by Jennifer Bozell
Collaborative script writing can be an incredibly productive and successful way to write. Producers and studio executives often love working with writing teams, knowing that they are getting two creative minds to work on a project for the price of one.
However, there is no foolproof formula for a successful writing partnership, just as there isn’t a surefire way to choose a romantic partner. But you should be just as selective in choosing a writing partner as you are in choosing a life partner. Indeed, there are a few things to consider before selecting someone with whom you’d like to collaborate.
First, and perhaps most importantly, know thyself. Can you take feedback and constructive criticism well? Are you better at dialogue, or is story structure more your strength? The more clear you are on your strengths and weaknesses, the better you’ll be able to know if a perspective partner complements you. The best collaborations are when you and your partner shore each other’s weaknesses up. You have to be self aware enough to know what you bring to the table, and what is more of a challenge for you.
When you’re looking at potential partners, it’s pretty obvious that you must like them. You’re going to be spending long hours working together, and it sure does help if the process is fun! But you also must respect them. If you don’t respect their writing, don’t go any further.
A few more points to consider: Is this person collaborative in nature? What is his or her process? Do you agree on what makes a good story? Do you two have similar sensibilities? Having the same sense of humor, for example, is obviously helpful, particularly if you’re writing anything comedic.
Ultimately, like many things in life, a successful collaboration with another writer may require a bit of experimentation. So choose the most promising partner, and see if you two click. You won’t know until you try. And if you have to break up, at least it’s not as bad as ending a romance.