The State of The Web Fiction Community

Note: this is an edited version of the original post. Removed a number of paragraphs for tone, focus and clarity.

When you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes only narrow and exclude people. So create.

Here’s a plan, and I’d love for you to hear me out: I want to get web fiction mentioned in the New York Times, in the space of a year.

No, scratch that. I will get web fiction mentioned in the New York Times, in the space of a year.

Maybe it’ll be on an NYT blog. Maybe not. I’ll leave this deliberately ambiguous because the goal in itself is big enough, and audacious enough to try to attempt – and when it’s done, I’ll write about it on Novelr. The results? We get publicity, we get attention, and – most importantly, we’d have proven to everyone in the Web Fiction community who wants to continue this effort – that anything, marketing wise – is possible, and that you should try. You should do it, you should talk to people, you should change things.

Right now.

What This Has To Do With The Web Fiction Community

I want to talk about a disease that has settled amongst us, as a community of writers. I don’t mean this as a bad thing. When I say that this is bad, I mean it in the same sort of way someone would say that being laid-back and relaxed (and maybe lazy) is okay, but being active is so, so much better.

And that disease begin with a question: what have we done in the past couple of months, in the past two years? What have we done that has fundamentally changed the way web fiction is read, the way it is written?

The answer: very little. And we have all had a part to play in this.

I believe that we have lost our culture of communal creation. We have stopped building things that make web fiction better for ourselves.

Things weren’t always this way. In the not-too-distant past we had some culture of creation. Quite a bit of it happened here at Novelr. And I know what you’re thinking – you’re probably saying that I’m biased this way, because I created Novelr. But I’m not. I’m not kidding when I say that the community – once clustered around this blog – got things done; I had to learn this the hard way.

The Nature of Getting Things Done

Ideas are a dime a dozen on Novelr. They always have been, and they always will be. There have been a crazy number of ideas that have graced the front page of this site for years now – many of them made as observations: ideas for publishing-related startups, ideas for community sites, ideas that writers can adopt in their writing, immediately. They come naturally from Novelr’s job of observing patterns in the digital publishing sphere, and then simplifying that for the use of any writer who so wishes to write and publish web fiction.

And yet – despite this free giving-away of ideas, much like a painter giving away his canvases on the street, screaming, ‘Paint! Paint!’ – nothing ever got done. Nothing sparked. I didn’t realize this, of course. I was too busy chattering away.

One day, I announced that I was going to build a ‘filter for online fiction’. I wrote this without realizing what this meant. Support poured into the comments section of the post. A few months after, we released the Web Fiction Guide. Chris Poirier did most of the work, a bunch of writers and designers and editors hopped on board to help, and we’re still plugging away at it. The point I’m trying to make here is that things only started moving when I announced my plans to do something.

Today, I’m going to do something similar. I want to get web fiction into the New York Times, in a year, by gum. And I’ll do it because getting mainstream press coverage will benefit everyone in this community, whether they had a hand in it or not.

Attitude

But … do you see what I just did? I announced that I was going to do something. I took ownership of a cause. And ownership is important if you want to get things done.

There are three things that I want to examine about community, today. The first is an attitude of ownership. This attitude of ‘I’m going to do this, it would be nice if you’d help me, but I’m going to do it anyway’ – this is a powerful idea, one that has been missing from ours for far too long.

Take a look at this WebLit.us thread, for instance. The central idea is great: get writers to pool their resources together, and then use those resources to market a central gateway for web fiction. It could’ve been great. It could’ve also been a flop. But we won’t know until we’ve tried, right? We can’t know until we’ve tried.

But then – people argued against Becka, the original poster. The debate went on for 22 posts and then … nothing happens. What went wrong?

What went wrong was that nobody took ownership of the idea. Nobody said: “I’m in charge of this, I’m going to do this now – because I think it’s going to help everyone. And if you want to help me, that’s cool. And if you don’t, well never mind then. I’m going to do it, let’s see if it works.”

