My wife, Janet Elizabeth Lynn, and I have been crime writing fiction for several years. In the beginning, Janet was the first to take a of couple classes and workshops. That was after we discovered we didn’t know what we were doing. I was a bit reluctant because the whole writing thing was foreign to me. But she came home with tools and information that opened my eyes.
When Janet was writing solo, she would often ask me to read some of her work. I’d make comments like, “A guy wouldn’t care what brand of shoes a woman was wearing” or “A guy wouldn’t say/think that.” It got to the point where one day Janet was writing and said to me—“Will, if you were a guy…” to which I replied, “What?”
Thus began our co-writing partnership. I would tweak many of the male characters’ voice styles while Janet handled the female roles. We’d brainstorm the plots, discuss our characters’ quirks and make sure the characters’ voices sounded different enough while maintaining the voice of the story. Next, we read aloud to each other. Sometimes one of us would fall asleep during the reading, but that just meant we had to fix that part. If it bored us, it would surely bore our readers.
The result is that our writing had become a true partnership in authorship and our stories sparkled (in our eyes.) We now take turns polishing and refining our work before handing the manuscript over to our editor.
And after all that… we’re still married.
Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and live in Southern California.
Hi Will and Janet, Your post offers helpful tips and reminders on character voice and reading our own work.
But, I especially love the tenderness and unity of your relationship that shines through; true partners.
And, GREAT PHOTO.
Thank you Veronica. WHile we’ve written solo books (and still do) we’ have learned that writing together is completely different. We have found that reading aloud to each other uncovers many things that may look great on paper – but aloud… not so much. We think it makes our writing better and reduces some “back & forth” with our editor. We hope you get to read and enjoy Skylar Drake.
Great that you share a common interest.
Hi Morgan. Thanks for the kind words. Even before we started writing together, We shared many interests. While we have our own “guy stuff” and “girl stuff”, much of what brought us together were common interests.
(I don’t get what the little “emojis” are next to the comments – go figure.
Hi Will, the icons are “headshots” for people who don’t have gravatar accounts. People who do have gravatar accounts will have small picture that they have uploaded to that account next to their comments.
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