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NaNoWriMo Tip #21: How To Find a Writing Partner

Novelist and screenwriter Derek Haas has been working with his screenwriting partner Michael Brandt since the duo met as college students. Since then, they have written scripts that included 3:10 to Yuma, 2 Fast 2 Furious andWanted.

Haas published The Right Hand this month, a new thriller about a CIA operative. We caught up with the novelist to find out more about his writing partnership and get some advice about finding a writing partner.

This is our 21st NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. As writers around the country join the writing marathon this month, we will share one piece of advice or writing tool to help you cope with this daunting project.

Haas offered this advice about finding a writing partner: “I think you need to find someone who has a similar voice, who enjoys similar books and movies, who thinks the same types of things are funny, suspenseful, scary, etc.”

He also explained how the writing relationship began: “Michael and I met as students at Baylor University, and then we stayed there for grad school.  We took a screenwriting class together, had a great professor named Bob Darden, and that’s why we always have a Darden character die in all of our scripts.  It’s a loving tribute.”

He concluded with some script-focused advice: “Also, someone with a similar work ethic and ambition, or you’ll be fighting over the direction of not only your screenplays but your careers.  The truth is:  if you sell a script with a partner, then you will be known in the town as one-half of that partnership.  So go into any partnership with both eyes open because if you split up, you’ll most likely be starting over breaking in as a ‘solo’ artist.”

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