Collaboration Writing Together without killing each otherLarry K. & Lorna Collins
Advantages:• More ideas• Greater variety• Different POV• Different voices - different characters• Fresh approaches
Disadvantages• Incompatible styles• Different goals• Different focus• Different writing standards• Unequal loads
Know Your Own Style• Formal?• Informal?• Risqué / Erotic?• Inspirational?• Lots of detail?• Short and crisp?
Know Your Own Voice• What is your rhythm?• How do you structure sentences?• How do you express emotions?• Do you use lots of adjectives / adverbs?• Do you write only complete sentences?• Do you write dialogue?
Know What You Do Well• Identify your individual strengths• Are you accurate?• Are you funny?• Are you sensitive?• Are you a researcher?• Can you edit well?
Know Your Weaknesses• What don’t you do well?• Do you have trouble spelling?• Do you make punctuation mistakes?• Do you have trouble with tenses?• Do you leave words or ideas out?• Do you put too many words in?
Choose a collaborator who …• Complements you• Shares your values, approach and work ethic• Is strong where you are weak• Is weak where you are strong• Is flexible• Knows how to compromise• You like – and who likes you!
Outline your story• Establish the overall arc of the plot before starting• Establish the personalities and arcs of the characters – even though they may change• Know the beginning and end of each chapter before writing it
Divide the work• Decide who is responsible for what part• Who will do the research?• Will you write together, simultaneously, sequentially or separately?• Will you divide up the characters?• Will you write separate chapters?
Dont fall in love with your words• Editing may require cutting – even your favorite “stuff”• “Wow” words and phrases may interrupt the flow• Your best thoughts may not be right for the current work
Learn to rewrite• Make changes together• Negotiate changes• If there is a dispute over the “best” word or sentence, learn to scrap both and come up with another choice• Edit, edit, edit
Get another opinion• Read aloud to each other so you can hear the words and the rhythm• Join a critique group• Give the work to friends to preview• Find a good editor and listen!
Know when to take a break• When discussions are at an impasse• When you are too tired• When you’re hungry• When you’re ready to murder• When your relationship is suffering• When it’s not fun
Share• Share the responsibility of getting the work done• Share the ownership of the project• Share the fun of discovery• Share the positive feedback• Share the high of publishing