Can it be done? A serious novel written by various people that has coherence, integrity and good writing. Hey, filmmakers do it all the time. A committee of screenwriters get together and cobble into being a film. Look at the Star Trek franchise.
Okay, if not novel, how's about short story?
I volunteer that it be set in the Second World War. Tons of drama there. There should be a lead male and a love story interest. I vote that spies be involved, and Nazis -- millions of them. Maybe based on a real-life incident. Research!
I vote that the spy has been parachuted deep behind enemy lines, his alias is "Klaus Schweger" and he's now living in a small bachelor apartment in Stuttgart, Germany, in November, 1942. His real name is Peter Havegaard, the son of immigrant Dutch to New York. He grew up in Germany, however, so his German is flawless.
His mission: infiltrate the Gestapo to get close enough to assassinate Hitler. With lots of floozies along the route!
Good luck, team! I'll start:
Havegaard was having a bad day. The cold-water flat he was subsisting in had run out of even cold water. The landlady had nothing but excuses, but he hadn't had a shower for at least four days and the fear of lice was not an unreal one. These tenements teemed with them.
The interview with Metzenberger had gone well; there was no doubt about it. The Oberleutnant with the SS had been very chummy, even sharing a precious pack of cigarillos from Cuba. So the first stage was almost set. He'd used all his considerable skills to insinuate himself and it seemed to have paid off. Metzenberger was canny; a great interrogator, he sensed, but Herr Oberleutnant hadn't even seemed to have a whiff of suspicion about Havegaard's true provenance.
He hadn't checked in with London for days now, but that was to be expected. Caernarvon and Smithy knew that he would have to lie low these first few weeks.
His swearing-in ceremony was due for Monday, so he had two days to kill. Havegaard decided to paint Stuttgart red.
He dressed himself in his clumsy grey shirt and tan overcoat, making a hasty overhaul in the cracked mirror and patching up his now-greasy thatch of dark brown hair with an army-issue comb and made his way down the torturous spiral staircase to the cold street and to the Birkenkopf, a bar popular with SS-types and the Gestapo.
It was like diving into a swimming pool full of sharks with a bucketful of fishbait. Havegaard smiled, relishing the prospect. He lit a cigarillo as he walked and turned his collar up into the biting November wind.
The Birkenkopf was a hangout for older soldiers, those who’d been passed up for service on the Front because they were color-blind or had injuries from the First World War that rendered them incapable of proper “Service to the Fuerher.” Havegaard walked in and made his way to the bar, where a raucous singalong was underway. This was prime territory. Drunken Nazis always collaborated with the Resistance, like it or not.
He ordered a cognac and lit another cigarillo. Damn, he was getting low. He’d have to go see Hans soon.
There was a girl at the end of the bar, a blonde woman who seemed to be nursing her drink a little too thoughtfully, brushing aside the Nazi captains and Oberstrurmbanfuerhers who were trying to get her attention. Havegaard knew that this must be Sophie, somehow. He picked up his drink and wandered over through the crowd of yelling men.
“I’ve heard of you,” Havegaard murmured above the din, as close to the blonde woman’s ear as he could get.
The woman lifted her head from her glass but gazed straight ahead. “Who’s talking?”
“I’m talking,” Havegaard smiled through a smoke ring, “and soon you will be too. Your name is Sophie, and you’re Jewish, aren’t you?”
The blonde woman stiffened slightly and stared at her drink. Havegaard leaned in closer and spoke directly into the woman’s ear. “Easy, easy. Manishma.”
She snapped around at the Hebrew word. “Who . . . who are you, and what do you want with me?” she whispered, almost inaudibly. The Germans had started an old drinking song.
“Beseder,” Havegaard said. “Beseder.” It’s okay.
The woman visibly shrank. “You’re not . . . one of them?”
Havegaard sipped his drink and sat down on the barstool next to her. “The suit is grey. The cap has a cross on it. A twisted cross. But I’ll never be one of them,” Havegaard said, tapping his ashes into the white ceramic ashtray on the bar. “I need you to say nothing, I need you to do nothing, I need you to act nothing, but I need you.”
She glanced sideways, furtively, not knowing whether he was a friend or just another SS guy having her on because she appeared to be a native. No doubt forced sex would follow. But his German was perfect. He had to be SS. He was lying.
“Fuck you,” she said, “scheisskopf.”
Havegaard shrugged. "As you wish."