A word of advice (if I may be so bold).
I vlogged about this today and wanted to share my experience with you. The subject is collaboration.
I’ve written a great many works collaboratively. The most famous is Midrealm. You don’t own it already, you say? You should go handle that.
Maybe you just can’t work collaboratively, but you should be willing to give it a try for at least one reason.
Any good writer will stress the importance of a good editor(s). There are three types of editors:
Developmental Editors, who help with broad strokes problems with your story
Line Editors, who go over your work and make the language work better for you, slash unnecessary words and tweak the words you already have to say what you’re trying to say better
Copy Editors, who go through your work for grammar mistakes and typos.
The developmental editor is the one I most often see people skimp on. This is usually because of money. They tend to cost more than a line editor OR a copy editor. They don’t want a percentage of your royalties, they want to be paid. Up front. In cash. (And they should be).
Without a developmental editor, it’s easy for your story to go off the rails. You can have massive inconsistencies, dei ex machinis, and a whole host of other problems crop up that are too near and dear for you to see. Plot holes will abound.
Writing in collaboration CAN handle a lot of these problems, IF you find a good collaborator. I’m blessed to be working with someone who’s not only a lifelong friend, but a great writer in his own right. (I’m talking, of course, about Z. C. Bolger, known to some as Zach. Check out his website here).
We both come up with ideas. It’s a true collaboration. But it’s much easier to spot flaws in someone else’s idea than your own. For that reason, we shoot down a majority of concepts that should never make it past the drawing board. And we do it while developing the story, not after writing and going through ten drafts. It saves an incredible amount of time.
It’s a case of one and one making three. Your main difficulty becomes finding the right person to collaborate with, and once you do, setting aside your own ego. But if you can make it work, it will WORK, brother.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that your work can’t ALSO benefit from a developmental editor afterward. But in the same way that you’ll often need to pay a copy editor less if you’ve edited your own work several times, you’ll pay your developmental editor less if you’ve already shot down the big, screaming outpoints in your book.
All right, back into my foxhole to finish this first draft before my co-writer tracks me down with his baseball bat…