I’m giving a seminar at Nine Worlds Geekfest 2013 in London on Saturday 10th August.
Collaborate to Create: why story creation needn’t be a solo activity
10am-11am Saturday 10th August
Room: Rad 11
Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow Hotel
Get the handout for this seminar HERE
If you think that the only way to create a story is sitting on your own, staring at your computer screen, then think again. You can create new stories, sitting face-to-face with friends, being social and having fun.
During the day I sit at a desk in the office, writing into a word document and staring at a monitor. When I create stories in the evening, I sit at a desk at home, writing into a word document and staring at a monitor. Perhaps it’s not that surprising I sometimes end up feeling that my writing is more like work than my work. At work, at least, I have colleagues working on the same project to whom I can talk, joke and gain inspiration. At home, my stories are all in my own head. I can describe them to someone, but no one else is really with me. I’m on my own.
“Writing is a lonely job,” wrote Stephen King, probably while he was by himself. Maybe it has to be that way when it is a job, but when we’re not writing for money, but for pleasure, it needn’t just be lonely fun.
This is what collaboration can be. No sitting alone staring at a computer, but sitting around with folk you like, creating a story together, and helping to inspire and enthuse each other.
Collaboration isn’t the right choice in all cases, certainly.
- have a detailed plan of exactly what happens in your story
- want to control of every aspect of the universe you’re writing in
- don’t play well with others
then solo writing is your thing.
However if you:
- get inspired by other people’s imaginations
- want to be surprised by where the story goes
- create stories to have fun
then this seminar is all about how to get the most out of collaborative story creation.
Here are some of the seminar topics:
1. Collaboration – where do you do it?
2. The very basics
- Who does what?
- Who speaks when?
- Who gets to say no?
3. Different models of collaboration
4. Getting more advanced
5. Getting it down
6. Getting the best from it
Here are a couple of examples of stories developed face-to-face with others:
First off, here’s a play script. This was written with five others over the course of eight weeks of face-to-face rehearsals and then performed for a short run at the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington. This is the result of a collaborative model using unstructured group generation, individual ownership with a strong gatekeeper role.
Something very different, here’s the transcript of a story game. This was written/played with four others in just three hours sitting around a table. By contrast to the above, this uses a model of structured group generation with each participant enjoying equal status.
We’ll talk about how story games can be used as tools to aid easy collaboration.