Monday, January 23, 2012

Synonyms for collaboration...

Fun, mental exercise, compromise, teachability...did I mention fun?

I've had the pleasure of collaborating with several different people over the past year. The longest collaboration, and one I've talked about before, is of course Falls the Shadow with Mary and LoriAnn (Elynn W. Marshe). The other, not-so-talked-about one is a short story, Malfunction, written in fellow author Andrea Graham's Web Surfer universe.

One of the things I love the most about collaborating with someone is the brainstorming stage. Everyone chiming in, sometimes talking all at once, as the ideas begin snowballing, each person adding to the idea with, "Ooh--what if?..." "How about..." "Wouldn't it make more sense for that character to do this?..." With Andrea, it was on Facebook (love the wonders of technology!) so I was typing as fast as I could to get out my ideas. With May and LoriAnn, it's always a conference call...so you can imagine the crazy sounds our phone speakers put out when we all start talking at once.

My other favorite thing about collaborating with someone is what I get to learn from that person. Mary, LoriAnn, and I are all close to the same level of writing, but I'm constantly learning from them, either by one of them critiquing what I've written, passing on a piece of advice, or seeing how they use a certain word or phrase. With Andrea, I've benefited from some excellent editing that has pinpointed what I need to work on in my writing.

For some reason, I seem to be more challenged when I'm working with someone. Maybe it's because I want to look good in their eyes--maybe because I treat it a little like a competition--maybe because I really want to work hard and write something admirable. Maybe all three. Whatever the case, I love how collaboration inspires me. I love working with people. I love cohesive acts of creativity.

1 responses:

Mary Ruth Pursselley said...

I love collaborating on works of fiction too - especially with building a fictional world. There seems to be so much more fullness to the world when you have two or three heads, each with their own fields of knowledge and creativity, working together instead of just one.
I think the one thing I love most about collaboration is when we're all in the middle of a brainstorm and then all at once we somehow get to the same place in our thoughts and all blurt out the same thing at once. That's when you really know you're onto something! :)

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