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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Writing Challenges » Collaboration Challenge - Discussion (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Collaboration Challenge - Discussion
Brendan
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Instead of hijacking snapper's challenge, I thought I'd open a discussion here to gauge the interest. Have a look here here for some practical tips, especially Pyre Dynasty's list.

The idea that I am considering is this: We start with an anonymous first 13 challenge. Everyone votes and comments as per usual. After that, I'll split the group into pairs. Each pair then works together to produce a joint (co-authored) story based on one of the pairs two openings. Each person then gets to vote and comment on the final stories.

For the pairing, I'll use an algorithm that will

  • Match voters with openings that they voted for (at least one will have an opening that they admired)
  • Preference low vote getters with high vote getters and/or member numbers
  • Create random pairings if the above approach doesn't create the final pairings

What are your thoughts about an optional second story - in case there is an uneven number and/or someone really wants to follow up on another person's opening?

Also, it would be interesting to hear about the process of collaboration, once the challenge is finished.

I do have a trigger in mind. However, I will let the discussion play out for a few days before starting - partly because it is the last week before the end of financial year (over here, which will keep me at work), and before some here will be putting in their WOTF stories. So, I'm open to any further tweaks or ideas.

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tesknota
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This could be fun. I'm up for it.

I think that the second story would be a long shot, especially since it would already take a lot of time and effort to collaborate on the first story. Working around people's schedules could get tricky.

Also, we'd have to agree that all who participate in this contest must follow through to the end; since this contest requires partnerships, one person backing out would force his/her partner to quit too, and that's not fun.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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You might want to have people indicate with their votes and comments which stories they'd like to work on with the original author, and let that help you decide how to pair writers as well.
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Utahute72
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I'd be interested in this.
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InarticulateBabbler
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I'm interested, I even have an idea, but it depends on if I can fit it in. The first draft of my novel just hit 220k, and I still haven't gotten to the end. (I'm trying to, though, I promise.)
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tesknota
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I hope more of you all participate! The more the merrier!

As for myself, I want to try something new this time. (again)

I wonder how I'm going to improve my writing even though I never really write what I intend to write. =D

Brendan, I assume we should email you the entries, not post them, etc.?

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InarticulateBabbler
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Well, so far, only three people are showing any interest. Kathleen never does these (or, at least, she doesn't share if she does), more's the pity. [Wink]
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Aw shucks! I think that was a compliment. [Wink]
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snapper
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I'm interested.
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Brendan
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Yes tesknota, send your entries to me via email - that's my updated email for those that have exchanged emails some time ago. Or, if you want, you could hand deliver them, but that is a long way to travel.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Do you want everything sent rtf?
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Brendan
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rtf, doc, docx are all fine.
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snapper
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I'm interested.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Snapper, my friend, you have to write the 13 and send them in now.
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tesknota
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I wasn't going to mention it, but since IB brought it up first... now snapper has to do it. =P
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snapper
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I'm interested.
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snapper
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I'm interested.
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tesknota
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I am unreasonably amused right now.
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snapper
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I'm interested. I'm interested. *SQUAWK!* I'm interested.

Snapper wants a cracker.

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Owasm
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I'm willing to give it a try. I've never collaborated with anyone.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Snapper, that's offensive, prejudice talk. [Big Grin]
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Brendan
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Three openings up. And three days to go. I think these openings, these interesting openings, are feeling a bit lonely, don't you?
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InarticulateBabbler
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You never answered my voting question: do we email the votes to you?

[ July 09, 2013, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: InarticulateBabbler ]

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Brendan
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Sorry IB. Yes, email the votes to me. These are blind dates until such time as I make introductions.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Thanks, I thought that would be the only reasonable way to keep it anonymous: Keep the results in your hands and post them anonymously until the end. But, I didn't want to email it to you if everyone else was going to post their votes.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Looks like there's one entry short of making this possible...
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Brendan
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Update time. So far I have received all but two sets of votes. Every opening has had at least one person vote for them, which makes my job easier. On the other hand, one opening is very popular - but I won't say which one.
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snapper
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How about, for the popular one, all who are interested can make a pitch to the author on what they have in mind for it.
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Brendan
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Ok, let's serenade. With one vote to go, entry number five is this winner, irrespective of who gets the final votes. So those that wish to pitch, er, sonnetify, er, express their vision of where this story and partnership could go, please send them to me. I will put them up on the other thread so all can seen your anonymous declaration of love, affection or just plain poesy. As prize for winning the opening phase, this person shall make their own choice for partner. Serenades will be needed within 24 hours.

(Thanks for the idea snapper)

[ July 14, 2013, 09:51 PM: Message edited by: Brendan ]

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Utahute72
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Dang, how did I miss this one. Since I missed the deadline I will offer myself as a partner for the odd man out.
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InarticulateBabbler
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I don't do that serenading crap. I'm the bad-boy. [Cool]
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snapper
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How about, for the popular one, all who are interested can make a pitch to the author on what they have in mind for it.
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Brendan
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So you don't want to show your hand? That is fair enough. Pitch it to the winner of the opening round. If he can tell me who he chose by this evening, then I can get out the pairings to all.

Here are the results from the openings round.

1st OWASM - 22 votes
2nd - 15 votes
3rd - 10 votes (equal)

Congratulations Ken. For those that have already sent me their pitch, I will forward it on to him.

Everyone had at least two others vote for theirs, so in that regard, there were no losers, and there should be a range of pairs.

I will send out the pairings as soon as I can (after the decision has been made).

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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It might be a good idea for everyone who voted to pitch to the entries they voted for (to be read only by you, Brendan, and possibly the entrants, if you need a "tie breaker") -- to help you decide who to match with whom.

(Or is that whom to match with whom?)

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snapper
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quote:
Here are the results from the openings round.

1st OWASM - 22 votes
2nd - 15 votes
3rd - 10 votes (equal)

Can someone collaborate with me on what this means? Knowing how many votes each place received matters a lot less than knowing what stories placed where.

Geez, physicists. Always think numbers and figures are the only things that matters...

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Brendan
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It's the uncertainty principle, snapper. Once we knew for certain that OWASM had won, we couldn't know both the votes and who won. Not at this stage, anyway - I'm working on an anti-quantum principle that collapses the probabilities into certainty when the pairings are made certain. So, for now, it could be snapper in 2nd, and History and IRWhite in 3rd, or IB in 2nd, and Tesknota and snapper in 3rd, or shimiqua in 2nd, and genevive42 and utahute72 in third, but that last one is of very low probability given the confession above. But I do believe I am close to a breakthrough.
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Brendan
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By now everyone will have received a partner. We have three weeks to work together to create a new story. Due date is Wednesday, 7 August.

You can find each other by the email addresses given here at Hatrack. It will be interesting to see how each pair structures their story, and how each is worked on. My hope is that stories end up going directions that neither partner saw before they started to discuss the story options.

And also that nasty uncertainty issue has resolved itself, with the collapse of probabilities down to new partners. The top place getters were

1st OWASM - 22 votes
2nd Snapper - 15 votes
3rd History and IRWhite - 10 votes (equal)

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Brendan
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Also, for clarity, each couple can choose to complete either story. It is your decision as to which story to complete. I'm even open to couples completing two stories, if they have time.

In addition, I am going to allow an auction for the adventurous. If a person is not completing their own opening, they can put it up for auction. Other people who are also willing to collaborate can pitch for it. This includes anyone that is not yet involved in the challenge, and any current contestants that are willing to create a second story. The best pitch wins the right to cooperate. (I do ask that these new collaborations inform me when they start. And anonymity is no longer an issue.)

