If someone asked me five years ago whether I’d ever consider co-writing a book/short story with another author I’d probably have said no, because being the insecure writer I was, I didn’t think I had the skill set necessary for a collaboration. At the time, I viewed writing as a solitary endeavor. A mind bending, hair pulling, harder than heck task writer’s prefer to experience alone.
But over the past few years, I’ve attended conferences and listened to writers talk about collaborating together like Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. And I thought, well, yeah, she’s Jen Crusie, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to write with her? Thank goodness with time, most of us change, grow, and open our minds to opportunities that we would once have dismissed.
The end result: my critique partner, and I are co-writing a novella we hope to sell sometime this year. It’s an urban fantasy, a genre, I’ve never read or given much thought to before this project. After all, I write romance, sweet and contemporary, and urban fantasy is on the other side of the football field in writing, but after discussing it, we decided to give this co-writing thing a whirl.
Of course, we started with an outline, which we changed, revised, and changed some more, until we were both happy with the end result. Mixing my partner’s strong editing abilities and use of emotion with my inane ability to throw down a humorous scene with sensitive characters has been a blast, and I think I can speak for both of us when I say we are having the time of our lives.
The characters in this novella are a bit eccentric, but that’s what makes this project so much fun. I’m finding that exploring a new genre is also affecting my other writing projects in that I return to them excited. This excitement increases my productivity and imagination. Although I’ve always been one of those writer’s who can work on two projects at one time, I didn’t find bouncing in and out of those books a complete brain reset like I do when switching genres.
And here’s the best part. I don’t need mental health days as often as I used to when my muse decides to go MIA. Light bulb moment. . .maybe I’ve confused my muse. Maybe I’ve taken away her ability to rationalize, become frustrated and abandon me because jumping in and out of genre’s keeps her on her toes?
Or maybe, and more importantly, I’ve supplied her with the diversity that fuels her inner writer. Hey, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, either way, this genre jumping is working for me and I’m grateful for that.
Have you ever thought about co-writing with someone? Are you currently working on a project with another author and how is that going for both of you?