Wednesday, May 02, 2007


There are problems inherent when any two people write on one project. Personalities, style of writing, ways of editing, acceptance of suggestions, differing visions for the book, who and how many readers, and on and on. I’ve written a manuscript with a co-author and we’ve dealt with all of those … and more.

In the end, the book got written, but our friendship suffered somewhat.

But there are also mechanical problems. For example, although we both work in Windows, we have different versions of Word. There was no point in trying to correct the font and style problems each time we sent chapters back and forth. They’d just change again any time an edit or correction was made, no matter how small. We won’t even get into the fact that I leave one space between sentences and she leaves two.

Any problems like these you might as well leave alone as you write, as you edit and as you give it out to readers. They’re going to make suggestions and then you’ll have to do more editing or re-writing. So wait until you feel really sure it’s done and ready to send out to agents or editors.

Then you’ve got the monumental task of one person making the corrections. Of changing the fonts, the quote marks, the spacing, etc.

It’s best if the two writers can somehow get on the same page software-wise from the beginning to avoid this hassle. I can first-hand recommend it.

And don’t forget, if you send it out to agents and don’t get a positive response or you get some guidance from one of them, thus leading you to decide to do more editing, you’re gonna have more corrections to make.

This is a big problem for co-authors. And yet it’s small compared to some things that can wreak havoc on a friendship.

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