My Dad Gave Me a Book He was Writing
It's both a delight and a challenge co-authoring. There is always a sense of sharing that must take place, and that is wondrous and fun. There is also this sense of ego I still feel about my own ideas. I always want to use my own ideas because I think they are fun. I want to remain true in every way to the story and characters of others though, and that outweighs my desire for my own content.
My dad gave me a book he was writing. It's one he enjoys, but he wanted to see what I would do with it. It's great writing, and I hate to make changes to it, but at the same time, I want to honor his desire to make it a blend of our styles and ideas. The challenge then comes with making changes, but not so many as to stray from his original ideas. Worse, how do I do that and finish the book, without making the end feel like a different author finished the story?
He wrote up to chapter 10. I've been editing and adjusting little things within those chapters. There's a clear path to the climax of the story, but there's also a lot that could happen within that time. So much room in fact, it would be easy to change the entire conclusion. If I keep writing from chapter 10 on, I'm concerned the change in style will be abrupt and noticeable. Which just seems like a bad idea. Would your story experience -your willing suspension of disbelief- be shattered if you were reading a story, and it changed writing styles mid-stride? Mine would.
So what do I do, you ask?
That's a good question!
So, here's my plan. I will read through what he wrote again. As I do, I will check grammar and spelling. I will also look for ways I can make small adjustments to the story and add a little of my own writing style. Hopefully, doing this will help make it feel like our story. Once I reach chapter 10, I will keep writing as best I can in his style. If we are all lucky, this will balance into an amazing book. If not, well, hopefully no one stones me for ruining a perfectly good story.
Do you have any suggestions?
Did you ever work with another author? If so, do you have suggestions to help keep a consistent feel to the story?
Comments and ideas most welcome!