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November 21st, 2000, 02:38 PM
Well seeing as a few people were interested in my idea to have an open string story I thought I would throw around some ideas and try to set some ground rules before jumping into it. Any feedback is appreciated and welcome as we will try to make this enjoyable for everyone. First off I realize that the writing skills, styles and talents of everyone differ greatly. If this is to be a successful venture any who post on it must realize this. Therefore any criticsm or corrections of what someone else wrote will not be appreciated. Next we will have to tackle the issue of post length as some people may get carried away and make it their own, thus inhibiting the participation of the whole. I think that no more than roughly 200 words is a reasonable limit.
Again this is open to discussion if you would feel more or less would be better let me know. Next when someone would like to introduce a new character, they must tie them into the general plot of the story itself, so as not to eliminate someone elses creation. As far as setting goes I believe to start we can use the basic formula for a fantasy setting. Magic, dragons, and so forth. As far as ideas on using a setting or characters from a published work, that can be done at a later time after we see how this one goes. I think that pretty much sums up most of the major points. If I forgot something that you think would be crucial please feel free to reply. For those who do not know what an open string story is I will explain. An open string story is a tale started by someone then added to continuously by other people. So I would start with the first post, then the next person would post what happens next and so on and so forth. After I get some feedback i will start it up, so let me know what ya think.

November 22nd, 2000, 10:32 AM
i'm looking forward for this little adventure
we are about to embark upon. i think as the conciver of the idea you should go ahead and post the first post as soon as you feel ready.
i'm hardly anything close to a writer but i believe this will be fun.
GO GO GO!!!!!

November 22nd, 2000, 12:00 PM
Hmm... we might want to make it in a more orderly fashion, in a 2nd tread everyone who wants to take part in this should post his/her agreement, and then we'll do it by turn, to prevent chaos.

November 22nd, 2000, 03:55 PM
Good idea fitz. I will wait to see how many people respond to this and then start a new post for sign ups. I will make an order from that and then we will probably start on Monday.

November 22nd, 2000, 08:25 PM
Yeah, I'll participate.

A couple of ideas you might want to consider:

1) Allowing people to post only once per day?
2) Starting in a city or area where people can get an idea what the place is and what it is like
3) Giving some history before beginning

Just some ideas...not that I'm familiar with doing this really though.

November 23rd, 2000, 01:28 AM

God I hate having to be the wet blanket on such an interesting idea, but I guess it would be best if my fellow posters addressed these little concerns of mine to ensure that ethanx's idea doesn't sink in its maiden voyage. ^_^

Firstly, without a skeletal structure (ie basic plot and setting) to refer to, this open-string story is quite vulnerable to being side-tracked or abused by posters with rather 'unconventional' ideas.

Secondly, is there a rule which prevents posters from 'cutting out' other posters' creations ie. killing off their characters or voiding their magical items, locations etc.? If such a rule is made, it becomes a two-edged sword, since the 'unconventionalists' (see above) would have a field day creating all sorts of 'out-of-character' material which is inconsistent with the grand scheme of things (assuming there is one in the first place), or just plain silly, and other serious posters are powerless to do anything about it. Then again, a discussion could be held to debate whether or not a poster's creation should be accepted, which comes across as discriminatory, and also wastes valuable time better spent in expanding the open-string story.

Thirdly, is there a limit to the number of 'items' (characters, special items, creatures, scenarios, locations) one poster can create? If a limit isn't imposed, the story will be swamped with more characters and sub-characters than the Wheel of Time, and that isn't including all the other 'items' I mentioned. Of course, if posters can selflessly sacrifice their own creations now and again or refrain from creating any personal ones and simply use the 'items' of other posters, this might not become a serious problem. On the other hand, denying some posters a chance to create and nurture something uniquely their own sounds kinda harsh, doesn't it? ^_^

Ok, rant over. Apart from the points mentioned above, and FitzChivlary's idea of organising the turns of participating posters (which IMHO is VERY crucial to the open-string story's success, since a story comprised of bits and pieces in no logical order isn't exactly a great read), this seems quite a visionary proposition, and I wish ethanx and the participants all the best!

IMHO... ^_^

November 23rd, 2000, 10:43 AM
Well Sojourn, because of the nature of this story people who write will have to accept the fact that the story might take unexpected turns from their plans, and characters or items that they invented might be used not like they wanted or be destroyed. Just keep in mind that this is the sort of thing we are doing here and it can get wild.

November 25th, 2000, 02:53 PM
I dont think we need an order. everyone sends in their posts and then ethanx(if ethanx feels up to it) can cut and edit other peoples ideas so the story doesnt go out of control.

just my idea

November 25th, 2000, 04:47 PM
Hmmm... but wouldn't that make this undertaking 'ethanx's story'? A moderator would be a good idea, but putting all the responsibility of editor and censor on ethanx's shoulders would be unfair to him and the story contributors. After all, this is supposed to be a 'people's project'.

FitzChivlary: Well, in that case, let's throw caution to the wind and let those stiff-necked bastards whinge all they want when things aren't exactly going their way! Hehe... ^_^
Besides, it's not like we're out to create a bestseller here anyway.