Hosted by: Cynthia Swanson & Andrew Swanson

Collaborative Writing: Writing with a Single Voice

A comment came up that bears mentioning:

The one thing that I find most difficult with collaborating is blending writing styles. Everyone has a unique voice. Often when I read published books written by two people I can point out where one author stopped and the other author started. It really bugs me.

It does feel jarring and disjointed when the reader can tell there are two writers involved.  People who collaborate have a responsibility to make it invisible to the reader.

There are three approaches that I have personal experience with (although I’m sure there are more):

  • Make sure you and your collaborative partner have similar writing styles that can seamlessly blend
  • If one of you is able to, mimic the other’s “voice” in all writing (you really need to know someone well to do this)
  • What one of you writes, the other edits, creating a blended voice.

The blended voice method is where a lot of people get into trouble, as we writers have a tendency to fall in love with our words and phrases.  Doing business writing in corporate America cures you of that. 🙂

Another way to cure the tendency to believe your manuscript is etched in gold and unchangeable is to join a writer’s critique group.  I’ll write about that tomorrow.

Categories: Writing

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