About this forum...

Discussion in 'Collaborative Stories' started by Sammie, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. Sammie

    Sammie The Doctor...

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    Welcome to the new collaborative stories sub-forum.

    This section has been created for all the collaborative story threads that were previously part of the main Playroom. If you wish to start a new story here, then by all means go for it!

    There are just a few rules:
    It is site policy to allow any member to post in any thread - this will be true here also.
    We ask that, if you join in a story, you take the time to familiarise yourselves with the story so far, so as not to inadvertantly make any dramatic changes or cause any clashes.
    When the author(s) who begin a story have a plot outline in mind, they are encouraged to post it at the beginning of the thread. Please check the first post of a thread you are interested in taking part in, for any synopsis or plot guidelines. If you post in a thread with an outline at the beginning, please keep to this outline.
    Posts that derail stories will be changed at the inital author's request and/or a moderator's discrection.

    The usual rules apply of course - please avoid political or offensive material, and no fan fiction please.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to post them here, or PM any of the mods or admins.

    Other than that - enjoy!!

    Sammie.
     
  2. Holbrook

    Holbrook Edited for submission

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    I have been giving the matter of this sub forum some serious thought overnight and would like to make a couple of comments.

    These are my thoughts and in no way are they related to any that have honoured me by writing with me over the past few months.

    I add I have no problem with the sub forum itself.


    1. The matter of "outlines" concerns me a little. If we have to put up an outline. Which by it's very nature and structure, as it appiles in the publishing industry, gives not only the beginning, the important nodes in the story, it hints at the ending, this somewhat defeats the process of writing the story in the first place. (especially if it is changing and growing as it is written. Never written a story which turned out the same as the outline in my life.) A brief synopsis, would I think, be better, then any one wishing to join in could PM the thread starter or those already involved to get any details not on the boards already. This would keep the "secret" of what will happen off the boards and so allow the general reader to enjoy the stories without having them spoiled.

    2. I would like also to say that often a story requires research, especially if set in a historical or modern day setting. I would like to hope that any one joining in a story would be prepared to make an effort and do some. Even with research one makes mistakes, but if you don't even bother then the whole story can go out the window.

    3. Anyone joining in thread, I would hope, would have respect for their fellow authors and not have a temper, or a sulk, or try to take over a thread or even worse ruin it, because their ideas were not accepted by the others.

    4. Writing a story thread is fun, but is is also hard work. I would hope any joining in would be prepared to put as much hard work as the others. Also quite often one is not sure what you are going to post, until you do. You have a rough idea, but until you see your fellow writer's post you are not 100% sure. It is a matter of personal trust in your fellow writer and that is not easy. You have to trust and respect them and their writing and hope they do the same to you.

    5. This is a very personal one. I would feel very uncomfortable writing with anyone under 18. Often the thoughts and ideas behind the stories are very adult ones. Even 18 is rather young for me. Nothing against the abilites of younger writers, it is just I would prefer to work with mature adults (over 30 lol) who have a bit more knowledge of life. Imagination will take you so far in creating a character, having lived a little gives you the edge.

    6. With regard to the already well established threads. I hope people will realise these are well down the line, some are completed or nearing completion. It would be hard at this stage for another to join in, if they wish to it would require a hell of a lot of work on their part to get up to speed on them.

    7. Yes writing story threads is fun, you get a buzz, but it is as I said hard work and a commitment. I would hope any joining in one would be prepared to do both.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2003
  3. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    I don't like hard work or being committed (I'm so glad they let me out after the last time). But Holbrook is right... I can't really keep up with all these stories most of the time... so that's why I don't.

    I just popped in to say, what about The Hub?

    How come it didn't leap onto the collaborative lifeboat before it drifted away? Didn't anyone want to save it?
     
  4. e-Morgana

    e-Morgana Elusive Enchantress

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    Don't fret my dear Sheepie. I am working on the Hub as we speak. I will go through and separate the various stories to give them their own threads. Be patient with me - this will take a little time. I have only managed the Mist story so far, but will get onto some more when I have time. :D

    Then I'll bring the whole thread over here.
     
  5. Neffertiti

    Neffertiti Guest

    This is not spur of the moment stuff. This is more like structured writing. For those members with no illusions of having writing talent, it will just put them off.

