As a child, I was a huge fan of a collaborative story writing game that I later learned was also a favorite of the Surrealists. The gist of the “exquisite corpse” game: write a sentence on a piece of paper. Fold the paper so that only the last word or phrase can be seen, and pass the paper around in a circle. Everyone gets a chance to add a line or two to what becomes a story composed by the collective, rather than by a single author – a story created together, but in secret.
I’ll spare you the deep dive into Surrealist theory about the power of the collective creativity. But I will note that part of the fun of the game was that when a group writes a story together like this, the tale is often full of hilarious juxtapositions.
And now you can play this game online with a new website, FoldingStory.
FoldingStory lets you read, create, or contribute to these collaborative stories. You can select the stories to add to based on whether they’re old or new, near the beginning or near completion. There are limitations to the number of characters you can contribute (180) and to the time you get to respond (3 minutes). And there are, of course, some rules about content (no violence, for example) and form (as in “NO SHOUTING”).
But to participate in FoldingStory is almost as easy as the childhood game made it: simply write your sentence or two, then “fold and pass.”
You can share the stories to Facebook and Twitter, rate and leave comments, and follow particular authors. More integration with Twitter would be great, I think, to be able to request and add contributions from your Twitter followers, for example.