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Author Topic: Collaborations?
Member # 9671

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Just wanted to hear everyones' thoughts about Collaborations. Have you read any good ones? Are you comfortable collaborating yourself? Have you ever collaborated? If so what process works best?
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Member # 8991

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For whatever reason, when I see two names, I am completely turned off.

Exception: Weis, Hickman.
Although I've never read one, they've worked together so often I imagine they've got this all figured out.

Unlike JAMES PATTERSON & Virtual Unknown.

Yeah... right.

If I collaborated, I'd request putting the stronger name on the cover and splitting any $ behind the scenes.

But that's just me transferring my pet peeves onto others again...


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Member # 9213

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One of the best collaborations I've read is the short story collection PARTNERS IN WONDER. Harlan Ellison collaborates with many of the sf greats: Theodore Sturgeon, A.E. Van Vogt, Roger Zelazny, Algis Budrys, etc. http://www.amazon.com/Partners-Wonder-Harlan-Ellison/dp/0441652050

Dr. Bob

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Member # 9277

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Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Hilarity ensues! [Smile]
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Member # 8617

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King and Straub
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Member # 9148

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As seems to be my answer in a lot of posts here lately it depends.

Asprin is collaborating with a younger writer with his MYTH novels now. If you don't know those and you like a fantasy that is quirky and lightherted try them.

John Ringo got his start by collaborating with David Weber on a series.

C. E. Murphy has collaborated with another writer on an unique book. Both writers have their own successful series. But they got together and placed their MCs together in an unique adventure.

There are a couple of subseries in the Star Trek realm that are collaborations. I'm not sure why since they each do a good job on their own.

Personally I wouldn't mind doing a collaboration, depending on who the other writer is and what is expected of both each of us.

As to Star Trek I wouldn't mind working with Dayton Ward. I know him and his stuff, he's a good writer. And evidently he is used to working with other writers.

I forget who at the moment but one well known writer did a series of collaborations with just starting writers.

Speaking of that I would love to work with David Weber. He has collaborated with a few writers. That would not only get my name next to his but it would be a good learning experience. Of course it could turn out to be a bad one but from what I've heard of him I think not.

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Robert Nowall
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The only time I ever collaborated on anything was on a paper for a college class---I don't even remember the guy's name---and, even though it was only a page long, I thought I put about three times the work into it than my collaborator.

I suppose I can't judge collaboration on the professional level by that example, but it hasn't warmed me up to the idea of doing it.

Though I wouldn't want to be in the FAMOUS WRITER and unfamiliar name situation. I wouldn't want to be the latter in a collaboration...but I don't think I'd want to be the former, either.

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Member # 9671

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LD got a jump on my next question If you could collab with someone who would it be and why?
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Pyre Dynasty
Member # 1947

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I have collaborated, and intend to in the future. I even took a class from Tracy Hickman where he taught me about it.

Don't go into it thinking it is going to be half the work. It is actually twice as much work for half the pay.

Negotiate right up front who is going to do what. Decide on deadlines. Agree to be remarkably honest with each other, especially about your abilities and perception of each others weakness. One of the things that can kill a collaboration (and a marriage, if the co is your spouse, yes I've seen it happen) is one of the people gets the feeling that they are doing most of the work. (As Robert has shown us.)

Tracy's method involves one person being the designated typewriter jockey (I forget the terms he uses) and the other is the editor. So the jockey writes the first draft, then the editor does a heavy edit adding/deleting scenes as they see fit. And then the jockey writes another draft so it is all in one voice. (It's more complicated than that, he might have an essay about it on his site.)

You don't collaborate to cover up your weaknesses. They will still shine through, trust me. You don't collaborate to piggyback on your co's strengths. That creates a uneven workload.

Another thing: You are going to fight with your co. It will happen, and when it does it will be about the most petty things. The door should be red not blue! But I made it blue for a reason! A stupid reason! It's the soul of this story! Vampire stories don't have souls! That doesn't even make sense! Who said it was supposed to? It's going to happen, just don't let it ruin the project.

The best reason to collaborate is because you have a good synergy with a person. You work really well with them when you are bouncing ideas/jokes/ping-pong balls off each other. You do it because you both have a belief that you can create something greater together than if you worked alone.

That's all I can think of but I'm sure there's something else.

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