    Is this about having a bit of fun? Why make rules about the content? Can the contributors not just 'wing' it? That sounds a lot more fun than researching. By all means, if you have the ability, use it. But you must also allow for a person just trying his/her hand, and not needing to worry about being perfect, or grammatically correct, or historically accurate.

    Don't make this more intellectual than it actually is. It is just people having fun.
     
  6. Holbrook

    Holbrook Edited for submission

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    The answer is simple, if you want to wing it, wing it, just don't trample on threads where others want to put a bit more effort into it.

    Also respect other people's work.

    Fun threads and structured ones room for both in my opinion, I have worked on both sorts in the past.

    I wasn't going on about grammar, I wasn't going on about it being word perfect,( it is plain you haven't read some of the stories on the Hub where I was winging it, not knowing until I started typing what I was going to do.) but a bit of research does help the fun, in my opinion, and challenge me to draw something out of the hat, which will challenge my co-writers. To be honest I don't have a Uni degree under my belt, I am just someone who loves writing and does it to the best of my ability.

    Also what is wrong with being intellectual and having fun at the same time. People are a lot cleverer than most give them credit for. Things are too dumb downed as it is in the world.

    Besides, in the end it is the Admin, Mods and the owner that make the rules on this forum. Also this is a PG 13 forum, the content does have to be limited in many ways. So far and no further. There are plenty of 18/ Lit-erotica forums out there if you want to work in that direction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2003
  7. Neffertiti

    Neffertiti Guest

    Thank you Holbrook. I really wanted that to be clarified, and you are quite right. I just wanted the point made that this is not only for those of you with writing talent. A talent I have nothing but respect (read envy :)) for.

    I am confused as to why you made the comments about 'erotic' writing? I never said this was suitable for SFF, nor proposed it in this section. In fact, it makes a refreshing change to be a member of a forum where this is not the order of the day. :)
     
  8. Carmichael

    Carmichael Guest

    I doubt that the Lit-Erotica was directed at you so much as some others, including myself, who have severely bent the rules in that regard in some of our story posts...
     
  9. Rocket Sheep

    Rocket Sheep I AM too a mod! Staff Member

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    There's no reason why we can't have collaborations where each person is only allowed to post 10 words and has to try to change the story completely.

    Those are always fun...

    ... It's a shame you can't do that roll down thing where each person who contributes can only see the last line... then you unroll the paper and read it... instant hysterical kids! Well, OK, that's what it is like in my classes...

    There can be threads dedicated to fun for casual people who can't be bothered reading back, so long as it is obvious which threads those are.
     
  10. Sammie

    Sammie The Doctor...

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    As far as plot outlines at the beginning go - it is entirely at the discretion of the member who started the thread what they wish to put - but the more rigid the outline the more the mods can help by stepping in if someone derails the story.

    Neffertiti, you have it exactly right - this forum is not specifically for those who feel themselves to be talented writers, it is for anyone who thinks this may be fun. No-one is obliged to do any research - though of course they may if they wish - but when you write, please respect any details that other peoples research has led them to include. Again I agree: researching removes the 'spur of the moment' factor, so this is down to member's discretion.

    As far as writing with under 18 year olds goes....as you mentioned, Hol, we have a 'no under 13's without parental permission' thing going on. I think it best that everyone bear in mind that what they write must be suitable for anyone aged 13 up - and if you are not comfortable writing with people this age, then your content is most likely too adult to be posted anyway.

    And lastly - writing does not HAVE to be hard work, and a member who posts once should not feel obliged to make a commitment to that thread.

    If you find you have a complaint about a post made in a thread you started, or are involved in, bring it to a mod or an admin and we will do our best to resolve it for you.
     
  11. Sammie

    Sammie The Doctor...

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    Just wanted to add Agent's comment off the lost thread:

     
  12. e-Morgana

    e-Morgana Elusive Enchantress

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    I SO wanted to jump in and have a word here, but unfortunately time didn't permit and besides.....Holbrook, you said it more eloquently than I could have. :D

    To lay Neffertiti's concerns to rest, if you look at the stories already completed in the Hub, or those still being written, you will see that there is a huge variety of subject matter and style. The last thing we want to do is limit what kind of tales are being created here (well apart from following the general forum rules of course). They don't HAVE to be funny and light hearted, they don't HAVE to be serious. As we've already seen, there are some very talented writers amongst us. Their stories can be light-hearted fun, thought provoking, or even tragic at times....they range from science fiction to militaristic themes to fairy tales to fantasy....and lots more besides.

