Collaborative Fiction is believed to have grown from both traditional fiction writers and writing circles. Often used as an experimental method in creating stories, Collaborative Fiction was commonplace amongst writing circles such as with the Dadaists and the Oulipo. The internet re-invented collaborative fiction, presenting an easier and more accessible way of collaborating on stories or novels. One of the pioneers of online collaborative fiction was on the Baen's Bar forum which produced a book series “Ring of Fire”(a.k.a. 1632 Tech) created all from collaboration via the internet.
Wikinovels are an even easier way to collaborate via the internet. Using a Wiki page as the main hub for the story, it allows access to a wide variety of authors to easily edit and manipulate the story and page. The first well known Wikinovel was by Penguin Books in collaboration with De Montfort University. This team of authors (and publishers) created the Wikinovel A Million Penguins . This collaboration was inspired by the release of Wikipedia in 2007. Two more websites were launched in 2007 in relation to collaborative fiction; Wikinovel and Wikiworld. Both websites had moderators and chief editors which monitored the projects at hand and kept them on track. The consensus reached by the public was that the stories were “predictably horrible”. 2008 was another large year, with four new websites. Some better, some worse. The most mentionable being METAnovel which focused on a “digg” based community voting feature. Fabulate also helped the community participate by authors writing the next page of the story then going up against other authors via a poll of the community's opinion.
Collaborative fiction in some cases can have rules and guidelines. It can also be very open and have any and all input available. Some of these rules are common sense, such as adhering to the genre of writing, practising good grammar and punctuation and staying with the storyline. Some sites enforce a word limit per contribution and some enforce the “one chapter per author” rule. Obviously some big no-nos are killing off main characters in the story, massive amounts of violence and sexual content ( unless the story calls for it) and creating characters that are invincible, infallible or cannot be hurt or damaged (this is known as “God-Modding” and is very much frowned upon)
Collaborative Fiction Games
Votepages is an online writing game where a writer begins a story and passes it off to others to contribute. Contributions are then voted for by the public to decide what comes next. This basically gets rid of the process of “one supreme chief editor” and allows the public to vote for their favourite segments.
Collaborative Fiction games
Alterations of collaborative fictions are also popular. One-word-at-a-time is a wikinovel in which the whole story must be written in wiki-links one wiki-link at a time. Fortunately unfortunately is another one of these alterations. The game is played one sentence at a time. The beginning sentence is the basic story line, then the following sentance must begin with Unfortunately and followed by and event that occurs in the story. The next line must be started with a fortunately and include an uplifting event which occurs. Alternatively there are games with one paragraph at a time, but these seem less fun.