What is the String-Along Project?
Sometimes ideas come like a bolt of lightning, screeching across the sky, touching down and burning one’s head. Turning a living being into a human lightning rod. Yes, it’s true, but that has little to do with what you are about to read.
The idea was simple — collaborate.
Nathan Weaver had this idea that a group of solid authors could weave together a great story, by writing one chapter after another in a rotation format. Where one author would leave off, the other would pick up and continue onward. And even if these authors were given little-to-nothing in the form of a plot or purpose, they could pull out something original and unique.
On Monday, February 15, 2010, Weaver started the following thread in a writer’s forum called Creative Ponderings:
Story Idea #99899200198991863516731
So, I wonder what kind of cool story we could all tell, if we used the old “write one sentence and pass it on” method. Except, it would be more like write a chapter and pass it on. Would anybody be interested in doing this?
Four authors responded to the call: Max Booth III, Jake Cesarone, Jessie Masoner, and Neal James. Weaver provided a simple premise and the first chapter, and with that they were off writing chapters with the only guideline being that each submission had to be about 2,000 words in length.
Magically, the styles of the different authors seemed to meld into one. The story wasn’t strangely disjointed and incoherent, but it moved with a common thread and purpose. It was as if all five authors instantly understood where they were headed.
If you’re an author and the String-Along concept appeals to you, then join us online and maybe you can take part in the next String-Along story. We hope you enjoy our little tirade.
During Nathan Weaver’s senior year in high school, he found himself often blown away at the number of his peers who were talented in various arts planning to major in various sciences. He spoke with a number of his friends about why they wouldn’t be pursuing a career that allowed them to take their artistic talents to new heights, and the answer was almost always similar. Odds of being a successful artist were slim, they didn’t want to sellout their beliefs or morals along the way, and so on. There was money in science. He spent a number of long nights thinking over these discussions and people. Eventually, he decided that just wouldn’t do. He developed a crazy pipe dream of creating an independent film production, theatre company, music label and publisher to help those people who were afraid to take traditional routes.
Weaver and a group of wannabe movie makers and theatre nuts decided to start an independent production company called Onyx Dragon Productions. Later that year, we launched Emerald Dragon online. It was a page within a Geocities website of Onyx Dragon that linked to various written works by Weaver. That was it for the time being.
Weaver took another stab at Emerald Dragon by co-launching an online writing community with author Neal James. It coincided with a crazy idea Weaver had of collaborating with multiple authors on a novel. The String-Along project was born with this and Fatal Flaws began being written under the working title Push. Somewhere along the lines Jake Cesarone, James, and Weaver became ambassadors of the String-Along Fatal Flaws. They kept it on target, polished it and self-published it. At its height, the Emerald Dragon writing community had 50+ users who were very cool people. A lot of great authors and poets. Eventually, it was closed though, as it became too much hassle to run at the time. You can still visit the site in an archived form and read the works of its users at this link.
We took another stab at the String-Along, this time graduating from five to ten authors. And thus, Gun was born.
After a lot of on/off searching for a publisher for Gun, Weaver found one. Unfortunately, after a year, things didn’t work out and we parted ways with the publisher. Renewed interest in pushing it back out under our original banner has resulted in what you see today. Welcome back, Emerald Dragon.