I think it's probably good that we're all such different writers. I don't think I can write a book now without a collage, it speeds up my process so much and it makes the story so much richer FOR ME. Other people, not so much. One of the things that's making us all crazy, I think, is that I'm not a linear writer, so while Eileen and Krissie are pretty much writing chronologically, I've got most of the first half done and some of the second half and that's just changed the first half, and they have no idea where I am even though they know where they are. We just put the first halves together, still missing two of my scenes, and when I looked at that document I realized that Eileen and I were sticking to just our sister's POV and Krissie was doing both the sister's and her guy's POVs. And I'm not seeing any way she can change that, she really needs Elric's POV in there. And it's good, he's got a great voice. So I thought, "Can do that, have four POVs, one of them Krissie's hero?" and I started thinking about Crash and realized that the scene in the diner would be much better from his POV and in fact his POV is necessary throughout. If Eileen doesn't want to do Danny's POV, I don't think it's a problem, and anyway she gets to choose whatever she wants to do. But looking at the three stories interwoven really helped me define one of the problems I was having. Crash needs to tell part of this for balance. And because he doesn't know what the hell is going on, it's going to be very helpful for me in releasing info.
Collaboration is a good, good process.
As for the collage, this is where it is now (it'll keep changing right through the copy edits):
What have I learned?
I know what the waitress looks like which is a huge help.
I know what Crash's place in Tuscany looks like. I know that I put the movie titles in the wrong places and I have to flip The Corpse Bride and Howl's Moving Castle. I know the bunnies are more important than I thought which probably means I have to change my first line again. I know what Krissie's hero looks like because she told me where to find the image. I got an entire scene out of that frog in the teacup. Jude Law is perfect for a smarmy minion (should never have slept with that nanny, Jude). Butterflies, hot fudge sundaes, muffins, frogs, the motifs are piling up.
But the spiders are gone. Mare isn't really Goth any more. And Value Video is central. Which I didn't know until I started putting things on the collage and taking them off, moving some things around until it felt like they were in the right place and then looking at them again to see why, what things were around them that had welcomed them in, narratively speaking. I learned so much from this pass.
I love collage. And New York. Can't wait for all of us together again. It moves things so fast, and we'll have so much more to play with this time.