Ficlets.com, write a story of your own

March 19th, 2007 at 12:00 am
 


Ficlets.com is a new startup which focuses on boosting the literary creativity of users. The main functionality of the site is to create and share short stories to an online community. Stories have to meet the 1,024 maximum character count and the 64 minimum required character count, anything more or less will not be accepted.

It is collaborative writing. The idea is, you write a short story, publish it on the Ficlets community and let it develop and evolve as other members of the site add their versions of a prequel or sequel to your short story. Once you publish a short story, you might want to regularly visit the site to see how the narrative thread has evolved. The end results are highly unpredictable. If you're having trouble writing a story, Ficlets offers users with so-called ″story starters” and ″story enders” as well as ″this day in history” information and even Flickr photos to jump start the creativity process.

The site has a very interesting concept which might appeal to certain demographics like creative writing students and even their teachers. There's not so many users so far. Aside from adding a prequel or sequel to the story, you can also add comment, set tags, and save favorite stories. Stories and updates can be RSS enabled as well.

Moreover, everything you write and publish in Ficlets are licensed under a Creative Commons license, which gives you full ownership to your articles. User interface is pretty easy. It's bright and I appreciate providing bigger fonts sizes for the articles.

Purpose and functionality aside, there's one very interesting fact about the website. The site was developed by a small team of AOL developers and is the first AOL site to be developed in Rails and the first one that uses the OpenID system. So if you want to joint in the writers in Ficlets, you need to enter an OpenID URL in the log-in space.

The only problem with the website is the user generated stories themselves. There will always be not so good story concepts and even terrible user contributions.