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Loads and Loads of Writers

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Creating works of media and fiction is anything but easy. From sustaining plot development to proper trope usage (and avoidance), it's no wonder why the whole field, in general, is perceived to be an ongoing minefield. But every once in a while, a concept comes along that is much too big for one or two people to handle on their own, particularly a soon-to-be Long Runner. At this point, the only plausible solution is to hire a group of writers to help you out with it, since the main creator's own writing isn't always going to be up to the expectations of the viewers and fans. Since literature, manga, and webcomics are almost always fully written by one or two people, don't expect any examples of this to exist from those media (though see Round Robin).


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    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics often does a weekly comic that is written by a variety of authors but is coordinated by a single one.
  • Spider-Man: The Brand New Day era featured a large group of writers dubbed the "Spider-Man Brain Trust."

    Fan Works 
  • The Infinite Loops are, by their very nature, this trope. Each chapter is comprised of snips, usually with one author per snip, sometimes two or three. In general, there's about twelve authors per comp.
  • Paradoxus (Winx Club, World of Warcraft): Most fanfics are the work of one enthusiast fan who is maybe aided by a beta reader for minor corrections. Paradoxus begs to differ. Even while it's ultimately written by only one person, Bloom_Farella, it was conceived by and its development is the product of four women's minds: Bloom_Farella, Popsicle, Crowgirl, and Phoenix Daybreak. There is also the official illustrator, Silver_Dakkar, as well. Additionally, some of the authors' friends contribute with ideas and constructive criticism. Between the four authors, we have "literary mothers" for a couple of the main characters, aids for the many Bilingual Bonuses, and aids for the worldbuilding.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Almost every Hollywood film goes through a serialized form of this. The original writers will do rewrites on a script, then be fired and replaced by writers who will do their own rewrites, then those writers will be fired for some executive's chosen writer to do more rewrites, then the original writers might be hired back to do another rewrite to fix everything that got broken in the last dozen drafts, and that's before shooting starts. When this goes well you get a quality (or at least profitable) film, and all the writers get to engage in arbitration for the "Written By" credit (and the pile of cash that comes with it). When this goes poorly you get Development Hell.
  • Too Many Cooks is a Deconstructive Parody of this phenomena, with the titular sitcom getting so many different writers and producers that it goes flying Off the Rails into different casts, settings, genres, and even formats as it struggles to define itself. And that's before a Serial Killer starts trying to pull a Hostile Show Takeover of his own...

  • The 39 Clues
  • Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay used this In-Universe when they pulled an all-weekender to prepare the first issue of Amazing Midget Radio Comics.
  • Erin Hunter works from about 2012 onward. Warrior Cats and Seeker Bears series had their plotlines written by Vicky Holmes, and one of the two actual writers, Kate or Cherith, would turn the storyline into the final product. HarperCollins decided to add another series, Survivor Dogs, under the same pen name, around the same time that Vicky stepped down due to her health, and since then a multiple-person "story team" has been behind all of the Erin Hunter books (with at least 5 individual authors to turn the detailed storylines into full books).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • By the time the revived series reached its sixth season, Steven Moffat was the only man who'd written at least one episode every season. He wrote six or seven of them per thirteen-episode season at best, and he was the head writer at the time. Ultimately, he managed at least one episode for ten consecutive seasons.
    • The record in the revival is series 10 with a total of nine writers: Steven Moffat, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Sarah Dollard, Mike Bartlett, Mark Gatiss, Peter Harness, Toby Whithouse, Rona Munro and Jamie Mathieson. The Moff is the only one who wrote more than one episode (four and a half, co-writing one episode with Harness).
    • The classic series fit this profile even more. Since with a few exceptions the producers didn't write scripts, a wide variety of staffers and freelancers did the writing. There were some notable recurring writers like Robert Holmes and Terrance Dicks.
  • Oh! Calcutta! had sketches written by (among others) John Lennon and Samuel Beckett.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 was written by basically everybody working on it. Mike Nelson was referred to as Head Writer, which in practice meant he put together everyone's quips into a single script.

  • Nebula is an unusual example of a webcomic fitting this trope— the comic is made by seven people in an art collective. Five of them (Steven, Mango, Windy, Toc, and Rook) are the artists and two (James and Haik) are the writers.

    Western Animation 
  • Yellow Submarine was outlined by Lee Minoff, then after two scripts were rejected, the screenplay was assigned to Jack Mendelsohn. It then got turned over to Erich Segal for some "punching up." Designer Heinz Edelmann would tell that the screenplay was the collaboration of some twenty writers with poet Roger McGough furnishing some of the Beatles' dialogue. Al Brodax, the producer, billed himself as a screenplay writer because he could. Animated films don't fall under the same jurisdiction as live action films, so producers can put whoever they want in the credits.