I’m taking a mini-break from my Evil, Esquire posts because I’m not 100% sure what to write about next.
So, instead, today, I’m thinking about partner writing. One of my best friends is also a writer, and a brilliant one. We recently spent a girls’ weekend together exploring the delights of Minneapolis (what? It’s middle ground between East Coast and West Coast). And, as writers, we of course talked about writing. Well, a bit. Mostly we drank.
But during the drinking, we decided to plot out an adventure novel together. Tomb Raider meets … something. We haven’t quite narrowed that down yet.
My question is, how do we make the partner writing work? I mean, do we alternate chapters? Does one person plot, the other write? Does one writer take one character or do both writers write all characters?
Does anyone have any brilliant insight on how to make this work? Bonus points for helping eliminate the conflict between a plotter and a pantser when working together.
I love the idea of writing as partners: partially the connection with another person, someone to be excited about your characters right along with you, partially because I think having another person depending on me to write is a motivation that I could really use these days, and partially just because it’ll be a fun excuse to chat more with a friend.
But, I’m also worried. I mean, what if we can’t agree on anything? What if my overabundant use of commas causes her to hate me? What if we can’t sort out a way to write that doesn’t seem disjointed, incoherent, or impossible?
Any tips, tricks, or suggestions?
Skye became the black sheep of her university’s literature department when she announced that what she really wanted to do for her senior thesis, instead of writing a thought-provoking essay on the deeper meanings of James Joyce, was to write a romance novel. They gave in, however, and the rest is history. As a result, Skye learned more than she ever thought possible about the inner workings of the publishing industry and off and on, given her schedule, pursued publication of both her senior thesis and other novels she’s written along the way.
Skye has many names and almost as many personalities to go with them. As Melinda Skye, she writes Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult. As Skye Forbes, she may (or may not) have saved the world a few times over. In her real life, under another different name, Skye is a lawyer. And yes, if you ask nicely, she might help keep you out of jail. Or put you in it. It depends on her mood.
Skye lives in California, with her husband, brand new daughter, and menagerie of animals.