It’s reality TV, but it’s fiction. Many would argue that all reality television is fiction, but in this case, the digital channel BookTelevision plans to film and broadcast the writing of fiction. The typical writer working on a novel over the course of a year, with hours at a computer broken only by fidgeting, eating, coffee-making, trips to the refrigerator, and the occasional neurotic breakdown might not make for dramatic television viewing, but the frantic activity of the 3-Day Novel Contest sounds more like reality TV fodder.
According to The Tyee‘s embedded reporter and contestant, Ron Yamauchi, the “72-hour marathon is a furious disgorgement of words and used caffeine that has taken place annually since 1977,” reportedly having been created when “a number of competitive, ambitious, drink-sodden Vancouver writers developed the format as a form of dare.”
Yamauchi says BookTelevision is producing and presenting the contest updates every couple of hours via the Internet over the Labour Day weekend and plans to televise a documentary in October. “Twelve selected competitors are being ensconced in aquarium-like conditions in a Chapters store in Edmonton, hooked into word processors and occasionally pitted in mini-games, all of it hosted by Kim Clarke Champniss.” Kind of makes the long years of writing a regular novel in solitude sound better.
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