There’s no disputing that social media has disrupted and changed, perhaps forever, the way we receive and deliver information. It has also changed how we read—and because of this, I think it goes without saying that it has influenced our stylistic choices as writers. But another phenomenon seems to be emerging, beyond style and digitized text: the rise in collaborative works. In the television and film world, multiple collaborators on any one project is nothing new, but then, most of those writers work in one room, spit-balling ideas off of each other. But it’s hard to imagine making this work in the novel writing world when we’re scattered across the globe. Yet it’s happening, and we very likely have social media to thank for this.
We’re all so much more accessible, for one, but we also have the ability to work “side by side” and “simultaneously” via Google Docs. (Some tell me they work in a joint Scrivener account or via a single Word Doc emailed back and forth as well, though that sounds cumbersome to be honest.)
Social media is certainly one of the big instigators, but collaborative works might also be popularizing because of other factors. For example, authors have been forced to become entrepreneurial. In doing so, we have realized the essential need to work together with others to promote our works. Two heads really are better than one in this case. Another factor in the rise of collaborative novels, is our need to find new ways to break into the increasingly tight book market. When you fuse the audiences of two authors together, you’ve doubled your reach. More and more of us are seeing the value in this approach.