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PCKWCK is the World's First Live-Streamed Novel

NY Times

One male writer is re-imagining Charles Dickens for the digital age, and he's doing it online. Live. Joshua Cohen, American novelist and author of Book of Numbers, began writing on the 12th October at 1pm EST, and is writing for five hours a day every day of this week. PCKWCK is a modern day adaptation of Dickens' serialised novel The Pickwick Papers, and will also be illustrated by Leon Chang in similar real-time fashion.

Washington Post

He will continue to write until tomorrow (October 16th), all under the watchful eye of internet users who can view the writer at work via his webcam stream and comment as he types. Publisher Useless Press suggested that user's feedback may actually "affect the outcome of the novel”. The site even allows the browser to pinpoint Cohen's exact position in the novel's production.

The inspiration for the innovative new mode of writing came from the video game live-streaming service, Twitch, as co-founder of Useless Press Alix explains:-
I love how it transforms this essentially solitary and repetitive act — playing a video game — into a spectator sport. The work of writing is similarly solitary and repetitive so I always wondered, What if there was a Twitch for novelists? Would anyone actually watch someone write fiction?
The answer to that appears to be yes. I have to admit, there is something perversely interesting about invading a writer's privacy. Writing a novel by more traditional means is a prospect that fills me with terror, let alone having my work scrutinized by the online world as I write it. You've got to give it to the guy - pretty ballsy. Cohen even freely admits that he doesn't expect the work to be "very good". Having read excerpts myself, I think he's been a little modest. 

As you could expect, much of the live chat is nonsensical and has little to do with the novel whatsoever. The US President did turn up to throw in some kudos, though...


If you are eager to see the man at work, you'd best hop to it. Once the novel has reached completion at 6pm EST on Friday, it will disappear into a cloud of virtual dust until the novel is printed later this year. Find it here

SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF

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PCKWCK is the World's First Live-Streamed Novel Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, October 15, 2015 Rating: 5

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