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Mentioned in this episode:

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

A Ship With No Parrot by R J Theodore (MetaStellar)

Episode Transcript (by TK @_torkz)

[Upbeat Ukulele Intro Music]
This is We Make Books, a podcast about writing publishing and everything in between. Rekka is a published Science Fiction and Fantasy author, and Kaelyn is a professional genre fiction editor. Together, they'll tackle the things you never knew you never knew about getting a book from concept to finished product, with explanations, examples, and a lot of laughter. Get your moleskin notebook ready. It's time for We Make Books.

Kaelyn: We’re talking today about writing with a friend. Hopefully a friend. If not a friend, then a partner.

Rekka: Hopefully a friend for longer than it takes to write the project.

K: Hopefully a friend after you’re done. [laughing]

R: Yes, before and after. Hey, even after is probably more important than before. Let’s be clear that you don’t wanna destroy a relationship, but you can make a new friend.

K: Yes, absolutely. Let’s talk first about, why would you do this?

R: [giggles]

K: Why would you want to - and, okay so maybe a little context first. I will admit I have never worked on a project that a single story had been written or contributed to by two different people.

R: As an editor, you mean?

K: Yes.

R: Ok.

K: So why would you do this? It seems like a difficult thing to do. And for context, Rekka has done this a couple times. So Rekka, why would you do this?

R: Because writing is lonely, and the idea that someone else will work on a project with you is just like the biggest longest most creative sleepover ever.

K: Okay!

R: It’s a good reason.

K: That is certainly a good reason, writing is lonely. I think a lot of writers, their editor when they get one is the first time they’re really having somebody to collaborate with, and to talk to.

R: To go back and forth.

K: Yeah, but the editor is not writing the book.

R: I know! Which is unfair, honestly.

K [overlapping]: [laughing]

R: I wanna know who I talk to about this.

K: Yeah but you know what you’re right, writing is a lonely process. There’s a lot of time spent sitting by yourself just having to think.

R: And having feelings.

K: Yeah. If you’re writing with someone, you get to share those with someone else.

R: And shout about things.

K: Absolutely. Shouting is a necessary component to that 100% —

R: It’s actually kinda how it gets started, there’s a lot of enthusiastic shouting about an idea.

K: [laughing]

R: But you know what stinks? Is that you still have to write alone.

K: Well and that’s exactly what I was gonna ask you. So okay, let’s go through this. You’ve decided I’m tired of being alone here, I want to also inflict this upon somebody else. So what do you do?

R: [deep sigh] How do you find someone else to inflict things upon? So the first person that I sat down to write a project with was a friend, and we said like hey we should try this out! And we were both writers to begin with, writing in fairly different genres but still genre fiction. And we decided we were going to do a project and we said hey, it will be this, like we outlined it together. We - or we didn’t so much outline it together but we concepted it out together.

K: Okay.

R: And then we each created a POV character as part of that concept. And then we wrote our chapters back and forth, so that the tone, the voice, for that POV character is consistent.

K: Mhm.

R: And so that you can have a character that’s slightly unreliable, just because like you couldn’t catch all the continuity errors, that you and your partner -

K [overlapping]: Mhm. Yup.

R: - created. It also lets you kind of reshuffle the scenes if you need to later, uh move things around a little bit easier, extract things if you need to without losing too many threads. But my other experience in doing it we did not, we had one POV. So, it doesn’t have to be done that way.

K: Tell us about the time you wrote one POV.

R: I sort of went through my text file that I keep on my phone that’s just like the little random lines and concepts, phrases that occur to me. And so the writing partner latched onto one and said, “That’s interesting, let’s work with that.” And then that was it, we just kind of went. I wrote something and sent it to him, and then I think we gave a week or two weeks max for each turnaround, so that one person wasn’t waiting on the other forever. So it kinda bounced back and forth, and it would twist a little, like I’d get back and reread what the new words were and I’d be like oh okay, that’s where that’s going now.

