by Felicity Annora
Hello! And welcome back to the wonderfully, weird corner of the internet. YO GIRL IS BACK WITH A WRITING POST.
So before I jump into this headfirst, there’s been some general franticness in the air for writers as NaNoWriMo fast approaches. Me and a friend have been wanting to co-write a book for awhile, and we thought that NaNoWriMo would be the perfect time to do something like that. Except we lacked planning for this story.
I can already hear it now- the seasoned NaNo planners are staring at those words in fear, while the seasoned pantsers are shrugging their shoulders like it’s no big deal.
EXCEPT IT IS.
There is no way you can co-write without SOME planning. And since we were fast approaching the deadline, we thought “Eh. Let’s do it another time when the timing’s better.”
Only to seesaw on our decision again. We have finally decided, once and for all, to get going on our rough draft. No backing out now!
Now. Without further ado, here are the benefits of co-writing with a friend.
You have multiple opinions.
Ever looked at an outline of your story, and said to yourself, “It’s missing something.”
When you’re co-writing, you and your friend(s) will look at it and come up with a variety of ways to fix the problem. They’ll point out plot holes you never realized were there and help you fix them, or help come up with a lazy reasoning for why it’s there.
Feel like a name doesn’t quite fit the character? They’ll throw out about 15 different names you’ve never heard before that somehow fit way better than before.
Having multiple different opinions really help. Bouncing multiple different ideas off of each other really help refine your story in a way you never thought possible.
It’s 10x more fun to write.
Me and my friend share a Google Doc, and most of the time I get my daily laugh in because of it. Going on wild tangents about your character’s hair and somehow getting to the point where the main protagonist falls in love with their mentor instead of their destined love interest have never been more entertaining.
TV pales in comparison to the fun I’ve had on that Google Doc.
And sure- there’s been moments where we’ve had our disagreements, our concentrated serious discussions, and our aha! moments. But it somehow feels a little more awesome when you do it with a friend.
You have an accountability partner.
No slacking off.
No jumping to another project.
Having a co-author really helps whip you into shape. Whether it’s the subconscious fear of disappointing or letting down your friend, we almost always end up trying to do our best for our friends rather than for ourselves. So if you’re having difficulties trying to write a book and have a friend in mind where you want to try to write together- I say go for it.
For me personally, I think having her be a constant in my life as writing friends have really helped with with my self control and self discipline. I don’t know what magic juice she dumped on me through the WiFi connection, but’s it’s definitely has had a positive effect on me.
You get closer with your friend(s).
Once upon a time ago, I wasn’t really close with my co-author. Since me and her think differently, I didn’t understand where she was coming from and thought that all of her texts without emojis or with proper grammar meant that she was somehow disappointed with me or was always irritated with me.
That was not the case, though.
The more time I started to talk with her, I realized that my perception of her was severely screwed up.
Then we took the leap to write a novel together.
Now? I consider her one of my dearest and closest online friends. We crack each other up, create our own worlds, and build civilizations.
It’s been a crazy adventure and it’s only the beginning of it. And I wouldn’t give up the time we’ve spent together for anything in the world.
You will inevitably come out with a better product.
Remember what I said about all of those opinions awhile back?
Because of all those opinions, you’ll almost always come out with a better project then if you did it alone. As long as you’re honest with each other and willing to compromise to find a happy middle ground, your story is going to come out looking better than before.
And it’s all thanks to agreeing to become a second pair of eyes.
Guest post contributed by Felicity Annora. Along with being a musician, artist, and singer, Felicity also blogs about the art of writing. She’s also the contributing author to Whimsical Wordsmiths.