Saturday, January 29, 2011

It Takes a Village to Write a Novel

To write or not to write...and with whom to write? A book is unlike many other art-forms. For one thing, you can use it as toilet paper...but to stay relevant to the topic, it doesn’t require other actors, musicians, stagehands, roadies, groupies (G-d, I hope there are literary groupies with sexy glasses) etc. Right? That may not be as true as you think. Collaborating with other authors can be a crucial part of the creative process. But, don’t take our words for it...we’ll show you:

Kyle: Maybe we should structure this like a conversation? That way it emphasizes the collaboration?

Jason: Nah. That’s too ridiculous. Wouldn’t people get confused? Bah, let’s just get started. I guess having someone to bounce ideas off of and to see in action really helps me both as a writer, and as an editor. Regardless of confusion.

Kyle: Agreed. I don’t function well in a vacuum. Even when it comes to something as personal as writing.

Jason: Oh, Oreck here we come. But, the point is well taken: writing, in 150% of cases is “written” by more than one person. That might be just by having someone look at it and say, “How about changing this sentence to this?” Thus, the vacuum theory, as you said, doesn’t really exist. Any other positives?

Kyle: well, I have a tenency to make stupid, small scale typos. Such as missing words or letters. Occasionally commas also get lost. It’s nice to have some to catch those.

Jason: Like “tendency”, and “someone”. Oh, right, but, you’re not alone--I tend to forget about things like sometimes how I lengthen my sentences, which doesn’t help the reader, because in the end, which is where I want them to get to, they can’t. Thus, “which” isn’t always a good thing.

Kyle: I think you mean “oh right” (which has now been corrected). Also, is it possible to put two “which’s” in the same sentence? Or am I just holding a Which Hunt?

Jason: Only if the witch says so, which brings us to the next point: is it okay for two (or more) writers to work on something together? It’s done in movies and songs all of the time!

Kyle: Whoops. Sorry about that. Left my response hanging for a few minutes. Started making food and got distracted. (Jason: Burning daylight!) (Kyle: Burning food, too!) One of the disadvantages of collaboration is the lag time. But to answer your question. There are actually quite a few instances of collaboration between well known authors. For example, Shakespeare and the great poet Lil’ Wayne are known to have worked together.

Jason: Well, perhaps Lil’ Romeo can take it from here. Man, that was poisoned. (Jason: I tried to make a joke, and it backfired, so it was omitted.)(Kyle: But it would have blown your mind.) (Jason: Yeah, make you die on your birthday.)

Kyle: Hooray. Ok, so enough digs at the Bard.

Jason: But, must not forget about two of the most famous fantasy authors: C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien. Drinking buddies!

Kyle: Yes, I believe the end of Lord of the Rings was decided over beer pong.

Jason: Well, no one cares what you believe. Except for Lil’ Wayne.

Kyle: This is degenerating rapidly. lol. (Jason: Like Twilight fans.) (Kyle: Like your face!)

Jason: However, there is great good in collaboration. Whereas one person might come up with a great idea but isn’t sure how best to write it, a second mind can really turn up the heat. Well, not too much...we don’t want to hit Fahrenheit 451 in her (hehe). This is a plug for our own collaborative work, hitting the presses in about 5 years, assuming no one’s written it by then.

Kyle: Other benefits of collaboration include (Jason: I like excluding people, but have it your way.) having a reliable source for edits, and someone to run a new draft by (Jason: Especially for NaNoWriMo.).

Kyle: A little later this week we’ll probably be going over some of the ways technology can help you collaborate with other writers. This for example was written on Google Docs.

Jason : Yay for Private Browsing, File-sharing, and Youtube (Kyle: Are you talking about porn?). Crap, that was off topic. But, yes, we do use gDocs quite often. It’s a bit of a give and take, but here we are...gDocing it up. So, tell us what you think (for those who write). We’d love to hear all about it--especially from a gDoc share.

-JK.(Jason: I like being in front!) (Kyle: That's what she said!)

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