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The Hands (Redemption Reef, #1)

The Hands (Redemption Reef, #1) - A.B. Gayle, Andrea Speed,  J.J. Levesque,  Jessie Blackwood,  Katisha Moreish Writing an online soap isn't easy. Especially when the writers are located in different corners of the planet. In our case, Jessie and Katisha are both Poms (living in Britain for those who don't know the affectionate term we Aussies use!). JJ lives on the east coast of the US and Andy Speed lives on the west.So what, you say! Well, the problem is that when we write, we write our own characters as role play: in the same document, at the same time, using the wonders of Google docs. For those not familiar with the application, this allows you to do all that (and chat at the same time in a sidebox). Hence we can talk about what we write as we write, and even have others going along correcting typos before you even finish the sentence! Nifty, eh?! However, thanks to time zones, if we are all on line together (it has happened) one of us is usually trying hard to keep their eyes open in the middle of the night.When Remmy Duchene sent out an invite for people to join the project, I jumped at the chance. I'd heard from Aleks Voinov about online collaboration and actually had helped edit Special Forces: Soldiers Part I -Director's Cut which was done that way, so I wanted to see what it was like for myself. I also wanted to write something with multiple POVs as I'd only written single and dual POV until then.The whole concept of the soap was for our characters to interact with each other, keeping solo scenes to a minimum. So while we could have more than one character, or brought in minor (non POV) characters, the idea was to write as much as we could with others.When we started writing, we had no idea what was coming. We knew who our characters were, but had no idea how they would interact with the other characters. There were some rules, eg no sex with yourself! In other words, to write a full on sex scene we had to do it as a collaboration. That meant deciding who would get together with who. Not easy given the characters' different backgrounds.We also had no idea of a plot when we started. So this is a form of PWP (in our case: Plot what plot?) We weren't allowed to dictate or plan what was going to happen, we had to let it evolve naturally. Andy's character, Flynn Archer, being the rebel he is, was bound to be involved in something messy, but involving the other characters just sort of "happened". (I think Flynn is still bemused with wondering how and why).Before starting, I didn't know any of the other authors, but the five of us soon became friends (and still are). As the soap progressed, we found we worked really well together. It may have just been time zones, personalities whatever, so when the soap "split up" because it had become unwieldy, we were really disappointed because we had so much fun writing together. BTW For anyone who doesn't know her, Andrea Speed is as much a hoot as her characters are. When she gets going, the chat can become quite bizarre, going off on the weirdest tangents. But, hey! That's half the fun!!Thankfully, by the time Remmy called it a day, we were in the middle of a 5 person episode tidying up all the loose ends of the mystery involving Aiden, Flynn and his nemesis, Henry Vale. For posterity, and because it actually makes a decent read, we compiled all the episodes that either introduced our characters or revolved around that storyline. Hence "The Hands".Because we all had such a great time (and learnt a lot about writing in the process) we decided to do what all good soaps do, "Spin Off" our characters into another soap. Smaller this time and hence more manageable. Thus was born "Redemption Reef: Second Chances" But, hey, that's another story! Redemption Reef