The Future of Collaborative Fiction
StoryMash, the future of collaborative fiction. A creative writing community for authors, amateur writers, readers and anyone interested in collaborative fiction and collaborative creative writing.
Can I write about anything?
You can write about almost anything as long as it isn't illegal. In addition you must always follow the Code of Conduct and Terms of Service and Use. Which among other things, means you can not post anything that violates US copyright or trademark laws.
A story on StoryMash can be compared to graph theory. A story is a rooted tree of chapters. Regular stories have chapters 1,2,3,... that come one after another. A story on StoryMash starts off with chapter 1, but after that, there can be four chapter 2s. Each chapter 2 can take the plot started in chapter 1 in a different direction. Each of those chapter 2s might be written by different authors.
Each chapter has its own comment area where readers and authors can discuss the chapter, what the next plot twist might be, or anything else that catches their fancy. Each chapter also has a rank or score of popularity based on readers' votes and other factors.
A list of an author's chapters may be found on their profile page.
It's 36000 characters. This includes formatting characters, so it's difficult to translate to an actual word count. This limit will likely change again on the next major site update, as we are experimenting with a new chapter editing form.
To stop massive spam bombs, we have an overall limit of 10 new chapters per 24 hours.
The featured chapter is currently selected automatically and updated daily. The algorithm simply picks the least viewed chapter from the top 15%. The goal is to give exposure to great chapters that might have been overlooked.
First, you could try to add new chapters to other popular storylines that already have established readers. Soon, those readers will be notified directly via email and/or on their profile pages of your addition.
Second, use proper tagging (and later genre categorization) so that people who are searching will be able to find what they are looking for.
Third, read and comment on other users’ chapters. This gesture is sure to gain you some readers and some feedback.
If you are more interested in feedback, you can always share links to your work with others including writing groups, online message boards (craigslist.org and answers.yahoo.com and other writing boards are great places to ask for feedback), and don't forget friends or family that might enjoy and share your writing.
Every chapter starts out as a "draft". A draft chapter can be edited by the author only, commented on by readers, but it can NOT be voted on. It also does not earn the author revenue.
The author of a chapter publishes it by clicking the "publish" button on the chapter page. A published chapter can no longer be edited, but it can be commented on and voted on. It also immediately starts earning the author money.
They are like the blurbs on book back covers that lure the reader into wanting to read more. They should be short but intriguing. They are often the first look a reader has of your chapter and helps them decide if they will read it or not. They shouldn't contain spoilers or a synopsis of the plot.
Previews are used in various places on StoryMash to provide readers with a preview of your chapter. They also show up in the results of search engines such as Google.
Currently, the main use is to help readers find your creative writing. You want people to read your chapters; why else are you publishing them on StoryMash? Also, the more people who read your chapter the more money you will earn.
Both StoryMash's search and search engines use the tags on your chapters for indexing. That means if someone searches Google for mystery, your chapter is more likely to be in the results if you've added a 'mystery' tag to it.
Don't put in a bunch of random tags that have nothing to do with your writing. Search engines are smart enough to check for this and your chapter will be less likely to show up in any of the results for any search.
The default ranking for a brand new chapter, which usually starts with an automatic 5-star vote from the author, ends up being around 2.5-3.5. The fluctuation depends mostly on the rankings of the very best chapter on the site and affects all StoryMash chapters equally. As the number of votes increases for your chapter, the final ranking becomes closer to the average of all the votes. The reason it works this way is not a bug, but to give more credit to chapters with more than a tiny number of votes. Without this, all new chapters would immediately rank at the very top, even before anyone has a chance to read it. In the future, this initial rating will fluctuate more depending on the history of previous chapters published by the same author.
Absolutely; it would be awesome if you linked to our writing community. If you write or read a chapter you enjoyed, by all means spread the word. We want everyone to know about StoryMash and read the great creative writing of our collaborative community.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org from the email address associated with your account. Any of your chapters that have not been continued by other authors will be disabled.
Only chapters which have not yet been continued by other authors may be disabled. Send an email to email@example.com from the email address associated with your account with a list of the URLs for the chapters that you want disabled.
