Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Has anyone considered a post system where one person starts off a discussion, then leaves the actions and such open ended, allowing others to post upon their story using fictional characters to have a novel or short story written by a community of people/characters. Sounds good, no? Or does this already exist, and I have proved my inherent n00b-tainted soul?

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In many communities, systems like this are referred to as roleplays, or sometimes round-robins. There's usually an OOC (Out of Character) thread where plots are discussed, and characters are agreed upon, and major turning points/events are hashed out, and the main thread, where the writing actually takes place by two or more individuals. It can be fascinating reading, and fascinating participation. But it can also take you unawares, if you're not used to sharing your characters (imagine all the work you do on a setting, only to have the story exit, stage left, after five posts...or having a character fleshed out in backstory, with notes and such, only to discover someone else killed him off (although this is considered bad form--no killing off main characters without permission).

But many people enjoy it--it can be a fun way to stretch your writing chops and learn how to work with people.

Cheers and welcome!
--Athena
I was on a different site about a year ago, an that was one of the core concepts of the literature. A lot of good writing came out as a result. Concerning your point about being 'caught unawares', that is only the case a very small portion of the time. The people who tend to be attracted to RP writing, as it were, typically are not the kind of people who would deliberately destroy another's work. If someone's troubled regardless of any third party advice given, then the current storytelling forums are a good place for that, no? And about the whole 'killing off' scenario, (though it often turns out this way), a discussion need not become violent. These are called "Battle RPs", I believe, and this does not seem like a place where that kind of writing could flourish. Perhaps just a dieselpunk noir novel written in the likeness of Jitterbug Perfume, with a cast of various characters in various locations that are all connected, if not by mystical perfume of the gods, then perhaps by a Pulp Fiction-type Holy Grail item, or they don't have to be looking for something at all. Just a little food for thought.
like the flashlight game from summer camp? I like it
Not so much a tacking on of sentences to make a story, but rather each contribution as a chapter in a novel. Participants may come and go, so there's no need for something to 'fizzle out'. I have seen stories that started as Battle RPs turn into soap operas, by which I mean that anything can happen in these.
Sounds like a good idea. By the way, have you read Jitterbug Perfume? The story is structured in such a way that there were multiple scenarios and many different characters, but they were all connected. The movie equivalent of this would be Pulp Fiction. I refer to this because knowing how that kind of writing works would help tremendously in that particular situation.

Ella Kremper said:
Last post in my thread was a year and a half ago, so I'd say it's fizzled out! Everybody commented on how life had got very busy and that was why it dropped off (as is life!). But then, the Smoking Lounge community is a smaller one, and there was no time limit. I'm glad I've got the chance to finish it myself as I liked the concept and I enjoy writing stories myself.
People would write entire scenes and situations and post them - not quite chapters, but it's not randomly tacking on sentences, I was merely comparing the game mechanics to having multiple authors, similar to what you initially envisaged. I certainly didn't plan to introduce some characters that other people did but you just roll with it. Ours wasn't a Battle RP as such, I was looking to start an epic multi-author story.
Wesley R. Mortega said:
Not so much a tacking on of sentences to make a story, but rather each contribution as a chapter in a novel. Participants may come and go, so there's no need for something to 'fizzle out'. I have seen stories that started as Battle RPs turn into soap operas, by which I mean that anything can happen in these.
It isn't similar in story, but the structure of many different characters all interacting in some way is something that both stories are built with.

Ella Kremper said:
I've not read Jitterbug Perfume, but the title itself is enough for me to put it on my reading list! Thank you, it sounds intriguing. I really liked Pulp Fiction so something on that lines should entertain me nicely.

Wesley R. Mortega said:
Sounds like a good idea. By the way, have you read Jitterbug Perfume? The story is structured in such a way that there were multiple scenarios and many different characters, but they were all connected. The movie equivalent of this would be Pulp Fiction. I refer to this because knowing how that kind of writing works would help tremendously in that particular situation.

