View Full Version : The Cemetery Dance forum contributors story

08-21-2011, 09:28 PM
Since there are quite a few writers posting here, I was thinking it might be a nice idea to create the first ever Cemetery Dance story. Basicly, the idea is a follows:

1) You sign up, here.
2) Two weeks from now, I will post the first segment of a story.
3) The first person that signs up will then pick up the story from there and write the next segment.
4) After that, the next one.
5) When the first cycle of posters is complete and the story isn't finished, I will write the next segment.
6) We continue this (could turn out to be a short story or an epic tale spanning seven books, a whole bunch of comics, three movies, two television series, a musical and a radio play) until it's finished.
7) There is no minimum number of characters for each segment. There is a maximum, and that is the maximum number of characters of a single post (~10500 characters).
8 I will post the first segment in a new thread ("The Legend of Fairwill") and will ask CD to make sure the thread can be edited only by those that signed up for the Round Robin. Please only post story segments in that thread. No off-topic messages. If you want to comment on the story or individual segments, please use this thread instead.
9) Since not everybody on this site has English as their first language (including yours truly) I see no problem in pointing out spelling and grammatical errors.
10) I don't know about other people, but I for one really appreciate feedback on what I've written, so don't hold back.
11) I propose that everyone tries to send in their pages within two weeks, although if you're quicker than that, that's perfect.
12) If for whatever reason you can't make it (vacation, too busy, ...) then just say so. Either you take a little bit longer, switch with somebody else for that round, or you just wait for your next turn. After all, it should be just for fun.
13) Pretty much everything that I've posted above is debatable. So go on, debate! :)

Ofcourse this is not an original idea, people have done this before. What I'm hoping for is that we might actually be able to create a good story. And if so, maybe we could find a publisher that specializes in horror to publish the story :)

The main goal is to have fun, maybe learn a little bit from each other and create a kick ass story. As for me, having a kind of "deadline" (after all, people are expecting you to hand in your segment) is a good way of forcing myself to sit behind the computer and actually write.

By the way, do stories that are created in this fashion have a name? Something like a chain-novel? Or an E-story? EDIT: Apparently it's called a round robin.

Anyway, hope to get a lot of participants,


Pennywise (or - if you prefer - Marc)


1. Pennywise (AKA Marc)
2. TerryE
3. MrRoland
4. ozmosis7
5. RJK1981
6. adamjames
7. peteOcha

08-21-2011, 09:47 PM
Marc, you must be psychic. Just last week I was thinking about having a round robin story on the site. I was waiting for an idea to start, but we can do it this way. I was thinking each contributor would be restricted to the 10,000 character lenght of a single post, and the next person just adding to that. I'm game, but how will we pick the next contributor to keep 5 people from creating a continuation to each part?

08-21-2011, 10:17 PM
Psychic is the least interesting of my special powers :)

Using the character lenght of a single post sounds like an excellent idea. Let's say each contribution has to be between 9500 and 10000 words.

As I said, the order in which people contribute is based on when they signed up. So you'll be number 2 (after me). I will send a message to whomever is up next and to whomever is up the week after. If you write something even though it is not your turn, then unfortunately your contribution does not count. I think this is the easiest way. I will edit my opening post and will create a list of all participants.

A round robin story eh? Wouldn't have thought of that in a million years :)

08-21-2011, 10:22 PM
Maybe a minimum of 9500 is a bit too much. Let's say between 5000 and 10000 words.

08-21-2011, 10:25 PM
I'll sign up for the third spot. And the range of 5000 to 10000 sounds good to me.

08-21-2011, 10:41 PM
Great. Welcome.

08-21-2011, 11:26 PM
I defintely agree with not having a minimum. Do you want any rules on how to end your section? Make it like a chapter end? Insist on a cliffhanger? (That would be tough with the short sections). End in the middle of an action, so the next person knows exactly where to start? Should we try to keep a consistent style, or not worry since we'll all be so different coming in? We should keep consistent POV conventions throughout. If it's 1st person or 3rd omniscent that will be easy to keep going, but if it's 3rd limited we'd have to agree whether or not the POV can change characters, or keep it consistent with the first POV.

