1. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    working with co-writers

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by FallenShandeh, Jun 16, 2014.

    I've been writing with people for easily two years now and greatly enjoying it. I find it helps me stay motivated and if my muse runs dry, my co-writer can usually resurrect it.

    However... my long-term co-writer and I had a major falling-out [over my number of characters, of all things...] and she and I are barely talking, let alone writing. I have a new co-writer and a new story in progress and this one might actually be publishable. I'm very excited about it. We have plans for a solid plot for the first book and then each one is intended to stand alone or as a series, with each book having its own plot but also being part of a wider overarching plot.

    Unfortunately due to both of us having busy lives we aren't writing together nearly as often as we would like, and I'm the last person to update our story document. A week ago. My fingers are itching to write more, but I just can't. I'm waiting on her character's response. She's a young mum, so I get that I have to be patient, but god it's frustrating.

    So I guess I'm asking any of you who work WITH someone else... what do you do when your co-writer isn't writing? Do you work on backstory, or scenes that only you can write, or...?
     
  2. Mike Kobernus
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    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

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    I wish I could suggest something here. Why not contact her? Talk to her? Maybe you can agree to a schedule that works for you both?
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're working on a project with a co-writer that you hope or believe might be published, you should have a contract in place, one which spells out rights and responsibilities of each contributor. Such a contract can save hard feelings in the long run, and also a lot of work, should a co-writer decide writing, or that particular project, just isn't for them anymore.

    As to your specific concern, you may have to alter the structure or writing process shared between you, if you anticipate long stretches without a return writing effort from the co-writer.

    Another option is to begin another project, one that is your own. If there are long stretches, instead of waiting you could work on your individual project.
     
  4. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    I'm thinking I'll have to remind her if she doesn't write by the weekend! Between her unreliable internet, her kids, and everything that goes on in my life, we just can't have a regular writing schedule.

    The agreement is set in stone, don't worry about that. I cover my own ass.

    I don't have a solo project at the moment per se, I just write random short stories [mostly fanfiction] for fun now and then. I can't finish novels without a co-writer, it's my biggest issue. My muse dies and I can't resurrect it on my own.
     
  5. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think I could do what you do... writing with others and relying on them... their grubby fingers all over my golden story board and masterful characters... It's MINE!!!!!

    I don't share well...
     
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  6. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    Nobody touches my characters unless they're willing to throw out what they've written and re-write! One of the things I really can't stand is when a character is out of character. I despise it in fanfiction and I especially despise it when the character is my own. I went through quite a few co-writers before I found one I liked, and then when that one complained that my royal family was breeding too much and started making me wait for her to write for two weeks at a time as punishment I cracked it with her. They're my characters, I can do what I want!
     
  7. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah... that sounds complicated, mate.
    Only room for one god in a world, imo.
    It's hard to create art when everyone has an opinion.

    Yeah, fanfiction is hard to get through for a lot of reasons but occasionally you do strike gold which is always amazing.
    I actually confused a fanfiction for an actual Harry Potter book... it was that good.
     
  8. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    It works well having co-writers if one is the dominant party and the other is chill to go along with whatever... the thing is, I don't do "going along with whatever". I am the dominant party. I am the god. Anyone I write with needs to accept that. I do try to tone it down. I don't like writing other people's characters [foraying into actually using canon characters when I write fanfiction is a fairly recent thing] and therefore don't try to control them. But I do like to have strong input in the world, and I do NOT like people trying to control my character cap. I like having lots of characters. I'll usually have one or two mains, up to 20 support characters, and thousands of random incidentals. Considering I write a LOT of fantasy set in royal courts, it's kind of a necessity to have support characters. My incidentals get names, personalities and histories too, because real life people do.

    Just because someone I'm writing with doesn't want to have more than a couple of characters for themselves doesn't mean it's fair for them to impose their own limitations on me. I can mostly keep track of everyone without losing continuity.
     
  9. Chesster
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    Chesster Member

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    I couldn't work that way. Not without a schedule at least anyway. It's far too loose, and if I was having a good week, I wouldn't want anything to hinder that and stop my flow.
    I definitely think you should get a schedule in place so then at least you are always moving forward with it. You have stated that you are doing this due to struggling when solo but if you don't get anything in place soon, you will be back to square one with an unfinished piece and a head full of frustration.

    Good luck, hopefully you get it sorted before all the hard work is lost.!!
     
  10. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    My co-writer is writing again :D

    Unfortunately a set schedule is impossible, she has young children [her oldest is 3] and so she writes when she can.

    We stalled a little bit but my magnificently insane character Malevolence Bane has revived things with his craziness. He's an asshole but god he's fun to write.
     
  11. Chesster
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    Chesster Member

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    Great news. And I understand her situation well. My daughter is just over 2. My partner works 4 days a week and I am at home writing and taking care of my furniture restoration business as well as looking after my daughter. It's near impossible to stick to a schedule. I just make sure that I tick off certain boxes on a daily basis, whatever the time.

    Malevolence Bane is a brilliant name and all the best characters are 'magnificently insane'. Good luck with the co writing. I hope it keeps going until the end.
     
  12. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    Thank you :D he's a bit of an anti-hero. He eats people. His loyalty to the royal family is bordering on fanatical, but it's being used against him by an ambitious member of the royal family who has designs on the throne. I am going to completely destroy what's left of his sanity and shatter his heart, and I'm enjoying every minute of setting it up. I'm... slightly sadistic hahaha...
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater?
     
  14. FallenShandeh
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    FallenShandeh Member

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    hahahahaha well he WAS originally going to be purple, but he definitely has two eyes, and a few more than just one horn :p
     

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