Wovel -- an audience-plotted web-novel

Underland Press is publishing a "wovel" -- a web-novel -- in which the author publishes a cubicle-reading-length installment, along with several possibilities as to where the story could go next. The readers vote on the direction the book should take, and the author writes the next installment to their spec.

The first Wovel is "The Living," a horror/detective novel by Brian Evenson.

The night was a symphony of whistles and gunshots.

Inside the dimly lit apartment, the old man stood by the door. He was not old enough to have lived through a war, and didn't expect to live through this one. Though he didn't count courage among his virtues, he had accepted the notion of his imminent death with curious calm. For what was there to fear? This was not a world he recognized. It hadn't been for some time. Instead it had mutated into a kind of hellish garden in which neither God nor nature prevailed. When the time came, he would be glad to leave it.

Footsteps on the stairs.

Whines and pained whimpers from the bed behind him.

In the dim glow from the lantern the man's face was a thousand years old, appearing to be more rock than flesh. The thin shadows on his sunken cheeks were like spilled ink running from his eyes. He turned and said, "Hush, Maddy."

Behind him, the keening faded to a whisper.

Link

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  1. This reminds me of something similar at Ctrl+Alt+Del.

    He wrote a “choose-your-own-adventure” style story arc where the readers voted through email to choose the next comic.

    It started here.

  2. In other news, a cease-and-desist order has arrived from Bulwer and Lytton, Attorneys At Law.

  3. Will there be an single orc in a room guarding a treasure chest? I mean, at some point?

  4. Quick correction: The Living is written by Kealan Patrick Burke, not Brian Evenson.

    Victoria

  5. K… “wvl” s jst bt th stpdst mnkr ‘v hrd rcntly. Gt rl. Ths nm s s dmb s mn wth pnytls.

  6. I think the mix-up happened because Evenson also has a book (not a “wovel” but an old-fashioned novel (about a secret amputation cult, natch)) out soon from Underland Press.

    Evenson is one of the greats — I highly recommend his novel The Open Curtain, or any of his story collections (The Wavering Knife is his most recent).

  7. Good concept. I went to the website and the story started out boring in my eyes. I stopped reading after 2 pages. Either too boring or an ADD flare-up on my part.

  8. Awesome concept, thanks for the link I’ll definitely read.

    “Wovel” as a name bothers me, though. Is web-novel too long? It’s like ‘blog’, only new and therefore worse. Ah, mercy me, I’m already at the “get off my intertube lawn” stage.

  9. yep, “Web Age” Tenn, yer past 15, yer for the scrap heap. C’mon over to the Old Entities Home and set a spell wiht me.

  10. Ah, and blast, Wage is already a word. Let me get my biohazard suit, I was building one off Antinous’ model. I’ll bring some tea.

  11. It actually started here: http://www.Glypho.com

    Unfortunately it never kept the momentum.

    This is an awesome site were people can read what other wrote, add suggestions for plots or characters, even write a chapter for the book, other users then vote for what chapter is accepted.

  12. WattWatt, if you turn out to be Brian Evenson, I shall make fun of you unmercifully.

  13. “In other news, a cease-and-desist order has arrived from Bulwer and Lytton, Attorneys At Law.”

    That’s hysterical! Next time, I should remember to run it by the House and the Brain, so this kind of thing can be avoided. ;-)

    “Will there be an single orc in a room guarding a treasure chest? I mean, at some point?”

    You can be damn sure of it. At multiple points, even!

    “K… “wvl” s jst bt th stpdst mnkr ‘v hrd rcntly. Gt rl. Ths nm s s dmb s mn wth pnytls.”

    t ech ter on

    “Good concept. I went to the website and the story started out boring in my eyes. I stopped reading after 2 pages. Either too boring or an ADD flare-up on my part.”

    Whatever the cause, thanks for giving it a shot!

  14. TNH: Sadly, no. (I do get pretty fanboyish about my favorite writers, though.)

    The more likely possibility is that YOU are Brian Evenson, and your comment was engineered to throw suspicion away from yourself.

    And who, I ask, will be on the receiving end of unmerciful fun-making, should that ever be revealed?

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