Q&A with Josh Lanyon discussion

202 views
Irregulars > Writing a Shared World

Comments (showing 1-50 of 400) (400 new)    post a comment »

DL (Dlee) marks the spot?


Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments Zactly. ;-)


TracyG | 16 comments I'm intrigued!


Liade | 408 comments Probably the wrong place to mention this, but for anybody maintaining any kind of website it's very irritating that the cover picture and the Blind Eye website show the book as "Irregulars", no article, while here and at Amazon (and probably also the ISBN entry) it's called "The Irregulars".
http://zaazu.com


Ginn Hale | 292 comments Liade wrote: "Probably the wrong place to mention this, but for anybody maintaining any kind of website it's very irritating that the cover picture and the Blind Eye website show the book as "Irregulars", no art..."
I believe it's actually titled "Irregulars", but we authors have a tough time leaving out articles.

Not sure what's up with Amazon. I'll see what Nicole knows about that.


Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments Just heard from Nicole. The proper title is Irregulars. I think I probably have it wrong on my website too. ;-P


Liade | 408 comments Josh wrote: "Just heard from Nicole. The proper title is Irregulars. I think I probably have it wrong on my website too. ;-P"

And also in the heading for this thread...


Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments Good call! ;-D


message 10: by Lou (last edited Oct 02, 2011 09:05AM) (new)

Lou Harper | 1404 comments Ok, so how do you go about writing a shared world? Do you sit down first and work out the rules of the world? How do you deal with unexpected things that pop up during writing? Do characters of different authors walk into each others' stories? If yes, does the owner of that character have an input in keeping them true to themselves? Do you beta read each others' stories?


Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments Such excellent questions. Let me round up the other Irregulars to answer some of this.


message 12: by Nicole (last edited Oct 02, 2011 11:05AM) (new)

Nicole | 423 comments Lou wrote: "Ok, so how do you go about writing a shared world? Do you sit down first and work out the rules of the world?

I'm not sure how everybody else does it, but in this case, one author came up with a pitch for a concept and then we ran with it.

How do you deal with unexpected things that pop up during writing?

We just communicate a lot and negotiate the conflicting information. Because there are 4 of us and we all have a rather heavy schedule at the moment, I hired an editor, Jemma EveryHope-Roser, to sift through and streamline the fine details of the stories, like how we're all going to spell the word "faerie" for example. She's doing great work.

Do characters of different authors walk into each others' stories? If yes, does the owner of that character have an input in keeping them true to themselves?

Yes, the characters do absolutely interact with each other, that's the fun of writing a shared world. And authors do have input. I actually like writing other people's characters into my stories, because of the collaborative aspect.

Do you beta read each others' stories?

We shared the content editing duties this time around. I did content for Josh, Ginn and Astrid and Josh did content for me. It was pretty awesome.

Just FYI--I'm going out of town for a couple days, but I'll be back to join the conversation then!


Ginn Hale | 292 comments Lou wrote: "Ok, so how do you go about writing a shared world? Do you sit down first and work out the rules of the world? How do you deal with unexpected things that pop up during writing? Do characters of dif..."

Hey Lou!

We didn't really sit dow and work out rules so much as we decided on a premise that would allow us all to write the kind of story we wanted to tackle.

After we had rough versions of our stories we started ironing out rules and exceptions to them, making the details of the world more uniform. Last but not least a proof-reader came on board who was willing to put up with all four of us trying to defer to each other on the spelling of fairies\faeries etc.... :D

As far as sharing characters\ cross-overs go, I think the neatest(for me at least) was when I'd written a few scenes with an interesting side character named Gunther and Nicole decided that she wanted him to have a story of his own story. So, she elevated him to a main character in her novella.

After that I took my cues about Gunther's voice from her, because she was really bringing him to life.


Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments What I thought was great was how various characteristics of the non-humans evolved -- and the various prejudices and biases.

My story starts out

Never trust a goblin.

Reflecting the biases of my half-fey protagonist, but then in Nicole's story, one of the protags IS a goblin.


message 15: by mc (new)

mc | 1411 comments I agree, Lisa. This is going to be terrific.

