Thursday, October 28, 2010

Steampunk Blog Tour with Jon S. Lewis + Giveaway

I am honored to host The Brimstone Key's blog tour today and doubly honored to share Jon S. Lewis with all of you! So cool!!

Not too long ago, Shannon Whitney Messenger celebrated an entire week of Grey Griffins and reviewed
The Brimstone Key. I was lucky enough to win an ARC of it that week AND some autographed posters drawn by Jon Lewis (now framed and hanging proudly on my son's wall!). Today, I get to host a giveaway too! But first... read this awesome guest post!!


10 Things You Need To Know Before You Write With Someone Else

Author: Jon S. Lewis (the cutie on the right)

Writing with someone else isn’t for the faint of heart. Like any other relationship, it’s exciting in the beginning, but what happens when you have that first fight? Will the story come to a screeching halt? Will you friendship last?

Derek and I have been best friends for as long as we can remember. He bought me my first Star Wars action figure when we were six. And even after all that, there are still tough times when it comes to writing the Grey Griffins series together. Don’t get me wrong, it can be blast but it takes work.

Here are ten things you need to know before you write with someone else . . .

1) Work with someone who is strong where you are weak. Do you stink at dialogue? Find someone who writes dialogue effortlessly. Do you love to use adjectives and adverbs? Find someone who deletes 99% of them in the editing process. Do you struggle with action sequences but love tender moments? Work with someone who can choreograph a fight scene.

2) What you see is what you get. If you’re about to write a story with someone who likes to wax poetic, but you value minimalism you have two options: (1) Learn how to wax poetic; or (2) run away before it’s too late. Change doesn’t come easy, so don’t expect a writing partner to change his/her writing style just because you prefer something written a different way.

3) Put everything in writing. Whether you sell your manuscript to a publisher, self-publish the book, or sell the option for the movie rights, you need to have a partnership agreement. What percentage of the story does each of you own? What happens if one of you gets sick? Or run over by a bus? Or you don’t want to write any more. Who pays for the website? Are you going to form a business? The more you have in writing, the better.

4) Set the ground rules. Figure out your process before you start writing. Is one person in charge of the outline and the edits, and the other in charge of the first draft? Will one of you write the first half of the book and the other write the second half? Are there style rules? Will all speech modifiers be limited to the word “said?” How many modifiers will you allow per noun or verb. It may seem like ridiculous minutia now, but the more you cover, the less of a heartache you’ll get later on.

5) Don’t take things personally. This won’t come as a surprise, but none of us can write the perfect sentence every time. If your writing partner gives you some constructive criticism, don’t take it personally. If anything, learn to appreciate criticism. It could help you become a better writer.

6) Make detailed outlines. If you write with a partner, I highly recommend a detailed outline – particularly if you’re both going to be working on different parts of the manuscript at the same time. It’s important that you don’t contradict what the other person is writing.

7) Communicate. There is nothing wrong with changing an outline, but if you do, you should inform your writing partner because your edit may affect what he/she is doing as well.

8) Pick your battles. You aren’t going to get your way every time, so try not to elevate situations that aren’t critical. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care about the story – passion is an important key to good storytelling. But this isn’t just your story – you brought in a writing partner and that means you only own half of it. Save your strongest arguments for elements of the story that can’t be compromised.

9) Take advantage of the situation. If you have a writing partner, writer’s block should be a thing of the past. The moment you get stuck, pick up a phone and call, text or even email your writing partner to help you dig yourself out of the hole. You don’t have to go it alone.

10) Have fun. You are writing a book. The very nature of the “job” is that it’s fun, so don’t forget to enjoy your time writing – as well as the time you get to spend with your writing partner. Being an author can be a lonely experience, so take advantage of the times when you get to be around other people!

For more from Jon, visit his awesome website !!
It's a wonderful resource for aspiring authors.

And now...the giveaway!
*sound of trumpets*

One lucky winner will receive:

a signed copy of The Brimstone Key


some of Jon's awesome POSTERS!
To see how cool they are, go here.

To be entered to win:
  • Be a follower of this blog
  • Leave a comment (with email address) on this post by Sunday, Oct. 31st
For extra entries:
  • Spread the word!
  • 2 extra entries for each additional blurb (FB, Twitter, Goodreads, know the drill)

Good luck to everyone!


Renae said...

Great post. All good things to consider before taking on a partner. I have got to check this series out. It sounds amazing!

Unknown said...

What a fantastic post! I loved learning what it was like to be with a partner and how to choose the best person for you!

