Join us in a bold new experiment with storytelling

Illustration for article titled Join us in a bold new experiment with storytelling

Starting today, we're going to be telling a story on io9. This story will be a sweeping space epic, gorgeously illustrated with professional artwork like what you see here. And you are going to help write it. Are you up for the challenge?


Our experiment is a variation on the "exquisite corpse" method of story creation. An exquisite corpse is a storytelling method where the narrative is collectively assembled by a group of individuals. Each writer adds to the body of work by advancing the story where the last writer left off. In our version of the exquisite corpse, artists from the incredible visual effects firm Framestore will participate in advancing the story too.

The players:

Framestore: The Framestore art department has done VFX and concept design for countless companies and studios, and has worked on movies like Captain America, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and several Harry Potter movies. Up next for the company will be FX for Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and Keanu Reeves samurai epic 47 Ronin. They also developed the zombie concept designs for World War Z.

You: You are a part of the io9 community and you are serious about writing short fiction. You don't need to be a professional writer, though we would love pros to join us. You just need to be somebody who loves to write, and wants an excuse to do more of it. Never published before? Don't be scared. Now's the time to start!

Here's how the game will work:

We'll post original concept art developed by Framestore's visual development department once every two weeks, starting today. Your job is to post here (in the comments) a piece of flash fiction (no more than 800 words!) that tells a story about what's happening in these two images. Artists in the Framestore art department will start creating new works of art in response to stories chosen from what you've written. In the end, we hope to have a one-of-a-kind story that never could have existed without an ongoing dialogue between writers and artists. We might even turn it into a book!

Note: We will not use your work in a book or anything other than your posts on io9 without explicit permission from you as the author.

Your first assignment:

What is happening in these two images? Write one story (no more than 800 words!) that responds to both images. Post your story in comments.


Click the images to embiggen. Now get started writing!

Illustration for article titled Join us in a bold new experiment with storytelling
Illustration for article titled Join us in a bold new experiment with storytelling


Corpore Metal

Well having participated in many weekend open concept writing prompts, I am enthused to join! However the aborning hard SF writer in me has problems with the first image: It's just not physically possible. Once my suspension of disbelief breaker trips it's hard for me to remain inspired.

But for the sake of joining in the fray and being part of this, I'll try. My attempt shall be posted in another comment.