What’s harder than writing a novel? Writing a novel with someone, quite possibly. What if you want to call your character Harriet but your co-writer’s heart is set on Mildred? What if they think that your favourite bit of purple prose is total rubbish? What if they change their mind half way through and want to kill everyone off in a boating disaster? One way around this problem, as many writers have discovered, is to do the different perspectives thing; each take your own character, and Bob’s your uncle. Others are obviously just very good team players. Here is a collection of writings produced by more than one person. (This post inspired by starting reading Beautiful Creatures, which is number one on the list just for continuity’s sake.)

  1. Beautiful creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. In their inteview with Amazon.com, they say they bat their story back and forth, a bit like a literary ping pong ball. Have to say, that sounds like the fun approach.
  2. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green and David Levithan. The separate and yet together approach, with both authors writing about two characters with the same name. This is being published next month, but in anticipation of it being good here it is on my list.
  3. Nick and Norah’s infinite playlist, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (again). Also again, the different perspectives approach.
  4. Bass ackwards and belly up : a novel, Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain. Likened to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Bass ackwards tells its story from the perspectives of four characters.
  5. Hot mail, Tessa Duder and William Taylor. Two characters, one male and one female, of quite different backgrounds, email each other in this New Zealand story. The cool thing about it is that Tessa Duder and William Taylor actually wrote it this way, via email, without discussing the plot beforehand.
  6. The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holly Black (who wrote Ironside etc), co-authored this children’s series with David DiTerlizzi.
  7. Mercedes Lackey, the queen of collaboration. Not so much a book as a person, Mercedes Lackey has worked with Andre Norton, Piers Anthony, C J Cherryh, Marion Zimmer Bradley.
  8. House of night series, P C and Kristin Cast. The first in our family sub-section. I can’t imagine writing a series of novels with my mum. Again according to Amazon.com P C Cast writes the first draft of the story, leaving bits for Kristin Cast to fill in and change.
  9. A mother’s gift, Britney and Lynne Spears. Yes, that Britney Spears, Lynne Spears being her mum. Amazon.com tells me it’s a rags to riches tale (the review also calls it “treacly”).
  10. The Brothers Grimm. Again, not a book, but probably the most famous story-telling-collaborating family. Plus they have a cool name.