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Journal Cliff's Journal: Collaborative JE Fiction 9

OK, Sam -- here we go! A while ago, I was impressed by RDewald and a piece of off-the-cuff fiction and it reminded me of an old excercise that I used to engage in from my BBS days:

Collaborative Fiction

So I was wondering who would be interested in such an experiment, here on Slashdot, in our journals?

The way I was thinking about doing it is this. We'll try a short story, for a test. If we like doing it, we can try and get more ambitious until we get bored with it. I have a few guidelines to start us off, and am welcoming suggestions from those who are interested.

First off, the list of guidelines, I've thought of:
  • As stated, let's start off with a short story to see how well this works. Depending on the number of participants, we'll do [n] chapters of [n] parts, where [n] is the number of participants. If we get a large number of folks interested in this, we'll limit the number of chapters to 5-10 -- whatever you guys decide.
  • Anything goes in the genre. It will be interesting to see how it starts and how well some of us can weave our characters together into a cohesive plot.
  • Anything goes with your own characters. Treat them as you see fit, however no writing out someone else's characters. You can back them into a wall, but leave the owner a way out (and we're all friends here -- I hope -- so in the interest of drama, if you write a cliffhanger, please communicate with the character owner your intent). Characters whom their creators wash their hands of are free game.
  • We can lay out the story chapters in several different ways. For consistency, however, each part from each different participant will start off as a comment in the journal that starts each chapter. As each part is fleshed out and adjusted in the comments, the JE entry that holds the chapter will be updated with the new text.
  • Chapters can appear here, or we can alternate who starts what chapter among the participants in the comments attached to the previous chapter.
  • Let's get the arrangement and clarifications out of the way, first, before we officially start writing anything.
  • I would have liked to open this up to everyone, but in the interest of focus, I've marked this journal as "Friends and FoFs" -- this will probably be the recommended setting for each chapter unless the majority of you feel differently.

That's all I can think of right now. Let the discussion begin. I'll update this JE with suggestions, ideas and conclusions that get hashed out in the discussion.

Have at it, everyone! :D

So far so good, 3 people have expressed interest:

  • johndiii
  • SamTheButcher
  • Em Emalb
This discussion was created by Cliff (4114) for Friends and Friends of Friends only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Collaborative JE Fiction

Comments Filter:
  • (thanks for the FoF thing) What sort of time frame did you have in mind for completing a chapter? I assume one thread for each individual's part, with comments and perhaps revisions. Do you have any notion of how long a chapter would be? From my concept of a short story, one could be finished in a single JE.

    Could be a lot of fun.
    • Timeframes: Well, that's one thing I was hoping to get feedback on. I think we could go as long as one week for each person to get their chapter in. This, of course, depends on the amount of participation we have. As the number of writers increase, chapter time would have to be increased as well, quite possibly, dramatically.

      If we had a pool of 5 people, we probably wouldn't need more than 2 days per chapter, however if we double that, we'd probably need a week. Double THAT, and it would probably turn in
      • Sounds good, in terms of timeframe. For a beginning, it might be better to go for the one week time frame, and fit the group to that. The duration would probably decrease, as people become more familiar with the process.

        I assumed that each person would participate in each chapter, based on the theme of the chapter originator. It might be good to start with a strict sequence for contributors (though trading could be allowed). Opt-out is a good idea, given the volatility of schedules. If it were to
        • If people want to work by deadlines, I'm more than happy to oblige. That's one of the things I wanted to hash out. So let's be clear:

          If you are interested, and have ideas on time frames and length, let your voice be heard! Nothing is set in stone, yet.

          Each participant has the option to participate in whatever chapter they want. They also have the option to not be heard. Sometimes, pacing of characters doesn't have to be fast. This gives people the chance to write at their own pace, as the story develo
          • Wow...you're really talking about collaborative! I guess I had in mind more of just like a serial fiction, a new chapter in each JE or something, but this is a cool idea. I don't know if I have any comments about the time frame - except that, well, two weeks almost seems about right to give people a chance to comment fully and work it all out. Even so, that's 26 chapters in a year, enough for a book. You could even do a follow-up JE for extra comments after the two week period, while the new chapter is bein
  • by rdewald ( 229443 ) *
    RDeWald (note the W) rubs the sleep out of his eyes and shuffles through the growing pile of papers on his desk looking for Cliff's Notes. The hookers had read them to him the night before, but that was before the unfortunate situation with the agave plant.

    The Ellen Degeneres Show was blaring from the TV, so before anything else could happen he had to find the remote. He finds it, the racket ceases. There might be a God after all.

    The car would be by to take him to the airport any minute. He was defini
    • by Cliff ( 4114 ) *
      Thanks for my first laugh of the day, man.

      So was wondering if the suggestions put forth so far will work for you. If you have criticisms and other suggestions, please put them forth.

      That's assuming you ever find those notes. Did you check your suitcase? Hope those end up in the same place you do. Airports are a bitch.

      BTW - Why are you sweating the mustard. Doesn't everyone have a bottle of Grey Poupon in their dashboards, these days?

      • I've never done collaborative fiction, so I have no idea what is a good idea and what isn't. I say we treat it like a midnight visit to a swimmin' hole, lets take off overthing we don't want wet and jump in.

        "Special mustard" in parts of Thailand is code that English-speaking ex-pats use for methamphetamine. R paid for it but didn't get any of it (R is a recurring character in my fiction). The hookers got high enough to keep working all night off of his dime. No big deal, it's just humiliating for R to

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.