It’s summer. The sky here in Perthshire is heavy with threatening rain clouds and we keep fingers crossed that the weekend will stay dry. It’s also the season for lists. That time of the year when the newspapers run out fresh ideas to fill their many column inches.
And so we see:
o Twenty recommended activity holidays for families
o The most sought after hotel rooms this month
o And even ‘The Ten Best Elvis Lookalike Dogs‘ (here’s one!)
So while we’re on the topic of lists – here is my list of The top ten attributes in a co-author.
In no specific order.
- Complementary strengths – resulting in something that is greater than the sum
- A shared view of what makes a ‘good’ piece of work – so that the output of the creative minds converge
- Honesty – about all things pertinent to the writing process
- The ability to give and accept constructive criticism – so that differences are a spur to improving quality
- Flexibility over deadlines and progress – which will be inevitable, and may not apply equally
- Respect for the other person – for their feelings, values and hopes
- Reflective – and willing to engage in a learning experience
- Fun and interesting to be with – that’s what helps keep the momentum going
- Supportive and positive – you’ll need that when the going gets tough for you
Does anyone have any more suggestions?
And now for the ubiquitous list of Top summer reads. All enjoyed by Mirren at one time or another with feet up, beach or pool-side.
- And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid
- In Another Light by Andrew Greig
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- My Blue Eyed Boy by Helen Dunmore
- Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Over to my writing partner Jones for her list now. Because one further attribute I might have added is – Willing to share the limelight!
Well, from sunny Monmouth, unfortunately Jones isn’t reading much at present because her ‘Writing’To-Do List‘ is very, very long . .. you’ll surely understand this when you see the first page of items on it:
a) For Never do Harm – deadline two weeks
- complete the chapter where Consultant Hugh ‘bumps into’ hospital HR Director Christine in the staff car park and pushes his luck to the limits resulting in an accusation of sexual harassment;
- come up with several more credible examples of circumstantial evidence to convince Alan his wife has been having an affair and then complete the ‘show-down’ chapter;
- change the storyboard of the penultimate ‘THE BIG INCIDENT’ chapter to reflect latest discussion with Marion on the revised ending
- write the final chapter taking the aforementioned into account, plus Marion’s chapter on Alan travel arrangements.
b) For Mirren Jones platform building – deadline two days:
- review last two books read (Judith Arnopp’s The Winchester Goose and Judith Barrow’s Changing Patterns both 5*) and post on Amazon, Goodreads and all social media channels;
- check Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ for activity, and syndicate new posts about this Listomania blog!;
- revise Smashwords Author profile and Product Description.
c) For http://www.CareandCompare.com – deadline two days (earns me money!):
- research and write article on how price comparison sites work and announcing compliance achieved following FCA review;
- blog and post the above across all social media channels;
- research and post new content on horsebox insurance.
Mirren has created an excellent Top ten attributes in a co-author list. I only hope she remembers the one about ‘flexibility over deadlines . . ‘ when she next asks me ‘How are the chapters coming on?’ !
We are great fans of ‘The List’. From story continuity checks to financial planning it has saved our bacon on numerous occasions. What do your Writing To-Do Lists look like? Or are we the only ones who have Listomania? Do let us know!