Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teamwork

I have toddlers, so I can't really type that word, teamwork, without hearing the Wonder Pets' theme song in my head, but I'll try to purge it as best I can. I'm not really a fan of awkwardly animated preschool superheroes, but I do want to talk a little bit about teamwork.

You see, I'm going through edits again...
That probably says enough, but as usual, I'm going to choose to ramble instead.

Did you ever do that thing in grade school where you break out into groups? Okay, maybe everyone did. I think they keep doing that to you up through higher grades as well. Whatever. The point is, I loved those sessions. Weren't expecting that, were you?

Okay, maybe you were. Still, why, right? Well, there is something very appealing about putting more than one mind to a task. Creative minds, in particular, tend to play well off one another. Simple ideas can blossom and manifest in wholly different, often better ways. A group brainstorming session, a group project, can take a simple good idea and transform it into something greater.

That's all well and good for schoolwork, but it doesn't apply to my novel, you say. My novel, is mine. I created it. I slaved over it. It's "my baby." And that is exactly why it applies. Oh it applies so well. Your baby is far too precious to you, no matter how objective and open minded and self-critical you are. Novels, like school projects, need multiple minds.

But, I have good news. This group project thing can be a lot of fun. Seriously, it's really enjoyable to knuckle down with a partner and scrub away at your manuscript with the assistance of their fresh perspective. If, that is, you come at it from the teamwork spirit/perspective. If, on the other hand, you aproach the editing process from an adversarial angle, ready to argue and confront every suggestion. Editing can be excruciating.

Just imagine when your novel is turned into a movie. (oh, I KNOW you already have--we all do) You'll be asked to get directly involved, of course, (Its a fantasy after all) but you'll have to work with directors, producers, art directors, set designers, costumers, casting directors.....you get the idea. NOW, tell me that idea doesn't give you shivers of delight? It does. I know it does.

Of course for the teamwork thing to work well, you'll need an editor that you trust and respect....another post in itself, and one I'll leave to someone else.
But I will say, I've been very lucky so far. :)

Happy collaboration! Go forth with a smile.

~Frances

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