1. Rajikai
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    Rajikai Member

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    Joint Projects

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rajikai, Apr 29, 2010.

    Has everyone ever thought of doing a joint project with another person? Just curious on it. I really want to compare a joint project someone wrote, than read the solo project the same people wrote. If you guys know what I mean, though I don't really feel like reading a book, novel, or anything soo long (I love writing, hate reading. Right now, I'm working to start to like reading. My entire life I only read 5-6 books. So about 1 book every 3 year, Though this year, I'm on my second book :) )

    So thank you for helping me out...
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I have never considered it and never will. Writing a story or a novel is, in my opinion, a solo job. Having more than one person just introduces problems. People have different visions as to where the story should go or what the characters should be like. There's also the issue of how the writing should be split. It's just too much of a hassle.
     
  3. Rajikai
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    Rajikai Member

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    Um... It's quite funny to hate something one has never tried (though it's human nature, and admit I have done on several occasions (such as food) ), but everyone is free to have their own choices. As for what you have said, I think the other way, I think it's pretty intriguing how you have to split the work (I would say that we both create different characters, and allow them to interact). Basically, I think that joint projects would be somewhat of a RPG of a rainbow. Different styles of writing blended into one story.

    I always think trying new things and allowing your horizons to expand will improve people in a way that they won't even expect. :) you never know
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Well, writing stories and novels has always been a one man job. Though there are multi-author novels out there, they are very rare, and I can't even remember a single multi-author novel that is popular and/or has gotten critical acclaim. There is yet another problem. Every person has a distinct style and voice. Making those two (or more) distinct styles work together in a single novel is a tough job.

    Besides, there's the whole issue of drawing up a contract just in case there are copyright issues, etc. While it may be interesting to try working with someone else, the cons far outweigh the pros in my mind.
     
  5. Deevra
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    Deevra Member

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    Most of the collaborations I've heard of have been rather lopsided in terms of effort. Most involve one author being the mind/mentor/factchecker, while the other ends up being the muscle of the machine, churning out the pages for the other to approve.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are more successful writing teams than we are aware of, maybe. For example, one of my favourite wind-down-with-a-book-in-the-evening writers is Nicci French, and I only discovered last year that 'she' is actually two people, Nicci Gerrard and Sean French (they are husband and wife). Dick Francis, his wife, and/or his son Felix Francis are said to have written many (or all) of the 'Dick Frances' books together in collaboration. The novel, Good Omens, was written 50-50 between Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett...

    I'm sure you lot out there know many more examples--particularly in scriptwriting, of course, where teamwork seems to pay dividends and cause no contract problems. I wonder if thrillers and complicated fantasy/sci-fi are genres which lend themselves more to collaboration than some other types of writing?
     
  7. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I think some people may be looking at this the wrong way. There was no mention in the original post about writing a novel, just a project of multiple writers. Therefore my advice would be to go ahead and do it. Whilst the others may be right to warn you off an entire novel, I think as a writing excerise it is really beneficial to work with some one else for your own personal development. You can learn a lot from how others work on stories and improve your own style through this process. When I was a student we had a typewriter (yes a typewriter!) in the common room table and me and my 4 housemates would take it in turns to write something to add to the story. Some would only add a line, others several pages, it was a totally free creative process.
     
  8. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    Aside from examples like sprirj's, I rarely think collaborations are a good idea. I don't mind getting involved in someone elses work in the way of critiquing and minor suggestions, but if more than one person has final say over creative control then you're just asking for trouble.
     
  9. Deevra
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    Deevra Member

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    I disagree with that statement. Neil Gaimen admitted he had not much experience at writing in novel format at the time, and Pratchett assisted a great deal more than 50 percent. Most of the humor was his, as were the characters, while Gaimen was forced to toss a lot of paper away doing the mule's work. I will admit, it made Gaimen a better writer in the end, and perhaps that is what a good collaboration is all about.
    I have participated in a few notebook circles before, and learned quickly that if you upset the temperamental person in the grop, the whole thing can quickly come apart. You do gain some fascinating insight into what other people want from a story though, as you each tug and pull in different directions.
     
  10. Rajikai
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    Rajikai Member

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    Well I see, as all of you said, that's its bad to write a novel together with another person (though I still think that people can pull it off with effort. Personally, I haven't wrote a novel, or have I worked someone on a joint project, I was just interested in the thoughts of others. I guess to you all, writing is a solo thing, and nothing else.

    But, I still want to try out a joint project (Maybe one of my friends), just to see for myself if it's really that troublesome.

    Thank you all for all of your consideration and time.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Collaboration is a minefield. I would recommend against it most strenuously, especially if you have not successfully published works of the same magnitude on your own. Never collaborate without a solid contract, and never collaborate with a friend.
     
  12. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that if you are interested in collaborating on a story or some other written work with others just to experiment with your creativity and different writing styles, that's totally cool. Personally, I wouldn't try to collaborate with someone on a project that I intended to try to make money on, unless maybe I was an experienced, published writer, which I'm not. However, I have on a number of occasions written small, fun stories with friends. Also, my uncle and I wrote a story together once. It can be a fun learning experience, as long as it's not something your serious about.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    larry niven and jerry pournelle turned out many critically acclaimed novels... including the classics, 'inferno' [was also a blockbuster movie] and 'lucifer's hammer'...

    so do douglas preston and lincoln child... their 'relic' made a top-notch paranormal thriller...

    however, as has been said above, successful pairings such as theirs are extremely rare... those who try more often than not will end up with a partner from hell... and no one should even consider going into a writing partnership without having a legal agreement/contract in place first...

    here's the best collaboration agreement you'll find anywhere [it's for screenplays, but can easily be adapted to novels]:
    http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/writers_resources/contracts/collaboration.pdf
     
  14. RedRaven
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    RedRaven Active Member

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    I instantly think of Nicci French. They are a writers duo who write psychological novels with a twist, which works for them.

    Personally I wouldn't venture down that road. I haven't got the confidence to state my view, and in the end I would go along with whoelse I wo-write with.
    What I do find helpful, is shoot ideas with someone else.
    I find my husband to be an excellent story idea black board, he'll tell me what he thinks has been done too much, which has not much potential.. or point out possible paths for my characters to take.
    I don't necessarily follow his advice, but I do love the second opinion.
     
  15. ap Oweyn
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    ap Oweyn Member

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    It's even stranger to ask for opinions and then reject them out of hand. He never said anything about hating the idea. He said he wouldn't consider doing it, and then explained why. What's the problem?

    That aside, I'm completely new to this pursuit. But just in floating a couple of ideas, I've had offers of collaboration. The one thing I would say is that I think it helps to have a clear sense of the division of labour. Who's responsible for what? And how do you avoid stepping on each other's toes?
     

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