A Collaborative Novel Is Twice the Work, Not Half the Work

Beth Ann Fennelly

Beth Ann Fennelly / photo by Jon Cancelino

In an essay about writing a novel with her husband, Beth Ann Fennelly discusses that the process did not lead to fighting, but that it was fun, and not as lonely. However, it didn’t mean half the work. It meant twice the work. She writes:

That’s when the novel really started cooking—and finally became fun to write—when we adopted the method we termed the “dueling laptops,” writing side by side on the same passages at the same time, then reading aloud and discussing and jointly moving forward. This is clearly not the most expedient route … but it was a wild new kind of work, a work which takes the other’s half, and raises it by half.

Read the entire essay over at this month’s Glimmer Train bulletin.

Also in this month’s bulletin:

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Posted in Creativity + Inspiration and tagged , , .

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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