Hi SE ers, The Last two posts on co-authorship covered the informal and formal elements needed for a successful co-authorship relationship and how to create a shared vision. If you missed them, you can go HERE and HERE. Today I am covering the subject of writing coherency.
Creating writing coherency (in other words making the story appear to have been written by one author) with two writers is critical. Without writing coherency, the book authored by two separate individuals will appear disjointed and confusing. Gwen and I were elated when a couple of our beta readers commented about the coherency of our story, saying that it was “seamless.” This was most encouraging. We worked towards writing coherency through three means.
1 Follow one character through the story: Our story is centered on a male character and a female character. Each of us wrote from the point of view of both characters. But once we completed the book, I took the male character, and Gwen took the female character and followed them through the entire book to ensure that the dialogue and descriptive material were consistent.
2 Edit each other’s work: As we wrote, we also edited. I tend to be big picture while Gwen is more detail-oriented. But, both vantage points are invaluable in capturing the narrative voice. We quickly got accustomed to pointing out discrepancies or loopholes and learned to laugh freely at our oversights.
3 Utilize beta reader feedback and an editor: Several beta readers read our unedited manuscript and offered a meaningful critique. Their suggestions were invaluable, and we responded to their comments in our rewrite of the story. As expected, an editor provided the final oversight, and her corrections were outstanding.
It is hoped that if the three suggestions are followed, a co-authored book will appear as if there is only one author in the final product.
Gwen will be wrapping up the Co-author discussion on February 3rd. Given what you know now, would you consider co-authoring a book with another author? Use the comment section to let us know.