Thursday, September 15, 2016

3 Rules to Follow When Co-authoring a Novel

How Much is Too Much?
a guest post by Michelle Griep @MichelleGriep 

Writing a book is hard enough when you’re the sole author. Teaming up with another writer is a whole other ballgame—but it can be done. And the successful release of OUT OF THE FRYING PAN is evidence.

I teamed up with my good buddy Kelly Klepfer years ago as a critique partner. Our personalities clicked . . . okay, so sometimes we actually butted heads, but hey, iron sharpens iron, right? It does, especially when you agree to co-write a novel. Here’s how we worked out the details and how you can go about penning a story with a buddy of yours.

Too Many Authors Spoil the Novel-Soup
After brainstorming together, choose one of you to write the synopsis. Only one. Then follow that synopsis without veering off onto tangents, otherwise you’ll never finish the book.

Too Many Heads Makes a Reader’s Head Explode
Divvy up the point-of-view characters, then stick with it. For instance, in OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, I only always wrote the scenes as seen by one of the sisters-in-law (Zula) and the niece (KC). Kelly always wrote the detective scenes and the other sisters-in-law perspective.

Too Many Plotholes is Confusing
Lack of transition is the biggest bugaboo to avoid. You’ve got to connect all the scenes with seamless segues or the reader will be confused. Do that at the beginning of each scene. A simple sentence will suffice.

And there you have it—three handy dandy rules to follow when co-authoring a novel. Be sure to check out our latest release to make sure we followed our own guidelines.


Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for FERN and ZULA HOPKINS. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective JARED FLYNN. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.


Kelly Klepfer & Michelle Griep
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Her latest release is OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, but historical romance is her usual haunt. THE CAPTIVE HEART releases in October. Follow her escapades at or or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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