The Power of Collaborative Writing

One definition of collaborative writing could be: a writing project undertaken by two or more writers, working together to produce a diverse but concerted assignment. Other definitions, doubtless, could be proffered.

Collaborative writing may be something you have never given much thought to. So who would use it? The most common form of collaboration would most likely apply to members of a school or college class working together. This would typically be administered by the class teacher and could involve individual students or small teams, each contributing a line or paragraph to a common story or narrative.

Cloud computing and various web sharing applications have made it possible for teams of writers, distributed globally, to work together on specific projects. With free file sharing apps, such as Google Documents, team collaboration is made possible to everyone.

This brings a degree of partnership previously only available to multinational organisations with huge I.T. budgets.

So what are the advantages of collaborative writing? Collaboration may be about teamwork; it also calls for strong leadership. Roles and responsibilities need to be made clear at the outset. Someone must be able to adjudicate when conflicting ideas come to the fore.

The common goal must be agreed; the group must pull together as one. Every member should be encouraged to contribute; likewise, each must be accountable to the team. This is no place for democracy. A show of hands deciding every contentious point could be a recipe for disaster. The maxim that a camel is a horse designed by committee holds fast.

The collaborative team will also need to ensure that members’ individual skills are not blunted in an effort to strictly comply with the group’s objectives. Individuals need to be allowed to express themselves or the resulting work will be flat and uninspiring. A delicate balancing act is necessary in order to achieve the required result.

So is there a future in collaborative writing? We, at Double Head Publishing, would like to believe so. We have designed a workshop that we hope will pull together the cream of developing talent among today’s aspiring authors. We offer the chance for teams of collaborators to collectively write and publish their work; there will also be the opportunity to earn some valuable revenue in our unique profit sharing incentive plan.

We recognise the power of collaboration. Collaborative writing combines the individual writer’s talent and the group dynamic to produce work that will be greater than the sum of its parts.  Our desire is to become the recognised academy for helping up-and-coming writers to achieve their ambitions. We believe that collaborative writing has a clear place in the fields of creative writing and narrative. What do you think?

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2 Responses to The Power of Collaborative Writing

  1. Gwyneth Rushton says:

    Once again this logic speaks volumes and it sounds good. A collaboration of writers would surely be invigorating for both the writer and the reader.

    • Ken says:

      Thanks Gwyneth,

      That’s what we think too. There are many aspiring writers who, for one reason or another can’t seem to get started, or they get hung up on the idea their work might not be good enough for publication. A collaboration of writers and those wanting to break into the publishing end of things all working together could be just the thing to make a difference.

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