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Shadowcrunch
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PostSubject: CCW   Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:27 am

Been wanting to do this for a while now. CCW: Collaborative Creative Writing. Recently occurred to me that a forum would be an awesome place to do this! Here's what I'm thinking: we all have stories, real and imagined. We even have snippets of stories...maybe we have beginnings, or endings, or middles...maybe just characters. Maybe we just want to throw something out there for the sake of inspiration. I myself have a couple ideas that have been nagging at the edges of my mind, and I have beginnings, and middles, and endings...but I also have the feeling that what I have in mind isn't the right way things should go for my characters. I plan to start one of my little ideas, and finish at a certain point, and leave it open to interpretation and continuation by anybody here. Then I will jump back in, then leave it open, and so forth.

BIG thing is coherence. We have these ideas, and we want them to follow a certain pre-determined pattern. So I'm setting some rules. If you want to try this, make your topic Title start with 'CCW:' and make your first line contain your genre and/or vibe. Example: Serious, sci-fi, psychological. If someone posts a continuation that doesn't fit your first line, ask them to change it. If they don't, report that post, and it will be removed forcibly. Let's actually try doing a serious creation thing here! Also, to that end, this about the creation aspect, NOT the writing. Don't nitpick spelling, or grammar, or punctuation, or style. I know I try to do a good job with these, but I also know I can't type for crap after 2 AM, but I also get creative flow after 2AM... Go with the story, not the mechanics.

Last thing, if you're looking for inspiration just to get started, one of my old favorites is the random generator website Seventh_Sanctum. It has random generator for anything from characters to names to entire basic plot ideas! Very cool! Hell, I've even thought about using their plot generators solely as a way to get some creative writing things happening. If this works out...

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PostSubject: Re: CCW   Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:42 am

Two more things. Time is time. Doesn't forgive, doesn't stop, doesn't even slow down. If you decide to start a story or continue someone else's, don't feel like you have to write a whole bunch. Maybe you're addition to a story only needs to be one sentence to get your point across, or maybe your own story beginning only has to be one paragraph to set the stage...be creative how you want, just make sure you stick to the vibe created by yourself or another author.

Also, if you take a direct random plot from Seventh Sanctum, please include that in your opening line with your vibe/genre so we all know exactly what the target idea might be. Thanks, and happy writing!

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PostSubject: Re: CCW   Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:25 pm

This is in response to an email received by me, put here so all may know of my thoughts...

For many years, I was part of a different forum involving conspiracies and parascience type stuff, which I shall simply refer to as ATS; one of the thread categories they had was writing, where they too had collective writing groups. Let me tell you, it got confusing.

Someone writes a part, and it would sit for a while before someone else wrote... however, on several occasions, several people wrote a response portion at the same time, followed by sequels and, sometimes, responses to the original posting; it would degenerate, with continuity and flow falling away.

People got around this by adding "in response to {enter name here}, part number {enter number here}." To me, that just robbed what was being done, as you still had a variety of additional responses, and additional writers responding to what they wanted to, not by what was already done sequentially.

So, what I propose is this: For every CCW being done, there should be a companion thread, named after the CCW in question, with also the words layout or plan or something to indicate that it isn't the story. Sticky it, make it a must read before posting in the CCW.

Within this additional thread, it should contain (within the original post) what general premise of the story... much like what shadowcrunch had done by listing the genres and stuff he wanted to touch upon. No more than that. This thread should also ask who wants to be involved.

Those who wish to be involved in the writing should respond in a reply proclaiming that they will actively participate in the story. Furthermore, those same people should update their intentions with future responses to let all others know if they are dropping from the project, or if they would be taking a temporary hiatus. I say this because I know of at least one of us who tends to travel about the country due to work; I know not what his free time is like, but if he feels that he would not be able to respond to a tale in progress, then he could easily let us know ahead of time so that the project may continue in his absence. Naturally, when something like that occurs, he can respond by saying he has returned, and will be resuming the project.

As far as the order in which things should be written... I would love to say that anyone at anytime could add something. If shadowcrunch is poster 1, and I respond, we shouldn't have to wait for a third person, that shadowcrunch could jump in and make post number 3. BUT, what happens if two people submit something at the same time? Then we fall into the trap of having multiple storylines and alternate versions. So, even though it goes against the natural wanting of creativity, I say that we go in a round-robin approach.

Go back to the idea of having a companion thread detailing the CCW. The original poster would make the very first story entry, followed by the first person to respond "I want to join!", and so on. The story posts would follow in that order.

Now, should the story eventual draw in additional writers, they would still have to respond to the thread "I want in", but they can not contribute until their turn. If we have four people writing, and a fifth wants to join, they cannot write until person number 4 makes an entry.

