1. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    Collaborative Novels

    Discussion in 'Collaboration' started by JayClassical, Feb 13, 2013.

    Just wondering what you guys think of collaborated novels that are fiction. I always thought it would be fun to work with someone you could bounce ideas off of but I think theres definitely a more dominant contributor.

    On a further note, there was a Simpson's episode (Episode 2306 - The Book Job) where the characters collaborated on a novel and sold it with its on fictional author with a charming back story. Do you guys think scenarios like this happen ofter in the literature world?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't like the idea of collaboration. My ideas are mine; my words are mine. If I ever publish a novel, I want it to be all me - my responsibility, for better or worse. I keep thinking if I had a collaborator, then my ideas would be distorted and my prose would be adulterated and the final product would be an embarrassment.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    ^ Seconded. Writing fiction is a solitary pursuit. There are just too many complications involved for me to even consider collaborating.
     
  4. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    Lots of people do it though, especially on screenplays.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Never collaborate without a clear contact delineating division of responsibilities, control, and benefits. It should also cover contingencies such as one or more collaborators leaving the project.

    Screenplay collaborations such as you describe are generally part of an employment contract, in which the individual contributors aren't credited, only the one who presented the starting draft. And even these collaborations are not without problems, some so bad they have become legendary.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Well, based on your initial post, I got the impression you were only talking about novels. Screenplays and textbooks are a bit different, and you'll find many more examples of collaborations in those areas, though I'm willing to bet that they're still in the minority.
     
  7. BitPoet
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    BitPoet Member

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    I'm very much with minstrel and Cogito on this topic, for me there are just too many possible headaches along the way. Holly Lisle has a good article on her blog titled "How to Collaborate - and How Not To" that outlines most of those headaches (and a few heartaches, too). Yet a collaboration can be a lot of fun, I did it once with a fanfic, but as there were, by its nature, no money and no intellectual property rights involved, things were a lot simpler as they'd be with an original story that one or both of its authors might see as the next big thing.
     
  8. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    My personal experience would suggest that fiction work collaborations don't usually work out since there is no way any 2 people have the exact same image of what a fictitious image has to look like. The resulting work is most of the times a mish-mash of the collaborator's imagination and full of inconsistencies. There are some collaborations that work though, usually between very close friends or family members like Margaret Weiss & Tracy Hickman's work on "The Dragonlance Series". On textbooks, manuals and screenplays it is much easier to cooperate as the end result is determined from the beginning.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all novels are fiction!... even if 'based on a true story'...

    NEVER write a single word or read a single word written by a 'partner/collaborator/co-writer' before you have a signed and sealed collaboration agreement in place...

    i use an adapted version of the wga collaboration agreement for screenwriters, as it's the best one around and needs only to have a few words changed and the movie stuff deleted...
     

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