would mean to the previous parts of the story. What would have to be changed? What would those changes alter? It would be like going back in history. It's going light to say it was a rough few minutes as a compromise took place. In the end, Jean’s instincts were right, and the change made the story tug even harder at the reader’s heart strings. We made the adjustment then went back and wove bits into the previously written parts of the book so that it didn’t just jump out of nowhere.
We hope others love the couple in our debut book as much as we do. It is the story of two people who think that happily ever after can never happen for them, and how they discover that it is never too late to fall in love.
Do you think it is ever too late to find love?
This novel sounds fabulous and right up my ally! I can't wait to read it! Be sure to check out Sweet Gone South by Alicia Hunter Pace.
Thanks Stephanie and Jean for stopping by!