A little over a year ago (early 2007), none of us knew the others existed.
Of course, we all knew that there were people out there who had the same love that we did … writing. But the connection to each other had yet to be made.
Then, in the spring of ’07, a new force in fan-fiction came into being … Fanlib.
Fanlib brought together tens of thousands of fans who felt a need to take their favorite TV shows and movies a step further by writing their own stories, scripts, and poems. And, in June 2007, history was made.
Fanlib hosted a script-writing contest based on a scenario where Captains Kirk and Picard (both of Star Trek fame, for anyone who has been living in the woods for the past 40 years!) meet in conflict. Hundreds of submissions were made, and many of us began an online relationship that would blossom over the following months.
Never had any of us been in a community where our work was so accepted and respected, and where constructive criticism was welcomed, as well as handed out generously!
Flash forward to March 2008. We all knew what the others were capable of. Now, it was time to take our “relationships” to the next level. An idea blossomed where the nine of us would develop, outline, and write a complete novel … a task that both excited and intimidated us!
The plan was to submit story ideas, then vote for the ones we loved. After Eugene’s “Artifact” idea had been chosen (a perfect vehicle for our first collaboration, by the way), we drew our names out of a hat to determine the order with which our individual chapters would be penned. Within two weeks of our initial idea, we were off and running!
There were times of euphoria and frustration during the process. First drafts, re-writes, re-writes of re-writes, endless hours in chat rooms dissecting and making recommendations. Voting on a dozen different designs for the cover. In short, it was all any of us could have hoped for … an environment of creative thought, willing collaboration, and thoughtful criticism. A writer’s paradise!
Luckily, we also have artists, editors, and other diverse talents in the group to keep outsourcing at a minimum. This book is totally, 100%, from cover to cover, “all in the family”!
As of the final editing stage, we have yet to physically meet each other. The feeling, though, is almost like family. Our talents vary, we sometimes let emotion take over at critical points, and we don’t have the assembly line-like efficiency of today’s publishing houses … but we are nine people who share a common love and goal: to write.
When this started, there was a common feeling that none of us had an entire book locked up inside us. That’s tough to admit, because to a writer, greatness is achieved when that first book is published. However, we knew that each of us had a chapter ready to burst out.
And that is the story of how nine people achieved greatness, one chapter at a time.