Henry Kuttner & C. L. Moore
The subject of the Kuttner-Moore writing team has come up in other threads, and I thought it deserved a thread of its own. The most detailed description of their collaborative method that I know of was given by C. L. Moore in her introduction to the Lancer (1972) paperback edition of FURY. Here are the relevant passages:
<begin excerpt by C. L. Moore>
Yesterday I reread FURY for the first time in many years, and I’m not surprised, but interested, to see in it the two recurring themes which emerge quite explicitly in nearly everything we wrote. Hank’s basic statement was something like, “Authority is dangerous and I will never submit to it.” Mine was, “The most treacherous thing in life is love.” In FURY these two ideas underlie everything that happens. I can identify which parts I contributed and which he did by this alone.
FURY was written by about one and an eighth persons. We collaborated on almost everything we wrote, but in varying degrees. It worked like this. After we’d established through long discussion the basic ideas, the background and the characters, whichever of us felt like it sat down and started. When that one ran down, the other, being fresh to the story, could usually see what ought to come next, and took over. The action developed as we went along. We kept changing off like this until we finished. A story goes very fast that way.
Each of us edited the other’s copy a little when we took over, often going back a line or two and rephrasing to make the styles blend. We never disagreed seriously over the work. The worst clashes of opinion I can remember ended with one of us saying, “Well, I don’t agree, but since you feel more strongly than I do about it, go ahead.” (When the rent is due tomorrow, one tends toward quick, peaceful settlements.)
In FURY, which is a good example of this process, I wrote comparatively little of the copy. The idea was basically Hank’s and I didn’t identify very strongly with it. I didn’t identify with Sam Reed, the lead character. But what I did contribute I can recognize instantly, after all these years, by the passages in which color-images predominate, and in which my dramatically gloomy theme appears.
FURY was serialized in Astounding under the Lawrence O'Donnell pseudonym. From its first book publication, it's been credited to Kuttner alone (although some editions changed the title to the dull-wittedly sci-fi generic DESTINATION: INFINITY -- where's Buzz Lightyear when you need him?). Obviously this didn't bother Moore (she could easily have insisted that her name be added).
Anyway, FURY has always been one of my favorite books, even though it took one-and-1/8th people to write it.