Spoiler: we missed our deadline.
But, things are moving forward. Our productivity has been decent, even if it never approached the rarified levels we would have needed in order to hit that mark we set for ourselves.
With a writing partner, you can get double the bandwidth. The thing is, it takes some careful planning to get your work set up to take advantage of it. If you’re each going to work on certain scenes, you have consider what order things need to be written in. Scenes don’t always need to be done chronologically, but it’s easier to avoid continuity gaffes when they are.
This can lead to bottlenecks, such as when Kent hits a cluster of tightly interconnected scenes that will have a big impact on the next cluster, which Jen will write. How do you both keep working when you run into this situation?
Here in the Writing Cave, we have a couple of different strategies. Sometimes one of us will grab a scene that’s far removed from the current bottleneck zone. Sometimes there are tasks that make up our process (such as writing stubs) that advance the project even if they’re not adding to the manuscript’s word count. And we always have tons of placeholders and margin notes from earlier in the story, and it’s good to get some of those picked off. That goes against the “never look back until it’s finished” advice you often hear. And if you feel like it could get you bogged down and you’d never make it back to the leading edge of your WIP, then don’t put yourself at risk. All we can say is it works for us, at this point.
Writing with a partner means you need a process that treats the project as a team endeavor.