Today’s big idea…

February 7, 2008

… is a collaborative fiction web. The idea is to create many different stories starting from the same point. If you don’t like the ending… write a new one. If you can see where the author’s abandoned an interesting plot twist… you can pick it up.

In principle, the web can grow in depth and in breadth as far as it likes – I imagine there’ll be a lot of abandoned threads and false starts that nobody picks up, but maybe there’ll be one or two viable novels that come out of the process. If nothing else, it can be a repository for stories that started but went nowhere, giving other people a chance to take over.

I’ve been thinking mainly about the implementation so far (for an experienced PHP dude, it would be straightforward, but there are a few quirks that I need to iron out myself) and a little about the rules. So far, I’ve got:

  • write your own work
  • release work under CC (by-sa)
  • play nicely
  • keep it as clean as is reasonable
  • 400-600 words per thread

Anything else I ought to include in the rules list? I was thinking of setting the ball rolling by posting my NaNo stories in 500-word chunks.

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2 Responses to “Today’s big idea…”

  1. The_Farwall Says:

    I actually drew up various plans and designs for a web-site supporting this kind of thing when I was back-packing after graduation. I’ve got half a notepad’s worth of not particularly well thought-out idea and did make a couple of starts on the PHP for it at one point. I got a little ambitious and decided what I’d like to program was some kind of site framework that could be used for collaborative, chapter-based stuff in any media (text, comics, audio etc) so have a lot of unnecessary bits about how working groups could be managed and served with services etc. Still it’d be certainly be something fun to try, also strikes me as the kind of thing that James could throw together in a matter of days, if I remember rightly he wrote a wiki framework for his final project that’d probably serve the purpose without much modification.

    Did you ever do anything with this?

  2. kensson Says:

    I did put something basic together, but never publicised it much and it fell off the web. I think the basics would be at most a few hours of work to recreate, and there’s no reason it couldn’t extend to graphics, audio, video.

    The hard bit is building a community that uses it.


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