Anybody do it? How'd it work out?


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I suspect fiction. That's a story that seems to pop up whenever a best-selling author is remotely prolific. Now there is a best selling thriller author who actually does do something similar, I can't remember his name, but he does give credit to his co-authors.

If King was doing it and not giving credit, it would last about 5 minutes before someone blew it to the tabloids. He's just too famous a target for them to keep it a secret.

I'm trying to start a literary rumor of my own that J.D. Salinger has secretly been writing Harlequin Romances under a variety of pseudonyms for the past 40 years. Who's with me on spreading it?
I heard JD was writing fantasy novels. I'll go for the romance though. Maybe he's actually Alison Brennan with her 'suspense romance' series.
I doubt the king story as well. I ended up at a party that king was at some fifteen years ago and in the middle of the evening he was found upstairs on a typewriter getting something down. with that kind of dedication and NEED to write, I doubt he would farm anything out.
Patterson is a businessman. He's the first to admit it. I can't stand his novels but he has to be admired in some way for what he has accomplished. A billionaire writer. Who thought it possible?
Fiction, IMO

D.R., I believe you're thinking of James Patterson
Yes, that's who it is!

I don't know why I didn't remember his name, it's plastered all over every place that sells books in town.

Sometimes i wonder why this system isn't used more often, especially for series books.

It's the way TV shows are written. We have a writes' room with five writers and a showrunner, or head writer. We plot out the episodes as a group and then one of us writes the script for an episode. Then everyone reads that script and offers notes and then the showrunner does a final pass.

Something like that could work with books, too, couldn't it?
Nope. A mystery novel is too complex. At least mine are. One by itself manages to confuse me 3/4 of the way in. When I said I had worked on two things at once, the other was either a short story or straight fiction. I can see this possibly happening when both mysteries are outlined in great detail first, but I don't work that way.
I.J., what do you do, when you get to that 3/4 done-confused place? That's where I am on my current WIP and I'm having a hard time with it. Could use some pointers from anyone who's been there...

I go back to the beginning and fix all the loose ends and wrong clues. This shouldn't be done until you know precisely who the killer is. I also write myself notes about possible conflicts.
I always thought a good idea for a publisher would be to create a book series, complete with a "bible" outlining characters and such, and recruit a mix of big name, mid list, and beginning authors to contribute short novels for the series. The big names will attract readers, and hopefully hook them up with the mid-list and beginning authors as well.

But the trick would be wrangling all the authors to do a coherent series, which may be impossible with all those clashing egos.
Nah! Who wants to work on someone else's idea? That's misery.
I did it once.

I joined a group of writers who were each given a plot premise, a title, and the mission of creating a story around them. The idea was to create pieces that could stand alone, but when put together in one book, created one big super-story. Creating a sort of novel-anthology hybrid.

I'm not saying that it was easy, but it was possible, and that making it work rests on how you approach it.

You can view it as a imposition possibly an insult, or take it as a game that challenges your imagination and skill.

I took it as a fun challenge, got it done, and even got listed as a highlight when the book got a good review.

That's why I said it may be impossible, because it relies a lot on the personal whimsy of the participants, and the more authors involved, the more chances for disastrous complications.
And I do it everyday on the TV show. It can be frustrating at times, sure, but it can also be great to have other writers to go to for help.

Of course, lke TV show it would sometimes work better than others.


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