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article imageCNET writer attempts sci-fi novel with a 'multiwriter' twist

By Michael Thomas     Oct 27, 2015 in Entertainment
CNET writer Eric Mack is attempting his first novel, but if things go his way, he'll be getting a lot of help from the Internet at large.
Mack explained his concept on CNET, just in time for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. NaNoWriMo challenges writers to write at least 50,000 words in November.
The novel will take place a few decades into the future, following the advent of the technological singularity. As science and technology allows humans to live longer and longer, the possibility of immortality becomes closer and closer to reality. To resolve these issues, someone visits Earth, who may or not welcome the advice.
Mack calls his project the Massively Multiwriter Online Science Fiction Novel (MMOSFN), though it appears Mack will still do most of the writing. Every night starting on Nov. 1, Mack will post his progress on the novel in a Google Doc, which anyone can comment on to suggest how to shape the characters, plot and more.
Before the novel even starts, Mack is already taking suggestions on futuristic concepts, including "Transhumanist Party president" and "sex robots" among others.
Eventually, the novel will be published on CNET as a series of articles, with credit given to those who contributed to the story. It will be given a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which lets anyone use or adapt the material so long as it's attributed.
Opening the story to the masses carries its share of risk — a hivemind campaign could, for example, "suggest" complete and utter nonsense — but it could also open new avenues that Mack might not come up with on his own.
Audience-influenced literature, while uncommon, is not completely new. Homestuck, the webcomic epic by Andrew Hussie, has accumulated a massive following. As a result, Hussie has added (or even changed) aspects of the story based on the response of his audience. Rachel Hulin's Hey Harry Hey Matilda, already innovative thanks to its Instagram-post format, may also incorporate audience feedback as Hulin gets deeper in the plot.
More about eric mack, Nanowrimo, Cnet, Scifi, massively multwriter online science fiction novel
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