People were waiting for permission. Things don’t get done when you wait for permission. Things get done when people step in and (to quote a wise man) ‘be the change they want to see in the world’. I know this, because I’ve started it before, by accident. And the result was the collective creation of the Web Fiction Guide.

In the past, Novelr has provided the impetus to do things, to build things. But the problem with a community blog is that if the blogger fails to update (like I so often do) then the momentum is lost, and the will to do things disintegrates. And so it has happened with Novelr. For a long time, I haven’t helped with communal momentum.

I suppose what we do need is a gathering point with this positive ethos, one where writers can get together, and have fun, and create things for the community. I want to build such a site, and I’ll launch it in a couple of months. I may succeed, and I may not, but it doesn’t matter – I think it’s for the good of all involved, and the only way to know for sure is to try.

Selflessness

Here we come to the second bit about community. You see, there’s a cool trick about communal creation that makes things easier on all of us. Say, for instance, some of our writers feel that I shouldn’t be going to the New York Times with the term ‘web fiction’. And that’s perfectly fair. But the cool thing is – things aren’t bad at all if these writers take things into their own hands and beat me to the Times with the term ‘weblit’.

Because then we’ve solved our problem, haven’t we? And therein lies a trick to communal creation: when you want to do something that’s good for everyone, and if you show that you own the execution, people would chip in to help.

And they may help in completely unexpected ways. When I announced that I would build a filter for online fiction, I gathered a group of people – writers, editors, programmers – to begin talking about the project. Chris Poirier reacted. He disagreed with some of the core ideas in the Shelves project (rightly, as it turned out), and so decided to build his own. He asked for help from the Shelves team. And here’s the cool bit: we piled in to help. This switch happened behind closed doors, and was how work began on what was to become Web Fiction Guide.

So an announcement that someones makes, who says that he’s changing something that he doesn’t like for the benefit of all involved would change things for the better, regardless of the way that happens. And that’s pretty cool, so long as people are selfless. My only concern, after all, is that these things do happen, because they make web fiction better for everyone. And I’ll support whoever it is who solves the problems I sat out to solve, because – hey! – everybody’s going to benefit, and that’s the core idea.

Being selfish, and thinking ‘how is this going to affect my lot in web fiction’ has no place in the communal model. It simply gets in the way.

Creation Is Inclusive

There is one last point I want to raise about the state of the current web fiction community. The quote at the beginning of this post is from a guy called _Why (yes, that’s his name, don’t ask me … why). In his time he created more than twenty software projects, released for free to the world to use.

I just so happen to believe that he’s right. Creating things bring out the best in people. They chip in to help, they lend skills, contacts, and information, and they get things done.

My assertion is that we’ve been missing out on this, in our community. Not all of it – there are glimmers of it, here and there. Ergofiction, for instance, has been one of the greatest things to have happened to web fiction in recent times – its creators, Jan and Anna, spend large amounts of their time creating a friendly, fun place to find and read good web fiction.

And then there’s MCM, who has never really stopped experimenting with the medium. And I find it funny that people criticize Ergofiction for being too MCM-centric – how can they not, when MCM is himself expanding the space of possibilities in web fiction?

I can think of a few others. Isa is currently building an upgrade to fluffy-seme software (I must admit that I’m looking forward to it). I’m launching Pandamian, which attempts to remove as many technical barriers as possible to writing web fiction. And Chris Poirier has continued to tweak the algorithm powering WFG – and has gotten it to a place where, if you type ‘fiction on the web’ in google, you get WFG amongst the top 5 spots.

My point is that creation is inclusive. Everybody can help out. And people who do tend to have loads of fun in the process.

Takeaways

I hope you’ll understand that this isn’t just another complaint. I’ve spent a good part of the last three months building software to make web fiction easier for writers. And when you think about this problem space for that long a time, when you program these little usable bits for web fiction writers, you’ll begin to home in on certain conclusions. This post is not a complaint; it is a call to action. A call to build things, to talk to people; a call to change the way we read.

