the delphic expanse

Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Here's where we'll post challenges, word prompts, round robins and other fun stuff.

Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby Aquarius » Tue May 01, 2012 10:13 am

This past semester was particularly frustrating because, aside from Spring Break, it left me NO time for personal writing. And those rare occasions I had time, I was either so deep into academic mode or just so mentally drained that I was unable to slip into fannish writing. Now that the semester is over, I'm antsy and I want to DO stuff.

Some of the 'ships here seem underrepresented at this particular community, while others, I've heard their fans lament the fact that there just isn't much out there for their particular 'ship at all. I was thinking that a set of round robins might be a fun way to A.) get people talking about their favorite 'ships or 'ships they want to see more of, and B.) use teamwork to help out those who might be struggling with their muse. Also, it might help in terms of helping everyone to find more like-minded people. Forums are a vicious circle: people don't participate if there doesn't look like something's going on, but there isn't anything going on if the people don't participate. This might be a great way to generate some buzz about your favorite pairing/more-ing and get more people playing in your particular sandbox. Also, the people who've already been here for a while may be inclined to try something new -- which has been known to happen! 8-)

Basically, I guess I"m wondering if this is something you may be interested in. Naturally, there would have to be some kind of structure and ground rules put into place: is each person responsible for a paragraph? A whole chapter? Or do they write as much or as little as they have until they run out of steam? And if it's the latter, I suggest a "no one-liners" rule -- we did a round robin thing at a Han/Leia community years ago, and every time things started to heat up in the romance department, one particular member would swoop in and thwart it with one sentence. It was funny the first time, but by the sixth it got old. :roll: I don't know if she was uncomfortable with romance or if she just thought she was being funny or what, but the people who'd worked hard on the previous paragraphs didn't appreciate it! :evil:

And that brings to mind other questions: would you want established turn-taking? Or just whoever wants to picks up the ball and runs with it? My suggestion, for what it's worth, would be the turn taking, so no one gets left out or accidentally duplicates someone else's efforts, but whatever people want to do is fine. If you're worried about it being your turn and you can't do it because of a silent muse or big family thing going on or whatever, you can always say "pass".

Another thing: if you want the freedom to make it NC-17, each group will have to negotiate among themselves how they want to handle that. Not all fans of a 'ship are comfortable writing/reading it, so each group would need establish its own ground rules and protocols for that.

Also, I would suggest three as a minimum number to sign up for each 'ship. That way if someone has to pass or drop out completely, one person isn't left holding the bag.

Sorry this got long -- as the title says, I'm thinking aloud a bit! :oops: Any way, if this is something you'd be interested in, let's discuss it! 8-)
Avatar by Misplaced.
User avatar
Aquarius
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby Kathy Rose » Tue May 01, 2012 11:55 am

I participated in some round robins a few years ago, and enjoyed the experience, so I'd be up for it again. The best method seemed to be to write however much you wanted, but no longer than a chapter. That was qualified with it had to be at least a couple of paragraphs. (That would eliminate the one-liners you mentioned, Aquarius.)

There was no set plot; whoever was writing could take it in any direction they wanted -- within reason, of course. No wildly veering off topic. It had to advance the story, or character development, etc.

As far as assigning... it seemed to work best that as each portion was posted, another person would call dibs publically, that is, by posting immediately after that section that they would do the next part. That was especially good for me because sometimes I would read the most recent installment and have an inspiration. I do remember a few times when someone called dibs, but a week or two would go by and nothing was posted. In those cases, whoever was antsy to do some writing on it would contact the person who had called dibs to see if they would be willing to relinquish their claim. I would think a round robin would require a certain amount of reponse time by the current writer so that those participating don't lose interest or even forget about it.

Just a few thoughts. :geek:
Old enough to know better, but that's never stopped me before.
Kathy Rose
Captain
 
Posts: 2873
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:50 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby Aquarius » Tue May 01, 2012 12:39 pm

Lots to think about!

One of the things I was intending for this is to end up with finished products that are archivable. Sometimes people will visit archives but not forums, and vice-versa. So I was kind of thinking of this as a way to attract attention in both spaces --discussion here, chapters posted in the archive. That's why it might sound like I might've been leaning toward the each person does a chapter method. However, if the participants want to do as little as a few paragraphs and are okay with deciding when it's a "chapter", that's cool, too.

Also, if going with the method that people can add however much they want, it would make sense to post the in-progress segments here to the forum, which I can do. But if a group wants the flexibility for NC-17, I would have to set this up in a protected area that is not viewable by non-members or those not logged in, so that would kind of negate the attracting attention to your 'ship in the forum idea...unless that was used strictly for posting the segments and calling dibs, but all other discussion about the round robin take place out in the open?

