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TechnoGoth

Collective Writing

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This doesn''t really have anything to do with game writing but writing in general. I''m curious if there and sites out there that have the frame work to create a collectivily written world. The idea is to create body of work witten by fans for fans. The world would start with a few pieces of work. But then anyone could submitted a piecce of work using on existing characters or based on the world. does anyone know if one these exists already or would be interested in one participating? I was thinking of near future distopian world. With powerful Corporations control whole countries like fedual lords. People with special powers are pushed to the fringes of society and hunted by those in power. ----------------------------------------------------- Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades Current Design project Chaos Factor Design Document

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I don't know whether it's been done before, but it sounds to me like the sort of thing that would have to be closely regulated to prevent the world from being filled with Golden Children and Heroes of Destiny who have no characteristics other than "superhuman fighting skills and decades of ninja training".

Aren't there MUD's out there with this element? I'm sure I heard about games where players build "rooms" for themselves. Hmm...

edit: I can't believe I spelled "ninja" wrong.

[edited by - Iron Chef Carnage on November 11, 2003 10:57:07 PM]

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Thats a tough one, either there would be have to be an approval process or free form.

The site would probably require Moderators to read over work to ensure that its not offensive or meets a certain standared. As well I think it would be a good idea to allow the creators of characters to decieded wether or not they want to approve anywork using those characters.

But overall I think it would work best free form with users submitting whatever work they create. That would create a more vibrante and fleshed out world.

Having the approval process would also be good to ensure quality, but time consuming on behalf of the approvers as well as I don''t want them to be editors, if there are to many typos then the story could be returned for editing, but I don''t want to regulate content.

Afterall in a sense its the mantra behind the idea would be "By Fans for Fans"

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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There are lots of groups that have people roleplay in a fanfiction or crossover fanfiction world. There are other groups where people simply idolize a single character and all write stories about him and read and review each others'' stories. (They draw fanart too). There are sites where the group collects fanfiction from one or many series and provides readers a system for commenting on each others'' work - these don''t have as much of a community closeness as the other types of groups, but they have some.

But you want something more like Elfquest: Blood of Ten Chiefs or the Man-Kzin Wars, yes? Only they are online. The only one of these I know of is the Keyfiction Archive, but I''m sure there are more out there somewhere. Is it important to you that the group is or is not oriented toward collecting and publishing the stories from their collaborative world?

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Now, you call it "collective writing". Will there just be one story produced? If there''s just one final product, then participants could all submit a chapter, and then the population at large would vote on what should happen next. It removes the risk of every story ending with "Then the d00d is rilly a chich and gets out hre b00bz and all teh guys are like OMG!!!! WTF!!!!! and then the werld totally explodes! And skeletor''s like PWNED!!!!"

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Ya thats kind of what I'm going for. It would be a place for people to share work based on the created world. It would be an entirely online endevour. It would act as a place for authors that create work based on the world to show case their work. For people to read and enjoy.

There would be more then just one story, there would hopefully be many stories, who knows if got popluar enough there could be hundreds of stories making up the world. As well as art work, and maybe even a pen and paper roleplaying game.


"Then the d00d is rilly a chich and gets out hre b00bz and all teh guys are like OMG!!!! WTF!!!!! and then the werld totally explodes! And skeletor's like PWNED!!!!"

I would hope that no one would go to the trouble to write a story like that. Thats just to horrible to comprehend an entire story written like that, its just wrong. I don't know of single person who writes like that although I've only scanned a few sites where people submit there own writting. But I guess thats why moderators would be needed to read over everything submitted before it was put online...

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I'm a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document



[edited by - TechnoGoth on November 11, 2003 12:09:46 AM]

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See, I misunderstood your idea. I thought it would be a single, free-form storyline with multiple authors, like when stories are told a sentence at a time around the campfire. Those stories aways wind up being about farts, because that one kid who can''t come up with a good idea covers it up with vulgarity. Like the Fox network. *rimshot*

What you are describing is a dynamic universe that is created through a library of fan fiction. I like the idea, but it''s important to have a solid foundation for it. If fanfic is the only source of world elements, you''re going to have a world filled with everything that''s ever been cool anywhere else. You''ll have elves and spaceships and magic and lever-action Wnchester rifles and three suns and flappy coats and about a thousand people pulling destinies from the same eight mangas. You need a kernel of solid world on which to build.

Your dystopian future is very, very good. It allows for all manner of technology and still leaves room for super powers. You have a built-in conflict between the corporate jerks and the exile freaks, and millions of people can conceivably be caught in the middle. Excellent. Rip-off candidates include Blade Runner, Shadowrun, Akira, X-Men, Rollerball, Soylent Green, Citizen Kane, Fahrenheit 451, and scores of others. Kudos.

I advise you to either personally construct or carefully solicit construction of the first few pieces. Define big names and forces, explain the nature of the feudal corporations and "special powers". Then cut fans loose.

If this winds up happening online, post a link here so we can see how it pans out for you.

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scifi.com (the website of the Sci-Fi Channel) used to have a site where they would start a story, then you could submit another chapter (perhaps a printed page) to the story. Someone else could either submit to the premade, first chapter, or add on to yours. This would continue until you had a system like this:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 2
Ch. 3 Ch. 3 Ch. 3|Ch. 3 Ch. 3|Ch. 3 Ch. 3 Ch. 3
Etc.

It was quite a fun site, and there were perhaps five or more full stories going like this at once.

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Iron Chef Carnage:

Thats what I'm going for, I'll most likely write the first seed stories and then from those hopefully the world will begin to grow.

The main complication at present other then time. Is my lack web program skills. For instance I don't even know what php is...

I'm really not sure how to go about setting the website up. Other then turning the submissions into html pages and using a system where the person emails me their work.


But I think that will work for now.



-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I'm a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document



[edited by - TechnoGoth on November 15, 2003 6:20:25 PM]

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I don''t have a lot of experience with this sort of thing, so maybe this problem has been addressed before, but the issue I foresee is organization. I think your plan of getting submissions via e-mail is going to be insanely labor-intensive, but it offers a unique opportunity to organize. You''ll have to see how that works out.

Here''s what I think the project should look like. Feel free to totally disregard my suggestions.

On a given page, the selected "chapter" should be shown, in simple, easy-to-read text. Above it (or perhaps in a side frame) should be the path taken to get there, much like the little path at the top of this forum that says "GameDev.Net Forums > Game Writing > Collective Writing".

The titles of the chapters should somehow relate to the central event or condition they are focussed on, like "Jimmy''s bleeding" or "The bus crashes" so that the little map can be read as a sort of summary of the story thus far, e.g. "Corporate Espionage > Jaina, the Best Hacker in the Resistance > Jaina''s Mission > The Opposition > Getting In > A Clever Disguise > Enemy HQ > Central Control > Glitch in the System > Mission Accomplished > Captured! > Escape" and then the story is about tunnel-digging or keycard stealing or something.

At the bottom, the stories that have been submitted as sequels to this could be listed, with characteristically descriptive titles and perhaps a small summary or sales pitch by the author.

Obviously, that would be kind of a pain to build manually for each page, but if you could get some training or help with coding or maybe find a similar system in the world that you can use, it would be sweet.

On a side note, you may want to consider letting authors "lock" their submissions against further sequels. I was just thinking that it could suck to have a story with four or five denouments. Just a thought.

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