A Home for Every Orphan

A Home for Every Orphan

You might already know that Protagonize has it’s own Pub, but did you know there’s a Protagonize orphanage, too? There is! Sort of.

Stores with only one chapter, the root, are known as orphans. You can look at all the orphaned stories when browsing by story type.

Just like their namesakes, Protagonize orphans are in need of a little love. Adding chapters to an orphan is often a great way to meet new authors, get your name out in the Protagonize community, and participate in collaborative writing. Even if the story doesn’t end up going anywhere, it’s always nice to see a chapter or two added to one’s work.

But what if you want to see an orphaned story completed?

Well, you might be interested in the Collaborative Writing Contest! We’ll be taking an orphaned story and challenging the participants in the contest to write on chapter each in chain fashion. There will be a small panel of expert judges who will review and critique each chapter, eventually selecting the three top contestants. These three will then submit a final chapter to be voted on by all the contestants and judges to determine the ending! Exciting, eh?

And what’s a contest without a prize? In addition to the pride of winning the first ever Collaborative Writing Contest, the winner will be able to participate in the next contest as a judge, where the orphaned work is one of their own!

For details on signing up and the contest structure, please visit the official contest group page.

Photo courtesy of opensourceway on Flickr.

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Adventures In Self-Publishing

Mark A. SargentThis is a guest blog post by Mark A. Sargent, author of the newly self-published novel Clockwork & Old Gods, which originated as a story here on Protagonize. Mark is promoting his book and was kind enough to share his experiences with self-publishing for the first time. You can check out his website for more information, or buy his book on Amazon.

Mark is also giving away free copies of his ebook to 10 randomly-selected Protaggers who take the time to post their thoughts on the following in the comments below:

“Are you working on a book or other project you hope to publish someday? Are you already in the trenches, either self published or traditionally published? Or are you just writing for fun? Tell us all about it in the comments! The best thing we can do for one another as writers is share information, tips, and tricks of the trade.”

Do you have something to say that might be of interest to our members? Feel free to contact us with blog ideas, and share your passion for writing with our readers.

Hi there. My name is Mark Sargent, and I’m a self-published author. My first book, Clockwork & Old Gods: Incursion, is a fantasy/steampunk epic. It went on sale in early February. I’ve been a member of Protagonize since 2009, and I want to thank Nick for giving the opportunity to write a guest post here.

In the beginning…

Four years ago I started writing a story on Protagonize. Clockwork and Old Gods wasn’t the first thing I’d ever started writing, but it would be the first I ever finished. It would eventually become the first book I ever published. I’m pretty sure I have Protagonize to thank for that. The ratings, comments, favorites and recommendations it got provided much needed motivation. People were actually reading my work. Not only were they reading it, they liked it! Over the course of the next two years I plugged away at it bit by bit until it was finally finished. That was step one.

Step one is always the hardest when you set out to be an author, but it’s the most important. If there’s any secret to being a successful writer, that’s it – just keep writing. The more you write the better you get and the more likely you are to finish a project.

So what comes next?

Once I had my book completed I had a choice. I could shop it around to agents and publishers, or I could self-publish. After doing a lot of research, I chose to self-publish for several reasons:

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Posted in authors, General, Guest Posts, Self-Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Charles Dickens: Novelist, Philanthropist, Protagonizer?

Charles Dickens, courtesy of Matt from London on Flickr

You probably know Charles Dickens as the author of holiday favourite “A Christmas Carol.” He was arguably one of the most influential English authors of the Victorian period, and retains that influence today. Other notable works of his include “The Adventures of Oliver Twist,” “A Tale of Two Cities,” and “Great Expectations.”

But did you know that Boz – his pseudonym for a time – was a big fan of collaborative writing? It’s true!

During his time editing a weekly magazine called Household Words, Dickens wrote collaboratively with numerous magazine contributors. In some cases, these stories included up to five or six authors! Sounds a little like our beloved Protagonize, right?

Well, the similarities don’t end there!

Published weekly, Household Words was the perfect vehicle for serialized fiction. Dickens’ novels were always serialized initially, published chapter by chapter, until the story was complete and a full volume could be released. This weekly or monthly publishing format allowed him to gauge the reactions of his readers, and Charles was known to change the plot and characters based on feedback received. Just like we do!

If you want to read one of his collaborative works, check out “A Haunted House,” published in 1859. It contains chapters by Dickens, Hesbah Stretton (a children’s novelist), George Augustus Sala (a journalist), Wilkie Collins (a novelist and playwright), Elizabeth Gaskell (famous for her ghost stories), and Adelaide Anne Proctor (reputedly Queen Victoria’s favourite poet). You can download a free copy in ePub or Kindle format from the University of Adelaide, as well as read it in its entirety from the same site. Enjoy this example of Victorian collaborative writing!

Which authors would you jump at the chance to collaborate with if given the chance? Let us know in the comments!

Photo courtesy of Matt From London on Flickr.


Posted in Collaborative writing, General, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

New Plus feature: Send to Kindle

Welcome back, Protaggers.

We’ve spent the last few posts here on the blog talking about new features available to everyone on the site with the launch of Protagonize 2.0. This evening, we’re launching a new feature specific to Plus subscribers (and believe me, they’ve been patient in waiting for subscriber-specific features.)

Protagonize on KindleSo, I’d like to introduce the newest subscriber feature on Protagonize: the ability to Send to Kindle. This new option lets you send any work on the site (in PDF format, for now) to your Amazon Kindle e-reader, provided you’re a Plus member.

I’m sure a few of you are thinking to yourselves, “hey, I don’t have a Kindle, how does this help me?” — let me clarify:

  • You don’t need to own a physical Kindle device — the Send to Kindle option works with the (free) Kindle software readers for your PC/Mac, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices as well. Don’t have a Kindle app? Grab it here.
  • The reason we’re not supporting any other e-reader devices right now is that they don’t offer the option to easily send books or PDFs to your device via email. If other e-readers offer up the option down the road, we’ll be happy to add support. Just drop us a line and let us know, we’ll look into it right away.
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New feature overview: Embedding media

Nose to the grindstone! Last time, we talked about your Reading List. Today we’ll be discussing a very cool new feature of Protagonize 2.0, the ability to embed media into works and pages.

You may not have noticed this feature yet, but there are already a few of you who’ve started using it.

What’s this about “embedding” stuff?

Media embedding, you say? Let me explain.

Media embedding

Something I’ve always thought would be helpful and entertaining on Protagonize would be to allow audio and video files to be attached to works or pages within them. So while working on the new site, I took the time to devise a way to make this happen.

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Posted in General, Site mechanics, Tutorials & Walkthroughs | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments