‘Consequences’ started life as a Victorian Parlour game with a picture variation in France beguilingly called ‘Exquisite Corpse.’ The game was based on two or more people telling a story following a set structure. One person would write a sentence on a piece of paper and fold the paper over hiding what they had written. They would pass it to the next person who would do the same and pass it on, with a view to building up a narrative worthy of any good story – with a beginning, a middle and an end. Then, the story would be read out loud to entertain. This was before the TV came along….
Keen to bring the game back into fashion, Jennie Griffiths and I have created our own unique variation of the game, breaking the rules (but not the ethos) of the original. I wrote a paragraph, Jennie replied, and we continued the back and forth. We wrote about murderous twins, Sylvie and Betty, each of us writing the dialogue and thoughts of one of the twins and bringing in the other characters too. The resulting novel, aptly named ‘Consequences’ has twists and turns as the twins try to thwart one another on their murderous paths. In the same way that Jennie and I are different (as everyone is) the juxtaposition between Betty and Sylvie of self and other, is a key motif of the novel. Seeing what the other had written from a different perspective, sparked our mutual creativity.
We wrote the novel on the go, using our phones much of the time on our commutes to work. Jennie would email me her latest ‘reaction’ to what I had written and vice versa. we called our respective missives ‘instalments’.
We are, of course, not the first writers to collaborate and co-create. What we loved about writing together from the get go was the complete absence of writer’s block. And, the fact that we both managed to get to the point that we have a completed work, one that is being edited now. During the last few years, we have spoken to many people who have written, or half-written a book. Or people want to start one but aren’t sure where or how to start. If I hadn’t met Jennie, I don’t think I would ever have completed a novel; my unfinished book with two titles is still in a folder under the bed gathering dust.
As we came to the end of our first draft of ‘Consequences’, we started writing a second book together called ‘Swipe’ where the twins make an appearance but are not the main players. Then, Jennie had an idea for another novel, a kind of ‘watching the watcher’ novel called ‘#We’llBeTogether.’
From having a dearth of words on a page to having one completed book with an editor and two more on the go, means that we can finally call ourselves the writers we’ve always aspired to be.
Our collaboration has led us to set up Collab Writers, to help anyone who wants to write (amongst other creative pursuits) to meet others to join forces with. We know how collaborating helped us to get words on a page and we want to help get you get started, overcome writer’s block, motivate and help increase output. Collab Writers plans to be this and more – we will also be holding events and competitions to encourage writers to practice their art. Collab Writers will also publish the best works.
Anyone can play Consequences…come and join Collab Writers and give it a go…
We launched Collab Writers in the mid-winter of 2018. Our inaugural event was attended by nearly 100 people. Most played Consequences and wrote some rather brilliant one page stories through collaboration. Many had never ‘written’ stories before.
We have a series of networking events scheduled in London to continue the tradition. We also plan to run pop-ups with a mix of networking, education and creation and creative retreats.
Join us at The Library Here
Become a founder member
Could there ever be a better deal for a tenner? Founder members enjoy benefits and discounts with all of the partners we are working with.