Much of my writing, I do with a collaborator, and I think it may be time to find a better one. He considers himself quite the thinker – “I’m the idea man, he likes to say, sort of a big-picture guy.” He gets rather smug about the elevated themes he comes up with, and the clever ways he develops to weave together complex plot elements. And sure, I suppose without his help things would go pretty slow, and I might fall into my old habits of writing “and then” plots – just sticking a few characters in a room and waiting to see what happens.
But here’s how he works – he heads out to walk the dog, or drive to the store or whatever, and these ideas pop into his head. Then he comes back, all excited, and drops crumpled-up notes in my lap that say things like “Hey! That scene with the vicar would be better if he had some sort of connection to the Trambly estate!” or “Maybe cut out chapter six and replace it with something that ties into that scene in chapter four better!”
Then he strolls off, whistling a happy tune and content in his brilliance, and leaves me sitting in front of the keyboard saying “Yeah, but how?” Jerk.