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Hello Susan,

My Brother and I would like to collaborate on a book.  Eventually, we would like to expand and develop a series.  What is the best way for us to get this off the ground?  Should we do a short first?  Should we jump right into the first installment of the series?  Neither one of us is a professional writer, but we are both certain that the story would be gripping, compelling and entertaining to a vast audience.  Can you offer any suggestions?

Thank You kindly...


Hello Joseph:

I would definitely do a short, first. Take a couple of your characters (you do have characters, right?) and put them in conflict in a situation. This may or may not have anything to do with the plot of the book, as you wish.

When you have it done, I can critique it for a small fee, or you can go to (You will have to cut and paste as this site does not support hyperlinks), put it up there and get it critiqued for free. This will also give you and your brother a chance to see how well you work together.

There is a big difference between sitting with your brother and kicking ideas around, and actually writing a book. Many collaborations fail because each person likes their own ideas best. How will you settle conflicts like that? Who will have the final say? Who will do the actual writing? The research? It is also difficult to work with another person due to scheduling conflicts, differences in the level of commitment to the project, etc.

Whether your story will be "gripping, compelling and entertaining to a vast audience" depends on many factors: how well you write it, whether you can find an agent and how good they are, the size of your target audience and other factors totally beyond your control.

Definitely start small. Write not episodes, but scenes. Get opinions from some experienced writers, and go from there.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 1,000 questions.

And good luck with your writing!


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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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