When I mention I co-write, other writers often reply, “How can you do that? I can’t imagine working with another person.”

Having been a gamer longer than not, and having had so much success in collaborative tutoring, I can’t imagine how one might find that so unimaginable.

Granted, as I type this, Christy and I are having one of those classic moments in any collaboration: haggling over a single line.

It’s not even a key line to plot, though it shows a lot of character – and it’s in response to our editor’s comment.

It’s still just a single sentence. A short one.

Whatever we come up with, though, I’m quite sure it will be better for our haggling – despite what is likely clenched teeth and aggravation on both sides.

There’s always a lot of give and take when you work with another person, and it can be very hard when it comes to creativity because writers truly do get tied to their words. Criticism is hard; it’s even harder when it’s from someone you respect and care about – and who you work with almost daily.

I suppose I can understand where others might come from. In addition to the ownership of words so many writers feel, it’s also difficult to compromise. So often, compromise is used to suggest less quality or a less than desired outcome – especially in our self-oriented culture. “I don’t want to compromise the integrity of… what _I_ created.”

On the other hand, writers are probably the worst judges of themselves. We fly back and forth in extremes: “I am writing the words of God, himself!” or “God, I suck! Who would EVER want to read this utter crap?!” A partner – a good one, and I do know I have a good one – grounds us, keeps us from these extremes, gives another set of eyes – and can balance us out. “We can do better. Let’s try…” Or, “That’s really not that bad!”

If you share a common vision, and a common goal of the highest quality writing, a partner truly enhances not only the final product of writing, but the writing process. It’s a person to talk to, bounce ideas off of in what has become thought of as a solitary profession: writing. A partner helps keep the balance between needed sanity and desired insanity/passion that a writer wants.

Working with a partner, even on a small project like a short story, is something writers should try at least once. Make sure it’s someone you trust and someone who’s writing you like. You’ll find yourself thinking in new ways. If you find you don’t like it once the project is done, don’t do it again. But at least give it a one-time shot; you might be surprised!

And we’ve now agreed on a line.
Teaser for the story we’re submitting to Bad-Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory:

“The beginnings of a panic attack stole her breath and swelled pain across her chest.”

Hope our editor likes it as much as we do!

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About Us

We have a diverse, combined writing experience. I am a middle school English teacher and an administrator and co-administrator for various writing groups. Trisha is a freelance writer, editor, and online educator whose fiction appears in FANTASY GAZETTEER. Together we co-authored "Party Crashers” for the EPPIE award winning anthology BAD ASS FAERIES 2: JUST PLAIN BAD.

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