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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Aug 2018

    Default Writing collab anyone?

    One thing I've always wanted to do was take part in a writing project where each person takes a turn telling a larger story. We basically just go in a predetermined cycle each of use contributing x amount of words as per a prearranged number. Anyone interested? What's a good number of people for this proposed project? Five, six, or seven? I want it to be diverse but also not have too many chefs in the kitchen as the idiom goes. And in the spirit of selflessness I'll even go last in the writing cycle so it doesn't seem like this is my project you all are forced to work on.

    Please comment if you are interested. I'll update this original post as people express interest. I do think we need to discuss some ground rules like what genre should the story be, how many words per entry, how/when it is okay to introduce a character, have a character leave the story (even if temporary), or even kill a character - I'd be upset if someone else just axed a character I put so much thought into. You know, just basic ground rules.

    Who's in?

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    An Enemy Spy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Writing collab anyone?

    I'd be interested.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Aug 2018

    Default Re: Writing collab anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by An Enemy Spy View Post
    I'd be interested.
    Yay! Interest! Hopefully we get at least one more (though two or three more would be best) otherwise this is gonna be very limited.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

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    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Writing collab anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Hat View Post
    One thing I've always wanted to do was take part in a writing project where each person takes a turn telling a larger story. We basically just go in a predetermined cycle each of use contributing x amount of words as per a prearranged number. Anyone interested? What's a good number of people for this proposed project? Five, six, or seven? I want it to be diverse but also not have too many chefs in the kitchen as the idiom goes. And in the spirit of selflessness I'll even go last in the writing cycle so it doesn't seem like this is my project you all are forced to work on.

    Please comment if you are interested. I'll update this original post as people express interest. I do think we need to discuss some ground rules like what genre should the story be, how many words per entry, how/when it is okay to introduce a character, have a character leave the story (even if temporary), or even kill a character - I'd be upset if someone else just axed a character I put so much thought into. You know, just basic ground rules.

    Who's in?
    What makes this distinct from a play-by-post roleplay? What are the advantages you see in dividing the workload in a per-period way rather than a per-character way?
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Jan 2019

    Default Re: Writing collab anyone?

    I feel like with the rules you've set up it kinda reaches a point where you'd need so much collaboration and plotting that it would basically just be everyone is involved in every bit, instead of each person makes each part

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Aug 2018

    Default Re: Writing collab anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    What makes this distinct from a play-by-post roleplay? What are the advantages you see in dividing the workload in a per-period way rather than a per-character way?
    I think just the intimacy and connection everyone would feel more committed to seeing it through. And it doesn't have to be a per-period as opposed to per-character. I mean I am open to suggestions. Would these changes make you more likely to join?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgana View Post
    I feel like with the rules you've set up it kinda reaches a point where you'd need so much collaboration and plotting that it would basically just be everyone is involved in every bit, instead of each person makes each part
    Again these are just suggestions I'm making. Nothing is set in stone. If the attitude is just everyone okay with people doing whatever than fine. I was just worried some people might be mad if a character they created died.

    Again (to anyone interested in joining) I'm open to suggestions to improve this.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Archmage in the Playground Moderator
     
    truemane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Writing collab anyone?

    I've done this sort of thing before and I think the best format would be something like a series of short stories surrounding a central theme or plot or cast of characters. Like, maybe a monarch assembles a couple of strike teams to go deal with something and we all take turns telling what our particular participants did and got done. And maybe each story impacts the world in such a way that the next writer has to take it into consideration.

    I think that everyone telling the same story, sequentially, is less effective.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

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    Default Re: Writing collab anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Hat View Post
    I think just the intimacy and connection everyone would feel more committed to seeing it through. And it doesn't have to be a per-period as opposed to per-character. I mean I am open to suggestions. Would these changes make you more likely to join?
    So my understanding of the situation is:
    - You want to organize an unknown number of people to write an unknown story of unknown length, the sale and distribution rights to which will then belong to [unknown].
    - Due to different people working on different chronological segments of the story there will be distinctive and dramatic jumps in style, mood and tone.
    - Due to different people working on different chronological segments of the story there will be situations where multiple people are waiting on one person to continue, rather than everyone working on their own bit simultaneously.
    - There is no clear mechanism by which disputes will be resolved or overhead will be established
    - You do not have any track record of either writing or team management.

    See, this kind of stuff turns me off a bunch because this kind of shared story-telling is exactly what I do. I take it really seriously and invest a huge amount of effort in doing it well. A huge amount of it, though, probably the biggest amount of it is all about establishing trust. When I'm running a game in a low trust environment with people I don't know I need to expect that the game is going to fizzle three pages in because everyone ghosts the project. When I'm running a game in a high trust environment I can put my heart and soul on full display because I am confident I'll get to carry it all the way to it's conclusion, and that's where the real magic is.

    I respect, really I do, the desire to get straight to that level of intimacy and connection. That's the endgame of collaborative writing on the internet and it's really hard to build up from nothing. Whenever I try to do it with the general public I feel like Mister Burns chortling about how there's no way that nine disasters will befall my star baseball team this time!

    So my take is that this proposal is kind of like a PBP game on hard mode. You're trying to gather a group of skilled, co-operative, self-motivated writers and those people are one-in-a-million diamonds, you're asking them to do a bunch of solo writing which is hard, and you're asking them to do it in the context of a product that might theoretically go up for sale one day if everything goes perfectly. I could maybe pull this pitch off with my best and closest friends who I've known for a decade but I've seen enough games with the general public burn out that I'd never imagine this could get past the first write cycle - if that.

    So I'm sympathetic, but not interested. But I can help out in other ways! I can point you at some cool things I do and add you to my mental roster of people to try out and invite to things in the future and if you're one of those diamonds I talked about then you'll quickly get sucked into a group of fun and creative people who write stories together all the time
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2019-09-09 at 11:20 PM.
    Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give us death. Eternal vigilance is the price of duty and to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what our country can do, only regret that we have but one life to live.

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