How to write a novel with two authors

Jessi Honard/ June 30, 2018/ Writing Process/ 0 comments

One of the most common questions we’re asked is how. How do you write a novel when you have two authors? Especially when those authors don’t even live in the same city?

The simple answer is practice.

We’ve been writing together since we met in 2009 (in fact we met on a text-based roleplaying forum, so our initial interactions were writing related). In 2010 we started a copywriting business together, and we’ve been co-writing content for our clients ever since.

We’ve had a lot of practice over the years. Millions of words worth. So when we sit down to write new chapters or scenes from The Grigori, it just flows. Usually. We do, of course, have to contend with spurts of writer’s block and rogue plot bunnies, but for the most part, the process works.

We thought it would be fun to share with you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what our writing process looks like, practically speaking. We’ve spoken with other co-authors over the years, and we’ve found that our way of writing often surprises even them. We don’t hand off novel-writing duties, passing it back and forth between us. We don’t assign a “lead writer” for certain chapters or sections.

Instead, we truly co-create our content. We’re often in a Google Doc at the same time, and while one of us is writing a new paragraph, scene, or piece of dialogue, the other is up revising the previous text.

For anyone on the outside looking in, it probably seems chaotic. But it works for us, and it allows us to make steady progress without ever needing to wait on one another.

Want to see our writing process in action? Below is a sped-up video of a non-related writing project (one of the website pages for our copywriting business). The content is dramatically different from what you’ll see in our novels, but the process is virtually identical.

Are you a co-author? How do you handle the writing process? Let us know in the comments.

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