Watch The Naked Writer Write

Watch The Naked Writer Write

via The Bookseller

New Age specialist and author Silvia Hartmann will start her latest fantasy novel on Wednesday with the internet gawking at every word, deletion, and uncomfortable pause. The UK-based 53-year-old will provide fans (and, by extension, irritating trolls) with a Google Docs link that will allow them to watch the creation of the novel from start to finish in a project she has aptly named The Naked Writer.

The thought of that would be terrifying enough for most authors, but Hartmann is taking things one step further by also allowing viewers to comment on the storyline, provide real-time feedback, and collaborate on the final editing process. How she's going to actually get any writing done with all that going on is a mystery to me, but good luck to her.

She says, “This is an amazing opportunity for me as an author to push the boundaries of the author/reader relationship. It will be thrilling to write knowing that people will be viewing each word, paragraph and chapter, each backspace as I go along! Some authors plan their manuscripts in advance, but my stories tend to have a life of their own and I look forward to seeing what unfolds with everybody else!” The Naked Writer project begins September 12th at 9am London time (4am EST).

Would you dare to do the same thing? Do you think the watchers would affect the way that you write?

Photo via Gerlos

Kimberly Turner

News by Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is an internet entrepreneur, DJ, editor, beekeeper, linguist, traveler, and writer. This either makes her exceptionally well-rounded or slightly crazy; it’s hard to say which. She spent a decade as a journalist and magazine editor in Australia and the U.S. and is now working (very, very slowly) on her first novel. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two cats, ten fish, and roughly 60,000 bees.

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Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break September 11, 2012 - 1:46pm

Okay, I'll just say it: this is a fucking terrible idea and one that seems to be driven purely by gimmick.

I'm sure the internet trolls are going to love chewing on this one.

Scott MacDonald's picture
Scott MacDonald from UK is reading Perfidia September 11, 2012 - 2:48pm

Writing by collaboration?  Did no one learn anything from 'Snakes on a Plane'?

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine September 11, 2012 - 3:11pm

This post is not nearly as sexy as I had hoped.

Kimber's picture
Kimber from Atlanta is reading The Every by Dave Eggers September 11, 2012 - 4:06pm

@Josh - Have you seen her? Not sexy at all. At. All.

edsikov's picture
edsikov from New York by way of Natrona Hts PA is reading absolutely nothing September 11, 2012 - 5:09pm

I have the guts to do this. Oh, yeah. All 189 pounds of them. And I even have the who-the-fuck-cares attitude. What I don't have is the audience.

So: anyone who wants to watch me write naked is invited to respond to this thread. If I get enough responses, you get to watch me on skype. For nuthin'. Wearin' nuthin'.


ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig September 11, 2012 - 6:08pm

I agree with Brandon. What is the point of this? Does anyone REALLY want to sit and watch words appear on the screen, complete with typos and all the shit that should get cut or rewritten before readers see it? And this is hardly the only way for authors to get feedback as they write. There are three places off the top of my head that are doing novels in serial with this idea, Kindle being one of them.

Doug Kissack's picture
Doug Kissack from Chicago, Illinois is reading The Forgotten Garden September 11, 2012 - 7:27pm

I think this gives a lot of amateur and aspiring writers a look into the creative process of someone who has already made it in the business.  That's a luxury that wouldn't have been possible decades or even years ago, and the chance to see that even professional writers make the same mistakes and struggle in many of the same ways could go far to encourage despairing writers not to give up their craft.  Definitely not something to be written off for reasons as basic as, 'Why would anyone want to do this?'  It couldn't have been an arbitrary decision, and no party is going to emerge from the exchange worse off than when they started.  Give it the benefit of the doubt.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like September 11, 2012 - 8:06pm

Y'all can watch me play FreeCell.

SammyB's picture
SammyB from Las Vegas is reading currently too many to list September 12, 2012 - 2:46pm

Nope. Nope, nope, nope. NOPE. I would not do this. Why? Because I barely like showing my writing to anyone, before it is as polished as possible. Not to mention that it takes me ages to write, because I spend too much time stressing over words and how I want to use them.

Is it just me or are we turning into a society of voyeurs? Half of the popular YouTube personalities make videos about their day to day lives, which are as boring as everyone's. Yesterday, I saw two videos pop up on YouTube about grocery shopping. What? Now this?

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs September 12, 2012 - 3:25pm

I think Matt Bell (or someone else) did this while writing a story a while back. Except I don't think there was commenting from the audience.

edsikov's picture
edsikov from New York by way of Natrona Hts PA is reading absolutely nothing September 13, 2012 - 7:29pm

I'm not getting any responses. None. Zip. Nada. So I'm upping the ante.

I will write nakedly, and be naked, and smear chocolate all over myself, and, and, and... babble incoherently! All for nuthin'. Wearin' nuthin'. Live.

Now I'll get that audience. I'm just certain of it.