Writing Prompt: The Art of Collaboration

8 May


Many popular books series have been written in collaboration such as the Robin Paige Victorian-Edwardian Mystery series which was a partnership between husband and wife duo, Susan Witting Albert and Bill Albert or the Science Fiction James S. A. Corey Expanse Series written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.  The House of Night, YA vampire series, was a collaboration between a mother/daughter team of P.C. and Kristin Cast.   I’ve shared a variety of writing prompts over the last few weeks some of which suggested reaching out to family and friends for ideas such as the recipe inspired prompt, but mostly they were directed towards solo writing.  But for this writing prompt it is all about collaboration.

There are a lot of great advantages to collaboration.  It can bring out your strengths to make a stronger piece for example if one person is great at dialogue and the other is better at world building than together you can great a better novel.  It can allow someone with less experience to learn skills from someone who has well developed prose, at the same time a more established writer may gain new ideas to keep their work fresh.

Reach out to a friend or family member who also has an interest in writing and start working on a project together.  It could be a novel or a short story.  Perhaps you’d like to write a memoir about time spent together.  You could live in the same household, but you could also work on your piece by email or you could set up a shared document online such as with Google Docs.  Work on an outline to get an idea of what you want the overall piece to be.  Decide how you want to share responsibility for the piece.  Will you write every other chapter or will you work on the whole together?  Don’t have a friend who writes; perhaps you could collaborate on an illustrated piece with an artistic friend.  If you need a topic to get you writing, think about your relationship as a jumping off point.  How is your marriage, familial or friendship unique?  What kind of story could you write about a relationship similar to your own or what could you write about a relationship that is the complete opposite?

For those looking to involve a large group of friends consider doing an “exquisite corpse,” a Surrealist game.  Each person writes a line on a piece of paper and the next person adds a line.  Traditionally this was done without seeing what the previous person wrote by folding over the paper, which added to the Surreal quality of the writing.  For your’s though you could look at the previous line if you’d like.  See if you can create a beautiful (or perhaps funny) poem with your family and friends.

Have other interesting ideas for collaboration?  Share them in our comments!

Looking for a local writing group?  Join our month Creative Writing Group for insightful and constructive feedback.  Currently we are meeting online through Zoom.  Email hplwriters@gmail.com for more information.

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