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Sydneyd
09-19-2012, 04:04 AM
Found this on my Twitter feed:

Watch a novel being written 'live' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2012/sep/12/novel-written-live)


Fantasy author Silvia Hartmann is opening herself up to the kind of scrutiny most writers would pay to avoid: this morning, she started writing her new novel on Google Docs, and you can see it taking shape word by word as she types. (I just saw "something was happening here, and something was unfolding, and she was not in a position to put a stop to it" emerge on the page).

My first thought, "No way in heck could someone pay me enough to do that."

The idea of writing live terrifies me. Even with on the spot flash, you have a moment to go read once, fix errors.

My second thought, "Why?" I still don't have an answer for this.

Is this a brilliant idea that I don't get?

WildScribe
09-19-2012, 04:07 AM
It's fascinating, and I could see myself possibly doing it, but I don't think enough people know me or would be interested enough IN me to follow. I wonder if I should pitch it to one of my publishers and see what they say. I also wonder how much pre-writing/note taking she's done.

I write fast, and my first drafts are almost exactly the same as my final drafts, so this isn't something that would scare me all that much.

Sydneyd
09-19-2012, 04:15 AM
It's fascinating, and I could see myself possibly doing it, but I don't think enough people know me or would be interested enough IN me to follow. I wonder if I should pitch it to one of my publishers and see what they say. I also wonder how much pre-writing/note taking she's done.

I write fast, and my first drafts are almost exactly the same as my final drafts, so this isn't something that would scare me all that much.

That is a good point. My first drafts resemble my later drafts in plot alone. I like time to edit out that one subplot where I wanted my otherwise non-magic character to be half elf or that one day when I was writing and thought starting each paragraph with "Intermittently" seemed like a good idea.

jjdebenedictis
09-19-2012, 04:48 AM
I can't imagine anyone caring to watch this for more than a few minutes. As far as voyeurism goes, seeing words unfurl on a page isn't very gripping.

No, we need to see her muttering to herself while typing feverishly, or staring into space with terror and confusion in her gaze while the cursor blinks accusingly, or alternately sobbing to her cat and attempting to snorkle in a tub of ice cream.

Little Anonymous Me
09-19-2012, 04:54 AM
I can't imagine anyone caring to watch this for more than a few minutes. As far as voyeurism goes, seeing words unfurl on a page isn't very gripping.

No, we need to see her muttering to herself while typing feverishly, or staring into space with terror and confusion in her gaze while the cursor blinks accusingly, or alternately sobbing to her cat and attempting to snorkle in a tub of ice cream.


:roll: :ROFL:

Agreed. Would it terrify me? No, but I plan obsessively, so my editing is mostly wrapping up a few loose ends, correcting grammar, etc. I wouldn't like it, however. And I find it a tad narcissistic, but that's just me. :D

Sydneyd
09-19-2012, 04:57 AM
I can't imagine anyone caring to watch this for more than a few minutes. As far as voyeurism goes, seeing words unfurl on a page isn't very gripping.

No, we need to see her muttering to herself while typing feverishly, or staring into space with terror and confusion in her gaze while the cursor blinks accusingly, or alternately sobbing to her cat and attempting to snorkle in a tub of ice cream.

This highlights what I am wondering. What is, as the French do not say, le point? I'm not sure what she could do with the story after, would people want to buy a story that they've already watched being written?

I know, I know, not everything is about money. Is she hoping this will provide her with some sort of fame? Like, I'll see her name on the bookshelf and exclaim, "That is the author I watched write that one book that one time!"

It could all just be for giggles and I am too grumpy right now to see that.

Susan Littlefield
09-19-2012, 05:30 AM
Why watch someone else write a novel when you can write one yourself?

kaitie
09-19-2012, 07:00 AM
I could see this being useful for my students and people interested in writers. There seems to be this myth that good writers just make it happen. I show my students my drafts, all marked up with handwritten notes and scribbles and so on. I think it helps them to see that it's a process, and that getting from point A to point B is more about rewriting than writing sometimes. I say this as someone whose drafts also pretty closely resemble the final product.

For readers, though, I don't think it would be that useful. For one, things are likely to change, which would annoy me, but more than anything it's like reading through an inferior product. I might find it fascinating if I were to see a couple of pages of a first draft of Harry Potter, but I wouldn't want to read the whole thing in that form, if that makes sense.

