Crafting a novel with a thousand authors

Updated: Jun 05, 2008, 11:28 AM IST

New Delhi, June 05: Crafting a novel can be a painstaking process but two Indians are hoping to avoid writer`s block by getting more than 1,000 people to work on their book.

Anubhav Jain and Dhruv Bhushan, graduates of the Indian Institute of Management, hope to showcase a work of fiction written by as many people as possible when their online novel is completed at the end of the month.

The men started ( in March this year, unsure whether their experiment would succeed. By Wednesday, 1,070 people had signed up to co-write the novel and 25 chapters of the work-in-progress were up on the website.

"Almost 70 percent is complete. On average, every two days we are finishing a chapter," the 24-year-old Jain said.

The website founders provided the basic plot for the novel -- a business tycoon, held hostage at a warehouse in 2028, is reflecting on his life.

Their army of writers took care of the rest.

As the novel started taking shape, moderators Jain and Bhushan provided a summary and cues after each chapter to maintain the narrative flow and ensure new users don`t stray too far from the protagonist Srijan.

No contributor can submit more than 300 words at any time. "This is so that one person does not hijack the story based on his ideas," Jain said.

Bureau Report