Okay, bear with me. This may be a horrible idea, or it could be good - you decide.
For a while, you've had the writing challenges on chat. Great! Good idea! Unfortunately, the chat... isn't so active. So, how about we do something else, and possibly make it easier to participate?
Have the challenges on Meta.
"On Meta?" you ask.
"Sure!" I respond. "Here, let me explain..."
Q: What kind of writing challenges?
A: We can try several things! There are a few things that I thought of:
- A prompt.
I.e, someone provides the prompt, and we create a story with that line. For instance, let's say that the prompt is
[t]he carpet came spiraling out of the sky, heading towards the busy street below.
Obviously,this would invite Scifi/Fantasy stories about flying carpets - but it could also be in a story about smuggling carpets in an airplane and having one fall...
- A subject.
I.e, let's say that the subject is 'Vampires'. You then have to write a vampire story. Any kind of vampire - the traditional blood sucking vampire, or Doctor McCoy's Salt vampire, or a vampire that only drinks beet juice (sucked from the raw vegetable)... you get the point.
Q: How would these prompts/subjects be chosen?
A: A meta post! Set up a permanent post asking for suggestions, and have people post answers to it with their suggestions. After one challenge is over, the highest scoring answer is picked to be the next challenge.
- Q: Who would post that suggestions post?
A: I volunteer! ;)
Q: How would we submit our writing?
- Q: Who will post these?
A: Again, I volunteer ;)
Q: How long would these challenges last?
A: However long it takes to write something you're satisfied with. :P But I think that after 3 weeks, it would be time to move to the next challenge.
- Q: Why 3 weeks?
A: Because that way, people get to see the post, and have time to think, and time to develop their story and edit. And people who may not see the post at first also get a chance to participate.
Q: Is this a contest?
A: Heck, no! Not at all! This is simply a chance to practice writing and see what others are doing. If you're lucky, you might get some questions about what you write over at Literature.SE ;)
- Q: How would you deal with users who act like it's a contest?
A: We'll gently remind them that this is not a contest, and that if they want to write competitively, they should find somewhere else. If they cross the Be Nice policy, the mods will step in.
- Q: What will happen to the old chat writing challenges?
A: Absolutely nothing! Anybody who wishes can go take part in those. This is intended for people who can't join the chat challenges for any reason, such as time restrictions.
What do you think? Is this a good idea? Am I crazy? Are there improvements that can be made? I look forward to hearing from you!