08-22-2011, 02:04 AM
Maybe it could be a marketable project...like a story about a guy who orders a "not so ordinary" limited edition book from CD. :)

08-22-2011, 07:59 AM
Terry: I'll respond to your questions later properly (if anyone else wants to chip in, please do)

ozmosis7: Could be a nice idea :) Does this mean I can add you to the list of co-writers? You know what, I'll just take the liberty of already adding you.

Steve Vernon
08-22-2011, 12:07 PM
Count me in. Sounds like fun.

08-22-2011, 08:58 PM
Consider yourself counted in, Steve. Welcome.

Terry: Definitely not try to end each section with a cliffhanger. That would make for very tiresome reading and it can't possibly result in anything good. Other than that, I don't think any rules are necessary in this respect. If you feel the next participant can pick up where you stopped, than stop. Whether that's at the beginning of a new chapter, at a cliffhanger or in the middle of an action sequence is up to the writer. Just don't end in the middle of a sentence, because...

By the way, as I said earlier, once we've started we can discuss the progress of the story and that might help the next participant decide on how to continue.

As for style: just write in your own style. I'm sure we'll all be able to meet somewhere in the middle. And if not, we'll just edit the living crap out of the story once we're finished :)

POV: Yes, that needs to be consistent. It's either going to be 1st person or 3rd person omniscient. Let's not complicate matters at this point. Once we're ready to write the sequel, we can expand the challenge by having each participant write from the POV of his/her own character or something :).

Do you agree with this?

08-22-2011, 09:25 PM
Marc, I can concur with all of that. As far as discussing story progression, there's 2 ways to approach. The 2 times I've done something like this (with friends) it started as a cold opening without plan, and each writer just went wherever whim took them. If you have any plans from the start, it will be hard to see everything drift far away from your vision (kinda like working with Hollywood). If it's a throwaway idea, or something you started and wasn't sure where it should go next, it makes it easier to let go. And too much plotting can restrict future participants too much. On the other side, organic progression can grow out of control and a story about the quiet terrors of childhood could end as a space epic/Harlequin romance hybrid.

I appreciate your optimism in thinking about a sequel, but lets figure out if that's necessary when we finish. Some stories are told so perfectly that any continuation is unnecessary. I'm still glad that no one has touched the E.T. property in the years since.

08-22-2011, 09:33 PM
no one has touched the E.T. property in the years since.

This isn't entirely true....


08-22-2011, 09:49 PM
God that's funny! And very well made, too.

08-22-2011, 09:55 PM
Oh, don't worry Terry, I wasn't completely serious about the sequel bit. For now, I'll be perfectly happy if we can wrap up this first story nicely.

That ET sequel looks awesome by the way :). Very nicely done for a fake trailer.

08-22-2011, 09:59 PM
Ya, I came across it awhile back and couldn't stop laughing.

08-23-2011, 07:17 PM
Definitely sounds interesting. Never done anything like this, but I'm interested. Not sure how much I'd be able to actually contribute since I'll have school stuff going on as well, but that doesn't mean I can't try, lol

08-23-2011, 08:44 PM
That's the spirit. That makes a total of 6 people which is already a nice number I think (although more a still welcome). It means you have a couple of weeks between turns and we'll of course be lenient with the "deadline" if you're busy with other stuff.

I think I have come up with a nice setup for a story by the way which can go in a number of different directions. There'll definitely be room for creativity.

08-24-2011, 12:49 AM
I'd like to try, although I'm more of an artist than a writer.

08-24-2011, 04:19 PM
Some added illustrations would be very cool.

08-24-2011, 08:18 PM
You're in, Adam.

Nik Houser
08-24-2011, 10:09 PM
Excellent idea. Count me in!

08-24-2011, 10:26 PM
Cool. Things are shaping up.

08-24-2011, 10:29 PM
Sign me up as well! :)

08-25-2011, 02:30 PM
Cool. If my count is right that gives us 9 contributors already. At 1000-2000 words per segment, we'll be out of short story length in no time. Pennywise, I hope your setup is good for at least novella length. Of course, the first onus will be on me to keep it going.

