Guest Post From the Authors of Merged a New Science Fiction Novel How We Write Together
by Roxanne Crouse
How We Write Together
Given that we are a husband-and-wife writing team, we’re always asked how we do it—without maiming each other. In the movies, they often show writing partners working side-by-side on a manuscript or screenplay with lots of frenzied pacing, empty pizza boxes, and the montage of the partners brainstorming and coming up with aha moments. We’ve eaten our share of late night pizza, but for us, we only collaborate like that when outlining the plot. We are plotters out of necessity. Imagine two people agreeing to meet for lunch, but never bothering to communicate about where and when. The chance that they’ll actually end up at the same restaurant are nil. We need to be in agreement about what is going to happen in the story, when it happens, and how the story ends.
The first draft should be about allowing the imagination to flow without someone else (or yourself) critiquing the work along the way. So we divide and conquer, and assign different chapters to each other. This allows each of us to have the freedom to find the wonderful surprises that emerge when writing creatively. But to do this successfully, we need to have the story plotted chapter by chapter. This is actually a great remedy to overcome writer’s block because we know what to work on for that day.
Editing has a totally different process. After we’ve each gone through a few edits on our own chapters, we let the other person have at it. Admittedly, it took a little while to learn how to let go of our egos and not get angry when the other person hacks away at what we thought was inspired writing. But we’ve learned to rely on each other’s strengths. For example, Jim is better at detailed descriptions and line editing, and Stephanie is better at dialogue and cutting unnecessary scenes. Then, we print the whole thing and edit, edit, edit until neither of us remembers who wrote what.
Writing can be a lonely experience, and we encourage all writers to try working with a partner on a project.
Merged Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Month9Books
Date of Publication: September 17, 2019
Number of pages: 293
Cover Artist: AM Design Studios
Tagline: Great minds don’t always think alike.
Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels, hosts for the implantation of brilliant Mentor minds, in an effort to accelerate human progress.
But as the line between what’s possible and what’s right draws ever blurrier, the teens discover everything has a cost.
Scientists have created an evolved form of living known as Merged Consciousness, and sixteen-year-old Lake finds herself unable to merge with her Mentor.
Lake, the Nobel for Chemistry and Orfyn, the Nobel for Art, are two from among the inaugural class of Nobels, and with the best intent and motivation. But when Stryker, the Nobel for Peace, makes them question the motivation of the scientists behind the program, their world begins to unravel.
As the Nobels work to uncover the dark secrets of the program’s origins, everyone's a suspect and no one can be trusted, not even the other Nobels.
As the Mentors begin to take over the bodies and minds of the Nobels, Lake and Orfyn must find a way to regain control before they lose all semblance or memory of their former selves.
Mr. Blue points to the document. “Sign this and change your life. Or don’t. It’s up to you.”
“What happens if I say no?”
“The Darwin Corporation will remain your legal guardian, but you’ll lose the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become one of humanity’s greatest hopes.”
So basically, he’s saying I’m stuck here either way. “Will I always be locked up?”
“That depends on your choices.”
I wait for him to crack a smile. He doesn’t.
I break eye contact and flip to the last page. There’s one short paragraph stating that I’ve read the forty-one-page document (which I haven’t), I understand the risks (which I don’t), and I buy into the idea that two minds are better than one (or something like that). At the bottom, there’s a line with my name printed below it.
“Is it dangerous?” I ask, really wishing my voice hadn’t cracked.
Mr. Blue hesitates, and for a moment he almost appears human. “Every medical procedure has its risks, but the end result could change the world. And you’ll be one of the few who have the ability to change it.”
What if I could become the next Michelangelo? I’ve been given the chance to create art that makes a difference. For now, and even hundreds of years to come. “What else can you tell me about Bat?”
“He’s very successful,” Mr. Blue says, taking a pen from his suit pocket. “And he’s dying.”
“Can you give me a little more than that?”
“He specifically chose you.”
Nobody has ever chosen me.
I grab Mr. Blue’s pen and sign the document using the name I’m adopting. If I’m going to share my brain with someone and become a ground-breaking artist, I’m doing it as Orfyn.
About the Authors:
Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl are a husband-and-wife team who write stories of mystery and adventure from their cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. When they aren’t dodging moose, their story ideas appear during their walks with their dog, who far prefers chasing balls to plotting novels. Jim and Stephanie are world travelers who seek out crop circles, obscure historical sites and mysterious ruins.
I thought it sounded good as well which is why I wanted to share it. I haven’t read it yet though I have a huge pile of books I’m still trying to get to and only one hour a day to read :(. Some day.
This sounds really good, I like the cover
Thank you, Dark and Whimsical Art, for including our book “Merged” and the article on your blog. We hope your followers love our book as much as we loved writing it. Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl