About CC

After months of writing with at least two concurrent, unfinished novels in the works, Kella became frustrated with the seeming inability to finish any of her projects. She always found it easier to write when able to bounce ideas off of someone, as well as while receiving constant feedback. After poking Lily, Christina, Ryan, and Grant, Collaborating Chaos was born: an ongoing, revolving-door, round robin story challenge! Each author would contribute a chapter at a time, in collaboration to complete a story that would grow in plot, word count, and theme as it went along. Moderators would be assigned as part-time muses, part-time people-wranglers to keep the rounds going.

Free to read while being written, at the story’s completion it would be edited and spiffed up to be sold in a Pay What You Can/donation format on the site, with proceeds split evenly among the participating authors.

It’s early days, yet.

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FAQ about Collaborating Chaos

(Things you should probably know before jumping in…)

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What is a Chaos?

Nothing goes smoothly in life, especially when you’re working with other people. A Chaos is a round robin story on this site, consisting of three or more participants, each writing a chapter in “orderly” rotation over the course of several rounds.

How experienced do I need to be?

Depends on what role you want to take on, really…

Do you feel like herding cats, and do you have experience doing so? Can you throw a million ideas at someone until one sticks? Can you handle the occasional mediation? You might be a good moderator.

Do you have a burning passion to create something, whether you need the constant collaboration with others or simply want to challenge yourself? Do you know your way around a spell check and aren’t too proud to ask for feedback and/or accept constructive criticism? You might be a good fit among our authors.

And if you’re particularly crazy, you might want to do both. We are not responsible for ensuing meltdowns of any variety. (Unless they happen to be chocolate. Chocolate meltdowns are fine.)

How are participants chosen?

Through signups on the site. After we get enough participants with a decent blend of compatible and contrasting interests, writing techniques, and views on Firefly**, a moderator will assemble the Chaos and send notification emails to the group. The first author to start the round will be assigned randomly, using a special random number generator thingie.

How does the first author in a new Chaos know what to write?

We try to group people with complimentary interests, but with enough variation to make the end result really unique. When a moderator starts a new Chaos, he/she will choose a general theme (such as time period, starting genre, perhaps a starting item or setting, etc.) and assign the first chapter with a two week lead. If the prompts included in the kickstart package sent out by the mod don’t help, authors are encouraged to check out our “Blocked?” section, where we keep a curated list of articles, prompts, and random generators to help get you going again.

Why does the author of the first chapter in a Chaos get two weeks and all other chapters only get one?

The reason the first author gets two weeks for the first chapter in a Chaos is because they are doing an immense amount of heavy lifting in their part. The second, third, and so on authors will have the benefit of ideas sparked during the previous authors’ writing windows, in addition to having their own week to finish their chapters.

What do you mean I have to stick to the assigned genre?

We’re not saying don’t experiment. We’re just saying that if you want to crash land aliens in the middle of 14th-century France, it had better make some sort of sense. And if that major plot tilt has already occurred, just roll with it. Don’t immediately try to one-up by adding a Greek cyclops parading down the streets of Paris. There’s only so much batshittery we can endorse around here, people. Blending genres to an extent is fine, but if we can’t tell that the original Chaos theme is still in there somewhere, then we’re going to put our cranky faces on. And that will cost you a lot of chocolate.**

How do we know how long the story is going to be?

We don’t. The finished length will be a natural conclusion that grows from whatever you and your group cook up together.

What if I need to bow out? Will I still get credit for participation?

You will be credited for the chapters you write. If you need to bow out, let your team know and/or contact the moderator privately. We’re pretty understanding and know that life itself is chaotic, so if you tell us the gist of what’s going on when you leave (you don’t have to go into unnecessary detail if you don’t want to) we’ll be more likely to put you into another Chaos in the future. Try to give us enough time to find a replacement for you, if you can. Replacements will be chosen from the submissions received.

How is story rating decided? How can a story rating be changed?

When the Chaos kicks off, the mod sets a rating cap if one applies. This is decided based on the expressed preferences of the group members selected. We will always try to group people by comfort level, but if your form response indicates you’re flexible with those levels then we will take that into equal consideration. As always, collaboration is key. Talk to your team. If you feel strongly that the rating cap is too restricting for the Chaos you’re creating, see if they’re willing to let you push the envelope a bit. If so, let the mod know to raise any appropriate rating warnings for readers. Don’t just insert a smutty scene if it’s an “all audiences”-rated Chaos and think that everyone after you will just have to deal with it. It’s not fair to your team, it’s not fair to your readers, and the mod will probably give you a very stern kick in the pants.

For further questions, please see our Rules Page!

**…We may or may not be kidding.

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