Ryan M. Church

The Idea of Collaboration, A Guided Storytelling Experience

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2013 at 2:34 am

I am starting something new or perhaps rare, but I hope it catches on. I am hosting two Interactive Fiction (Inter-Fi) projects on the following blogs:

This is for all aspiring creative thinkers, storytellers, writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, audio program directors, narrators, voice actors, actors, role-players, set designers, prop designers, fashion designers, make up artists, and genre fans who are invited to join in and take part.

The Basic concept: A person presents their concept with the understanding that anyone can participate to help develop and execute the project. While the creator of the original concept retains creative and editorial control they allow the project to develop organically through fan participation. I think this is could be used as teaching tool for aspiring writers who still look to a mentor for inspiration, by utilizing roleplaying and improvisational tools. It also allows fans to contribute to the project. While I suppose any format might do. But, I think a few format guidelines should be suggested to provide some consistency to each project.


All collaborative project has two components Administrative and Creative. If you are flying solo you would make your own rules and there may be little or no need for the Administrative Component, and, the Creative Component will be anything you make it. But, when collaborating and sharing the process and responsibilities in creating, a few guidelines should be delineated for consistency and to avoid toxic chemistry between collaborators.


The Administrative Component is a living work in progress from project to project as needed. This component has a three-fold purpose:

  1. Facilitation – The Function of Facilitation is to keep the Creative Component consistent with the Project Bible, managing creative prompts, choosing the official content from submissions, and mediating disputes. Facilitation should be only evident by the quality content and exceptional execution of the second and third purpose of the Administrative Component.
  2. Rules of Etiquette – These rules serve to minimize conflicts between parties involved in the process of developing and adding content to the project. These Rules should be put into writing to attempt to eliminate conflict in the process. In Essence codifying submission requirements, acceptable and unacceptable behavior amongst all parties, and the process of preventing and resolving interpersonal and creative conflicts.
  3. Recognition – Having your ideas chosen and included in the content is recognition enough, but, I have found that it is essential to compensate collaborators for their efforts even if the creator has nothing to offer. That is why I think a system of offering a points system so that any contributor can see how their contribution matches up to contributions to others as an incentive to gain more points by submitting more ideas.

I have boiled the Creative component into three identifiable elements. The project itself can use the simple framework I describe here. I expect that even if the names are changed, expanded upon, or even  rearranged that they will still be present in the project.

  1. Narrative – The stories in all their forms need a central place where they can be indexed by chronology, storyline and offer access to available sources.
  2. Project Bible – The essential resource for any aspect of the project. In closed projects the Bible is only available to the collaborators. But in the case of an Interfi project the Bible should be publicly visible, because collaboration is open to public involvement
  3. The Gallery – For project inspired artwork, designs, and other fan and collaborator mayhem.aaaaaaaAa

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