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06/24/2005 - Who Does the Typing?
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This summer I'll be involved in a new experience: working with a writing partner. By inclination, the idea of co-authorship has never held much appeal. Temperamentally, I actually like the solitary confinement of the solo writer. I'm used to my own writing rhythms, methods and ways of dealing with deadlines, writer's block, etc.

I find it intriguing that film and television is one of the few domains where co-authorship is common. Novels and poetry are written by a single individual with an idiosyncratic, highly personal statement to express. The writer develops his/her unique style and voice which stamps the work as theirs alone. The same goes for other art forms. Mozart didn't create 40-some symphonies because he had someone to share the load with.

Even plays, the literary form most akin to the motion picture, are typically the work of a single author. You can find some exceptions: the plays of Kauffman and Hart in the 1940s and 50s come to mind.

But in film and television, especially in the sit-com category, whole teams of writers are employed to brainstorm ideas, improvise situations and sharpen punch lines. When it works it produces wonderful material. When it flops, well, there's always someone else to blame.

So it'll be interesting to see how this co-authorship thing goes for me-from the purely mundane (who does the typing?) to the creative role each plays and our approach to assigning writing activities and revisions. I'll let you know how it goes...

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