Saturday, September 19, 2009

Keta Diablo on Co-Authoring

Greetings friends of Oh, Get a Grip,

I’m Keta Diablo and very happy to be here today blogging about co-authoring. What an intriguing concept!

I’m about to find out first-hand the pros and cons of co-authoring as I embark on a two-book series with a phenomenal author. Stay tuned to my blog and author home for updates on this project. (Oh, Keta, you are such a tease<---Jude)

For me, the pros far out weigh the cons when co-authoring. Some things that come to mind under the pro column are:

Division of labor – How nice that the work can be split up between two creative like-minds—a definite plus.

Writer’s Block – Allow your partner to help you hurdle that chapter you can’t seem to wrap your mind around. Sometimes all it takes to get through writer’s block is some prompting from your partner or thinking about the scene from another perspective. Both authors can play off the other’s ideas while co-writing, or even stop and think like the character the other person has written.

Productivity – I don’t know about you, but I have times when I’m extremely productive and other times I struggle with motivation. Hopefully, while you flounder in “idle time” your partner is cruising through with a burst of energy.

Expertise in certain areas – The old adage “two heads are better than one” applies here. I love research and am more than happy to take over in that area, while my partner has a particular flair for writing those steamy, hot sex scenes. I must ask her if this also stems from research or personal experience (ahem).

Brainstorming and not feeling isolated – You’d be surprised at the unique plot twists and turns that arise when two writers brainstorm or look at a scene through their eyes. This reminds me of the story about three mothers whose children got into a scuffle at the playground. When asked afterwards how the fight started, each mother relayed an entirely different story. We are influenced by our beliefs, customs and an internal moral code that is most likely uniquely different than another’s. This is invaluable when in it comes to not only life, but writing. It encourages us to step out of our little box and walk in someone else’s shoes.

And, how many times have we heard that a writer’s life is lonely and isolated? Au contraire, my friend, when you’re co-authoring. You’re no longer alone in this venture, but sharing, chatting, and brainstorming with another.

Promoting – This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages. Double the exposure, double the efforts in marketing and promoting your baby when it’s finally completed. True, royalites are split but the exposure is doubled especially if both authors are well-known and know how to market the book.

The Internet - Another beauty of co-writing is the Internet. At one time we would have done this by snail mail. YIKES!

Co-authoring is a group effort, even if there are only two authors writing a book. Authors should keep in mind that respecting your partner’s artistic and creative abilities is of utmost importance. There is no room for “egos” in the equation when co-authoring.

I hope I’ve given you some food-for-thought. If you decide to co-author in the future, I wish you the best of luck and hope you find it a pleasant experience like I have.

Keta Diablo

You can find Keta on the Internet here:

Author Home:

Erotic Romance Blog, Keta’s Keep,

GLBT Blog: The Stuff of Myth and Men,

Keta on Twitter:


  1. Hello, Keta,

    Welcome to the Grip!

    Your post is enough to make me want to go out and find a writing partner immediately. Oh, to have some help with that horrible promo I always feel hanging over my head!

    So are you and Jude about to start working together? Like I said a few days ago, that gal is downright promiscuous when it comes to co-authoring. (No wonder she proposed the topic!)

    Looking forward to seeing what you two come up with.


  2. Hi Lisabet,

    I have written with Jude on the Spank Me Twice antho, but alas, this time I'm writing with author exceptionale Tara Nichols. We'll be doing a series of Angel/Demon books. You can take a look at our new co-author website (which remains in its infant stage at this point). We'd love to have you follow us and read some steamy excerpts along the way).

    Joaquin's Realm -

    I enjoyed blogging for Oh, Get A Grip. Thanks for having me.


  3. Hey Keta,

    Congratulations on the new project! The Joaquin's Realm blog is gorgeous! I'm following you and look forward to reading more about it.

    Thanks for popping in today on the Grip blog.

    Lisabet, quit trying to give my writing partner away! *G*



  4. Keta,

    A really great post. I agree with a lot of what you've said here. Creating a story or series with someone else is completely different from doing it alone. You find yourself almost planning where you or your partner will do the best job. I know I'm finding areas where I'll ask Jenna to check things because I know she shines in some things where I have issues. LOL

    Great stuff. I hope you have as much fun as we seem to.


  5. Hi Keta

    Excellent blog on co-authoring.

    Although I write mostly nonfiction I have toyed with the idea of having someone work with me on a book idea of mine.

