The New Serpentine Sorting System : Volume Collaboration Event

In the Library, there are too many stories to read in a thousand lifetimes. One may not be able even to find the stories one wants in that amount of time. The docents help, of course, but there's only so many of them, and their ways can be… alien to us. So, it's time to take matters into our own hands. It's time to begin to sort the Library. There are hundreds of thousands of us here, each with our knowledge, our own specialties. Together we can create a catalogue, a way for future Wanderers to explore the stacks with confidence, a way to bring us together. Over time we will build. We will give form to chaos. We will give shape to the serpent.

Introduction

Hello! Welcome to the second iteration of our writing prompt event, the Serpentine Sorting System, or SSS. The old system of prompts languished almost since its creation, with only a few entries to show to its name. Staff wanted to create something more engaging, a way to actively get user input on the direction of the site and a way to encourage collaborative writing. To that end, the new revamped SSS is something of an anti-contest: a timed, collaborative event in which members of the site will work together to create a Volume. Now, I’m sure you have some questions?

What’s the Serpentine Sorting System?

Not surprising you have to ask this. Like I said, it disappeared almost as soon as it was posted. The SSS was an attempt by staff to create a prompt system to encourage user content creation within a set theme. It wasn’t very popular, and didn’t really amount to much, so we replaced it.

What’s a Volume?

A Volume is one of those things in the top bar that no one pays attention to. In short, it’s our fancy term for a canon, a collaborative set of a works grouped together on a hub page with a shared setting or premise. Our goal is to create one, with staff guidance, that will hopefully encourage user engagement and create a more focused writing environment for those that want it.

THE PROCESS

The creation of this volume will be a multi-step process, guided at all times by a staff member to keep you fussy users in line. Although the final outcome will be predominantly decided by user input, the ultimate decision making lies with the guiding staff member. They will be the ones creating the hub and curating what part of the world-building is included.

STEP ONE

will be the creation of a channel in The Wanderer’s Library Discord #sss-discussion and a forum thread for prompt suggestions.

In STEP TWO

any user may submit ideas for a prompt or setting that will serve as the base for the volume. The suggestions should go into the forum thread here (note: this thread is for prompts only. Do not post any other discussion). This period of suggestion will last for seven days, or until we hit 64 prompt suggestions, whichever one comes first.

STEP THREE

will last for one week. The suggestions for prompts will be placed into a Google form, and users will be able to vote on which ones they prefer. The voting will be conducted as a knockout tournament with two entries being placed against each other at one time in randomly selected brackets. The discord channel will be fully opened up for discussion at this time, and a new forum thread for discussion will be created.

In STEP FOUR

the staff curator will post a very bare-bones hub page, containing the prompt and basically nothing else. Thus begins the WORLDBUILDING PHASE. This will have two sub parts.

STEP FOUR-A

will be discussion in the discord and forum thread, in which users can freely do worldbuilding and discuss what they think the setting or volume should look like. The staff curator will read these discussions and regularly update the hub page with parts of the discussion that are popular with users and seem in-line with the overall project. They will do their best to take the desires of users and keep the hub as user-managed as possible, but again, the curator is ultimately the one creating the hub page.

STEP FOUR-B

is posting stories to the hub. This will open up one week after the hub page has been created and fleshed out, but keep in mind some principles. First, this is meant to be a coherent volume, with stories that are related to each other. New stories should share elements from previous stories and use them as guides. This does not mean that they need to form a continuous story, or all be in a strict canon, but their should be clear relations between them and they should build on each other to create a continuous world. This means, for example, if you were creating a fantasy setting, it would be inappropriate to post a science fiction story, but it could be acceptable taking place in a previously unmentioned country in the setting, as long as it vibes with the rest. Second, while the goal is coherence, THERE IS NO CANON, as usual. It’s okay if stories conflict a little bit, or don’t perfectly line up. The goal is for the stories to generally work together, not form a perfect, air-tight world. Ultimately the decision is up to the staff curator if something belongs in the setting, and it’s recommended you get them to take a look before posting.

Step four will last four weeks, and anyone who posts a surviving story to the hub in those four weeks will get a special discord role. After those four weeks, the volume will become like any other, and there will be no special reward for adding to it, though users are still encouraged to interact with the setting.

Step one will begin at the time of this announcement, and the forum page is now open for suggestions (look under the step one header for the link)! Remember, the thread during step two is only to be used for giving suggestions. Only the first two suggestions from each user will be counted!

Previous SSS canons:

Last Light

See you then!

We are currently suggesting prompts. Prompt suggestion will last until October 19th, 11:59 eastern time.

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