Why do they call it brainstorming? We had our first “brainstorming” session, and unlike any storm I’ve experienced it was calm, productive and enjoyable to watch Shy-Town Girls unfold. Melissa, Jen, Katie and myself have begun what we call collaborative publishing. As the gals and myself sat down to discuss each of our characters- we all developed a character that we wanted to include in the stories- the excitement rose as we shared ideas of funny encounters and dramatic events.
The collaborative publishing process is unique in that instead of passing a story along for review we, from the start, write and publish the story together. We work through our character developments, “how would Ella react in this situation?” or “does the absence of Ivy’s father cause emotional issues and if so, how?” and we do this thorough examination of each of the characters. This allows each of our characters to have dimension, just as each person is impacted by the people they meet in their life so are these characters. It is truly spectacular to experience the evolution of our characters through events they have had in their life to the people that have hurt them or who they have loved in to the characters they are today. There is an attachment that comes with writing, you find yourself spending time with the characters as if they are your friends- laughing as you write in the bad date, hurting while they hurt and feeling joy when they kiss the crush. To take this intimate writing process and open it up to work with others for collaborative publishing is no short of a challenge, a process that takes cooperation, understanding and the most key- the ability to speak our creative insights with each other.
As we, the four original Shy-Town Girls, draw out our books together we want to share our process. There is bound to be disagreements resulting from passion, and laughter resulting from real-life anecdotes and pure excitement as we watch four shy girls brave through the twists and triumphs of life in Chicago. We feel that with any experimental process there will be some failures in collaborative writing- how do we keep story developments organized? Who writes what? But when crossing the finish line we are sure the depths ofShy-Town Girls will be worth any of the bumps obtained along with way.