Recently a friend of mine asked me, “Why did you create Facebook Fiction? What’s the point?”
The truth is, Facebook Fiction is something that, although I created it – is based on a concept that has been around for a very long time. In the 1920s, 30s and 40s, radio shows used to present ‘Dramas’ which later spawned the ‘Soap Opera’. Stories that were told a little at a time, sometimes even interjecting audience participation.
I came up with the idea after watching a television interview done with fellow author/novelist Jack Cavanaugh (see below) where stories were broken into pieces keeping the reader always wanting more.
Seeing this, I thought to myself, Why not do that for my readers? I write short stories all the time, so… how about write them in front of my fans on Facebook. I would connect in each day, write a few paragraphs continuing on the story.
Writing this also gives the readers a chance to comment on a particular portion of it, perhaps even suggesting a specific avenue. Granted, to date I haven’t had much audience participation… but I hope to have more. I enjoy working with my readers.
Facebook Fiction turned out to be much more popular than I thought it would be, gaining me over 3000 fans on Facebook within a period of 2 weeks.
Now, although I do love writing Facebook Fiction, it does pose a problem:
When writing a normal Short Story, I usually sit down, crank it out over a period of a day or two and then over the next few days, arrange things. Add details here, tie up a lose end there. This often involves adding something to the top of the story connecting a peice of the story much closer to the end of it. I can’t do this with Facebook Fiction as once it’s out there, it’s out there and I can’t take it back.
Although I have no precise direction of where the story is going, I have a general idea. I can’t mention one part of the story, that didn’t exist in the beginning.
Let me give an example; in “The Shattered Lens” I decided about halfway through the story that the woman (Jillian) was going to have been raped in college which is a reasoning for her temporary insanity. Now, because I never mentioned that earlier in the story (because I myself didn’t know I was going in that direction), I had to somehow tie it in later in the story. I will admit that “The Shattered Lens” came together much better than I expected. However, you just can’t foresee every direction a story is going and that tiny little detail that you think is unimportant, could be what ends up creating the big ‘holy cow’ moment at the end of the story (such as in The Shattered Lens).
So, that being said, I do really enjoy Facebook Fiction as do my readers from the input I’ve received. If you too enjoy Facebook Fiction, please let me know about it in my Guest book. Without my readers, my writing would be worthless.