17Feb

Remix Project

To all aspiring writers: an idea, an experiment.

Music gets remixed all the time, where an original track is altered by someone else. The new version can enhance that original piece, or sometimes tarnish it – but, mostly, something interesting is produced.

Does the same work for literature? Is it simply re-writing? Who knows.

So here’s the deal.

If I posted a short story on this blog (one which I wrote for online magic realism e-zine Serendipity – sadly no longer publishing), it would be on offer to be remixed. Do what the hell you want to it. Write more, hack it apart, rearrange it. It would be your remix, and I’d post the mixes on this blog, with full credit, links to your site, and under some variant of the Creative Commons license.

I’m ultimately not interested in the original piece or its merits (or lack thereof), but I would be interested to see if a piece of literature could successfully be remixed.

Please do share this post around – the more people who get involved or show interest, the better for the experiment. I wouldn’t even expect results from people soon, because it’s a long-term idea. But, if it dies a death, then so be it.

Oh, and I’d love to take the credit, but a certain C. Miéville spawned this concept in the Pan Macmillan cottage whilst at the SFX Weekender, and so I thought I’d at least generate the discussion to see if people would be interested in this kind of thing.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

24 comments

  1. Awesome idea, Mark (China), I’d definitely like to give it a shot! It would tie in nicely with the Creative Writing Course I’m doing at the moment. 🙂

  2. That’s an excellent idea.

  3. Sounds like it would be very enjoyable to read… I’m following 🙂

  4. I’d definitely like to give it a/
    excellent idea./
    it would be very enjoyable to/
    count me in

    (practicing my remixing)
    (sigh)

  5. Isn’t that what an editor does? Kinda…? 😛

    Sounds very cool. I shall keep an eye on this one.

  6. Thanks, guys. Feel free to spread the word.

    Laurie – well, it depends on how bad the writer is in the first place. 🙂 But in this case it could be a total deconstruction, mutating the story in whatever way the writer thinks best. Or indeed, a simple rewrite.

  7. I see this as a challenge to see just how much I can bastardise it and still retain the spirit of the original. Count me in!

  8. I’m a relative newcomer to your blog, but happy I found it before this post.

    Love this idea! Count me in.

  9. Cool. I’m curious to see what will happen.
    Is this not similar to fan fiction? For that matter, how is it that the concept of fan fiction hasn’t made it into any of the epic online reviewer/writer debates we get around these parts? Or is fanfic just too plebian??

  10. Glad to have you aboard, D.J. Morel.

    Nette: I don’t think it’s similar – this is taking a piece that’s already written, whereas fan fiction is a kind of unofficial tie-in fiction.

    It’s an interesting point you raise though. Fan fic has a bad rep, but why is that? More thought required, I think…

  11. Fan Fiction sucks for the same reason Youtube comment threads suck.

    I’m interested.

  12. This concept of remixing is common in a lot visual art projects. And people creating (better known as authors) literature, seems to be troubled to use and change text that has an ownership. I think it is a great idea, even if originally it is China idea ;=). I guess from the each remix the original story will vanish and several more stories will emerge.

  13. So is this this NaNo ReMo? 🙂

  14. I’d definitely be interested. Bring it on!

  15. Nate: what if any established author wrote unofficial fan fic? What if, say, Joe Abercrombie wrote Twilight slash fic? (I know he’s watching somewhere…) 🙂

    Den: Get your coat – no dodgy branding!

  16. brilliant idea guys, I won’t take part but I will definately put something up about this. 🙂

  17. Sounds fun. I’m in, depending on the story 😉

  18. Interesting that someone brought up fanfic, since the idea of remixing a story has been around in fanfic since 2003.