Collaboration – How to Play Nice.

images-2The writing market is full of different style of jobs or positions for writers. Not only fiction authors, but non-fiction, technical writing, reviews, freelance articles, journalism, and a whole myriad of others.

However, most people think of writing – any form of it – as a sole creative endeavor.

It isn’t always.

In many cases, writing is often collaborative. What this means is multiple people/authors/editors work on one project at a single time.

For example, Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett collaborated together on a book entitled Good Omens.

If you haven’t read it and enjoy funny books about the end of the world, or similar stories in the vein of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it’s fantastic and well worth the read.

The point I want to make is this: sometimes authors, especially those of us starting out, learn much more by working with others around us. Teaming up with another writer to build a world or flesh out a plot line is a great introduction to the advanced nuances in novel building.

In some writing circles, in my case: Technical Writing, just about every white paper crosses the desk of two other writers before it goes to an editor. This adds not only the voices of multiple writers and viewpoints from different eyes, it also shows that no matter how perfect one thinks a sentence or a simple paragraph is, there is always a way to improve or perfect the subject by having someone else interject questions about the topic.

I’m not saying go out and ask Neil Gaiman or Terry Prachett to write a book with you, although if you have a great pitch for them, be my guest and let me know how it works out, but what I am suggesting is to open the field of “solo author” into the broader spectrum of “group dynamics.”

Even with a project like a short story, if you wish to start small to feel how a group project works, it’s amazing how the continuity of bouncing ideas off someone, and the teamwork of having another brain in the room with the same mindset of how the world works to design a story, helps keep those annoying voices at bay. You know the voices I’m talking about…

Give it a shot, it may surprise you.

-Chris

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