We have been a couple for many years and living this adventure together makes us feel a little like at the beginning of our story: full of energy and initiative. And with collaborative writing not only ideas come faster but it is also easier to notice mistakes.
The most interesting thing is that once in a while it offers us an excuses to take some time for ourselves. With the excuse that we have to write, once in a while we manage a little escape on the mountains or at the beach or maybe we take refuge in a pastry shop, with the laptop open and a nice cup of hot chocolate.
In short, collaborative writing is very fun! There are many moments in which we start laughing for the funny situations we like to invent and insert in our books, we laugh a lot together and we take it as a good sign under every aspect.
Do we ever quarrel? Of course we do! We have fiery literary arguments or we bicker for a single adjective! But at the end we always find a common point of view.
The first question that journalists, bloggers and readers always ask us is this: how do you write collaboratively? How do you divide the work? In the book, what is from Isabella and what is from Marco?
“Technically”, these are the phases of our work:
We start with many brainstorming sessions, which means we talk freely letting ideas come to us, and we write everything down on a notebook. Later on we reread our notes, analyze them and discuss them at length. This way we build a plot of the story and divide it by chapters. At this point we divide the work among us: Isabella writes some chapters and Marco writes some others. Its the first draft, during which we don’t just work individually, we share the files so that each could enrich the other’s work. We exchange advice, share doubts and correct each other’s writing.
Once the first draft is over, the reviewing starts, but not just once: we do it at least four times! This is the longer and most difficult moment, in which we have to review the text for many aspects: style, language, but even plot points and the points of view of various characters. We also have to keep in mind the general balance of the book between adventure, comic relief and descriptive passages.
In short, at the end its really difficult to say what is from Marco and what is from Isabella, because the book is the product of a layered work done by the both of us! Like a cake in which the ingredients are well mixed together, at the end its impossible to say what has been written by one and what the other.
Because they are the best part of humanity and because they are great devourers of stories. They are hungry for good stories, adventure and dreams. Their fantasy, their curiosity, are a great incentive for us: the children are attentive and needy readers and we have great respect for them, we do our best to move them, make them laugh and dream, and we wish we did manage to do that with our works. We also believe that its fundamental trying to transmit to kids important values that help them grow up well: the value of friendship, of respect for others and the environment, individual and collective freedom, of politics as a service…
First reviewing… under the rain
Here is Isabella in her Ladin costume, busy on her first reviewing of the secret fire of Altea. When the time is limited every moment is good for working, even a picnic in the mountains could be the right occasion to find the right time and concentration.
Pizza and brainstorming
Here is a typical moment of collaborative writing, before a hot pizza; in this case the pizza was already finished, the kids had just gone outside to take a walk and we were immersed on a nice discussion about the second book.
The Hypogenae’s cave
We are at Tintagel, in Cornwall, in vacation with the family. A mysterious cave, a promontory submerged by mist… and there it is, the inspiration for the hypogenae’s cave.