The Butler wrote it!
October 30, 2001 6:40 AM   Subscribe

The Butler wrote it! He's won a Pulitzer Prize. He teaches a creative writing class at Florida State University. And now Robert Olen Butler intends to write a novel, starting at 9 p.m. EST, live on the Internet -- by picking an old postcard at random and developing what's written on the back into a full-fledged narrative. And, taking Saturdays off, he'll do it in the 17 days between today and November 20th.
posted by allaboutgeorge (6 comments total)
Trying to upstage NaNoWriMo, eh?
posted by rory at 7:41 AM on October 30, 2001

I, too, thought it was odd that there was no mention of NaNoWriMo what so ever...
posted by Jako at 7:48 AM on October 30, 2001

I'm a writer, and I can't imagine there'd be much excitement in watching someone else write. Maybe I'm wrong, though. Harlan Ellison has made a practice of writing short stories live in front of an audience. Maybe the novelty of this is enough. If it gets people interested in writing, does it even matter if after seventeen days all we have is a lousy novel?
posted by UnReality at 8:28 AM on October 30, 2001

Robert Olen Butler is all about trying things a different way. His collection of short stories Tabloid Dreams had a pretty wacky concept.

He took headlines from pulp newspapers (Weekly World News, Sun) and made them into full-fledged short stories.

Sometimes it worked and it made a great story (like JFK going to his own estate sale) but most of the time it didn't (the Titanic resurfaces in a waterbed).

As for that Pulitzer prize, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain is a fantastic read, but it's been all downhill for him since then.
posted by ColdChef at 8:36 AM on October 30, 2001

Did anyone read They Whisper? It started off as a pretty interesting book but then it got pretty over-wrought and then when I realized that the the "They" in "They Whisper" was woman's vaginas, I got a little creeped out.

In retrospect, it could have been a good summer flick alternative to "The Horse Whisperer".

I was smoking a lot of pot back then, so I could be completely wrong.
posted by rks404 at 9:19 AM on October 30, 2001

17 days? A whole month? Pussies. My buddy Matt and his pals at Clockwork Storybook write 30-day novels all the time. They've written novels in 72 hours a few times. (OK, short novels, and they plotted them out ahead of time, but still...) Damn good stuff, if you're into urban fantasy.
posted by RylandDotNet at 3:06 PM on October 30, 2001

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