Absolutely! We created StoryMash so authors like you could get paid for writing. The ads on every page earn money for our authors' great creative writing. At least 50% of all advertisement revenue is paid out to the authors of StoryMash's collaborative writing community. The more popular and read a chapter is, the more money the author earns. Remember you must publish a chapter before you can start getting paid for your writing.
No way! An Adsense account is not needed; instead we pay out all site revenue even for advertising earned on non chapter pages, then divide the total amount evenly among all the chapters based on their clicks and ranks.
No, for a limited amount of time, payments will be mailed in the form of a US check to any address around the world. Of course if you have selected PayPal as your preferred payment, there shouldn't be an issue of location, assuming you have a PayPal account setup.
In addition to advertisement revenue, we have regular creative writing contests with large cash prizes.
First, make sure you publish your chapter once you are satisfied it is the best creative writing you can muster. Draft chapters do not earn money.
Second, the amount of money a chapter earns is related to how popular and how many people read it. Popularity depends somewhat on how good or interesting your writing is. But, even the most awesometastic story won't get read unless people know about it.
So, tell them!
- Send your friends, relatives and coworkers a link to your chapter.
- Write about your chapter in a blog, newsletter or anywhere else. Be sure and include a link.
- Reply to comments left by other community members in your chapter's discussion.
- Collaborate with other community members, discuss their chapters and writings, work together and mash a new story!
Also, use accurate tags and write previews for your chapters. Tags are used by search engines such as Google to help readers find what they're looking for. Previews are often the first look a reader has of your chapter on StoryMash and with search engines. Make it short and intriguing.
Your Payment Method is how you would like StoryMash to pay you the money your chapters have earned. The current Payment Methods supported are PayPal and check in U.S. dollars.
To select a Payment Method visit your preferences page. You must login to view your profile page.
Due to the costs involved StoryMash will only distribute payments when your current earnings exceed a certain amount. The Payment Threshold can be found in the License Agreement. Current earnings and other payment information may be found on your profile page. You must login to view your profile page.
"Earnings" lists the total amount of money earned since the last payout, and "Payments" is the total amount sent.
Payments are calculated on the first of the month. When the total balance reaches the minimum threshold, payment will be sent before the 20th of the month. The thresholds depend on the payment method: $2 for PayPal or $5 for checks.
The rank is calculated by star votes from users. The exact calculation method and fraud screening is classified but basically it is essentially an average of the number of votes and the rating level. By keeping this information classified, we can keep the system fair for everyone and help to give the most accurate rating.
Every vote is logged. Votes that are detected as fraud get weighted down, some as far as nullifying the vote.
There are no ties; the ranking is internally stored as a 10 digit number, and the algorithm breaks ties so that there are no two chapters with the exact same rank. The rank displayed is rounded, but the display order is based on the internal 10 digit rank.
Why can I not login or why do I have to login each time?
You must set your browser to accept cookies. Passwords are case sensitive. Have you forgotten your password? See lost password question.
How do I change my password?
There is a link under My Preferences to change your password.
I lost my password. What do I do?
This form will allow you to reset your password.
When are stats updated?
The rating stats are updated every 10 minutes, and the view stats are updated only once per day (around 8am PST). The earnings calculations are done manually every few days and always at least 24 hours delayed, and sometimes they are delayed as much as 30 days depending on the revenue source.
What is the funny word after author's name in chapter URLs?
That is a "string" of 8 characters that uniquely identify each chapter. Each chapter must have its own URL, and we wanted to allow chapters with the same name. Creating our own "id" for each chapter met both requirements.
What are the children rank and the descendant rank?
The "Children Rank" is the average ranking and total number of votes for the immediate children of a specific chapter. The "Descendant Rank" is the same, but for all sibling chapters. These stats can eventually help guide readers to pick the strongest next chapter, but they can also be safely ignored, especially since the descendant rank is not fully implemented yet, and there are no extremely "bushy" Story Trees yet.
This is something that happens to many authors from time to time. Writers Block info.
Organizing your ideas or outlining your chapter can often help to reduce writer's block. Listing what you want to write about starting from the broadest scope and then narrow down. So, you might write, "fiction, murder mystery, killer unknown to audience". Then just fill in the blanks as you go along.
Another great way to ease out of writer's block is to read what others are writing or communicate with fellow StoryMash members on our forums.