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Jazzy Waltz
07-28-2011, 07:01 AM
I was reading an article on collaborating with authors when writing novels and it got me interested in the idea of actually doing this. I think that it would be a good learning experience and you also have the added bonus of instant feedback instead of having to 'put yourself out there' for other writers to view your work.


The article is here if you want to read up on it for info on how to collaborate: http://menwithpens.ca/fiction-writing-collaborating-and-co-authoring/

(http://menwithpens.ca/fiction-writing-collaborating-and-co-authoring/)
Has anyone ever done this before? Is anyone interested in doing it now? http://www.scribophile.com/images/emoticons/smile.gif

quicklime
07-28-2011, 07:23 AM
Jazzy,


collaboration is a two-way street; what do you bring to the table? what do you expect in return? in what genre? Have you thought about how much another author could fuck things up as well as possibly help? Both are equally possible.

I'm not dissing, but I could count on one hand the folks here I know enough about and feel "compatible enough" to even CONSIDER collaborating with, but you should consider all of the above. Not saying collaborations are bad, just that they can be....messy. There are a lot of things to consider besides "fuck, I play this right, I might get on a book cover with Stephen King" or whatever. Check out SYW or beta a bit to see some of the issues I'm bringing up......collaborations are closer to marriage than a one-nighter, in terms of needing to be compatible.

Good luck either way, and welcome to AW,
Quick

Evonus
07-28-2011, 07:35 AM
I've tried to co-author with people, and have also tried to swap manuscripts with people for the purposes of review.

My experience with it would lead me to say: don't do it. Generally, one person is a lot more serious about it than another. I didn't even run into the problem of differing ideas on what to do, because my co-author flaked on me pretty early.

So yeah, I'm not trying to ruin your hopes and dreams, but I think that you'd probably have a much easier time working alone. Collaboration on writing is nothing but a pain.

Jazzy Waltz
07-28-2011, 07:52 AM
Jazzy,


collaboration is a two-way street; what do you bring to the table? what do you expect in return? in what genre? Have you thought about how much another author could fuck things up as well as possibly help? Both are equally possible.

I'm not dissing, but I could count on one hand the folks here I know enough about and feel "compatible enough" to even CONSIDER collaborating with, but you should consider all of the above. Not saying collaborations are bad, just that they can be....messy. There are a lot of things to consider besides "fuck, I play this right, I might get on a book cover with Stephen King" or whatever. Check out SYW or beta a bit to see some of the issues I'm bringing up......collaborations are closer to marriage than a one-nighter, in terms of needing to be compatible.

Good luck either way, and welcome to AW,
Quick

You make good points-- guess I can't really expect the first person who pops out of thin air to be a good match. But really I just want to do it more as a learning experience than anything else. I'm not expecting to land a book deal off it or anything.

Snitchcat
07-28-2011, 08:44 AM
If you really want to try for the experience, have you considered setting up a limited environ for a text-based role-play game (RPG)? For example, you write a scene or a chapter, and your RPG partner writes the next; then you alternate.

That's possibly a more fun way than a serious collaboration. which takes a bit more work to set up.

Have fun and good luck!

Jazzy Waltz
07-28-2011, 08:54 AM
If you really want to try for the experience, have you considered setting up a limited environ for a text-based role-play game (RPG)? For example, you write a scene or a chapter, and your RPG partner writes the next; then you alternate.

That's possibly a more fun way than a serious collaboration. which takes a bit more work to set up.

Have fun and good luck!

That's a good idea. I am a member of a RPG on another site, but the problem is that there is a lag of at least a week or two between posts and it kind of drags as a result. I guess it still comes down to finding someone who's willing to do something like that.

Katallina
07-28-2011, 09:55 AM
I use to write tons of RP back around 2003 - 2004. Been quite a while, though. I'm knee deep in edits on my first book right now, but I thought I would echo the sentiment that RP is a great way to practice writing.

As for collaboration... Not sure what I would think, honestly. My boyfriend has an idea for a book that he has wanted to write his entire life and he wants to enlist my help with it. Even that feels a bit daunting. If I'm that cautious with someone I've known for roughly five years, it would take a lot for me to feel okay working on a project -- sharing characters would be the hardest part for me -- without feeling very confident about what I was getting into.

Either way I wish you the best of luck. I can certainly understand how writing can feel solitary. That's why I came here, actually. But sharing ideas and thoughts on a forum and actually sharing a book with somebody are two very different things. I certainly won't say I'd "never" do it, but I'd have to really think it was a good idea.

Theo81
07-28-2011, 02:31 PM
Maybe you could seek out somebody in the fan fiction writing community.

