1. Dana Rose
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    Dana Rose New Member

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    I have issues with my group projects.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dana Rose, Oct 16, 2012.

    I have done a lot of stories with my friends. More like novels. I am the best writer so it's quite hard. My friends all have the same problem:
    Their characters are either too perfect or have no personality.

    I tried telling them but they disagree with me. For instance:
    -My friends character never made any mistakes, wasnt arrogent and was, in his mind, perfect.
    -My other friends character was just scared of heights, had no personality "issues" like arrogent and was supposed to be rich with a hobby for weapons but happened to be fantastic with every weapon and is..... good at everything.

    I can see our stories aren't going to work with these characters but I love the plot and my stories. I can't just write it on my own b/c we thought of the plot together.
    What do you think I should do?:(
     
  2. Thromnambular
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    Thromnambular Member

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    Well, since you're the best writer...just fire everyone else and start over! :D

    And from what I just read on your post, I think your friend might have based one of those characters on his or her perception of you. xD

    Why don't you try showing them how you've also made mistakes, have been willing to accept those mistakes, and have done something about them. Lead by example. I mean, they'll have to accept that everyone must be willing to compromise.

    If you want to manage people, you have to stay tactful and play them once in a while. Stroke their egos here, but put them down there. Make sure you keep everyone happy, but humble.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I've always believed that writing fiction is an individual pursuit. As you already know, there are so many problems that can come up when working with others. I suggest taking your friends out of the equation and writing something on your own.
     
  4. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    Dana, you have a complicated problem here, and there is no simple solution. You have to face the facts that somebody is going to get hurt. If you cut them off, you have hurt your friends, and at 72, I can promise you that good friends are hard to find. If you continue on this path, then you get hurt because you know this writing relationship is not working.

    Some ideas, and believe me, I don't have any good ones,

    1--tell them you are exhausted and want to simply drop the project for a few months. Of course in private, you will continue. After a long period, hopefully they won't be as firm about their side of the deal
    2--buy them out. Say it's not working because every one of you have great ideas, but they simply don't merge. Tell them if it ever sells, they own ?% of the final deal. I know that becomes complicated, but it gets them out of the situation
    3--tell them it's not working because the ideas don't merge, so each one gets a full copy and proceeds on their own. You are the better writer so they will hopefully see that and drop off.
    4---ask the others to critique another's work, and see if you get a consensus. Perhaps they will see the flaws in each other's works, and you get support.
    5--say it's not working and you want to start over-alone.

    I wish I had a brilliant answer, and will follow this thread to see what else is offered. I just know one thing: many years ago a friend and I entered a small business venture that began very simple. Of course, it got complicated and I lost a friend. So, I don't envy you.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    do you have a signed collaboration agreement with these co-writers?

    if not, then your most major problem is not the quality of the other partners' writing!
     
  6. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you writing these stories for fun or do you plan on publishing them? If it's for fun, either chill out or get out. If it's for publishing, see mamma's comment first, because you need to find a way out of the project. You obviously feel you're above the others, so there's no point in continuing, regardless of whether or not you're right.
     
  7. BL4CK5H33P
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    BL4CK5H33P New Member

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    I'm somewhat new to writing anything more than short bios & backgrounds for characters (mainly custom action figures that I've created - it's my hobby/side income) & have recently had a group of my fellow customizers, who also write, join me in a community participation writing project (round robin style)... I feel like I'm the weakest link in our group of four, and none of my comrades have said anything negative about any of the other's entries. We discuss plot/character/location concepts & then implement our ideas into our fictional world. As a group we are all friends & have many other common interests, maybe y'all just need to create a better framework for your tale or be more open to your fellow writers talents & creative views...???
     
  8. Michelle7
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    Michelle7 Member

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    I agree with the other posters. I don't even like to read books that are written by more than one author simply because I think it can get too complicated. I mean disagreements are bound to happen and sometimes the work will suffer. I personally don't like to take the chance.

    Michelle
     
  9. BL4CK5H33P
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    BL4CK5H33P New Member

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    I should have said this in my initial reply... This coop project began as MY introduction to a story that wasn't going anywhere... & rather than let it continue to languish in limbo, I posted it to our toy website (OG13)... where we also have a writer's thread. I simply put it out there for ANYONE to pick it up what I had started. I was surprised w/ the response & participation it gained... it is a difficult thing to let others adopt what you gave birth to & it is a very different world now, than what I had originally imagined. I had to let go of my notion that I knew what was best for the world I created & trust that my fellow writers would do it justice... & so far they have met & exceeded my hopes... it has evolved into a VERY rich world w/ many more facets than I had ever dreamed...
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Forget collaboration. Take on your own writing projects, and see them through on your own.

    Collaboration, especially without a contract, is like clog dancing in a minefield in the dark anyway.

    Abandon the "group storyline", it has been tainted by collaboration. Anything you try to do with it yourself will surely lead to a shit storm.
     
  11. Dana Rose
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    Dana Rose New Member

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    Thank you for being so understanding and honest. Personally, I think you're the only good response I've had.
     
  12. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Why not just all write your own stories to the plot, then swop and read everyone else's, find what u like, what they liked, and see how you can then corporate the bits the majority agree to into the story. For the bits where there were no clear winner just get every one to rewrite that section and then repeat the process. If you have to I agree best do it yourself but if its for fun go for it just remember friendship should always come first in situations like this. Writing at this point and your age is (should be) an enjoyable hobby and cannot be a substitute for companionship (sorry hardened writers) until at least you are being paid for it. And remember you will always have creative disagreements within groups.

    As my dad always says: 'The best comity is a comity of 3 with 2 absent'.
     
  13. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I agree that this is a bit of a tricky situation, and that you really should be having fun with your writing and your friends.

    robertpri has some good ideas, and if i was in your shoes my preference would be the critiquing option; maybe you can suggest turning the group into a kind of workshop where you bring your individual writing and chat about it together. The reason I'd prefer that is because if you just back out you may start feeling left out if this group carries on without you. I wouldn't worry about carrying on writing the story without them, the chances of it being published are pretty tiny so you can use it as practice/something fun to do and they'll never know.
     

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