The purpose. This is a project. My friends and I started with a journal to write and collaborate with each other on a present we're putting together for a friend, who we shall refer to as Wonderful from here on out. We're making a book that's a collection of short stories and poems for Wonderful's children (she has four boys and a baby girl). Soon enough, we figured, why stop with us three? Why not get together a group of creative people that like to write and draw, to make this gift even more unique? You can post something you've already written, or make up something just for this book, or even just jump in and add to a story one of the members started on.
Idea and inspiration posts are completely acceptable. If you have something in mind for a story, or great character, images you've come across that jump out and beg to have a story based around them, songs that seem magical, post away and let others step in and see where Inspiration takes them. If you would like to contribute in any way, it would be very much appreciated. If you have anything you'd like to share or include in the book, please make a post, or a comment on one of the entries (anonymous posts are accepted) if you don't wish to join/don't have a Livejournal account.
How it works. In your post, be sure to state where you stand on collaborating with other members. If the story is meant to be only yours, and you don't wish to have anyone add to it or suggest changes or ideas, please put CLOSED in the title. If you want help from other writers, whether it be just ideas/suggestions or you would like others to jump in and help write parts of the story, be sure to include OPEN in the title and state at the beginning of your post what you're going for.
Illustrations! If you are an artist and would like to make illustrations for one or multiple stories, or even just one drawing for a certain part of a story, we would love you forever, since we pretty much all lack the skills and materials necessary to come up with illustrations, too. If it's your own story the illustration(s) goes with, just post it with your story. If you feel inspired by someone else's story and feel as though you'd like to work with them, leave a comment on their post, and if the creator is up for it, exchange ideas and go for it! Alternatively, if you just so happen to have drawn something you feel looks like it should have a story behind it, but aren't the story-writing sort or never got around to putting a story with it, don't be shy about posting. =]
*Other thoughts on illustrations* - I love the idea of getting several different people to do illustrations for one story, so each picture has a totally different style. - We're cool with pictures drawn on the computer, hand drawn pictures that have been scanned, or if you're really feeling generous, mailing hand drawn pictures to me to include in the book. - I also thought it would be cute to include some illustrations that are just black and white, coloring book style, for the kids to color in themselves.
Regarding length: How short or long do these "short" stories need to be? Well, that is completely up to you. I think it would be good to have some longer ones that are like small chapter books and some that are very short and simple. That way, Wonderful has plenty to choose from and depending on how she feels, can just read a quick bedtime poem or have an ongoing nightly series for the whole week.
Regarding credit: We would like to get as many people involved as possible and have this ready by Christmas. You can choose to leave your work anonymous or credit will be given, if you so wish. I had planned to not label the authors on the stories themselves, so Wonderful has no idea which friend or person wrote which story (we figured she could have fun trying to guess which one of us came up with what lol), and have a page in the book crediting everyone involved, but if you want full credit, I'd be more than happy to include your name with your story/poem/illustration. If you want your full name credited in the actual physical book, but don't feel comfortable posting that information on Livejournal, just let us know and that information can be exchanged through e-mail.
We are amateurs. The three of us that started this project have never written children's stories before (two of us have never written any sort of story before). We may not really know what we're doing, but we're having a lot of fun making it up as we go along. I'd love for you to join us in creating something Wonderful and her children can enjoy for Christmas, and many years to come. It doesn't have to be perfect. I don't care if you have years of experience with this sort of thing or have never written a story in your entire life, if you're a top-notch artist or can barely draw stick figures, as long as it's creative and kid-friendly.
Feel free to post/comment with suggestions, questions, ideas, inspiration, anything you'd like to share.
+ Please put your stories/poems/illustrations behind a cut if they take up a lot of space. + I think this goes without saying, but have respect for everyone's work. + Constructive criticism is fine if they're open to it, but don't be rude about it. + Please keep in mind that the person who starts the story should get the final say in what is included, and try not to be offended if the OP doesn't feel like your contribution fits with the direction they have in mind for their story. + If you would rather not have a certain part someone suggests included in your story, or want something added or taken out, don't hesitate to say so, but please do it in a tactful manner. + We are also open to posts devoted solely to inspiration. Know of an artist that makes you feel like creating magical stories? Stumbled across a picture or work of art that left you in awe? Have some pictures saved to your computer that takes you back to your childhood? Go ahead and share with us. Try to provide credit if you can, please. And DO NOT try to claim anyone else's work as your own.