Co-writing: Getting Your Ducks in a Row by @janetlynn4

January 3, 2018 by in category Partners in Crime tagged as , , , with 0 and 0
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Ducks In A Row | Janet Lynn and Will Zeilinger | A Slice of Orange


Getting your Ducks is a Row


My husband, Will Zeilinger, also a published author, and I decided to come together and write a 1950’s hard-boiled mystery, the Skylar Drake Murder Mystery series.

Without organization, nothing, and I mean nothing, would get done!

Getting Your Ducks in a Row by @janetlynn4 Tips for writing with a partner


Though we each bring different things/skills to the table when it comes to writing, I am the one who seems to get the organization together. During the early life of the novel, we start off brainstorming. No idea is too “outrageous” or “stupid” to write down. This includes characterizations, character names, background, and their part in the story.

Plot meetings

From there come several plots and subplots. An in-depth discussion of each follows. We then find the main plot that may even be several subplots melted together. This comes about over several meetings, we try to limit them to five. If we need more than five meetings to get any one of the issues resolved, something is usually wrong with the characters, plot or subplots and we revisit it by going back through prior meeting notes.

Purpose and agendas

Each meeting needs to have a specific purpose. Agendas are a great way to keep the discussions on track. When writing mysteries, like we do, this is an absolute must. We keep copies of all meeting agendas and decisions which helps with future reference, especially when we are stuck and can’t remember why we made the decision we did.

From this point, we set a timeline for when things need to be completed. If we do not meet a timeline that is a warning to get going and focus.

The results? SLIVERS OF GLASS, STRANGE MARKINGS and DESERT ICE. Our fourth book in the series, SLICK DEAL, will be released in February 2018…and yes, we’re still married.


Janet Elizabeth Lynn


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