I'm imagining some kind of commune living, though, kind of a Yaddo retreat, where you all have your own rooms with Persian carpets and comfortable chairs where you write, then meet up for meals and arts and crafts (and a little gardening on the sunny days) and wine and charades at night. And strange house spirits who do the cleaning, the laundry, the cooking and leave you sharpened pencils each morning.

I think I need to step away from the internet now.


Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments mc wrote: "I agree, Lisa. This is going to be terrific.

I'm imagining some kind of commune living, though, kind of a Yaddo retreat, where you all have your own rooms with Persian carpets and comfortable cha..."


I think that's a beautiful imagery, mc. Don't you dare step away from the internet. :P. It might probably be a start of a wonderful story in a wonderful world.


message 17: by mc (last edited Oct 02, 2011 05:00PM) (new)

mc | 1411 comments Cleon, I think some of it is wishful thinking. Especially the house spirits. I wouldn't mind that at all!

But can't you imagine our favorite writers like this? Kind of an Algonquin Table of quips and bon mots, except with much nicer people.

Though I still need to step away. For some reason, when I'm here, I appear to be like someone you wouldn't make eye contact with on the subway. Yeah, that person.


message 18: by Cleon (last edited Oct 02, 2011 05:07PM) (new)

Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments mc wrote: "Though I still need to step away. For some reason, when I'm here, I appear to be like someone you wouldn't make eye contact with on the subway. Yeah, that person. "

I don't know about that... do you for some reason look like a mugger or a mobster? :P.

Actually, I have a feeling you're someone I want to hang out with at a cafe and talk about books and writing for hours until the waiters surreptitiously comes to our table with tight smile to ask if we need anything else then when all else fail just shove us out because the cafe is closed. LOL.

But can't you imagine our favorite writers like this? Kind of an Algonquin Table of quips and bon mots, except with much nicer people.

I can so picture it. And it's such a lovely image. I hope someone will write that.


message 19: by mc (new)

mc | 1411 comments I feel the same way. In a way, that's what we get to do here, isn't it? :) Except that Josh is nice enough not to kick us all out.


Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments mc wrote: "I feel the same way. In a way, that's what we get to do here, isn't it? :) Except that Josh is nice enough not to kick us all out."

That's why he's awesome. :D


Lou Harper | 1404 comments mc wrote: "I'm imagining some kind of commune living, though, kind of a Yaddo retreat, where you all have your own rooms with Persian carpets and comfortable chairs where you write..."

And a hookah.


Lou Harper | 1404 comments The process you are all describing sounds like something that requires a lot of discipline, but the whole concept is very exciting too. How did you come up with the idea?


message 23: by mc (new)

mc | 1411 comments Lou, I swear to Adrien and Jake's continued relationship that I was going to add a hookah pipe, but thought, 'nah, too much.'

If you were here, I'd smoosh you in a massive hug.

And ditto to your excellent question: I know that two authors often collaborate on a story, but this is rather different.


Lou Harper | 1404 comments mc wrote: "Lou, I swear to Adrien and Jake's continued relationship that I was going to add a hookah pipe, but thought, 'nah, too much.'

If you were here, I'd smoosh you in a massive hug.

And ditto to your ..."


Great (and naughty) minds...


Ginn Hale | 292 comments Lou wrote: "The process you are all describing sounds like something that requires a lot of discipline, but the whole concept is very exciting too. How did you come up with the idea?"

For me it was just a desire to get to do something with three authors whom I adore. I think I would have gone for about anything as long as I got to work with them.


Astrid | 31 comments
I'm imagining some kind of commune living, though, kind of a Yaddo retreat, where you all have your own rooms with Persian carpets and comfortable cha..."


That's it. That's it exactly! Don't believe the others, that's what we did.

I think my favorite part of writing in a shared world are the limits set by others. It seems like the stories I've enjoyed most writing have had limitations set upon them, which makes it more of a challenge. I can't just whip up any old scheme because I have to make sure it fits within the boundaries established by the other stories.

That said, we were all pretty free to write what we wanted so the boundaries could shift if needed.


Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments Astrid wrote: "
I'm imagining some kind of commune living, though, kind of a Yaddo retreat, where you all have your own rooms with Persian carpets and comfortable cha..."

That's it. That's it exactly! Don't beli..."


