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Aug 19, 2009

Software for Collaborative Fiction Writing


For the past four years I've been exploring ways to use wiki software for collaborative fiction writing. During that time I have seen many non-wiki websites that are devoted to collaborative writing. Examples: Pan Historia, Orion's Arm and We Book.

I never bothered to participate at any of those non-wiki websites. Why not? Orion's Arm was probably the first one that I paid much attention to. I was put off by the restrictive rules for that collaboration. I like hard science fiction and it does not have to restrict itself to the rules used at the Orion's Arm project. Pan Historia seems rooted in role paying, which is something I've never been interested in. Any site like We Book, where science fiction is grouped with fantasy, is automatically starting off on the wrong foot with me. Not surprisingly, when I look at the We Book listings for science fiction and I see nothing that appeals to me. Also, some of the "terms of use" agreements for sites like We Book make my head spin. Bottom line: it has always been easy for me to just click through all those websites. I like the freedom of the wiki format.

However, there is nothing magic about wiki software. Knol is an example of an online platform that supports collaboration with a non-wiki use interface. I think many authors like the idea of being able to control who they will collaborate with, so using a Knol-like platform for writing appeals to some folks. I recently registered at the Book Oven, a new and developing non-wiki website that allows for collaborative writing. It will be interesting to see if that little community can get off the ground.

Similar website: Fast Pencil.

Image credits. I made this image for The Search for Kalid.

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