Have you ever thought about collaborating with another author? If so, who would you pick, if you could pick anyone?
From time to time, I’ve thought about writing with a partner. Usually it’s when my forward progress has been completely stopped and I’d welcome another writer swooping in, picking up the ball, and running with it. Then, when he (or she) has broken free from the scrum, I can reenter the picture, take the handoff, and push the project over the goal line (I think a writing partner might also be useful for weeding out overlong sports metaphors).
But seriously, I’d love to write with a partner.
When I watched the old Dick Van Dyke show, I would always love the scenes in Rob’s office where he and Buddy and Sally would write their TV show. They seemed to be having so much fun, joking around and riffing off each other. Taking someone else’s idea and embellishing it. If that’s what writing with a collaborator is like, sign me up!
I do have one experience writing with a partner. I adapted one of my books into a screenplay and was fortunate to hook up with a professional screenwriter. We talked on the phone once a week, for about an hour, and discussed how to boil 330 pages of novel into 105 pages of screenplay. I learned a ton about screenwriting and story-building in general, and I think we came up with a pretty good adaptation—actually, a REALLY good adaption. (So if anyone has a few million bucks and wants to make a movie, give me a call!)
I know for a fact that our collaboration produced a better screenplay than either of us could have done alone.
Of course, picking a compatible partner is the tough part. He/she would have to operate on pretty much the same wavelength as me. Would have to have the same level of commitment. The same work ethic. The same sense of humor. The same vision. (Possibly even the same contempt for cheese—wouldn’t want those working lunches to get nasty.)
So who does that leave?
Unfortunately, Dr. Seuss isn’t around anymore.
Here’s my question to you, blog readers: Are you a) more likely to read a book written by co-authors, b) less likely, or c) doesn’t make a whit of difference—I wouldn’t care if the seven dwarves co-wrote a book as long as it was good (“Fifty Shades of Snow White”?).