Nobody knows where the gods went; all of the sudden, they stopped speaking to us. Those they used to gift with divine light now have but lingering shadows of their glory. In the sky, the astronomers have seen a great stone falling down on us that was not there nights ago. They say in three-hundred-and-sixty-six days, it will hit Symnis. It's three time's the planet's size, they call it Vati: Prince of Flame.
Everyone's panicking; some streets are full of rioters and fire, others are dead silent. The most faithful plead with our missing gods, others follow whispered promises of power into strange corners of the world. They come back changed, empty-eyed. Even those who still have hope are divided between The Reclamation, who want to stay and fight, and The Wayfarers, who seek a new world. With the stone looming overhead, fear in the darkened streets, and something yet unnamed rising from deep history, they still find time to fight each other.
As for me? I'm just a witness. I have my reasons. But maybe you can stand for something. So will you stand beneath the stone, or will you seek hope in the unknown between worlds?
- - - - -
What's The Deal?
"366 to Vati" is an experiment in interactive literature. Expanding on the concept of branched, linear 'choose your own adventure' stories, this 366-vignette series will become the first truly crowd-sourced worked of fiction.
Here's how it works: a website will be created to host "366 to Vati." Beginning on January 1st, 2012. I will write a new 366-word vignette told from the perspectives of various characters in both The Reclamation and The Wayfarers factions, once a day, every day, until December 31st, 2012.
But here's where you come in: the ultimate fate of the conflict will be determined by the readers. Though I will be the only writer, and will exercise authorial discretion to ensure things stay interesting, readers will have the option to write in and support a faction, either with or without donation. These votes will be counted and weighed each day, and the favored faction will advance their cause in some crucial way the next day. Balance of favor over the lifetime of the story will also be used to determine long-term outcomes.
Then What's Special About Contributing Through Kickstarter?
Well, first off, you guys get the unique rewards. Everything you receive will have unique features that signify you are one of the people who got this off the ground. Additionally, you're the only ones who get to be featured on the memorials of each faction: supporters of The Reclamation get their name on The Steadfast Wall, supporters of The Wayfarers get their name on The Gateway.
Though the story will be crowd-sourced, and others will contribute after the project has started, this way, I can easily identify, acknowledge and reward the early adopters who helped get this project off the ground in spite of how scary it can be to bet on something experimental.
What Will The Funding Go To?
A pretty hefty chunk of change will be going to the rewards for contributors, such as printed copies of the book, shirts and poster-sized prints of the memorials for the biggest contributors. A nominal portion will also go to the cost of hosting the site, and still another piece goes to acquiring the additional RAM necessary to ensure I can perform ultra-high-resolution image-editing (tens of megapixels) so that the memorial prints are pixel-perfect.
The remainder will allow me to have the time to do this project right. 366 words is not a lot, once a day. But then factor in making those 366 truly excellent words. And that I have a business doing editing, writing, graphic design and web design seven days a week. And that I will be designing several sets of unique graphics for the various rewards people will receive. And that time will be spent working with the high-level contributors who will have character presence in the stories. These things add up, and I'm excited to make this project a smashing success, so I need to have a little financial breathing room to really dig in to it. Oh, and it goes without saying that the site will be entirely ad-free.
Awesome. Sign me up!
Great! When you make your contribution, please let me know what faction you wish to be aligned with in the comments page. If you make one of the large contributions that involves a character presence in "366 to Vati," message me directly and we'll work out the details.
Oh, and just a note. If we make this thing a success, there just might be another project like this in 2013, so let's rock!