08-25-2011, 03:37 PM
Pennywise, I hope your setup is good for at least novella length.

LOL. What on earth have I talked myself and you guys into..... :eek:

Well whatever the outcome, very nice that so many people want to contribute. Should be a lot of fun to read each others segments and see if we're roughly "on the same page" (storywise I mean).

08-26-2011, 05:26 AM
LOL. What on earth have I talked myself and you guys into..... :eek:

Well whatever the outcome, very nice that so many people want to contribute. Should be a lot of fun to read each others segments and see if we're roughly "on the same page" (storywise I mean).

Well, whether we're on the same page or not, it is bound to be interesting, lol

Nik Houser
08-31-2011, 01:07 AM
So, I've got an idea I wanted to throw out:

What if the story was a crowd piece, meaning it takes place on a plane or subway or at an event or in a church, and each author wrote a short chapter from a different character's perspective. That way, they could write in their own style in that person's head while ALSO pushing the plot forward in some significant way.

Just a thought. Any yay's or nay's?

08-31-2011, 01:34 AM
I like that idea Nik, and had something similar lined up to do in the future. But I'll go with whatever.

08-31-2011, 03:42 AM
Nik's idea is interesting, but maybe for another round robin. I think Pennywise already has a plan for this one.

Nik Houser
08-31-2011, 07:29 AM
Sounds cool. Count me in for whatever.

09-03-2011, 04:05 PM
Hi Guys and Gals. If all goes well I will post the first part tomorrow. Originally I had an idea for a story but for whatever reason I couldn't get it started. It felt like a story that didn't want to be written.

Anyway, I'm now working on something else and that seems to be going well.

Nik, I really like your idea. If I had read that sooner I might have gone with that. I think what I've started with now does not lend itself for such a format - although I like to be surprised and I'm not that interested in creating all kinds of rules so if you think it can be done, by all means, try.

If we're going to do a second round robin after this one, I would definitely be in favor of your idea. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Nik Houser
09-03-2011, 08:14 PM
Cool Pennywise, thanks. So, who am I writing after? Sorry, I lost track of who signed up. Could we get a list going?

09-03-2011, 08:57 PM
I've edited my first post to include a list of all involved.

Here's the list so far:


1. Pennywise (AKA Marc)
2. TerryE
3. MrRoland
4. ozmosis7
5. Steve Vernon
6. RJK1981
7. adamjames
8. Nik Houser
9. peteOcha

09-04-2011, 02:44 PM
I've edited my first post and changed some stuff with regards to segment length and stuff and I've created a new thread that's called The Legend of Fairwill, which will be the (provisional) title of the story. That thread can be used to post your segments. Will post the first segment later today if all goes well. I'm interested in any feedback.

09-04-2011, 03:15 PM
Dan has moved the round robin to its own sub-forum. It can now only be edited by the participants of the round robin. Many thanks, Dan.

Please use this thread to discuss the progress of the story and use the round robin thread only to post your segments. Thanks.

09-04-2011, 03:21 PM
Well, I posted my segment. I could've continued editing it for all eternity, but I had to post it eventually :-)

09-04-2011, 08:08 PM
Nice! Can't wait to see what will turn out. :)

09-11-2011, 05:49 AM
Okay MrRoland, it's all yours! Sorry my section took so long. I've changed the name of the town to Fairhill. It was an accident in a private message to Marc, but he said he liked it better and would edit his post. The same is true for the year of the backstory changing to 1653 instead of 1628. It's more historically accurate this way.

Now we have an opening and some backstory. I'm not sure how long we'll make this thing, but if anyone wants to visit the idea of the cycle between 1653 and the present, it might be interesting to note that huge events like the Revolution, Civil War, Depression and WWII tend to make people move away from and back to towns they, or their ancestors, once lived in.

I know there are some awkward sections when I tried to say several things at the same time, so let me know if any of you have editing ideas. Good luck!

