07 January 2012

Two Peas in a (Writing) Pod

Listen to an interview with humorists Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel, or read the transcript, as they discuss their collaboration on the just-released novel Lunatics. The story is told by two very different characters in alternating chapters.

Here's how it worked: Barry would write his chapter from his character's perpsective, then send it to Zweibel, who wrote in the other character's voice. Whenever the latest chapter arrived in their email inbox, they really never knew what to expect and had to move the story along with whatever the other person had given them.

You can try this for fun, and who knows? You may end up with something you want to shop around to publishers. This pair suggests you choose someone you get along well with but whose writer's voice is the opposite of yours. This opposition is what will give the story its energy and keep readers interested.

They also said they only met about twice during the whole process, that all the "work" was really done by email. So if you have a writing pal who doesn't live close, this is a fun way to keep in touch!