The Path to Canonicity

This is the fifth in a series of posts regarding shared story world design



This post will touch on the issues of managing canonicity for a SSW.

“Canon” is a term applied to content deemed official or recognized as officially part of a shared story world.

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Scoping the Audience Participation

This is the fourth in a series of posts regarding shared story world design

A SSW model does not require you to make it fully open to audience participation. You have the ability to sandbox or cordon off any or all parts of the world you like. In fact, you may want or even need to. Some common approaches include restricting audiences along one or more of the following aspects: characters, geographies, objects, and chronologies.

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World Bibles and World Wikis

This is the third in a series of posts regarding shared story world design

“globe detail” by Patrick Q (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The concept of a world bible is a tried and true practice in many creative areas, especially for serial storytelling like television or large entertainment franchises. A world bible is an internal document or system for cataloging characters, places, items, etc. for future reference.

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The Message in the Medium

This is the second in a series of posts regarding shared story world design

Your decision about which mediums you want to play in for your SSW and which mediums you want to accept from contributors obviously have an effect on many aspects of your SSW design, marketing, and management. I can’t possibly go into details on every single medium, but I will offer some guidelines to help you think through your choices.

Unless you have deep pockets of funding that can support lots of mediums (and maybe even if you don’t), my suggestion is to focus on a single medium as the primary “platform” for your SSW. It could be a comic, fiction, or a web series. It could even be audio podcasts or role-playing game modules.

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Participation, Worldbuilding, and Genres

This is the first in a series of posts regarding shared story world design

The genre you choose for your SSW will have a direct impact on how people contribute and participate. Some genres lend themselves to participation better than others, so consider the advantages and drawbacks of each, especially if your SSW has a commercial element to it or your business model requires a high level of participation.

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StoryWorld Conference

The StoryWorld Conference + Expo, scheduled for October 31st – November 2nd in San Francisco, has an amazing list of speakers. Anyone interested in storytelling or transmedia should consider going (note: early registration discount ends August 31st!).

But the following panels should be especially interesting for anyone working with shared story world models, fandom-based participatory properties, or copyright/rights management in collaborative experiences:

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Torn World’s First Anthology – and Sea Monsters!

This just in from Torn World…

“Torn World is celebrating Sea Monster Month for all of May! We’ve got meta-fiction articles on the sea monsters of our world going up daily, and our fiction, poetry and artwork is all in the theme as well. Battle a giant monster on the open seas, discover a misunderstood species, and take a peek at the journal entries of Torn World naturalists. We’ve even got glasses made with monster parts! Coming up, we’ve got stories of loss and injury, poetry about the lure of the sea, and more amazing sea monster art, to go with the new monsters we reveal every day. Check back often for updates!

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