When I began collaborative writing, I didn’t realize that was what it should be called. I come from a pre-internet world. So, internet forums were just beginning when AOL and dial-up were a thing. My first collaborations were on roleplaying boards or fan-fiction boards. We took either canon characters or our original characters and put them in scenes with other characters belonging to other writers.
I always called them hobby boards because there were so many variations! From MSN Groups to Yahoo Clubs to MySpace back to Yahoo GROUPS to Facebook Groups and Jcink forums — the list could go on. But these were not my only experiences. I’ve been lucky to find friends in these forums, too. Those friends have become my constant collaborators.
So, what is collaborative writing?
Collaborative writing could mean a lot of things. However, the actual definition should remain fairly standard:
Collaborative writing is the process of producing a written work as a group; wherein all team members have contributed to the content and the decisions that help to create that written work. You can have as many collaborators as you can handle, but you must have at least two working on the same project.
The best kind of collaborative writing I’ve experienced (and what I’ll cover here) is when two friends with similar passions come together to share their characters and ideas for creative writing. I was first introduced to this with Tracy and Laura Hickman, a married couple who both love and write fantasy. This couple also made me passionate about self-publishing, but that’s a story for another time.
My experience with collaborative writing…
As I said, I began collaborative writing on hobby boards or role-playing groups and forums. We went there to post our stories on forums where other writers could “tag” into our thread and write collaboratively with us. When these stories were edited together properly, you could create entire short stories — even…