In one of my most recent collaborative posts I wrote something for my character that under ordinary circumstances I would never write. In a somewhat romantic scene between my rather chivalrous historical character John Clum (a very interesting man!) I had him mention the lovely ‘violet’ eyes of the heroine (a purely fictional Madame with the proverbial heart of gold). Now the reason I wouldn’t normally do this is a) most people don’t have violet eyes (except Liz Taylor) and b) I feel it’s verging on bad writing – ie: “I gazed into her large liquid orbs like pools of…” You get the point.
So, I hear you all chime, why did you do it?
I did it for my writing partner. Writing with someone in a collaborative fiction project should not be all about the quality of the writing all of the time – not if you’re doing this as a social recreational thing. See I adore my writing partner in that novel, Tombstone, at Pan Historia. She’s been a great friend for years now. We’ve never met in person but online we share a great history of fun and collaboration. I wrote about her violet eyes because she would enjoy the reference and the deferment to her creative fantasy life. She wants violet eyes! She gets violet eyes! It’s her fantasy too, damnit. I wrote it to give her pleasure.
I might be fantasizing about writing the great American novel one day, but she’s getting a kick out of being a beautiful woman with a shadowy past, violet eyes, and a heart of gold back in the Wild Wild West. And why the hell not? Let’s face it. I get a kick out of role-playing Wyatt Earp in the same role-play collaborative novel. So sometimes it’s really good to remember this is not always about serious writing and ART. It’s about fun too.
And as the man said: “if it ain’t fun, don’t do it”.