Of course, this will only work if people check up on the contributing thread regularly, so that they don't over-step and take a turn out of turn.

(I know, it all sounds over complicated, and there may be a way to say things simpler, but bear with me)

Lastly, I would also like to suggest that if people want to make feedback on the story, they can do so in that thread, whether they be writers or not. Feedback is always good! However, no writer should say what they want to do, or what direction they want to see things, as that may have a negative effect on what the additional writers are doing. We should all be adding on to what came before, and not take things off on a different tangent; that would just ruin the whole thing.

*whew* That's enough from me.
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PostSubject: Re: CCW   Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:39 am

Okay, I've read Sooth's post 4 times now, and I'm still scratching my head. It does seem a bit much just for amateur story night, but I also agree IF things could get more crowded around here it would be good to have a way to organize better. I believe I came up with the 'companion thread' thought just for discussion and such, BUT thinking more about it, I'm thinking we don't want to see copies of every topic but with 'discussion' after every other one. And while stickies and forcing newcomers to read part one would be a way to make sure everyone followed the path, we also don't want to see a new sticky for every new story...imagine three pages of stickies in a particular forum!!! (dream with me a minute here people...)

Keep it simple...every member on this forum has the ability to edit their own posts (except in a VERY few select areas). How about, person A who starts a story starts as stated above with the CCW in the topic, lists the genre/vibes in the first line, then lists accepted contributors! We can achieve this simply by using the Private Message system. If you see a story you like, PM the original writer and ask to be a contributor...the writer can then edit his/her first post, and add you to the list. If you wish to be removed, or tagged 'temporarily absent,' the writer can do that as well. This way, the same information is achieved without creating unnecessary threads, stickies, or sub-forums.

Perhaps instead of a dead-set round robin for next writer in sequence, simply go with the notion that the same person cannot post twice in a row. That enables two people to go back and forth, and leaves it open for someone working or away from their net connection for a few days. How would we lock in who is next in line? I'm thinking if you read a story you really want to make an addition to, make a reply post like "I've got this" or "work in progress", then edit your post while you write/type your contribution. Perhaps allow comments at the tops and bottoms of story posts, but keep them in a different color. I see no reason to link to other threads for rules, then link back for the stories, then link over to discussion to see who is writing next. Common sense should hold chaos at bay. Common sense, PMs, and maybe a few comment lines.

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PostSubject: Re: CCW   Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:47 am

*deep breath here*

I have read both replies. The first from Soothsayer (which I +'ed) and the second from Admin. I am taking my sweet time writing this reply just because I want my words to come out right. Somehow (cue the violins here), I feel as if I need to choose sides in order for my thoughts to be expressed (though I KNOW I need not feel this way).

Reading Sooth's reply made instant sense. I can envision... (stop the damn violins now please.....), I can envision the layout of the pages.. I can see the flow of things as they creatively appear. I personally like the 'order' idea because nothing is more creative than spontaneous writing. When I partake in the writing process, I can see myself going, 'Woah.... Where do I go from here? How can I add to this????'. I can see myself getting more 'into the story' when placed into the position of this nature... I can feel the 'dread' of, say I'm number 4, reading number 2's reply and thinking of where I can take the story. But when number 3 replies in a direction I didn't think of, I feel as if I would be more emotionally provoked to think and plan and..... create. With this idea, I see the option to 'Pass' on the turn.

Reading Admin's reply also made sense. I can see the Stickies and since they always jump to the top of the page, pending on how many stories are ongoing, there could indeed be a large amount of them... I will say this bluntly. I don't care for editing posts. I really don't. The idea of someone putting 'I've got this' or 'work in progress' could turn out to be a disheartening factor due to people missing out on the 'free-for-all' story process due to 'general life'. In example, Person 'A' started a story and it goes through person 'E'. Due to the fact that I don't have the time or means to post 'I'll take it from here', the story moves on and I feel as if I missed out on something. I see this way as being a bit more Chaotic, more competitively if I dare say. With this idea, I see a 'forced pass' if I don't get to a terminal quick enough.

I do like both replies. I can see the pro's and con's to them both. I just don't know which way to lean, if at all. There's either 'possible' Chaotic Order or 'possible' Orderly Chaos.

I'd like to see more ideas come from this. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, an eye of newt and a pinch of a camel's ass.... For all of here to have known each other for as long as we have, I know.... I KNOW (cue the chugging power cords in drop down C escalating to a crescendo of awesomeness) we can come up with something we all can agree to!

With the amount of people that we have in here so far, realistically how many stories do you/we think that would be placed in the CCW portion of the forum?

