Shutdown is the working title of a short sci-fi story that I (Silvia) and my friend Tasmin are co-writing. In this file I will be documenting our process of collaborative writing in real time in hopes it will be useful for whoever is interested in doing something similar.
Has been writing fiction for a long time but never successfully co-wrote with anyone and would like to try
Wants to explore collaboration, trust, and letting go of creative control
Wants to write without pressure to publish, just for fun
Has been writing nonfiction for a long time and wants to explore fiction for creative purposes
Excited to work with tasmin because of her expertise in fiction
Curious about the meta: What are ways to create together and build relationships by making things together?
Tasmin invited Silvia to co-write a story
We decided on the genre (sci-fi) over text messages
We are meeting face to face once a week on Wednesdays for 1h30 to build foundations (storyworld, structure, plot coherence, etc.)
Then during the week each of us works on writing their individual part of the story
There are 2 main characters and we each write from one of their POVs, alternating chapters
We discussed research we made at home, got clearer on the premise and story world details. We defined the basic points of relationship between main characters. We discussed meta: how we want to work, our intentions for writing together, tools to use, when to meet (once a week).
Defining their relationship with each other
Defining personalities: traits, values, history
Physical appearance: we used Pinterest to get inspired by real portraits and chose a few as a starting point
Timeline (When is the story happening? How long after the event that determined the big premise? What is the actual year?)
What are the main events that led up to the current time in the story line?
Where does the story happen in the real world?
How do the main characters fit in that world?
Continue building each of our characters, namely:
History and place in the story world
We mostly brainstormed freely and explored different threads, focusing especially on defining the premise and general idea of the book.
What kind of sci-fi do we want to write?
How are we going to be writing together?
What is the main premise of the story?
Who are the characters and what is the relationship between them?
What is the message we want to convey?
What are the dynamics?
What is the journey/goal that moves the story forward?
Research some scientific questions needing to be answered for a coherent story world
Brainstorm message of the story
Think about communication tool for co-writing
Brainstorm working title ("Shutdown")
Brainstorm characters (character sheets)