A couple months ago I wanted to try something new, mix things up a bit. My wife suggested I write my next novel in real-time, for all the world to see. Grammar trolls be damned. After a day to think about it, I said I'd do it.
I was a little scared before I started, and humbled when it began, but in one more day I'll be done with the first draft and I've harvested some great lessons along the way. Here's what I've learned from writing a novel “LIVE”, and why you might want to try it too.
I don't care who you are, I think it's important to have a regular dose of humble pie. None of us is perfect even though we might pretend to be.
Posting a chapter or two every day after only a quick scan kinda scared me. I didn't know if I'd be hammered for misspellings or smacked for my grammar.
This was me raw under the blaring spotlight of public critique.
Sure it stung sometimes, but it helped me realize that getting knocked down is a good thing. It made me stronger, willing to move forward with a level head.
It's Great Motivation
A lot of writers are lazy. They wait for inspiration to hit, and when it doesn't, they blame their lack of productivity on their muse or their smelly cat.
While I don't need much motivation, having to post something every weekday definitely kept me from taking the odd day off.
The bonus is that even though tomorrow is my deadline, I feel like I'm miles ahead of where I could have been.
When I missed a posting due to travel, I had readers emailing to see if I was okay. I felt like a turd for letting technology get in the way of continuing the story. It never happened again.
If you're looking for motivation, for a daily kick in the pants, writing a LIVE novel can totally give it to you.
It Created New Ideas
I think this was the coolest part. When I started the book, I had a vague idea what it would be about. Along the way, my readers helped craft the story by suggesting plot twists and asking questions. I was able to do a 180 without blinking. Totally cool.
Imagine having a pool of ideas at your fingertips whenever you get stumped. That's what I had. You can have it too.
Can You Do It?
Short answer: of course.
Long answer: If you're humble, hard working and dedicated to your craft, heck yeah! I'm already plotting my next adventure in LIVE noveling. Now that I know a thing or two, I'll bet Round 2 will be even better than the first.
What's stopping you from writing a novel “LIVE”?
Your mission: for the next fifteen minutes write about a reporter who has to be on-air LIVE without the least bit of preparation.
When your time is up, don't edit. Instead, post your practice live in the comments section.