posted on Mar, 17 2006 @ 10:15 PM
Please don’t go yet…
I know now that it seems like you are having fun… but at the beginning of this thread you asked some very serious questions:
“Do we have a goal? Do we have a reason for being? Is there an objective to our existence?
WHAT THE HELL IS IT???????”
I think a lot of folks feel the same way… the ol’ Now What Do We Do? syndrome…
So I have an equally serious question for you (and everybody else)
Just what the hell IS collaborative fiction??
When I saw the phrase ‘collaborative fiction’ the First thing that popped into my head was the collective works of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell.
Here’s a couple of guys who have collaborated on a lotta books.
Only gig is, they do it for a buck. They work Together, from page one to page the end. They hammer out plot outlines, they make up character
profiles, they graph the curve of the story, they toss ideas back and forth long before putting pen to paper. Each focuses on his own personal
specialty… one doing the science, the other doing the color… They spend a year or two bumping butts in a cramped office before finally sending the
thing off to the editor…
But I don’t really see that happening here (at least not yet… is that the way folks wanna go?)
So, when I didn’t see that happening the next thing that popped into my pointy little head was the Thieves World books (edited by Robert Lynn Asprin
and Lynn Abby) I know the concept has taken off into games and comics and cartoons and what nots, but Way Back When it was just a book based on a (at
the time) Crazy Idea.
If you guys are not familiar with the Crazy Idea, it went something like this:
Way Back When a buncha fantasy/sci-fi writers were at a convention. They wanted to collaborate on something, but schedules and geographic locations
wouldn’t allow it (pre-internet) thus the Crazy Idea was born.
Someone would create a physical environment for a story to take place in. Politics, religion, economy, science/magic, technology, all the basics of a
background. This blank stage background would be sent to all participants, who would then think of some type of character they would like to write
about that would inhabit such a fantasy stage.
Writers then send their character sheets to the head honcho, who in turn redistributes all of the character sheets to all of the writers.
Now all of the writers have the cast of characters and the locations, we are free to use any and all of it as we see fit with one exception- - - you
can’t kill off a character that isn’t your own (or turn them into a toad forever or whatever) without permission from the owner of said
Also, the goal is not to create a seamless novel, but rather a collection of individual stories that would stand fine by themselves, but tie together
rather seamlessly due to the nature of the common world they all share.
The first book was good. The second book was even better because now all of the writers had even More information about the various characters and
the world they all lived in (OH, so THAT’S what the Street of Red Lanterns looks like… ya, sure, I had it on my map, but you really painted a good
picture of that, okay… or OH, you mean your witch character is Really a cute young woman and Not a hunched up ugly old hag? Okay, I see, ya, you
bet my character is gonna fall for her charms… and so on)
That type of collaboration seems very doable in this type of environment, and perhaps could even generate some profitable results… who knows?
I know that playing word tag, the ol’ one person writes a paragraph, then another person writes another paragraph, and so on, without any
communication behind the scenes, no plot outline or commonality is a Great Exercise and can be tons o’ fun, but nine times out of ten it degenerates
into a chaotic, meaningless mess.
I, for one, am tickled pink to have had the title of Writer bestowed upon me. It is not something I take lightly, nor am I going to allow it to
become a ‘meaningless’ title.
Like you said, Mr.Wupy, it’s up to us.
I’m willing to wager we can make this The Most Viewed forum in internet history.
we can just slink around being Bohemians, bussing tables during the day, sitting in sleazy bars at night, telling anybody drunk enough to listen that
“ya, I’m a Writer”