Communication Is Key
You hear this so much it's become rather a cliche to write on such a topic when speaking of something involving more than one person. However, when it comes to working with a co-author it's not only key, but it's the line between complete failure and astounding success.
Check Your Ego
Whether it be an entire novel or short blog post, writing is an inherently selfish endeavor. You create an entire world within your mind, you obsess over characters and then finally sit down to put what's been living in your head to paper. However, when you have a co-author along for the ride, that private journey becomes a road trip with another creative mind. Communicating under the fog of ego is a hindrance. Open yourself to criticism from your partner and be ready to allow some of your ideas to be shelved in lieu of theirs.
On the opposite side of this coin, stand your ground on things you feel are important to the story. Effectively communicating your passion on a certain topic and being able to clearly explain why will go much further than insisting upon something just because you want it.
There is nothing more frustrating than setting aside your busy life with the idea you and your co-author will be devoting time to a story, only to find out you're not on the same page. This is easily fixed with open communication. Set a schedule that works for both of you and stick to it! Not only does this help your story evolve with you both at its helm, but keeps you moving at the same pace.
That said, should something come up do not be afraid to tell your partner. Life happens and unfortunately, most of us can not dedicate hours upon hours to just write. If you're not feeling well, say so. No matter how strict your schedule, somedays your mind refuses to cooperate and kick into creative gear.
Share Your Ideas
This was touched on in our last blog post about co-authoring but deserves mention here as well. Do not be afraid to impart your most insane thoughts with your co-author. Being able to clearly share an idea and sort through it with your partner can open exciting changes to your story. You never know when one random, off the wall suggestion, might make your story something even more spectacular.
From sharing random ideas to telling your co-author you simply feel under the weather, being honest is crucial. Although your partner in writing has a more intimate peek into your mind than anyone, they can not read it. If you don't communicate with them, if you don't tell them the truth, then there is simply no use in trying to write a story with a co-author. While we don't expect every shared authoring experience to lead to a lifetime friendship like ours has, the person you open this part of your soul to is someone worth every ounce of honesty you have. Even if at times, it might be brutal.