I'm really not one for imposing rules, but since I'm the one who inquired about them in the first place, FWIW, here are my tentave suggestions:
As a few of you know, my "writer" status is very new, so although I enjoy writing, I have never before participated in any sort of collatorated
As DontTreadOnMe mentioned a couple of posts up, she started a thread a few days ago. There were so many to choose from, but most of them were over a
year old it seemed. Also, I didn't (don't) have enough experience with collaboration to feel comfortable enough to jump into other people's
stories nearly a year later. Therefore, I chose the one that had just been started by DontTreadOnMe.
And yes, I have (and still am) enjoying working together on the story. However, for whatever reason, it hasn't been getting much attention, and I
can see where a story can eventually become stale, or stagnant, if there are only two people working on it, and they get to a point where neither one
really knows anymore where the story is going and/or how it should end up. (I wont say specifically whether or not that is the case on this
particular one), but I can see where there could easily be many threads started by someone with a good idea, then picked up by one with a totally
different direction in mind, they go back and forth, and really go nowhere.
If a story starts reading like that, it probably won't generate much interest for anyone new to want to add to it.
So, bearing that in mind, my thoughts in general on the subject of rules would probably go something like this:
1) I do not think that any writer should be "assigned" to any particular story, as each persons interests and areas of knowledge are different.
Writers ought to be allowed to choose which story (or stories) they wish to contribute to. I don't see any reason why a writer should be restricted
to working on only one story if they see or think of another one of interest at the same time. As long as it does not detract from their creativity
on each one.
2) There should not be a pre-determined number of people required to collaborate on a work of fiction, as that could be really debillitating(sp?) to
what could be a great story, if the story was never written due to the fact that the collaborators were lacking one person, or had one too many.
3) However, if a story has been going on for......?say maybe two? pages - something like that, and there are only two people working on it, or even
if there are more but the story isn't going anywhere, it is growing boring and is generating little or no interest, there should be an allowance for
an additional thread to the original, urging other writers to take a look at the story, and see if they would be interested in adding some new ideas.
(Something like that, I don't have exact wording). Then, if after a day, maybe two?, there is still no interest, the story should then be wrapped up
and brought to an end within no more than say.....4? more posts.
3a) Also along the lines of an extra thread, I like the idea of having one to go with each and every story, for the collaborators to come to some
sort of general concept of what they are striving for, and yes, all involved should be working toward a pre-determined ending. That still leaves
enough room during the writing of it, for it to take many twists and turns, as each writer sees fit.
4) Another thing, maybe if a story is going really well, is generating a lot of interest, and the people working on it are working well together,
pick up nicely where the other left off, etc... and they don't want any additional writers jumping in on that particular story, there should be
allowed for some sort of message at the front of the story, something to the effect that there no new openings for writers on that particular
4a) Or, vice versa. If the writers think they have a good story in the making, but feel that more input is needed, they ought to be able to preface
the title with something to the effect that the thread is open to other writers....
5) In looking at some of the other older stories in progress, occasionally, a story would be started, sound promising, then someone would jump in
with a sarcastic remark that has nothing to do with the story, perhaps a comment on a writers grammar or spelling, for instance, or something else
that adds nothing to the story. Then someone else, or perhaps the person being criticized will jump to reply to it with a retort. After a couple of
those type things, it becomes easy to forget what the story is really about.
Stuff like that seems to be very distracting, and any postings in the middle of any collaborative fiction in the works should be strictly prohibited.
It can really ruin a story, or at least cause readers to lose interest.
6) Most of all, though, other than the obvious - like following the same ediquette that is enforced in all the forums, The Rules and Regulations in
this Forum should be left mostly to the Writers themselves. As having too many rules to have to adhere to, in fear of being banned, losing writer
status, etc... I think would stiffle creativity quite a bit, and perhaps deter otherwise good writers from participating.
There is one rule in the general forum ediquette, though that seems kind of grey to me as far as belonging in collaborative fiction. That is the one
pertaining to anything illegal. As long as it is known that what is read in this particular forum is FICTION, it seems as if there is a serial
killer, a rapist, a stalker, etc.. for example who the story may revolve around, or there is a character with a drug problem, or any other instance
where a story is made interesting, or more interesting by having a "villian", or a charactor who does not abide by the law ought to be allowed, as
long as it is an interesting contribution to the story, and not just one random post. (I don't know, what do others think?)
Most of these are just sort of general, and any revisions would be welcomed. Although, I do feel rather strongly about #5, dealing with people making
disruptive posts that contribute absolutely nothing to the story.
So, there's my two cents.
[edit on 3/1/2005 by CyberKat]