Guest Post: Who Wrote What: Chimera

April 16, 2015 Blog, Guest Post 0

Guest Post: Who Wrote What: ChimeraChimera by N. J. Tanger
on April 25, 2015
Genres: Sci Fi
Pages: 367

On the verge of extinction, the Stephen’s Point colony must take desperate measures to save themselves. Without communication or resupply from Earth for the last fifteen years, the colony has but one chance to survive: restore the ancient starship Chimera and train a young crew to pilot her. The fate of the entire colony rests on the shoulders of a pair of misfits: Theo Puck, a sixteen-year-old hacker with a gift for speaking to machines, and fifteen-year-old Selena Samuelson, a brash but talented pilot with a dark secret in her past.

To Theo, the Mandate to crew the Chimera seems like a game—one he isn’t invited to play. A brutal murder changes everything. Left with no choice, Theo has to complete the Selection training and make it aboard the Chimera or face terrible consequences.

Selena wants to do what she does best—fly. Piloting her father’s ore trawler is the only life she’s known before a horrifying accident strands her aboard the Hydra, the station responsible for rebuilding the Chimera. Forced into the Mandate testing against her will, Selena encounters an unexpected ally, forever changing the way she sees the Chimera and herself.

Forced to make brutal choices in order to survive, Theo and Selena’s fates intertwine. But behind the scenes, someone else sets into motion events that could destroy everything they’re fighting to protect.

Get a sneak peek: UEbooks.com

Or preorder: Amazon

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Check out this gorgeous cover!
This is the cover to the book that Nathan M. Beauchamp is talking about today.

I have to say, that cover is amazing and better yet, I helped choose it!

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Well, I voted on this one.

That counts people!

Fortunately, I also get to read this baby. Review is going to be posted a little more than a week from now on April 24th.

Until then please enjoy this post from Nathan! I do not know how they do it but it sounds like they work wonderfully together!

And check out this concept art in the post below. Very steam punky and apocalyptic! Love it!

 

Guest Post

“So, who wrote what part of the book?”

The Universe Eventual science fiction series was co-written by three artists: Nathan M. Beauchamp, Rachael Tanger, and Joshua Russell. One of the most common questions we’re asked when people learn that we write as a creative team is “who wrote what?” Our readers have a keen interest in learning which character “belongs” to which author. They assume that one of us must have written Theo (our male protagonist) one Selena (our female protagonist) and still another Marcus (our male antagonist). They often assume that Rachael, the sole female member of our three-person team, must have written Selena, logically pairing a female writer with a female character. Most people envision us working in our individual creative space, hammering out our bit of the story, and then Frankensteining the whole thing together at the very end.

Chimera v2

Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, Josh, Rachael, and I (Nathan) write all of the characters. They’re joint-property, the product of our combined imagination. While some of us write a certain character more often than another, we have a sort of joint custody of Theo, Selena, and Marcus, as well as our secondary characters. We’ve all contributed to their development, shaped their voices, personas, attributes, loves, hates, and hopes. They’re real to us, and when we’re in the midst of the creative process, we talk about them as if they’re living, breathing people. Because to us, they are.

Another common question is “how do you keep the tone and style consistent?” The short answer: lots and lots of revision. The long answer: our typical creative process looks something like this: one of use will draft a scene or a chapter. The other two will read it (or if we’re all in the same place, the writer will read it aloud to the rest of the group) and get some immediate feedback. That’s where we catch inconsistencies in plot or character, obvious oversights or omissions. Josh tends to write very spare first drafts. Mine are more ornate and textured. Rachael’s fall somewhere in between.

Once we’ve gone through that essential first read, the draft goes back to the original writer for a quick tightening down of the prose. Red penThen it gets dropped into the “master document” in chronological, chapter order. After the first draft is complete, we do a complete read-through of the entire novel and markup our drafts with angry red pens. Most of those notes are structural in nature. We further revise based on those markups. For CHIMERA, we made 80% of the corrections together, hunched around a computer screen. Those were some intense, nerdy hours! Talk about bonding.

Once the final draft is complete, we ship it off to our editor. When it comes back with more markups (hopefully fewer with each book!) we read through the editor’s comments as a team and decide how to address any higher-level story edits we might need to make. I implement the bulk of those changes, with Rachael and Josh sweeping along behind him to catch anything I miss. Once we’re satisfied with the results, we do another read through and make more markups with our Red Pens of Doom.

The last step is implementing those line-level changes into the master document. Then the draft goes off to the copyeditor to find the stuff we’ve gone blind to after reading our own words for the twentieth time—you’d be amazed at the travesties against the English language we can overlook after going bleary-eyed reading a draft at two A.M. in the morning!

E.B. White said, “The best writing is rewriting.” While our writing is far from perfect, by the time we get to a final draft, each of us has read the manuscript at least ten times. It’s also gone past our editor at least once, our copyeditor at least once, and through a handful of our dedicated beta readers. That’s why the idea of “who wrote what” is so hard to answer.

We wrote it all. Together.

Art of Yongs September 2012 - Mozilla Firefox_2012-10-23_21-32-47

In terms of macro story dynamics and “big picture” plot, Josh leads the way. His experience in writing scripts and breaking down film makes him an excellent 20,000 foot view guy. In terms of the style of the prose, Nathan does most of the final edits for consistency. In terms of dialogue and character voice, Rachael has the steadiest hand and highest attention to detail. We work as a team because it allows us all to do what we love best—to take on the part of crafting story that fills us with passion.

We could all write books by ourselves (and some of us have). We’ve chosen to work as a team, to learn from what TV writer’s rooms and comedy writers have known for a long time: that though writing is often described as a solitary act, nothing beats the creative intensity and synergy of working as part of a team. We may be breaking the mold for the way most fiction books are written, but we’re having a wonderful time doing it. Nothing beats storytelling when you’ve got flow. Nothing beats the rush of making story happen.

We hope our books bear this out.

Is it possible for each of us to pick apart CHIMERA and play tug-of-war over a sentence here and an idea there? Well, I suppose so. We could point to clauses, phrases, ideas, sometimes even sequences, that had minimal changes from the original draft, but the vast majority of the book is an amalgamation of authorship, beginning with the raw materials of character and plot and ending with the patina of style, tone and voice.

We all brought CHIMERA into the world, and it isn’t about whose fingerprints are on which part of it. Our hope is that the book reads as a seamless, cohesive whole. That you fall into the book and stay lost in it until the last chapter, paragraph, sentence. We wrote CHIMERA for you, and your experience is far more important to us than what role each of us played in the book’s creation.

our experience is far more important to us than what role each of us played in the book’s creation.

Josh_Rachael_Nathan

Woot! It sounds like they are a wonderful team!

I am a pretty solo person so I cannot imagine that this scenario would NOT blow up in my face! And on a side note, I think we are all scared of the evil red pen! Love that pin though! Found that baby on Zazzle!

Do you guys ever team up with someone to do something?

 

The Author

About N. J. Tanger

N.J. TANGER – THE TEAM

Nathan Beauchamp is a gifted science-fiction writer and successful businessman with a background in finance. He has multiple short stories in publication and is the brains behind the nuts-and-bolts business strategy of the Universe Eventual book series.

Joshua Russell is a screenwriter and filmmaker by trade. One of the highest ranked instructors at DePaul University where he teaches story craft, Josh is a story structure enthusiast and provides the comic relief, which is ever-so-necessary for a team of ambitious artists.

Rachael Tanger is a world-traveler, entrepreneur, and fiction junkie. She has a rich background in online advertising and marketing, as well as web and graphic design. She has a profound dedication to the crossroads of art and technology.

 

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