I promise to do two things:

  1. I will get web fiction into the New York Times within a year, for better or worse.
  2. I will build a better communal gathering point, focused on fun, creation, and writerly love in the coming months.

There are other projects, by other writers, of course – some of which I cannot yet mention in this blog. But if you want to do something, start it now. Ask for feedback, perhaps (I welcome guest posts from any writer who wishes to do something for the community) but don’t ask for permission. And if there’s any help you need – contacts, for instance – email me and I’ll see what I can do to help.

We’re in the middle of an exciting digital shift, folks. I intend to give us a part in it. And I hope – well I really hope – that you’ll lend a hand, too.

Possibly Related Posts:

Category: News · Web Fiction Writers · Writing Web Fiction
  • http://1889.ca MCM

    COUNT ME IN!

    I have no idea how you’d get web fiction in the NYT, but I will do everything short of becoming a serial killer to help achieve your goal!

    One thing I’m going to start soon is a series on really nuts-and-bolts ideas on how to operate as a web author. There’s a lot of reinventing the wheel going on, and a lot of failed ideas that are never documented, and I think it’s important that we keep tabs on that kinda stuff. It keeps up momentum, minimizes preventable backsliding.

    The real question is what will the NYT be writing about? Huge readership numbers? A movie deal? Just the novelty? Not that we really need to nail it down, but it’d help me figure out what to spend my time on :D

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    @MCM: Want to put that into book form? :) I’ll lend you a hand. I’ve actually been compiling several Novelr articles into this whole ‘how to write web fiction: the basics’ tome, but I’m not sure if it’s going to help, much.

    As for what to write/do to get the New York Times’s attention – well I’m not sure. :) All I know is that this is a crazy goal, and can either be as hard as boosting readership numbers, or as easy as contacting a staff writer and saying: ‘gee whiz, would you like to do a piece about us?’

  • http://www.looseleafstories.com E.D. Lindquist

    I’m not sure how to help, but if I can, sing out! I can get in a costume and do a jig on the street corner, but I don’t think that’s the kind of attention our community needs.

    But I agree that it sure needs something. The web is a big place with a big pool of wonderful and terrible things all milling around together, largely undifferentiated and often indecipherable.

    Choosing a webserial is at least as difficult as choosing a book at Borders (or wherever) with even less promise of it being A) good or B) at least legible. For good or ill, we lack a hard standard, the sort of standard that agents and publishing house provide in the world of novels.

    I’m rambling now, milling about in search of something. I guess that makes sense; it reflects my feeling on the whole webfiction world. I’d love to help innovate and build some stellar model for it all, but my own ideas are very limited. I’ve been trying them all out on Loose Leaf Stories and am still only occasionally breaking even on running the site. Obviously, I haven’t found a good model, either.

    Still, I’ve not given up hope. In the name of that hope, I’ll… I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll be thinking and watching. If there’s anything more specific I can do, I await only the word.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    That’s great to hear, E.D. (err – is it alright if I call you that?)

    I’m not sure about the standard of quality being a problem – if you hit WFG, and you surf around just looking at the 5 starred stories, you’ll find more than enough quality stories to read. But for the perception that we lack quality – that’s a real problem, I suppose, and the easiest way to solve it is to provide our own filters/create better gateways to online fiction.

    If I need anything, I’ll call on you. :) And don’t knock yourself up over the site, mate – I consider it to be one of the better-built ones.

    (PS: Nice new theme! ;-) )

  • http://www.looseleafstories.com E.D. Lindquist

    E.D. or Erica are both good (and accurate) names. Glad you like the new theme. ;) I credited you for the inspiration.

    Okay, quality… Based on my admittedly narrow experience (I’m still a relative newcomer to the world of webfic), the stories are great and certainly not lacking in quality, but I find a lot of issues in editing and presentation.

    I can’t really fault the authors for any of it! As webfiction authors, we’re called upon to have a greater skillset in producing and maintaining our websites than a novel author who sneds her work to her agent and publisher for editing, typesetting, cover art and so forth. It seems to be something of a barrier to entry into the market. At least, it certainly has been for me. I have some experience in design and code, but it doesn’t seem nearly enough.

