Friday, July 3, 2020

Hit the Wall? Try a Writing Partner

My road to publication taught me so able lessons, but one of the biggest was that if you run into a problem getting published, why not reach out to other writers? This can be done in so many ways and it doesn’t have to be non-fiction or fiction – it can be both. Shortly after running into obstacles getting my short stories published, I met a group of other writers who wer ehaving the same problems. We decided we would go together and put all our stories into an anthology. Suddenly we had a publisher and all our stories ended up getting published. We did the same with a second anthology.  For a few of us, things worked out even better. We had novels we wanted to see published and since the anthology publisher was fairly new, the editors were looking for authors. Several of us ended up getting our first books published with Wings ePress. 

What I learned from that experience was to look beyond just the traditional world, but I also learned the value of working with other writers. We all had one story we had to write for our anthologies and we all critiqued and edited each other’s work. The critiquing, the editing and the feeling we were all in it together was more than just valuable. It helped improve my writing. That experience not only led to valuable writing friendships, but also put me on the road to getting more books and stories published.

Several years later, I met Sue Viders. Sue was already the author of a very popular writing book with several other writers, and I felt privileged when I became her critique partner. We soon found we enjoyed not only writing fiction but she wanted to write another non-fiction book on writing. A partnership was formed and we have never looked back. 

We began with a book on creating characters and moved on quickly to two on plotting and then
another on villains. Our next book will be a series of writing tips addressing the different types of authors. Like our other books, it will soon be available at

As Sue and I worked together, we discovered we liked the way the other author wrote fiction, and we decided to try our hand at writing a fiction novel together. Immediately (because that is the only way

 Sue works – she sees a job and she wants to do it --  we began working on a plot using our Plotting Wheel and putting together the characters using the various sheets we had developed together.

Sue was anxious to begin writing and before long we began developing our ideas into actual scenes and bringing our characters from charts to life.  What we enjoy about writing together is that our ideas spark interest from the other person so whenever we hit a dry spell, one or the other can supply the spark to get things moving again. When we both hit a wall, we brainstorm, just tossing out ideas to the other and before long, the problem is solved and we move along.  

All of this is a long way of saying that if you’re stuck for an idea or a writing partner, look around you. There may be other would-be writers out there looking for someone to work with. Find the person who might have other strengths and weaknesses different from yours. Years ago, I worked with a male co-author who was great at coming up with plot twists and characters, but he hated dealing with the mechanics. Together, we both loved writing dialogue and we would toss dialogue back and forth at each other and type it all up into character conversations. It was not only fun, but we were able to get the stories written faster. 

Writing with a co-author can be helpful in other ways too. Let’s face it, there are days we don’t feel like writing, but working with a co-author can help you get over those days of inaction. Let the other person carry you and then you can turn around and carry them when they are hitting a blank spot.

When it comes right own to it, writing a book is hard work. Sometimes writing with someone else can get you moving forward, so look around. Is there someone you know who might want to try to get a story written? Offer to help. Get their help, and most of all, keep writing! 

Our newest book on villains is now available on, where you can also find all our writing books for authors.

If you have any writing questions, please email me at, or visit our

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