Tonight on TV. What We’ll Be Watching.

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So it’s no secret that Becca and I are TV buffs. Becca even writes for the CW Atlanta over on their blog. I can’t even tell you when our love for television and all things pop culture began. Maybe with the hunky Clark Kent on Smallville or possibly with those fiesty three witches on Charmed. But one thing is for sure — it was the WB. The network geared towards young adults will always be our favorite. So here’s a little at what we’re so excited for tonight:

Let’s be honest. If you’re a Vampire Diaries fan you know exactly what’s playing tonight. Not just any old episode of vampires and hybrides and dopplegangers. Nope. Tonight’s episode is a backdoor pilot for the could-be-future-show The Originals, featuring and starring our favorite vampire — Klaus!

We’re also big Klaroline fans, so here’s hoping to an episode that gives us some updates on the romance that is should be brewing.

So we’re not just writers. We’re also avid consumers of pop culture and media. What will you be watching tonight?

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Writing with Music. Why it can be bad.

Some people write with music, other’s find that it distracts them. I know that I can’t even begin to form sentences in silence. Music carries my writing process, making it so much easier. However, there’s a line between helpful and hurtful when it comes to tunes and typing. Good music will be background to the story that evolves inside my head. Becca can also attest to this. When you’ve found a great song to write to, it doesn’t influence your writing but it just allows you to keep up a momentum. It’s like the engine, but you yourself are the driver — leading the car down the different paths.

What you don’t want is for that engine to develop a brain of its own and go on auto-drive, choosing the roads for you. At least, in my experience with music and writing. I’ve had many scenes flip-flop tone once a depressing song switched on, and likewise all of a sudden my characters want to party down when an up-beat jam blares through my iPod. What?! No!

This is definitely when music can be a bad thing. I’ve learned that the hard way. So here’s some of the steps I’ve made to listening to music while I write:

  1. Only one song. That means the song will be on repeat until I suck the life from it. This eliminates any tone-jumps if the song switches. And if it’s a good writing song, then I’ll barely be listening to it while I write. Essentially it will become background noise.
  2. Instrumental songs are better. Becca actually leans towards the instrumental (no singing)  music more than me. But it helps a lot when you’re being distracted by all the singing. Plus, soundtracks and scores to movies can be highly epic to write with!
  3. Pick a song that fits the mood. If it’s a sad scene, I can’t have a party song in the background. My iPod has a majority of depressing music on it anyway, so I usually go for the somber beats.
  4. Be prepared for the aftermath. I realize this is vague, but what I mean is that writing with music can completely ruin a song. After I’ve worn out a fair share of my favorite beats, I’ll go back to them months or years later and listen again. What do I think of when I hear that song??? Yep, the book I was writing. In fact, if I start another book, writing with a previously used song is near impossible.

So those are the rules I follow. Usually I go for the softer tunes that can float away in the background. Here’s are some songs that I’ve written to and abused the repeat button far too much:

 

And here’s one of Becca’s Instrumental favorites:

Do you write with music? Do you have rules about your song choices? Or just what kind of music do you listen to? Seriously, I think I listen to everything — except country 😉

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Atlanta Writers Conference. Will you be there?

Hello all! So this will be a short post. Becca and I will be at the Atlanta Writers Conference this May, and wanted to give a little wave to all the Georgians out there. If you’re going then you may spot us. We’re pretty hard to miss since we’re twins. It will be, I think, either the third or fourth conference we’ve attended, so we’re pretty excited! It’s always nice to learn new things about the industry and talk with pros in the field. Can’t wait!

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Collaborative Writing. How We Do It.

How do you and your sister write together? We get this question every time we go to writing conferences and every time we tell someone we write books together. Collaborative writing is a different process for every pair of writers. I’ve watched interviews with Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, authors of the Beautiful Creatures series, discuss their process. To paraphrase, they basically send their book back and forth by email, and cut and add like crazy. For other writers, who do two POVs, they usually split up perspectives, so it’s a little easier.

Becca and I have a specific writing process, unique to us. Basically, one of us will write what we call the “skeleton” of the book. It’s the ugly first draft that needs so much work that it’s basically on life support. Then the second person will go in and do an intense round of edits. I’m not talking normal typos. These are edits that redefine, rework, and revive the book. This person gives it a heartbeat. Then the first author will go back in and check for flow, consistency, etc. and edit again. Then the second person goes back through for her second round of edits. And so forth, and so on, until the editing and revision are complete and we both can be proud of a book that we created together.

Notice how I didn’t designate which one of us writes the “skeleton” and which one goes in for the second round? That’s because it changes for every book. Our YA novel (currently on submission to agents) had a skeleton written by Becca and then I added all the organs and skin (I’m going to medical school–these metaphors are necessary). Our NA novel, ADDICTED TO YOU, had a skeleton written by me and Becca gave it the heartbeat.

We don’t usually have hard fast rules about who gets to write the skeleton and who gets to write second. But sometimes it comes down to whatever genre we’re writing. I’ll pass the fantasies and action-packed sci-fi’s onto Becca, since she’s better with that voice. Anything light and romance heavy is up my alley.

So there you have it. A little look into our writing process!

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Our New Author Website…Bam! Pow!

As you may (or may not) know, we’re bloggers over at Nawanda Files. What you probably don’t know is that both Becca and I are writers and are planning to publish our New Adult contemporary novel this summer! As a result, we’ve started this author website.

It’s definitely a work in progress. Since we already blog about books and reading, this website will serve to talk a little about writing and our personal ventures.

First post…complete 🙂

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