The recent argument on Greyling Bay (which I missed over the holiday and am not trying to reignite) raises interesting questions about collaborative fiction. In particular, how much freedom contributors should have in developing characters created by others.
I must say that I assumed (without having thought too hard about it) that the whole point of collaborative writing was to gain inspiration from the work of others, thereby creating the kind of synergy I think is already exemplified in ‘The Bay.’ Now one writer has complained about the subsequent ‘treatment’ of one of his characters. Meanwhile I am licking a minor wound because a submission of my own was rejected on the grounds of a character moving too far from the original. So there!
In fact, all this shows is that the editor has a firm grip on the project and a clear sense of direction. And isn’t that how it should be?