Monday, September 9, 2013

Writing a Collaboration

One of the books I'm working on is a collaboration. This is weird to me, because it wasn't long ago that I didn't think I would ever want to do a collaboration.
"It's too complicated."
"It would be too hard."
Those were some of the excuses I used when writing this way was not attractive to me. But something changed and when I was asked about considering a collab I realized I really wanted to try it.
And I'm so glad I did!
I've found a collab to not only be FUN - but beneficial as well. Here's why:
  • I learn from my partner! We all have room to learn and grow in our writing and this is a great way to do it.
  • I have fun brainstorming with my partner. It expands my thinking and plotting skills.
  • It's great to bounce ideas off one another and see how they morph into something more fantabulous than either came up with on their own.
  • Good practice for teamwork
  • It keeps me going. My partner keeps me motivated and moving at a good pace
A few things you need to consider before jumping into a collab:
  • Know the person. Make sure you've read some of their work and you're comfortable with their writing style.
  • This is a commitment to someone else - not just yourself. Be prepared to work and contribute.
  •  "Be comfortable enough to give and take criticism. You don't want to be worried about hurt feelings during revisions." - Rachel Shieffelbein
  • "Be open to suggestions and change. Speak up when you know things aren't working. Have fun. Treat your collab partner as a friend AND a business partner. Know each others schedules. Know each other's limits concerning content and language. Know each others end goal for the project. Write bios for your characters. Be willing to let the collaboration partner edit and write some of your chapters and do the same for them. It's ONE book written by two people...not two books written by two people. So listen, be open to change. Speak up, and be nice and kind in your workings. Write notes along the way. Make jokes, talk about your characters as if they are real, appreciate that you're sharing a passion of yours with someone else. Feed off your partner's strengths. Recognize your weaknesses. And have fun. Have fun. Have fun!" - Cassie Mae
I think that about sums it up. I've found that I love working on a collab and I hope to do more of them. 

Have you ever written a collaboration? What was your experience? What are your thoughts on writing a collab? Anybody hesitant like I once was?

21 comments:

Donna K. Weaver said...

Not yet, though I'm going to be part of a series by six authors that is connected.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

My husband and I joke that if we wrote something together, we'd probably end up killing each other. :)

Nah, we really could make it work - we'd just have to find the best system for us.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've never written a book with anyone although I might be willing to try. That's cool you had such a good experience on your first try.

Kyra Lennon said...

I've written half a collaboration in the past, but I would LOVE to do another with someone. I have several people in mind lol!

Suzi said...

Never done it, but it would probably be fun. Maybe someday.

ilima said...

Sounds fun. I'm so controlling over my stories, idk how I'd be with a collab. Maybe someday...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome that you're enjoying it. I also admire people who do that and make their books sound like one person wrote them.

Morgan said...

I think I would have to be matched with just the right person... I've seen successful collabs work, and also ones that haven't! So I'm hesitant, but I'd try it if I felt good about it. :)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I've never collaborated with anyone on anything, but if anyone can do it, it's you!

S.P. Bowers said...

The only person I would really consider collaborating with is my husband. He has some great ideas and can write pretty well too.

Jessie Humphries said...

I have all those excuses and more why I'd never do a collab...but never say never, right?

Julia Hones said...

It's great that you are working in harmony with somebody. It must be an interesting, enriching experience.
No, I've never done this. I can't imagine myself doing it...

Julia Hones said...

It's great that you are working in harmony with somebody. It must be an interesting, enriching experience.
No, I've never done this. I can't imagine myself doing it...

Sheena-kay Graham said...

From when I first found out about colabs I wanted to do one. It just seems so fun despite the challenges.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

I tried it once years ago. The book never got finished, so I think it wasn't a good idea for me. But many have done well! Good luck to you.

Cassie Mae said...

Who is this collaboration partner you speak of? She sounds brilliant. And sexy and amazing and all around gorgeous! ;)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Great post, Leigh! Can't wait to read the collab you're working on! :)

Kelley Lynn said...

I can't wait to read your collab!!!

I'm amazed that so many people are hesitant, but then I guess I can understand that as well. There's the insecurities and the need to control the work that so many of us deal with.

But as long as you go into it knowing that first and foremost its FUN, I think everyone would realize how beneficial it is to one's writing.

Great post Leigh!

Jenny S. Morris said...

Great post! I'm on my third collab partner and I love it. Don't forget you promised we'd try it some day... :)

Deirdre said...

Such great points! New reader/follower- Cheers :)

Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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