Collaboration Web Serial

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  1. GeneralRincewind (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I think that what Shaor said, that of Play By Post RP would work best. RPG are already exising systems that allows for collaborative storytelling, so a standard RP setup could work for any type of collaborative setup, with the writers just editing afterwards. I would personally be very interested in such an event.

  2. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I'd love to play a Play by Post RPG with some WFG authors. Especially if Wildbow was running it... <3

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  3. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Speaking as a regular tabletop gamer, with half a decade plus of PbP format (chrys will back me on that)... trust me, it doesn't work that way. The vast majority collapse within weeks, few ever reach anything resembling the core of the plot, and you always have a few who won't put in nearly the work that others do.

    A lot of people get fed up with it and try Quests... then get fed up with those and go back... then get fed up and... well, you get the idea.

    Author of Price.
  4. Shaeor (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Yeah, I actually wouldn't suggest a play by post game - not if your intention is for it be readable. Those are fun to do but any reader would know with a glance that something weird was going on, format wise.

    I'm inclined to think the best form of collaboration would be to have multiple writers doing associated serials in tandem with crossover characters and worldbuilding. Leading up to a big event or the like which readers are excited about.

    Using the wormverse as an example: You'd have separate writers following separate heroes and villains with those characters occasionally crossing paths or teaming up. With everyone available coming in for endbringer type events, writing those from multiple perspectives. Or, tasking a single chosen writer to it.

    Ultimately, I think the issue with collaboration is making sure there's independence. Because the only time I've ever seen a collaboration reach its end was when the one who wanted to write was able to do so, even when others stopped. That's why I think you have to let people work independently for the most part. And that way if there's even one reliable person the most important goal can still be reached. The end.

    CHOSEN SHACKLES The screen is running static. Face your shadow.
    DIRGE The light is dying. Hold your breath and go gently.
  5. GeneralRincewind (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    @TariNari Well , that as everything depends on the people. If you have reasonably interested people who all come together at a set time, then the RPG will work well. But really what I'm suggesting isn't really an actual PbP. I was thinking more of a group of writers who come together at a certain time to quickly do something akin to that format, and then afterwards edit the raw RP text into something more human legible, which I think would be easier then generating everything yourself.

  6. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    The shared back and forth breaks down with more than three people, thats why I think the best bet is to come up with a shared world, then let everyone write their own independent shorts. again, like thieves world and wild cards.

  7. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Shorts and not-so-shorts alike, really.

    Look at the Extended Universes for most of the more successful scifi series out there. There are dozens of books in the Star Wars EU, and more by far for Star Trek.

    Author of Price.
  8. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    "Has anyone done a web serial that is a large collaboration" .... yes, I have seen this, of sorts. A couple years ago, the "Pen and Cape Society" had this story "Super Choice Adventure". The readers voted on which author would continue the story as the protagonist took on different powers. Depending on the choice, it would be a different author writing the next part. Here's the link to the first part:

    I know about it mainly due to the voting aspect, Drew H or Jim Z would likely know more, particularly about the mechanics behind-the-scenes. I don't recall how long it went or how many were involved, I do recall some good natured "hey, you should vote for this guy/gal!" in the case of writers who maybe hadn't been chosen as much.

    My own concern with that sort of effort would be interpreting someone else's character(s) wrong, though I grant that the 'unreliable narrator' idea brought up here is a good fix of sorts. The other stitch is -- unless you've got different things happening in different places -- the likely need to read all the previous parts to get you up to speed on writing the current one. Which becomes more time consuming the longer the collaboration goes. It does seem like a good way of making certain authors more visible though, if a reader is coming to the project on account of the "biggest name" on the ticket, so to speak.

    Writing a Time Travel serial:
    Writer of the personification of math serial:
  9. DrewHayes (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    The PCS CYOA was a lot of fun and a pretty good event, and we saw some good success, but there are definitely some lessons learned we took from it:

    1) Using existing properties was fun, but taxing. As Mathans pointed out, we never knew who would be writing the next segment until the readers voted, so oftentimes we'd be getting handed off a plot set in a universe we weren't especially familiar with. That led to a lot of frantic plot movement so each author felt back on solid ground. If we did it again, I think we'd either use a new universe or more established public domains so that the writers didn't have to play ultra-speed catch up on a serial or jerk the plot out of it.

    2) I think in retrospect we should have let the readers pick the next plot line and let the writer associated with it be a surprise. While having our bigger names on the ticket was a good method for drawing folks in, it led to a lopsided amount of times people were chosen since some readers would vote for the people they knew the best. If we'd let the plot points dictate the path, the distribution probably would have been a bit more even.

    Other than those two points, it went pretty well. We spread the word by having every writer post to their site when they were chosen to write a chapter, making sure their readers were aware of it, but only hosting the entire story on That worked really well as a way to spread awareness and drive traffic to the (then) new site, plus it ensured people would read everyone's work so they could understand the context of the chapter from whatever writer they followed. I think we did 3 posts a week, though Jim may correct me on that, and let it go for 12-13 posts which made for a nice, long-running event and gave everyone enough time to writer their chapter once they were chosen.

    Super Powereds & Corpies
  10. Qorvus (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    If something does go ahead (and depending on genre) I'd be willing to chip in.

    Maybe some sort of anthology might work..

    Author of a collection of SF/F short webfiction -
    Echo of the Ages - Epic Fantasy Serial
  11. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I organised and ran a collaboration anthology before, probably about 8 years ago. It was really cool because it was individual stories in the same city during a religious festival (it was a fantasy), and it covered every part of the city. There was an ex-priest dying of a wasting illness, trying to find a missing girl; smugglers dealing with a witch; a former guard captain due to be executed; elven ambassadors; and a plot to assassinate the king - it covered every part of the city and was great.

    This was before kindle, so after it was finished we had no idea what to do with it :D

    I'm sure it would be easier now, but if you do publish it, it's probably best to either make it permafree or donate any money to a charity everyone agrees one. Money complicates friendships (though I'm sure everyone here is trustworthy).

  12. Qorvus (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    That sounds rather awesome. You need to get it out there to read :)

    For me, such a collaboration wouldn't be about the money but about the exposure. If you had one of the bigger names invovled then just by being associated with them in the same anthology would be a big boost.

    Author of a collection of SF/F short webfiction -
    Echo of the Ages - Epic Fantasy Serial
  13. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Chrys, you should find that and the authors, clean it up, and put it out there, that sounds awesome!

  14. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I really wish I could. I used to be on an old runboard forum, but it closed after the administrator's son died. We were all from there. I'll look through my files and see if I have everyone's email address, but it's unlikely. It's a shame - it was pretty good.

  15. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    total farkers ( subscribers) did a round robin that was pretty fantastic, most of it was lost as well. sigh.


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