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A collective writing thesis

March 16, 2010

Yesterday evening I was working at a piece for Scrittura Industriale Collettiva (Collective Industrial Writing). As you may remember, we are writing a historic novel set in World War II. In the piece I composed yesterday, the mother of one of the characters dies of a heart attack as she hears an airplane approaching – she dashes for the house but collapses on the barren fields. Her son only finds her after the noise of the plane above his head is long gone, when he finally dares looking out of the window. He is unable to react and hides her corpse in the ice shed.

I wrote my own version of this scene, but four other writers were busy doing the same. Our versions will all go to one of the mant “artistic directors” who will find when our versions converge and where the best writing lies, and combine them into one final version. Without adding a word! Artistic directors are not allowed to add their writing to the mix, only their editing hand.

I was satisfied with my writing yesterday, especially because this period has been very dry for me writing-wise. I went to bed happy with SIC in my mind.

The first thing I discovered as I turned the computer on this morning was also SIC-related and also made me happy. A thesis has been written about collective writing methods, including SIC! And even sweeter, the thesis was written for University of Manchester, which means that all my English-speaking readers will be able to read it.

If you want to check out Veronica Periani’s thesis about collective writing in the era of Web 2.0 and user-generated content, which also analyses “One Million Penguins” and “Make Literature Online” as case studies, click here.

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