How I’m co-writing TWO novels with @lukeofkondor

Welcome to Project Dan. An idea spawned from the minds of two indie authors, and egotistically claimed by one. With one simple objective:

Two writers. Two books. Half the time.

Now, I know there are some people that have been keeping up and have heard me harping on about Project Lazarus, and some stuff to do with the awesome Luke Kondor. But I’ve not exactly outlined what’s going on.

Well, here’s the LD.

A few months ago, myself and fellow Hawk-head Luke Kondor (author of ‘The Hipster Who…’ series), joined creative hands and decided to try co-writing. Neither of us have co-written before. Neither of us had a clue where to start. But we threw caution to the wind and dived in.

After a few weeks of idea tossing and planning, we created a timeline, and a formula for how this would work. Knowing that we each have our own strengths, and our own quirks, we wanted to maximise productivity, without stifling creativity.

And thus our process was born. We (and by ‘we’, I mean Luke) titled this ‘Project Dan’.

Project Dan works as such:

Seems simple on paper, doesn’t it?

Now co-writing was something that I never planned to do. But there are a few distinct advantages of co-writing that I’ve already found.

1. There’s someone besides you, going through the same things you are.

Now this is important. One of the hardest parts about writing is that constant battle with loneliness. You’re shut up in your work space with no one there to tell you that all is going well. ‘Good job, Danny boy. That’s a bestseller right there.’

Having a co-writer means that, although we’re leading separate projects, we’re running the same deadlines, we’re hitting similar walls. We have someone that we can talk to.

2. All the ideas!

So the above flow chart might seem complicated, but it has already thrown a tonne of ideas into the mix. By swapping story ideas and allowing the other person to plan the books we want to write, we get fresh eyes, fresh creative juices, and just a whole new perspective that broadens your horizon of what the story could be.
So far I see no negatives here.

3. Super productivity.

Our main motivation for Project Dan is this. We both want to write books. We both want to produce great content. We have similar ways of working. By working together to produce two books at once, we’re doubling our chances of publishing books quicker, sacrificing nothing in the way of quality, which also means that we’re more likely to please our readers.

And that’s the ultimate goal here: providing great quality stories to entertain our audience.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the last couple of years of writing, it is that everything comes down to trial and error. What works for some people may not work for others. The writing world is an ever-shifting organism that has no time for your shit.

So far this has been working for us. We are both currently writing the first drafts of our books, tentatively titled:

Book A: ‘Lazarus’

Book B: ‘They Rot’

These will be the first of their series, with some great twists and turns already planned. We hope you’ll join us on this journey and keep up-to-date with us over at www.hawkandcleaver.com

Have you got experience in co-writing with a friend? What are your thoughts on doubling productivity? Let me know.