1. Prophetian
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    Prophetian Member

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    Do writing teams work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Prophetian, Apr 25, 2009.

    Ive been wondering for a long time now if it helps to work in a team of writers... That said, I know not all writing can be done in pairs or even teams, but then again you see it so much that a couple of people work well together. BUT you can also see that people get sick of eachother very quickly or don't agree with eachother.

    I'd very much like to try writing with a group of people, hasn't worked yet though. Just interested to hear what other peoples' opinion on this matter would be..

    Lots of hugs,
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I have only seen teams (defined by me as 3 or more people) being successful in anthologies or on a research paper. I don't think teams would be such a good idea for novels, and I definitely wouldn't consider working with other people on novels or short stories or even poems. For me, it's not about getting sick of other people, but it's rather about agreeing on things like setting, plot, characterization, etc. How I imagine the novel in my mind won't be the same as how someone else imagines it in his or her mind. This would definitely lead to disagreement somewhere along the process of writing.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Do you mean a team getting together to keep one another motivated and inspired on their separate projects? Or do you mean collaboration on the same piece of writing?

    The latter is fraought with difficulties. and I would not recommend it. Experienced witers with a good contract lawyer do collaborate effectively - sometimes. I would recommend against it if you have to ask the question, though.

    Writng groups to keep one anolter on track is a different matter. As long as there each writer sticks to his or her own writing, the creative conflicts that can destroy a collaboration don;t come into play, and there is no harm when people join or leave. Whether ot not it is actually useful depends on each writers working style.
     
  4. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    I've seen teams work well together before, but generally I don't see it a lot....

    The Coen brothers wrote and directed many classic films together.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What is the 'motivation' or 'drive' behind your desire to write as a team? If one lacks something like the grammar skills, or the story telling skills, or the sefl-discipline to complete a project, those in my opinion, are poor reasons to attempt such a venture.

    I am not saying that this reasoning is the force behind the reason the initial poster wants to work in a group to write a project, but just tossing in my two cents.

    Terry
     
  6. hal10001
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    hal10001 New Member

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    I can give you a good scenario for writing in a team because I am currently writing a novel with one other person. He is very much my idea man, and is helping to flush out the plot points with me. I, however, am doing all the actual writing. He will get just as much credit if it ever gets published because he is as involved as I am in the character development and plot. A good example of that sort of team project is the Left Behind series, where Tim Lahaye provided biblical research and historical information, while Jerry Jenkins actually wrote all the books.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    answer cog's questions and i'll give you a detailed answer to yours...

    generally, what he said about either is true...
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Collaborations can be great, or a nightmare. To avoid that, you have to make sure you can see the same goal and either form a very professional working relationship so that when there are disagreements you can handle them without getting angry most of the time, or that person is someone who thinks a lot like you do, has strengths that compliments your weaknesses, etc, and you get along so well that disagreements are rare. Finding partners that work that well is probably as hard as finding a good husband.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    One thing I have heard more than once is that one partner's interest wanes, Without a contract that covers that contingency, the entire project may need to be scrapped, wasting all the work done to that point.
     
  10. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    It depends on the authors and the work. King and Straub wrote The Talisman and that was a fun read. Then a few years ago they wrote the sequel, Dark House and it just never quite jelled. It read like they didn't have a single coheisve vision of where it was supposed to go.
     
  11. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Two minds working together could come up with fantastic ideas, but I think only one of them should do the actual writing.

    Both brain storm to come up with ideas. One writes, and one edits.
     
  12. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Hmm.. I've seen collaboration work wonders in the realm of fan fiction. Not so much in original fiction.

    I think collaboration (with two/more actually writing) could work really well if the novel is one that needs to switch from viewpoint to viewpoint (different writers make it easier to create different character voices) and it's all written in first person. That said, that situation would very rarely come about and considering it's first person multi-perspective, would be an incredibly hard novel to write...thus, very rare.

    I think collaboration (with one person writing) could work very easily, as long as it's understood from the beginning that the person whom the original story idea belongs to is allowed to change the plot whenever he feels it needs to be changed...after all, it was originally his idea.

    ~Lynn
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that wouldn't be 'collaboration'... it would be more like 'ghost-writing'... collaborative writers will toss ideas back and forth and, even if only one does the writing, they'd both be contributing to the plot, character development and so on... and normally, they'd both 'own' the work in a 50-50 credit split...
     
  14. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    'Nicci French' the successful 'author' is actually a husband and wife team, and I can vouch for the fact that they've written an equal amount of each novel because one of them is an ex-colleague of mine...
     
  15. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exactly. Co-writing is a business partnership. And, much like a prenuptial agreement in marriage, the contract spells out the responsibilities and consequences for each partner to the project, regardless if it succeeds or fails.

    On the other hand, if your interest is only in the experience of collaboration, with no expectation of commercial submission, then find a few people and have fun. It will be a learning experience for all involved.
     
  16. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Creative teams can work if the members are all talented and serious about what they're doing. But in most cases I'd say that its tricky business.
     
  17. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    i think in certon ways it could be realy good, like my friend and i were thinking of writing a novel together, i like writing fantasy and she likes writing horror and i have come up with a fairly god plot that could do with some more horror so we might do something together, if your not planning on publishing i i think it depends on your teamwork skills and wether you can stand to be arround the person(s) that long
     

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