The heart of tech

This article was published on October 13, 2015


Watch a novel being written in real time with this website

Watch a novel being written in real time with this website
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

Novel writing is serious business, and usually takes a long time, but most people don’t give enough credit for just how much effort is involved.

A new initiative from novelist Joshua Cohen ​lets you watch him write his next novel, in real time,​ with video.

Called PCKWCK, it’s a Google Docs style app that lets you watch the novel develop from start to finish, complete with typos, re-writes and other mistakes.

It’s hypnotizing to watch when he’s online and gives real insight into a writer’s process, that really provides a feel for how much work goes into writing a novel.

writing

You can chat with Cohen and anyone else watching, and highlighting text in the live view sends ‘hearts’ to him, similar to Periscope.

Watching people create is weirdly fascinating — I also got sucked into live streaming coders building their next app in the past, which is a great learning process.

As a writer, it’s also weird for me to think about. I’m sure I’d feel incredibly uncomfortable if you could see all my mistooks in real-time.

Perhaps, though, creating in public is better for everyone, as it shows the effort involved and helps everyone else learn from your process.

PCWCK