K: [chuckles]

R: So it felt a little bit like improv, where somebody tosses you something, and y - the guide for improv is don’t say “no,” say “yes, and...” So I think I had more of that spirit in the second project than I did in the first time attempting it, where um. As a kid I used to play with my friends and we’d get the toys all out and I’d immediately have a plot. And my friends would never adhere to it -

K [overlapping]: [chuckles]

R: Because of course they didn’t know it. They would have whatever toy they were holding do a thing and I’d be like “No no no not that, have it do this.” So I can’t imagine I was much fun to play with. Nor was it probably much fun to try and write with me on the project where I didn’t have the spirit of “yes, and...” I had more like “mmm. That’s interesting, how’s that gonna fit back into where I’m taking this?”

K: Well and that’s a very good point, is I think if you’re going to write with somebody it has to be a genuinely collaborative effort, rather than someone coming in with a story and having someone else tell it.

R: Yeah and like I said, both times it was starting from a concept that, it wasn’t like, “Oh I wanna write this book, do you wanna write it with me?”

K: Mhm.

R: So it was two people coming together each time saying “let’s work together on a thing, what should we work on, do you have any ideas, yeah sure how ‘bout this concept, okay that’s interesting what can we do with that? And then how do you wanna do this? Like okay I’ll write some and then you write some and then I’ll write some and then you write some.

K: So like just examples off the top of my head, did you read This Is How You Lose the Time War?

R: Yes.

K: Yeah, so that was, so that’s a novella actually written by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. And I remember going like huh, I’m curious to see how they did this, and I went back and I think I read an interview or something with them, and sure enough what they did was they outlined a plot, and then they took turns writing the letters in it, and -

R: But not only that, interesting point that maybe you want to cut me off and say we’ll get to that in a second -

K: No, no prob. [laughing]

R: But they wrote it at the same table, part of it at least.

K: Yes. If you haven’t read This Is How You Lose the Time War, read it, it’s very good and it’s a quick read.

R: It won awards for a reason.

K: I - yeah, it won a lot of awards. [chuckles] But the entire story is told through letters being sent back and forth between Agent Red and Agent Blue, both of whom work for separate agencies that go back in time and change things to make history fit what they want it to be. So I remember reading in this that sometimes they were, like they were writing the letters and then mailing them to each other essentially, and letting the other person correspond and reply, it was almost a bit of role-playing. But yes they did write some of it sitting across from each other. But then another good example that’s the opposite: Good Omens was written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett and they both -

R [overlapping]: [laughing] I was thinking of The Omen, and I’m like, I didn’t know - wait what?!

K [overlapping]: [laughing]

R: They wrote that? Okay, I’ve caught up, continue.

K: Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett, one of them wrote a lot of the main story, and then the other one fleshed out a lot of it. There’s a main plot that but there’s a lot of other stuff going on, and there’s a lot of ancillary characters that turn out to be important to the plot but they never really gave a clear answer if it was like an assignment list so to speak, if there was like a breakdown of who was doing what. It sounds like they are just very good friends who were both very talented writers and were able to do this. I do see a lot of times when there’s two authors involved, it’s two different POVs, and - which is a perfectly intriguing way to do it.

R: The way I always imagine it is that it starts with some sort of conference call or in-person visit, and the bones of the story are shaped out there. And then, at least far enough ahead that people can get to work writing. Because okay we’re back to writing being lonely, you do have to go back to your own desk -

K: [giggles]

R: - and work on the project from your side, by yourself. I have heard of people writing in Google Docs so they can see the other people’s words appear at - that just seems like chaos mode.

K: I will say that’s how I take notes at work when I’m on a call with multiple people from my side and like, I won’t say it’s easy, it’s not terrible.

R: It’s very distracting.

K: [chuckles]

R: So I mean that would be a tremendously interesting way to do it, I would love to try that sometime. But coordinating that puts you back into the whole like ‘we have to be at the same place at the same time’ aspect, which is probably not one of the benefits that most people would list of co-writing, is that you write your part of it without having to wait for the other person until like your check-in, and then you see what’s come up with the other person’s side of things and then you go back. And I will say again, the first time I tried to do this, we were writing in a shared Scrivener file.

