July 30, 2012

A Writer's Life - Relationship status? Single.

I honestly don't think I'm cut out for a relationship with that much commitment. I might look like marriage material, but trust me, I'm not. I'm not even sure I'd want to have a short fling, then again that might actually be something worth trying out. Let's see. Man or woman? Doesn't matter. I'm open to both.

Alright, before anyone gets funny ideas about me ... I'm talking about a different kind of relationship. The kind that can drive you up the wall. Ok, this may also ring true for real relationships, but obviously this post is about something slightly different.

Co-authors.

Yep. Some authors decide to walk the stony road together. Hand in hand. Yet not down the aisle. They don't mind collaborating with one or more authors (ohhh ... orgy), seeing it as both a challenge and also inspirational with all that extra input. Maybe they just want to break out of the usual solitude we writer's experience when we create whole new worlds. Maybe they just want to, errr, experiment a little and yes, we are still talking about author relationships despite my innuendo, so get your mind out of the gutter. Anyway, where was I? Right.

The question is - why not try it out sometime?
Collaborations between authors can be fruitful. You might have too many ideas and never get them all down on paper, and a co-author might help with that. Of course this gets pretty darn close to finding yourself a ghostwriter, so the emphasis should still be on both authors doing their part in the project.
Then it may help you grow as an author as it opens up new perspectives through new or different ideas and writing processes your co-author introduces.
Doesn't sound so bad. Unless you hate when anyone else acts out a backseat writer attitude. Then you might want to just depend on your editor and the few trusty souls who're allowed to read your manuscript. It's a whole lot easier telling those where exactly to stuff their opinion than having to tell that to a co-author. See? Almost like a real marriage. Once you say yes, it's no going solo. Ever. Again.

While I don't see myself co-authoring a book anytime soon I must admit I'm not ruling it out completely. For starters I wouldn't mind contributing a short story to an anthology, but of course that's no collaboration in the strictest writerly sense. Let's call it a warming up for the main course.

Copyright by Mike Myatt

The most important things every author should be aware of when considering to bring a co-author aboard are ...

Find yourself someone compatible. Just like you would before you step to the altar.

Make a plan. This seems obvious, but you will have to organize the whole project from the initial idea to who'll be writing what straight to marketing strategies and the likes. It's all about sharing and dividing responsibilities, really.

Leave your Ego behind. If that needs explaining you should definitely not team up with another author.

Treat each other with respect and appreciation. Like I said, it's a lot like a marriage.

Doesn't sound so bad now. In theory anyway.

How about you my fellow writers? Would you ever consider co-authoring a book? Maybe you have even done so already?

And you, my dear readers, what's your take on books with more than one author? Are too many cooks really spoiling the broth?

8 comments:

  1. i've discovered the Ministry of Pecular occurrences novles written by two author and they seem very compatible and having a lot of fun together we can feell it while reading ( i love it^^)

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    1. I have only read a handful of books which had two authors and as far as I recall they were ok and it really didn't show that more than one person wrote it; I guess it does work with some authors, but most likely not all of them are cut out for it.

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  2. Whenever I see books written in collaboration, I'm like "ahhhh, so they couldn't do it on their own" :)) I really think writing is such an intimate relationship with your own self that I find it hard for two people to write together, but then maybe I am just too selfish :))

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    1. See, that's why I can't quite imagine it either. Not only is writing a book very personal, things would have to be done my way and I doubt another author would find that ok *lol*.

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  3. I would love to have a co-author... someone to rise and shine with in the morning and discuss our plans for our story over coffee. Someone to go through my 200,000 PAGES (yes, that's pages) of already written material and slice and dice with me. Basically, I need a personal assistant/ editor who I would whole-heartedly slap their name next to mine on the work that has taken me ten years to write, just so I can get the damn thing publishable already. Any takers?

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    1. Now you might think you want a co-author, but I say you should stick to a real good editor and put his/her name into the acknowledgments ... of course you might scare that poor soul off when you reveal just how much you've already written! :-D

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  4. I have been asked to co-author. I was asked by a couple of friends who are non-writers, but want to tell their stories. I was flattered and told them I'll give it some thought. I'm still thinking on it and thankfully they haven't brought it up again. I just don't know.

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    1. I guess it's a huge difference to "only" being an editor, right? BTW how are the Beagle Tales coming along?

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