If you’re familiar with Novel-in-a-Day and Three-Word-Story, you may be aware that Jaysen has been trying to persuade me to let him produce a crowd-sourced chapter within that collaborative novel for a little while. He brought the suggestion up again in the Feature Request thread, and I challenged him to prove that it’s a good idea; you can work on a chapter together in a style that will not jar the resulting experience for readers of the finished books.
Anyway, to give him fair opportunity to prove that it works, here is a sample chapter for a “150 word story”. Like the “Three-word-story” format, you take it in turns to write sections that follow on from the previous section. Unlike three word story, you’re not forced to write just three words. You can write between 100 and 150 words. (NO MORE AND NO LESS PLEASE!). You must follow from the previous sections, and you must work towards the overall chapter outline (shown below).
If you get to the “Ends With” in a sensible time, and you’re having fun, I’ll put up an outline for the next chapter… and then the next… and then the next.
MARCH 2017, in WILMINGTON NORTH CAROLINA
JOHN THOMAS TAYLOR is a 32 year old man, in a failing marriage. He’s a slightly overweight and relatively average if unspectacular guy who works as office manager for a cape tour company (that he doesn’t own). John has a small scar on his left temple from a being knocked off his bike by a car when he was 7.
His wife of 10 years, LUCY FIONA TAYLOR (nee WILLIAMS, age 32) works part time for the local news station as a researcher. Lucy is having an affair with a work colleauge, but John doesn’t know that.
John and Lucy have a single child, an 8 year old daughter called ALICE ELIZABETH TAYLOR. They all live together in a 3 bedroom, 2 storey house in downtown Wilmingon, about 5 blocks from the waterfront.
Things that have happened previously
KELLY MARIE MARTIN came over to the Taylor’s house for lunch who John has known since he was young, and who was at Lucy’s class at the University of North Carolina where John also studied (Nicola introduced Lucy to John). John made something for Lucy and Kelly to eat before he took Alice out to soccer. Lucy and Kelly were gossiping as he left.
It is SATURDAY MID AFTERNOON. Alice has just finished a soccer practice and John is going to drive her home.
John drives Alice home
When he gets back to the house, Lucy and Kelly are still there, but the atmosphere is a bit awkward - Kelly is treating John a bit oddly.
Something happens that cause Lucy and John to have an argument in front of Kelly and Alice.
Lucy snaps telling John about the affair.
John storms out and gets in his car.
Pulling out of his drive, John’s car is in the side by a school bus. [End at the point of impact]
OK – we’ll work like that in this thread. I suggest we have 45 minutes reservations on writing the next bit, but flag in your section if you’ll need a slightly different amount of time. NOTE: at Jaysen’s suggestion, there should be at least four other people between any individual’s contribtutions.
I’ll kick things off, since it’s probably easier to follow than start. If we’ve not got a sensible number of replies by the end of this week, I’ll call off and close the thread.