How to Collaborate with a Fellow Author
Collaborate with author
How to Collaborate with a Fellow Author

This week has been a lovely one, as I’ve been writing with fellow author, editor, and writing coach, Isobelle Lans of Inspired Creative Co. Isobelle joined me for a week in Wales and we decided to begin a project we’ve spoken about for a while – writing a novel together.

If you too are looking to collaborate with a fellow author, here are our top tips on making it work:

1 – Communication is key.

An obvious one but worth mentioning is communication. We all communicate in a different way, but being receptive and open to each other’s ideas is a big part of creative collaboration. Before writing together, consider how the other person communicates, how they prefer to write, and what you can both bring to the project.

2 – Giving constructive criticism.

How do you receive feedback? It’s an important subject to raise. I like the compliment sandwich, and clear informative information about how something can be improved. Identify something you like, and then explain how something could be changed and why you think this. Be open to discussion on that change, and remember that creative writing is a subject often close to the heart. Find a middle ground for what works for both of you, and don’t be afraid to refer back to point one.

3 – Respecting energy levels.

Everyone has different ways of writing and working throughout the day, and routines that they are comfortable with. If you find you write best in the morning but your creative friend writes best in the evening, come up with a schedule that suits the both of you.

4 – Encouraging each other.

Discuss open ideas with each other and be mindful of all of the above. Spur each other on and take regular breaks where you don’t discuss writing – creating together requires a relationship too!

5 – Sharing a plot.

Everyone’s ideas are valid, so remember to share a plot. If you have an idea that you feel strongly about, politely explore it and allow your author friend to do the same. Remember that there is more than one solution to a problem, and that different personality types respond in different ways to situations – that’s a key point for your characters too!

6 – Working to your strengths.

At the start of your collaboration, communicate your creative strengths to the other person. Explore the topics and themes that you enjoy, shared favourite books, and decide on division of labour. For example, Isobelle and I discussed the kind of characters we like to write. Personally, I enjoy writing from a woman’s point of view, so I chose a character that matched my preferences. Isobelle is the opposite, so she chose a character that matched hers. In research, I enjoy writing about historical elements such as food. Isobelle prefers researching geographical features, such as floor plans and setting.

Treat this like any partnership with fair exchange and respect, and you too will be writing a novel with a close friend with ease and creativity.



Picture of Rachel Grosvenor

Rachel Grosvenor

I’m a writer, writing coach, and editor.

I know how hard it is to find the time to work on your passion project, and I know you want your novel to be the best it can be.

With a PhD, MA, and BA in Creative Writing, and as a Certified Professional Coach, I’m well poised to help you with whatever issue you are experiencing.

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