K: Okay.

R: This was before Scrivener had real integration with Dropbox.

K: The dark ages, yeah.

R: Well no but -

K [overlapping]: [laughing]

R: I don’t think it would work now, because back then two people could open the same Scrivener document. Now Scrivener will tell you sorry, you can’t. It would have to go back to Google Docs or something, if we wanted to do it that way where we could see all the bones of the project coming together. The second time, we were just emailing a Word document back and forth that was updated and trying to keep them straight and not work in an old version. Which didn’t happen, it was short enough that I don’t think either of us were confused.

K: How important is it to set down rules, so to speak? Of like, “Okay. This is how this is going to happen. Then we’re going to, you know, everything must be tracked here, or you have to let the other person know if you’re changing something to this.” I imagine it would depend on, are you both writing in the same document or are you each writing from a separate POV and then they’re gonna be combined. How did you manage that?

R: So it’s interesting you ask that, because the first time, my partner and I actually wrote up a contract.

K: I almost asked you, and I was like you know what, that seems like something maybe you wouldn’t do right at the start of this, but -

R: No, I think it’s important. It’s a good idea to have a contract that outlines who’s responsible for what, how quickly people are expected to get things back -

K: Mhm.

R: How royalties are going to be split.

K [overlapping]: Okay.

R: Like if somebody’s only responsible for the outline, in terms of word count they haven’t contributed the same as the other person, but is it possible that you’re splitting it 50/50? Either way, put it in writing, because that protects your estate later on from trying to come after somebody in arguing how much should or shouldn’t be shared. It also can say like alright, this project is dissolved if the person takes more than two months to come back with their paragraph contribution for the week.

K: Yeah.

R: You know, all the questions that you just outlined can be described in there, including things like how are we going to edit this? Are we going to finish this project by taking it to a professional editor, like all the nitty gritty details can go, if not in a contract, in a project outline that can be referenced in a contract.

K: All of the things we’ve been saying in the 60-something episodes of this podcast, now imagine you have to okay them with somebody else.

R: Yeah.

K [laughing]: Like -

R: It depends on the personalities involved. One person might be like, ‘I’m going to leave all these decisions to you.’

K: Mhm. ‘I’m just here to write,’ yeah.

R: Well ‘I just wanna write’ or ‘I am - my faith in you and your ability to do these things is greater than my willingness to try and learn them,’ and then the other person saying like ‘Yes, I agree to also take on all those tasks.’

K: Mhm.

R: So yeah. The first project, we drew up a contract and we said what the project was, who was going to - that we were splitting it, not necessarily like even chapters but that we were going to have two POVs and the POVs would each be the responsibility of a different person.

K: Did you have an expected word count?

R: Yeah. I think it was a little bit like a query letter, in terms of the way that the project was described. (I was looking for it but I couldn’t find it.) In the way that the project was described and then in the way that we talked about the production timeline after, it was a little bit more like a marketing plan even. Including distribution: how were we going to release this? Was it going to be Kindle Unlimited or was it going to be distributed wide through all the retailers?

K: You do need something like that, because let’s say you start writing with somebody and you get pretty far down the path and it turns out you fundamentally disagree on what to do with the book. Well each of you have the files now presumably, [laughing] so -

R [overlapping]: Mhm.

K: What are you gonna do?

R: You have to trust that the other person’s not going to run off with it. Also, that’s what the contract is, to ensure that they don’t.

K: Did you sit down and kind of come up with some agreed upon stylistic choices?

R: In the sense of what? Like, comp title kind of things?

K: Not just comp title, but stylistic in terms of writing. Granted if you’re writing two different POVs you can attribute these things to a character, but like did you decide ‘Okay this is going to be descriptive, we’re going to really emphasize the natural beauty of the setting,’ or ‘we’re going to make sure the characters always take note of a certain thing so that we can note it to the reader.’ How’d you handle worldbuilding? How did you come to terms with all of the things that an author typically has to decide on their own?

R: We did not, I think in either case really, get into that.

K: Okay.

R: We knew enough of each other’s writing to sort of know what we were getting into.