How to do this? Whoever created the opening can state (in this thread): "This opening ... is up for auction." An optional time limit for proposals could also be requested. And any suitors should email you directly with proposals, er, pitches.

[ July 16, 2013, 08:32 PM: Message edited by: Brendan ]

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Utahute72
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Congrats OSWAM.
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snapper
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This thread has gone silent.

I would be willing to entertain ideas for my entry - Entry #7 A Small World After All.

All I have is an alternative historical idea that Columbus's estimates of the circumference of the Earth were correct. There are no American continents, Hawaiian island chain, or Caribbean island network. There is only one ocean. The eastern most islands off Asia are the Mariana island chains, the Solomon islands and New Zealand, while the western most islands off of Europe.

When Columbus sailed in 1492, he landed on Guam instead of Santa Domingo - at the same distant traveled. The effects of an sea silk route would have had drastic geo-political implications for all sides.

I would be curious to hear your ideas on how history would have turned out, and of any ideas for a marketable story to come out of it.

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History
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Hey snapper,

Too large an idea for too small a world and story length (4000 words)--at least for me.

Ignoring the physics that such a loss of mass would have upon our good planet's gravity, atmosphere, oceans, and evolutionary biology...

And ignoring the post-discovery immigration, settlement, rise of colonies and independent nations, the intrigues and conflicts for control the continents' natural resources, the escape from aristocratic and religious persecution for some and enslavement and mass murder for others...

...what would the world have become without the existence of the Western hemisphere...

...not in the later years of Western hemispheric, particularly, American prominence,
but before all of this....merely at the time of Columbus?

I suggest stick to the basics:

What's up with Columbus?
What are his motivations and conflicts, both internal and external?


--Is he a ruthless entrepreneur explorer looking for profit?
--Is he self-exiling himself because of an impossible unrequited love for Queen Isabella?
--Is he a marrano (crypto-Jew) seeking a haven (New Jerusalem) for his tribesman pending Isabella's edict of convert or be exiled (which also occurred in 1942)?

I'd suggest reading up on world politics, religion, and economics at the time of Columbus and choose something poignant yet simple around which to wrap this mere 4000 word tale.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Brendan
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All but one pair have suggested more time would be advantageous. As one respondent put it "Those of us who are new to collaboration are spending some time just figuring out how to do it. I think that has lengthened the process. I think a bit more time would be in order."

So I am extending it an extra two weeks. The new due date is 21 August.

But to the one pairing that are nearing the end, I will say this - well done.

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InarticulateBabbler
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I want to say the 4k limit is restricting for a first time collaboration, too.
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snapper
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I agree with IB. Meshing two peoples styles and ideas is really restrictive in 4k. A thousand more words would make a big difference.
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InarticulateBabbler
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I'd say stay within the bounds of a short story. We, at least, intend on actually submitting the resulting story.
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Brendan
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Given that there are only 4 groups, the burden of reading won't be too great for the challenge. IB's idea of using the short story definition, which means 7000 (or is it 7500) max. I hope that takes some pressure off.
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snapper
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Gone for a week and I see no activity on here. What have you all been doing? Why no posts? Not even a progress report from brendan?

I wonder what kind of lame excuse I'm going to hear.

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History
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By necessity I had to place this on the back burner, and I suspect good ol' latecomer Utahute did similarly since we haven't corresponded recently.

Excuses? Beyond family and work commitments, I simply had/have other writing projects and deadlines that required priority.

In my profession, we call this triage. [Wink]

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Brendan
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Er, the dog ate my homework. Um, I mailed it, but you know the postal service - I should have Fedexed it. Ah,

So far I have received one story. I myself have struggled to finish an entry (not my partner's fault, mine). So, I thought, how about a final push for those that are close to finishing - one more week? After that, I will declare this challenge complete if I don't receive any more (and finish our story).

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Snapper, you weren't the only one "gone for a week." The whole server and workshop forum was also gone.

Just glad it's back and people are able to connect again.

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