I've had a lot of friends and acquaintances who are writers over the years but have never engaged in a true collaboration with any of them. Edited their work, yes. Contributed to silly role-play exchanges? Definitely. Constructing a story using two different styles and minds – never.
Those who take the time to read leogrl19's work will immediately see that her style is not conventional. Her storytelling structure is more akin to poetry, using a combination of punctuation, font and words to form the narrative. It can be challenging to understand at first but after a while you move beyond the technical hurtles and begin seeing the raw feeling in the tapestry.
Her unique style intermixed with mine forces readers to slow down their reading. While it's generally easy to pinpoint which character perspective is active thanks to the differing styles, meshing them into one cohesive narrative requires readers to actively engage with the story.
Writing a collaboration with any author presents challenges. Even setting aside style, plot progression, character development and pacing are all topics that must be handled in crafting a shared piece. In many ways the collaboration I'm writing with leogrl19 is made easier because it's a fanfiction inspired by a video game. We're following existing an plot so the only aspects we need to focus on are characterisation and pacing.
How two authors navigate a collaboration will depend on the authors involved. Although leogrl19 and I are publicly posting the story so others can read it, the work is ultimately for our enjoyment. This means we don't need to spend so much time on formatting. If we were intending to market the narrative we'd have to dedicate a lot more time to ensuring seamless flow for maximum legibility.
Engaging in the experience has offered me insight into my writing style, preferences and even interpersonal dynamics. While I'm one hundred percent enjoying the adventure, I've also discovered a renewed appreciation for solitary authorship. Getting to craft a story that's completely my own is not always pleasant. I often struggle with stubborn characters, meandering words and unfocused plots but I also get to make all the final decisions.
Collaborating is a worthwhile experiment for any author. I've also personally found the experience incredibly rewarding. If you're interested in checking out my shared project, it can be found at Archive of Our Own: 'Before I Wake (Mountains to Climb)'.