    Yes - some stories need some research and hard work to be viable. But others are purely for fun and enjoyment. It's really up to the individual what kind of story they'd like to be involved in.

    I hope that helps a bit. :D

    As for Sheepie's suggestions - they sound like a lot of fun as well. :D

    Perhaps something could be worked out for the 'roll down' idea. What if the last poster duplicated their final line in a second post. It would then be left to the next person's integrity, not to peek at the rest of the story, and just work off that single line. I (or one of the other mods) could go though intermittently and get rid of all these single line posts, so that the story could continue uninterrupted. What do you think of that?
     
  13. Sammie

    Sammie The Doctor...

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    I like this idea. :)
     
  14. Scarlett O'Hara

    Scarlett O'Hara Not Elda in the Red Dress

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    Nerfertiti - you say you have no writing talent and if you wrote, your input would not be perfect. I for one, trust me on this, have found that if you write with other writers who are BETTER than yourself, you find a way to pull yourself up the quality ladder. The other writers have a way of setting a standard bar that we as individuals try to achieve.

    Bottom line? It all boils down to common respect for others. Before, during, and after the writing process.

    Pam

    a.k.a Scarlett
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2003
  15. Neffertiti

    Neffertiti Guest

    Thank you :) This had to be said. I understand that the reverse has not been said. But this point was getting lost in the arguments. It is out in the open now, there is room for everyone. Your above comments will go a long way into encouraging others who are not 'writers' to try their hand at this.

    I can more than live with that! :D
     
  16. Cnaeus Valerius

    Cnaeus Valerius The Roman

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    As to the concepts raised, some stories are intended to be nothing more than a sort of free-for-all game. They are fun to read and it is fun to participate in them. Other stories, however, are serious in the sense that those working on them are putting effort into crafting a work of art, a tapestry of words. Part of the fun in these cases is keeping track of the entire storyline and doing the research (or logical “imagineering” in the case of the sci-fi stories) to make the story work. The fact of the matter is, if you ever want to have a story published there will be a certain level of effort and commitment required. This same level of effort is what can be found in some of the collaborative story threads. The stories I am working on have involved quite literally hundreds of behind the scenes PMs. I imagine the other stories have muc the same going on behind the scenes. Is that a lot of work? Yes. It is fun? Yes. Are we producing some well-crafted stories? By all reports, yes we are. With this in mind I hope others can see why the authors of those stories would not appreciate someone putting a figurative foot in the middle of the sandcastle. Does this mean those authors would not welcome others? Certainly not! As long as those others are willing to write within the established framework of the storyline. If a person is not willing to write within the framework of the storyline one wonders what would be the point of posting in the thread? The collaborative stories are sort of a game. All games have rules – you cannot play checkers on a Risk board – and the polite thing to do is to ask the rules of the game before joining. The equally polite thing to do is to share those rules when someone asks - hopefully you can see by all those PMs I mentioned that there is quite a bit of sharing already going on!

    I know this might sound intimidating, but just think of it as a learning experience and chance to grow in your own writing. Speaking for myself, my writing skills have grown by leaps and bounds working in, and reading, these collaborative stories!

    Those are my thoughts on things.

    Cheers
    Cnaeus Valerius
     
  17. Sammie

    Sammie The Doctor...

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    Ok - this is all getting out of hand - let's see if we can't clear matters up:

    The issue seems to be that although everyone is happy for there to be some spontaneous free-for-all threads, there is also a wish for some more serious 'word craft' to be allowed to exist uninterferred with. The problem is this - if the site officially acknowledges that this is 'serious' work, not play, by letting you set limits on who may participate, then we are put in a dilemma - because there is a rule forbidding people from posting chunks of their own work straight into the forums. Once you exclude other members, this is effectively what you are doing. It's against the rules.

    So in the eyes of the site - if any of these stories is a researched, well planned, serious writing exercise, why is it in the forums? Two possible reasons. The less favourable would be that you simply find it an easy media to work in. I'm sure everyone understands that that would not be sufficient reason for the admins to allow it. The second reason, which i choose to believe is the case, is that you wish other members to enjoy reading your work. But in this case, your stories are indistinguishable from those that members submit via the official channels. The rule is that if you wish other members to see your own work then it must be submitted via official channels.

    On the other hand - those threads that are fun most definitely should be for all members. There are no legit grounds for excluding anyone.

