Born from pain, built for good.
The String-Along project is a collaborative effort where multiple authors, in locations around the globe, come together to tell a singular story. Sometimes not knowing where to go with a story until the previous author in rotation provides a chapter update. The first in the series is called Fatal Flaws and can be found online in both paperback and digital formats.
About the author
Where did GUN come from? Well, it all started several years ago with a totally different book, when a bunch of us authors met on an internet writing site. We wanted to do a collaborative work, and decided on the “string along” format. One author wrote the first chapter, then another author read it and wrote a following chapter, and then a third author, and etc. There were five of us in all, and we agreed to try to finish our chapters within two weeks when our turns rolled around. We eventually wrote nineteen chapters in total, about four from each of us.
Well, you know how life goes: seems every time one of our turns rolled around, that’s when life got hectic. The two-week cycle was rarely enough time. So in the end, it seemed like forever before we could finally finish the story. The story was called Fatal Flaws, by the way, and it is available on Amazon, and we were quite pleased with it, despite the slow process.
As for GUN, we wanted to do another collaborative work, but we didn’t want to have to wait around for each other to do our chapters one at a time. We wanted a way to do them all at once. So we came up with the idea of an inanimate object being the thread to tie them together. That way, each author could write his chapter without needing to read the previous chapters first. The object wouldn’t really change, and each author would create his or her own characters and settings. We settled on the idea of a mystical gun with its own conscience to be the object in question.
But the various chapters still had to flow when assembled. To give the narrative a smooth, connected sense of flow, we came up with a list of “waypoints” for the gun. Each author had to start with the gun at one waypoint, and then end up with it at the next waypoint. What happened in between was solely up to the author. If we stuck to our assigned waypoints, the story should flow smoothly once the chapters were bolted together.
We started with thirteen authors, each writing one chapter, but three dropped out along the way. The chapters still had to be written, though, to connect all the waypoints. So three of us each wrote an additional chapter.
After all the chapters were written, of course there was much editing, and a few cases of correcting contradictions that had crept in. But overall, the approach worked quite well, and we were all very pleased. Hopefully, you will find the results pleasing as well. Happy reading!