Comments written on other sites from July 2009

Online drama - Roo Reynolds

A nice roundup of different bits of fiction Roo, thanks.

I’ve been thinking recently about creating online stories without having to construct the narrative or do much writing oneself. Mainly because it seemed the common thread between two things I do and they’re giving me vague ideas about things to do next.

(As they’re projects I’m involved with, apologies if this comes across as self promotional; it’s just that they’re what I’ve understandably been thinking about.)

I’ve been running The Diary of Samuel Pepys for years but it was only recently that I started putting snippets of his life on Twitter. I thought it might be kind of nice but I’ve been pleasantly surprised how well a few fragments a day works as a continual narrative over a long period of time. I really enjoy reading it. It fits in really nicely around all the other snippets of friends’ lives — you get the gist of Pepys’ story through a very small amount of text. And, even better, I didn’t have to write any of it. It’s not fiction, but it’s still an enjoyable story.

The other thing is Pretend Office, an email list of people all pretending to work in the same company. Over time it’s evolved various narratives with no planning and no one having to write more than a single email at a time. It’s hit and miss — some ideas work, others fall flat — but watching characters and plot lines evolve out of nowhere has been fascinating and I’m wondering if this kind of idea can be used for other things.

Pepys and Pretend Office have very different sources — one existing, one made-up as it goes — but neither requires much preparation and it feels like there’s something connecting them (even if it’s merely that they’re both text and both experienced solely online).

On 17 July 2009. Permalink