In writing the book, we’re taking the same collaborative, two-heads-are-better-than-one approach that we apply to all of our projects. We meet at the coffee shop and sit across from each other on a table with just enough room for our laptops and our mugs (no distractions!). We open up the same chapter and start typing in the same document (enabled by Google Docs’ real-time collaboration).
The approach was inspired by the ideas of pair programming and collaborative teaching — both of which I’m a big fan of. But, rather than using the tag-team or driver/observer model, we’re both active participants at every moment. Usually what happens is that one of us writes, while the other corrects, clarifies, and revises.
When I mention our method to people, their biggest concern is that the result will lack a cohesive “voice”. I’m not finding this to be true, however. The voice that’s resulting isn’t exactly mine or Eva’s, but it’s certainly cohesive — much more so than if we each picked entire chapters to write (which is how I’ve worked with co-authors in the past).
I’m sure that we aren’t the inventors of this method, but I don’t think I know of any other co-authors who have written a book in this way. If you have experience, thoughts, or questions about real-time collaborative writing, please post them in the comments!