So, in another thread, there's been some discussion about the problems caused by people abandoning their stories. I wondered whether or not we could start an adopt-a-story for abandoned web fiction to maybe help get rid of some of the stigma that Wildbow pointed out surrounds web fiction. I have no idea if this is a good or a feasible idea, but since abandonment is such a prevalent problem, I just wanted to offer something that could be a solution. Jim Zoetewey brought up some good questions about the logistics of it in the other thread, and my thoughts on it are this:

First, I think once a story got adopted out, the original writer would lose most power over it. So, they could send the adopter their thoughts about the story and the canon (and even where they thought the story would go), but, ultimately, the fate of the story would be in the hands of the new writer.

Second, whoever the adopter is would (obviously) have to be willing to read through the entire story that they are taking on. Ideally, at the beginning, they would also be able to ask the original author any questions about the existing story.

Third, I'm not sure if the readers would be as big an issue since I would imagine a lot of abandoned stories don't have huge readership to begin with, but, if there is a large audience, the readers could also be consulted regarding where they would like the story to go.

I think it could be interesting, and it would be a way to get rid of a huge problem with web fiction. Ideally, the writer abandoning the work would post here and ask if anyone wanted to adopt it.

Again, feel free to tell me if this is the stupidest idea you've ever heard. I just think it might be worth talking about.

I think you could put up stories for "adoption" if you were an author who knew they were about to go on hiatus for like a life-situation, and had an audience, and didn't want to screw that up. So like hypothetically, if Worm was an ongoing story still and Wildbow had a wedding, then Jim and Drew would bring in their superhero expertise to do a side-story to the main-narrative so the audience didn't get hungry. It would be a temporary save.

For the stories that are dead here with no updates, I think that it would be reasonable for WFG to contact authors and see if they intend to continue and their timeline. Stories that are dead could then be buried, as non-viable options. If a story that no one is reading or writing is sooooooo good that someone wants to save it, take the best ideas and write a better story. That happens all the time -- JK Rowling recycled British children's Literature into a new form and made more money than the Queen, but when she gets to Heaven then Tolkien, Lewis and Doyle will want their percentage. But then, they owe the Grimms and the guys who wrote the Bible a lot of money.

That's how inspiration works, not by resurrecting the dead but repurposing the best parts.

So in other words, the most fun to be had with this idea is "substitute writers" like there are substitute teachers -- some of us could go on a list to pinch-hit for people who know they need to be away. Crossovers could then happen and that is always fun.

Enh... maybe. I see this happen more in webcomics. Actually, I'm script writer for a comic that the original writer/artist couldnt finish. he ran a contest at fan request, picked a writer and an artist, and gave us the basic plotline, then let us work. Its been cool, its been interesting, its been awesome to keep the story going (we got caught in a bad plotline idea that stalled lately, but its moving again) but I dont know if that would work for fiction. be worth a shot though.

It's a neat idea, but personally I'd rather invest time in my own story than someone else's invention. And copyright questions would be a nightmare.

The intentions are certainly good, and I'm sure there is many things that people would love to see completed, but I have to agree with Chrysalis, the copyright questions would be a nightmare, and that is even with good intentions all around and nobody trying to be a greedy goblin. The majority of people active here might be nice and fluffy and so on, but there is some people that'll take you on a ride that you'll wish you had never gotten on, more than that you can even end up painted as the villain if the unsavory individual knows their stuff.

If some way to make the whole legal issues be less of a thing could be found, then it'd be an awesome idea.

It's not a bad idea, and I'm sure a lot of the kinks can be worked out. But like Chrysalis said, I personally would rather put my effort into TOKoR rather carry on with someone else's invention. Trying to smooth their voice into mine... Well, it's not the same story, and I'd go bonkers over that.

Even when it comes to fanfiction, when I'm basing it off an existing universe, I still get full control over my spin-off. Adopt-an-Idea, maybe, because then everything would be mine again, but that comes with the cost of essentially restarting (which, funnily enough, is how I've been writing my story: snarting again, but this time with the other roleplayer's voice squished in).