Back in March, I wrote about this cool website called Ficlets:
What does "collaborative short fiction" mean in this case? Simple: You, as a writer, post a very short (not more than 1,024 characters) piece of fiction or a fiction fragment on the Ficlets site. People come to Ficlets to read what you've written, and to comment on your piece. If they want to, they can also write a "sequel" to your story or story fragment, carrying the story forward from where you left it. Or, alternately, they can write a "prequel," explaining how you got to where you are in the story. All sorts of people can write all sorts of sequels and prequels -- and of course, other people can write sequels and prequels to those. What you end up with is a story with multiple authors and multiple branchings -- lots of possibilities and surprises.
Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it? If nothing else, it'll be a swell place for some of my half-baked fiction ideas to get closer to fully-baked. (yeah-ha-ha-ha, turn it up, man!)
It only took me seven months, but I've recently taken my first uncertain steps into original fiction writing at Ficlets. It has a structure that works for me: I only get 1024 characters, so I stay focused on turning my idea into something readable in a limited amount of time and space. I don't know why that works so well for me, but I feel no pressure (internal or external) when I do it, so I'll just accept that and enjoy it.
Since today is Halloween, I thought I'd share one of my ficlets. It is a scary little piece called They Don't Come Out at Night. Here's a bit:
You have to keep moving. You have to get to the well and fill your skins, because the house is dry and the night is long.
You have to keep moving, because if you stop . . . no. “No!” You tell yourself. “They don’t come out at night! No one has ever seen them come out at night!”
No one who is still alive, that is.
It was the featured Ficlet last week, and a ton of other writers wrote prequels and sequels inspired by my story. It's fun to discover what other people saw when they read my story, and what their own imaginations created as a result. Some of them are really good, and make for some fun, creepy reading this All Hallow's Eve.