People have this image of writing as this solitary art where a writer is locked away in an office or bedroom or within their own head for weeks or months or years trying to get their ideas down on paper. While this image isn’t exactly wrong, it isn’t always right either. Everyone needs friends; writers are no exception. Sometimes, though, what’s even more awesome is having a partner.
My friend Lani Woodland and I have recently decided to try collaborating on a new project. I have never worked with anyone on a novel and it’s especially difficult in this case because Lani and I live on opposite coasts of the country. We’ve only been working on it for a couple of days, but so far I’m enjoying the change.
With a writing partner you are guaranteed to have someone to bounce ideas off of, someone who will care whether or not you add the main character’s cousin to that one scene in chapter four, someone who won’t think you’re crazy when you start spouting off sections of dialogue to see how it rolls off your tongue. That kind of energy can help spur you forward in your writing, to get through your section so you can pass it off and see what your friend will return to you.
Of course, it’s not all good times. Conflicts can crop up in a myriad of places and unless you have a clearly defined decision-making method, you may get stalled more often than you want. More likely than not, you and your writing partner will argue over style, dialogue, characters, and even punctuation if you’re feeling particularly contentious. However, if you have enough common ground to stand on, the resulting story or novel could be something beautiful neither of you could have created alone.
How will co-writing work for me? So far, it’s fantastic! Now I just have to wait and see how the rest of the story unfolds from here.