As most of you know I spent last week with my CP and good friend, Jennifer Linforth, she’s my rock. When everything falls apart and I’m reduced to a bundle of tears, she’s the one I call. (And yes, this happens on a pretty regular basis. *vbg*) She understands me and how my brain works. She’s the bestest.

So, loaded down with Cheetos, M&M’s, Oreo cookies, chips, dip, beer & coffee (beverages for relaxing and perking up!) … we settled in for two days of brainstorming. I LOVE this part of writing … especially with Jen. She’s an historical author and I write the stuff her characters aren’t even supposed to talk about. Don’t ask me why this works–it just does. Some of our conversations are hysterical. But a story is a story. Torturing characters to create a page turner is the same regardless of the genre.

She sits in the overstuffed chair in the corner, laptop in hand and cats adorning her shoulders. I hang out on the arm of her couch across the room, my feet tucked comfortable under her HUGE chocolate lab curled on the cushions, and we argue explain chat discuss our plots.

Nina: I know … peepers!
Jen: *gales of laughter* How the hell did you get from a casino to little tiny frogs?
Nina: But it makes total sense they couldn’t get rid of the property because of an environmental issue.
Jen: At least choose something realistic like … *clicks away on computer* … woodpeckers
Nina: Like readers are going to care if they mow down trees for some ugly woodpeckers.
Jen: Well who cares about slimy frogs?
Nina:  Well if I can’t have my peepers you can’t have your peckers!

And this is how it goes for two days. We work on each other’s books for hours. It’s draining. But such a blast! I’ve brainstormed with others, but they didn’t know me, didn’t know how I think or what I write. Jen knows all this. When things go in a wrong direction we stop, reassess and start again in another line of thought. Brainstorming isn’t only about throwing out the wild ideas … which we do … but actually ending up with a story outline we can personally work with. Because let’s face it, no matter how much someone else loves the plot, if you can’t live with it … you can’t write it!

Jen and I are both pantsers … writing only from the skeleton of a plot. We’ve both tried to go the traditional plotting and outlining, but it doesn’t seem to work for either of us. I think this is one of the reasons we work so well together. Now we’re thinking about brainstorming a brainstorming workshop … complete with all the right junk food!

Jen and I live really far from each other. Otherwise our brainstorming would be more like a critique/brainstorming meeting once or twice a month. But we have to settle for a twice a year tradition. We’re hoping to find a third person, because let’s just face it … sometimes we get stuck. REALLY stuck. Her man helps. Sometimes he’s farther out there than we are, but other times his off-kilter thoughts take us in juuuust the right direction! (Kudos to you dude for the whole secretly signing of the property deed plotline! MAJORLY solved that issue!)

Anyway, I’ve started pounding out words and I’m incredibly happy. With any luck both of these books will be finished in the next couple of months. Thanks, Jen … I wubs you … but you already knew that.

5 Responses to No Peepers … No Peckers …

  • I wubs you too, Nina.

    Brainstorming is incredibly draining but you have two amazing books under your belt now–even without my peckers. I provided you with a M/M/F ménage the night before that you devoured with butter. (Three lobsters folks! GOD! Erotica writers…. minds in the gutter!) and that geared us up to rip apart books!

    I think one of the best things that works is the good old banana peal theory, which your readers should see and know how your mind really works:

    Nina (annoyed voice): Ok. Fine. Have it your way and just start throwing things at me then, Jen!

    Jennifer (exasperated and rolling her head against a cat): They slip on a banana peal and end up in the hospital in traction.

    Nina: Ok, all good. Keep going. But remember but they need sex in the first chapter.

    Jennifer: No they don’t.

    Nina: Yes they do.

    Jennifer: No, they don’t.

    Nina: YES, they DO.


    Jennifer: (historical mind exploding) Ok… why? Because of pacing? You are making this difficult.

    Nina (nearly falling off couch cussing out historical writers): Jen it is one thing to write romantic suspense in 40K but it is another thing to write romantic suspense where everyone has to be screwing everyone every other page! You have to keep everyone’s d****s in everyone elses tw***s.

    Jennifer: So we are back to using my peckers then?

    Yes folks… life with Nina Pierce. I am off to deal with an angry Phantom in an opera house and a sexy stone cutter at odds with a homosexual businessman…

  • … I wanna playmate like that! Is there a sign-up sheet somewhere?

    No? What do you mean, ‘no’? *huff* There should be. A sort of ‘dating’ site for writers, where we can find trustworthy and like-minded people to play with. *nodnods*

  • No means… no. Her characters should all be dressed to their ankles and and the only “parsley patches” being seen are the ones in the garden.

    I am just saying.

  • Jen – I thought that conversation stayed between us, the cats and the dog … sheesh. Some things with you just aren’t sacred!

  • Rubi Jayne – I’m not very good at sharing. 😉 Hopefully you’ll find someone who plays like Jen … but she doesn’t always play nice!

    Jen – Parsley patches *snicker* Really … how do we do this? LOL!

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