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(I had a previous question, closed as too opinion-based, about being a better editor than writer. I wasn't able to rescue that one, but I thought I'd take a try at a related question.)

I am an excellent editor, well able to work with someone to bring out the best in another author's writing, and I'm also very good with overall plot and structure. However, when it comes to writing fiction, I'm weak. I'm very impatient with the process, and my writing tends to be thin, rushed and elliptical.

I do well writing non-fiction, and I take a lot of enjoyment out of working with other people's writing, but fiction is a passion of mine, and I have some concepts of my own that I think are very strong. Are there any avenues for finding someone who wants to write to fit someone else's plot outline? It's not an arrangement I've ever really heard of (except when a famous author tires of working on a series and brings someone else in --usually to very mixed results).

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    Depends on how annoying you are going to be about your artistic vision. You should pop into writer's chat in The Overlook chat room tomorrow; you can propose the writing topic. – Kit Z. Fox Feb 16 '15 at 21:35
  • You sound like me! Take a look at screenplays. They are more about structure and "story design", than the boring details of prose ;) – erikric Feb 20 '15 at 6:27
  • Also you should check out the snowflake method: amazon.com/Snowflake-Method-Advanced-Fiction-Writing-ebook/dp/… – erikric Feb 20 '15 at 6:28
  • @erikric Thanks for the advice, I'll look into it. – Chris Sunami Feb 20 '15 at 14:33
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You are looking for a co-writer. There are websites where you can find a partner for your project (e.g. co-writers.com). If you think are good with plot, structure and editing, you could look for somebody to bring in the literary depth.

However, have you tried different ways of writing your fiction yet? If you get impatient, you may want to try writing your story down as you see it in your head without doing any research or perfectly formulated sentences yet (I "watch" my stories as movies in my head and write them down without writing down thoughts or backgrounds that I can't see). Then I go over the draft again and fill in everything that makes a complete story. I find it impossible to drop the project as soon as I have the first draft, so it will hopefully keep you going too. It could be also be the draft that you could pass on to a co-writer if you choose so.

Good luck!

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A good editor should also be a good writer. An editor might better anticipate the public response to a work, but it's hard to imagine an editor who isn't at least a competent writer. Most editors were once writers and wrote for years. Editors are also avid readers.

Concepts are great but bringing them to life is another thing.

How do you know you're A) not a good writer and B) an excellent editor? Were you told this by a credible person?

If you enjoy working with another person's writing you should be able to work with your own. If you have no interest in writing, but enjoy editing, then you still have to spend time as a writer and work on the craft.

An editor recognizes good writing. I would be terrified if my work was being edited by someone who thought they couldn't write!

  • I don't find this answer to be helpful, nor does it actually address the question I asked. – Chris Sunami Feb 20 '15 at 5:05
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What you're refering to seems to me like you're talking about ghostwriting? Telling someone your plot/story, and him/her turning it into an actual piece of writing.

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