1. Esaul
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    Esaul Member

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    Co Writer?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Esaul, Dec 2, 2007.

    Everything piece of work I seem to be doing is a work of collaboration with another person. It feels that I am not capable of writing on my own. I am currently working on over five stories and probably only one of them I'm actually working on my own. Is that a good or bad thing?
     
  2. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    That depends on what outcome you're seeking. If you're happy with that state of affairs then fine. If not, change it.
     
  3. ivy
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    ivy Member

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    Esaul, I think it can be a great thing! I co-wrote an entire novel-length story with my sister. I admire her writing immensely, and learned a lot from her along the way. The caveat is, we're identical twins and we practically share a brain, so we're nearly always "on the same page" (no pun intended) about things that need to be changed or added. I think some of your experience is going to depend on how much you agree or not with your co-writer, how well your styles work together (and therefore, how seamless your transitions are), and whether or not you respect one another's work. (Do you really want your name attached to the things (s)he writes?)

    If you're currently working on five stories--even with another person--then the question is not whether you are capable of writing on your own. I'll venture a guess that the real question is are you courageous enough?
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Esaul,

    It really depends on what you and your co-writer are happy with.

    If it is a concern, just be sure that you're stretching your writing abilities and learning from the process so that you become more comfortable with writing independently.

    Of course, that would not mean severing ties with your co-writer! If nothing else reviewing each other's work would be of benefit to both.

    Terry
     
  5. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger Senior Member

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    Just like ivy I am also working on a novel with my sister. I find that it takes more time with her than when I write by myself. I enjoy doing both, so I think it is just a personal preference.
     
  6. Vivienne Crow
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    Vivienne Crow Member

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    Esaul, it really depends. I am currently writing my first co-written piece with another member, where as before I've always written on my own. It's kind of scary and I don't know how things will turn out but I'll always kick myself if I didn't at least try it.

    Writing on you're own, if you've only written with another person, can be a daunting task, but it gives you alot more free reign and control over what happens within your work. If you really want to write a novel without a partner but need the wall that a partner gives you to bounce off, the create yourself another personality LOL

    I say go for it, if you turn out bad don't worry, you'll get better with practice. Who know's you may create the best work you've ever done.

    xxFrostyxx
     
  7. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I tried writing a novel with another person one time. It was a terrible experience. Disagreement, different ideas, and a myriad of other problems. I'll never go down that path again.
     
  8. MowsysWrath
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    MowsysWrath Member

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    It never worked out for me, it's all up to you. If it works for you, keep doing it and try something new with it.
     
  9. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    First, it is easy to get burnt out ....

    Esaul,

    First, it is easy to get burnt out on your own projects to the point that you can no longer be objective about the story or the project. Believe me I know. I spent ten ****ing years on one story. That’s right ten years! Why so long? Because the idea was unique and still is, but I had reached the point where I simply couldn't stand to open the file anymore. There were other factors, like having completed it once then having lost the only copy I had and being forced to reconstruct it from memory.

    Secondly, so much time had passed that although the story was still as viable as ever even as it is today and still uncompleted it needed to be updated to meet the current era. And that was something I was and still am unwilling to complete at this stage.

    Working on multiple projects all at once is like pointing a loaded gun at your head. It will almost always end in failure. Why? Because you cannot stay dedicated to finishing one project before beginning another. Your head will be full of unrelated stuff from different projects making it almost impossible to stay on track, unless you have a strict outline and plot in place to keep you on course.

    Most professional writers and the most successful will all tell you to stick to your guns and don’t get sidetracked until you have completed a project. In other words don’t move on until you have completed what you started.

    There will always be times when you simply need to set a story aside and let it rest before beginning again, especially when it comes to novel length stories. But, that is a far cry from trying to juggle several different story lines in your head at one time. Even with a collaborator it would probably double or triple the necessary time to complete each project. That does not mean that you don't have the option to bury a currently unworkable project and come back to it months or even years later. That is a descision you'll have to make. We all have done it.

    There are several good books by successful writers like Stephen King, than in one paragraph, give you the secret to their success as a writer. Of course you have to be committed to reading as much as you are writing; and of course you have to pay for their books, which are often times very expensive to garner the knowledge you need. This is simply paying your dues.

    Unless you are a professional screenwriter and somewhat of a ****ing genius I would strongly urge you to rethink your current method as described in your post. That would be a good first step. Read some books on the subject. Other members, as well as myself, have already posted suggested reading list on this same subject months ago.

    You will find that there exists a tried and true system for the developmental process of story telling. Sometimes you can read these books and you don’t feel you got your monies worth, and then somewhere down the line after a reread are remembering a particular admonishment about writing from the book you read, it hits you like a ton of ****ing bricks, right slab dab on the head. And it all begins to come together.

    I don’t care if you are a college grad are self-taught writer like myself you have to learn from others. And one way to do that is listen to what the pros say and take them seriously. Otherwise, you can fumble around forever searching for a muse and listening to your inner self, when basically what you are missing are the fundamentals.

    I suggest you backup, make an educated decision on what project interest you the most, and then see it through to the end. Set aside all other projects make your apologies to your collaborators, unless you are under contract and then start new. Even if you are under contract you may simply request to bow out and gift them your contribution to date. That way you can begin focus your attention and get back on the right track.

    Thanks for posting,

    Trailer Trash

    PS: I hope this helped in someway. Please let me hear of your future success.

    PPS: This post does not mean that you should not keep writing down new ideas for stories.
     
  10. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Esual, do whatever you feel comfetable with. If you do not feel comfertable of confident enough to write on your own yet, then do not. It can be fun writing with friends I think. However, I would practice writing some things on your own, try and improve your skills. But in all honesty, writing is about enjoying yourself and if you like it best with a friend, then stick with it. :)
    Heather
     
  11. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    I understand now ....

    Esaul,

    Please excuse my post as being perhaps way off base. I was wrong to construe your post as having said that you were incapable of finishing a project of your own.

    But, I will let the post stand; because, I feel it brings out an important point about writing. And if one of the moderators thinks it would be better suited to another area of the forum then please move it for me.

    Thanks

    Trailer Trash
     
  12. elusive
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    elusive Member

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    Esaul,

    I have never collaborated a piece of writing with anyone myself but if you are comfortable doing it that way, don't be embarrassed. If you are however more interested in writing on your own, but feel you need some guidance maybe you should try going to a writing workshop or joining a writing circle. It will help you break out of your shell as an independent writer but still give you the support and feedback of other fellow writers.
     
  13. trailer trash
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    trailer trash Senior Member

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    ... some good advice.

    Elusive,

    That was simple, direct, and to the point. Very well done and some good advice.

    Trailer Trash
     

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