K: Yeah, and that’s a very good point by the way; probably don’t try to collaborate on a writing project with somebody whose writing you’ve never read before.

R: Yeah. At the very least read some before you finalize all your contracts.

K: Yes. I’d say that’s important and, I’m not saying this to be mean or flippant, the last thing you want is to get started on a project and find out the person’s not actually a very good writer.

R: Or that your styles just don’t make for good story together. You are not going to find a writer who writes exactly like you; don’t assume that you aren’t going to come up against like ‘Oh, I don’t actually enjoy reading this from you.’

K: Yeah.

R: You want to challenge yourself and see how you can make your two styles fit together. Because if you’re not growing as you work on anything then why bother? But you also don’t want it to be such a challenge that you cannot enjoy the process.

K: So what do you do when you have disagreements about something?

R: Well hopefully the answer is something that you’ve already figured out in the contract, like if you’re -

K: Okay.

R: It’s kinda like when a company goes back to their mission statement to figure out how to proceed with something.

K: What about if it’s a story-related thing that’s not necessarily outlined in the contract?

R: Give me an example.

K: Alright so, let’s say in the end of the fifth season of Buffy there was like a fight in the writers’ room about - uh, spoiler for a show that’s been off the air for about 15 years, everyone - ‘we think Buffy maybe needs to die,’ ‘no there’s no reason she has to die,’ and then… there’s a fight! [chuckles]

R: Hopefully your contract has a walking clause. Something that says like alright, if at some point the parties can’t decide on where the story should go, they can walk away, and at that point maybe they decide, or maybe in your contract it should say, that you need to pick who gets to take the story with them -

K [overlapping]: Mhm, yeah.

R: - if somebody still wants to write it. ‘Cause that’s something that wasn’t in the contract for my first one, and part of me - like I wouldn’t write the same story - 

K: Mhm.

R: We never finished it. I wouldn’t write the same story but there are elements I’d like to take, but they’re elements that would be recognizable enough.

K: Mhm.

R: So, how should we have proceeded? Probably one of us should - well at this point I could write to the person and say, “Hey, I wanna write this story, do you mind if I write this story on my own, not giving you any credit?”

K [chuckles]: Yeah. Or if you do, how do I compensate you accordingly?

R: Or just an acknowledgement, like I’ll acknowledge that the story started, and then y’know life happened, we didn’t finish it.

K: Well that’s a form of compensation.

R: Yeah. Acknowledgement is like credit in a certain way, without - but again, in that email you say, “Okay cool.” And they write back and they’re like, “Fine,” and I say, “Great. Here’s something I’d like you to sign, just to say that like you are aware that I am writing this, and that I’m writing it all on my own -”

K [overlapping]: Yup.

R: “Using new material. And that, the only thing you expect is to get a nod in the acknowledgements.” That’s something that you can do if you get to the point where you disagree on something and there’s no - it’s like if you’re to the point of fisticuffs you should probably walk away, or take a break. Are you so stressed about either the project or whatever that you’re just lashing out, or is this actually a problem, this relationship that you’re working in?

K [overlapping]: Mhm.

R: So, you know, be an adult.

K: And listen, by the way. I have writers that get, I mean, so defensive, about just - no one that I’ve worked with on a published book, but people I’ve talked to, people who’ve asked for advice and different things. And they’re so defensive about the story to an editor. Imagine, again, trying to write this with another person.

R: That’s the thing is you really have to gauge how well you’re going to work together with this person.

K [overlapping]: Mhm.

R: Do you just wanna do stuff because you’re friends and you like spending time with them? That might not be enough to go on for the amount of, like think of the anguish that you put into a novel project in the first place. You would think that co-authoring means you share that anguish, but you actually just each have your own anguish -

K [overlapping]: [laughing]

R: - which might make you less compatible than you are at the start.

K: My grandmother always says to never marry somebody before you’ve taken a three-day bus trip across country with them. I kind of feel like with writers it’s like alright, I wanna see you two cook dinner together in the same kitchen, making the same dish. Like you, you have to collectively present me with one dish. And let’s see how that goes. [laughing]

R: Are you following a recipe or are you creating a recipe?

