Friday, August 14, 2015

How Not to Collaborate on a Story. Or What I Learn on My First Collaboration.

Hello YATopia Blog Readers!

I know it has been sometime since I last wrote to you. Though I am not sure how many actually read anything I write, but that is okay. I wish I can say I have been on grand and exciting adventures around the world seeking fabulous and wondrous books the world has never seen since the time of the Library of Alexandria.

Sadly I can’t. 

Life just got in the way. Life got crazy. Work got crazy. Everything in my world got crazy. Which can happen to anyone of us when we least expect it. But sometimes we see it coming a mile away but don’t anything to stop it. I sadly saw it and didn't do anything about it until it was too late.

But that is neither here nor there or over by the refrigerator or cat food bowl. 

During my absence I have been making art. Art that people really like, they have even paid me for some of the art, but again I digress. See so I was still being creative.

Also during my absence I was ask, which it the whole point of this blog post today, to collaborate on a short story. I jumped at the opportunity to do this, not because I would be working with a well-known author.

I am not.

But because I have always wanted to collaborate on a story. I know I did that in a sense when working on the Amazing Pulp Adventures RPG book, but it felt more like someone writing in my world and I was there to say yes, no, maybe let’s see where it takes us.

So let me tell you everything was amazing and fantastic and worked out perfectly and it was a grand magical experience. Sadly I can’t. 

First off for everything that went wrong in this collaboration; it became a learning experience. And as long as I am learning something I am happy. It will also help if the story from the collaboration turns out to be good and the publisher accepts it for the anthology it is being submitted to.

Things I have learned from the collaborating process, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. In no particular order.  

1 – Have an outline for the story, some sort of outline the both of you agree with. Hint we did not have this, so we had no guidelines no road map to follow to guide the story in a way that would make us both happy. When I normally write a story solo I just need to know the ending, but when there is another creative person involved in the project I think a road map would help.

2 – Know the Ending you are working towards. I know this might see like the same thing as point one. It very well might be, but not only do you need to know the Ending you need to know the beginning as well. Luckily enough we had been sitting in the same room when we came up with the beginning.   

3– You should take turns writing. It ended up me writing the beginning and then my co-author writing everything else. Which had me pestering them about when were the going to be finished. And I had no idea where they were taking the story since we had only discussed the beginning which I wrote and nothing else. So I am now reading and editing the story to add my flavor to it and expanding sections to help tie things to ending. If we had been writing together both us would had been helping guide the story and putting our own special touches throughout the story.

4 – Corrupt file. If we were both writing the story going back and forth there would have been more than one file.  Since they took the story to write and finish it. When I got it back it was corrupted with oriental characters/symbols/letters. There is no telling how much damage was done to the story. *

*This where you pick up that I am still waiting for the other author to check their file on their computer to see it is corrupted. If it is I am going to have to take what is left and rebuild the story. I will let you know what happened next month and hopefully let you know if it was accepted or not into the anthology. 

So would I collaborate again? Totally. I have learned from these mistakes and I am sure I will make more and learn from them. Would I collaborate with the same author again that I did with this time? Totally. From what I can tell we complement our styles well, bring various strengths to the story. I can’t wait to see the finish piece one it is done, which is due by this Sunday to the editor.  

And maybe next time I will show you some art... Doctor Who art since it starts on the 19th of September!


  1. I've always wanted to try collaborating with another author, but I often wonder how it would end up. I definitely enjoy my critique partners... perhaps one of these days I'll try collaborating with one of them :)

  2. To be quite honest, I've never desired to collaborate with another author. It reminds me too much of the projects in middle school where you get a partner and have to share a grade. *shudder*

    But then, I see authors who collaborate and have it work out beautifully and I think, "You know, if I could find the perfect partner... we could do great things."

    I often think that about finding a girlfriend, too. :P lol