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The Perks of Being a Co-Author

Yes, we dread group projects in high school because, inevitably, our partners let us down almost as much as politicians do.

So why in the world would we entrust our baby (our book) to someone who operates differently? Perhaps they pants instead of plot, and perhaps they like to turn 85-year-old men into shape shifting dragons when you just thought the character spent his days as an average elderly person.

Either way, why endeavor in one of the most draining and time-consuming projects (the novel) with someone else?

A lot more perks exist than you think.

The Speed

It would surprise you how fast the word count builds. Alyssa and I began our first novel just two days ago and have already hit the 15,000-word mark (while balancing two jobs apiece and with Den content edits coming soon). Suddenly, 65,000 words sounds less daunting since each of you will grab about thirty-three grand (and sadly, no, not in an advance check).

The Support

Like most humans, Alyssa and I both balk when faced with the opportunity (and sometimes burden) of writing a 65,000-word book in the span of 2-3 weeks. Will all these hours amount to anything? What if that line of dialogue was stupid and pointless? Do I even have the plot in my grasp?

Having each other on the same doc at the same time writing the same project, we offer each other the satiating encouragement an author doesn't often get until acquiring Beta readers.

We can easily tell the other, "Stop saying your writing is stupid. I laughed so hard at that last line," when we can not so easily tell this to ourselves.

The Editing

Editors cost a ton (and for good reason; they do a lot of excellent/needed work). Even if you're lucky enough to do an editorial swap with a friend, it can take months for them to get back to you on your 400-page project.

But with coauthoring, you have an editor on the doc with you. Of course, you need to play the role for them, too.

The Experience(s)

I know nothing about Arizona or impersonating villains. Alyssa may not be letting on, but something tells me I have a just larger inkling about playwriting thank she does (our book mostly operates in dialogue similar to a stage play format).

We each bring a dish to the table seasoned in our favorite spices. Maybe she's never tried Tarragon, and I've never thought about thyme before. Without each other, our books would lack these flavors.

The Fun

For the most part, it's a heck of a lot of fun. You get to do something you love with a friend you enjoy talking about writing with. And, in the end, you both turn out a project you can take pride in.

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