A&K Day 7&8 Recaps

MCMMonday, August 9, 2010

Yesterday was a pooper of a day, so I'm late. Bah humbug. But anyway, here's my recap for those two days.

But first, observations on live-livewriting! For those of you who haven't seen it, I open a Google doc and share it with the world, and then in the integrated chat, people get to throw ideas at me, and I mix it all together to make a crazy, crazy story. At first, it seemed like a fun gimmick, and something I might do once a week. Then, after the initial trial run, it was too exhilarating to NOT do it again, because of the immediate and unpredictable feedback you get from people as you write.

And then came the realization. Live-livewriting was making me into a panderer. Now I know what you're thinking: he already panders all the time anyway! Yes, it's true, but this is a whole other level of panderization. I imagine improv actors deal with this a lot, but for me, it's very new. You get into a situation where you can SEE people like certain aspects of what you're doing, so you do more and more of it. I don't know if it shows in the text after the fact, but these long rambling bicker-fights that Arkady and Kain are having? Those are completely unplanned. I just get on a roll and can't stop myself from doing more. I think they're generally well-received, but it turns into long sequences where not much happens. Though maybe that's okay. Maybe that's actually BETTER writing than what I normally do, which is try to craft dialogue to be over quickly. Hmm...

Really, the biggest issue I have with this technique is that I find myself 2,000 words deep into a chapter, and realize that I haven't hit on half the key points I needed to make. And then I have to have El sit down with Kain and infodump at him to compensate, which is what I normally try to avoid. I also worry that the characters are coming off nastier than they would otherwise, because the dialogue just runs away ahead of me sometimes.

Hmm. Well, anyway... I think live-livewriting can be good and fun and productive, but it possibly needs a little more thinking before I roll it out into a full-fledged feature. I'd be terrified of writing something like Scarlet Lemming like this. 5,000-word chapters full of evil, vicious sarcasm. Yikes.

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