Hi, Astrid! Just want to pop in and say how much I love your Hell Cop stories! I'm really really looking forward to this antho.


message 28: by Josh (last edited Oct 03, 2011 09:01AM) (new)

Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments It was a challenging experience for me. Ginn, Nicole, Astrid have all worked together on this kind of project before -- the wonderful Hell Cop books, if you've read them. But I've never done anything like this. So off we go with our basic premise, and of course I follow wherever my imagination takes me, without really checking with anyone.

Then the time comes to turn it into Nicole and she's got the unhappy task of pointing out that various things I came up with just won't work with the direction everyone else is going.

NOT a jolly moment, let me tell you.

But that's part of the challenge of working within the confines of a shared world. Despite the fact that you start with certain shared concepts, writing is organic and there's always a certain amount of making it up as you go. And sometimes you're going in the wrong direction.

So that part of the process was instructive. If we did a sequel, it would be a lot easier, I suspect. Because now we've worked a lot of the details out.


Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments mc wrote: "I agree, Lisa. This is going to be terrific.

I'm imagining some kind of commune living, though, kind of a Yaddo retreat, where you all have your own rooms with Persian carpets and comfortable cha..."


That's how they do it mainstream publishing.

NOT.

:-P


Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments I hired an editor, Jemma EveryHope-Roser, to sift through and streamline the fine details of the stories, like how we're all going to spell the word "faerie" for example. She's doing great work.

And that was a great decision because Jemma noticed all kinds of things that we were basically blind to. The differences between faerie tribes and realms, for example. Ginn and I are both writing faeries, but mine are English and hers are Irish. We're coming at them from two different literary traditions, and it was Jemma's job to recognize that and make us explain where we differed, what the basis for the differences was, etc.


Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments Josh wrote: "I hired an editor, Jemma EveryHope-Roser, to sift through and streamline the fine details of the stories, like how we're all going to spell the word "faerie" for example. She's doing great work.

..."


Sounds fun! Call me strange, but discussing a fantasy world and the limits within that world is terribly exciting to me. I'm a fantasy dork through & through. lol.


Josh (JoshLanyon) | 13256 comments Cleon wrote: "Sounds fun! Call me strange, but discussing a fantasy world and the limits within that world is terribly exciting to me. I'm a fantasy dork through & through. lol.
..."


Doesn't sound dorky to me!

Er, but then again consider the source. :-D


Ginn Hale | 292 comments Josh wrote: "Jemma noticed all kinds of things that we were basically blind to. The differences between faerie tribes and realms, for example. Ginn and I are both writing faeries, but mine are English and hers are Irish. We're coming at them from two different literary traditions, and it was Jemma's job to recognize that and make us explain where we differed, what the basis for the differences was, etc..."


Poor Jemma!

She asks us which term is correct and we explain that they all are, depending on where you come from. Then Astrid draws a crazy map depicting dozens of magical realms connected to various spots on the earth and Nicole just shakes her head, because she knows that Jemma is trying to simplify everything, not include foot notes and maps!

Luckily Jemma is a good sport; and just kept at us.


Ginn Hale | 292 comments Astrid wrote: " I think my favorite part of writing in a shared world are the limits set by others..."

There is a certain pleasure in writing to a challenge. It always forces me to be creative with things I haven't done before... Uhm in this case, sex scenes-- Which I'm going to blame on the combined presence of Astrid and Josh, making me think, "there must be a sexy way to write an undead hobo". ;D


Ginn Hale | 292 comments Lisa wrote: "A sexy way to write an undead hobo??? How that work out for you? : ) "

Surprisingly well! I was inspired-- in part-- by all those myths where gods walk among mortals in the guise of beggars.


Ginn Hale | 292 comments Lisa wrote: "Zeus, Hestia, I think Hera did....yeah your right a bunch of them came down to mess with us mere mortals. Mythology is really interesting. ..."

Yeah. I personally think one-eyed, battered old Odin probably pulled off his impersonation of a weathered traveler really well.


K.Z. Snow (KZSnow) | 1646 comments So . . . I was snuffling around the Blind Eye site like a pig after truffles, which I do regularly because the snuffling is well worth a scabby nose, and saw this title, and came back to Goodreads, and found the entry for Astrid's story, and snuffled around some more, and began to realize how many "Q&A with..." groups there are, and eventually snuffled my way over here.

This sounds like an absolutely enchanting anthology. Will it have illustrations?


