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Another weird-ass idea

Pink Fractal by Sharon Apted
Pink Fractal by Sharon Apted

I don’t have a clue how many of you will be interested in this one. But I figured I’d ask.

See, back in September I did this thing where I tried to write 30 stories in 30 days. I didn’t succeed. But I ended up writing seven stories, and…you know this part already…I had a lot of fun doing it.

And right now I’m participating in an online workshop on book covers. A couple of things have jumped out at me:

  1. Finding good cover art that fits a given story can be pretty tough, and
  2. I’m halfway in love with a throwaway blurb I wrote for the workshop…just to have some text to put on a back cover…so much so that I’m tempted to write a book or story to go with it.

Another thing about September: I didn’t outline anything. I didn’t wait for ideas to come. I wrote 30 initial sentences, then told myself I could pick one each day (or, as it turned out, every few days). Then I’d write a second sentence that would create some sort of tension between it and the first, and I’d just keep going until I had a story.

So here’s my notion: what if I download/license the cover images first? Then I could put ’em up on the site, and you guys could write blurbs/synopses for them. Or at least make rude suggestions. Then I’d write some stories…and if I used (or was inspired by) your input at all, you’d get credited in the ebook. Plus I’d mail you a signed print copy when it was ready. And maybe even name a character after you, if you wanted me to.

(Here’s where some people will worry about copyright issues. I’d make it clear that by participating you’d be allowing me to quote you. Since I’d be crediting a public comment on a blog, it’s not really an issue. And copyright applies strictly to text, not ideas.)

Here’s a caveat: I’m thinking it’ll be October before I can actually do this, because I have other stuff in the works.

I could do a David-only variant of this anyway. I could post the images first, then the blurbs, then do progress updates as I write each story. I’m thinking I’ll try for ten stories this time.

But it’ll be more interesting if you guys come along for the ride. Writing short stories as interactive time-delayed performance art? Well, why not? Harlan Ellison used to write stories while sitting in bookstores.

So I’m asking. Want to play?

Published inMy Fiction


  1. Tom

    I would have a go.

    • David

      That’s one! And a fast response, too. Thank you. Now, are there any more…?

  2. Becki

    Could be interesting to see what responses you get. Depending on what’s on the covers, you could get a really wide variety of blurbs. I’m not much of a writer, but I’d give it a shot.

    • David

      If there are responses. 🙂

      That’s two! A couple more and I’ll figure people will hear about it & come play with us. Of course October is off in the future…maybe I should ask again closer to the start date. Or throw up a pic & just see what happens.

    • David

      Also, who says you’re not much of a writer? I think you write gosh-dang clearly, at least in comments & email, so why not elsewhere? Not all that common a skill…

    • David

      Excellent! Thank you!

  3. I commented on Goodreads but I guess I’ll comment here as well.

    Hey, did you ever mention Harlan Ellison to me? If you didn’t that makes it all the more obvious why I like your speed. I came to Ellison’s website in, oh, 2001, and we all ran around and played. Harlan too. I think he’s great!

    I am into any kind of playing around that doesn’t require me wiping my shoes.

    or even wearing them.

    I’m around.

    sussing out Wattpad, as we speak

    • David

      Nope, I didn’t mention him. But I really, really like his stuff. Glad to have you aboard…I’ve decided I’ll definitely give this a try. Once I finish all the stuff piled up in front of it.

      Speaking of which…I need to get back to writin’.

      • wordwan

        Yes, you are NOTHING without content. *grin*

        I just posted a piece on youtube which I’m gonna connect, in some way, to Wattpad. (I’m the scout; this is what I do. And I wanna ‘promote’ too. This is also what I do.) Something to consider, if you’re into ‘being Harlan”. He would be all OVER this youtube toy. His face, I mean.


  4. Heather

    I’m thinning email files and came back to your email about book covers.

    Let me add something to this.

    The other day, on Wattpad, I finally got back to a kid in a discussion group–the kids, looking for ways to ‘connect’ to folk, set these areas up and do a lot of graphic related things too (lots of artists here, is my point)–and ask someone to give them a real or fake book cover request.

    Well, I made one up, the kid took it and made a cover.

    It got me thinking of doing ‘fake reviews’ for a fake book.

    [And I just encountered some writer on Google+ talking about writing book blurbs; this TOO could be an artform/paid job?–asking your readers to create good book blurbs for you book–meaning, hopefully, they’d have to READ the book first. But I’m digressing, as usual.]

    You could set this up, wherever, but I was thinking, on Wattpad, you could add a cover to an entry–too bad you can only have one book cover per entry–you upload those–but if you have an image to link, EACH section can have an image, a book cover so there’s an added idea.

    I’m sure this shimmies on up to what you’re saying already, but hey, an ‘enriched’ thought for ya.

  5. Shelley Bricker

    If this is going to still happen in the future…count me in !!

    • David

      Will do! Trying to figure out how to make it work. {8’>

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