Ella Kremper said:
Last post in my thread was a year and a half ago, so I'd say it's fizzled out! Everybody commented on how life had got very busy and that was why it dropped off (as is life!). But then, the Smoking Lounge community is a smaller one, and there was no time limit. I'm glad I've got the chance to finish it myself as I liked the concept and I enjoy writing stories myself.
People would write entire scenes and situations and post them - not quite chapters, but it's not randomly tacking on sentences, I was merely comparing the game mechanics to having multiple authors, similar to what you initially envisaged. I certainly didn't plan to introduce some characters that other people did but you just roll with it. Ours wasn't a Battle RP as such, I was looking to start an epic multi-author story.
Wesley R. Mortega said:
Not so much a tacking on of sentences to make a story, but rather each contribution as a chapter in a novel. Participants may come and go, so there's no need for something to 'fizzle out'. I have seen stories that started as Battle RPs turn into soap operas, by which I mean that anything can happen in these.
Been running a "Parrotpunk" RP at Alternatehistory.com for a while and it's been a blast. Mixed bag on players, some completely great, a couple drop-outs I had to write around, and one stoner who's been alternately awesome or WTF depending on his THC levels (not sure whether high or low creates the good side, so, yeah).

Let me know if you start one up, I'm game.
Ever consider a story without characters. Just intense scene settings, mood and atmosphere.
Actually, I was thinking exactly the opposite. I once had to write a paper about what you considered to be the most important element of writing and why. I chose character, considering that regardless of setting, or any other element, there is no story without characters. Even if one were to make only a "scene" the scene would take that place of roles in a story.

earthman said:
Ever consider a story without characters. Just intense scene settings, mood and atmosphere.
Eh, you can make setting a character, but it's a harder sell these days--people don't have the patience to "settle in" to a story like they used to. Plus, it needs other characters with which to interact.

Also, Cap'n Tony--Parrotpunk? This, I've gotta see. Linkie, por favor? I confess that part of me is seriously hoping for Jimmy Buffet fanfic...
Athenaprime said:

Also, Cap'n Tony--Parrotpunk? This, I've gotta see. Linkie, por favor? I confess that part of me is seriously hoping for Jimmy Buffet fanfic...

Not Jimmy Fan-fic per se, though definately inspired thereby:

Everyone goes to Bogie's - a Parrotpunk RP!

Silly little idea that began as part of a joke thread "Come up with the Wierdest Something-punk Genre". I submitted "Parrotpunk" as "The world according to Jimmy Buffet songs. Azure-watered island party paradises filled with clueless tourists sipping daiquiris...while in the shadows intrigue abounds and exotic danger is only a Grumman Goose hop to a pirate town on a lonely cay! Cowboys, pirates, smugglers, shady pilots and boat captains, femme fatals, and modern day warrior-bards blend with clever and industrious natives. Cargo cults clash with drug-runners. Sport Fishermen uncover cursed Aztec gold. And everyone follows the unspoken rule that at sunset conflicts get put on hold and all observe a moment of silence and self-reflection with a Cuban cigar and an overproof Jamaican rum."

I also call my summer Panama Hat and Cuban Shirt look "Parrotpunk".
That could be lot's of fun! I love the idea!

Cap'n Tony said:
Athenaprime said:

Also, Cap'n Tony--Parrotpunk? This, I've gotta see. Linkie, por favor? I confess that part of me is seriously hoping for Jimmy Buffet fanfic...

Not Jimmy Fan-fic per se, though definately inspired thereby:

Everyone goes to Bogie's - a Parrotpunk RP!

Silly little idea that began as part of a joke thread "Come up with the Wierdest Something-punk Genre". I submitted "Parrotpunk" as "The world according to Jimmy Buffet songs. Azure-watered island party paradises filled with clueless tourists sipping daiquiris...while in the shadows intrigue abounds and exotic danger is only a Grumman Goose hop to a pirate town on a lonely cay! Cowboys, pirates, smugglers, shady pilots and boat captains, femme fatals, and modern day warrior-bards blend with clever and industrious natives. Cargo cults clash with drug-runners. Sport Fishermen uncover cursed Aztec gold. And everyone follows the unspoken rule that at sunset conflicts get put on hold and all observe a moment of silence and self-reflection with a Cuban cigar and an overproof Jamaican rum."

I also call my summer Panama Hat and Cuban Shirt look "Parrotpunk".

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