Anyone who follows me on Instagram will have seen the hashtag #theglassmarionette pop up now and again over the past few months. Quite possibly to accompany some pretty weird-arse hand-drawn diagrams or screen shots.
Today the mystery of #theglassmarionette is unveiled.
The Glass Marionette is my latest online collaborative writing project, partnering this time ’round with my old friend and writing compatriot, Rus Vanwestervelt. We worked together on the Write Anything website back in the day, and Rus has written for Literary Mix Tapes. We’ve also been working with Adam on another collaborative venture, but The Glass Marionette is our literary baby.
When strangers, Will and Wainwright, meet face-to-face in a gas station at dawn, they realise their shared nightmare is something more insidious than a bad trip. Wainwright is trying to find his missing friend. Will is in hiding from his dead girlfriend and their angry lover. Meeting in reality might be their first step at making peace with the past. Or their last.
~ The Glass Marionette, blurb
We have been brainstorming, writing and project hashing since mid-June and this week we share a two part Q&A session, as a prelude to releasing the first weekly installment next week. The first part of the Q&A goes live today with the second part live on Friday.
The weekly installments will be approximately 1500 words, very raw and mostly uncut. It is unlike anything I’ve written. It puts the capital W in weird. It also knocks out the ballpark any of the big concept ideas I’ve experimented with in the past. A big shout out and thank you to Dave Versace who rose to the challenge of being our puppetmaster and master prompt creator.
The Glass Marionette is a metaphysical, time travel serial that pushes the boundaries of collaborative writing and the expectations of narrative and structure. It is the literary equivalent of a trust fall.
Based on the premise of ‘the unreliable narrative’ and built on ten randomly deployed writing prompts that effectively disable the authors’ abilities to direct the narrative, the serial is an experiment in writing blind and on the edge, and how to do both when fundamental control is handed over to a third party beyond the writing partnership.
The journey of Will and Wainwright seeks to answer the question: with every means at your disposal, is it possible to fix the past and dissolve one’s regrets?
~ The Glass Marionette, project description
I’ve always found my resurrection in writing through collaboration and this time is no different. While I don’t want to make a habit of getting up at 2am to write because the story is so far under skin I can’t sleep, it feels good to be writing again. It’s actually a relief to find I am still capable of writing after so much time away from the page, between physical and mental health issues, family and personal upheavals over the past few years. I’m excited to be able to publicly share my fiction again.
Rus is absolutely writing at the top of his game at the moment. It was always going to be a joy to collaborate with him, but he’s pushed me to excel and to embrace writing dangerously again.
I hope you’ll join us, as we share with you the most unconventional of web serials over the next few months.