perkstobeinginfinite asked: Who is Tobias Huisman and why did you dedicate the book to him?
Tobias was one of the first nerdfighters and was extremely active in the first forums set up around Brotherhood 2.0. He is also a very nice guy. Over the four years between my meeting him and the publication of WGWG, I watched Tobias become comfortable and open with his sexual orientation (he’s gay) and also saw the many challenges that he faced with integrity and courage. He inspired a lot of the book, so I wanted to dedicate it to him.
tesswillow asked: I was just wondering, what was the writing process like for this book?
Not sure if I’ve answered this before, but:
I wrote chapter one while David was writing chapter two. Then we met at my apartment in New York City and read our chapters out loud to each other. (Sarah was also listening.)
After the first chapters, we were convinced we could turn the thing into a book. I wrote chapter three while David wrote chapter four, and then we met to read those aloud to each other. This process continued over more than a year. We discussed plot occasionally—especially the stuff that happened with the two Wills together—and we discussed the overall shape of the novel (we wanted it to be shaped like an X), but mostly we just read to each other and then kept going.
I don’t think I actually saw David’s text until the first draft was finished. It really was a story made to be read aloud (the audiobook, incidentally, is fantastic), and although there were years of revision working to make the story cohesive, we had a hell of a lot of fun making it.
Anonymous asked: How much of yours and David's development of the two Wills was done together, and how much seperate; how much did you know about the other's character when you were developing yours?
Well, when we were doing the initial character development, neither of us knew anything, because I knew absolutely 0 about David’s Will Grayson (except for his name) while writing my first chapter, and David knew absolutely 0 about mine.
But once we read our first chapters to each other, we knew there were enough connections between WG and wg for there to be a book. The challenge was having their problems and pleasures sync up in a way that made for a single, cohesive narrative, but if there hadn’t been some points of connection thanks to pure serendipity, we could never have made it into a book.
thefaultinourfactions asked: Was co-authoring a book easier or harder than writing one on your own?
Well, it was easier because I knew exactly who I was writing for: I was writing for David. That feeling of specificity was really liberating. I just wanted to impress David and make him laugh, etc. etc.
All in all, I definitely think it was easier (I mean, David did half the work, except he really did more than half the work, because most of the major plot points fell in his chapters) than writing a book on my own.
Of course, collaborating is challenging, too, particularly during the years of revision when we were trying to mold the book into a single coherent thing.
Anonymous asked: Am I wrong to think that WGWG is less about either Will Grayson and more about Tiny Cooper?
Not really. I’ve always been interested in what happens when you give the narrative voice to the sidekick. In a way, WGWG is a novel in which two sidekicks are given narrative voices. (You don’t have to read it that way, of course, but I think you could certainly make the case that Tiny Cooper is the protagonist of the novel.)
Anonymous asked: Which one of you wrote the lyrics for the musical?
Both of us, although David wrote most of the good stuff.
nolynylon asked: The characters in the play dressed as White Sox players because they play for "the other team." Does this make you a Cubs fan? Or do even care about baseball?
I am a Cubs fan, yeah, but that particular line was just meant to reflect that the school is on the northside of town (in the near north suburbs in fact).
The north side is associated with the Cubs; the south side with the Sox.
mooncactus asked: Why wasn't Will Grayson (1) asexual? He read that way to me, (an ace), there was that comment at the beginning, and "I don't want to screw you. I just love you" is something that seriously rang with me. And hey, asexual protagonist AND a gay protagonist? Awesome. But you refer to him as straight/heterosexual Will, and I just have to ask why? Why isn't he ace? Was it too much?
He’s physically attracted to Jane from the very beginning of the book—or at least he drawn to describing her physicality more observantly than any of the other characters.
I certainly wouldn’t think it’s “too much” to have an asexual protagonist in one of my novels. I just wanted sexual love to be one of the kinds of love—but only one—that was celebrated in the book.
Thematically, I suppose this was important to me because I think both David and I wanted to normalize gay sexual encounters by equalizing them with straight sexual encounters.
But mostly I just saw Will’s reluctance to seek romantic entanglements as reflective not as asexuality but by his wrongheaded belief that pain is something avoidable/to be avoided.
Anonymous asked: I noticed multiple times in the novel that new paragraphs began with something like "andbutso," three words strung together. Was this intentional?
Yeah, it’s a reference to David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest meant to indicate that my Will Grayson is fond of that book. Also I just like it as a conjunction.