The Healer and the Pirate

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Collaborative Writing - The Long Awaited Part 2

So updates on my own writing...I had a vague hope of finishing Flight from Endwood before the new year. That didn't happen, but now I'm cheering for the end of January. So I am buckling down and trying! I'd love to start a new collaborative project, too, but we'll see....

Speaking of collaboration! So a few weeks ago I said I'd share some things I heard at a panel on collaborative writing. Never mind the timeline I said I'd get that information out to you. Here it is now!

In November 2010 at the (secular) Tuscon Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror convention, there was a panel on co-authoring with Michelle M. Welch, John Vornholt, and Jeff Mariotte. Some collaborated while under contract; I'm not sure any of them necessarily wrote a novel with someone quite how we did, without even having it sold yet. (Note that these writers are not necessarily--I'd go so far as to say not likely--Christians, but that doesn't mean they don't know some good techniques.)

A couple reasons for collaboration might be to have fun with a friend, and sometimes utilize different points of expertise. Overall, as I may have already mentioned, the goal of collaboration is for the finished product to be better than you could do yourself.

Random points they offered:

*Get a detailed outline first so that you know where it's going (this is beyond important if you're collaborating with one person writing some chapters and some people writing other chapters, etc.)

*Collaboration is very good for comedy--if you find something funny, someone else may not find it funny. But if TWO people think something is funny, then maybe other people will find it funny too!

*Distance is no longer an issue in collaboration, as it comes down to words on a page. You used to have to mail floppy disks (!) back in forth, but now you can collaborate in essentially, or even literally, real-time (see Google Docs etc.).

*Collaborating can be easier with a tight deadline (I think the logic there was that with a tight deadline, you both have to work, and you won't quibble about the small stuff).

*If an argument arises between the authors, try just scrapping the scene and writing something else.

*MAKE SURE WHOEVER SENDS TO THE EDITOR SENDS THE RIGHT VERSION! (One of the panelists had been working on a collaboration and the partner who sent the final copy out sent a previous draft. Since I can see myself doing that, I thought that was a good thing to note.)

They vaguely mentioned you need to agree who gets the final draft, etc., which I already knew from reading up on collaboration before we started.

And that...was about it. I thought I had more info, but sometimes short and sweet is best!

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