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An idea for next workshop

26 Nov 2022 07:23 #75980 by jay_manus
An idea for next workshop was created by jay_manus
I'm so blown away by the quality of stories in these workshops, and on the site in general.  So many amazing characters, powerful, sexy, good, evil, conflicted, simple or complicated superwomen being invented, read about, and certainly enjoyed, but then... what?  They slip down on the new stories list, and mostly aren't heard from again?  What a shame!

Suppose we run a contest in which writers can incorporate characters from two or more authors into one new story?  Maybe pit one author's evil supergirl against another, or invent a league of superheroines out of characters from 5 or 8 stories?  Or write a story about a new character, but populated by characters from earlier stories?  Maybe they make cameo appearances.

Not only would this produce some very interesting stories, but it would encourage many prospective writers to delve into the library and re-read their favorites, or search for that one story they loved but can't remember who wrote.  And readers would find themselves diving into the library as well, to read the stories where these characters first appeared.

To be fair to the authors, I'd suggest that the organizers put out a call for folks to voluntarily offer their earlier stories or their characters, and only those submitted would be permitted to be used.  And they should be referenced and credited in the stories that use them.

What do you think?
 
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26 Nov 2022 08:42 - 26 Nov 2022 11:00 #75982 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic An idea for next workshop
I agree, Lfan's excellent Zuperfriends (especially part 2) could be resurrected with a sudden change of mind from Zee about terminating the agreement, with a whisper in her ear of "!niaga lriGrepuS uoy edam tsuj ev'I"
 
Last edit: 26 Nov 2022 11:00 by Monty.

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26 Nov 2022 16:19 #75985 by Rjjt456
Replied by Rjjt456 on topic An idea for next workshop
I think I can see what you’re saying but this also sounds like a complicated workshop to run, and need enough people/authors to submit their characters and stories for people to use.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very interesting idea especially since it would (hopefully) encourage people to delve into the story bank, but it might need too much for casual writers to participate, and we are often aiming to get as many writers as possible into these workshops.

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26 Nov 2022 17:27 #75986 by jay_manus
Replied by jay_manus on topic An idea for next workshop
Monty, that’s another interesting idea - a continuation of another author’s story. We’ve all gotten to the end of a story and wished it could have another chapter!

But I think this would cut too close, for most previous authors to consider. Offering new life for your character is one thing; giving up control of your story line is quite another. 

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26 Nov 2022 17:46 #75987 by jay_manus
Replied by jay_manus on topic An idea for next workshop
Rjjt, yes, definitely a more complicated workshop to run, both in terms of pre- workshop effort and moderation and, let’s face it, policing of the submissions. And maybe even scoring, if we want to factor in things like fidelity to the original character (I don’t think we should).

But while I’m not sure I agree that it would dissuade new writers from trying their hands, that wouldn’t really be the goal of this workshop. The goal would explicitly be to breathe new life into forgotten works, to bring additional recognition and kudos to previous authors, and remind folks that we have an amazing corpus of excellent stories in our archives. There will always be another workshop which promotes new writers (he says blithely).

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26 Nov 2022 18:47 #75988 by Rjjt456
Replied by Rjjt456 on topic An idea for next workshop

Rjjt, yes, definitely a more complicated workshop to run, both in terms of pre- workshop effort and moderation and, let’s face it, policing of the submissions. And maybe even scoring, if we want to factor in things like fidelity to the original character (I don’t think we should).
Usually we don’t have to police the submissions that much (or rather, Woodclaw haven’t brought up any especially problematic ones to my attention. 
Scoring will always be subjective due to how people are different and value different things. One thing might weight more for one person than it does for someone else.

But while I’m not sure I agree that it would dissuade new writers from trying their hands, that wouldn’t really be the goal of this workshop. The goal would explicitly be to breathe new life into forgotten works, to bring additional recognition and kudos to previous authors, and remind folks that we have an amazing corpus of excellent stories in our archives. There will always be another workshop which promotes new writers (he says blithely).

The reason why I imply that it could dissuade new writers is due to the possible amount of work people might have to take on if they want their story/continuation to stay faithful to the original source material. I certainly think that I’m the kind of person that would do a fair bit of research before outlining anything, but again, people are different and people might take things more lightly than me (which I wouldn’t be surprised about).

The idea of people taking their own stories and possibly remixing them is an interesting thought though (but would limit the scope, I recon now that I write this).

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26 Nov 2022 21:24 #75990 by jay_manus
Replied by jay_manus on topic An idea for next workshop
Yup, all good points, Rjjt, thanks.

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26 Nov 2022 21:53 - 26 Nov 2022 21:55 #75991 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic An idea for next workshop
The concept is interesting and bold. However, given that most stories here are character-driven, the characters are an author's seed corn and their inspiration -- and passion. 

Most stories essentially start with a somewhat unique character that has a story and world wrapped thinly around them and a plot to give them something interesting to do. But most start with a character concept. And many of us get very attached to our characters. 

I suspect many authors who still plan to work with certain characters they've created would not want to see them handled in ways that aren't true to their intentions and personality and so forth. But old characters who we are done with might be fine to share. 

I find world-building/fictional universes are the easiest to share, with characters the hardest unless they are first abandoned. And in some cases, it might be hard to find the original author to get permission. 

Not suggesting this can't work, and I'm intrigued by the idea of characters from different universes being combined, but its certainly more involved than other workshops.

I've always thought that a mature story involving a Superman and Caitlan Fairchild mashup (for instance) would be fun to write. Or a hookup between Spiderman and Supergirl. Thor and Diana. The general theme of hookups/collaborations between superpowered characters from different universes is appealing. Given the amount of freedom we have to be creative and to paint outside the lines here.

I'm sure there are interesting such mashups in the SWM library as well. 

Shadar 

 
Last edit: 26 Nov 2022 21:55 by shadar.
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27 Nov 2022 12:55 #75993 by Woody
Replied by Woody on topic An idea for next workshop
For me I think it'd be akin to rumoured clauses in action stars comments stating "they can't lose a fight." It's one thing to write your own heroes losing: you know why you'd do it (character growth, plot point , redemption arc etc) but it's different when you don't have that control.
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27 Nov 2022 19:05 #75994 by jay_manus
Replied by jay_manus on topic An idea for next workshop
Yes to both of the above comments. And even though the suggestion is to have previous authors volunteer their characters, there may not be very many who will do so. A poll might provide some data and shed some light on that (yeah, yet more work…). 

Shader’s note brings up the idea that we might share universes rather than characters. That feels a lot less compelling to me, perhaps because in many cases (as he points out) the universe is just a thin wrapper around the characters, who are really the main event. But still, that could be a way forward. And there are some very well conceived universes out there. 

And I like the idea of incorporating commercial characters as well, but there has to be some element that retains the goal of resurfacing older stories. 

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27 Nov 2022 19:36 #75995 by Rjjt456
Replied by Rjjt456 on topic An idea for next workshop
Funny that you bring up universes since I was asked just short of a month ago to make a doc explaining my “world(s)” and characters in an easy way to understand.
Something like that could be useful if we try and do a workshop similar to what is being suggested .

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