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My Dad Gave Me a Book He was Writing

Updated on March 9, 2013
This is probably the face I make as I write too.
This is probably the face I make as I write too. | Source

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!


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    • coleikerd profile image

      Cole Ikerd 4 years ago

      Thank you!

      I agree. It does take a measure of humility. Sometimes I am great at this, and other times I wonder if that is one of my biggest challenges. This comes in part from typically being good at what I set my mind to. A Jack of All Trades, as the saying goes. It's far easier than I'd like to admit for me to be a bloody know-it-all.

      I appreciate the support greatly.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Cole, what a challenge. Good luck. The only thing I can say right now is something you already mentioned and that is to not go flying off into an extremely different direction. I perceive that it takes a measure of humility to do this, because we all want our stories to be our own, unique creations. From the sounds of it, you are going to do this as well as you are capable of doing it, and you can't ask for more of yourself than that.