Been almost a week since I last wrote, but I’ve been ill and busy. I’ve had lots of ideas for posts though and today I’ve picked to write about collaborating writing. This is due to the fact that I’m currently embarking on this myself with my boyfriend. So, I thought it would make an interesting post and get me in the mood to write some more. Also it’s about time I had a post on writing too! My last few ones have been focusing on my life and D&D. Which is understandable, since I’ve not been doing much writing since finishing my Diss. I hope that’s about to change now.
There are lots of different ways for writers to collaborate on writing. Too many to get into here, so I’m just going to talk about the main ways. It’s possible to see when work has been collaborated on as two authors names will appear on the front cover. This can get you wondering about how and why they decided to join forces. I like the idea of the manuscript being passed around and the writers each adding a chapter or changing things until it becomes a whole, but that sounds like a long process and could led to disagreements or unevenness appearing in different areas of the works. However, writers both doing some of the writing is common enough, though they probably take half the chapters each to achieve this.
One of the simple ways to collaborate is for the first writer to have the idea and the second writer to write it. This is what my boyfriend and I are currently doing. He came up with the basic plot and characters for a Darren Shan styled story and I am busy expending on his ideas and trying to write it. It’s proving a bit tricky because teenage novels are not my normal area-though they were when I first started writing-so it’s getting back into that mind set. This way does work well though, though all the work is left up to the second writer and the first comes up with most of the ideas. The first write may also do some editing as well and that can be mega useful to allow the writers to discuss things further.
Another way to collaborate is something I’ve been doing for the last 3 years with my friends and that was having them suggest ideas/events that could then appear in the writing. They also wrote the backgrounds for many of the characters and though most of this work didn’t appear in the finished novel it was still important to know. Having them read and edit the novel also helped, though they didn’t really do any of the writing. That was all down to me. This way works more if there is only one actually writer in the group and the others are just there to listen to ideas of to help redraft.
It’s not just novels and short stories that writers can work on together. Lots of TV and film scripts can have joint or secondary writers. Series writers (Normally there’s more then two writers and they sometimes can have guess writers too) also take it in turns to write different episodes, something that can be very noticeable- take Dr Who for example- sometimes, but this generally doesn’t effect the main characters or plot of the story. Series writers also have to work closer together to make sure that things are considered throughout and that the running background plot stays the same. This is a great way to work though as it gives each writer a chance to put different ideas out there and create spins on events that other writers might not have thought about. It’s also good for the audience as they get to experience a slightly different view or story that keeps them interested in the show.
Film scripts are less collaborated on than TV ones and when they make books into movies nearly 99% of the time a different writer will write the film script. There’s a whole list of reasons why this happens. Sometimes the book writer might have some influence or get ask how they’d like some represented but normally what you see in a movie is the scriptwriter’s and the director’s verison of things. Writing a script is actually easier then writing a novel, it types up a lot faster and needs less imagination to create. However, none of my ideas have really been suited to this formatting.
So, why do writers join together? Yeah, they can just write their own ideas and things, but sometimes it’s fun to work on projects with others and other writers can bring certain things to the work that might not have happened otherwise. Of course working with someone can have it’s problems. Everyone views the world different and no one really has the same ideas. It goes for readers too. Everyone has a different vision of Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins in their heads. So, how does a writer go about turning someone else idea into a novel without going off track and making it their own? It can be almost impossible to do this! But collaborating is just that, people getting together and creating something they can agree on. Luckily enough I’m actually working with another writer though he does scripts, but because of that he understands that I’m going to put my own spin on things and the visions in my head are going to be slightly different from his. This is an experiment though and we are both keen to see what’s going to happen.