What is Live Novel-ing?

Recently I’ve admitted that I hardly qualify as a ‘writer’ especially after failing my Creative Writing PhD after 8 years of mind-numbing effort. Now that the academic world has left me firmly behind like chicken bones of grief chucked into a dumpster of destitution, I figure it’s time to attempt actually writing something for the pure unadulterated fun of it

And since I’m obviously in the mood these days for sharing every excruciatingly ridiculous detail of my current stater of mind, just for extra added fun I want to let everyone in on the step-by-step process of writing my very first novel.

So then what is ‘live novel-ing’? Easy, that’s me writing a novel… live!

I’ve come up with a method that will take you into my head and show you the very literal and direct words that emerge in-the-moment, how they are revised, edited and finally shaped into an honest to goodness novel.

This whole thing might end up being total crap or a brilliant masterpiece (I figure it can only pretty much be one or the other) but I’m gonna let you see it all.

Hell, I figure if Koreans can get into watching a person eat live online, then maybe there is some interest in watching some loser write.

I’m not going to film myself while writing (yet), but you can very easily watch the words appear on the page from your very own screen. Read on and learn how this is possible, what it’s going to be about, read an awesome sample of what I’ve got so far, and hear further explanation of why I would do something this stupid!

The Format

For this novel, I am writing one short story on every page

That’s right, every page is going to be one self-contained, 3-paragraph short story. 

All these pages are going to combine to make a coherent long form novel (in theory).

It is definitely difficult to write in this constrained format, but the small size should also make it easier for a viewing audience to see how it all gets put together. 

Each day I will spend 30 minutes at one stage of the writing process:




For example, on the first day you can see me freewrite for 30 minutes on the idea for the first story (this could go on for pages and pages though).

On the second day you can watch me revise that freewriting content into an actual story.

Then on the third day you can see how I technically edit the sentences to make a solid draft that fits into one page.

All the while, you will be able to go back and forth and see my progress on the other pages that I’ll be working on simultaneously.

How is this possible? Why, through the magic of Google Drive

All you need is a Google account and from there I can share my Google Drive folder with you, and then you just need to click on the appropriate file and the same time as I’m writing and you can see the words appear on your screen in real time just like I do while I’m typing away at home. 

The Content

Each one-page, short story will be a snap shot into one year in the life of a kid trying to complete an incredibly insane challenge. Therefore, I’ve tentatively titled the project:

The Incredibly Insane Challenge

The challenge requires this little kid to attempt a different task every year, something like say ‘Become a vampire to kill a werewolf’.

If he successfully makes it through these tasks and gets to his 18th birthday without dying then he will complete this insane challenge and save the universe from total destruction. But if he dies then he has to go back and start all over again from birth.

This story is not going to contain anything abstract or deep, it’s just pure nonsense! We’re talking a full on assault of monsters, robots, aliens, zombies, super-heroes, ninjas, gangs, gun battles, sword duels, disasters, destruction, dancing, proms, sports, wrestling, and fighting, lots and lots of fighting! 

Interested? Intrigued? Confused

The Who


Who? I’m happy to let anyone watch me go through this (semi-) daily routine.

There are many people reading this blog who are my friends already, and if so then you may have already noticed that I shared a folder with you and/or a link on Google+

If you want to check out the Live Novel-ing and you don’t know me personally, then just click on the G+ widget at the side and follow me on Google+ then I will share the folder/files with you. Or you can just email me:jozhloser@gmail.com

(probably works better if you have a Gmail account)

The Why

When I was teaching English in Korea I used this Google Docs program to help students write in class and revise/edit their work from home. 

There was always something interesting about seeing the writing appear on the screen or assessing how a student would revise in real time. Still, there was something potentially more compelling about this application as a viewing tool that wasn’t totally captured by just the collaborative teacher/student relationship.

Everyone loves reading online these days, and more people are writing content then ever before, so I figure Google Drive can cut the delivery time way down and give the readers the writing as it’s happening. It doesn’t have to be great, it just has to be immediate and fun.

That’s what I’m into these days. Long term projects are obviously not going to appeal to me after the duration of that failed PhD. Spending 8 years on writing something that turns out to be garbage is an incredible waste of time (obviously). Now I’m going to spend 30 minutes on this and you won’t even have to wait one second to see what it looks like.

While I still have the 4 Quests I wrote about to occupy my time, this project will be the real outlet for my creativity and prove that I can either innovate and write something worthwhile or finally face the fact that I should give up writing forever!


Let me be clear, while this writing style might be a bit experimental, I am not attempting to produce any kind of high art here. This is purely pop writing! The priority is moving fast, having fun, and writing wild.

Character? Not necessary, one guy in hundreds of different action scenes, that’s it! Place? Every page changes location drastically, no time to establish anything. Vocabulary, schmo-cabulary! Structure? Hit it and quit it, 3 paragraphs and I’m out! Show don’t tell? Fuck that… I’m going to tell, tell, tell!

In my mind this is all just the beginning of a giant epic series, a toy line, a movie franchise, sponsorships, endorsement deals, treasure chests and magazine covers. I’m not looking for the Nobel Prize that they won’t give Haruki Murakami, I’m trying to get the No-Prize no one gives to Stephen King

So I’m offering you the chance to jump on the bandwagon before it starts rolling down that hill to mega-success, or just watch an insane person slowly have a complete mental breakdown live online! Either way, it’s going to be something to see.

– Dr. Loser

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