April 1st Idea

(Crossposted from weblit.us)

I was thinking today of the common complaint that most of our most active readers are, well, each other.

Well, why not use that?

When I started reading web-comics, they would often, on April Fool's day, draw each other's strips in a sort of round robin.

Why not do that with weblit? Enough weblit writers read each others' work that it wouldn't be that hard to write a guest post in their setting.

I'd actually be really interested if anyone else is down with that.

I would play! It sounds like fun.

I'd be down!

Huzzah! That's 3 here and 4 on weblit.us, and never mind that two of them are Wystie ;-) Sounds like a good start!

Now all I need are details.

I'd be interested too.

Hi. I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to participate directly in this as I've got a lot of things that will be going on in March, but Lyn, what you say here about using your mutual readership is very true and it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately as I figure out how to connect myself back into this community that I confess I've pretty much ignored up until now. It wasn't malicious or snobbery... I had some pretty fucked up situations going on in my life, aside from my dream career building up.

And it has built up. I've gone from the point where I had to hit the panic button in a huge way in order to get money fast just after my first year of full-time writing to a slightly less bumpy year last year to this year, when I do a fun little stunt to try to make up a few hundred dollars shortfall that an ex-housemate stuck us with and it kind of ballooned and, yeah. I don't want to come into this forum talking about how much money I make, but I think many of the people here already know. This year is going great for me. Site's redesigned, I have money sitting in the bank for the first time in three years, I'm about to launch a couple of new concepts... and since I'm doing better in my life and in my career, I'm looking for ways to help other people make the same kind of breakthroughs I've had in my career.

Part of this is going to be advice, and I think that the longer I do this the more I have a handle on why and how I've been able to make a living... an occasionally uncomfortable but, well, I've got a computer and electronic toys and I can travel some, so it's not like I'm hovering above the gutter.

But part of it is going to be networking. I've already talked to a couple of people about a little project I have in mind that could get bigger. I'l see what I can do to get people into the loop on the April Fool's Day story. I'll have some opportunities for people who want some free exposure throughout the year.

Long story short: you all should do this. You should be doing things like this. I'll support it as much as I can.

I've volunteered to help organize this, so over the next few days I'll be contacting everyone by email who wants to play or might want to play. We'll toss around ideas there. Lyn and I agree that if you want to play, you have to sign up here or on Weblit.us by the end of February 14th (Valentine's Day). That gives us a window to write our pieces and get organized.

I'd be willing to be part of it, but neither of my stories are yet popular enough that anyone would want to write them, I think. But I'd be more than willing to do a guest piece, and let mine be open to any guest posts. (I assume its safe to say that these will mostly be out of continuity, non canon pieces?)

Alexander, we're not sorting by popularity or lack thereof. The idea is, after all, to share readerships and introduce our readers to things they otherwise wouldn't have seen, and above all, to entertain. In short, if you want to play, you can!

All that said, yes, these will probably be non-canon. More details are available in the welcoming email I have been sending out to folk - I'm trying to maintain surprise/mystique, for folks who aren't playing. Most details are still up for grabs/editing, and a big part of this first round of emails will be picking everyone's brains for ideas.

I'd be happy to do so, but with the quick reservation that since I don't currently have an active story (The Last Skull is about to have the last bit--an epilogue--posted, then just a few cross-overs, then it's done until I either rewrite the whole thing or start something else in the same universe), the person who got stuck with my story would either have to write something unrelated in-universe ("Here's a short story about... THE GRIN!"), or I'd just take on someone else's work without them taking on mine (this is something I'm quite fine with doing, by the way!).

One important question: Should we be aiming to write in our usual style, attempt to emulate the other person's style, some combination of both, or would it be up to our individual tastes?

Robert, to hold to the theme, and how i usually see such things happen with comics, that would be up to the guest author.

I think this is a cool idea. You can count me in - except I'm not sure how many webfiction authors read my stuff O.o; I seem to be one of the few weblit authors who's readership mostly comes from outside (via PW ads).

Putting together people with theme clashes might be funny...

(It would be absolutely freaking hilarious to try and apply my style and thematic habit to Addergoole (for example) since I write grey and white morality and Lyn writes grey and black morality.)

This is an amazing idea! Count me in! I don't have muchn in the way of traffic on my site yet, but I just started it...so while anyone who writes on my site might not get much exposure...some is better than none!

In retrospect, I'm fine with whomever ends up with my straw writing a segment of Arcadia Snips or The Last Skull (up to them). Also, how will you select who writes for who? Random assignment?

We've got about under 3 weeks to do this, and some people will take longer to write than others; it's probably a good idea to set up some sort of due date, with enough time left-over to address anyone who drops out (a few sub-writers to pick up any slack? I don't have a problem writing multiple submissions, although I'd understand if doing so would be inappropriate).

Alrighty - Robert, Cassandra, Becka, Alexander, could you all send me an email at wsteria at gmail dot com from your prefered email addresses? I need all the email addresses involved before I can do the Grand Sort of who gets what, because I need to be able to send y'all your preliminary matches, donchaknow. There's also a shiny introductory letter, with the basic rules-we-have-worked-out-so-far, including how assignments will work. Also, any other miscellaneous ideas you have about how to make this fun and smooth would be awesome.

As a side note, I think it's not under three weeks, it's under three weeks and then the month of March?

Everyone else who has said they're interested, if you haven't gotten an email from me at this point, your email address is out of date on your website and you need to email me (or check your junkmail folder).

I'm just finished compiling my final list of all 21 participants. I've found email addresses on most people's websites, or had them given to me privately, so I'll be sending out notes to all once I finish doing the randomization.


Anyone who hasn't gotten an email from me today has to check their other email addresses / junk mail and then send me an email at my email address I have mentioned if that doesn't work.

Reading my target... err... companion's works now.

A thought. When posting the april fools post, we should give a direct link to the person posting, but we should also, Me Thinks, put a link to a central webpage listing everyone involved in the swap, and who is writing for who. Simple page describing the joke, and giving a two column list, like so

Author A writing for Author C

Author B writing for Author D

Author C writing for Author B

Author D writing for Author A.

with the names being links.