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    Co-writing leads to a lot of arguments and story elements that one of the writers might not want.

    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2009 edited

    To quote Holly Lisle:

    Here’s an idea. The hero is a guy who wakes up one morning to discover that his wife is gone and there’s this little doll lying on her side of the bed. No note, no nothing — just the doll. No sign of a break in, no sign of anything missing except his wife, no sign of violence. He’s scared, he can’t figure out what has happened . . . and I’m not sure what happens after that.

    You take that idea, and spend nine months or a year or whatever working it into a finished novel, and sell it, and when you’re done, credit me with coauthor status because I came up with the idea and send me half of your advance and half of your royalties from now until the end of time. Also half of all subrights sales.

    Enough of a ‘pitfall’ for me, thanks.


    For something like fan-fiction where you’d be using a third party’s materials, I could see co-writing being feasible because neither co-writer could claim to have more “ownership”(for lack of a better word) over said materials.

    Writing original fiction with someone else seems impossible, at least for me. I’m far too possessive of my own characters to entrust them to someone else. You’d have to really, really respect your co-author’s abilities, to the point of conceding that they exceed your own. Even then, it doesn’t seem very tolerable to me.


    Honestly, I despise co writing. When it comes to writing, I dislike having to compromise, and I don’t enjoy being nagged about an idea. Writing is just something I prefer to do on my own. However, reviews, critiques and criticisms are greatly appreciated. I can also accept it if someone sparks an idea, but writing with someone else… Even if I really like them… It just never turns out as good as I had planned.

    • CommentAuthorlawzard
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2009

    I used to co-write a fair amount of original fiction with a friend, and it was fun at the time. It probably helped that we wrote in a shared universe, and that we mostly wrote from our own characters’ perspectives. That being said, I don’t think I’d like co-writing now. It’s frustrating when your partner messes up your characters or reroutes the plot in a direction you don’t want it to go.


    I know that Patricia C. Wrede and another author wrote two novels (Sorcery and Cecilia and The Grand Tour) in the form of letters, with one author being one character writing to the other author who writes for the other one.

    Anyway, I like to fly solo on writing. I’m incredibly secretive and insecure about what I write, and I’m also very picky about potential story lines. For example, I’m very good friends with this girl, so we review each other’s writing, but I can’t bear to tell her that I’m bored with most of her ideas.


    Writing is just something I prefer to do on my own. However, reviews, critiques and criticisms are greatly appreciated.

    Ditto to that. I don’t trust other people to do it things the right way. Brainstorming with another person would make me uncomfortable too because I would be self-concious of coming up with something stupid. If it’s stupid, I will figure it out quickly, but I don’t need other people knowing that I had this idiotic idea that I thought was really good at one time. Mostly, I’d be afraid that they’d screw it up. I’ve always hated group work, and this would be that multiplied by a thousand.


    I’ve always hated group work, and this would be that multiplied by a thousand.

    Yes, exactly.

    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2009
    If you've ever read any alternate history by Eric Flint, he says he likes to co-write a lot, simply because for that type of novel you can lose a lot of real life spontaneity. A single author tends to somewhat get into a rut of setting history up like he wants to, not because it would be logical.
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2009
    I have considered cowriting but I dunno, there seems to be little interest from anyone I know. A graphic novel with a friend of mine may work but he rarely commits to things.

    When I was ten or so, I was going to have my friend illustrate a book that was going to write. She wasn’t that great of an artist really, but we were ten.

    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2009

    I could never co-write. I know a couple of people who co-wrote a story and it turned out brilliantly, but that’s only because they are extremely good writers, close friends, and very mature. I don’t think I’m any of those three, at least not regarding anyone in particular! It just seems too difficult to collaborate on a world or characters.


    I cowrote a story with a friend of mine. He doesn’t write any more, but it involved fridges taking over the world and both us and our families turning out to have superpowers to defeat the fridge.

    Crazy stories are most fun when co-written.

    Emill, where are you? She had a couple of great points for the thread but I can’t remember what they were.


    Steph, were you in fact ‘Rebecca’ here?


    No. I would never say ‘a**hole’.

    Plus, I would have introduced vampires a lot sooner.


    Well I had assumed some things were changed to hide your identity.

    Now that guy and girl cowriting a vampire story… THAT would have been awesome.

