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Pluvious
March 14th, 2004, 07:19 PM
Does anybody think the whole idea of one person (or two) writing an entire book to be an outdated concept? Wouldn't books be better if you had a team to help you out?

Movies and video games used to be made by a handful of people but now they are put together by huge teams. As an author wouldn't it be nice to have a designated research team, a note-taker, a writer specializing in description, a linguist, various specialists in different fields, or whatever? Right now its basically just the author with a little help from the editor.

Could books be better? Or would they be made worse? You could still have a single person (head writer) in charge creatively, he would just have a team there to get him what he wants. This is the trend in all things. Businesses don't rely on a single person to do everything. It doesn't work unless things are very simple.

Could the book industry produce a whole market of "super" books? Kind of like the big movies that come out every summer. Books that people would really look forward to getting on a mass scale. Kind of like Harry Potter or King or something but in a different way.

Just a thought...

Ouroboros
March 14th, 2004, 07:25 PM
Books written by groups of people sitting around a table brain-storming?

No thanks, best left to sitcoms and popular music.

milamber_reborn
March 14th, 2004, 09:15 PM
I think your idea will be become more the norm as people seek new ways to produce highly-profitable material.

However, I'd say no. After a story/novel/screenplay is written, every author needs a team or network to help them, but the actual writing is usually best left ot one person alone. Only the person with the idea knows exactly how to put their vision into words.

On the other hand, Feist has proved time and time again that collaborations work.

Dawnstorm
March 14th, 2004, 11:00 PM
Hey, that would be a cool job: doing the research for a Science Fiction writer. :D

Actually, I've always wondered how collaborations work (not why, just how). Anyone think of any collaborations that aren't genre. I can't at the moment.

Also, a lot of people "contribute" to novels (read the acknowledgements). And let's not forget editors.

I'm not sure how you would organize the writing process of a multi-author-corporation-book. (Doesn't sound appealing though; sounds like the difference between a home-cooked meal and McDonald's :eek: .)

Pluvious
March 15th, 2004, 04:53 AM
Originally posted by Ouroboros
Books written by groups of people sitting around a table brain-storming?

No thanks, best left to sitcoms and popular music.

No, I was thinking more that someone has an idea and uses human resources to help produce a work more efficiently. People to do the legwork as opposed to the creative process itself. Although a couple people or a small group could potentially do that as well. Its definately worth examing and certainly not comparable to a group of writers working on a sitcom. Sitcom's are made weekly, a book is written only once.

kahnovitch
March 15th, 2004, 05:21 AM
Originally posted by Pluvious
I was thinking more that someone has an idea and uses human resources to help produce a work more efficiently.

Sounds like we're talking about the "division of labour" principle applied to writing, i.e. each person ina group effort specialised in a specific task.
The publishing industry basically does after the submission had been accepted by an agent/publisher.
But if you mean in the actual creation process I don't think it would work too well if too many people wanted to throw in any "creative" input, i.e. the old saying of "Too many chefs, spoil the broth" etc.

Colloborative stories can obviously work well when there is a group vision for the story and all parties consider and think over all ideas carefully.

At the end of the day though, books are a far simplier form of media to deal with than films and games as those involve far more specialised groups (i.e. coders, graphic designers, play testers, etc) and obviously the production teams for movies are huge.
Writing by it's nature is a solitary and very personal process of trying to create an individual vision held by one person.

summergirl
March 15th, 2004, 05:24 AM
Personally, I don't think that a team writing a book is a very good idea. Then again, this might be because I am not much of a team player. It's true that only the person with the idea will truly be able to put it into words, so I think that it would be better if one person, or at maximum, three or four, wrote a book.

Besides, wouldn't you feel more satisfied if you were the one who did most of the research or whatever, and then wrote the book? You'd feel as if it was truly you own work, and something to be proud of.

Too many thoughts from too many people might spoil what could be a good story. As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth. ;)

juzzza
March 15th, 2004, 05:39 AM
The only thing I would like to explore from a collaboration pov, is pov itself. Imagine if something like ASoIaF, with its switching POVs was actually written by different authors but with an overall vision for the plot... That would be awesome.

Holbrook and Hereford Eye will have an interesting take on this thread as published collaborators.

Pluvious
March 15th, 2004, 05:54 AM
Originally posted by summergirl


Besides, wouldn't you feel more satisfied if you were the one who did most of the research or whatever, and then wrote the book? You'd feel as if it was truly you own work, and something to be proud of.

Too many thoughts from too many people might spoil what could be a good story. As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth. ;)

That's a good point as far as satisfaction goes. But I'm sure Peter Jackson was pretty satisfied with his directing of Lord of the Rings also.

I myself wouldn't want any help with my book but I can see the benefit in the overall picture. I would also prefer making my own video game but I doubt it would be "commercial" enough for sale. Just as there are many small films done by a small group of people. I'm not saying all books would have to be done in groups but maybe it should be considered as a more common practice or even general practice for certain groups of writers.

Good points though. I was just thinking out loud. I wonder how many people Stephen King has working for him on his books???

Ouroboros
March 15th, 2004, 06:28 AM
Originally posted by Pluvious
No, I was thinking more that someone has an idea and uses human resources to help produce a work more efficiently. People to do the legwork as opposed to the creative process itself. Although a couple people or a small group could potentially do that as well.

I know what you meant, but frankly bland sitcoms and samey pop-music are the best examples of what lies at the end of that road you bring up.

For every Simpsons (a work of genius created by committee) there are a thousand empty headed derivative by-the-numbers shows which try to capitalise on trends and make all the right sounds.

I remain distinctly underwhelmed by the notion of collaborative teams turning out books, sorry Pluvonius.


Its definately worth examing and certainly not comparable to a group of writers working on a sitcom. Sitcom's are made weekly, a book is written only once.

Some books are ten volume series. Each is written only once (or completed only once, rather...). Some sitcoms or TV shows never make it past ten episodes. Each episode is made only once. Semantics. If we're discussing the nature of the creative process itself then these things are largely irrelevant anyway. :)