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January 8, 2008
A Serial Drama in Internet Form
Shared-world writing has been around a long time. Whether it's someone writing a Sherlock Holmes story long after Doyle's death, or a co-created world like Robert Asprin's Thieves World in which authors cooperate on characters and settings, it's been done. And, honestly it's probably been done on the 'Net before, though I couldn't find any professional examples in my quick search.
Now comes "Shadow Unit". Originally the brainchild of Emma Bull, the writing crew also includes Elizabeth Bear, Will Shetterly, and Sarah Monette. Bear explains the concept in her LJ posting as "...the website for a serial drama in internet form. Or possibly it's a fan site for a TV show that doesn't exist. "
What makes this interesting to me from a Copyfight point of view is the plan to include a variety of materials with a variety of revenue models. Some things will be free; some will be subscription. I imagine some things will be direct sales. it will be interesting to see how readers respond to this kind of experimentation and whether the model is picked up or expanded on. I'll probably blog updates now and then if significant things happen; bookmark the site itself if you want to see first-hand.
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