There it is. My $0.02

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PostSubject: Re: CCW   Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:55 am

Boy, was I long winded!

Basically this... two treads. One is the story, the other is a... is a... companion / collaboration... whatever, a thread just to say "Hey, I'm in," or "I'll be gone, take over," or "I'm done" so that every one else knows what's what.

I do understand that we have but a handful of members, and that the likelihood of a few of us posting a reply prose to the same post at the same time rather slim at best. But who's to say that'll always be that way? Just looking ahead with the order thing. I will agree that the same person cannot post two times in a row.

Editing. I don't like it in that the poster may change something that affects the post after it. I myself only do edits for spelling issues... but I would hope that if an edit is done, it is done simply for the sake of spelling.

...

I guess my biggest concern is maintaining cohesion and having a flow of things.
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PostSubject: Re: CCW   Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:39 pm

Wow, when you put it like that it makes a ton more sense! When you started talking about stickies and forcing people to view them before being allowed into the story part and links back and forth I started picturing one forum that was an endless spiral of links, locks, accepts, extra registrations...but when you say two forums with the same basic topic, but one for discussion of the story...hell that's basically what I emailed you the other night!

Yes, that is what was emailed...BUT I had said putting the extra threads in a subforum with this hierarchy: COT2\real life\creation\discussion because that was already mentioned...having a subforum just to discuss ANYTHING that pops up ANYWHERE in COT2\real life\creation. But it does make a lot more sense to put the story, and it's discussion thread in the same place.

What occurs to me going through these posts (and I will look also), is there a way to link two posts together, so they always stay side by each? Or maybe arrange one particular forum alphabetically? I know dates is the normal rule, but there's icons and such to show new posts, so if we did it alphabetically (if we can) "'ccw: teststory'" and "'ccw discussion: teststory'" would always and forever be rubbing elbows. That could really save a lot of linking, and make it real easy for people to say "oh, this MUST be the discussion for this story, cuz it friggin says so right here next to it!"

Hell, whether that's agreed on or not, I gotta find out if it's possible to arrange a forum alphabetically, or what other arrangements can be made. This could be very useful for crazy future endeavors!

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PostSubject: Re: CCW   Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:59 pm

ha hA HA HAAA!!!! We can arrange forums alphbetically, reverse alphabetically, dewey decimally...alright maybe not the last one. I temporarily set the written word as alphabetically, and made a discussion thread for the room, and even came up with the zany idea of changing the title color for discussion threads. NOT saying these are the set ways, just exsperminating. SO, as of right this second, the main story thread and the discussion thread will stay side by each unless someone goes WAY out of their way to screw that up. Like if someone just hadta hadta hadta make "CCW: The Room 2"...in which case...

And colors? That just popped in there. Really not needed, but IF there's ever a billion-jillion stories in here, that would help differentiate....

Editing...I like editing in important cases...putting in a bunch of links and hitting send without previewing, and finding the links don't work. Screw that! I will edit edit edit. BUT, though I am committed to this story idea and would NOT edit for anything more than a SERIOUS screwup (don't even care that much about spelling with all the words I make up at times... Rolling Eyes, even in serious works....c'mon I wrote a poem wherein I coined the term Shadowcrunch, and here I am how many years later...) wow...skipped a groove...ANYWAY, for the sake of future continuity, howzabout we DISABLE EDITING for the written word? Yay or nay?

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PostSubject: Re: CCW   Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:43 pm

Been thinking of a collaborative writing project... but something has to be done. Look at The Room as an example. It started off well enough, and then there were things that took place that, although sparking some sort of interest in the other authors, may have contributed to it's eventual downfall. There were too many twists, or too many things that were misleading or detracting from the original plot.

And that's where this is coming from.

What was the plot? I think that, in order for something of this scope to have any significance, there has to be a common root, something that all contributors can look back on for guidance. Main characters should have a biography or a character bible; doesn't have to be exacting, but must contain enough information to where one can flesh out the character while still being true to the concept. There should be a plot line (or an outline) or what the story is, of the main points and locations, a time frame; have enough openness so that a story can be developed, but maintain the plot so that there is a unified conformity, something that guides... not directs. Look at ad-lib movies or skits as an example: the actors know what the main points are, but the stuff in between is where things can happen.

I've thinking about blowing the dust off of one of my creations and giving it new life here. Or elsewhere. Maybe put the entirety of that project elsewhere, and putting collaborative stories here. Regardless, at some point there's going to be another CCW project, but there's going to be a bunch of supporting documents to go with it. If anyone wants to help, that's cool... if not, the door's always open! (or rather, the door will be open).
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