When I talked with Tony DiTerlizzi he said that him and Holly Black made one another better. When they had two ideas come to the table they would argue it out until they realized there was a third option that ended up combining both ideas!

Cool isn't it? I don't think I'd ever be able to work with a partner... then again they do say never say never!

Creepy Query Girl said...

wow- thanks for these tips! I've never tried to write with someone else but it seems like it would be a lot of work and organization. Bravo you guys for getting to where you are together!

Ishta Mercurio said...

These are great tips! I'm considering working with a partner on one project, so this post comes at a great time.

And obviously, I'd like to be entered in the contest. Pretty Please?

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

I love interviews with Jon S. Lewis - count me in! I'll post a sidebar link as well.

Jennie Englund said...

That's super valuable info, Shannon.

Can you believe I haven't heard of Grey Griffins?

The illustrations are incredible!

Good luck to everyone!

Sarah Ahiers said...

that sounds awesome! Sign me up for the drawing!


Diane said...

Looks awesome. How great that two childhood friends can collaborate and create this together! :O)

Congrats guys!!!

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Heather said...

Excellent advice! I've always thought it would be fun to write a book with a friend of mine. Now I'm encouraged to try! And I'm off to check out The Brimstone Key! I'll be spreading the word about this book and your great contest!

Unknown said...

Great tips! Kind of makes me want to see if I can find someone to collaborate with. :)


Margo Berendsen said...

Never heard of this author or his book, but did you mention STEAMPUNK? And did you post some way cool cover and poster? PLEASE count me in.

berendsen70 at yahoo.

Golden Eagle said...

Great advice if you want to write with someone else! I'll have to check out those books. :)

Patti said...

Very interesting. I wrote a story with someone when I was in 8th grade, but haven't considered it since.

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

I would have never thought it to be hard to write with someone else. Now that you have brought it up I could only imagine the horror. I have a hard time sharing a cookie let alone something I pour my heart into

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss shannon! that was real neat stuff mr jon said for writing with someone. it sounds pretty much like getting married. ha ha. i think it could be fun trying it one time but for sure you gotta do it with someone you like. i got that brimstone key book. miss shannon whitney messenger got it for me at the same time you won her contest. its a really exciting and neat book. so please dont put me in that giveway.
...hugs from lenny

Theresa said...

Great giveaway! Thanks a ton!

I'm a follower.

Jana said...

I am a follower and LOVE steampunk...enter me!!

Unknown said...

keep on posting...

Jonathon Arntson said...

me want.

No, but srsly, excellent isms re:collabs. I am in the preemie stages of one and these will be uber-helpful!

Oh, my email: jonarntson AT gmail DOT com

Also, I must commend you, Sharon, on your active duty in blogfests. I signed up for my first in the beginning of October and wrote my entry in ten minutes the night before. Needless to say, I was displeased with myself, but you're an inspiration.

Way to rock the world, S!

Jemi Fraser said...

I can't even imagine writing with anyone - it's such a personal experience. So glad to see some people can pull it off! And in a spectacular way :)

Melissa said...

Great post and so cool! I can't imagine writing with anyone but sometimes I want too, just because I think the experience would be awesome.

Stephanie McGee said...

Fun interview! I must go check out the blurb for these books on Amazon. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

One of the most insightful glimpses into working with someone else I've ever seen! How cool is that, though? A Steampunk Series!

Sherrie Petersen said...

These books look so good! I think it actually sounds like fun to write with someone else, as long as you really like their writing!

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing! Now that I have a few guidelines, it makes me want to run out and grab a writing partner! LOL

Andrea said...

love it!
great post, i like it :)
enter me to the giveaway please!
+2 blog post:

JournoMich said...

Great post. I even made myself a note to come by Thursday to read this one, and still forgot! Doh!

The list here is pretty important--whether you're writing or forming another business partnerships. Hell, there are even some great ideas here for a marriage! But my favorite is #3. most people think, "It's a friendship, it'll work out." Doesn't matter--PUT IT IN WRITING! No one should take offense to this. It's the best for both parties.

This writing team and their work sound interesting! hanks, Shannon.

Southern City Mysteries

Anonymous said...

Great post! Lots of important things to keep in mind when writing with someone else.

AWESOME giveaway!


Patti Lacy said...

WOW! TONS of info!
Nice to peek outta the writing cave and into your blog.

Hope you are doing well, Shannon.

sablelexi said...

Great post. I've been planning on buying this book for awhile, but wanted to get the first series before I did. Have that series now, but still need this book. Would love to win it.

jlynettes @ hotmail . com

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