I’ve mentioned before that I’m not going to tell you what to do. I tell you my opinions and methods, and you can create your own path to success from there.
But, I am going to beg, on my knees beg, that you don’t co-write.
You’re probably asking yourself, “What does she possibly have against co-writing that she wrote a whole post about it?”
I’ll tell you straight up that I just do not favor co-written books.
- They are Not Consistent
Keeping a novel consistent is difficult for someone who’s writing alone much less a pair or group of people.
Everyone imagines things different. For example, if I were to say, the girl in the green dress with the bright red hair, everyone would envision this girl differently. Some would see her in an obnoxious neon green dress with fire engine red hair. Others what see her as this beautiful pixie-like woman, pattering about in a green slip.
How can a book be written when the ‘author’ never has a static view of what’s happening?
This results in confusing transitions and characters that aren’t well developed.
Co-written books can easily achieve the stamp of amateur material, so just don’t do it.
Of course that doesn’t mean they’re all horrible, some can be great! Just be wary, please.
2. They’re stressful
We’ve all worked on group projects before. Think about that horrible experience and imagine that going on for the time span of writing, editing, and publishing a novel.
One of you will be more enthused to write the book than the other. Then one of you will always be busy. Someone might accidentally hold the flashdrive ransom. Someone may lose the flashdrive. One person will try to take more credit for the work than they deserve. Who’s name goes first on the cover? You can’t agree on what a character should be like. Someone goes behind the others back and changes things.
Oh my gosh, I could go on for ages! Even just thinking about the idea of co-writing a book gives me anxiety.
Why would you possibly torture yourself like that? Are you insane?
Writers are lonely people for a reason. There should never be more than one person involved in the creation of a story. Ever.
I’m not even sure how else to express to you my dislike for co-writing.
Just none of it is fun to read.
3. Co-writing is confusing
Sometimes co-written books are done chapter by chapter. To do this, one author would write the even number chapters and the other would write odd. This is a unique idea to show differences in point of view for varying characters, but it’s so confusing to the audience. Unless you’re John Green and you’re smart enough to make it work, you’re not going to have the best of luck
Changing characters in a novel is a thing you must do very carefully. One wrong move and your readers will be confused for the next ten pages.
Co-writing is just such a delicate matter. It’s not my personal cup of tea.
To be fair, anyone is welcome to comment below with their opinion of co-writing. If you agree, tell me. If you don’t agree, I’d love to know why! Once again, I love being proved wrong if it helps my writing career!