K: You have to decide.

R: Hm.

K: But you actually, you kinda touched on something interesting there, which is the other form of collaborative writing that I’ve seen in query letters a lot, you said “Is this just your friend that you wanna hang out with and spend time with?” And where I get a lot of those from is roleplaying games.

R: Mhm.

K: There’s a lot of thought and worldbuilding and character development and everything that goes into those. The, I hesitate to even call them players, by that point they’re basically writers, put a lot of time and effort into developing these characters and these worlds and things and then they interact with other people who help them contribute and grow, and that is a way that I’ve seen some collaborative writing come to fruition is, start out as a game.

R: You have to be a very caring person to be a good gamemaster, in that you have to care about the experience of the people that you are essentially having a collaborative worldbuilding experience with. You have to want them to have fun, or they’re not going to have fun.

K [overlapping]: [chuckles]

R: You have to have set up different paths that they can choose to take so that they have some agency in the experience as well, and you have to be willing to say ‘yes and’ rather than ‘no.’ And you have to be willing to accept that sort of spontaneity. The best path forward may not always be the one you expect, but if you care about working with someone in a way that 1) doesn’t negate their contribution -

K: Mhm.

R: - and make it seem like ugh, well that almost matches what I would’ve done; like it’s not about anybody looking for permission from somebody else, it’s unwinding this coil of like where is this going, and unwinding it together. So we mentioned before that there are experiences where somebody writes the outline and somebody else writes the story to the outline, and I think that’s another balancing act because as somebody writes to an outline that they’ve made for themselves, they feel free to deviate from it. And I imagine that also happens when they write to an outline that somebody else has written. But also, writing an outline doesn’t quite transmit everything that goes into a story. It’s very hard to imagine what a person intended for an entire scene based on a single sentence or a couple of sentences. So there’s gotta be a lot of letting go; if one person is handling one creative step and another person is handling another creative step, again that contract but also your expectations have to be that like that first person is going to be letting go of a lot of control of the story if they’re not going to participate in the writing of it.

K: It certainly is an exercise in having to give up and trust somebody with something that you created and love.

R: It’s interpersonal relationships on a scale that usually you can separate from your personal creative self, and you would expect to put this much work into a business project or a marriage or opening a business with somebody - and again like, have a contract. Yeah you are putting that much effort into this.

K: You’re opening a business with someone in a respect; you’re creating a product.

R: Yeah we’re creating a product here that can be sold and resold and rights have to be licensed and -

K: Mhm.

R: You have to envision the success of this to really get a grip on all the things you have to consider. You can’t just ‘oh haha this’ll be fun’ if you are going to publish it, because you never know where it’s gonna go.

K: Look at some of the greatest duos of what-have-you that fell apart because of differences in ideas.

R: Mhm. I mean here are the advice like, never work for friends, watch out, you’ll ruin your relationship if you try to do this, I mean that’s kind of true of this if you don’t go into it with the right mindframe.

K: So now that we’ve scared the hell out of everybody and never gonna wanna write a collaborative project together. What were some of the fun things about it?

R: The brainstorming at the beginning was definitely really fun. Sit down with somebody that you like and you talk about what ideas might come out of something, depending on your level of prepwork, you might’ve had a really long conversation or you have lots of these little visual pieces that you’re gonna see how you’re gonna string together. Or you might have just kinda said ‘well let’s just see where it goes.’

K: Mhm.

R: Which I think was my experience the second time, once we picked that concept out of my Word doc of random ideas that I’ve had.

K [laughing]: By the way, if you’re listening to this and you wanna be a writer and you don’t have a Word document of random ideas you’ve had please start one immediately.

R: Hopefully if you’re called to be a writer and you go ‘oh, you mean I should’ve been writing all those down,’ as opposed to like ‘oh I’ve gotta start coming up with ideas’ - like I think if you’re at the point where you don’t even have ideas -

K: I’m saying for ideas you’ve already had.

R: Okay.

