Teamwork makes the world go round in most cases, and co-authors Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi have proven their partnership is a success. Writing as Noelle August, their first book, Boomerang, has quickly amassed a loyal readership, so clearly they're doing something right. Today, Lorin and Veronica discuss the ups and downs of co-authoring, and offer their tips for a successful parternship.
With a co-authored New Adult on the shelves and two soon-to-be-published, we've navigated a few ups and downs along the way that are unique to writing as a team.
Here are our best tips for smooth collaborative sailing:
1. Trust Each Other.
No partnership can succeed without a ton of trust. You have to go in believing that you’re both committed to delivering stellar work, on time and that even though challenges may present themselves — and they will — you’re part of a team and will always honor that.
2. Get Your Ducks in a Row.
We found that it helped to launch with a solid idea of the story we wanted to tell, to plan out major turning point scenes and to also work through six to ten scenes at a time so that we were heading in the same direction. As we worked, we’d add our plan for the next section into the manuscript itself, so we could keep in touch with it.
3. But Allow For Course Corrections.
However, just as it’s critical to have a plan, it’s important to allow for variations in that plan, for checking in and improvising with one another along the way so that better, more effective ideas can emerge. SO MUCH great stuff in Boomerang was inspired by unexpected elements one or the other of us introduced along the way.
4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open.
Like most authors, we both juggle an awful lot of commitments and have really busy lives. It was important that we keep in touch with each other regarding our expectations for hitting certain writing milestones, our feelings about how the story was unfolding and any frustrations or challenges along the way. Just as there are mechanical course corrections, it’s sometimes important to allow for emotional course corrections as well. Direct, honest and supportive communication is key!
5. Check Your Ego at the Door.
Writers are generally sole proprietors. We’re used to calling the shots in our own work and being the gods ruling over our fictive worlds. But a partnership means that sometimes one person or another has to let go of a firmly held view, or even just a quirky sticking point, for the good of the project. There’s “right” and then there’s “right for the story,” and being able to separate the two is crucial.
6. Be Grateful.
Being published is a privilege that not everyone gets to experience. Being paid to dream up characters, tell a story, make someone else (and yourself) laugh and swoon is pretty much as good as it gets, and we tried never to lose sight of that. In addition, we also tried to keep hold of the fact that we were lucky to be working TOGETHER, that as friends we were given this awesome opportunity. It wasn’t always easy; we have different styles for tackling a draft, different approaches to our working rhythm, but at the end of the day, we’re grateful for each other’s strengths and talents and SO grateful for the opportunity to connect with readers by offering them a story we truly love.
7. Celebrate the Successes.
From the champagne we popped when we got our contract, to the notes we left each other in the document to just say “OMG! Great scene!” to our constant thrill at each new delight (this week it’s swooning over the voice talent on our audio book), we make sure to acknowledge and celebrate all the great stuff along that way. Life’s too short to do anything different!
8. Make Each Other Laugh.
Boomerang is a romantic comedy, so making each other laugh was as much important edict as side benefit. But even if you’re working on something a little less comical, it’s important to find ways to keep the writing, and the brainstorming/development, light and fun, to keep hold of the joy of the process. Doing so will keep the writing lively and the collaboration relaxed.
This weekend, we got to celebrate the launch of Boomerang together in Tampa, FL, and it thrilled us to sign books side-by-side, meet enthusiastic readers, and know that all of the hard work, the laughs and the swoons had paid off in such an amazing way. Sharing that with each other was priceless and a reminder of the power of a great team!
Be sure to share your own co-authoring tips in the comments! Pick up your copy of Boomerang in stores or online today! For more New Adult authors and books, visit our Everything Young Adult page.