When you think of a WRITER what mental image comes to mind? Is it a person alone hunched over their computer typing away? Emphasis in that last sentence on the word “alone.” The archetype of a writer is an introvert. Popular depictions of writers depict a solitary individual working in isolation. Though that reality may be true for certain writers (at certain times), a strong case may be made that some of the best writing occurs in collaboration. I’d like to give you an example.
Soon after graduating my master screenwriting program, I begin collaborating with Charles D. Borg, a fellow screenwriter from Chapman University. Together, we “beat out” our story ideas, talking over every aspect of a script from theme, to dialogue, to characters. Then we wrote each screenplay together. It was an amazingly beneficial experience for both of us.
Right now, I’d like to go over some reasons why you too should consider partnering up with other writers to achieve greater levels of success.
1. Conceptual Help
Whether dreaming up a screenplay, a fictional book or a non-fictional guide, it doesn’t hurt to have someone you can bounce ideas off of. To me, the most challenging aspect of writing is creating the broad picture or concept that will eventually be captured through an outline. Having another person to discuss and figure out your big idea can be helpful. Together, you can refine and polish your approach until you feel happy with the material.
2. Real-time Responses
Charles and I wrote many comedic TV and Feature scripts together. Unlike other genres, such as drama, comedy is easily measurable based on the visceral human reaction. Essentially, I could tell if something was working if my writing partner laughed aloud. The feedback was instantaneous and helpful. Regardless if you are writing comedy, though, receiving another person’s reaction can save you time. You know right away if you are headed in the right direction or not.
3. Reduced Workload
This may sound obvious but it’s important to recognize. Being able to split the work amongst a collaborator should be one of the prime motivators of writing together. Though some writers are of the mind that it only counts if you are the only person responsible for the material, I beg to differ. There are monetary benefits of sharing the workload. You can produce more content quicker, allowing you to take on more assignments and thus earn more pay.
Author’s note: Charles D. Borg operates his own screenwriting analysis and development company @ http://www.smashtoconsulting.com/. Contact him for outstanding script coverage or to write your screenplay.
For more information and helpful resources, please visit the The Six-Figure Writer Page.