    Editing, for me, is the big one. I’ve worked very hard to edit my own work. So has my co-author, Aron. We even have 2 devoted editors and 3 MORE beta-readers who all send back corrections and suggestions. That’s more help than I ever expected to have, but it’s still beans compared to the staff that goes into a print novel. And I expect I’m luckier than a lot of weblit authors.

    But then, the lack of editors is part of the draw to electronic publishing for some authors. So maybe I’m just talking out my rear…

    Man, I don’t know! If I had some grand idea, I’d be laying that out instead of sitting here picking my proverbial nose. Point is, let’s rock the world of online fiction!

  • http://www.looseleafstories.com E.D. Lindquist

    Also, looking forward to seeing what Fluffy Seme is all about.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    I’m also kinda wondering when Isa’s releasing the new site. It’s been in gestation for almost as long as Pandamian has. :)

  • http://vjchambers.com V. J. Chambers

    How to get web fiction mentioned in the New York Times.

    Hmmm… ideas…?

    -Get someone influential/big hooked on reading someone’s serial.
    -Get web fiction in general or someone’s web fiction in particular to make such a big splash that it must be noticed.
    -Buy an ad. :P (A big ad, saying something really fresh and interesting and…how expensive would that be if we all chipped in?)

    All right, nothing really good there. I’ll check back in if I have any actual good ideas.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    Get someone influential/big hooked on reading someone’s serial.

    I burst out laughing at the sheer genius of that. :) It’s certainly worth looking into – and possibly infecting other influential web people with web fiction addiction as well!

    At the moment I’m actually more leaning towards emailing every web/lit/bookish staff writer I can get my hands on, and then pitching this story idea to them.

    That’s the first thing I can think of, that is. I’m sure there are other options.

  • http://patjissi.net Patji

    Let me start off by saying wow and thank you. Wow because this is an amazing dream which many probably have dreamed about never had the guts to take charge. I for one am one of those and I applaud you for standing up and saying it, not only for yourself, but for everyone.

    I haven’t started posting any of my writing yet (attempted once and failed miserably), but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the need for this movement. And a movement it is.

    Just to throw in my 2cents, you might also want to try and contacting Writer’s Digest. Web fiction is a new era for writers so they may be more interested. And if web fiction can be mentioned there then it is just a step closer (and easier) to getting mentioned in the NY Times.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    Hi Patji, welcome to Novelr.

    I haven’t thought about Writer’s Digest, truth be told, but it does sound like a good idea. How about taking charge of that effort? ;-)

    I’ll probably be tied down with Pandamian work … and this New York Times thing for quite a bit.

  • http://amharte.com A. M. Harte

    It goes without saying that I want to be involved. I have the nosy habit of wanting to be involved in everything. :-D

    Eli – how about writing a public pitch on the blog? That way those who may have newspaper/mag contacts but aren’t able to pitch stories well can make use of what you’ve got.

  • http://www.mzp-tv.co.uk JTVaughn

    A noble goal, I wish you the best of luck.

    However, when you say “the state of the web fiction community”, you mean the state of YOUR web fiction community, because MY web fiction community is doing just great. Lots of collaboration, lots of reading, lots of shared learning. We’re a small niche, but we’re working together to produce the best work we can.

    Though none of our scripted fiction is even on the WFG, so I guess we’re not doing as well as we can in promoting it :-(

  • Pingback: What to do about webfiction | Loose Leaf Stories

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    @Anna: Good point. Will do a post next week, after the Pandamian launch.

    @JTVaughn: thank you for your encouragement. Now I posit the same question to YOUR web fiction community: what projects have you done, or built, or started, recently, that has changed the way people find and read web fiction?

    My point wasn’t about collaboration, or sharing, or reading. That’s been happening for four years now. I’m asking about expanding the niche. We were once actively engaged in doing that. Now we’re not. My argument is that we should.

