Writing Partners

I have seen both here and other places on the internet, people who have a writing partner, either in the sense that they write the actual story/game together, or they each write their own stuff, but use each other as a kinda super-beta, who knows all the spoilers, so they can really discuss the story in all aspects.

This sounds really awesome and useful, so my question is: How the HELL?!

  • How did you find each other? Did you know each other before, and just happen to both like writing? Or did you meet through a writing community?
  • Do you meet up in real life, or is communication though the internet enough?
  • Do you like writing similar stuff, or does having different preferenses add an extra something?
  • How can you do it without wanting to rip the head of each other?
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Okay, since I have one for my comic, here is how we met.

We were both writing fanfiction for DA2 under fake names on deviantart and wrote nice comments for each other’s stories, we were recruited to a DA2 modern AU RP site by a mutual acquaintance (also through DA2) and I had RP’d a lot but she hadn’t, so I sort of started up with her to get her in the spirit and show how it was done. We ended up writing things far more like collaborative stories rather than proper RP, we realized our skillsets complimented each other and we shared the same sensibilities about where a story should go. Eventually we revealed our real names, and started working together at various projects, and eventually one got off the ground and Breaks was born.

We still have our massive zombie novel to finish, but we are both so busy.

We communicate through the net, but we have met in real life a handful of times. We also do phone.

Our writing styles are complementary but slightly different.

How do we not rip the heads off each other? I… would not work with a person I felt that way about. A writing partner is someone that adds to the story, not someone you need to fight and win. I think the important thing is to be mature enough not to me married to ideas, and if you are, to be eloquent enough to explain why they are the best. Usually my reaction to changes are ‘wow, that made it so much better, thanks for fixing it’.

That being said, I’ve had collaborations that just faded away to nothing, and others that were filled with (constructive) arguments. The argument one was in game design in real life, we had known each other for ten years back then and knew we could disagree about implementations.

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I’ve had one for about two years now(?) and I honestly think of them as one of my best friends. I met her through an ad I put up on a co-writer website that she answered (there’s tons of places to go if you’re looking), but I definitely wouldn’t have found her otherwise cause she lives on a different continent :sweat_smile:. I’d asked if anyone want to collaborate with me and offered a description of what I liked to write, which ended up being very similar to her own interests. She emailed me, and eventually the awkward formality disappeared to reveal my twin (like, we’re scary how alike we are sometimes). We haven’t met in real life, but we know each others’ full names and have even sent each other Christmas gifts now. Communication shifted from emails to messenger apps like Discord over time (ease of access).

We aren’t exactly co-writers anymore, as we both are lazy and haven’t gotten around to planning any projects, but instead we’re like writing buddies. She’d had an extremely positive influence on me and my writing because her personality is so genuinely motivating (I can also just vomit information about my books to her and she can spot plot holes and fixes a mile away), and I’ve been helping her work out the psychological aspects of her books/editing what she feels comfortable showing me.

I think it REALLY helps to like the person if you want to work with them in any capacity. Maybe even mandatory. It’s like, you wouldn’t go into business with someone you couldn’t stand, so why would a hobby or actual career move be any different? If you want editing or writing help, but especially if you co-write, having similar writing styles or preferences would be pretty important. Like, sure you could get a different perspective on the material, but if your partner isn’t interested they might not be engaged and they’re not your target market. Me and my writing partner have similar personalities and styles, I enjoy chatting with her on subjects outside of writing (we send so many memes and news articles), and we both push each other to do better in all aspects of our lives; that kind of healthy relationship breeds good communication, I’d say.

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Long story short(er): We met IRL as teenagers through mutual friends/work and were friends first. It was only years later, after we had both done writing amateur stuff independently of each other, that it changed. He kept talking about an even bigger, longer story he wanted to write but kept finding excuses and putting off. So, after years of me and others being like “You should just do that, then!” I offered to work on it together, instead. He writes, I edit/also write/code.

It’s just by beautiful happenstance that we meshed so well. The way we think and go about our creative processes are actually wildly different, but balance and compliment one another perfectly. For example, he can ONLY write chronologically: start at the start, straight through to middle, end. I can’t do that at all, even when I write research papers, I jump around. It’s really helpful in maintaining continuity and thinking of storylines from multiple angles that way.

There have been a few intense debates when we’ve had differing opinions on where the plot is going or takes on a character, but we don’t “rip the head” off each other because it’s never been personal. We both know it always comes from a place of us both wanting the story to be better. Plus, we have such a solid personal connection and similar interests outside of writing. It helps to be able to talk about other stuff!

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I wish I could find one.

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My (formerly) best friend, Ella, used to write stories with me in primary school and high school about the Adventures of Andrea but since then I had no writing partner to help me with stories. I’d love to find another writing partner soon…

Thanks a lot for the replies guys! And sorry for forgeting to respond (that’ll teach me to make threads when I have the flu, I think I’ve forgotten to respond to stuff all over the forum :sweat:).

I’m very interested in what different people would be looking for in a writing partner?

Even though I know on an intellectual level that everyone is different, and have different strentghs and weaknesses, it’s somewhat difficult for me to understand that other people might dislike the exact things I enjoy doing, and have a easy time doing the things I hate.

So, the people I collaborate with are mostly co-world-builders (if that makes sense?). We haven’t actually written anything together in a while, but having people to exchange ideas with is invaluable to me when actually writing.

As for what people look for in writing partners, I think the best quality one could find in a writing partner is the ability to work well together. I don’t think I could work with anyone I didn’t like, or anyone who isn’t able to make compromises in their vision of the story, as much as I’d expect someone not to work with me if I couldn’t do both of those things. Having a shared interest in whatever you’re writing is also essential. Also, if you’re both going to be writing one project, having a similar-ish writing style would also help.

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