Ever wanted to be an author
September 18, 2002 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Ever wanted to be an author but didn't know how to start? Here's your chance - a story already underway and waiting for you to add your contribution. [more inside]
posted by dg (15 comments total)
MeFi's own iconomy has had this story under construction for some time now and several people have already contributed their words (including one who tried unsuccessfully to kill off the hero). Following a recent re-design of iconomy's site, the story seems to have stalled somewhat, perhaps because of the bizarre navigation on the new site. Just add a paragraph (or two, or three) and watch the story develop.
posted by dg at 6:08 PM on September 18, 2002

Hey, I contributed to that at the beginning, then I forgot all about it. Thanks for reminding me about it.
posted by ashbury at 6:14 PM on September 18, 2002

I blame the lag on Kevin for introducing Bea Arthur. She's literary death (but comic life!)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:27 PM on September 18, 2002

We've run a similar thing on a site I co-run for four or five months now (no link because it's a self-advertisement, or something); it was great at the beginning, but it's been overrun by 13 year olds who think it's cool to write about dildos.

You have been warned.
posted by bwerdmuller at 6:46 PM on September 18, 2002

"Cut!" yelled the director.
posted by Tacodog at 6:59 PM on September 18, 2002

You mean it's not cool to write about dildos? Damn.
posted by ChrisTN at 7:14 PM on September 18, 2002

Some classmates of mine started a similar site up a few years ago:
posted by sanitycheck at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2002

Man. Prosebush. It's such a great idea, and it sucks so very much in practice. The fact is, stories with large branching factors are a pain to read -- and it seems like there's never any real drive for longer, cohesive sequences of submissions.

All due respect to the guys who run it. I still think it's a great idea, and more power to them for trying. It's just that the bulk of their user community are, y'know, really crappy writers.
posted by cortex at 8:24 PM on September 18, 2002

To clarify that last comment, and to try and sound a bit less negative, let me qualify something: Iconomy's site has a little disclaimer that makes all the difference.

I reserve the right to delete moronic entries.

Key to quality control. But the whole spirit of Prosebush, as I understand it, is to encourage folks to jump on in, and do what they want with the story -- hence the ability to start new branches, and so on -- without having to worry about the heavy Editorial Hand erasing their work. Which is really a cool notion. But I still think the actual output has been largely unreadable. Which is a damn shame.
posted by cortex at 8:27 PM on September 18, 2002

phhhbt. they sound like just a bunch of hacks.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:10 PM on September 18, 2002

wait. did I mean phhhhbt or feh?
posted by eyeballkid at 10:11 PM on September 18, 2002

The fact that entries may be deleted would perhaps deter most idiots from posting rubbish, but it didn't seem to deter stacey when she killed the hero (bitch). I thought that iconomy may delete that one, but it is now an integral part of the story. Whether any others have been deleted, I don't know.
posted by dg at 10:37 PM on September 18, 2002

I think the challenge of it is to keep an even tone, but when you've got people posting patently ludicrous and jarring passages, it ruins the story.

I couldn't get around the Bea Arthur thing either.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:44 AM on September 19, 2002

I started a similar site a while back. [self-link: Mahoney the Cat] It never took off and I stopped fixing the code and updating the site. Maybe it didn't succeed because there weren't enough MeFier's visiting -- I did advertise here and I cited Metafilter and Haughye numerous times in the paper I wrote about the project. Take a visit, make suggestions...
posted by cholstro at 11:38 AM on September 19, 2002

Now here's an idea: create multiple story-starts, and let a few people sign up for each story. Have those people, and only those people, contributing to the given story. Perhaps, after some testing-of-waters, some sense of balance (and style) will show itself in the regular contributors and make it possible for the next round to be organized into folks who seem like they'd work well together. Write, react, sort, repeat.

Iconomy? Somebody? Eh? Eh?
posted by cortex at 5:00 PM on September 19, 2002

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