Samsonet
09-19-2012, 07:25 AM
A few writers at NaNoWriMo are doing this; it makes more sense to me in that context, because it's more of a challenge/dare so that the writer's friends can watch. It's not a formal thing, just a "for fun" thing. If that makes sense. It's a way for people to read a novel that will probably end up being dropped after November. I admit to not really see a point in broadcasting a commercial work-in-progress.

Filigree
09-19-2012, 08:33 AM
My first drafts are so messy that I can't see anyone wanting to watch them happen live.

As far as gimmicks go she may be on to something, but only if she tightens up the process a la 'reality show'. You know: notes off-camera, some basic outlining to get the plots and sub-plots down, character lists, etc.

kaitie
09-19-2012, 04:36 PM
A few writers at NaNoWriMo are doing this; it makes more sense to me in that context, because it's more of a challenge/dare so that the writer's friends can watch. It's not a formal thing, just a "for fun" thing. If that makes sense. It's a way for people to read a novel that will probably end up being dropped after November. I admit to not really see a point in broadcasting a commercial work-in-progress.

I actually think this is kind of cool. I think the main audience for this would be other people doing nano, and it sounds like a fun way to encourage each other. Especially because most people writing those are writing terrible novels. I think it's a fun way to lighten up and relax and not worry so much about the fact that it's terrible, which is one of the things I think makes it hard for people to keep going.

August Talok
09-19-2012, 05:28 PM
It's interesting to me. I would like to watch Stephen King write. Just spend a few hours watching him putter around the house and getting frustrated like the rest of us.

Phaeal
09-19-2012, 05:44 PM
This would be more fun if the viewers were to constantly comment, like a huge hive of editor-bees swarming the hapless writer.

quicklime
09-19-2012, 05:50 PM
I
No, we need to see her muttering to herself while typing feverishly, or staring into space with terror and confusion in her gaze while the cursor blinks accusingly, or alternately sobbing to her cat and attempting to snorkle in a tub of ice cream.


see, since I don't do anything like that, I'm thinking either they are going to put on a show and ape every stereotype of "writers" out there, or anyone who tunes in will get to thrill at the sight of.....some dude hunched over a keyboary, quietly typing, for a couple hours.... (exciting)

Sydneyd
09-19-2012, 07:32 PM
Now in the morning light, I see this could be useful for educational purposes or as a fun way to stay connected with friends during Nano.

I'm with Susan when she says:


Why watch someone else write a novel when you can write one yourself?

CrastersBabies
09-19-2012, 07:40 PM
LOVE the idea! I remember watching a man in a coffee shop once, write a short story (longhand) then tape up the pages one by one to the window, facing outwards, so people could read as he created. Drew something of a crowed and it was fascinating to watch him. He did this a few times that I saw.

Hey, writing can be performance art too. :)

I'm going to go check it out. Thanks for sharing the link!

maxmordon
09-19-2012, 07:43 PM
I suspect someone saw those comic book artists broadcasting a feed of themselves drawing and thought someone doing it with words would be just as epic!

It isn't, I believe.

Filigree
09-19-2012, 08:19 PM
In my case, watching a plumber work would be more glamorous.

I'll keep an intermittent eye on the project, just to see how she fares.

nkkingston
09-20-2012, 01:29 PM
It's a really cute idea, and I'd be genuinely tempted to take it up myself, except I can't see the appeal for readers. Not only is it rough work, but writing takes longer than reading (I say this as a touch typist, too) so you'd be frustrated as you waited for the end of each sentence. I might watch it for a few minutes, but otherwise I'd be checking back only sporadically, in which case it might as well not be live.

bearilou
09-20-2012, 04:22 PM
I think it could be a neat idea if the readers are in the side bar chat commenting as she wrote. I think it would distract me as a writer doing that but the rising of a community around the commenting could be fun.

Some folks get a thrill out of watching others in the creation of their art. There was a program that allowed people to watch an artist drawing in real time and I had several artist friends who used to let me watch while they created. It was fun. Not that I wanted to watch all the time but it was cool on occasion to watch something start as a few random lines morph into something wonderful.

I think it would be interesting to see the same concept in writing. A simple sentence build to a paragraph build to a scene. Watch as the writer rewrote, reworked, massaged the passage until it was something they liked before they moved on.

I wouldn't have the nerve to do it myself, though. :/