The Fun of Co-Authoring

I’ve experimented once or twice with co-authoring stories.  Generally it’s a hard thing to pull off well.  There’s the fun of who writes what part, or if you write for different characters.  Then there’s artistic disagreements.  All those fun things.

But here recently I’ve begun a project with my favorite author – Michael Traven – that is, my brother.  I mentioned him before a few months back in my post about ‘my editor.’  Michael is a fantastic writer, and constantly impresses me with his skill, not only with fiction writing, but also in the art of film making.

So when I stumbled upon an anthology being published sometime in the near future by Pill Hill Press, Michael was my first thought.  The concept is that multiple writers work together to create a fictional piece.  The anthology is called The E-pocalypse, and the stories are told through emails from the last remaining survivors on earth before/during a major apocalyptic event.

So far, Michael and I have had two separate one and a half hour phone conversations.  The first one we mostly just brainstormed.  Throwing ideas out.  The first things that came to mind.  Narrowing things down.  Bouncing thoughts off each other until we formed a basic idea of the story line and characters.  It’s been so long since I had that kind of brainstorming session with another writer, that I found I was thrilled at how fun it was.  Then Friday night we had another long phone conversation where we picked character names, who writes for each character and narrowed down a specific outline.

Now we’re about ready to get started writing.  We’ve set up aol email accounts for our characters, just to keep them organized.  I can’t tell you how excited I am about this.  Not only is it a blast to co-author with a good friend (and brother!), but to do so with one who is so extremely talented?  It’s just a real blessing.  And the other awesome part is that Michael and I work great together.  I never feel offended if he thinks an idea won’t work for this story, and he is the same way.  Having been siblings, we know how to relate to each other, how to communicate, and we’ve always been very close so you don’t have many of the issues that people have when co-authoring.

As a sidenote, Christmas was great, but in a way, I’m delighted that it’s over.  I’ve been able to do a lot more writing lately (not all of it good, of course, but it’s writing nonetheless), and that helps me feel better and more peaceful in general.

Anyway, I’m out for now.  Take care and happy writing!



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