2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.

Guest Post: Writing as a Team by Vina Grey and Viki Lyn, Authors of Orbus Arcana

Today I’m pleased to share thoughts on co-authoring from two women whose series, Orbus Arcana, is now available as a box set. Enjoy!

Writing as a Team: Checks and Balance
by Vina Grey and Viki Lyn

Hi, this is one half of our writing team, Vina. Viki Lyn and I had been writing individually for 10 years or more before we decided to try our hand at writing as a team. One of the questions we get asked the most is about what it’s like to write together. Well, we’ve had our growing pains but now we’re pretty well set in a pattern that works well for us.

Critical to our success has been developing mutual trust. For example, neither one of us feels the need to double-check every edit the other makes. We know our strengths, and we accept the other will make the right choice of word or comma. One major change, however, to the way we write is style. In the past, Viki and I are both what is called ‘pansters’. We had a general idea of what we wanted to write, our main characters were fleshed out in our heads, and we began writing. The story would morph and twist and turn, and we didn’t have to explain to anyone but ourselves.

Now, we have to spend hours plotting out the book. We use a template called the W plot, commonly used for romances, and then a simple table that takes us through the major plot points scene by scene. Recently we began using something called the Beat Sheet, often used with film story arcs, which covers the plot in three major acts. Once we agree on that, we then do the individual scenes. This helps a lot when writing because we don’t have to stop and explain to the other where we are coming from in a scene. Not that we don’t deviate from the plan every now and then. I may be writing and something doesn’t feel right or I get a great idea and I work it in. Or that happens to Viki. But we usually text or call each other and discuss it so we’re not blindsided when we get the draft to review.
The everyday process of writing as a team is simple. Typically, we each pick a main character (and in a romance, thankfully that is just two), and we write a scene from that character’s point of view. We alternate scenes between characters. We finish a few scenes and exchange them for editing as we go along. We may even see a gap in the others’ scene and insert a note to add something, For example, Viki might see a missed opportunity for some sexual tension in a scene I wrote and she’ll add a comment . Or I might think she needs more backstory and note that. Open communication is the key and we talk weekly and frequently text.

Have we ever messed up? Oh, sure! I’ll forget something Viki suggested and go off a tangent and she has to rope me back or vice versa. I can quite easily begin the scene with my character in a blue shirt and end with him in a green shirt. Little details like that escape me. Viki is great at catching these, while I am better at catching her dangling modifiers. One time I changed a main character’s eye color half way through the book – thank goodness, Viki caught it. We also have different strengths when it comes to other things like ideas and flow and staying true to the genre. I have a million ideas going on in my head (so though to be fair Viki does too) and can get our characters out of a jam any time; she’s great at the logical flow of events. I tend to get overly romantic; Viki pulls me back from being too sappy. It’s all about checks and balances, and its fluid depending on the book. For now, we are happy writing as a team and have more books in the Orbus Arcana world planned as well as another fantasy series with angels and shifters and a contemporary cowboy series.

About the Book: Orbus Arcana Box Set
This 3-book series is set in Arizona and the Orbus Arcana world that exists beyond a veil that most humans cannot pass. Orbus Arcana is divided into four Orders, each ruled by a King. In these 3 books, we engage with the Order of Boreās.

A vampire prince, a sexy closeted cop, and one grave secret. The treacherous forces simmering in Orbus Arcana will test their newfound love.
VINCENT KAMATEROS is exiled to the human world for a crime he did not commit. A chance encounter with a sexy human cop turns his life inside out. Smitten the instant he sees JOHN REEDER, but bound to silence by the Vampire High Council, Vince can never reveal his true nature to a human. Both John and Vince are hiding secrets, Vince his vampire nature, and John hiding his sexuality from his family and peers. But secrets have a way of coming out.
Follow Vince and John through the Orbus Arcana Three Book Series where they discover their eternal love. When a killer targets Vince, John deals with consequences that rend his life apart. Even as Vince and John revel in their love, malicious forces at work in the vampire world are determined to keep the progressive Vince from becoming the next vampire king. Time is short and decisions loom. Their irrevocable choices will change their lives forever.

About the Authors:
We’re the writing team of Vina Grey and Viki Lyn. We live on opposite coasts of the U.S., (Vina in the east and Viki in the west) though we met through an online critique group and even lived in the same city for two years. It all started when Viki announced she was going to try her hand at writing a male-male romance (a genre Vina didn’t even know existed). To Viki’s amazement, the other members declined to read the book. Note this was several years ago. Now, I have probably never met a book I wouldn’t at least try to read, so I offered to critique it for her. From there, we discovered a mutual love of writing male-male romance. Mostly, we enjoy writing about the dance – think of it as a two-step – two people finding each other, the back and forth before they get together and the happily ever after — really it’s the best story ever. Throw in some paranormal elements and we’re in heaven. Vampires and cops, anyone? Another mutual passion we share is traveling. Sometime together with our families in tow, other times separately, we integrate myths and cultural nuances that we learn about into our paranormal worlds. From the deserts of the Middle East and the temples in Japan to the rice fields in Bali and the pyramids in Egypt and the mysticism of India, we’ve managed to find inspiration for our stories in every country we’ve visited. A couple of years ago, we ventured into contemporary male-male romances and have a cowboy romance due to be published in October 2018.

You can reach them at:
Web: www.vikivinaromance.com
FaceBook- https://www.facebook.com/authorsvikivina
Instagram – vikivinaauthors

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3 comments to Guest Post: Writing as a Team by Vina Grey and Viki Lyn, Authors of Orbus Arcana

  • […] to write as part of a team? How does a romance get written like this? We’re featured on the All Things Jill-Elizabeth blog talking about just this. Its a bit of mayhem but we wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe […]

  • Thank you for having us on your blog! Vina and I have a new cowboy book out and writing the second book in the series between plotting out more fun from Orbus Arcana. From vampires to cowboys! What’s not to love about writing romance stories. 🙂

    • admin

      You are most welcome – and thank you both for giving us a peek behind the curtain at co-authoring! It sounds like a wild ride – I’m impressed with how well you work together – I can’t get past my own head when writing a lot of the time, let alone if I had to work another person’s thoughts/preferences/perspectives into the mix… 🙂 Thanks for the post AND comment (and mention on your blog!) and good luck with the cowboys, vampires, and whomever strikes your fancy next!

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