What Is a Writing Partner and Why the Hell Do I Need One?

September 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , with 0 and 0
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A writing partner or co-writer should be an actual writer—and someone you trust, respect, admire, and support, because two heads are better than one.

Writing is a lonely profession, and many times ideas get stuck in our heads. Having someone you can contact who knows you and the project.

Co-writers and/or writing partners are there for early feedback, bouncing ideas, critique, story direction, moral support, and so much more!

Some of the greatest writing, from novels to screenplays, to music, has been done by partners. Why is this so? Collaborative writing is one of the most productive and successful ways to write—If you find the right partner.

A question many writers have asked us is “How exactly does that work?”

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are some strategies that can help, whether you need someone to co-write a project or someone to share a writing career… and maybe even life.

Your Writing Partner Might Be Right Under Your Nose

Because writing, like collaboration, is an intimate relationship, it’s best to begin looking at people you know. If you’ve figured out how to be together, you’ll have a better chance of successfully writing together. So, it’s no surprise that most successful writing teams have grown from close personal relationships—friends or family or lovers.

But what if you don’t have a friend, a spouse, sibling or lover who is “partner worthy?” If you can’t find someone you can collaborate with among the people you know, go meet more people. As the circle of writers you know expands, so do your chances of finding a compatible partner for your writing.

If you’re a college student, enroll a writing class, or take a drama class, or join a comedy group. Alternatively, attend writers’ conferences. Join writers’ organizations. It may sound overwhelming, but you have to get out there . . . socialize.

Remember, it’s crucial to find someone with qualities that lend themselves to a good partnership. Look at these for example:

Similar Tastes and Sensibilities

Have the same sense of humor. This is a key factor for a human connection and a good collaboration. You may share inspiration, like what makes you laugh, or what keeps you on the edge of your seat. You can even consider what bores you.

Yin and Yang—Complimentary Strengths

Partners in any creative endeavor should have strengths that help the other, and each should be able to buoy up the other’s weaknesses. You need to understand your own strengths and keep this in mind as you search for a co-writer or writing partner.

Must Play Well With Others

Even the most compatible, peace-loving co-writers or writing partners will, on occasion, argue, and that’s not a bad thing. Different points of view are an integral part of collaboration. It is precisely the reason for getting together. Sharing differing views of the same project brings life to the final product.

Have Some Respect

I’ve emphasized the importance of knowing yourself and your prospective co-writer or writing partner, but it’s equally important to know their work. If you don’t, read something they’ve written. Request a writing sample and offer one of yours. If you don’t have respect for their writing (or vice versa), run don’t walk to the next candidate.
In the end, no one can know if writing together will work until they’ve tried it.

So choose the most promising co-writer or writing partner and see if it clicks. You just never know.

Author Details
Author Details
Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
  • Vintage 1960 TV Theme Music

    The 1960’s began a new era of television programs. Broadcasting transitioned from black/white to color. Lighthearted sitcoms/comedies were the most-watched shows.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

  • Starting a Novel Series with a Partner: The Plotting

    My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write thrillers, the INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 Southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

  • The Mystery of the Solway Firth Spaceman

    “We went on a normal outing and picked our spot,” Jim Templeton recalled of his May 23, 1964 outing. They sat down to take a picture of his 5-year-old daughter. He never expected anything out of the ordinary.

    @artybill
    @JanetLynn4

  • Chatting with Authors by Will Zeilinger & Janet Elizabeth Lynn

    Published authors Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

  • Characterization by E. J. Williams

    My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write the thrillers of INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

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Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.

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