The Art of Jazz: Learning to Co-Write with a Partner arrived in my e-mail box just after someone else’s draft in a writing group we share struck me as having a lot of potential to go in several ways. Rather than leave parts of it on the cutting room floor, I suggested taking it several different ways instead of tossing parts to focus on one theme. I asked for a copy of the draft and agreed to share my own edits.
My wife and I comment on each other’s writings (poetry, prose, and sermons). That is closer to an editor or critique group. This feels closer to collaboration and/or improvisation on someone else’s theme. Classical music does this all the time, but in separate compositions. This is a little finer grained than that.
One of my favorite fantasy novels is Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens”. As I read more Neil Gaiman, I’m beginning to notice some of Neil’s themes: hidden identities and finding home. I doubt that Terry and Neil wrote entire chapters that the other had nothing to do with.
It will be an interesting exercise.