Sunday, December 06, 2009

I Couldn't Have Done It Myself

That's what I love about collaborative writing: the result (when it really works) is something that neither writer could have written individually, but that sounds as if it were written by a single person. The latest collaboration I've published is, perhaps more than any of the others, something I couldn't have written on my own.

A while ago I sent an email to Marina LaPalma with the subject: I Rescue Abandoned Writing, asking her if she had any unfinished pieces I could work with. My preferred form of collaboration is to finish and refashion pieces started by other writers.

I met Marina in the Bay Area in the early eighties and I admired her work from the start. We had kept in touch on and off over the years.

When I looked at what she had sent me my immediate reaction was: how can I do anything with this material? (You'll see why, I think.) I thought of writing back to Marina explaining that I didn't think I'd be able to work with the piece she had sent. But I waited, and somehow a solution, a style, came to me in a flash the following day. I dashed off a draft and sent it to Marina. Marina liked it, but suggested several changes. After a little back and forth we came up with a final version we were both pleased with.

Read Eggs in Mung Being.


Anonymous James Bent said...

How would you feel about reading a novel and seeing what you think? I keep an offbeat fiction short story blog at: which shows the style of my writing, plus I have a website for the book at the front of the blog:

I think it's rapidly heading for the bottom of the drawer otherwise.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Peter Cherches said...

Thanks for asking, James, but I only work with very short texts from writers I already know.

10:48 AM  
Blogger David Hamburgh said...

How about getting writers you know to collaborate on writing projects at

8:56 AM  

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