I had an idea for my new web site that I wanted to share with my blog readers for feedback. I welcome anyone with an opinion or who might wish to take part to leave a comment.
It occurred to me that it might be fun, interesting, and enlightening to gain some writing practice on various aspects of the scene, and to do this along with other writers, in a way that enables those who take part to share their work alongside that of other participants. Hence...
THE PARALLEL WRITING PROJECT
On a bi-weekly basis, participants would write one scene and send it to me by email. I would post the scenes on my web site, side-by-side, as a series of long running "strips", with each new scene posted below the last scene by the same writer. You would recognize each writer's work as you scroll across because each strip would have its own color scheme. The description of the writing challenge for each scene would appear in the first column. Here is a diagram.
The trick is that these would not be a miscellaneous collection of scenes by different writers, but would be scenes focused around specific "challenges". Each writer would attempt to write the same scene in terms of plot/characters as described in the writing challenge for that scene, and with the same focus on particular aspects of scene creation.
It would be interesting to see how different writers approach the challenge or writing "problem". It would be interesting to compare overall style, vocabulary, sentence structure, and the way the scenes are developed or certain effects achieved.
I would set up another blog just for this project, with links between it and the web site. Participants and observers could post comments on the blog site regarding each of the scene challenges and each writer's texts (advice, observations, things to think about). Those taking part would be able to provide input into future challenges or items to focus on, so that it would be a collaborative experiment.
I think the benefit of participating in this opportunity would be:
Sharing work online and getting feedback;
Comparing your work to the writing of others where there is a direct parallel between texts;
Developing an increased awareness of the interplay between style and structure;
Refining your techniques for handling dialog, character development, etc., in the context of a progression of individual scenes.
There would be no fee to participate. Participation would be limited to 6-12 writers to keep the task of updating the site every two weeks manageable. The work you share (texts you submit by email) would remain your own property with your own copyright. There would be no commercial use of this material as posted on my web site as part of the Parallel Writing Project. You would be free to develop your individual texts and seek publication elsewhere, although that is not really the purpose: the intent is to do this as a shared, collaborative writing exercise, "practice writing" alongside whatever other projects you are working on toward publication.
Comments? Anyone willing to give it a try?