Tuesday, September 6, 2011
CHALLENGES and REWARDS OF CO-AUTHORING
Well I’ve done it. I co-authored a book! It had some really great highs and some frustrating lows, but it was a great collaboration and pushed me in areas I never traveled before. After cleaning up our storage area in my basement, I ran across a short story my husband wrote for his English class back in college. Although the story was told from an adult prospective, I salivated at creating a teen character under the same premise as his short story.
I asked him if I could write a story using the basis and plot of his short story. He was elated that I wanted to. He wanted me to totally control the writing of it, but gave me key elements of the world building, characters and background of the story he wrote.
I came up with my draft outline of three books that would complete the series and the world building, character details and plot progression.
We chopped it up together and then I started to write. It took me 4 months to write this one – mostly because it took awhile for the story to flush out in my mind since the core plot wasn’t originally mine. However, *wink* once I owned it, I made major changes and fine tuned the plot to the point where he told me after he read the first draft, that I blew his mind with my changes :-D
BEST THINGS ABOUT CO-AUTHORING
It brings the best and the worst out of you. It allows you to explorer depths and ideas that you never considered before. You will have an in your face support system and motivator trying to achieve the same thing you are.
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO FOR SUCCESS
Make sure you like them.
You and your co-author should be able to easily communicate, not hold grudges and should like spending lots of time together. If you can’t do any of the above it may become a stressful partnership.
Come up with a Cohesive Idea.
Decide who does what, the main plot and how you will develop it and rules for engagement.
Outline that puppy together.
Building an outline with a clearly defined plot allows each co-author to stay on track. It is also a good way to flush out ideas.
Show me the Split.
Agree on how the split is made for the success of the project. Best case the split is 50/50 but early on is the time for making the decision on what is fair for specific effort.
No Big Heads allowed.
Be courteous and respectful with reviewing each others contribution.