Belgian author Nicolas Ancion wrote half a novel without stopping and received feedback from readers within 12 hours in Hanoi on Thursday, and will finish the book in another 12 hours next Tuesday in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ancion, 43, is currently on a visit to Vietnam from Wednesday to October 1.
From 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on Thursday at L’Espace Café (24 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District), the writer wrote non-stop and shared half of his novel, the Vietnamese title of which is “Con Hoang Loan Thoang Qua” (roughly translated as “A Passing Panic Bout”).
Part of the work, written in French, was immediately translated into Vietnamese and published on the website of Nha Nam Publisher, the co-organizer of Ancion’s trip.
He will continue with the other half of his novel non-stop within 12 hours in Ho Chi Minh City next Tuesday, September 30.
Ancion wrote a novel in public in 24 hours during the Brussels Book Fair in March 2010, and in New York in 2013.
The book he wrote in New York, titled “New York 24h,” was later made into a textbook for American students learning French.
Ancion said that he plans to write five books within 24 hours each in five different continents.
He then decided to perform the literary challenge during this trip to Vietnam to introduce his book “Quatrieme Etage” (Fourth Floor), which had recently been translated and published by Nha Nam Publisher.
“I had a Vietnamese childhood friend and learned a lot from Vietnam through that friend. In my opinion, writing a novel within 24 hours is just like having a dream, as we never know what we’re going to dream of before going to sleep. I always portray the cities and people in my works, and that’s what my book in Vietnam will be about,” the Belgian author shared.
He added that while writing non-stop, he has always received readers’ feedback, which he may act on, or go against, to create surprises.
“To my mind, just like with painting, it doesn’t matter if we write a novel in several years or only one day. I wrote a book in 10 years, but discontinued it as I found its content unsatisfactory,” he noted.
He is set to hold a workshop on short story writing today, September 26, at the National Library of Vietnam, where he will share his experiences with Vietnamese university students.
He will also join a talk addressing the role of literature in today’s world at the “Ha Noi – Thanh Pho Vi Hoa Binh” (Hanoi – The City of Peace) Book Fair tomorrow, September 27.
The book fair is running from today to October 2 at 12 Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.
The author will also partake in exchanges with students at universities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Ancion has won several prizes during his career as a playwright and writer.
He regularly uses the Internet to share his writing live.
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