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Composition Co-op Game

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Monk2400
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Posted 05/14/08 - 5:07 PM:
Subject: Composition Co-op Game
COMPOSITION CO-OP

What would happen if all the wordsmiths of the Couch got together and composed a story?

Let's find out.

Let's play the Composition Co-op writing game.

Each story must begin from a common set of components and restrictions.

Components:

- Character threads--the sum total of all chapters about an individual character
- Episodes--a single chapter about an individual character
- Setting--common background for all episodes

Restrictions:

- Maximum five Principle Characters*
- Each Principle must be introduced separately in an Episode
- Principle Characters can only be cross-referenced or appear in Episodes if they have been introduced
- All Character Threads must share a common connection to the Setting

*A "Principle Character" is a character who can serve as the focal point of a Character Thread.


How to Play:

Each new story should be created as a new thread in the Gallery and Open Mic forum.

Title: Composition Co-opt #nn: Story Title: Episode Title

Each new Episode should be written in a new post in the story thread.


The author of the first Episode in a story series gets to define the initial setting and first character of the story.

Subsequent authors in the series must write their characters in a setting that is consistent with the first Episode.

Maximum of five Principle Character threads can be defined by authors for a given story.

Any author can contribute to the story.

Authors can compose as many Episodes for as many Principle Characters as they like. But remember to review the story and particular Character Threads before composing a new Episode for a Principle.

Consistency across all Character Threads should be minimally 'the same universe'; thus, if one charcter has super powers, super powers ought to at least be possible in all Character Threads, etc.



To Play:

1. An author composes the first Episode. It introduces the story title, the first character of the story, the initial plot, and the setting.

2. The next author can either:

(a) Continue with the character and storyline of the first Episode
(b) Create and introduce a new Principle Character (up to five per story)

3. Once all five Principle Characters are defined, each successive Episode must feature at least of the five Principle Characters as a lead character.

4. If a character is killed off, then a new Principle Character can be created to fill that Character thread.

5. Individual posts (Episodes) can be any length. Stories can continue indefinetly or be concluded.

6. A story is concluded if each character appears in a Concluding Episode.

7. Concluding Episodes must be identified as such. After a character appears in a concluding story, they cannot appear as a focal character in a subsequent Episode.

8. Concluded characters may continue to appear as secondary characters as required until all threads are concluded.


---


Example:

Episode 1

Title: Composition Co-opt #1: The Crow's Hammer: Impatience (chapter 1)

Author: couch_dude

Setting: Mid-sized modern city near a wide river



Tempest Havershire tapped her foot impatiently. The grocery clerk queue stood motionless as a clerk and an elderly woman debated the value of a frozen dinner entre. This always happens, she thought, rolling her eyes to herself, Every time it happens. She leaned back on the counter and glanced at the magazine covers. Each glossy spectacle of mind-numbing glamour. She thought briefly about yesterday's events. Her feelings were calm and level.

This surprised her. She felt none of the usual symptoms. Perhaps she was simply changing, growing up. She surveyed the elderly lady carefully placing her coins in her purse. Changing..yes. But never growing up!

She motioned to the clerk with a partial smile. As her items were rung through the system, she looked out through the store's plate glass window. It was raining.



Episode 2

Title: Composition Co-opt #1: The Crow's Hammer: Lonely River (chapter 2)

Author: Marilyn

Character: Roy Pillington


The whistle blew strong and clear, signifying the end of the workday for some, the beginning for others. Roy Pillington threw off his gloves and strode towards the factory doors. He waded through the several bodies cramming past the single exist and punched his card to end his day. Outside he walked a ways from the factory and stood uner the awning of a boarded up garage. He lit a cigarette.

He stood on the spot causally, watching the front of the factory. At last he saw the old silver cadilac pull up. A tall gruff man with a shaved head stepped out of the pasenger side and shut the door. He motioned to the driver and the car wheeled away.

Roy dropped his smoke and stepped on it with distinction, grindng it into the pavement. It had to be now. He started across the street.


Episode 3

Title: Composition Co-opt #1: The Crow's Hammer: Silent Curtains (chapter 3)

Author: Marilyn

Character: Tempest Havershire

The door creaked loudly as she swung her appartment door wide using only her foot. She turned sideways to squeeze through the entrance with her two large bags of groceries. Shutting the door with her foot, she strode into the kitchen and heaved the bags on to the table. Taking a quick sigh of relief, she walked back to the foyer and removed her shoes. She tossed her keys in the key basket by the phone and went to the living room. She fell into her plush white couch amid a field of pillows.

She stared out the window. The curtains would need closing now, since it was getting dark. No need to put on a show for the neighbours. Though god knows they might like it.



~etc~

---

Ok, who wants to write a story??
libertygrl
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Posted 05/15/08 - 4:59 PM:

seems complicated but interesting.

i'm currently working on a short story for the summer newsletter so my fiction-writing energy is going toward that right now. but after my story is finished i'd be game for trying this out. do you want to kick things off MM?

smiling face
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 05/17/08 - 6:10 AM:

I'm game. smiling face
Nihil Loc
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Posted 05/17/08 - 5:29 PM:

So this is just one story with a maximum of five principle characters. Whoever begins the first real episode gets to establish the one setting (which is like making a world, a Godly and powerful act).

Can the rule of limited principle characters and setting be evaded by having the characters be narrators themselves, you know the deal, a story within a story?
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 05/18/08 - 4:56 AM:

Nihil Loc = Dan Simmons grin
Monk2400
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Posted 05/18/08 - 2:12 PM:

Nihil Loc wrote:

So this is just one story with a maximum of five principle characters. Whoever begins the first real episode gets to establish the one setting (which is like making a world, a Godly and powerful act).


It also provides a challenge for other authors to adapt and compose a narrative within a given constraint. The thing is, the initial creative act is less important than the development and exploration of the setting. The first author may not be the writer who really fully articulates the setting.


Nihil Loc wrote:

Can the rule of limited principle characters and setting be evaded by having the characters be narrators themselves, you know the deal, a story within a story?


You can create as many characters as you like--as secondary supporting characters. They are can all be a part of a character thread, or used in other chapters.

The idea of the principle character is to give at least five writers a chance per story to define a major character. And, thus, after all five are created, at least one of them must appear in each subsequent chapter.

The idea would be to weave these principle characters together during the course of narration, so that together, as an ensemble, they define the the story.

So in other words, there can be an unlimited number of secondarycharacters, but only five primary characters, around which the total story should revolve (somehow).

8)
Monk2400
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Posted 05/18/08 - 2:23 PM:

Also, the thing about setting the setting: it can be as easy as saying 'city'; but, if you want to make a few more comments about something specific, that will figure into the story, you can further define it.

E.g:

Large modern city, after massive riots.

Large modern city, bordered by a lake and rivers, cold winters.

Small rural area, modern times.


and so on.
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