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View Full Version : Pop Idol/X-Factor For Authors (For Real This Time)



gothicangel
11-17-2013, 02:13 PM
Blog in today's Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/16/x-factor-novel-writers-talent-show-italy (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/16/x-factor-novel-writers-talent-show-italy)

I believe we discussed this some time ago (I think Simon Cowell's brother wanted to do this), but its actually happened in Italy. I still don't think it would work, and I certainly don't think it would be 'entertaining.'

Thoughts?

bearilou
11-17-2013, 03:34 PM
All I can see about X-Factor writing is how they would manufacture drama to make it more palatable to the viewing audience because I can't see how watching people write would actually be interesting.

That said, Jonathan Myerson's attitude of 'we must suffer and bleed for our art in the privacy of our own nervous breakdown or it's not real writing' a little obnoxious and pretentious.

And by a little, I really mean a lot.

Helix
11-17-2013, 04:21 PM
All I can picture is the Monty Python sketch about Thomas Hardy writing The Return of the Native.

Undercover
11-17-2013, 04:39 PM
Talk about being under pressure....geez....that's a scary thought...and under hot camera lights too.

jeffo20
11-17-2013, 07:43 PM
I believe the important part in this discussion is this:


This is about entertainment, not literature. and this


in these garish and gladiatorial Cowellfests, talent tends to be the least important consideration. It would be more entertaining if they did it like a Big Brother/Survivor/The Apprentice mash up with emo writers living in a big house, forced to complete various thematic essays and short stories, while trying to help their team without undermining themselves.

But I still wouldn't watch it.

Erin Latimer
11-19-2013, 10:56 AM
I'd watch it, because I'm starved for any TV that has to do with writing. There seems to be so little out there. Just like I watched Californication ONLY because he was a writer. Okay so maybe it was the plot a little too, but I started watching cause of the writer bit...

Phaeal
11-19-2013, 05:43 PM
Rarely do writers without interesting sex lives get bio-pics (Miss Austen Regrets being one of the few that comes to mind.) Byron, George Sand, Oscar Wilde, and Henry Miller -- yeah, there's the stuff.

Oh, and Stephen King has done quite a few writers, but he had to supply them with vampires, devil fangirls, outraged ghosts and evil psychic twins.

Writers and writing = NPR. Writers and sex and monsters = reality TV win. Aspiring producers, take note.

bearilou
11-19-2013, 06:13 PM
Writers and sex and monsters = reality TV win. Aspiring producers, take note.

*waits to see where to send audition tape*

jjdebenedictis
11-20-2013, 07:53 AM
I would think you'd desperately need some way to make the book into a performance for the audience. Animation, dance, stage acting--even just a great voice actor to read it out.

(Aaaaand I just distracted myself imagining Alan Rickman or one of those other "Voice of God" actors reading out scenes. Yeah, I'd tune in for that.)

You need something to make the actual writing aspect of it engaging. The audience has to grasp what the point of the competition is, so you just can't show a bunch of people alternately staring into space or muttering to themselves while they type.

SianaBlackwood
11-20-2013, 08:35 AM
So in the future writing will join the many other professions where you can only succeed if you're pretty enough to be on TV?

sunandshadow
11-20-2013, 09:39 AM
Maybe they'll get actors to act out scenes from what the writers write.

Filigree
11-20-2013, 10:13 AM
This sounds contrived and shallow, but it could be as unintentionally hilarious as telenovelas with the sound turned off.

The act of writing is rarely a great spectator sport. The real fun begins with all the other things writers do while avoiding writing.

bearilou
11-20-2013, 05:23 PM
The act of writing is rarely a great spectator sport. The real fun begins with all the other things writers do while avoiding writing.

See, and that's where I see that the show takes off and gets interesting. It's not the writing part, it's the drama that will swirl around all these writer personalities, trapped in the same house trying to write their books.

There's the writers who need complete silence, the writers who can write with the television on, the writers who blare music, the writers who can only write at the kitchen table, the writers who procrastinate until the last minute, the writers who stay up until the wee hours pounding away....and alllll the conflict and personal drama that can come with the individual spheres of writing start to impinge on each other.

Then there's the participation in the critique workshop groups once a week. The prima donnas who don't need to get their work shopped, the writers who are so paralyzed by any criticism that it sparks temper tantrums or crying jags and self-flagellation. The accusations of plagiarism and idea theft and unoriginality. The discussions of literary vs genre to the point they come to blows (Writing: The Full Contact Sport Edition), the snobbery, the touchy egos, the self-defensiveness.

The whole thing is rife with possibilities of personality clashes of epic proportions with the right selection of individuals to maximize that potential.

robjvargas
11-20-2013, 05:29 PM
All I can picture is the Monty Python sketch about Thomas Hardy writing The Return of the Native.

See, I was going to post the philosophers song.

robjvargas
11-20-2013, 05:30 PM
See, and that's where I see that the show takes off and gets interesting. It's not the writing part, it's the drama that will swirl around all these writer personalities, trapped in the same house trying to write their books.

I think the fun would be having them all critique each other.

Now that's comedy. :ROFL:

Liosse de Velishaf
11-21-2013, 01:51 AM
I think the fun would be having them all critique each other.

Now that's comedy. :ROFL:


That would be the best part... :roll:

Rhoda Nightingale
11-21-2013, 03:12 AM
I believe the important part in this discussion is this:
and this
It would be more entertaining if they did it like a Big Brother/Survivor/The Apprentice mash up with emo writers living in a big house, forced to complete various thematic essays and short stories, while trying to help their team without undermining themselves.

But I still wouldn't watch it.

I think Chuck Palahniuk wrote that book already (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22288.Haunted?from_search=true).