I am STILL laughing over here about this link. Do you ever get writer’s block? Does it hit so hard that you can’t even move your fingers to type? All you need to do is click this link and dial 911 Writers Block for emergency expert assistance.
The link is to a site hosted by WEBook, an online book publishing company. WEBook claims to do for the writing industry what American Idol did for music, although jury is still out on whether that is a benefit or a drawback. WEBook bills itself as a collaborative creative writing community tasked to assist one another with producing written material for publication. Thus, WEBook resides at the intersection of blogging, social networking and book publishing. The heart of the site is the ability to start a writing project online, invite co-authors to help and solicit feedback from the community. Once the manuscript is submitted, the WEBook committee will vote on it (hence the American Idol reference).
WEBook has produced one collaborative novel: Pandora, which has 17 authors. I am not sure about the intellectual property issues surrounding such an effort and I am certain that lots of interesting legal questions will arise, but those questions are for a later date and a different post.
Back to the hotline: 911 Writers Block is found in the Toolbox link. The graphic shows a payphone keypad. You enter a number from the directory to access a particular writing element or directive: settings; characters; dramatic effect; dialogue; commiserate; verbs; calisthenics; kill a character; and, endings. The final number, 0, will hook you to a member of the WEBook community for further help.
I, of course, had to try this. Selecting 2 for characters yielded this:
Business owner and amateur pool shark Larry has hired a team of contractors to remodel his home library. Every book he owns tells him how to be better at something he already does well.
Pressing 3 for dramatic entrances brought back memories of President Bush and the shoe-throwing reporter:
An attic room. A man sits at his desk, staring at a blank sheet of paper. A red patent-leather stiletto flies through the open window and lands on the floor with a thud.
Finally, I couldn’t resist the temptation of killing off a character, which gave me the following cryptic clause:
Deep vein thrombosis on a 22-hour flight to Mumbai
Although there appears to be no real limitation on the types of writing projects that can be started, I am not convinced this is the best venue for writing a legal tome. And I don’t think that the 911 Writers Block tool will directly assist you in preparing a brief or motion. Nonetheless, if you find yourself stumped and blocked while engaging in your legal writing project, a quick trip to 911 Writers Block might get you laughing hard enough to fire up some neurons and recharge your pen!