Lindsay and I have a unique and amazing situation. We think alike, have similar writing styles, and the same affinity for edge. It is a seamless relationship that has worked pretty flawless for us so far. Because of this, I get a lot of questions about co-authoring and how it works. I thought I would address a few here.
The YA contemporary piece I want to write is too big of a project for me alone so I was considering taking on a co-authoring. Ahh . . .yeah . . . no! Co-authoring is not something you jump into because the scope of your manuscript is so broad you need a second brain to sort out the plot. Narrow your focus, get yourself a couple of good critique partners, plot, outline, erase threads if you have to, but don’t expect another writer to come in mid-way through and sort things out for you.
I was thinking of taking on a co-author because writing is such a lonely task for me. Co-author or not, writing is a lonely task. Your muse solely resides in your head; he’ll bug you in the middle of the night, in car pool line, on your Friday night date regardless of whether or not you have a co-author. Reach out, network with your fellow writers, join a critique group, but don’t take on a co-author just to have a writing buddy to talk to.
I think it would be fun to toss ideas around with a fellow writer, so I am in the hunt for a co-author. Oh, its fun alright . . . so long as you are both on the same page. Co-authoring is a melding of two minds and two writing styles. When done right the reader shouldn’t be able to tell who wrote which part. When done wrong or when one author has a completely different vision for you characters, you can end up with an emotionally charge heap of crap.
If I take on a co-author I can finish my project twice as fast. Whoa hold up there a sec. First off writing is a process not to be rushed through and writing with a co-author is no exception. Period!
So you and Lindsay are tied to each other forever. Yes and no. We have a go-author agreement that spells out the all the details regarding any joint project and we do continue to write as a team. But, we each have individual agent contracts, and we both write independently of each other as well. I, for example, write a fair amount of YA contemporary; it is my first love and one I will continue to write regardless of how successful our joint projects are.
You and Lindsay must spend a crazy amount of time together. Nope . . . never met the woman J LOL. We are not college roommates, or PTO cohorts, or even drinking buddies. I live on Cape Cod; she lives in Chicago. Physical proximity in not a requirement to the co-authoring process. We did, however, have a great deal of experience with each others writing BEFORE we became co-authors.
So there you have it. If you have a question I have not answered, feel free to ask!