There’s a good chance at least one of the books on your shelf or in your digital library has multiple authors behind it. And, if you’re a writer, you may have thought you’d love to work with another author or writer some day.
Writing a novel is a huge endeavor. Writing a novel with someone else (or several someones) is even bigger. There are a lot of things to take into account when you decide to co-author.
Examine Your Process before you even start writing with someone else, take a look at how the both of you write. If one of you is a hard-core plan and the other can’t stand to have even a basic, that’s a major obstacle you need to be aware of and come up with a solution to. There’s no easy solution here, it’s going to require compromise and working together to figure out how to make your processes mesh. There’s likely to be less work if you have a similar process.
Communication is a huge factor here. Remember that your process likely won’t be the same as their process. Communicating how you work and what you need to complete your work is absolutely vital or the entire thing can grind to a halt. This also covers expectations: do you want to set particular requirements for each party such as timing?
Compatibility in a creative project is a tricky one to define. How well your voices and styles work together is different than how your processes work together. Genre is another important factor to consider when co-authoring: if you’re not reading and writing in the same genres, chances aren’t high for success. While this is the biggest factor in how well a co-authoring project works, it’s also the most subjective. This goes back to the above communication: Being open and talking to your writing partner about what you want from the story will save you problems and headaches later.
What are your co-authoring experiences?