Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Million Word Project

I once had this idea to make a website for fictional stories like Flickr is to photos and YouTube is to videos. The main objective of the ‘Million-Word Project’ was to enable the creation of one thousand stories in one thousand words.

The stories themselves could be of any genre as long as they contained one thousand words exactly. I tried writing a couple stories just to see what the difficulty would be like. Hard, basically.

The rating system for the MWP would be known as ‘championing.’ A user would have the option to champion a story, which would then appear on their user page as a badge or symbol (like a dug on Digg or thumbs up on StumbleUpon).

The badge would be created/submitted by the author of each story (hopefully you’d build up a network of fans who might design one for you). If the author could obtain ten champions (start small) for their story, it would be submitted to the Library of Fame (this is all starting to sound a bit too RPG land).

The author could then see which users had championed their story and read their comments and feedback (a bit like your Digg or StumbleUpon page), while users who had championed a story would be able to interact with other fans and the author too (duh). I didn’t know about things like Twitter back then but there’s no reason you couldn’t have a ‘writers process’ feed or something.

Partnerships with the BBC, British Library, NESTA, the Arts Council and other organizations would have been a good source of initial financing and medium to communicate to an already established audience(s). You could throw in regular workshops both physical and online to help establish an understanding and enjoyment for writing fiction too. Oh well, it never happened.

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