Watching writers practice their craft would not rank high on anyone's list of spectator sports. Writer stares at screen. Screen stares back. Writer hits some keys. Stares at screen again. Hits backspace ever so many times and starts over. Rinse and repeat.
That's what I first thought when a San Diego writer friend, Tone Milazzo, reached out to the authors in the current (but soon-to-be-gone) exclusive Dark Fantasy & SF bundle, asking if anyone would like to collaborate on outlining an entire novel online in real time for his YouTube channel, Cyclops Road.
But Tone assured us it would be both fun to do and fun to watch. So I and another writer friend, Ottawa-based Matt Moore, raised our hands, and together with Tone, we started to outline an urban fantasy novel about what happens when magic suddenly disappears from a fantastical Toronto (yeah, I got to pick the city).
I'm not sure if it's fun to watch (I think so but you can be the judge), but it was fun to do. We make use of very cool software designed specifically to support this type of collaboration. Matt described the experience as combining breaking a story with D&D-like rules plus that 'Yes, and...' type of cooperation essential to performing improv. We obviously enjoyed the experience, because we came back for more, with more sessions planned.
You can watch the first two sessions here and here. Feel free to post comments there, as we are all interested in the viewer's experience. And a reminder: the exclusive Dark Fantasy & SF bundle ends this Thursday, September 10 at midnight EDT. Don't miss your chance to get eleven incredible books for an incredible price.