1. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Collaborative Project

    Discussion in 'Collaboration' started by jonathan hernandez13, Nov 6, 2009.

    So I've been stuck in an unproductive runt for a while where I havent written anything (fiction-wise at least) for a few months now and its really starting to bum me out.

    I have a friend who is also a creative writing person and we have pretty similar tastes, styles, habits, etc. He's been open to the idea of doinfg a collaborative project for a while, we just never sat down to figure out how and have been easily distraced with other things (like school!).

    We don't know exactly how we will accomplkish this because we live in different states, but I mentioned the idea of an Exquisite Corpse and he seems pretty stoked about it.

    The way we shall build up the story is by alternating the author/paragraph/page at a time from one week/month to the next. We can keep emailing each other back and forth the next part and let the other person take up where the other left off.

    The only problem I foresee is one person really liking the way the story is developing and the other completely changing the direction. Or, one writer railroading the direction of the story by throwing a character in a plot dead end or something.

    As long as we respect each other I hope it will work, but nothing ever goes as planned and that's what Im afraid of.

    Does anyone know of any collaboration techniques that authors use that may help or are similar/useful for people working across state lines/long distance? Are there any other complications of the Exquisite Corpse technique that may require revisions?

    I thank you in advance for the help.
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    If you do an exquisite corpse, count on things going differently to how you planned. That's the whole point of the exercise. But that doesn't mean its worthless. It can open you up to new ways of thinking about narrative, structure, character development, etc. If you want total control, forget about collaborations.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Collaboration is a minefield. Creative differences can set friend agaisnt friend. If one writer loses interest, the other is left holding the bag, and generally cannot complete the project because of the first writer's incomplete contribution. All kinds of things can go wrong that can destroy a friendship as well as scuttle the project.

    Also, it's a business relationship, for which their should be a written contract and a clear definition of each partner's responsibilities.

    All these considerations are in addition to the issues you have to deal with to complete a solo writing project.
     
  4. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks for the heads up warning

    luckily this is not a serious project, more of a hobby thing, so there is no kind of monetary investment attached or anything

    I hope we'll still be friends when it's over:confused:
     
  5. HondaWriter
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    HondaWriter Member

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    There are some interviews with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child and how they collaborate together. It's pretty interesting, because you have two sets of ideas and only one story. Search them on you tube or google and see what you find.
     
  6. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks! Sounds good, I'll look it up:)
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's how you see it now... there's no guarantee that's how you'll see it later, or how your friend does/will... which is why you should not write a single word, till you have a collaboration contract in place!

    to do so is to invite trouble and put your friendship in jeopardy... i can't tell you how many co-writer-from hell horror stories i've heard from those i mentor... having a contract in place before you start will keep either of you from having to worry about what will happen to the work, which will let you concentrate 100% on the writing... and don't fool yourself into thinking how you feel about it and your friend now is how you will later on, when you get into the work... or when you have turned out something that may be marketable!

    here's what you need [it's meant for screenplays, but works just as well for books, with a few minor adjustments]:

    http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/writers_resources/contracts/collaboration.pdf

    the way to make that most likely, is to have a contract...
     
  8. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks mah maw!:p
     
  9. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Hi Jonathan,

    I worked on various collaborative projects with my uni house mates, staying up all night, taking it in turns on an old typewriter to write as much as we felt like writing, sometimes a page, sometimes just a line. Its best to not take it too seriously, and allow for your partner(s) to show their creative freedom, things will take unexpected turns, but this is for the best and will improve your skills as a writer and you try to outwit or perhaps even shock your writing partner. Thats the great thing about working together, you get instant feedback, and it really gets creative juices flowing. There will be some disappointment, but there will also we 'wow' moments, and even if you think the story is ruined, this won't stop you taking and developing the ideas for future projects.
     
  10. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks spirij!
     
  11. Radvermin
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    Radvermin New Member

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    Hi.
    One thing that worked for me and my wife was to keep it short and simple. We also just went with the flow. It was actually fun and we weren't really serious so it was kinda funny too.
    It was a good way to get to see how each other think and what we focus on in other people.
    :D
     
  12. Oceanborn
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    Oceanborn New Member

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    It depends on how serious you take the collaborative project. I have done many collaborative stories with my friends and I haven't lost any of them. If I am really interested in continuing the story (and no one wants to contribute), I just continue it in my own way and change the things I don't like. But I see collaborative stories as something that is only for fun. But it is sad that some people leave them.....
     

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