So how'd ya start these "Finish the"... threads, then?

I ask because, back in the pre-pay days, I saw one of these going on and I thought “What fun!” and fired up an opening paragraph, only to see it sink like an unsinkable Cunard liner. What are the rules? How do I get someone to play with me? Is it like those far-off playground days when a small bunch of kids march around chanting “Who wants to play… Russ-Ian Roul-Ette?” (which I never got the hang of either. Some are born to lead, some to follow, some to stand around numbly going “W-w-what happened?”).


Perhaps being a little more specific would help? Are you talking about story threads? If so, then I can’t help you. Some of those story threads have rules and rotating contributor lists and physical exams before you can post to them. So I never did.

Yes, something along the lines of the “Finish the Western, part XCVII” thread. Except that I wasn’t thinking of a Western.

Sometimes you can’t. Case in point: the WWII story thread that I started for Memorial Day one year. Got one reply and that was it.

Pretty much all you can do is start a thread and hope for the best. It helps to attract the attention of the usual suspects (me, ivylass, NoClueBoy, and Baker) and a Threadspotting link on the main page.

What Lute said. And we found out that having a companion thread, a “control” for discussing ongoing plot points, new ideas, or goofs, helps keep the flow of the main story thread from being broken. ivylass started the first “finish the” thread, the first Western it was. Later I started a science fiction story, which spawned two sequels with many of the same characters, but it was others who got them started.

A superhero thread, kind of an X-men style thing about mutants, died. I was sorry about that one. As** Lute** mentioned, so did his WWII thread. (I think I was the only one to reply. Did it in German too!)

Those of us that have written in the sci-fi and the Westerns make it a point to invite anyone who has a serious interest to participate, as this is not our board and we can’t make threads private. All we have asked is that participants keep the continuity going.

Malacandra, if you are ever interested in starting a story thread, let me know. I love 'em, and if it’s a genre I like I’ll play with you!

I am interested. But do I have any volunteers for a Hornblower/Ramage/Bolitho/Aubrey type “rum, sodomy and the lash” story?

I remember that one now! That was you that started it? I’d give it a whirl, but I don’t know a lot of nautical terminology, beyond what I’ve seen in the Hornblower mini-series, or in the movie Master and Commander. I’d have to do some research to keep myself up to snuff on the accuracy of what I said. Early 19th century, like Forrester and O’Brian? (Darn, I’ve been meaning to start reading the latter!)

Yep, that was me - and that’s going back a bit; I only recently took out a paid sub, in effect I’ve had about a 9 month sabbatical.

Perhaps there could be a companion thread for Q’n’A?

I can dig out the opening episode if you like; I think I still have it somewhere on my home PC.

Maybe try a new one. And do have a Q&A thread. You also might consider putting a heads up in the Master And Commander thread, seem to be a lot of sea fans over there.

Hell yeah.



Before the Finish the Western, I started a Finish the Romance Novel. That one quickly turned into a parody, and died before coming to a climax (pun intended, ha ha) but it was kind of funny too.

I guess it depends on who you can sweep up into the story. I was thinking about starting a Finish the Fantasy, along the lines of a LOTR thing, but I don’t have the time to devote to that right now.


Maybe if someone else started it?

And I’d be up for a sea story, but I’d hope people would put up with the errors in terminology I was bound to make! I gotta read Master and Commander.

Oh, I just have to kick around the idea first, and we’ll want a rest once the Western thread wraps up.

The Fant idea is good, but to avoid becoming a parody, I think a good control thread should lay down some ideas and goals and be at least a week before the story starts so some new people are aware of it. Of all the genres, I think Fant both has a large draw and yet a huge chance for derailing into goofy parody. ymmv

I think a war story would work, too. WWII probably has a wider appeal.

I think NoClueBoy is right about how a fantasy would have to be started. Whoever did start it would have to have some ideas, ready to lay out, of the level of techology in whatever civilizations likely to be encountered, if there are multiple sentient races, and what role magic(if any) could, or would, play. The layout of geography would have to be considered, even.

Thanks for checking in, people. I have the original ep ready to re-post, but before I do, I’m happy if we ask and answer a few questions first. Terminology, for instance, is something I’m happy to do my best on based on all of Ramage, a lot of Bolitho, and a few others. Do we want to thrash out a basic plot, or just pick the ball up and run with it?

NCB… sodomy is likely to end in tears for all concerned under the prevailing laws of the time :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t try for a basic plot. Half the fun of a Finish the story is how others take plot elements and turn them on their heads.

For instance, in FTW Part II, we had a character introduced as a hooker with a heart of gold. I twisted that around and the story went off in a whole 'nuther direction.

In the first FTSF story, I introduced a character, and I was hoping to flesh her out more fully, but she was promptly murdered in the next post. Again, the plot didn’t go where I expected.

When I started the first Western, all I had was a character walking into a saloon. I didn’t even have a name for her. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. That’s the fun of it!

But I agree that the control thread is very helpful. We can ask questions and figure out out to solve discrepancies. I’ve pulled a couple of huge boners there!

ivylass, I’m trying to remember, what character was that, that we killed off so quickly?

And remember in the first Western, I had Bart ask Belle about Jesse, and someone else had her chime in with “He’s dead” Then I found a way to show he wasn’t, later on.

It was a female somebody, a student courier, I think, with one of those T’Klan’ names.

But, it introduced the weapon that disrupted crystals, so it actually turned into a great twist.