    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2010

    I think you’d have to agree on an outline first. I’m the type who hates group work, but I think cowriting, in the abstract at least, would be good for me. It would be harder for me to reformat and develop ideas, but working with another person would at least keep me focused. Considering how unproductive I usually am, there’s no way to go but up.


    My best friend and I have co-written a few stories….most of them were rubbish, but we worked well together, and now we’ve gotten to the point where we can literally complete each other’s sentences (and say things in unison), so writing stories with her is easier. But she would always want to keep them shorter, and I’d actually make an effort with charactarization, so it was easer to tell who wrote what.

    Now, though, we can write together smoothly. Though it’s been awhile.

    • CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2010 edited

    See, I think co-writing could be fun if it wasn’t serious. More like when we get ideas here “ooh, wouldn’t it be awesome if Edward turned out to be a psycho who preyed on girls at every high school he attended, and Bella was only his latest victim?”

    And then someone might agree, and then we’d shoot ideas back and forth.

    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2010
    I would like to try co-writing something sometime, with one of my good friends. In fact, we've discussed co-writing something, although it's never moved past the discussion stage. I'm pretty sure that I would hate it, though. I tend to have specific ideas on where a story should go or how a character arc needs to play out, and I'm not very democratic about it. Then again, she adores world-building and coming up with extensive backstories for characters, and I adore writing fast-moving plots and dialogue. So it could happen.

    My writing group did a "write a chapter and pass it on" round-table novel last year, as a warm-up for National Novel Writing Month. It was an interesting exercise, especially watching very diverse writing styles attempt to tackle characters that weren't the author's typical cup of tea. And there was a fair amount of bastardization going on. But I wasn't impressed with the final result.
    • CommentAuthorNo One
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    Believe it or not, I’m currently co-writing with that girl. Nice, eh?

    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    A friend of mine and I tried co-writing at the beginning of the school year. It was ok, at first, but it just sort of fell apart after that. One of the big problems for us was that we both write very differently. While I'm rather descriptive, and not very good at doing "action" sequences (even simple ones), she wrote simply and quickly. This isn't to say she was a bad writer– she was very good. But our writing styles were just too different for us to collaborate. Things really started to fail when we would both get writer's block. Ugh.
    I wouldn't say writing together is bad, but professionally, it could be a bit tough. But doing it for fun, as some of you have said, is fine. Pretty enjoyable. It's also a good way of learning about critiquing your own work, and finding it's flaws that can be fixed. A second opinion is most always a good thing.
    • CommentAuthorNo One
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    Well, that girl and my style of writing isn’t all that different and we’re very flexible. Plus, I’m more of an editor that comes up with good idea to follow through and that girl is the type to write and write and write and always comes up with BRILLIANT ideas.

    Unless she has a different opinion, I’m inclined to stick with that description.

    Is it actually possible to combine sci-fi and fantasy?


    Yes, though I can’t think of a specific example right now.


    I think Artemis Fowl is a pretty good example of Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010
    The Pendragon series sort of is, too. There's something else in the back of my mind as well, but I can't seem to remember what it is :/ I'll have to think about that.

    The Dragonriders of Pern series is fantasy with a sci-fi backstory.

    • CommentAuthorNo One
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2010

    Oh good! Thanks guys.

    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2010

    And Hawkmistress! claims to be this.

    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2010

    And Hawkmistress! claims to be this.


    • CommentAuthorNo One
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2010

    .... Ah. That awful book is actually sci-fi/fantasy? I can’t recall seeing any sci-fi parts.

    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2010

    There’s a region that’s supposed to have been irradiated by the evil king. I think it’s implied that he used nuclear technology, though I’m not sure.

    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2010

    If you dare to read the backstory you’ll see.


    Oh, and don’t forget Bitterwood.


    If I had someone with witch to co-write, I might consider on a trial basis, but I don’t anyone who writes IRL, at least not seriously.

    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2010 edited

    .... Ah. That awful book is actually sci-fi/fantasy? I can’t recall seeing any sci-fi parts.

    It’s more a random “oh hey guys this is actually another planet!” than a true sci-fi theme, along with the part Moldorm mentioned.

    I’d cowrite simply because I have the problem of “big plots, little actual writing” and with someone helping me out when I have issues expressing my ideas it would be kind of nice.

    • CommentAuthorNo One
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2010

    Oh I see. Must find Hawkmistress in the library to read the blurb.


    I did not like Pern one bit.