Friday, August 17, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#210) -- Collaborating Characters

Have you enjoyed collaborating on projects in the past with other writers and how
did you approach writing other characters than your own? -- John Morgan Neal

I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with other writers. In fact, it seems that I get more work based on characters who aren't my own than I do for characters I've created. Even with that said, though, in most cases, I'm not "officially" working with another writer, just being paid to create a story for the character(s) in question.

Case in point, when I was writing Gene Simmons Dominatrix for IDW, I was the sole writer on the book, but obviously Gene had to approve the plots and final versions (along with my editors). The same goes for the work I did on The Bad Girls Club. Although I was the only credited writer on the book, at times it felt as if the book were being written by committee, which is normal for a TV-tie in, because there are advertisers, cast members, etc. to be taken into account.

Most of the fiction I've written works the same way, with characters such as Lance Star: Sky Ranger (owned by Bobby Nash), Blackthorn (owned by Van Allen Plexico), Zombies vs. Robots (owned by Chris Ryall) and others, but in those cases, I have carte blanche pretty much as soon as the creator of the character signs off on my plots. As for the work I've done in a more collaborative way, I think some of the most fun I've had the crossover comic book story I did with John Morgan Neal that featured his Aym Geronimo and my own Fishnet Angel in the pages of The Shooting Star Comics Anthology #4. It was an odd pairing, no doubt, because Aym's world is one of science and FA's is one of magical goddesses. The twain don't usually meet, so we had to work together to come up with a plausible way to mesh those worlds together that remained true to the nature of both characters. 

And I'm currently collaborating on a few other projects as well -- Turra: Gun Angel with Martheus Wade and an as of yet officially unannounced manga project with Kittyhawk, the creator of Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki. With each of those, the collaborating begins at the plots and character level, long before we ever start writing the first word of the script. 

And not to forget, Bobby Nash and I collaborated two create the 1930's gumshoe Rick Ruby for Airship 27 Productions' new book The Ruby Files. We actually sat down over dinner and hashed out the beginning of the story bible for that one then finished it up via email.