War of the Words


I am still on my Quixotic quest for recognition within the literary world. To define recognition, I mean to the point where someone might actually read something that I’ve written.

I had a conversation with someone recently where I optimistically yet glibly observed that you get out of something exactly what you put into it.

This goes a long way to describing exactly why I am getting absolutely nowhere in regard to writing but am getting positively everywhere in regard to weight gain.

So in my sloth I have signed up for Story Wars.

‘What is this Story Wars thing that you speak of?’ I hear you ask. Well, I heard you ask until my medication kicked in and the voices subsided.

Story Wars is a collaborative writing platform and an entertaining one at that.

It is not to be confused with a literal literary war. I have not signed up to lob books at the enemy from a well-stocked library trench, which is probably in breach of the Geneva convention. There is, to be fair, a compelling element of friendly rivalry and one-upmanship.


It works on a similar concept to a traditional Storytelling game, where one participant begins the story and then passes the tale telling torch to the next person in line.

I used to play a version of this with one of my friends. This would involve frantically typing on a typewriter – yes, a typewriter, and then obscure all but the last line.

he would then follow on from the last line. In most cases the results would be quite surreal and fragmented, but that was essentially our intent; to take a story in a direction that it would never naturally go if it was meticulously planned or tackled as a solo pursuit.

Story Wars is the online equivalent of this.

‘How does it work?’ I hear you ask. I am now considering doubling my dosage, the mysterious voices have returned. I will indulge them just this once.

It works on the premise that someone writes the first chapter of the story.

Once submitted, the story becomes open to the other users, who can then submit the next chapter.

These are submitted initially as drafts – once this round has finished it moves to the voting round.

During the voting round the users can vote on their favourite draft chapter – whichever draft gets the most votes will become the next chapter.

And so on.

Any stories written within the Story Wars platform are covered by the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


To summarise, I have only just begun the journey of using Story Wars, but from what I’ve seen over the last couple of days, it is a fantastically constructive way to collaborate with other writers.

It can be used as a tool to hone and develop your skills, as a way to network with other writers in the community and most of all, to express yourself and have a little fun along the way.

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