The Stone Soup Novelist

I have a great idea for a novel. You know what would make it even better?…

About

For all my adult life, I’ve thought of myself as an aspiring writer, but one thing or another has gotten in the way of producing a publishable, long-form piece of fiction: time, motivation, whatever.

So I hit on the idea that a lot of people are like me.  They think of themselves as potential writers, but don’t really write anything, because it takes too much time commitment. Now, if I provide a place where people who have an interest can drop in any time, contribute a little bit to a book, then drop out again, I’ll bet people would enjoy that.  They might be willing to give away their ideas for free in exchange for the opportunity to contribute to a book that is really going to happen.  They get to work out their writing bug, I get my motivation to keep pressing on and draw on the collective abilities of, I dunno, let’s say dozens of people, to be optimistic.

I am not the first person to have this idea.

This San Francisco writer is credited with being the first crowdsourcing novelist: The Unreliable Novelist.  The author takes polls from her readers, gets ideas from them, then writes a chapter; that kind of thing.

This, on the other hand, is a completely crowdsourced novel, with participants writing and voting on each sentence: The Collabowriters. It has sentences like “Even now, he could smell the bloods’  subtle, urinous odor … and it was getting stronger.”  So right there, you know it’s quality literature.  With multiple kinds of blood.

I’m planning to follow a middle path, involving readers in the iterative process of developing the structure of the novel, but writing the final chapters myself. There will be a lot of brainstorming in the early days, I’ll take polls, get ideas for plot points, and post draft chapters for feedback.

We’ll see how it works.


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6 responses to “About

  1. Cat Phillips May 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Have you approached any agents/publishers with your idea yet? I love it. I’m in the process of trying to publish an SF novel right now, though, and I know that the writing only half the battle. I think you’ve got a great concept, and you may be able to pitch the idea with some sample writing to an agent now to hasten the publishing process once the work is complete. Good luck! I look forward to seeing the finished project!

    • dbfurches May 31, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Not yet I haven’t, but that’s good advice. I do plan to start the publisher search well ahead of completing the book, and in the meantime, this blog serves a dual purpose of building a fan base before the book is actually written! I’d be interested to hear more about your experiences looking for a publisher.[update: of course, I could just read all the posts you’ve put on your blog about that very topic!] I know that some people have had success with self-publishing ebooks, but I’m still in the early learning stages for all that.

      • Cat Phillips May 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

        If you’re interested, I am posting about my experiences. Check out the “Book Publishing” links. Most of my posts are about trying to find agents and publishers. I hope some of it will be helpful to you as well 🙂 I haven’t found an agent or publisher yet, but I do have some leads. And I’m trying to make my leads as available to fellow SF writers as they can, so let me know what works for you and what doesn’t. I look forward to hearing from you!

  2. Cat Phillips May 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    PS Sorry to spam your comments, here. But would you like our story ideas to be posted on “The Story” page under the appropriate sub-heading? Or on the home-page when you write a new post? Or both?

    • dbfurches May 31, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Anywhere you like! If your idea relates to a particular post, that’s probably the logical place to put it, but anywhere you like is fine!

      • Cat Phillips May 31, 2012 at 9:36 pm

        Will do. Thanks! This is a great project. I can’t wait to see it finished. I’ll buy a copy, for sure 🙂

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