Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Novel Twists on e-bay

Want to be a published writer? Why not bid for a chance to contribute a page to a collaborative novel?

The Guardian reports that first-time author Phil McCarthur is auctioning off the chance to create the next page to the highest bidder on e-bay. Money generated from Novel Twists will go to support the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

I admit I'm tempted ...


Anonymous said...

"Want to be a published writer? Why not bid for a chance to contribute a page to a collaborative novel?"

Uh.. _why_ bid for that ? I don't see how a collaborative novel would work. I mean, there'd be no planning, no framework, no plot, it'd go nowhere really fast. How would anyone even get all the various plotlines resolved ? and whose name would be on the cover ?maybe everyone should do it.. yeah. It's come to that, hasn't it ? a novel as a whole heap of prose in between two covers. Like a plate of spaghetti. Heck, you know, they could do a thousand-page novel every day, just get a thousand writers to write a page each. Say you charge RM10 per page. That would mean a gross profit of RM10,000 even before one page is published. Say RM1000 for charity, that leaves RM9000. Say RM5000 for a small run, which leaves about RM4000. And you could do that every day. Just think, how difficult would it be to write a page a day ? so that's it, the end of the novel as a work of art. Just keep churning it out, nano-style. Why would anyone even need a writing course then ? why would there be a need for a plot, or characters, or locations, or even anything ? next thing we know, a novel like this wins the Nobel Prize for literature. Now that would be interesting, to have to mention one thousand authors at the Nobel Prize presentations.

Tell me honestly that this means the industry is evolving, getting better, setting higher standards and meeting them.

Why has it come to the point where people will pay to write, rather than be paid to write ? maybe Mr. Raman is right. I thought he was being arrogant for asking people to give him stuff for free so he can sell it. But wow, here's someone who wants people to pay to give him stuff so that he can sell it. I now think Mr. Raman should not only ask people to give him stuff for free so he can make money off of it, I also think he should charge for it. I also think you should maybe auction off places in your writing class, highest bidder gets a place, what ? :)

Geez. Anyway Sharon, what do you think ? is this the end of writing as a profession ? should the likes of Hari Kunzru now auction off pages in their novels so that other people can write in them ? :)

bibliobibuli said...

the whole idea is to raise money for charity - maybe you missed that?

and it's a fun idea

guiness did something similar in singapore - a collaborative novel featuring a whole lot of young writers, i bought a copy of it in Guardian yonks ago and thought at the time that it would be fun to do something like that here

LesterWorth said...

I agree with bibliobibuli!

The site looks great, and people don't HAVE to do it if they don't want to!

The idea is just an experiment, so if it ends up being all over the place, does it matter?

I think it is excellent, and best of luck to all of them! :)