Adventures in Real-Time Story Collaboration: Day Two (Plot Problems)

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Adam and I have made enormous progress on our collaborative story.  How much?  Day one ended at about 850 words, which is certainly nothing to scoff at; day two, however, ended at about 4,000 words, which seems to me to be an impressive amount of writing for anyone.  To be fair, I wrote close to 2,500 of that, since Adam skipped out for 45 minutes to take care of some business.  That means it’s his turn to add a substantial chunk to the story though.

In any case, some very interesting problems arose as we started work on the project again.  Plotting, for example, proved difficult for both of us, since we couldn’t decide where to take the
story.  We had some ideas, but we each kept finding holes in the ideas of the other, which made trying to pin down a central “plot” impossible.  I don’t think that will be a permanent problem.  We seem to have started in the middle of the middle of a story, which means we’re going to have to add something to the beginning anyway.  At that point, we’ll have an enormous climax and a lot to think about.

But there are some really cool things about using Google Docs for story collaboration:

  1. You can comment live on something that has been written, either to get clarification or make a suggestion (I used this to ask Adam a question about a word I didn’t understand–a medical word).
  2. You can correct one another right then and there.  This is opposed to going back and fixing spelling errors and serious grammar problems yourself.  You don’t have to stop writing.  You can keep going.
  3. You can keep track of all of your research, etc.  And you can share it publicly with everyone as a kind of teaser.  Can you guess what we’re writing?
We’re going to hit the story again tonight (and some of our other individual projects).  Hopefully we’ll get closer to a conclusion (which, by the way, I’m pretty sure is going to involve quantum physics and other insane stuff).
What have you been writing, by the way?  I’d like to know (because I’m a creepy writing stalker).

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida studying science fiction, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and fantasy.

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