Live collaborative writing event with “Write or Die”

Pulitzer Prize–winning author William Dietrich gets down to business during the Novel: Live! at Hugo House (Seattle, WA) in October 2010.

I’ve wanted to do a live collaborative writing event at my library ever since I saw this, a live writing event with published authors working on a new novel, all of the work being broadcasted live from a cafe in Seattle. But simply writing seemed a little dull, especially from a marketing standpoint. The draw for the Seattle event was the big-name authors involved, and the scope of the work. So I bookmarked the link and didn’t think about it again until today, when two things happened: a patron asked if the library had any creative writing programs for adults, and I saw today’s Gradhacker post about a cool little program called Write or Die, which torments you when you’re idle at the keyboard for too long.

Now I’m thinking that a live novel event — or maybe short story for starters — with this program will be much more fun at the library. It’s like the effect a chess clock has on chess, except in Write or Die, the screen turns different shades of red as a warning if you stop typing, then it starts deleting words you’ve already written, subtracting from the word count you’ve set yourself to meet in a certain amount of time. I can imagine a crowd yelling suggestions at panicked writers staring at a red screen.