Margaret Atwood, 73, is writing a novel, Positron, online, making the story up before everyone’s eyes and asking for feedback. When she gets it, she tilts the story according to the responses. She says it’s a little like improvisation in print.
People will write and say, ‘We love Sam Weller.’ And you will make Sam Weller have a bigger part. (“Arts” The Week, 1/18/13 pg. 22)
She notes that serial stories were common until the middle of the 20th century when, for some reason, they died out. So the form isn’t new, just the medium.
Atwood is hopeful about novels which others have reported is an art form that is dead or dying. Maybe this new format will draw in new readers. But I agree with her basic observation that story telling will never die out. It’s a practice as old as human history. Still, I have to admire Atwood’s courage. To write two or three pages takes me forever. It’s hard to imagine staying ahead of my readers a day at a time. I admire her confidence. But, of course, the author’s been at her art with much acclaim for many years, She’s the perfect writer to take interactive serials out for a spin.
Readers who want to follow the serial and perhaps be a part of it will find the novel on Byliner.com.
(Maragret Atwood Courtesy of Yahoo.com)