Wu Ming and collaborative writing

Hey guys. Just a little bit of something interesting I wanted to share. Maddie and Sean and I (anyone else?) were at a lecture yesterday by Roberto Bui, a member of an Italian writers’ collective called Wu Ming. (The name alternatively means “anonymous” or “five writers,” depending on how you pronounce the first syllable.) He gave a really fascinating talk about the new Italian epic — but he also spoke a little bit towards the end about working in a writing collective, collaborative creation and editing, etc.

The idea of serious collaborative work is, to me, incredibly difficult to fathom. But at the same time, the sense of a writing community it must foster is really interesting. What do you guys think about the idea? I’m resistant to the idea of collaborative writing, but I think that’s partly a gut reaction. I’d love to talk about the benefits, pitfalls, reasons for and against.

Another interesting point that Bui brought up had to do with face-to-face work. He insisted that because his group is comprised of friends who meet and work in person, reading their work out loud as they go, their work is “warmer” than work being composed in communities rooted in digital communication. Do you think this is true? It seemed like an interesting point to dive into for our little group of writers, because we’re doing a little bit of both.

I hope you’re all enjoying fiction so far! If nothing else, the Wu Ming approach to writing is a good reminder that there is so much going on in the world of fiction-writing…


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