Stained Glass, Half-Empty

    People are trying out lots of things here; I’m hoping I can find some people interested in a particular type of collaborative writing called ‘letter games.’ Letter games are like one of Protagonize’s linear stories, except that each chapter must consist of a message, sent from one character to another. Depending on the setting, it could be a transcription of voice mail, a hologram delivered by a heroic droid *cough*, or a sonnet scratched onto parchment.

    The first letter needs to sketch out the setting, and provide a reason the characters can’t just meet or communicate directly. It helps if the reason they have to write, or send each other vid-logs, or whatever, is a factor which can keep them apart for the whole game.

    From then on, the players take turns. Each person advances the story by composing a message. There are only three rules.

    1) The narrative is always in the first person. You can only refer to things which are public knowledge, or of which your character has personal knowledge (“I read somewhere that...” or “Here’s what the man on the train told me...” or “Then I ducked through the gate, Boss; that’s when I saw...”).

    2) You *never discuss the plot with the other players outside the letters themselves.* The only way you can co-ordinate things is by what one character tells another. You’re always guessing where everyone else is going with their threads of the plot.

    3) This is like improv theater—your goal is to try to incorporate the plot twists offered by the other players, even if you were originally headed somewhere else. Maybe you were thinking your Mysterious Woman in Grey would turn out to be a ghost, but another player just announced that the Woman in Grey is actually a foreign agent! See what new ideas that gives you.

The End

8 comments about this story Feed