Friday, July 10, 2015

The Co-Authoring Writing Process Part 1: 4 Things Writers Should Think About Before They Commit

I've recieved some awesome feedback about my co-authoring post (written long ago) about how it was the best decision I've ever made when it comes to my writing career. Seeing how I've been writing with LF since 2011, I figured I could update my experiences a bit more in this 2-part post about things to think about when you're going into a writing partnership. And then I figured I'd give you an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at our process writing The Ending Series. 

But first, here's a bit more insight into my experience co-authoring. I've included some things you should consider before you take the leap to help you in the long run. 

As I've said before, there are a lot of pros to writing a book with someone else: 
  1. You'll have awesome brainstorming sessions that provide a great way to bounce around ideas and keep your story fresh and exciting--if you're lucky, your partnership will be a good balance of creativity and practically when considering storyline, pace, arcs, etc.
  2. You have a partner in crime to share successes and "failures" with (I use "failure" loosely because if you're being a badass and following your dreams and writing a book, no matter what, you can't "fail" in the general sense of the word).
  3. There will be someone to help you make decisions, keep you on track and balance you out.
  4. Your partner will help you bear the weight and responsibility of publishing a book and all that comes with it.
  5. You have someone to share the experience with, who truly, 100% understands what you're going through and can have a real conversation with you.
High-five, Partner! We rock!

But the process of writing with someone isn't necessarily an easy one. Here are some things to consider.

The Distance. Are you and your co-author within a drivable distance together? If not, what will your partnership look like? Because in my experience, writing isn't as easy as simply deciding to write together. Nope. There's a lot more that comes with it. For instance, the things listed above aren't so easy accomplished over the phone all the time. Are you willing to take on the additional effort to make the partnership work long distance? Just like any relationship, a partnership is a commitment to someone else. What are you willing to contribute? What do you think your partner will contribute?

The Dedication. Are you both invested equally? If you're not, it will be the worst experience of your life. Luckily, when LF and I started out, we were both 100% in and committed to not only writing a series together, but establishing an actual business together.

Time = Sanity. How much time do you have to put into your project? How much time does your writing partner have? Be realistic going into your project. If you can't give it equal attention and make equal efforts, there will be tension and a potential blowout. Does one work faster than the other? You need to keep these things in mind when you're ironing out timelines and spouting off release dates so that you're not missing them or setting yourselves up for failure (there's that dratted word again) or at least insanity and more stress than writing and publishing already brings to the table.

When it comes to co-authoring, the gist is pretty simple.
  1. Do you trust them?
  2. Do you like the way they write?
  3. Do you have things in common?
  4. Are you comfortable with speaking your mind?
If you have all of those things, then I'd say you're on the right path. But no matter what--no matter how amazing your friendship is or how professional you or they are--ALWAYS draft and sign and contract. The last thing you want is to get into a situation with someone that gives them the power to change your reputation or publish something with your name on it that you didn't approve, etc. without a legally binding contract that covers your ass and gives you some leverage. Not that LF and I have gone to blows or anything, but my reputation as an author is on the line and it's not going to be someone else who ruins it. Cover your ass!
I'll post more about our writing process next week! It's already written and everything, so I can't wait to share it with you Ending Series readers. 

Happy Friday!


Twitter: @LindseyRPogue

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