Divide your workload clearly

If one of you is going to do the even chapters and the other one is going to do the odds, fine. If one is going to do all the scenes with Elmira Fairclothe and the other is going to write only from the point of view of Studly Stallionbritches, that's okay too. If you want to write the first draft and have your friend do the second, that also works. What you don't want is to be bopping along on chapter three and have your collaborator suddenly start having ducks because you've stepped on what he saw as his territory. Nor do you want to have your collaborator complain that you're a lazy slob who's not holding up your end of the workload.

Figure out why you want to do a collaboration in the first place, and both of you sit down and work out what each of you contributes.

The ideal collaboration is one in which the book you are writing together is one neither of you could write alone. If one of you is a brilliant mathematician and the other is a professional-caliber sculptor and you're doing a book on the mathematics of sculpture, you're heading in the right direction. If one of you has vast knowledge of military history and the other is equally proficient in all things magical and fantastical and you're developing a huge fantasy series that involves magical battles with well-thought-out tactics and strategy, you're right on the money.

If, however, both of you are doing this because you think it will be easier than writing a whole book by yourself, go home, go to bed, and stay there until you come to your senses. Good collaborations are not simply as hard as solo novels; they aren't even merely twice as hard to write as good solo novels. They are harder by a full order of magnitude.

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