K: You need to have a good place to keep them.

R: Jot them down. But yeah, so we picked something out of my book of ideas. If it’s a collaborative effort between friends, it might’ve even been something like that started as a Twitter conversation and now you’re writing it. So wherever you get your idea from, it usually starts with social connection, friendship, enthusiasm, and hopefully it’s all mutual. And then you go to the, ‘okay, are we really doing this?’

K: [giggles]

R: ‘Let’s start the contract.’ If the person’s not comfortable entering into a contract with you, then that’s a red flag right there, that one of you is uncomfortable with what it’s gonna take to finish this project out. Because the contract is the thing that’s gonna see you through it all, so if you stop and you refuse to move forward at that point, that saves everybody some trouble. But the fun things about it are that starting moment, where the excitement is just zapping back and forth between the two of you, whether online or in person.

K: Mhm.

R: And then seeing what the other person wrote every week and getting to respond to it in like kind. It’s a little bit like writing fanfiction, in real time, with an author.

K: [laughing]

R: And then the other person can feel the exact same way, that they are the one writing the fanfic in real time with the author. And hopefully it is a surprise every time that you open the document to see what’s new. And then you pick someone whose writing you like, whose writing you enjoy, and then honestly it kinda carries you through the submissions process. ‘Cause you’re like okay well it can’t be that bad because I respect this person’s writing -

K [overlapping]: Mhm.

R: - so if they liked it, then there’s just a little like ‘no, this isn’t bad,’ that you can hold in your heart when you get a rejection from a magazine or something.

K: Aww.

R: Because like, you have faith that the other person knows what they’re doing, and they have faith that you know what you’re doing, and together you have this piece that you both believe in, even if you are believing in only half of it. [chuckles] And not the half that, you know, you worked on. So it’s just really nice, yeah.

K [overlapping]: In the end you’re coming together to all believe together.

R: Yeah I mean, we kinda, like in the second case it was a short story, and we did finish it. So, going back and forth, one person writing a few thousand words or like kinda getting to the end of a scene, like that break moment kinda thing where like -

K: Yup.

R: Fade to black, commercial break, whatever you wanna call it, and then going ‘ok! I just feel good about that writing session; I’m sending this back to you.’ We did that a few times back and forth. One of us sent the first 500 words in November. By the time we had finished it, it was February of the following year. And, so that’s pretty quick -

K: Yeah that’s really quick.

R: We were both on top of it; we only sent it back like a couple of times. I think our total word count is 4100 words, so, at most that was like eight back and forth of -

K [overlapping]: Mhm.

R: - 500 words each, or I think some of them were a little bit longer. I think once we sorta started to see where it was going some of us were - some of us - [chuckles]

K [overlapping]: [laughing]

R: Half of us - one of us would write more of that, and the other person would write more of the other.

K: Okay.

R: So, and then after that, we started talking about like okay what do you wanna do now, ‘let’s sit on it for a month’ was the response, and then we picked some markets to target and one of us was just in charge of submitting them.

K: So you, you had a system, you had a plan.

R: Yeah. We didn’t have a contract on that one, maybe we should. The nice thing is when you say you’re co-authoring, the magazine tends to send two separate payments.

K: Okay, nice.

R: Or at least in my experience so far, of selling this once.

K: [laughing] So overall, a good experience?

R: Yeah! Yeah, that one was a lot of fun. Like I said, having a totally different attitude toward where it was going and who was in charge - which was neither of us or both of us? - it was a very different experience than the first time. My first experience was with someone, we were trying to write a whole novel, and I think our intent was it might be a series. So this was like long-haul planning, and it wasn’t long before I realized like I don’t think our styles really mesh. And he also wrote really really fast, and kind of expected me to write really really fast, so I would turn around something after working on it for like a week or so, and then the next day he’d be like ‘okay, your turn.’ And I’d be like ‘oh, see, um, this isn’t the only thing I wanna work on.’ [laughing]

K: Yeah. [chuckles]

R: And so it was also, I think, in the middle of the final phases of getting Flotsam out, so it probably felt like a disruption, and the fact that he was turning things around so fast was like, frustrating to me. Whereas like I would work on something for awhile and then think like ‘okay, there, done, check it off my list’ -

K [chuckles]: Deep breath, yeah.

