Forum Story: Thoughts on organization and a poll

Which genre should we use in writing our forum story?

  • Hard Science Fiction

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Non-Technology-centered Science Fiction

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Epic Fantasy

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • Urban Fantasy

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Alternate History

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    9
  • Poll closed .
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littlemissattitude

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Okay, so we're going to do this. I've written by committee before, to a fairly successful result, so I know that it's possible.

To begin, we need to decide which genre we want to work in. So, I've posted this poll. The categories are fairly self-explanatory, I think, but just in case I'm deluding myself, I'll tell you what I have in mind for each:

Hard Science Fiction: Science fiction with a huge emphasis on technology.

Non-Technology-centered Science Fiction: Science fiction centered more on the soft sciences (biology, the social sciences).

Epic Fantasy: In the vein of Tolkien or Donaldson's "Thomas Covenant" books; something that takes place in a created world.

Urban Fantasy: Fantasy that takes place at least partially in the modern, real world; like Gaiman's "American Gods" or some of Tim Powers's work ("Last Call", "Expiration Date", "Earthquake Weather").

Alternate History: Anything that takes known history and sets it on it's head; Harry Turtledove's work, for example.

I'll keep this poll open until early next week; I know some of us have a holiday weekend coming up, and I want everyone to have time to respond even if they are going to be away from their internet access for the weekend.

I like Lacedaemonian's idea of each participant writing his or her own character. This is how we've proceeded in the past when I've written community stories like this, and it worked out quite well. I'd like to hear how you all feel about this, however, as there are other ways to approach this.

That's two issues; I think that's enough to start with. So, if you want to participate in this forum story, vote in the poll. If you'd like to explain your reasoning for voting the way you have, feel free to use this thread to explain your position - lobbying is fine with me. Also, if you have any thoughts about each participant writing their own character, feel free to express them here.
And start thinking about possible story lines that we might want to pursue, depending on which genre we choose.

This is going to be fun, I think.:)
 

Hypes

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We could do something along the lines of D&D, where a composer of sorts gives us the story itself, and we, as the characters, react to it.

Much like a What if... workshop.
 

Lacedaemonian

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To think that I was itching to participate in this story... I forgot about the SF genre... Still fingers crossed that all my sword weilding buddies vote for epic fantasy, or if you are to vote for SF, at least vote for the non technology based SF.
 

littlemissattitude

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These are all good, productive ideas.

Hypes...that is one possibility, something else that the participants would have to vote on, probably as soon as the genre has been decided. It may be the logical way to go, if only just to keep the storyline coherent. This does not mean that the storyline would necessarily be micromanaged; I imagine that it would be more along the lines of providing a general plot which the characters, as you said, would then react to, providing the details. Goodness knows, characters don't often do exactly what the writer wants them to do, even when it is just one writer working on a story.

Ahdkaw...I don't see why not. I've seen humour in all genres from time to time. Personally, I wouldn't like to see us do a purely comic story, but that's just my bias. Call it something else that we'll all have to decide.

Lacedaemonian...Like I said, lobbying is fine. Probably not any of us will end up with exactly all we wish for the story, but there will probably be something for everybody one way or another.:)

Good to see so much wonderful input already.
 

dwndrgn

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Well, I've posted my vote - fantasy of course. However, I will warn you all now, my writing style is horrific at best and purely pitiful at worst. I'm hoping to learn something here so I promise make an effort. Try not to laugh too hard, or at least keep it to yourself :D.

Other thoughts: will the first chapter outline our core group of characters or shall we each be introducing new ones? Will we begin with a basic plotline, ie; girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl falls in love with dragon :p , or will that just be discovered along the way?
 

littlemissattitude

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dwndrgn said:
Well, I've posted my vote - fantasy of course. However, I will warn you all now, my writing style is horrific at best and purely pitiful at worst. I'm hoping to learn something here so I promise make an effort. Try not to laugh too hard, or at least keep it to yourself :D.

Other thoughts: will the first chapter outline our core group of characters or shall we each be introducing new ones? Will we begin with a basic plotline, ie; girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl falls in love with dragon :p , or will that just be discovered along the way?
Hmmm. These are all good questions, dwndrgn. After we've decided on genre, I think we will have to decide whether plot will be determined by communial decision, or if we will take the D&D approach suggested by Hypes and one person (probably me :eek: ) will provide a broad outline of plot and the details will be filled in by how the different charaters react to the outline as given. I'm thinking that someone will have to take charge of plot, or chaos will ensue, but it's a significant enough issue that I believe how we handle plot should be put to a vote.

But I think the next thing, after genre has been determined, will be for each participant to create a character and submit a character outline, something along the lines of what was posed somewhere around here not too long ago. The characters we will be working with will be one determinant of what can be done with a plot. For example, if we end up doing a non-tech science fiction plot, we'd best not do something based in biology if none of the characters is a biologist.:)

Probably, we can deal with those two issues, how to approach how to determine plot and gathering character outlines, at the same time, as soon as genre has been decided.

Once we begin, I envision the first chapter being getting the characters together in some sort of association and introducing them. Unless we suppose that the characters all know each other to begin with, there will have to be some mechanism for getting them together, after all. It may not necessarily happen that way, but it would be a logical way to begin.

And dwndrgn, don't worry about your writing ability. This is the writing workshop, and we're all here to learn. I haven't seen much trouble in your writing in your posts and in the reviews you've posted. Certainly nothing in them that could be even close to described as horrific or pitiful. And I'm sure we'll all come up with stuff more than worthy to be laughed at.:)
 
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Esioul

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Well, I'll accept the way it's going, for now... ;)

When can we star? :D
 

Lacedaemonian

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I am going to the Caribbean for two weeks soon, so maybe I can make a late entrance into the story, as some forgotten bronzed hero..... Not likely.
 

littlemissattitude

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Lacedaemonian said:
I am going to the Caribbean for two weeks soon, so maybe I can make a late entrance into the story, as some forgotten bronzed hero..... Not likely.
Honestly, Lacedaemonian, that might be a good strategy, having a character or two come in later rather than have all of them come on in the beginning. That way, potential readers (whom we should keep in mind, if only for the practice;) ) don't have to try and sort everyone out at the first.:) And, by the way, have a good time in the Caribbean, and try not to get lost in the Bermuda Triangle.:p

And I'm glad you are all so enthusiastic to begin.:D It seems that we have decided on the Epic Fantasy genre, although the poll doesn't officially close until tomorrow. However, at least one other decision has to be made before we start off - is one person going to provide a template for the plot (as was mentioned earlier), with the characters coming up with the details? Or is it going to be plot by committee? I'll put up a poll for that decision tonight or tomorrow. And, it would be cool if each of us could put up a character description, following the outline someone (memory escapes me right now as to who it was:eek: ) posted a while back. I'll go find it and repost it in the same thread as the new poll and we can go ahead and use that thread for both purposes.
 
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