Evolving stories, creating change/ A reflection on Kevin’s story writing experiment

Yesterday I started to participate in a collaborative story writing adventure hosted by Kevin (Kevin’s Meandering Mind). Basically, he has started a story and a group of us are writing it collectively, though one at a time. I’ve done this kind of thing using paper and pen technology in the past where I hand out pieces of paper with different story starters on them. Students are given 2 minutes to write, the timer buzzes and they have to pass off their story to the right, receiving one from their peer to the left, to continue for another 2 minutes, and so on. Kids love it, I use it as a writing workout to get the juices flowing.

Our story is taking place via Google Wave, though Kevin has also begun the story in two other places as well – find out how you can participate.

Here is the starter, written by Kevin:

To say she was connected would be too simple a statement. She was never disconnected. Even in her sleep, her dreams came to her in bursts of 140 characters. (She knew this because she often woke up and jotted down her dreams, a habit she acquired in her college psychology course. Her notebook was full of nighttime ramblings.) And so, the night of the storm, with the weather forecasters freaking out about the high winds and possible lightning, she, too, began to freak out. She checked for batteries. She stood waiting near the electrical outlets, ready to pull the plugs at the first flash of lightning.The last thing she expected was the knock at the door, but then, the unexpected always comes at the unexpected moment …

So, so far there are 2 variations based on this same starter, the third is being launched this morning. It reminds me that people have an amazing capacity for creativity. With the same givens, different results are possible.

This can be transfered onto our own work in classrooms and organizations. We do not need to be stuck in one story. Especially if we collaborate with others, we can certainly evolve our stories and trigger change for ourselves and those around us.

7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. And just like in the classroom, it takes participants to collaborate (a collaboration of one is sort of lonely). I hope others do jump into the mix, either at our Google Wave (http://tinyurl.com/yjlln5g) or the new Etherpad site (that I have set up (http://etherpad.com/cY2ufkguQ2). I am as curious as you about where the story is going, but also, about how collaboration can expand with technology.
    Kevin
    .-= Kevin Hodgson´s last blog ..Concept Mapping Two Collaborative Stories =-.

  2. How it can expand with technology as well as with the social networks technology now affords us – the people bits, so to speak.

    I’m from Eastern Ontario. I’m not sure where you or the other participants are from. It could be neat to know how far and wide this story is being pieced together. Talk about potential for large system change with these kinds of collaborative tools bringing people together to evolve their stories!

    It’s also a great way for me to learn how to use Google Wave :)

  3. This is really an interesting idea for writing groups. What a creative way to take advantage of Google Wave and have fun doing it. I spend a little bit of every day trying to get people to do some creative writing and am wondering now about ways to incorporate Google Wave into the process.
    .-= Virginia DeBolt´s last blog ..Microfiction Monday #11 =-.

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