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Worldbuilders


Hey, all. As the holiday season is here, I wanted to give a shout-out to Worldbuilders, Pat Rothfuss’s yearly, F&SF-themed charity drive. Pat puts a great deal of work into the charity, and I love how it brings the community together to do something great. The charity he supports (Heifer International) is quite worthy, and I’ve participated in one way or another every year I’ve been able.

This year, I wanted to do something a little special. With the help of the Waygate Foundation, the group of Wheel of Time fans who seek to do charitable work, I have offered to Pat a special event for Worldbuilders, if one of his benchmarks is met. (I believe he set it at 100k in donations, which we’re very close to reaching.)

He lists my stretch goal as something like, “Brandon will live-stream a writing session.” But this is going to be so very much more than such a simple sentence indicates. If we hit Pat’s goal, I’m going to get on Twitch.tv (a streaming site with an integrated viewer chat) and then I’m going to brainstorm and write a story according to audience direction.

That’s right, I’ll let you have a say in deciding turning points, descriptions, and general mayhem in the story. I’ll explain what I’m doing each of the way via Twitch’s integrated webcam feature, and will try to do an extended Q&A as well.

I’ll look at doing this for five hours or so: an hour of brainstorming followed by four hours of writing. If we don’t finish the story (which is likely, as I envision four hours getting us somewhere around 2,000–3,000 words) I’ll try to wrap up what I’m doing in some interesting (but open-ended) way, then release the story into the Creative Commons as something like an extended writing prompt. The challenge to all of you will to be to finish it according to your preference.

Either way, it should be a very unique experience. You’ll be able to not only watch me write, but have a hand in what takes place, as well as ask questions about the process while it’s going on. If you’d like to see this happen, all you need to do is donate to Worldbuilders. (I’ll probably use the writing session itself as a mini donation drive as well.)

Now, there will be some limitations. The chat will be heavily moderated by my team to delete abusive or inappropriate language—be aware, therefore, that we’re going to be a little trigger-happy with deleting comments. Something like this could quickly spiral out of control. If we hit the goal prompting me to do this, I’ll look at doing this session in the coming weeks—I promise it will at least happen before Worldbuilders ends on February 2nd. (I’m thinking second week of January is the likely date, though I’ll give lots of forewarning.)

My intent is to release whatever I write during the session to the Creative Commons. Then, I will probably finish the rest of the story on my own time and donate it to Worldbuilders or Waygate to sell (assuming it turns out well enough to be worth paying for) as a digital download, proceeds going to charity. I do have to warn that though the writing process of the story should be a lot of fun—and will hopefully be very interesting to all involved—I can’t promise the story will actually work. I’ve never done anything like this before. You’re going to be able to see me write a rough draft in all of its ugly glory, egregious spelling errors included. Perhaps that alone will be amusing enough to some of you to encourage a donation. But I’ve been toying with trying this for over a year now, and it’s time to offer the chance to everyone out there.

So, please go to Worldbuilders and check out all of the awesome incentives that authors and other creative professionals are offering. Donate what you can. Then, get ready for something distinctly strange as you all create the story, and I do the writing.

Brandon


|   Castellano