Today I'm going to talk about the basics of being a co-writer. I've been working with mine, Dee, for roughly 6-7 years now. In that time we've written a number of books (and drafts), outlined many more projects, we've written on Wattpad and started an official Instagram page to start really promoting ourselves as Indie authors (since we've decided that we're eventually going to self-publish our books!).
But it took us time to really figure out what it was that we were going to do.
Some things you should think about if you're considering co-writing:
1. It's a two person job.
This, obviously, means that it's not just you making all the decisions. One thing I found hard was giving up half of the responsibility when it came to ideas, planning, organising, etc. If you're usually a control freak, you have to learn how to share responsibility with someone else. This might seem obvious, but it can be hard to come to terms to.
2. You don't have to be friends first.
What? Really? Yep! Dee and I weren't friends before we jumped on the co-writing bandwagon! Granted, I'm not saying you can't, but it isn't actually a requirement! A couple of messages about both being interested led us to planning and writing our first book, Ellasyna, a low fantasy about a girl and a boy in a Romeo-Juliet situation. And then we were writing about mermaids and so many other things and that's how we grew to become such great friends!
3. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone.
Sometimes with co-writing, you find yourself able to try new genres or character archetypes, things you wouldn't normally do on your own. Personally, I never would have delved into New Adult romance arcs, but with Dee, we've been working on the kinds of plots and storylines that wouldn't necessarily be seen in YA or Adult. It does help to like similar genres and types of stories.
4. Be Open to Compromise.
This might relate to point 1, but when I talk about compromise, I mean how you work together. We've tried a whole lot of styles concerning our stories, including sharing the same main character and writing her together and duel POVs with two main characters (that we write separately). Take the time to figure out what will work for both of you, but also try to be considerate of the other person and their abilities.
Co-writing is definitely a fun experience, but it's all about finding the right person to work with. I've worked with maybe five other people in the attempt to co-write again, but no one else ever stuck like Dee. She's also one of my closest friends, and we generally have very similar tastes in books, writing, TV Shows, movies, etc. which helps with our writing. We gravitate to the same ideas, too, which helps.
Next post will be about how to find one, examples of how to work together, and more! See you all next time!