Writing Partners..Yes or No?

by limebirdlaura

I love writing with my husband. Sometimes we write scripts together and have a blast doing so. Along the same lines, sometimes we write scripts together and want to rip each other’s hair out. But that whole unconditional love thing keeps us from doing so.

I like when I write with him, because sometimes I get hit with horrible writer’s block that I just can’t seem to get around. If he’s there, though, he just whips up an awesome new plot line and we go with it. Along the same token, if he’s stuck on something, I can help with a new fresh idea that will send the plot in fun direction.

Sometimes when we write together, he will write the whole script, and I will then go through it fixing some grammar, or adding a line or two here and there for character development. Sometimes I will simply just tell him what I think doesn’t work or needs to be changed, and he will go from there and re-work using my suggestions without me actually doing any of the writing. Sometimes it’s the other way around, he’ll go through something I’ve written and tell me what needs work and I will simply go from there without him doing any of the writing himself.

We are just a couple of film and literary nerds, so this is what passes as fun in our household. I think we make a good team, though. My husband is one of those people that you can throw one line at, and he’ll work up an entire story out of it in 10 seconds flat. He’s so quick and clever. I’m more of a sit and stew on it type of person. Give me an hour or two to think, then I’ll be ready to go. Basically, he has strengths where I have weaknesses, and vice versa.

I think to have a writing partner, it has to be someone you trust. Someone you’re not afraid to literally bare your soul to. When you are first starting to write on a project, that’s what it is – your soul. I think the writing partner needs to be someone you’re not afraid to share your ideas with, but also a person who’s not afraid to tell you what does and doesn’t work.

I don’t think a writing partner has to be someone who writes in the same style as you do, though. My husband is a quick witted, quirky, dark humor kind of guy. I don’t tend to write like that myself, but when we come together it just melds like magic!

Has anyone else written with a writing partner? Was it a good or bad experience? If you haven’t, would you ever consider doing so?

I think it can be a lot of fun, if you’ve got the right person to write with!

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30 Responses to “Writing Partners..Yes or No?”

  1. Ohh, I’ve never tried writing with a partner, but this post makes me think that I might try. Do you prefer with a partner or on your own??

    • You know, I’ve never really thought of that before. Hmm…. let me think. I think it just depends. Sometimes I get ideas in my head to write something, and just go it on my own. But I really do like writing with him because we always come up with something the other never thought of, and having someone there going through the whole process with you is sort of a relief. Sometimes I’ll walk away from something, stuck, and come back a bit later and he’s worked it all out. And one time he was trying to think of a story and was going in crazy directions with it that was confusing and hard to convey, and I stopped and broke the story down in one direction from a completely different character’s p.o.v. and it really worked out. So it’s sort of a comfort really, having each other to work on one story.

  2. I’ve collaborated with several on Protagonize.com … in fact, an entire novel and hopefully future series came from such a collaboration. There were a few minor rough spots, but I’m doing what I’m doing today because of it. Made an impression on me, that’s for sure.

    • Oh that sounds really interesting! I sort of feel that way about the ole husband of mine. We didn’t write together for years, we’ve been with each other 8 years, and probably wrote our first thing with each other maybe a year and a half ago or so. After that it was like why the heck hadn’t we tried that sooner?
      Good luck on the novel and series!

  3. I’ve never had a writing partner but I would consider it with the right person (no pun intended!). Our styles would have to mesh, and our personalities. But I think it would be fun. The closest I’ve come is joining in on the Greyland’s project over at The Raven’s Quill. It’s the first time I ever played in anyone elses world.

  4. I did one of those role-playing games where a bunch of us got together and each wrote a character, we made the story up as we went along. That’s kind of like writing with a partner, just with multiple partners. Feelings were easily hurt and I didn’t stay very long. Some made their characters superman, and others were total drama queens. Of course, it was all done online and it’s hard to trust someone you’ve never met. A partner I could rely on would be a bonus, I think. Boy would they have to work well together though!
    Great post Laura, it’s something I’ve not often thought about.

    • My husband plays those actually. He did co-write one with a friend about 10 years ago, give or take. I tried it once when I was in high school, and it was really strange. I wasn’t very comfortable making things up on the fly and saying them out loud, plus the guys we were playing with weren’t really awesome. My hubby has tried to talk me into joining him when he gets together with his friends to play but I can’t muster up the nerve to do it.

  5. I’ve never written with someone but it sounds like such a great idea. Like you say, if you both have different skills that complement each other it could be so productive. Sometimes you read a novel that’s on the whole very good, but the author introduces a character that’s supposed to be for example, witty and it’s really important that they have some hard-hitting dialogue getting that across but just can’t pull it off because they’re just not witty in that way. I’ve seen some really bad example here where they’re clearly going for cool and witty, but use naff puns or outdated cultural references that makes me think the character is one big saddo!

    In my professional life I used to work really well with my team deputy because while I always saw the bigger picture and the big communication messages in any piece of work and let the details fall into place around it, her start point was always to start with the detail and build up from that before even thinking about what the big picture would be. It meant we kept each other in check as she forced me to think about the details, while I in turn forced her to think about what we were trying to achieve.

    So I think I’d love to have a writing partner, but I can see it being a real challenge to actually find someone to have such a positive working relationship with. I think you and your husband being soul-mates is probably a huge advantage here!

    • Oh great points! It’s so helpful to always have a second set of eyes on something to make sure everyone sounds right. But you are right, there would really have to be a huge level of comfort before jumping into full fledged writing with someone.

  6. I’ve exchanged writings with another, each of us offering feedback. I enjoyed the experience, but once we switched to heavy editing post draft, the collaboration ended because you can’t throw the same story at someone a dozen times. :-)

  7. I don’t know how I’d get on with a writing partner because I’m not a great team player really. I think I would tend to want to take over and control it all, which probably wouldn’t go down very well with the other person! My partner (my relationship partner, not writng partner!) is really good critic and whenever I’ve written anything I always run it past him and he’ll make really good suggestions and corrections, and that works well, and I always really value his input, but jointly writing I’m not sure. Perhaps I could do it if I tried!

    • It’s definitely great to always have someone there to help with ideas too, even if he’s not getting down into the writing part with you. I do that to my husband too, if I’m working on something alone. I throw it at him and make him help me through sticky parts.

  8. It is so amazing to read this post right now. Just today, I received mail from a friend re: writing something together. What timing!! And I think it’s wonderful that you and your spouse can do this together and it’s what you both love to do. Being able to collaborate is an art in itself.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  9. The only time I’ve had writing partners is in college, and it was a rough experience. Of course I didn’t really get to choose my partners, and I’m a perfectionist when I’m being graded. I do work with others as an editor of their work. I would try it, but I’m not sure I would like it.

  10. I have written with my fiance. He is a bold writer and I find he makes me bring out a bit of the fearless.

  11. I’ve got a story in mind that a certain someone and I are going to write together. It’s a fantasy novel. We just haven’t done much with it, yet. We ought to get out toosh in line.

  12. I say, it depends on the writing partner.

  13. I have a few writer friends that I gather with and we help each other with our stories, but I also value working alone. It is a hard call which way is better.

  14. Personally I don’t think I could write with anybody else; I know specifically what I want, what I find to be good, and it’s sufficiently clear to me that all I could see is an argument were I writing anything with somebody else.

    • I can definitely see writing partnerships go sour, especially if you are working hard on it and you’ve got a partner who isn’t wiling to put in fair share of work, or on the other end is trying to take over the work.
      Thanks for commenting! :D

  15. I’d love a writing partner! I think it would be great fun to work with someone in that way, I may start looking. :-)

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