Structure & Dynamic of a Group


The Painted Sky was never a single person’s project. It grew out of a group conversation, so was never “owned” by any one in particular – and we believe this was a key element of its success. While one of you might decide to form a group or recruit members, it doesn't mean it's YOUR group. A group project has to function as a group project or it just isn’t one.

Many people ask us how this can possibly work. A group with no leader? Isn’t that like ship with no captain? No – we made it work and we have every confidence you can too. Women steer many difficult terrains and courses in their everyday lives – this is but another one. (With a very satisfying payoff!) There are ways to break deadlocks - vote, consult a trusted third party – trust yourselves that you can overcome obstacles and move ahead for the sake of the project.


WHILE we believe we have come up with a workable, efficient and respectful system of working, we realise that each group is unique and together you will find the best way to operate. Appreciate the skills each person brings to the project, but don’t over-think this. An organic group of people who get on is a good place to start.

In our case, we were like-minded, in that we all liked to read and some of us had been friends for years. Another had done courses and attended festivals. And a couple were experienced in non-fiction writing and editing. Strengths and weaknesses will emerge – don’t pre-suppose. People will naturally be drawn to the areas they’re good at – and may surprise themselves in the process. In our group, different members proved to be better at different things. Some shone at descriptive prose, others at dialogue. Our group worked but did we learn things along the way? Bucketloads – and so Group Fiction was born.

Next post we discuss how to spot the perfect co-writer. Until then, click here to download a copy of Group Fiction.

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The Painted Sky and The Shifting Light


The three of us wrote two successful  novels with two other collaborators.


Learn more and order our novels here:

The Painted Sky (2015, Penguin Random House)

The Shifting Light (2017, Penguin Random House)

What others are saying

At first we couldn’t believe that The Painted Sky was written by five people - it reads seamlessly, and the characters and storylines are so vividly realised.”

--Beverley Cousins, Fiction Publisher at Random House Australia.

How We Did It
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Our group fiction writing experience taught us many lessons about how to have a harmonious and happy team experience while creating two fabulous novels.















Click here for our detailed step-by-step guide that will take you from original concept to publisher-ready manuscript.

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