March 18, 2006

Roll One d10: “Ten-Sided”

by Nick Montfort · , 4:12 pm

Francis Hwang was seeking writers for a collaboration back in January: Now, the project has launched. It comes pre-primed with writing, but invites you to stop back and read further as the blog rolls fictionally on.

“Ten-sided” is by Francis Hwang, with Johannes Görannson, Jess Kilby, Tao Lin, Brendon Lloyd, Jessica Penrose, Glenis Stott, John Woods, Taren McCallan-Moore, and why the lucky stiff. The project is a Turbulence commission; the email from Turbulence explains:

“Ten-sided” is a textual performance in which ten authors collaboratively improvise on a single online narrative. For three months, each author will blog as a fictional character. All ten characters must somehow be connected, and all ten authors are responsible for ensuring that this connection is explored through the course of the story. However, authors are forbidden from coordinating the story beforehand. Instead, they can only take their cues from one another’s public entries. The resulting improvisation resembles a jazz performance or a session of exquisite corpse, but in a new form of creative practice that comments on and employs the multi-vocal nature of blogging communities.

4 Responses to “Roll One d10: “Ten-Sided””

  1. scott Says:

    I’m glad to see this project is taking place, and look forward to watching it unfold. Tim Wright and I banged around a similar idea about a group of blogs clustering around a central narrative event, such as a bank heist, though we never got past the ruminations over pints stage. I’ve seen a few fiction blogs and persona blogs, but this is the first collective narrative blogging project I’ve heard about. It’ll be interesting to see what extent the narratives cluster and emerge around a novel-like center, if they do at all.

  2. josh g. Says:

    While it wasn’t really official enough to be a “project”, I’ve seen it done before a few years ago by some ifMUDders over LiveJournal. I don’t know if theirs was unique, or if other LJers played around with cooperative fictions just for fun. (Although it was more of a group of fictional characters in a common setting, with no real central narrative event to base things on.)

  3. nick Says:

    My theory is that it’s a hoax. None of the characters are actually fictional.

  4. Dustin Freeman Says:

    Hi there!

    I can’t believe I found this. Anyway, myself and several other writers went through this process a few months ago, and actually created a play, which was performed this past week in Kingston, Ontario as part of Queen’s University and Critical Stage Company. Our website, which the original text can be found at, is:

    I was just searching for similiar projects and found this one. The few differences for ours was that we brainstormed ideas in-person in three-hour weekly sessions, but did all our writing and most of our character development through writing online. We also would write for one character for a while, then be assigned another character. Our original mandate (part of a grant we had recieved) was to create a production with the themes of Education, Social Progress and Time. The blogging process created a whole deal of text, which we workshopped down to a 75-minutes play with seven actors.

    I highly encourage you to read Michel Foucalt’s essay: “Of Other Spaces: Heterotopias” which we took our title from, as it inspired us quite alot as we discovered it was what we had created.


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