The Chain Letter Story
Hopefully you've already read the communal story "The Demon Tim," in which three BWG members passed around a story, each adding several paragraphs before passing it along. Furthering this idea, what if someone started a story, then passed it along to two friends, who added to it, and each passed it along to two of their friends (no shampoo commercial jokes please), and so on until multiple versions of the story emerged? What the hell, we'll give it a shot. And since it kind of takes the form of a chain letter, I figured I'd make it about one of those annoying e-mail chain letters... maybe one that REALLY DOES bring woe or joy to the sender.
If you're lucky, someone has already sent or will send you the story, partially completed. If so, here's what you do with it:
- Read what's been written so far.
- Add something to it. At least a few paragraphs. Remember, we like weird. Weird and creative. We like cheese.
- Add your name, where you live, e-mail address (which will not be posted at BWG or otherwise abused), and date of writing to the list at the beginning of the document.
- If you believe the story isn't finished yet, add a line after your text to denote a change in author, and send the updated document to at least two friends. More if you want, but I'd suggest not overdoing it (i.e. don't send it to everyone in your address book; pick a few people who you think would actually be interested in this project). Don't send it to someone whose name is already on the list (but if you happen to receive a separate iteration of the story, one that you haven't already contributed to, by all means knock yourself out).
- If you believe the story IS finished, please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com, preferably as an attachment (MS Word). We won't impose an absolute limit on the number of installments necessary to complete the story, but bear this in mind: if each contributor sends it to two people, it will take six installments to generate 32 different stories, ten installments for 512 stories...just keep multiplying by two...you get the picture.
- A title can be added to the story at any time, if you believe it is appropriate. If you are returning a completed story, and it doesn't have a title yet, please make one up.
- Visit the Bizarre Writers' Guild and see if and when your story makes it onto the site! Completed stories will be posted to this page. If you'd like to be notified when new material is posted, please visit our mailing list sign-up form.
- The BWG reserves the right to reject any story for any reason. A story that comes back reading like "Penthouse Forum," or that is offensive towards a particular race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, etc. etc. etc., will not be posted at the discretion of the BWG.
- If you decide you really don't want to participate in this project, please send it back to whoever sent it to you; unlike traditional chain letters, we DON'T want this dying on the vine.
If you'd like to start a new thread for the story, download the document containing the rules and the first installment here. It's a Microsoft Word 6.0/95 document. The document as it already exists, all stories received, and all works in progress, are subject to the disclaimer on the front page of this site.
Thanks for playing, and enjoy!
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