09-13-2011, 09:52 AM
I'll read your section later today, Terry. And I'll edit my opening post this evening. I've always liked the idea of witches and curses and stuff and I remember once seeing a movie in which a house(?) was haunted by the ghost of a witch. It was a long time ago so I don't remember much about it, but I know that I enjoyed it. That's loosely what I based the opening of this story on. And also a halloween episode of The Simpsons in which Marge turns out to be a witch.

09-20-2011, 09:20 PM
The third part has been completed and posted. It took me a little longer than I thought, due to some lengthy editing, but it was a heck of a lot of fun.
I brought it back to semi-modern times and I made the police force small because I think of Fairhill as a small town with a close community. I considered adding a line changing the name of the town from Fairwill to Fairhill as a little joke but took it out!

I'm now handing it off to you, Ken.

09-20-2011, 09:30 PM
Awesome! I'm on it. Might not be as quick as those so far, but I'll have something soon enough.

09-26-2011, 07:12 PM
My part is up. Hope you all enjoy, but I am certainly open to criticism.

10-23-2011, 07:50 PM
It's almost been a month since Ken posted his part of the story. Not to jab anybody with a sharp stick, but where's part number 5? Who was up next? Do they know?...

Just really looking forward to seeing how the story progresses.

Dan Hocker
10-23-2011, 07:54 PM
Looks like Steve Vernon is up next. Someone should shoot him a PM.

10-23-2011, 08:46 PM
I had sent him a PM when I posted. Maybe he got caught up in some busy times or something. We could always rearrange the order if he is too busy.

10-23-2011, 09:36 PM
Sorry guys, I haven't been very active here lately. I will try to contact Steve and ask him if he still wants to write the next part, and if not I'll contact the next in line. I'll be back.

Edit: I sent him a message but his last forum post is already quite old, so I'm not sure he'll read it. If I don't get a response I will ask the next person to write his segment.

10-24-2011, 01:29 AM
Looks like I am after Steve, but I am pretty busy with school, so I will have to skip this round. Should hopefully be fine for the next round though.

It's slightly possible I'd be able to do it, but that wouldn't be likely and I don't want to slow the process down

10-25-2011, 09:54 PM
I haven't heard anything from Steve. RJK, would you like to try and write something now or do you want me to ask the next in line? Remember, you could take a little longer if you want and it can also be a relatively short segment. Also, we're not looking for Pulitzer price material here. Doesn't have to be perfect.

Nik Houser
10-26-2011, 01:16 AM
Hey guys. Alas, it looks like I'm too mired in the other stuff I'm working on and must drop out of this awesome project. Not spending enough time on the board as I should, either. Good luck to you guys, and thanks for adding me to the list. Sorry I have to pull out. Maybe next time, though. Happy Halloween to all!

10-26-2011, 02:44 PM
I hope someone picks up the next section soon. I'm as anxious to find out who the next narrator is, as I am about the next story turn.

10-26-2011, 03:04 PM
Well, since RJ seems to be too busy at the moment, adamjames is next up...

10-26-2011, 03:07 PM
I asked Adam (who is next in line after RJK1981) if he wants to write a segment in case RJK can't make it this round. In case Adam can't make it, you're up next, Pete :-)

If other people are reading this and would like to contribute, please make yourself known.

10-26-2011, 03:11 PM
Hehe, yeah, I noticed that...

Well, I hadn't planned on my turn coming up until around the Holiday season... But of course I'll take it like a man and do my part.:) You'll just have to bear with me as I'm kind of swamped at work now (with um, um... reading this forum) and might need a bit more time. From the looks of it it seems like I'll be finishing off the story?

10-26-2011, 04:47 PM
Pete, I don't think you should feel required to finish it. I think we even said in the beginning that we could add more people or cycle around again as the story dictates.

10-26-2011, 11:20 PM
Yes, that's what I remember too. Possibly more cycles to finish it up.

10-27-2011, 01:02 AM
ok, I'll work something up in the next week or so.

10-27-2011, 05:01 AM
ok, I'll work something up in the next week or so.

Awesome, that's definitely quicker than I'd be able to manage at the moment, and it's already been a while since the previous one