Rules for Livewriting

MCMSaturday, February 20, 2010

I saw an article about rules for writing, and a lot of them kinda conflicted with my philosophy, so I wanted to lay this out for any other potential livewriters out there in the future. Keep in mind I am not an especially good writer, so you should not take most of this very seriously.

  1. Make sure you have an internet connection while writing.

  2. Listen to what the audience is saying. They'll tell you if you're being too obvious. If you are, write something really confusing to throw them off the trail.

  3. Find your Dispatchers and do what they tell you. Give them whatever they need, because they are the ones that will cheer you on when you're bloody exhausted and can't imagine carrying on.

  4. Never edit what you've already written, unless it's just a really obnoxious typo and it doesn't change the meaning of the story. Remember that most of your readers are following in real-time, so adjusting what happened before is pointless.

  5. If you forget to mention some critical detail in chapter 3 that plays out in chapter 9, and you only realize it in chapter 6, you have to work hard to blend it in from this point on. Livewriting is not perfection. It's all about adapting to miserable circumstances.

  6. Enjoy the unpredictability. It may screw up your plans to integrate some truly absurd suggestions, but at the same time, the truly absurd suggestions can end up being the best parts of your story. How your characters react to the random information conveys more of their personality than how they react to what's already established.

  7. Don't worry about short chapters. But if you think you're too light on content for the chapter, ask Twitter for a Topic Tag idea, and shoehorn it in. Topic Tag can save anything if you let it.

  8. Never take yourself seriously. You can't be writing Shakespeare under these circumstances, so don't fret about how wrong everything's going. It's a performance. Half the drama is how you get from A to B.

  9. Never, ever, under any circumstances... never write a blog post about how to livewrite when you have less than 15 minutes before the day starts and you haven't finished inputting all the questions. What are you, stupid?

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