A friend on Facebook found an interesting site for collaboration among writers. The way it works is someone, say me, posts an idea -- a plot for a story. Then other writers flesh it out and develop it.
On the surface this sounds fine. But then I saw all the legal stuff about rights and splitting of profits if the stories from the collaboration sell well and I lost interest.
Frankly, I'm not going to give away any of my ideas to anyone, not even my publisher. But even if I put that aside, collaboration among writers is a tricky thing because writing talents vary. If I come up with the idea and produce a solid first draft, someone else can come along and wreck it because their talent is at the same level. Or the reverse can happen: I come up with the idea and write a first draft and then someone else rewrites it and improves it more than I ever could.
In that situation how do you determine how I am compensated or how the other person is? Is the idea worth more than the story itself or the other way round?
I don't know and the situation gets murkier still when you increase the number of writers involved. In a team of five writers, if each writer does not contribute 20% of the whole, an even division of credit is unfair.
Now having said all this, I should say that I would like to see a way for writers to collaborate and work together. I just don't see how it is possible because of the compensation, ownership, and rights issues surrounding it, which is sad.
I wish my friend luck on the collaboration site he found, but I think it will come to naught.