Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to Co-Author a Book

It's no secret I co-authored Out of the Frying Pan with my writerly buddy Kelly Klepfer. We had a hootenanny of a time. She's ridiculous. I'm insane. Win, win, right? But even though it was a great experience, there were a few new tricks I learned to put into my writerly bag. Here are some tips if you're considering co-authoring a book . . .

Don't edit the other person's voice to death.
This was my problem. Big time. I'm the sicko who happens to love to edit. Soup can labels, dog food bags, you name it and I'll edit it. Generally this skill comes in handy, but not so much when I red-inked my buddy's scenes. The beauty of having 2 authors in one book is that you get distinct voices. Resist the urge to make it sound like one.

Transitions are your new best friends.
When we finally put all of our scenes together, some of them didn't mesh so well. Segues are a must, especially when there are 2 different voices. Just a sentence or two will do it at the beginning of each scene.

Have one main plotter.
Kelly worked out the big picture for Out of the Frying Pan. Good thing, because too many authors ideas can spoil a novel. Not that we didn't brainstorm together from time to time, but someone has to ultimately be in charge of steering the writerly ship.

Have loads of grace and buckets of mercy.
Sometimes I screwed up a scene. Sometimes Kelly did. We both had to go back to the drawing board when our scene didn't work for the other person. Know that's part of the game ahead of time so tempers don't flare.

Divvy up the marketing chores.
Just because you finish writing the book together doesn't mean the work is over. That's when marketing begins. Don't weigh down your partner with the bulk of getting the word out. Do what you learned in preschool: share.

Would I do it again? Sure. Writing a book together is a fun adventure. Just make sure to do it with someone you love.

And if you love a sweet deal, there's still a chance to enter the OUT OF THE FRYING PAN giveaway . . .

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Robin Mason said...

I'm that weird too, Michelle. Can't not edit nothing!!!

chappydebbie said...

I truly enjoyed co-writing the devotional with MaryLu. We were both very cordial in our edits of each other's devotions. I think it turned out great.

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