Hmmmm... :geek:

More thinking aloud--sorry! If anyone has anything to add to what anyone has said so far or has other ideas to contribute, I'd love to hear it! 8-) Also, you can just say if you're interested, even if you don't want to add anything to the logistics end of things.
Avatar by Misplaced.
User avatar
Aquarius
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby panyasan » Tue May 01, 2012 2:47 pm

So to sum up: you can sign up for a round robin of the ship of your liking or start one?

I really like the idea of Round Robins - I read a very nice one at the old HOT-archive. I also participated in one. It was fun, but I noticed a couple of things.
1. At one point I totally lost where the story was going and also lost interest. In the end we discussed the story line and that helped a lot. Maybe you can create a thread where the round robins-writers discuss their story line.
2. The story gets a burden when you lost your interest and inspiration and RL is knocking at your door. So I think it's a good idea that you give people a chance to say "I pass".
3. I always need a beta - which brings up the question: what does the beta do? Is he or she just checking if the English is good? Or can a beta give advice about the chapter you wrote? Or is the beta like a Round Robin director - keeping an eye on the several storylines and pointing people to a certain direction. Before the first letter is put on paper - you need to think about the role of a beta and if you even want one!
4. Make up your mind what kind of story it's going to be before you're start writing: if AU is "aloud" or MU or MU meet RU. Know what to expect. I wrote something in a chapter of the round robin I mentioned - and some of the other writers really disliked my idea. The reason was that they had a whole other view of the setting of the story (RU story instead of a more AU story) than I had.
5. Which brings me to the last point, maybe all to obvious, write for fun and give room for other ideas than you had, otherwise the Round Robin wouldn't work.
Avatar by Bluetiger
User avatar
panyasan
Commander
 
Posts: 746
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:12 am

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby Kathy Rose » Tue May 01, 2012 3:52 pm

Perhaps if we had a very general, even vague, outline for a story? That would help give writers an idea of where the story is supposed to go. (e.g., Trip and T'Pol are stuck on a desert island. They must overcome many obstacles and finally undertake their own rescue.) But a detailed outline can detract from the enjoyment of taking part in a round robin because some writers might feel too restricted, or have an idea that doesn't fit if they have to stick to the outline. Six of one, half a dozen of another, I guess...

I tend to favor posting in the forum, then moving it to the archive. For one thing, I think the forum tends to be more user friendly as far as leaving reviews on individual entries of a round robin. Perhaps a notice could be put on the archive's front page that a round robin is in progress on a forum? As far as making the round robin stories archive ready, someone could volunteer to beta the story as it progresses? What I mean is, post the original unbeta'd entries in the forum, then later someone can do the betaing before it's archived. Part of the fun of a round robin for me is the continuing excitement of waiting for the next part, and I think if we get hung up on making it archive ready piece by piece, that's really going to slow down the process.

To NC-17 or to not NC-17? Well, it doesn't bother me either way, although we might get more participants and readers if it's not. However, if it was NC-17, I do agree it would have to be in a protected area. However, do we want to limit our authors' creativity by declaring NC-17 off limits? And we are talking pairings here.

Another thought on length of entries... instead of a few paragraphs as the minimum, how about a scene?
Old enough to know better, but that's never stopped me before.
Kathy Rose
Captain
 
Posts: 2873
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:50 pm
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby EntAllat » Tue May 01, 2012 5:36 pm

Just a quick comment:

I love this idea! The only round robin I've ever done was for modifications to a physical object and we did it via snail mail, so it was pretty organized. I think something like this would actually get me participating in writing for other 'ships (that I don't currently write) or the non-explicit parts of an NC-17, if what I was contributing was a few paragraphs, a scene, or inspiration, etc. I've worked with a group before and we created some fabulous stuff that way.
User avatar
EntAllat
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3720
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby Aquarius » Tue May 01, 2012 9:26 pm

panyasan wrote:So to sum up: you can sign up for a round robin of the ship of your liking or start one?

I really like the idea of Round Robins - I read a very nice one at the old HOT-archive. I also participated in one. It was fun, but I noticed a couple of things.
1. At one point I totally lost where the story was going and also lost interest. In the end we discussed the story line and that helped a lot. Maybe you can create a thread where the round robins-writers discuss their story line.
2. The story gets a burden when you lost your interest and inspiration and RL is knocking at your door. So I think it's a good idea that you give people a chance to say "I pass".
3. I always need a beta - which brings up the question: what does the beta do? Is he or she just checking if the English is good? Or can a beta give advice about the chapter you wrote? Or is the beta like a Round Robin director - keeping an eye on the several storylines and pointing people to a certain direction. Before the first letter is put on paper - you need to think about the role of a beta and if you even want one!
4. Make up your mind what kind of story it's going to be before you're start writing: if AU is "aloud" or MU or MU meet RU. Know what to expect. I wrote something in a chapter of the round robin I mentioned - and some of the other writers really disliked my idea. The reason was that they had a whole other view of the setting of the story (RU story instead of a more AU story) than I had.
5. Which brings me to the last point, maybe all to obvious, write for fun and give room for other ideas than you had, otherwise the Round Robin wouldn't work.


