From my experience, independent authors live in an isolated world. It can be difficult to break free. This is especially true for me because I am a little odd. On-line I am an extrovert. In real-life, however, I am the textbook definition of an introvert. And as an introvert, I resort to an independent author’s introverted realm when I write because it is comfortable. Comfort can morph into lifelessness… I became a little overwhelmed with all of the isolated lifelessness.
So, with my newest venture, a choreopoem, I sought rejuvenation. I resorted to one of the most challenging things for an introvert to do: collaborate. My creative challenge would be impossible without She Writes.
She Writes is my “mother ship”. Thus far, I am more than happy with the results it has beamed down. I have been able to test the overall tone and theory of the project, receive constructive feedback from experienced writers, identify potential partners and create a project “support group”. The journey has been rather productive.
But now – as the ball continues to roll – I wonder if there is more that I can do to maximize the collaborative writing experience? Right now, I communicate with everyone via She Writes messaging services or direct email. And it works! Still, I ask my fellow She Writers the following:
(1) How would you use She Writes to execute a collaborative writing project (of any genre, as long as it includes two or more writers)?
(2) Have you ever participated in a collaborative writing experience, in person or online? If so, what did you learn?
(3) Did you love it or hate it?
(4) Can you offer any advice to enhance the collaborative writing experience?
I've had a horrible experience with collabing... Back when I wrote fanfictions, I had this awesome idea and told 3 writer friends about it so we decided to go into it as a collab. For the first half the four of us worked together in harmony, then out of the blue one day they decided amongst themselves without even asking me about it or including me in the conversation, to let one person in the group take over the story. Said it was a "unanimous vote" real unanimous when one "member" is totally left out. :P
So I'm very leery of collabs on stories. Writing articles to advise writers is another thing, but I handle my own stories now. My advice is be real sure you can trust whoever you do collab with.
I am so sorry about your experience. I hate the fact that they went behind your back.
I appreciate you sharing your story and advice with me.
I'm glad you read it. Don't let it scare/turn you off completely, just be cautious. :)
In answer to your questions:
1) - I would use the chat feature, and try to set up a set time per week to hash out ideas, get schedules and due dates squared away.
2)- I have, and found that I'm horrible at it. It worked pretty well except for my strong control freak nature when it comes to what I write.
3)-Eh, neither love or hate- just know that it is difficult for me.
4)-Make sure you keep the communication lines always open, and that everyone knows who is responsible for what, and that everyone understand what is expected of them at the time.
Thank you for your great advice and honesty.
:) Not a problem- Like Catrina said, don't let our experience scare you off too much. Some great stories have come out of a collaborative effort.