Scarlett and I had ourselves a rather odd turn while writing a specific passage in Same Time Tomorrow. We’ve been finishing off the wedding sequence, getting things polished off. This sort of thing gets passed back and forth between us as we go along, and we’d come to the point where the ceremony comes to an end.
Scarlett wrote a passage, and asked me what I thought of it. Of course, I loved it. It’s Chloe’s point of view during the kiss, and she started out by having Chloe thinking the exact same thing that Gabriel is thinking. Then she asked me what I thought of the Mandy reference. This is the moment that confused me. You see, one of the early moments between the characters has them interacting online, long before they meet. Chloe is most definitely a Barry Manilow fan. Gabriel is certainly not. Despite that difference, they find that they like each other anyway as they get to know each other, and the relationship grows from there.
I was confused by the question. I don’t know the song, beyond the tune and the title, so I looked at the passage, wondering if some little bit of dialogue or something else there referenced some obscure lyric of the song. In the end, that wasn’t the case. It turns out that Scarlett deleted the line before saving it, and hadn’t realized it.
This is one of those moments in collaborative writing where confusion runs both ways, and you find yourself wondering just what on earth is my partner talking about? Of course, it also makes it all the more amusing afterwards!
Have you ever had misunderstandings with a friend or colleague over something you'd written or omitted from an email? That's what happened here. I've actually lost a good friend just because she misunderstood a text message from me (sarcasm does not translate well to text messages!). I almost had a serious rift with another good friend because of a similar error in an email. Fortunately, James and I didn't come to blows—though now that I think about it, blows might have been quite nice.
The important thing in a collaboration is to ask if something your writing partner has written isn't clear.
Otherwise you’ll be running into confusion unlimited!
In this case, problem solved. We wrote in a bit of a reference involving the violinist at the ceremony… playing, of course.... Mandy.