R: And the next day it’d be on my list again.

K: That can get a little stressful, certainly.

R: Yeah.

K: I guess the takeaway from all of this then is whether or not you have a good experience with this, a lot of it comes down to you.

R: And planning and expectation yeah.

K: Yeah.

R: You could go to the Happiest Place On Earth and be a total stick in the mud about it, so -

K: Yes.

R: Like, that’s true of everything.

K: Yeah. Yeah but there’s certain things you can do to make sure that it doesn’t become a miserable experience, certainly.

R: Yeah. Or, that you have a way out if it does.

K: Yes, yes, there you go. So yeah I think that’s - any, Rekka, any parting thoughts, any final suggestions or advice?

R: If it’s something that you’ve wanted to do, I definitely recommend doing it. Try it out and see. Hopefully, it doesn’t break a friendship - [giggles]

K [overlapping]: [laughing]

R: Y’know, the first time you try it. Having that contract will go a long way to having a mutual not-fun-anymore clause. If neither party is interested in going forward, then that’s it. That’s all that has to be said, and the project is dissolved. And if the other person is loving where it was going and wants to keep going with it, then you just have that release agreement, where like “I don’t expect any royalties or anything from this, you go ahead and have fun with it.” You hate to think that you need a contract to go do something that you and a friend both love doing, but ahh, I really think it’s a good idea.

K: It’s probably, yeah.

R: At worst, it doesn’t hurt, and at best, it protects you and it gives you something to fall back on if things aren’t going well. But, hopefully things go very very well and you end up with a story and you sell it, like I did!

K: There you go. Rekka, what’s the story you sold?

R: [giggles]

K: You knew I was gonna ask you about -

R: Maurice Broaddus and I wrote a story called The Archivist, and it sold to Lightspeed magazine and should come out sometime within the next nine months or so. One day I imagine I will wake up and have been tagged on Twitter.

K: It’s just gonna be on there, yeah.

R: And I will be able to share it then. My recent story on MetaStellar I was told the date, and then a few days ahead of time I was told what the URL would be and when it would go live, so I was able to prepare, which was nice.

K: Very nice! As always, we hope we left you with some food for thought.

R: It’s worth doing, if only to find out whether you enjoy it or not, but also keep in mind that it takes the right pair of minds to do it. So if you don’t enjoy the first time, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun again. But I hope you love it, ‘cause I did enjoy it, and I really am proud of the story that came out of it. I would not have written that story on my own.

K: Oh, okay, well great!

R: Which is another point, like I shouldn’t leave off without saying that, but like we created a story that neither of us would’ve written if it was just working alone.

K: Greater than the sum of their parts.

R: Or at least greater than the sum of half the parts. [laughing]

K [overlapping]: [laughing]

R: Alright, well that is probably enough. If you want more, or you want to be notified when the story goes live, you can send us a message on Twitter or Instagram, we are @WMBcast. You can also find us on WMBcast.com with all our old episodes. If you are listening from the future, I might come back and add the link to that story when it does go live, to the show notes. If you are listening from a very very profitable future -

K [overlapping]: [giggles]

R: - you might consider going to Patreon.com/WMBcast to support us financially, but we don’t need that! What we would really really love are some ratings and reviews on Apple Podcasts, or your favorite podcast aggregator, whichever you’re listening to right now. That would be so, so helpful; it helps people find us. We had someone shouting on Twitter the other day saying like ‘why are more of you not listening to this podcast?’ I guarantee it’s because it’s hard to find podcasts, unless they have really good ratings and reviews. So please, drop us some five stars and some glowing words, they don’t have to be expansive. Just like ‘this podcast rocks!’ I mean, that’s what I think, that’s what I would write. You can use that though. I’m not gonna hold you on a contract or anything.

K: [laughing]

R: Alright, two weeks from now we’ll be talking about something entirely different, but probably just as goofy.