Unexpected Crazy

MCMWednesday, April 21, 2021

Remember how, uh, a week ago I was saying 2021 would be a year of all experiments, all the time? And remember how I had a list of things I wanted to do, with vague musings about their various probabilities?

Yeah, let's blow that up a little.

About 12 hours ago, I had an epiphany about how to convert a few old ideas, merge them with a livewriting #1M1D sorta structure, and then add in the wonderful world of NFTs. Let me explain my thought process, because it might make me seem less deranged.

(unlikely, but still)

I've done projects before where the audience can influence the story through suggestions, usually in direct response to questions I put out on Twitter etc. "Stop or go" = the direction the story goes next. Occasionally, I let people shape the characters themselves in limited ways. The one thing these all have in common is they're open to anyone, and I usually put some effort into making sure the same person can't control too much by themselves — the more the merrier, basically.

NFTs, though, are an interesting notion: one person owns the object, even if it's just an ethereal something. I'm intrigued by this notion, but I wanted to find a way to make it fun for livewriting, so I came up with this:

  • Adopting characters. The core cast of the story will be listed as NFTs, by which people can purchase/acquire those characters' souls. What does that mean? It means you can say "he's afraid of bees" or "his heart's been broken too many times" but you can't say why or how. You can define the personality, but not the history. It keeps things interesting, while still giving a sense of ownership.

  • Owning chapters. There are 31 chapters in the story, and each one can be acquired as an NFT. If the chapter hasn't been written yet, you can answer some questions to nudge the story. If it has been written, you not only own the chapter itself, but you have access to the original outline — so if the story wildly diverges from its intended trajectory, you'll be one of the few people who knows how/why.

  • Wildcards. This is the fun one. There will be 3 wildcards minted, the owners of which will be able to make any single demand and have it integrated into the story ASAP. These have the potential to blow everything up, so they've got to be limited in number, but they also have the potential to make things really, really fun — which is why they were the first aspect I thought of when I started down this path. Chaos, baby...chaos.

So what happens next?

Well, I have to write the actual outline, figure out the mechanics (actual keystroke livewriting? or post-when-done? and what timezone? and starting when?) and then ramp up my brain for the big event. I have an inkling of what the story will be, with some fun ties into the NFT community... it's just a matter of finding the duct tape and getting down to work.

Regardless of how this project turns out, I also know which of my previously-listed ideas will be coming up next. It's gonna be a crazy year. And possibly productive, too!

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