Friday, October 15, 2010

An Interesting Social Experiment for Charity

In Seattle, in the Cabaret at the Richard Hugo House, an interesting social experiment is underway, called The Novel: Live! Thirty-six Northwest authors are attempting to write a complete novel in six days, with each taking a two hour shift from 10 am to 10 pm. And they're doing it live, under the watchful eyes of an audience gathered around them and on a webcam for folks on the Internet to watch. The event has been organized by the Seattle7Writers both to raise awareness of local authors and to generate funds for the Seattle Arts & Lectures' Writers in the Schools program and 826 Seattle, a youth writing and tutoring center.

At The Novel: Live! website, you can watch the current writer at work on a computer and see the actual screen image of the words he or she is adding (or deleting or editing) to the novel. There are educational materials for students and teachers to enhance the viewing experience and learn from it. You can also read the novel to date, see the schedule of who wrote when and what chapter, learn about the authors involved, and of course, make a donation to the project. If you want to watch, hurry, because tomorrow's the last day!

I'm fascinated by the whole thing, and I think it would be a great idea for writing organizations all over the country to do something similar to raise awareness of local writers in their own communities.


Kaye George said...

Are you kidding? This sounds like writing hell! It's hard to pick up where I left off, let alone where someone else left off. It IS interesting, though. Thanks for the post.

Beth Groundwater said...

The comments from participating authors were that they enjoyed the experience, oddly enough. I suspect there was an outline ahead of time--at least I would want to know what the general direction was of the story (and to have read what had been written so far) before I sat down to take my turn.

Kaye George said...

OK, with an outline it would be all right. The ones I've done have been free-for-alls. You have to take up where the last one left off and are free to go wherever you want. The tough job is being last in line. The ones I've done were fun, but only had 4 writers and were for a small audience--low stakes. :)