Friday, January 23, 2009

On the Difficulty of Shared Vision

Hello Peoples, Jason here.

I was recently asked about the difficulty of writing with a partner. I would like to address this briefly. Why this, you might ask? Because I'm at work (read: bored) and I really need distraction.

People, by which I mean amateur writers like us, have told me they don't think they would be able to write with a partner and give up their vision. I don't think that I give up any of my vision writing with people. I think they help me refine what I want to say. Sure we argue, but we usually end up agreeing. I don't see it as compromise. I see it as finding the best possible story.

I will say the difficulty comes in trying to express what I see in my head in a way that she can understand. Nothing is more difficult for me when it comes to writing. Sometimes I wish I could speak in images. But then they would probably be in the wrong format and I would have to render the image into the proper format and that would take awhile and by then I could've just come up with the right words.

Enough of that nonsense, back to the topic at hand. I find that I need a partner in order to get anything done. Otherwise, my thoughts just jumble in my head like... so many... things... that jumble. Damn, epic fail right there. If I could just write in jpeg this would be easier.

Off topic again. Fuck. My mind wanders something fierce.

So, I'm curious if anyone writing out there, whatever you're writing, is unable to write with a partner. Are you just unable to function in that way? Or perhaps you do write with a partner, how does it work for you? Do you have any suggestions? Yes, I'm fishing for comments.

Shit, the boss is coming. Gotta go.


  1. I've been a full-time writer for something like 19 years now, and i've never had any but good experiences in writing collaboration. Sounds like it's working for you, too :)

  2. I've collaborated on various levels though I'm in journalism, not screenwriting. I've done everything from jointly writing an entire article to finessing over the rough spots where myself and multiple other people have contributed various information / perspectives.

    They've all been good experiences.

    Hrm. I am searching for a word and not finding it. The key to writing collaboratively is....[Blank.] I'm going to have to settle for describing it using something you mentioned above--the idea of "vision."

    The mistake the people you reference are making is that they assume their vision is polished, targeted, and formed to such a degree that the input of another person could only dilute or damage the end product. This is, in fact, an astonishingly arrogant viewpoint. Granted, it's always important to find the right partner, mentor, or inspiration, but the notion of the self-made cinematographer strikes me as faintly ridiculous. To take inspiration from the work of any director that has come before is, in a sense, to collaborate with them. The fact that your partner is a living, breathing person just makes the journey that much more fun. :)

  3. Writting with other people only seems natural. Find and define your strengths and your partner's strengths. There should not be many rules. Let each other live, writting is like need trust. Why not need 2 people?

    Sure you can write by yourself =) and I can see some instances where tension could arise but that is life..certainly there would be other tensions you can avoid with someone to lean on and share ideas with it.

    Words are alive, keep them breathing. Give them life. Love them and dream with them to create beautiful things.

    I've never done any screen writting but have watched people create movies from scratch and think that I would want someone else to bounce my ideas off of, a consistent person also partaking in the same final goal would seem the best possibility or a great opportunity..depending on the person I guess.

    We all know anything you touch will be golden buddy.

    The greatest texts of time have been compilations. ;) Certainly this is also true of music..why not film? old friend.