I think that around here, many people would be in a similar situation to myself where we struggle to find the time to write our own work, let alone to enter into a collaboration. Anybody doing Write One/Sub One or riding the Query-Go-Round is certainly not going to be able to, even if they were inclined to invest time in something which is an experiment rather than a drive to something publishable.

If you can find a fan fiction buddy, you both know up front that you aren't going to be doing anything with it other than posting it for others' to enjoy and you'll both have a ready made set of characters so you can get straight on with writing the story.

Linda Adams
07-28-2011, 02:35 PM
I've done coauthoring. I wouldn't do it again. Now I know a whole lot more about my writing process, and I'm pretty incompatible with other writers solely based on that.

It may be fun to cowrite. You might get feedback. You might have someone who bolsters your weaknesses.

But.

It's also a business relationship. And it has a project which will have a whole lot of work accompanying. You need to look past the fun aspects of it and make sure you are protected. What if the relationship blows up and you have to walk away from a completed manuscript in submission to agents? Don't dismiss that and say it will never happen, because that is, unfortunately, what I had to do.

At the very least, do make sure you have a finished solo project going in, and also have one on the plate.

Buffysquirrel
07-28-2011, 02:59 PM
Some years ago a friend and I wrote a story in email, turn and turn about. I think it started with some idea of a plot, but rapidly became an exercise in getting the protagonist into as tricky a situation as possible then leaving it to the writing partner to get them out of it. Fun, but probably only for us!

NeuroFizz
07-28-2011, 03:44 PM
My immediate thought is that co-authoring will work best if the authors are equally adept in the writing craft and their respective writing strengths blend well to produce at least a complimentary product, and at best a gestalt collaboration.

If you (the OP) are looking for a mentor-based learning experience, the weight of the writing and editing will likely fall on the mentor, which is not a true collaboration, and it likely isn't a reciprocal co-authoring situation.

havefaith22
07-28-2011, 06:07 PM
Like Linda, I've also co-authored. It ended the same way, but only because my partner tried co-authoring 2 projects at once. It didn't work and I was ultimately dropped over the other, with 2 manuscripts left sitting in the dust and a year's worth of effort wasted.

I think you need to have a contract in place in advance so this doesn't happen. Make an agreement to either split the manuscripts or let the one left holding the bag keep them since they weren't the one who wanted out.

My best advice, however, is to beta read for the person you have in mind first, and vice versa. Get a feel for their writing style, the time they put into their project, and their strengths and weaknesses. Also, make sure you're compatible personality-wise. My co-author and I were perfect for each other in every way, or so I thought. Apparently, she wasn't too keen on the genre we were writing, but never said anything to me! Just be careful and plan ahead! :) It's better to go into it slowly with someone you've spent some time getting to know, than jumping in with whoever raises their hand.

I do love co-authoring though, and would do it again in a heartbeat...just with the right person. :)

Linda Adams
07-29-2011, 01:12 AM
My immediate thought is that co-authoring will work best if the authors are equally adept in the writing craft and their respective writing strengths blend well to produce at least a complimentary product, and at best a gestalt collaboration.

If you (the OP) are looking for a mentor-based learning experience, the weight of the writing and editing will likely fall on the mentor, which is not a true collaboration, and it likely isn't a reciprocal co-authoring situation.

That is likely one of the contributing reasons mine started to fall apart. I started out a more experienced writer, and when I learned new things, it was by great leaps, so the imbalance got worse.

Marian Perera
07-29-2011, 01:52 AM
I'm collaborating with a friend on an ongoing fanfic (34 chapters so far) and it's been a lot of fun. My coauthor is smart, in touch with the characters, amusing and willing to do whatever research is necessary to make the story realistic.

BUT.

There's a lot I learned in the process and things I would do differently if I were to start this all over again.

Another issue, which is more or less out of our control, is that my coauthor suffers from clinical depression. We took a hiatus from the fic partly so she could deal with that. Now she's on meds which don't seem to be working, and she's struggling to complete one of her chapters so we can make the end-of-hiatus deadline. I could pick up the slack, but I did the last three chapters and probably made her feel kind of useless, which she didn't need on top of the depression.

Were we trying to make a deadline for a publisher, this situation would be even worse. Have a plan for what the two of you will do if that ever happens.

geagar
07-29-2011, 11:18 PM
I once wrote a published author about colaborating, I would provide the great ideas and she would provide the name. This did not go over very well.

I had a friend in Pa that colaborated with a guy in ca on a play it seemed to work pretty good. She had a fairly accomidating personality.

Colaborating is alittle like doing buisness with your family, usually someone expects to get a discount.

That said I would be interested, you can go to my short story blog and see what I am about.