Version Control in Writing

Summer Hanford and I work together, but in a way, we work separately. We don’t work in the same room or even in the same state. Most of our discussions are by email. We’ve only physically met twice, and the first meeting was after we started working together and long after we became friends.

When many people work on a software program, which is normal in the business world, there must be some way of seeing that it all fits together at the end. Version control in computer programs is more important than in writing. There are even software programs to help. Wikipedia lists 38 of them. A program with many authors who do not coordinate properly will be very unlikely to do what it is supposed to do. It may not even run.

A book can be written by two writers who do not use any version control, but it may not make sense. If I foreshadow something in chapter two and Summer decides to eliminate it in chapter ten, the work will not be as coherent. To get to the ridiculous, if one of us decides to change the name of a character, that name change must take place everywhere in the book. We changed the name of a character in The Widow Elizabeth. It happens.

Summer and I use a very simple system. Only one of us can edit a particular story. Right now, she has Hypothetically Married. That, by the way, is probably the final title of our next publication. In Hypothetically Married, Elizabeth and Darcy frequently have hypothetical discussions, which often lead to somebody getting married, which explains the title.

Summer hasn’t, as I write this, started working on Hypothetically Married. She is writing another Regency Romance, the sequel to The Archaeologist’s Daughter, in Scarsdale Publishing’s Under the Shadow of the Marquess Series. Nevertheless, I should not, by our method of working, make any changes to Hypothetically Married without first telling her.

I have my version of The Long Road to Longbourn almost finished. The title refers to Elizabeth who is with Darcy, trying to get home with no money. Wickham is with them as well, which makes it not as romantic as many readers would like. If Summer had nothing to work on, I would send it to her. But I plan to sit on it for a month or two, reread it, and see how it can be improved. The title is tentative, but at least a possibility. Summer likes the title, but she hasn’t read the story. A title is never final until we have both read the story and agree on it.

Both Summer and I thus have a story that we are not currently working on. I am working on a file I have named Climb out the Window. That is not the final title. I refer to it to Summer as Climbing. The title refers to Elizabeth climbing out a window to avoid being compromised by Darcy. He was not ready to marry her at that point, but considering how he is courted by Miss Bingley for herself and Lady Catherine for her daughter, it has to be a blow to his ego for Elizabeth to go to that extreme to avoid marrying him.

Therefore, I am working on a Pride and Prejudice variation that will come out after two others, and Summer is working on her next Regency romance and will work on Hypothetically Married next. Both of us know what we can work on in our partnership. We have no problem with version control.

Finding a Co-Author

I met Summer Hanford in an online novel writing class at AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop in 2010. Every week, all the students emailed each other pages of their current novels and critiqued them in a live, online discussion. Summer and I stopped taking classes together sometime in 2013, but continued to keep in touch and seek each other’s opinions.

About a year later, I tried writing Jane Austen fan fiction. The short story, Pemberley Weddings, sold more than expected, so I wrote four more. Summer was reading my work and expressed an interest in getting into that kind of writing. I realized that Summer had skills that I lacked, so I asked her to try writing with me. It turned out better than I expected.

We have physically met only once. We talk on the phone infrequently. Most of our work is done by email and we email often.

I don’t know what makes a good co-author, but I like Summer’s writing. Her thrice born fantasy series has many interesting and likable characters. There were other writers I met at Allwriters who also wrote well, but I doubt I could work with them. Mainly, I didn’t like their characters, hence the draw of Elizabeth, Jane, Darcy and Bingley. I like to be able to see the viewpoint of the characters I write about, and I want to love my main characters. Yes, sometimes I can even relate to Mr. Wickham, and in the next story we are working on, the conclusion of our smoke and fire books, Mr. Darcy actually goes to Mr. Wickham for help. It is very near the beginning, so readers can find out about it in the sample.

We hope our readers are enjoying our partnership as much as we are.

Renata McMann

A New Editor

Renata McMann and Summer Hanford would like to introduce their new editor, Joanne Girard. It’s our belief that she will raise our work to a higher standard than ever. Mrs. Girard’s attention to detail and dedication to getting things right is exactly what our collaboration needs to keep writing the stories we love.

Mrs. Girard will be editing upcoming works and, over time, she will also make her way through our existing offerings. They will be re-released better than ever.

We’re very pleased Mrs. Girard has joined us and know she’ll be invaluable moving forward as we strive to create the best Fan Fiction we can. We appreciate all of our readers and hope this addition to our collaboration will increase their enjoyment of our work.

Look for our upcoming new releases, and for the addition of Joanne Girard as editor, identifying newly improved favorites.

Order of Publication

This is a list of Renata McMann Pride and Prejudice variations, from most current to oldest. This list is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a guide to what order these variations should be read in. As they are Pride and Prejudice variations, they are all distinct and independent stories which stand alone. Therefore, there’s no right order in which to read them.

The exception to this is the short story collection, which contains all five of the variations written by Renata alone, including: Heiress of LongbournThree Daughters MarriedThe Inconsistency of Caroline BingleyAnne de Bourgh Manages and Pemberley Weddings. Reading both the short story collection and the five individual short stories would be redundant.

Written by Renata McMann and Summer Hanford:

The Long Road to Longbourn

Hypothetically Married

The Forgiving Season

The Widow Elizabeth

Foiled Elopement

Believing in Darcy

Her Final Wish

Miss Bingley’s Christmas

Epiphany with Tea

Courting Elizabeth

The Fire at Netherfield Park

From Ashes to Heiresses

Entanglements of Honor

Pride and Prejudice Villains Revisited – Redeemed – Reimagined: A Collection of Six Short Stories

Lady Catherine Regrets

A Death at Rosings

Mary Younge

Poor Mr. Darcy

Mr. Collins’ Deception

The Scandalous Stepmother

Caroline and the Footman

The Wickham Coin Series Books 1 & 2

Elizabeth’s Plight (The Wickham Coin Series Book 2)

Georgiana’s Folly (The Wickham Coin Series, Book 1)

The Second Mrs. Darcy 

Written by Renata McMann:

Five Pride and Prejudice Variations: A collection of Short Stories

Heiress of Longbourn

Three Daughters Married

The Inconsistency of Caroline Bingley

Anne de Bourgh Manages

Pemberley Weddings

Journey Towards a Preordained Time