CNET journalist Eric Mack has found a unique way to win National Novel Writing Month: crowdsourcing the entire project.
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words by Nov. 30, but instead of writing every word himself, Mack has invited the world to help him write a science fiction book called “Human Capital.”
The story is being written in a Google Doc, and anyone is welcome to jump in to offer suggestions, proofread the manuscript, or even write entire chapters.
While it’s natural to assume that opening up a work of fiction to the Internet would result in the creation of utter nonsense, the story flows logically so far. As writers across the globe contribute to the document, Mack continually revises the story and shares the cleanest draft in a separate Google Doc that only he can edit.
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Mack says the premise for “Human Capital” has been in his head for a while and the story is set a few decades in the future after the “technological singularity.”
“In this moment, people are beginning to live much longer thanks to advances in science and technology and it's starting to seem like immortality might be possible,” he explains on CNET. “At the same time, humans are beginning to understand that not only are we not alone in the universe, we're not alone in the multiverse either.”
If you’d like to contribute to what Mack calls a “massively multi-writer online science fiction novel,” you can get up to speed with a read-only version of Mack's working draft here. You can also join the novel’s Facebook group to discuss the plot and characters — and get yourself up to speed on multiverse theory.
Once the monthlong writing challenge is over, Mack will revise the story and then share the entire novel in installments on CNET.