Livewriting How-To

MCMMonday, February 15, 2010

Greetings, bipeds, and welcome to another fun adventure in livewriting! This week's story is The Scarlet Lemming, a comedic mystery novel about the world's worst private investigator. It's a sequel to Fission Chips, but since there's very little time to catch up, I'll make sure the one isn't dependent on the other.

I know a lot of you are wondering what this "livewriting" thing is, and how it works. While a lot of it is made up on the fly, there are some basic elements that rarely change:

The Schedule often varies, but in this case we're working from 4PM-8PM every weekday this week, and then from 12PM-6PM on Saturday (all times are EST). Practically speaking, I'll be writing starting at 3PM and posting the first chapter at 4, but you don't need to join that early.

The Questions are the fun part. For each chapter, I have a bunch of questions posted that will help shape the story. They can be big questions or small questions, silly or significant (example: "Stop or Go?" was the most important question in Typhoon), and one answer is chosen at random. I take the answers and blend them into the story (sometimes more successfully than others). The objective of the questions is to HAVE FUN, so don't try and stick to the story when you answer. This is what makes livewriting fun, so do your best to entertain.

The Community is easily the best part of the experience. Don't just answer questions and keep quiet. Go on Twitter, post on the Stream, write blog posts, whatever you like. Be aware that I read as much of the chatter as I can, and I do my best to use it against you when writing... so the more you theorize, the more I know how to confuse. Give me ammo! Be verbose!

The Site is where it all happens. There are two ways to play: one is to just use Twitter and compose your hashtags appropriately. Add #6D1D for anything related to the story, and when answering questions, write #c1q3, which would be for Chapter 1, Question 3. The questions will be posted to Twitter with the hashtags included, so you can just copy and paste.

On the other hand, you can also sign in to 1889.ca (it's free and easy!) and get access to the question submitter HERE, which is significantly easier to use. Just type your answer into the appropriate field and hit the little button and it submits. You can answer as many times as you like, so go wild.

You can write comments in the Stream and they'll appear on-site, or you can write on Twitter and have them appear both on Twitter and on-site (as long as you include #6D1D). And if you write something somewhere else, please be sure to post a link to Twitter so everyone else can see.

Spreading the word would be greatly appreciated, because the more people that play, the better. I'm going to be doing video interviews with the fabulous Jan Oda all this week, but I can do others as well if you know somebody :)

What is #6D1D? It stands for 6 Days, 1 Draft. It helps glue this all together. Never forget it. It's your ticket to the madhouse.

Writing starts soon! Submit your answers and tell everyone you know to do the same! Let's have some fun!

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