Basically, I thought I'd set this up on a sign-up basis. In a separate thread (in order to keep things from getting confused), I thought I'd have the interested parties post what 'ships they want to have a round robin for. You could participate in more than one if you wanted to, just put down more than one 'ship when you sign up. As soon as the minimum number was met (like 3, for example). I'd set up a thread in the appropriate 'ship area and then participants could get to work. I'm kind of married to the sign-up idea because while it's supposed to be fun, I want participants who are committed to it within reason.

I agree with the idea of discussing the general storyline first, but that could be something each group could decide amongst themselves.

In terms of a beta: here, we differentiate between beta reading and proof reading. If all they're checking are things like spelling, punctuation, and grammar, that's proof reading. Beta reading goes much deeper. If you check out the Tips for Betas link over at the archive, that will tell you all the things a thorough beta reader should be looking at. Personally, I'm all for using one if you're posting for public consumption. Since my hope is that the finished products will go into the archive, I'm hoping that people will use one.
Avatar by Misplaced.
User avatar
Aquarius
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby Aquarius » Tue May 01, 2012 9:32 pm

Kathy Rose wrote:Perhaps if we had a very general, even vague, outline for a story? That would help give writers an idea of where the story is supposed to go. (e.g., Trip and T'Pol are stuck on a desert island. They must overcome many obstacles and finally undertake their own rescue.) But a detailed outline can detract from the enjoyment of taking part in a round robin because some writers might feel too restricted, or have an idea that doesn't fit if they have to stick to the outline. Six of one, half a dozen of another, I guess...

I tend to favor posting in the forum, then moving it to the archive. For one thing, I think the forum tends to be more user friendly as far as leaving reviews on individual entries of a round robin. Perhaps a notice could be put on the archive's front page that a round robin is in progress on a forum? As far as making the round robin stories archive ready, someone could volunteer to beta the story as it progresses? What I mean is, post the original unbeta'd entries in the forum, then later someone can do the betaing before it's archived. Part of the fun of a round robin for me is the continuing excitement of waiting for the next part, and I think if we get hung up on making it archive ready piece by piece, that's really going to slow down the process.

To NC-17 or to not NC-17? Well, it doesn't bother me either way, although we might get more participants and readers if it's not. However, if it was NC-17, I do agree it would have to be in a protected area. However, do we want to limit our authors' creativity by declaring NC-17 off limits? And we are talking pairings here.

Another thought on length of entries... instead of a few paragraphs as the minimum, how about a scene?


I think a lot of these details are things the individual groups can work out for themselves. If you want a "working" thread, that's cool. But feedback in the same thread? Is that what you're talking about? I agree about original, unbeta'd entries in the forum, and betaing for archival, that's fine.

Adult stuff -- I think that's best left to the individual groups. It's a tricky thing because I wouldn't want to leave anyone out, but I don't want to hinder creativity, either, so I think that's why I'm leaning toward leaving to the group dynamic to figure it out.
Avatar by Misplaced.
User avatar
Aquarius
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby Lady C » Tue May 01, 2012 10:23 pm

Perhaps there needs to be more than one thread for each RR - 1 for the story, 1 for the participants to discuss what they are doing with the story (don't know anything about forum encoding and how hard/difficult it is but perhaps this thread could be private so as not to spoil readers) and maybe even a third for readers to review/comment on the direction the fic is going?

As for encouraging more participation in the lesser 'ships perhaps the next challenge you make could be a RARE PAIR challenge.
User avatar
Lady C
Lieutenant JG
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:46 am

Re: Thinking aloud -- ROUND ROBINS

Postby Aquarius » Tue May 01, 2012 10:31 pm

Lady C wrote:Perhaps there needs to be more than one thread for each RR - 1 for the story, 1 for the participants to discuss what they are doing with the story (don't know anything about forum encoding and how hard/difficult it is but perhaps this thread could be private so as not to spoil readers) and maybe even a third for readers to review/comment on the direction the fic is going?

As for encouraging more participation in the lesser 'ships perhaps the next challenge you make could be a RARE PAIR challenge.


I like the idea of the "rare pair" challenge! I know we have some adventurous writers around here that would be willing to write outside their usual toybox.

I can entertain the idea of multiple threads per team. As for sussing things out privately, the team members can PM each other as well.
Avatar by Misplaced.
User avatar
Aquarius
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Next

Return to Challenges and Word Prompts

  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest