By: Emily Eileen Moreshead and Erin Rose Hennessy
A lot of people are intrigued when they find out we are co-writers. There’s a unique experience behind writing with another person. On one hand, you always have someone to bounce ideas off of or someone to give the scene a push if you’re stuck. On the other hand, there comes compromises that don’t occur when writing alone. Sometimes the scene doesn’t go exactly as you were imagining, but that’s okay, because it’s a joint effort!
Writing with another writer is amazing once we both find our grooves and discover how well our words can mesh and leap off the page in ways we may not have done in writing a scene alone.
It’s great to have that connection to another writer who enjoys the characters and story as much as we do. A fellow writer understands how the characters are almost our babies – we have an intimate bond with the world we have created and a co-writer will defend them as much as you will.
For people who co-write with others, it isn’t always easy. There are writing styles to mesh, characters to develop and flesh out. Make sure you go in with a plan and an idea of what you want out of the story. Make sure you agree on spelling of characters’ names! Also, it helps to have a list somewhere of facts to keep straight. Emily and I have a list of when the Riccoli daughters got potty trained, took their first steps, and their special stuffed animals. Heck, we even know their birth weights!
It goes without saying that compromise is the name of the game when deciding anything character centric although it is helpful if you try to find qualities, good or bad, in others you know or even in yourself to attribute to a specific character type. It makes the characters more alive, more human, and more important! Their storyline adventures thus become fun too, a way of letting someone you know tun around in your head. Susan Flannery, a very accomplished actress once stated when accepting a Daytime Emmy Award, that she had been given a gift. The gift of ‘playing in the sandbox of my mind’ and I find that to be quite perfect.
And as we all know, there’s nothing more fun than playing in a sandbox with a good friend! For us, co-writing has been an amazing journey and something we look forward to at the end of a long workday. Do any of our readers co-write? Share your experiences in the comments!