Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nebulas, first day, afterthoughts

I didn't take a lot of notes during the panel on Shared Worlds that I was on, for which I expect to be forgiven. It seemed more important to pay attention to what everyone was saying. However, I did scribble down something Robert Silverberg said about collaborations, and it strikes me that every writer who is considering this and aims to build a professional career needs to consider it. When you sell a collaboration (to a publisher, remember this is old-school writing career model) you need to get an advance that is at least twice what you would have gotten individually.

(My own thoughts) -- There are many reasons for embarking on a collaboration (as opposed to a novel that's basically ghost-written, with the senior author's name added for sales shiny-ness). Saving time isn't one of them. A good collaboration is not half the work of a solo novel. It's at least twice.

It behooves us all to pay attention to whether we are good collaborators and if so, under what conditions. Sometimes, what makes us good writers (we're visionaries, we answer only to our inner muses, we are pig-headed and recalcitrant, much like our cats) can make it challenging to Play Nicely With Others. Others of us find inspiration and creative nourishment in the process of working together. With some people -- but not others. Pay attention. Play to your strengths.

Tomorrow, the second day (with better notes, I promise!)

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