Jan 26, 2016

Writing with Another Person Part 3? 4? 5:

by Terri Wagner

I am not sure when I last wrote about working with another writer. I think I was more positive about the idea than I am today. What changed? Not sure! However, when I finish a scene and shot it along to this other person, I get a lot of negative feedback. So have I suddenly become a bad writer? Or what I suspect is that my writing is distracted. I know what I want to do with a scene, but while I see the vision and think I am writing it properly, my partner says a reader will get lost. And she's a reader who would know what I was writing and why we needed the scene. It is becoming a problem. She feels she is doing all the writing, and I feel like I'm getting picked on.

I have written 3 scenes, all rejected. It involved a date to set up what happens later. First date she said was too much like a first date. Technically it was a first date, not really a date, between friends. So I did a Mormon type "steamy" scene, lol, and she said too much. Will make the relationship flounder as a simply physical relationship. So I did another one. Kind of Mormony, cute, fun, and she said we already used an arcade setting. Making me nuts. And that's not all. One day she thinks the steamy scene might serve the ultimate goal better, then chides me for writing it, then again rejects it.

She's not doing this because she's crazy but because she wants it all to make sense, flow right, and assist us to the ultimate goal which is sorta romance. Maybe that's the issue. I do not really like writing fiction, and romance in particular. So I am back to trying to figure out what I am doing wrong.

There are a lot of difficult life situations going on for both of us. So it would be easy to say well she's blah blah blah and I'm blah blah blah and leave it there. But that is not going to get the book written. Is she being unreasonable? Am I? Is it simply my vision is different from hers? And if so then how do we marry our visions? Writing with a partner means checking your vision at the door. It means rethinking what your writing. If it does not make sense to her who knows the plot, how will it mean anything to a beta reader? So what do I do about the next thing I wrote she is now questioning everything on? Stay tuned for more writing with a partner.


  1. Terri, do you remember why you two decided to partner to write this novel? How long have you been working on writing it? Who came up with the plot? Do you two have a contract pointing out a division of labor? (Are you "working" for her?)

    If you are not enjoying this experience, especially in light of your partner's critical view of your work, is it time to pull the plug? Give up all claim to the idea (while maybe reserving the right to pull your work out of the piece) and let her write the novel? If you're not getting joy out of writing, why are you doing it?

    I wouldn't, if I didn't love it.

  2. First, let me congratulate you on your efforts to write fiction. As a sister non-fiction writer, I feel your pain. I started writing a project with a partner once, but felt so very inadequate, I let it go. And it was even a nonfiction book! I have to agree with Marsha. How badly do you want to write that story?

  3. Writers are artists. Can you imagine team painters? I'm sure there are some, somewhere. Our stories are our babies. We don't want people changing our work.

    I had a similar experience, but we were working on a musical. She was the playwright and I was the composer. I tried to mold her work to my music, which I never should have done. I should have molded my music to her lines. We had a not-so-happy parting and I learned a lot from it. It helped me realize how much people love their "babies," and you don't go changing their babies.

    Best wishes with your novel if you continue. Sounds to me you should write your own novel, stick with your own style. You'll hear your lyrics singing its own melody.

  4. Thank you all for your comments. Joy....hmmmm nope I'm not getting joy but then as a non fiction writer there's not much joy right Kari? LOL


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