Monday, June 22, 2009

Gunn & Swanwick: Xtreme Collab


A screaming comes across the sky . . . and the Clarion West Write-a-thon 2000 has begun! This is a fund-raising event for the Clarion West Writers Workshop. And every year, as has become traditional, Eileen Gunn and I exchange quips and barbs in our own public smackdown forum. Two years ago, I tricked Eileen into writing a story with me online by the simple expedient of not telling her about it until it was finished! Last year, we led whoever wanted to join in on a round-robin story, which turned out pretty good. And this year . . .

Well, I'll let Eileen's first post tell the tale:

Okay, careening in here, blazers blasting, wild out of the sun, Michael Swanwick and I are going to put our credibility on the line and test the limits of our civility by collaborating once again in the open stadium. No net. No shelter. No escape.

We are allowed to bring only the weap-- I mean tools, only the tools we can carry in our backpacks. I have chosen a computer, and the World Wide Web, and all the sugar-induced panic I can generate from an endless supply of snickerdoodles. Michael brings with him his trusty steam-powered word processor, his legendary self-confidence, and a limitless imagination.

We discussed perhaps writing a novel during WAT this year. But Michael is deep in the middle of a novel right now, and has no particular yearning to be in the middle of two, so we decided we would simply plot a novel. Since I have never novelled, I am expecting to learn something.

This is a standing start. We decided this today. Who knows what will happen? Not us. We will post here, and devil take the hindmost.

So we have six weeks to plot out an entire novel in detail, starting from a dead stop. Can we do it?????

Well, duh.

You can follow the entire saga with (I'm guessing) pretty much daily postings here.

And if you'd like to sponsor a writer for the Thon, you can find out how here.

And pictured above . . .

People who don't know us tend to assume that fantasists live in houses resembling wizards' dens, with skulls and masks and, I don't know, bottled robot guts everywhere. Not so. We're all perfectly ordinary people with perfectly ordinary interests, like housework or gardening.

Pictued above: The dragonwort in bloom.


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