We were doing this Q&A video the other day for the H&C Youtube channel and we got this question.
How do you go about co-authoring?
And it got me to thinking about the best way to describe what it is I do with Dan (for novels) and Ben (for comics).
Let's picture a football pitch (hey, I'm English) and let's start with ... a plan.
There's a whole team of opposition players with stupid names like Johnny Self-doubt, Roberto Critical-voice, Gary Fatigue, and even a guy called Ronaldinho.
These idiots are trying to stop us from putting our book through their net (mix metaphors much?).
So we start with the plan.
PLAN: Here's how we're going to get to that net. This roughly translates to something like 'we're going to write a zombie drag queen book and we'd like to include these sort of scenes and this type of character.'
That's the plan.
Now one of us will then take the ball and dribble it up as far as we can go, trying to keep the ball out of the hands of the opposition until we're at a point where we're trapped and can't feel we can go on or that we've done our job and it's time to pass the ball. This normally means we've either finished the plotting, finished a draft, etc.
Now it's the other players turn to take the ball as far as they can go, keeping in mind that we're running towards the same goal (zombie drag queen book).
And then by the time they get surrounded by fatigue and self-doubt, they'll pass the ball again.
Then it's really just a case of passing and punting the ball up the field until we're at a point where we're both ready to tap that thing over the line.
I mean I'm over-simplifying it but that's about as much as I can say on it.
The key points are to make sure you both have a clear goal of what you want to end with and to be willing to pass the ball and have confidence in the other player's skills.