Suspend Your Disbelief

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Novel-writing as performance art

What an awesome and terrifying idea: novelist Silvia Hartmann will write her next novel live on Google Docs and let anyone who wants to follow along—and send her feedback on her work. (Via.) Hartmann explains in a press release on her website:

This project, known as “Hartmann Book Live” aims to go one step further and give fans the chance to not only see the manuscript being typed, but to also comment on the storyline and provide feedback as the novel develops. […]

On Wednesday, 12th September at 9am the author will let her social network followers know that the first session is about to begin. By using the Google Docs cloud-based office suite, the author will start with a blank document and begin to write. Fans will be provided with a public-accessible web page (open document) to see the book being written before their eyes.

Sure, it’s a publicity stunt—but it could also be an interesting experiment in collaborative writing and a window into one writer’s process.

Interested in watching? On Wednesday, 9/12, visit Hartmann’s website for the link and tell us your impressions! And tell us: Would you ever let the world peek over your should as you write?

Literary Partners