Monday, January 27, 2014

Pickwick Comes to Novel Matters

Is it spring yet?

Sadly no, but let's defy the arctic blasts and have some writerly good fun.

After all of our talk about collaboration last week, writing a serial story with our readers seems like the most logical (and entertaining) next step.

This Friday the 31st, you'll find the beginning of the story posted here, and yes, we collaborated. We had a ball.

You have a huge part to play in this. We'll supply the beginning, but we invite you to add each consecutive portion of the story for the following Fridays until, well, the story is finished satisfactorily.

This is how our serial story (yet to be titled) will work:

  • We post the beginning of the story this Friday, January 31.
  • You jump in with unbridled enthusiasm to write a portion of the story. Please let us know via our contact us button. We'll be waiting!
  • We will then assign you a week to write up to 300 words. That's about a page. Your job is to keep the story moving with good tension, interesting twists, and ever-deepening revelations about the characters.
  • The next author (and you know you want to play along) starts where the previous author left off. 
  • Your installment is due the Wednesday before the Friday it is published.

Things to remember for participants:

  • Remain true to the characters. Yes, they should surprise us but in a way that's consistent with who they are.
  • Let's practice what we've been preaching about nouns and verbs. Adjectives and adverbs are very welcome to play, in moderation. Lean hard on specific nouns and power verbs. 
  • Have fun, fun, fun!
  • Invite your authorial friends to join us.

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens enjoyed outrageous popularity when it was serialized, starting in 1836. Authors are still serializing their stories in newspapers, as e-installments, and as e-novels. Let's not miss out on the fun.

We believe we have the most creative and talented readers in the blogosphere. We can wait to see what you have to contribute.


Megan Sayer said...

HAHAHA!!!! That's hilarious, I LOVE it!! We do this around the dinner table sometimes...although not to this extent. That's so funny. Are there other rules, like nobody can start a nuclear holocaust and end the story by...well...ending the story, or is it anything goes? HOW COOL IS THAT??!! Count me in for sure.

Patti Hill said...

I hadn't thought of a nuclear holocaust ending, but I did think that we should make a rule for no miraculous/magical intervention type endings. The protagonist has to create his/her own resolution. How does that sound?

Megan, I'm glad you're excited. That's one!

Cherry Odelberg said...

Oh my. Be still my beating heart.
(If I take out the adjectives adverbs?)
Be heart.

Patti Hill said...

Cherry: No need to take out your adjectives and adverbs. That would make for some boring writing, but we've been talking about being judicious. You would be great at this. I hope you'll play with us.

Henrietta Frankensee said...

Ooooooooo! Count me in! My contact button sent me into cyber limbo. I hope that's not how we are to submit our contribution.
What genre? Can't wait for the fun to begin!