Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

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wilderness
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Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

Post by wilderness » March 24th, 2010, 4:23 pm

Question: anyone who has ever co-written a project, what is the process? How do you resolve differences in your artistic vision? How do you edit each other's work? Who gets the final say? How do you keep one voice, so that the writing doesn't feel disjointed? How do you maintain peace and sanity?

I've started co-writing a project but I feel like I'm in a tandem kayak and we're steering in different directions!


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wilderness
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Re: Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

Post by wilderness » March 24th, 2010, 10:00 pm

Thanks for digging up that link, Nathan! Sounds like Anne had a good system going (and some great insights on what it takes). I'll definitely share it with my writing partner.

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gonzo2802
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Re: Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

Post by gonzo2802 » March 25th, 2010, 11:02 pm

If that link fails, I think you should knock your partner up alongside the head with your oar, and before he/she comes to leave them on the shore. Whatever you do, don't try to split the kayak in half ... it never works anymore that way. (As you can see, I really didn't have any valuable advice. This was just the after effects of a pre-bedtime Starbucks run.)

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wilderness
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Re: Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

Post by wilderness » March 26th, 2010, 4:55 pm

LOL. I like the way you think. Thanks for a chuckle! (And a pre-bedtime Starbucks run? You crazy kids.)

kenpochick
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Re: Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

Post by kenpochick » March 28th, 2010, 8:03 am

I was doing that with a good friend. We say we'll get back to it so who knows. Our problem wasn't the different directions so much as she yielded to all of my ideas so it was "and then what happens?" A lot. I started getting a little irritated and I certainly don't want it to ruin the friendship. However, I came up with an idea for a kids book and the world, the name, the plot was all my idea. She thought we'd write it together but I wrote it myself. She seems a little annoyed but I don't want to give away everything.

Good luck with your situation.

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Mira
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Re: Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

Post by Mira » March 30th, 2010, 3:07 pm

I've often thought it would be really fun to have a co-author. Challenging, but fun. My writing 'voice' works well in dialogue, so I can see some advantages for my personal style as a writer, too.

I've also thought it might be fun to have a group project - a bunch of co-authors.

But I think these types of projects are a huge commitment and again, challenging. I would guess that you would need one of the following:

a. People who are VERY compatible, able to negotiate and compromise.

b. People who hold the project lightly, so compromise isn't difficult, or

c. An acknowledged decision maker.

Either way, it sounds fun.

Best of luck with your project! :)

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a_r_williams
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Re: Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

Post by a_r_williams » March 30th, 2010, 3:23 pm

Writing Excuses has a good podcast on the topic.

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RobPeach
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Re: Co-writing and the pitfalls thereof

Post by RobPeach » April 5th, 2010, 10:43 am

My best co-author has been my Love. She reads everything I write, should I ask, and gives honest opinion in return. "Perhaps you could have said it like this", or, "maybe it would be better to show it differently." Having two brains, and from different gender, has led me to rethink many approaches to the style and storyline of my writing. I have found this to be a valuable resource to audience targeting, as my brain really only does work one-sided.

Many writers need to be alone and cannot do this thing with a partner. The conflict alone is enough to produce its own novel storyline. This is why I do the writing. Indeed, it is my talent and hers is the love of reading literature and to try separating yourself from what you do best is the true pitfall.
"Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours." Illusions -- Richard Bach

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