CWC Sci-Fi Project: #2

Somehow, I literally could not find a chunk of time to sit down and write something, so I am making up for that today. On a Saturday. Perfect.

I’m really liking the idea of doing a weekly post on the progress of the Sci-Fi Project for Collaborative Writing Challenge. Working with CWC so far has been about 25% of my focus and spent energy for the last few weeks, so it’s just as important as anything to give a few updates. I think it will be a fun thing to follow for those of you out there who have never heard of or participated in a project like this, and perhaps a little bit of a “behind-the-scenes” for the book before it is entirely written and published. Who knows? If this gets exciting enough, there might just be a decent amount of people waiting on their toes to read the whole thing!

The voting for the Sci-Fi project closed last night, and it was such a nail-bitingly close vote that I wanted to scream over it. That’s how excited I get about writing. The chapter that was selected to be Chapter 1 of this collaborative novel is a wonderful piece of Sci-Fi, set on another planet of course, where an employee of the planetary zoology research vessel, the Ark, breaks humanoid research protocol and brings aboard a newly discovered native species of the planet. Already there are what could be disastrous consequences for the ship’s personnel, with no actual clue as to what has gone wrong, or how to correct the mistake.

I do think that this chapter was voted in as the winner by the CWC writers because of the intense cliff hanger at the end. This gives the next scheduled writers of Chapter 2 to explain (or not) any number of strange details introduced in Chapter 1. A new species is introduced, and how much fun is it that all three writers who will submit the next chapter could potentially create three totally different fleshed-out descriptions for these creatures?? This is what I love about writing one story with so many different people – all of our brains are so different! I have a hard time even imagining that two or more people would create the same character, the same creature, the same setting and plot twists. And this is Science Fiction here – with the exception of universal laws and a common understanding of technology and its potential, we get to make everything else up! And my job is to make sure that all of the new ideas introduced flow together with what has already been written. This is fantastic!

Of course, the project doesn’t officially launch until June 5th, so shhhh! We’ll keep this on the down-low. I am currently editing the chapter that was voted as our starter, and this week get to write a summary and pick out the highlights. Chapter 2 writers will have five days starting June 5th to submit their work to me. Woohoo!

I know that I can’t exactly give sneak peeks of this book here on my blog. I don’t want to give away too much before everyone has a chance to read the whole book. Right now, all I’m thinking about this project is excitement!!! But in the future, I plan to write about my role in CWC as Story Coordinator, the challenges I face and hurdles we jump over together as a team, the little victories in each week’s submissions. The goal here is to stir up a little bit of interest and intrigue over what we’re doing, and what it’s like to write a complete novel with over 30 other people.

My favorite part of today? Being able to communicate to Laura, the founder of CWC and Story Coordinator for the first project The Concierge (which will be published SO soon), my new-found fasciation with how different writers on this team think and engage in the process. She’s a fantastic role model for how to be a Story Coordinator, and has invaluable insights into a lot of the writers in my project with whom she has already had the pleasure of working in the two previous novels. It’s amazing to me how personalities and individual opinions and needs can so easily be expressed and picked up on just by simple email and social media communication. I never thought that it was so easy to notice the little nuances of someone’s character in communicating through writing alone, let alone their submitted work. Laura has graciously shared her insights with me, and it keeps reminding me that this is, so far, a volunteer writing project that requires a slightly larger set of “people skills”. It’s a good thing I like people, and that I’m willing to learn more about how to connect on a personal and professional level.

It’s a strong testament to CWC already that almost half of my writers for the Sci-Fi project have already been a part of either The Concierge or Ambition. Or both. So it is obviously a phenomenal experience for the writers as well, as their only incentives are experience and the fun of being part of something like CWC. Hopefully through coordinating this novel, I’ll be able to pick out just what it is that keeps these writers coming back for project after project.

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