Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Writer as Performer.

Well, I spent Monday sitting in the window of Waterstones, Crawley, writing a complete science fiction story on a theme that I was given when I turned up at 11:00. I was part of Crawley WordFest and a thoroughly good event it seems to have been.

Actually it wasn't me, it was Ren Holton who did the writing. Ren was glared at by several dozen people who obviously thought she was a shop window dummy until they got close enough to see how fast she types.

In my own persona I recieved two Creme Eggs from a loyal fellow writer who will be reading this (thanks David!) conducted a quick tutorial on mind-mapping a story brief with somebody I'm mentoring, and got @tweeklet (who found me via my twitter stream) to name the antihero in my story.

Also, almost incidentally, wrote 5495 words of quite coherent prose and finished my story with 'the end' at 16:02, two minutes after my (highly movable) deadline. The story is called 'The Planet That Couldn't Lie' and is very definitely an homage to the classic school of scifi promulgated by Asimov, Clarke and more recently Niven and Pournelle - which is odd, as I almost never write that kind of thing. Anyway, I am very happy with it.

It was really odd to be performance art, and yet I wrote much more than I would usually have done. Weird.

10 comments:

pinkyandnobrain said...

Wow, that sounds fantastic. Well done you! I think it was very brave to try being a performance artist and I am, once again, in awe of you. 'Tis lovely to read about it in your blog and I wish I had been in Crawley and had wandered past without disturbing you to see you at work.

fortnightflo said...

Ooooh I love Asmiov and Clarke - will you be publishing it anywhere?

Kay Sexton said...

Pinky - thank you. I've done window writing before so it wasn't totally unfamiliar and pretty soon after starting I was totally immersed in the story and forgot about the window bit altogether.

Flo - as far as I know the five stories are being illustrated on Saturday and then there will be either an e-book or a real book ... but I think that's more of an idea than an actual plan!

David! said...

Well, I am glad that you had a successful day and enjoyed the two Creme Eggs - and as you predicted I have read your post! It is sad to be so predictable...

I see that you met Peter and had your picture taken by him as part of his Wordfest blogs. I am not sure if I prefer the picture of Ren Holton hiding in the shadows on this site or the one of you looking serious on http://writeoncrawley.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/window-jotting3/

I look forward to reading the story when it is published.

Kay Sexton said...

David, you are not predictable, you are reliable - there is a world of difference and I'm glad you pitched up with the choccy as it was both breakfast and lunch for me that day!

I'm keen to read all the stories - it will be fascinating to see if/how being a window writer affected people's writing styles.

Jim Murdoch said...

I love science fiction but I actually read very little of the stuff and I have no idea why but after Dick the bloke I’ve read the most by is Asimov – I must have about a dozen books by him. I always appreciated the fact that he never had an ego about being a writer, in fact I think once I read that he didn’t even call himself a writer, just a storyteller.

Kay Sexton said...

Jim, I share that view. One problem (for me) is the covers which are often just a bit ... meh. I love the stories but the covers are aimed at teenage (or even preteen) boys and I don't like carrying them around.

Perhaps I should get a kindle ...

Jim Murdoch said...

You should have a look at my last post on book covers: The glance test.

Found art blog said...

My initial response to the commenting is "Design your own cover" but that may not be realistic!!

Kay Sexton said...

Jim - everybody should read your post - it's magisterial! What a brilliant analysis of what works and what doesn't.

Found Art - lovely idea but not acceptable to almost any publisher ... they really like their own in-house people, agencies or 'tame' designers to do covers.