Sunday, October 21, 2007

Writers Wanted

As those who read this site may know, I am an amateur writer. I write for a comic fan fic website, ALTMARVEL.NET, and as the years have passed, I have grown as a writer because of it. But a writer not improving is a writer stagnating. Two years ago, some of the writers of that site and other fan fic sites and I came up with a writing exercise designed to improve our dialogue, interaction, improvisation and role playing.

We created a town. Cougar Ridge, Colorado.

We then populated this town using fictional characters of our own creation, created through use of LiveJournal and some random internet photos. We kept our true identities a secret, and a narrator posted a main post daily (which then devolved to weekly before the exercise ended). We would reply, in character, to not only the main post, but the responses of our fellow writers. We would build on the sub polts introduced by others, and introduce our own sub plots. The result was a two month span of character development, dramatic story telling, intrigue, and murder. It was deemed a success by all involved, and only lost steam due to inconvenient scheduling (the Christmas break took what little momentum the project had gained in its first month, and it never quite recovered).

Once we all agreed the project had reached a logical conclusion, we revealed our characters, and laughed at how wrong we were in our suppositions. We then went our seperate ways, leaving the town behind. For the next two years, we discussed starting a similar project, but the particulars could never be fully ironed out. Well, recently, a few of the key players got together and decided it was time to return to the Ridge.

Cougar Ridge, Season 2 begins tomorrow. And it's open to the public. There are rules, which you'll find in the first post, but they are simple. And this is a great chance to stretch your writing legs and imagination. Here, you CAN be a fireman, or an astronaut, or a psychopath. You can be a man, a woman, young, old, gay, straight, democrat, republican, nice, mean, sexy, dirty, Jewish, Christian, Mormon, Muslim... anything goes (except the Irish). Just kidding.

You don't need to have participated in the first season. You don't even need to read it. It might help clarify a few odd mentions that will spring up once in a blue moon, and will help you identify the writers of some returning characters, but it is not necessary to enjoy the game. You can have one character, or you can have more (three is the limit, but even that is not concrete if you can write enough). You can be whatever you want to be.

You can control your corner of the world, turn it into someplace to escape.

Come. The Ridge awaits.