Cleon Lee (CleonLee) | 2315 comments K.Z. wrote: "So . . . I was snuffling around the Blind Eye site like a pig after truffles, which I do regularly because the snuffling is well worth a scabby nose, and saw this title, and came back to Goodreads,..."

Hi, KZ! *waves* So glad you found your way here through your snuffling. :D

And illustrations will be so awesome! My most precious possessions are my Sandman graphic novels and I can imagine collecting illustrated Irregulars too.


Astrid | 31 comments Which I'm going to blame on the combined presence of Astrid and Josh, making me think, "there must be a sexy way to write an undead hobo".

At this juncture I would like to point out that I have tried repeatedly to get Ginn Hale to write characters with clothes that fit them. She keeps ignoring me. And now she's writing hot hobos. I'm abandoning all hope. :)


Astrid | 31 comments K.Z. wrote: "So . . . I was snuffling around the Blind Eye site like a pig after truffles, which I do regularly because the snuffling is well worth a scabby nose..."

Love the imagery! :)


Astrid | 31 comments Cleon wrote: "Hi, Astrid! Just want to pop in and say how much I love your Hell Cop stories! I'm really really looking forward to this antho..."

Hi Cleon! Thanks! :) This anthology is definitely different from Hell Cop, but hopefully will still be a really fun read.


Astrid | 31 comments Ginn wrote: "Then Astrid draws a crazy map depicting dozens of magical realms connected to various spots on the earth and Nicole just shakes her head..."

I can't help myself. I draw maps incessantly. I drew a map to the bathroom once called "ToiletTown."


Ginn Hale | 292 comments K.Z. wrote: "This sounds like an absolutely enchanting anthology. Will it have illustrations? ."

I pity the poor illustrator who attempts to render my sexy hobo! Though I believe the heros of the other three stories are actually pretty easy on the eyes. (Read: Blazing Hot).


Ginn Hale | 292 comments Astrid wrote: "I can't help myself. I draw maps incessantly. I drew a map to the bathroom once called "ToiletTown." ..."

Damn You! Now, I not only have the tune of Funky Town in my head, but the words have changed to Toilet Town!


Nicole | 423 comments Josh wrote: "What I thought was great was how various characteristics of the non-humans evolved -- and the various prejudices and biases.

My story starts out

Never trust a goblin.

Reflecting the biases..."


Yeah, I really like that about the shared world as well. Because you can basically have a character be kind of a dick when he appears as a side character in one story who is really charming when he's the protagonist or love interest of a different story. We did this a lot in Hell Cop 2 where my main love interest Det. Argent shows up as kind of a tool in Astrid's story, and then Ginn's character or Moran is the bad cop half of good cop/bad cop in my story. It gives this really inside/outside view of characters IMHO.

But it does take a level of trust and expertise to do this because one author could easily hurt another authors feelings this way.


Nicole | 423 comments Astrid wrote: "I have tried repeatedly to get Ginn Hale to write characters with clothes that fit them. She keeps ignoring me."

She really has. This is no joke.


Nicole | 423 comments Lou wrote: "The process you are all describing sounds like something that requires a lot of discipline..."

Well, not really discipline so much as flexibility. For example, for Josh's story to work within the shared world we needed to make a change to the world itself that would cause a contradiction and rewrites in Astrid's story. So Astrid changed some details around to accommodate Josh's story. Josh changed the entire theme of his story to fit in with the other three, and so on.

As the writer of the first story, I have the mission to introduce aspects of all 3 other stories, plus the cohesive worldview into my own story. For this reason I write last, once the details are settled.


message 48: by Nicole (last edited Oct 03, 2011 11:59PM) (new)

Nicole | 423 comments Josh wrote: "And that was a great decision because Jemma noticed all kinds of things that we were basically blind to."

And she came up with some truly sweet solves for irreconcilable problems.


Nicole | 423 comments K.Z. wrote: "Will it have illustrations? "

There will be, but maybe not in the book itself--perhaps online or as postcards. We have a couple of artists working on this.


Nicole | 423 comments Josh wrote: "If we did a sequel, it would be a lot easier, I suspect. Because now we've worked a lot of the details out."

Yes, absolutely.


« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8
back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Dead Sea (other topics)
Hell Cop (other topics)
Irregulars (other topics)