Saturday, November 15, 2014

Creative Collaboration – Some Whys and Ways

Co-Writers Anonymous? Not Anymore!
  • Women’s Murder Club Series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  • The Numa Files Series by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown, also Paul Kemprecos
  • Badge of Honor Series by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Patterson, for instance, has released over 15 books this year (earning a reported $90 million!) with such co-writers as Mark Sullivan, Emily Haystond, Marshall Karp, Julia Bergen, David Ellis, Chris Tebbetts, Lisa Papademetriou, Chris Grabenstein, Michael Ledwidge, Emily Raymond, and Ashwin Sanghi.

Clive Cussler has a cadre of writers he taps as well. Bill O’Reilly works with Martin Dugard on his growing list of “Killing” biographies. Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg have projects together. These authors are not alone. Literally.

What in the world are all these writers up to? They’re collaborating! Big time.

Let’s start with a working definition. Collaborative writing is when two or more people work together to create a textual piece. The partners share in the creative process and completion of a story or article. The writing project could be fiction or non-fiction, academic or commercial, serial in nature or stand-alone.

Why We’re Here Today...

Obviously, creative collaboration is a broad topic. So let’s narrow the field. My focus for this post is on co-writing fiction for the purpose of publication. I want to address, first, why one might want to collaborate, and second, some ways to go about it. I’ll also share some thoughts on a few potential problems and how to avoid them.

But why am I writing this blog post? Quite simply, my friend Milo James Fowler asked! So if you're still interested in this topic, please read the rest of this post at his blog. Thanks!

(BTW, if you have any questions or additions or rebuttals, comment below. I'll respond here since Milo's series at this blog doesn't have a comment section. Be sure to check out his other guests' topics, however. Just scroll down from here for posts on serialization, science in fiction, historical fantasy, shared worlds, and some great interviews.)

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