Saturday, October 20, 2007

Choose Your Own Adventure - Maven Style!

Because we Mavens adore Halloween, we wanted to have a special event. Starting Monday, October 22 and culminating on Halloween, the Manuscript Mavens blog will run a Choose Your Own Adventure story. A different author will be blogging each day, continuing the story of the previous day, and ending their post with three "what next" choices for readers to vote on. [Read the full story here!]

For example, if Day 1 is that Cinderella's stepmother says she can't go to the ball, the end-of-post choices might be, "Does she: A) sneak out of the house dressed as a ninja, B) shank her evil stepmother with a machete, or C) fall at the feet of her fairy godmother." And then the readers comment saying, "B! Shank her!" or whatever. The idea is to keep it quick and easy - no stressing over the story, because it's meant to be fun!

Posts will be up first thing in the morning (east coast time) and readers will have until 5 pm Pacific (8 pm Eastern) to vote on their favorite (one vote per person per day, but feel free to comment as often as you like!). The winning choice will then be used by the following day's author for the next installment.

As if this fun won't be enough, the Mavens will be giving away books to random commenters and there will be a grand prize of autographed books awarded to a lucky reader randomly chosen from everyone who commented on all eight posts. We'll also have a special prize for whoever comes up with a title for our endeavor (post your title suggestions throughout the event and the Mavens will pick a winner on Halloween).

To whet your appetite for Monday's first installment, you've already been introduced to the story...yes, we are using Tessa's opening from Friday's post as our starting off point. Thank you Tessa!

It was cold. The freezing air nipped at Mary’s throat where her too-small cloak gaped in front. There hadn’t been money for a new cloak this winter. Nor the winter before. Gathering the threadbare garment about her as best she could, she hastened her steps along the ice-crusted path. The distant thwacks of an ax cleaving wood cut through the thick blanket of silence. A thin curl of smoke from a nearby cottage disappeared into the winter-white sky. All was grey; all was quiet—just as it had been ever since the tragedy. This was Cotswold’s season of sorrow.

But a smile warmed Mary’s cheeks, for the air tasted of snow—crisp with anticipation, sweet as a secret. A lone snowflake twirled from the gray silence, and she caught it in her hand, admiring the bit of crystalline lace as it melted on her palm. And then it was gone. The first snowflake of winter, and a scrap of beauty none but her would ever see. The rest of the villagers kept to their thatched-roof cottages, or trained their eyes on the loamy soil beneath their feet… but not Mary. Mary looked to the sky.

Let the fun begin!


Bill Clark said...

Whee! What a great idea! Tessa's opening was too good to waste, even though she may not have known it at the time.

And of course I go with option B in the Cinderella story, since that sounds like what Maven Erica would have done (I think she's the only person I know with a real live - er, inanimate - machete). ;-)

Erica Ridley said...

Busted! The machete-shanking was totally my call. Actually, I'd've gone with a combo of choices A and B. Shanked the stepmother with a machete and then escaped the premises in full ninja gear.

E <-- who promises to try very, very hard to make Monday's installment at least a *little* Halloween-y

Manuscript Mavens

Manuscript Mavens