    It's so important to find the right person. Sounds like you've done that.

  6. Great post. And good luck on this venture. I've recently coauthored with a fantastic author myself. And it was a rousing success. So I definitely agree with everything you've say. I also plan on coauthoring again with this person in the future.

    But the key really is to finding that author that you can work with, and that's very much an individual thing. But when you click, the work coauthors can turn out is phenomenal.


  7. Keta,
    You've inspired me. On the other hand, I might do better to write short stories and join in an anthology.
    I do love to brainstorm, though.

  8. Great post, Keta. I've shared authoring duties before, and I find that, at some point, one person takes over. Not always in toto but there tends to be a leader who more fully realizes the vision, and the deputy is usually happy to play second fiddle.

    At present I'm writing stories for a very talented animator, so our duties are well-defined and fairly disparate. Still, she will take the reins on filling in pockets of narrative simply because she's got a vision and I want her to run with it.

    So a partnership is often about knowing when to step back as well as step up. Personally, I'm all about getting to the finish line with an excellent product, so keeping score is never an issue. Sometimes, even if I do 90% of the work, it wouldn't have been as effective without that otherness beside me.

  9. Keta, you made some great points. I've never considered co-authoring. When it comes to writing I'm kind of a control freak. Still, lots of food for thought! :)

  10. Hey Keta,
    Great blog. I loved what you had to say. My favorite part was the brainstorming. As an author, its often hard to find someone to brainstorm with, someone you mesh. When you do, I think it just creates such a better story. Good luck.

  11. My husband Chris and I have always co-written our books. We find it helps us keep the flow going and can really help to fix the writer's block issue. I'm glad to see more people are interested in it!

    Thanks so much Keta!

    Melissa Golliday

  12. Hey Keta,

    Nice post. I love to brainstorm and would love to work with another author. Unfortunately, we can't always get what we want. With kids and a messy house it would be hard for me to commit. I write when I find the time (sad, I know).

    Tara is an awesome writer. Have fun writing ladies. And keep me posted. ;)

  13. Very cool. I often brainstorm with other authors, it's very helpful.

    I've done role playing and attempted to co-write but it seems like the latter never gets finished.

  14. Hi Keta,

    Great article on co-authoring. I must say that it's something I have considered, but not too seriously. I'm such a cantankerous old fart, I'm sure that I'd be impossible to work with.

    In school the teachers frequently put notes on my report cards saying that "Glenn does not play well with others."
    What did they expect? I'm half-mad. How could I interact effectively with the insanity impaired? Why would I want to?

    So, co-authoring probably isn't for me. But I wish you the best of luck with it.


  15. Hey Keta,

    You've made some great points. You've got me considering co-authoring a book. I've heard a lot of people say how much the enjoy doing it, but until you put all the reasons down I couldn't see a good enough reason. Thanks

  16. Glenn,

    You're just skeered... Snicker!


  17. Great topic, Keta, and you made some awesome points! Like Tierney, with kids and a side job, I write when I find the time, but I think it could be fun to coauthor with someone.

    Your demon/angel series with Tara sounds intriguing! I cannot wait to see what you two come up with. Best of luck!


  18. Hi Keta,

    Sorry for coming in so late to this post.

    I have to admit, the argument I find most compelling is the idea that a writing partner could help with promotion and publicity. That area of writing is such a huge chore that I think that point alone would win me over.

    Great post & thanks for visiting the grip.



  19. Hey, thanks everyone for stopping by. I so appreciate it. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to do a follow-up here and let everyone know how the co-authoring is coming along??

    Everyone have a wonderful Fall!

    Namaste, Keta

  20. so far i have seen only the bad which ended up very choppy and jumpy. you will need to make sure the work blends nicely so the reader can follow and things flow nicely.

  21. Hallo, Keta, my lovely! I have had three co-writers and all have been positive experiences, even with a certain amount of frustration involved when ideas and egos collide. Very nice post!

  22. My apologies for getting here so freakishly late. It's my son's fourth birthday and we've been riding a train!

    So far co authoring has been a blast, everything Keta said and more. She has a fine eye for the right word, expert editing, plotting, brainstorming, and organizing skills and I'm so lucky to work with her.

    It seems as though we are complimenting each other's strengths and weaknesses too!

    And thanks Tierney for the compliment, that's a ditto. I still think of your delivery man when I see a brown truck drive by.

    (holds up a wine glass) "To progress!"

  23. It is very interesting for me to read the blog. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.


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