What I've Learned From Collaborating on a Writing Project

This weekend, my editor signed off on the final draft of Super Sporty 9: The Wrath of Titanicus. Super Sporty 9 will be the last Super Sporty book, and I hope to release it sometime next month. There's still work to do -- illustrations, formatting, etc. -- but the actual writing is done.

With The Dreamon also close to wrapping up, I'm looking forward to future projects. One of these future projects is a collaboration with my friend Lily Valle. I've never properly collaborated on a project before, and it's an interesting process to be a part of.

I'm sure there are lots of ways to make a collaboration work, but here's how Lily and I do it (bearing in mind that we live on opposite sides of the Atlantic, so we have to do our work mostly over the Internet).

1. Make a detailed plan together

The key to a successful collaboration is making sure that you're both on the same page (pun intended). Before we even started writing, Lily and I drew up a plan for our book, which included character profiles, a description of the setting, and a detailed plot 'road map'.

This 'road map' is the most crucial part. Even though both of us are usually pantsers in our own writing, we needed to have a plan down on paper so that I didn't write any developments that Lily didn't agree with, or vice versa.

As a side note, we actually met up in person to put together this plan. It's way easier to make a plan with someone when you're physically together.

2. Write the start together

Even if you've made a plan, the actual opening chapter is going to set the tone and the voice for the rest of the book. This is also something you have to agree on, so Lily and I wrote the first scene when we met up to make the plan.

3. Write alternate drafts

From there, Lily continued writing the first draft over the summer. Then, a few weeks ago, she sent me the parts of the first draft that she'd written, and I went over it myself, smoothing out the dialogue and adding parts of my own. Then, I sent that part back to Lily, and I'm expecting her to send her next version back any day now. All the while, we're both following the plan we agreed upon at the start.

That's the thing about writing -- there are no rules about how to do it right. Lily's and my patchwork approach won't work for everyone, but it works for us, and that's what matters.

So that's been my collaboration experience so far. I'm really excited about this new project, though I have no idea when it will be finished or released (but we'll most likely self-publish it).

Have you ever collaborated on a writing project? Share in the comments!

Piece by piece, a story forms

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