| David Gane
One of the dangers in working with someone is that you won't always agree. You write a sentence that you think is good, or even worse wonderful, smart, and meaningful, and they come along and piss on your work.*
Now, first of all, that sucks. But, if you are going to do this whole writing partnership thing, then you need to develop both a thick skin but also relaxed attitude to the arrangement of words that you considered so carefully.
You need a thick skin because despite what you think is a wonderful story has problems and somebody somewhere is going to find those problems and point them out to you. Now, some of those problems, you may not actually care about or you put those problems in there just to be a shit, because that's the way you like to be in your writing.
The ones you have to at least consider are where it makes the sentence or story confusing, or you spend too much time showing us how you can describe things, or you show us how smart and witty you are as a writer. Right then, the reader's suspension of disbelief fails and you only get so many of those before they will just quit caring for you and your stupid story.
Now, that's all fine, but it really sucks when it is your own damn writing partner who is telling you these things and he/she is supposed to be on your side! Now, you aren't annoyed as some faceless reader who doesn't understand what you went through to get here; you have the person who agreed to go on this journey with you at the start. They should know better, they should understand!**
The thing is though, the writing is broken and it needs to be fixed and the person working with you is telling you this and you need to listen.
Ang and I do this to each other all the time. We worry about the stupidest bits and pieces and have conversations for far too long about them. That's where letting go of the words makes sense. It's really not worth it.
The other thing is that sometimes you just need to go in and fix it. Quit worrying about what the other person thinks or says because if you do, nothing will get done. Often, after a few days, I start forgetting who wrote what line anyways.
This is the process of our writing. The back and forth cleaning and fixing and processing of the words. Even this blog goes through the process. I made Ang rewrite her last post, Cougar: a girl's version, several times and then I went in and just made fixes to some words and sentences before she published it. Yet, it still is her words, her ideas, and her voice.
What you what in the end is forward motion. Progress. Movement to the the end of line, chapter, story. And along the way, you want, you hope, to make the best that it can be in that moment.
Postscript: Shortly after this post was written, Ang reiterated my point by going into our novel on and "tweaking" several paragraphs I had been working on because she had a different vision.
And that's okay.
* Do not take everything on the page as literal or you're are going to read into things that aren't there.
** I've surpassed my exclamation mark limit!