    Comments welcome - constructive criticism welcome - alternative suggestions very welcome. But please remember that this is not a democracy - in the end we are all here courtesy of the site owner - and his was the final decision in this matter.
     
  18. Sammie

    Sammie The Doctor...

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    Then why is it on the boards?

    I suggest that in future any pair with a story idea they wish to work on together completes each section in private and submits it to the site via the normal channels.

    Scarlett - you clearly don't want anyone else to join in with your and Holbrook's tale - that's fair enough, except it begs the question of why you have posted it on a public forum to begin with?


    Really this is very simple:

    A limited author effort of any kind is a 'private' effort. We do not allow private work to be posted direct to the forums; it must be sent via the submissions link.

    A story that any member may post in is a 'public' effort. These are welcomed in this forum. Any member wishing to post must respect the story so far, and any thoughts expressed in the title post. No one is required to be a 'writer', or to have researched their efforts, or to make a commitment to continue to participate.


    I honestly feel this arguement is just going in circles - please don't argue the above points any further - they ARE set in stone - the forum owner has approved them and all admins involved in the discussion were in agreement with them. Ultimately, neither point is any different from the pre-existing site policies.

    If anyone wishes to complain, or disagree, feel free to send a message to any of the admins. It sha'n't be discussed on the boards any further.

    On the other hand if anyone has any genuine questions about this forum - feel free to ask.

    Sammie.
     
  19. Holbrook

    Holbrook Edited for submission

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    What Scarlett said is true, the matter of research has been blown out of proportion, By research I mean if my character is a 1st world war soldier, I do a small search and find out a bit about what he would have looked like and his clothes. I don't use all the info, just bits to make my post sound fairly close but mainly I try and carry the story forward and put in enough for the following writer to hang there section on.

    I take part, mainly for enjoyment and from the PM's I have received from many members, other people enjoy reading them. That adds to the fun, knowing someone else is enjoying what you produce and you try to produce the next bit better. Doesn't always work. But there is.

    I have not desire to be elitist, I just want a framework to work in, I want to know that if the story is well established, who ever wants to join in is as committed as myself and the rest of the team working. This would add to the fun and the work.

    Yes I am not comfortable with writing with people under 18, and not because I want to place content on the site that is not suitable for it.

    The reason I would not feel comfortable writing or PM's a 14/15 year old about witchcraft, murder, demons, warfare etc. And as I read and ok stories for the forum I am well aware of the content that some of the younger members want to include in their stories. That they produce this material off their own bat is one thing. If through some misunderstood suggestion/post of mine causes them to produce it, then no way Sammie.

    It is well known on this forum I have some knowledge of swords and weaponry. I have on more than once received PM's by younger members asking me all sorts of things.

    One springs to mind. A young man wanted me to tell him how to and what would it be like to disembowel someone. My answer was it would hurt, the person would die and you would go to jail.

    My reason for not wanting to write with under 18 years is that I am an adult with morals and a concern for younger people. If a younger member wanted to write with me then great, but they would be told at the outset what type of story I would not consider doing. Neither would I jump into a younger members story and "take over" or try to alter their own creative process to suit mine. I would respect them, as I would hope they would respect me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2003
  20. e-Morgana

    e-Morgana Elusive Enchantress

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    Well it would seem that things have gotten fairly heated overnight while I've been sleeping. Perhaps it would be best to all just step back, take a deep breath, and look at the facts. I think we are getting bogged down with formalities and details here, and losing sight of the big picture.

    • Fact 1 - Dag has decided in favour of those who believe there should be NO EXCLUSIVE TOPICS and NO NAMES in titles.
    • Fact 2 - This is how things worked for months, when the Hub originally started. And continued working like this, until we recently thought to put the author's names in the titles.
    • Fact 3 - I think you'd have to agree that there were VERY few problems with this setup. Yes - there was the occasional awkward moment, but these were resolved fairly quickly, easily, and painlessly I thought.

    Perhaps we should concentrate on the writing of stories and stop worrying about the "What if's". They weren't a major problem before. Why would they be, now? This subforum was created to give you the chance to do what you enjoy doing. I personally don't think it very likely that these issues of people ruining threads, OR people feeling excluded or intimidated are a serious threat.

    Maybe I have greater faith than you in your fellow members, :D but I think they are respectful enough not to barge in and wreck anyone's ongoing project. And with this new format, I also think the very few accidental misunderstandings will be avoided as well.