  • http://www.jinxtigr.com jinxtigr

    Sounds like a great goal! It’s delightful to see this kind of ambition, and I hope you pull it off :)
    I’m not sure if I can be any help, or if you’d want me to be- I have four web novels up at jinxtigr.com and am writing daily, but it’s rather niche as it is anthropomorphic sci-fi and adult to boot. Can’t fault my work ethic though :)

  • http:patjissi.net Patji

    @Eli: I would love to help in anyway possible. Any suggestions on how I should plan my attack against Writer’s Digest? I have a few ideas like referencing their articles about blogging (maybe throw in the Times 2006 Person of the Year: You) and tying that down to fiction and self-publishing. This would also refer to several ‘successful’ web fictions for the publication to review.

    But yeah. So far that’s all I got… I need a more solid plan. Help!

  • http://firebird-fiction.com/the-dragon-wars Becka

    Ooh, my warchest thread. I’d still like to see that happen and I’d take ownership of it if I thought I’d get support. A month’s trial would do.

    The main problem I saw was that we couldn’t agree on a gateway site. I knew suggesting the WFG would be contraversial but I didn’t expect the level of opposition I saw on that thread.

    I’ve been mulling over the thread since it died and I’ve had some thoughts. I’m going to blog about them and, yes, make what I’m thinking happen.

    As for the NYT thing. I’m no publicist but one thing I’ve heard works time and again is finding a subject already newsworthy (in the news media’s eyes) and find a way to make your topic relevant to it, then write a press release about it. (“Recession makes readers turn to the web to find quality free fiction” maybe?)

    Good luck (and pardon typos)!
    Becka

  • http://www.looseleafstories.com E.D. Lindquist

    Given the futuristic nature of weblit, maybe we could interest some of the sci-fi magazines and news sites in running some stories about the new medium?

    Of course, if we can generate any ground-breaking ideas on revolutionizing the medium, the might help. ;)

    … Still working on that. I’ve had some suggestions emailed by readers, but it’s still very much along the lines of polls and choose-your-own-adventure stuff.

  • Pingback: Doing something… Part One | Becka's Writing Blog

  • http://crownsgame.com/ Sebatinsky

    I’ve been lurking for a long time now, but haven’t really been an active participant since I stopped writing at Obtrusive Reader. However, in that time I’ve gotten my public relations degree, and am now, I suppose, a “communications professional.” That is, I’m an entry level worker at a branding agency. Still, reading the comments, it looks like I may be able to help somewhat.

    The first thing I have to say is that NYT is a /very/ lofty goal. I certainly have not landed any pitches on the NYT… the best I ever got was MSNBC.com

    That leads me to my next point. It’s good that you’ve given yourself a year, because the only way for us to get in the NYT is to work on publicity generally, and media relations. Basically, we have to figure out a series of angles (don’t need to know them all ahead of time) that journalists are going to actually care about. Then we pitch each of those as widely as we can. It would probably be valuable to get a membership with a wire service so that we can distribute the news release that way… then waaay more people will see it than any of us are capable of reaching.

    That being said, the best odds always come from a personal pitch.

    /That/ being said, have fun getting a reporter’s attention.

    So, yeah. Let’s do this.

  • http://www.looseleafstories.com E.D. Lindquist

    @ Sebatinsky:

    We can always send press releases to the AP… It’s been a few years since I worked in newspapers and even then, it wasn’t for long. Do you think an AP release would get us anywhere at all?

  • Pingback: Webfiction Wednesday 28 | ErgoFiction

  • http://www.epiguide.com Kira

    I’m with you, Eli! It’s certainly an ambitious goal. But as Browning said, a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?

    The EpiGuide is also behind you. The Eppy, just a little reminder, has been helping organize and encourage web-based writers for thirteen years. We offer community resources and our site and message board can be a repository for brainstorming. (I think message boards are better than blogs for this purpose; blogs aren’t really as well-equipped to organize discussions, town meeting-style.)

    Like JTVaughan, I do have the feeling that Novelr and WFG members seem to believe that if it’s not being done here/there, it ain’t being done (and thus doesn’t count). It is, and it does. On a much smaller scale, but we do exist.

