Friday, July 27, 2012

Spotlight: 3hundredand65

Hope watched them descend. "They're dead," said Doubt doomfully. "It's over. They'll never find you now." Hope shook her head. "Watch." - Neil Gaiman, @neilhimself
I don't know why it took so long for me to find 3hundredand65.  I'm glad I finally did.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised it was Neil Gaiman who brought me into this story, has he's done countless before.  3hundredand65 is different, though.  It's collaborative, the scope of which has never quite been seen.  It's imaginative, with twists and new characters coming - literally - daily.  Best of all, it's for a good cause.  So join Gaiman, Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross, and others and read a story, one day at a time.

The premise behind 3hundredand65 is simple.  Everyday a new person tweets the next line of an ongoing story.  They only know where it came from; where it's going is up to the next writer.  The final product will have illustrations and be a truly collaborative effort.  The end goal is a noble one, raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, primarily through the sale of merchandise and (coming soon) a finished copy of the 3hundredand65 story, along with donations.

The story itself is interesting, to say the least.  While there may be some rare instances of cooperation and planning in advance, for the most part each entry picks up the previous as best it can and lets others build off of it.  This is a risky proposition - there's already been one "it was all a dream" instance - but overall twists and turns are dealt with and developed nicely.  What we get is a bizarre storyline with even crazier characters, and it's wonderful.  The number and diversity of the writers is a blessing and a curse.  You'll catch some typos, run across an entry you don't really connect with, but each time you're reminded that this is several hundred people doing what they can and love for a good cause.  It's all part of the whole package, and if anything was removed it wouldn't quite be the same.

3hundredand65 is definitely an interesting and worthwhile experiment with some big names.  The final product will be exciting to see, but in the meantime the journey is definitely worth checking out.

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