Have you ever co-written something with someone? I am a huge fan of leaving solo projects now and then and working with a partner. If you are lucky enough to find yourself tangled around that perfect writing partner, what you write will reflect such. The fictional character formally known as author Michael Hillcrest (as in the Master Bait series) was the best writing experience I’ve ever had.
I love locking myself away and escaping inside the realms of my own twisted imagination, but to find that missing piece and never have any form of writer’s block because before you tiptoe into the land of ‘what next?’, that partner already knows and you are there to do the same for your partner. To have someone to talk with about these characters and to watch them evolve in their own literary existence is a connection few people ever know. It is almost like creating life without nine months of misery and weight gain and hours of pain and stitches. Adam, Zona- Shu…. These were our babies. We gave them a life, from birth and beyond. We gave them a purpose, a personality- we designed their genetics and their weaknesses.
It may sound silly to someone that has never co-written a novel- but we were so close to finished with this story- truly, a story unlike any other. We broke all the rules and something beautiful formed from it. Life does imitate art. I could have been done well by now but there is this bitterness of abandonment. This aching. I start to write a sentence and wonder what he would say or edit about it. It hurts.
Steamfate was supposed to be the literary fairy tale of modern times- just like us. The struggle, the path to happiness, the understanding and connection from two different worlds-and the sacrifice for love- for fate.
Taking the end of this book and wrapping only my own mind around it- even though it was fully plotted, it does not feel right to use “our” ending. There is no “our” or “we”. There is nothing but aching memories. It feels almost dirty to take “our” perfectly unique and shockingly rare ending and continue with the ghost of him twisted to the core of this ending. Like walking into a fire, it seems like I am asking to feel the burn.
I am, yes, slower with this ending than anticipated. I knew we were personally connected to this book, to these main characters- right down to naming a cat that, who knows what happened to, Shu. I was Zona- unafraid and so willing to save him and release him into a new world of freedom, admiration and passion- But Adam was strong. He came back for her. I suppose Adam is more fictional that I ever thought.
I have plotted the new ending. I have plotted two new endings, actually. One, true to the name- close to the original co-written ending- one that screams, “In the name of love & fate, we did it. We sacrificed with no regret into an explosive love.” and then the new possible ending- To give them happiness or spineless, speechless reality? I am not sure I will know until I write. “The End.” Maybe once I write those words, I can live those words. I doubt it. I’ve already been dwelling on the next project we had lined up together. My daughter is asking for it. I wish I were more of a bitch so I could let it slide and write my baby girl the book she is begging for, but I can’t even wrap up the first melding of our minds.
SO YEAH, I fully suggest the experience of taking on a full novel with a co-writer. Be picky. Click with them. But, for all the sweetness in the world, build a special wall. Do not, by any means, fall in love with your co-writer. You never know how it or the book will end.
Another taste of Steamfate:
“Don’t reply,” she locked into his stare, “I have to say it. You can’t leave me again without me saying it. I don’t want you to say a thing.”
Adam knew what she was going to say. He smiled. Silence came easy for him. He waited for her to say what she already told him with her eyes.
“I love you, Adam,” she grabbed him tightly, “I do. I’m in love with you.”
Her fear swelled inside the fire rimmed rings of her eyes. He remained silent. He brushed her breasts with his lips without breaking his stare and smiled. He pulled her closer and gave her his deepest love without a spoken word. She beamed with the response his eyes had given her and held on tightly as they finished perfectly together.
I do thank him for releasing full rights to me- not letting this beautiful story die- but that feeling- writing and creating together and then left alone, no talk about it, doing nothing wrong- Just reverting back into the Adam that existed before Zona came along. So sad… This is what it feels like- right down to the burning books-