>> Monday, August 16, 2010

I've mentioned before that I write with my husband. In our particular case, writing together means I write it, then read it to him and we discuss what needs to be changed. If it's "my" idea, I get to decide the big decision. If it's "his," he does. Except, if one of us hates something, we can each veto.

You'd be surprised how often a veto actually comes into it. And several ideas that were veto material have been compromised away from what either of us thinks is optimum to reach an agreement (if not an approval). Lee is not fond of dark things and hates torturing characters he likes. Pity because that's kind of part of the deal for novels.

I have to be convinced the characters, stories, etc. make sense. Lee does that too and frequently points out something I missed.

So, why am I mentioning this? Well, for the last week or so we've been wrangling. Ever since I had the idea, I've been wanting to give the prime character from my first novel (Beast Within) primary amoebic meningitis, only let him live through it in the sequel. My husband has hated, ever since I got the idea, inflicting parasites on the shapeshifter who becomes a dragon. HATES. IT.

No explanation or protestation was enough. No clever cure or redemption was sufficient. No need or drive was justification. He HATED IT. Period.

I'll be honest. I was thinking I couldn't find something else that did what I wanted:

a) deadly
b) adversely affecting the brain, preferably with delirium, hallucinations and or involuntary body movements
c) non-chemical so that our talented healer couldn't just cure him and be done
d) uncontagious so everyone else didn't have it (though I wanted them to wonder if it were)

Fortunately for me, The Mother was kind enough to point me toward arborvirus forms that cause meningitis/encephalitis or even combinations. Since it's a vector, it's still not communicable. And, although my original intent was to have one character do something clever, I thought of a different clever way of curing it that used actual medical science (if only to repay The Mother's patience with my magical healer).

So, there you go. Compromise. Everyone's happy. And, though I haven't gotten a lot done this weekend, I've now updated it so I can move forward. And with my collaborator still a willing partner.


  • The Mother

    We all know that we have to put even our favorite characters in jeopardy occasionally.

    And, yes, the magical healer requires serious patience.

  • Jeff King

    Best of luck with it... I know I couldn't.

    You must really respect each other; writing is so personal it becomes part of us. Letting someone else decide crucial parts, points, conflicts, characters and whatever else I left out—really says a lot about you and your relationship.

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