Monday, April 4, 2022

What is it like to be a co-author?

Like anything, there are the pros and cons. This is true about being a co-author. My writing friend and I wrote the book Legacy Outlaws under the name Casey Davies. I knew that there would be advantages, but some of them I didn't expect. 


Here is the main one I hadn't considered. In our case, we discovered that we each had strengths and weaknesses that complimented each other. This is because where I was weaker in some areas, he was stronger. He's great with the tech and science. Sure, I can research, but I tend to enjoy the plotting, character arcs, and dialogue. I'd rather be outlining or writing than doing the research. Our differences complimented each other that way. 

Two people critiquing and proofreading is better than one, and yes, I expected that to be true. Along with the ability to help each other get unstuck when needed. 

Coming up with ideas and brainstorming I knew would also be an advantage. It was like our feed on each other.  


One of us would sometimes come up with a new idea that either wouldn't work or would throw a wrench into the plot. Sometimes this ended up causing a long debate from each side of the idea. This tended to feel like it took time away from the writing. Keeping an open mind is important.   

One of you might write faster than the other. Then you have to wait and/or nag the other writer. 

We tended to struggle with having too many viewpoint characters and/or too many characters in general.

You don't have the same feeling of freedom as a co-author. To be honest, I started to feel like I wanted to just write on my own. I'm pretty he felt the same way.  

Other Thoughts: 

You have to be a team player to deal with the cons. This means compromising when possible and keeping an open mind. 

One thing that didn't change much was the speed of writing a novel. You would think it would be faster, but I don't think it really was faster. This probably depends on the authors. Science fiction isn't an easy genre to write in the first place, so that probably has something to do with it. 

The Future of Legacy Outlaws. 

The first book turned out to be about 120K words. Since we only have the one book, it's been difficult to market it. So, we are going to split book 1 into two books. That way we can offer the first book cheap or free. We've decided on 4 or 5 short novels. This has another advantage in that it can make a reader feel like they are making faster progress. This is for the e-book. As for the paperback, I'm thinking the first one will still contain books 1 and 2. Rather than having the reader buy two paperback books because that would be more expensive. 

Would you ever consider being a co-author? 


  1. I could never co-author a book. I tried once with my brother but we're too much alike and each wanted to do things his way and it didn't really work out. The best I could do is edit someone else's book and give them advice they probably wouldn't use because in my experience most writers are too pig-headed.

  2. Cindy! I saw your comment on Pat's site and had to track you down. Don't know why I am not getting notifications that you are posting.

  3. You lay down the pros and cons well. I have co-authored with two people. Both successfully.
    My second co-author is my favorite (he's my husband now) - we are seamless as writers. I know that doesn't happen often. Best on your series
    A Series set in 2022 Ukraine