    Before you ask: what have I done recently to help web fiction get read? Hopefully, helping get things *written* in the first place counts a little. I’ve poured money/energy into advertising and expanding WeSeWriMo (Web Series Writing Month), which tripled its participation this year thanks to my efforts. We also publish articles about serials’ plots and characters, not just aimed at writers but for readers, much Entertainment Weekly or TV Guide might discuss interesting TV show storylines. This month we’re asking webserial writers to submit previews/teasers of their fall storylines, along with any other behind-the-scenes news; we’re also inviting serial writers to join a writing challenge so readers can learn a bit more backstory about their characters, and a third article will feature existing Halloween-related scenes. Such round-up articles can definitely broaden interest from readers, just as movie previews and TV recaps have done for ages.

    All this isn’t merely to toot our horn (which is a teensy tiny horn compared to the other sites). I guess I’m saying that *existing* communities are already doing things, but perhaps no one is noticing because we’re all doing things separately. Maybe instead of creating yet another new venture, why not work with WFG or ErgoFiction or EpiGuide (or all of us combined) to see if existing resources can be utilized to help further our mutual goals, instead of splintering us up further?

    Just a thought. Whatever you decide, I’m rooting for you!

  • http://webfictionguide.com Chris Poirier

    Hey Kira,

    I, for one, think talking to each other more would be a great thing. Whether that be an email list or a google group or something, I’m not sure. Would that be something you’d want to join?

    Chris.

  • http://1889.ca MCM

    @Chris: I’m keen on opening discussions somewhere too. And to bring the “fringe elements” into the discussion more, because I don’t think there really is a mainstream in web fiction… even if you don’t want to participate in WFG or whatnot, you can still use some of the tools and tricks other people have figured out. Just hearing about “outsiders” makes me worry there are genius web serials out there that aren’t getting enough of the spotlight (if there is a spotlight). We should be working to pull everyone together so nobody is off in a corner alone (unless they want to be).

    I lost my train of thought. But yes, discussions = good!

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    @jinxtigr – Thank you. :) I’ll remember to call on you when we need help.

    @Patji: Why don’t you get started with emailing and talking to some of the staff, just to figure out what they want? I realize that this comment thread isn’t good for discussions like this – please email me, and we’ll continue our discussions (long term!) there! :)

    @Becka: I actually disagree with the arguments against WFG in the WebLit.us thread, you know. I think they don’t hold much water (Wehrstein’s complaints don’t make sense when you look at her overall score – WFG’s algorithms have been tweaked again and again to make sure that – even with the odd review – listings still manage to get the scores they deserve). BUT! I’m all for you making things happen, and taking ownership of your idea. Enough talk! Let’s move forward! ;-)

    PS: Again, if you need help, just holler!

    @Erica: I’m actually thinking of working the livewriting angle. Shoot me an email if you’ve got anything else! Oh, and – what say you about taking charge of approaching SFF blogs and the like? ;-)

    @Sebatinsky: Thank you so much for chipping in. :) I suspect that we’ll need more than writerly expertise for this effort, and am looking around for a PR guy as we speak. I really appreciate your insights, I do. (PS: good to see that a year’s not totally crazy.)

    @Kira: I apologize if it appears I’m knocking your work at Eppy. I never have, and I never will. I promise you this. And in fact – I once started on this Internet fiction thing over at the Epiguide, years and years back.

    Oh, and the Web Serial Writing Month project? I find that brilliant. I loved it! (and I remember linking to it … right?) In retrospect, maybe I should’ve brought you on for a guest post. :/

    Anyway – all this is to say that I’ve not forgotten some of the things that have gone on before us. It may seem to you like I do, but I don’t – one of the first things I did at Novelr was to research the history of hyperlinked stories (there are posts in 2007 where I talk about the history of hypertextual fiction, and I helped a couple of PhD students doing research on the history of hypertext and fiction too. Trust me when I say I don’t come into this blindly.)

