Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

Collaborations: What They Do For Inspiration


I’ll be the first to admit that a collaboration is something I’ve never properly attempted, but I’m open to many things. Because of this, when a friend of mine mentioned the idea of us collaborating last week, I jumped at the opportunity. We spent this past week discussing details; the characters, in what kind of style to write and a vague idea of what we wanted to happen and more specifics for the first chapter.

Granted, we live halfway across the world from each other, so our only option for the joint project was online.

And we’re making it work.

It took us two nights of back and forth typing in MSN – her doing a section (anywhere from a one-line paragraph to multiple paragraphs), then me following suit and repeating that process until we finished the first chapter. I can honestly say that this form of collaborating is both intriguing and immensely fun and satisfying.

One of the pros for working together on a story is that, even if you don’t have inspiration, your partner in crime can continue. And what they write just might spark your muse and send you into a writing frenzy. I speak from experience when I say that writing with a companion changes so many things dramatically. By writing together, you inspire and motivate each other and keep pushing one another to write, write and write some more. It’s both a challenging and rewarding experience; something that is worth it in the end.

So long as you have someone you share interests with and can connect to and stay on the same wavelength as them, venturing forth into a collaboration will be easy. Have a rough idea of what you want, but make sure to discuss plans and ideas with your partner. The key to keeping a joint writing functional is to have constant contact with your friend or fellow writer. Always talk, always compare and always discuss things that could be done better or differently or not done like that.

Never close yourself off from constructive criticism; the other writer’s contributions are just as meaningful and important as your own.

Accept it with open arms. Knit it a little sweater. It’s meant to help you improve.

Teamwork is an essential part of collaborating, so make sure you’re willing to compromise and spend time changing or discussing things that you may feel are fine the way they are. But most of all – have fun. Writing should always be an enjoyable experience and a collaboration is no different. The only different in it, is that you’re two – or maybe more – authors working on the same story.

Don’t hold back. It’s an amazing experience.

Have you ever collaborated before and if so, how did it go? Do you have any advice for people who would like to collaborate?
If you haven’t; is it something you can see yourself doing?

Author: Natasha McNeely

I'm a writer, reader, gamer and a dreamer. I love losing myself to thought and considering possibilities. That is how I create my stories and weave the erratic tales into readable ones.

6 thoughts on “Collaborations: What They Do For Inspiration

  1. I have never collaborated through choice. It has only ever been as part of a project through my childrens writing course. everything you talk about, never happened. We had the initial talk, and then the work load was basically split into chapters. We would discuss for an hour each week our progress, and comment on what changes could be made – but this was a group of seven!

    Most people didn’t want to be involved. Many didnt like the concept, and very few turned up every week. As for the suggestions – they were very rarely taken on board. Having said all that, as much as it shouldn’t have worked, it did!

    I think in this case we were very lucky, but it certainly isnt something I would participate in again. However, both me and a friend are hoping to work on a joint project soon. It is waiting for the moment when we arent both deeply engrossed in our individual projects. It is something I can’t wait to start!

    Good luck with your venture, and please do keep us informed of your progress. I am intrigued to know how you get on.

    • I think it depends on who you’re collaborating with and what about, in the end. There are so many small factors that need to be considered, which will make the collaboration either work or come crashing down.

      That does sound like it must have been a lot of work! I’m glad it worked out, though; it’s great to see things end well, even if the process was difficult.

      Thank you! I will definitely keep you informed.

  2. I have a good friend. We bounce ideas off each other. The unspoken rule is that we each have our own projects, and so each time we talk about something, either it’s my project and I want his help, or vice versa. So, one person is the boss, in a way.

    We did write a story together a few weeks ago, and it went pretty well. It’s 20+ years of knowing him, and we have very similar tastes.

    • Bouncing ideas off each other is a great idea, as well. It gives you the chance to get an outside opinion from someone who can tell you what they think should be different about it.

      Knowing each other for a long time like that will definitely make working together on a story a lot easier.

  3. Collab sounds like a lot of fun if you can get the right partner! I’ve been working through ideas with the husband, both his own concepts and mine, and we have briefly discussed co-writing a story or two. It’s awesome to hear you had such a great time working with your friend (the internet is a marvelous thing)! 😀


    • I can assure you it is! In the end, it all comes down to who your partner is, if you can work well together and the ideas you come up with.
      That sounds like a great idea! I do hope you give it a try; collaborating with someone is an amazing feeling.

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