Thursday, August 5, 2010

Do Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth?

One of the things I like about writing is that I can do it alone. I've always been suspicious of books that have two authors and I tend to avoid them. But when I read a review of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, I just had to read it. Arguably my favourite book of 2010, the dual authorship in this case makes so much sense. The book is written in the first person but from two different characters' points of view, each narrating alternate chapters. Now, usually, when a book is narrated in the first person from multiple viewpoints, there's a problem of voice. If two characters are narrating, they have to sound different, and it's a rare writer indeed who can truly manage to pull this off. But when two different writers are at work, each narrating a single voice, the problem disappears. So it's a clever solution - apart from which, I loved the book. There's the straight Will Grayson and the gay Will Grayson, who don't know of each other's existence at the start of the book but end up as friends. And there's a fabulous, larger-than-life character called Tiny, who is physically, emotionally and spiritually huge. It's a wonderful, life affirming book, and I loved its message of love and tolerance, for oneself and others.


  1. So the book was actually written by two different people, and those two different people each wrote a different Will Grayson?

    Wow. I'm amazed that the storyline ended up working! I wonder if they planned it out or if one of them wrote a chapter and then emailed it to the other, and they kept adding on until it was finished. And since the two Wills meet up in the end, each author had to master the other author's Will-style, in order to write his dialogue...goodness, my head is spinning at the thought.

    Major kudos to them. I'm not quite sure if I'd be able to share the creative process, and I think I'd get incredibly frustrated if I had to deal with someone else in a process that is so intensely personal to me. Talk about creative differences!

  2. I know. I'm not sure I could share the creative process, either.