    I suspect that the reason I don’t spend that much time talking about it is because the web fiction movement had little contact (and therefore little to inherit) from the web serial community in the formative years of our existence. We took blogs as our CMS of choice, we started experimenting on our own, and we built community structures of our own too. And in actual truth there is some difference between web serials and blog-based web fiction.

    But what am I doing? Bickering over such insignificant details? /smacks self on head.

    Kira, I’m sorry if it sometimes come across this way. And while I recognize the importance of remembering what’s come before us, I’d also like to remind you – respectfully, that is – that much of what we’ve done here had little carry-over from the web serial community. And that I’m currently more interested in expanding the niche, looking forward, so that everyone benefits.

    If at any point in time in the future you want help, or you want a guest post/announcement on Novelr, please email me. I promise you, I will always be here to help.

    @Chris, MCM: Go ahead and set up a forum-based thingamajig for this. I vote for the WFG forums. I will be setting up a Reddit/Hacker News for writers soon, but that’ll take some time as I’ll be using the wonderful Reddit engine (and that’s Python, which is hard to deploy).

  • http://webfictionguide.com Chris Poirier

    Eli, Kira, MCM: My sense is we should find some place new — not on any one of our sites — as a way to keep things neutral and open. A Google Group would seem the easiest thing to do, though I’m open to other ideas, of course. And we can use the WFG forums if that’s what everyone wants to do.

    Chris.

  • http://www.looseleafstories.com E.D. Lindquist

    I can certainly try my hand at getting the sci-fi blogs/mags to talk about us, but I’m no publicist. I can’t even get those people to publish my stories, much less an article I either pen or suggest. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. It’s not like they’ll kidnap my cats if I fail to hook them. I’ll take a whack at it.

    I’d like to talk about it more, too, both about getting webfic into the public eye and how to push the medium. If you guys set up a Google group, please post us a link?

  • http://webfictionguide.com Chris Poirier

    Hi all,

    I’ve set up a Google Group for us: http://groups.google.com/group/fiction2point0 Archives are public and membership is by approval, but I don’t expect we’ll be rejecting people — it’s mostly a way to get people to introduce themselves when joining. Group description is, “A group for coordinating effort amongst the various web fiction and web serial communities.” I hope that’s sufficiently inclusive.

    Chris.

  • http://www.novelr.com Eli James

    Sounds good, Chris. :) Let’s get down to work. This is an invitation to anyone who is interested in helping us build a more inclusive web fiction community: if you’re a writer, or a reader, or you love us regardless and you want to help, we’d love for you to join us.

    The link again: http://groups.google.com/group/fiction2point0

  • http://www.mzp-tv.co.uk JTVaughn

    I absolutely love the idea of the google group to get us all together, brilliant.

  • http://www.meilinmiranda.com/ MeiLin Miranda

    Eli, I’m here to get behind and push. This is awesome. I’ve been so busy with the book that I haven’t been paying attention to anything; I’m ready to get back to a little community work.

    Becka, let’s resurrect that thread. I’m willing to throw some cash down. Er, when I have some cash… Soon. The book is selling relatively well, so, soon. I’ll get behind WFG even if others don’t; they don’t have to contribute.

    And for the record, I could give a flying f**k about whether it’s called “web fiction” or “weblit” or whatever in the effort, just please please avoid “webfic.” The only reason I’ve pushed “weblit” has been: a) to be more inclusive of other non-journalism/non-blog writers in discussing outreach and strategy; and b) to avoid “webfic”/”fanfic” conflation.

  • http://medleymisty.wordpress.com/ Stacy

    I’ve applied to join the Google group. :)

    I love this whole post and vibe and idea – I admit I went back to my Sims forum and complained about the lack of community in the full text world as opposed to the Sims story world. This is making me change my mind, though. I am all for taking action and doing what you set out to do, and I will be behind this effort.

    I want readers. I want readers more than anything. And I will do whatever I can to get more of them. For all of us :)

  • http://www.wattpad.com Nina Lassam

    Let me know what I can do to help!

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