A Share-Alike Initiative

in Worldbuilding3 months ago


If you've followed me for any length of time, you'll know that I - among my other ventures - run the Worldbuilder account and post daily (ish) writing/worldbuilding prompts. It's a small community, and we've had folks come and go in the time it's been around. In my prompts, I point out to folks that there are a ton of writing communities here, and suggest that they also check out some of the great spaces we have created, because we have a lot of great writing communities!

What we don't have is great visibility or interconnectivity.

We have at least four very good writing communities:

Scholar & Scribe
The Ink Well
Writing Club

Each of these communities has its own little niche carved out with various rules and submission guidelines. They're all great, but they're all insular. None of the communities lift each other up, we are all focused on our own prompts, our own challenges/prizes/etc... and to a degree, I get that. With any amount of time on Hive it's pretty easy to find popular writing communities, so there's maybe no need to support each other, but it does leave smaller communities (like worldbuilding or Horror & Scifi) floundering. We have a ton of awesome prompts that I think any of the existing communities could use but I honestly think most folks don't even know we exist!

Part of that is that we aren't backed by a whale. We have no huge vote to distribute, we aren't connected to the great OCD work being done to prop up niche communities (literally don't even know how to begin that), and we're a small crew.

I have noticed that we do point back here for prompts and such when we post in other communities which is super cool, but folks either don't read that or aren't maybe sure what exactly worldbuilding is so they stick with what they know... and again, I get that.

But I'd really like to see this little community grow, or, at the very least, get used by other folks. @alonicus and I make some (IMO) pretty accessible and frankly awesome prompts, and it sucks to see most of them going unused and unseen.

So, with that said... I'd like to reach out to some of the leadership of the other writing communities and simply ask:

Is there some way we can make our prompts more available to your userbase?

I'm not asking this as a 'let me poach your users' kind of way either - to be clear. We mix @mariannewest's prompts and the Worldbuilding prompts occasionally and it's always been super fun when we do it, and generally is posted within the larger community (in this case Freewriters)... which I'd honestly like to continue. I know worldbuilding as a hobby is incredibly niche, but the prompts we create (to my mind at least) aren't.

At the risk of being annoying, I'm going to ping a few of the mods/owners of the other writing communities so they can at least see this question. I hope that we can spawn a greater discussion here, but I completely understand if everyone is too focused on their own things to devote time to my inquiry. If you've made it this far, I thank you for reading!

@jfuji, @grocko, @felt.buzz, @theinkwell, @roadstories


I think it would be a great idea to branch out, there have been so many great prompts used in the world building community which has really stoked some cool ideas and I'd love to see the community get more active posters.

What if there was a weekly prompt going out in one or more of the other communities to get the ideas stired? As well as the attention.

Because of things written for the prompts I have a ton of notes for stories I'd like to explore in more detail, fair enough, some ideas might be dead ends, but it's always good to have them saved up for a day when the well is a bit dry, and I think every writer could appreciate that.

Also, I don't think I heard about the horror/ sci-fi community, I'm going to check them out.


That would be super cool if we could get folks in other communities to agree to it! Or find a way that fits within their rule sets to still use and feature our prompts.

And definitely do check it out, it's basically one dude posting but it's great content. I'm not great at writing horror so I haven't given it a try yet, but I watch the community because I think it has a lot of potential as a great little niche.

Once a member finds a community they like, there usually won't be any need or want to find another community because the member thinks the one they are in is all they need. This creates a 'pond' effect and eventually an 'echo chamber' because not many others venture outside their communities. It is nice to see an outreach attempt in this post!

Perhaps using each others community hashtags will populate the posting feeds and inspire participants and community members to venture towards the various communities related to the topic.

I think you're doing a great service to the Hive ecosystem by sharing your concerns of 'great visibility or interconnectivity.' with communities. Thank you!

Thank you!

I definitely agree about the pond/echo chamber - that is a FANTASTIC way to put it! I find that if I'm not consciously looking at what community other folks post in I sometimes get sucked into only posting on a small set of communities, so I totally get how it happens to other people.

I just see so many super talented people busting their butts in some of these communities and not getting much recognition but I think if they were aware of what other communities we have they may find that they can target certain stories to certain places for greater comments and interactions... And I'd love to see a start towards that by figuring out a way to share prompts/support eachothers contests/and just make folks aware that these places even exist.

This is a great initiative ! I think there is a definite issue around the sheer volume of writing prompts out there for people to use - any one day, there are probably a good couple of dozen posted, so unless you're writing full time it's just impossible to do all of them.

I reckon we also need to find ways to get people to come to Worldbuilding, not just to write, but also to read and upvote. I sometimes wonder how many of the upvotes are automated rather than from people who read and appreciate the stuff we put so much effort into creating !

If the level of rewards on offer is an issue, I guess the first question has to be; what kind of rewards are people after, and what is the value that would make them interesting ? I've offered SBI's and found it doesn't seem to motivate new people to come along and write. It's basically you, me and @killerwot doing most of the writing. It'd be lovely to see a few more regulars. If we know the level & type of reward that needs to be on offer, it might be possible to come up with a plan that between us we could deliver it.

Funnily enough, the prompts that get the best responses seem to be the ZapFic ones in Freewriters. I guess they are far more "competition format", and the short-form nature of the responses required makes it easy to create a post which is relatively low effort for the size of reward. It also helps that they work to a fixed weekly schedule. Something like that could work for us ("write up to 100 words about X aspect of your setting") but it probably needs a critical mass of regular posters first to make it worthwhile.

Aaaand... I've written an essay. 😁

Ahaha hey man, an essay of thoughts on the matter is totally cool!

I think what Zed was doing for a while with taking two (or more) prompts and using them both to guide a story was a REALLY fun way to do things.

And yeah, I agree about the votes. I know some of mine get auto voted by folks who follow other folks. I try to comment but it's occasionally all I can do to read and then by the next day I've forgotten to comment on the stuff I read the day before lol. It's something I'm working on being more conscious about cutting time out for.

lol, I have the opposite problem. I find it easy to read and upvote. I like to make the most of my curation power, partly for selfish reasons because it helps my HP grow, and partly because it means I can help grow the people whose writing I like. But by the time I've done that, I find that I'm mentally in the wrong place to write my own posts.

I was away on holiday for the end of last week and the weekend, and have had to catch up on a lot of work-related stuff, but hopefully in the next day or two I'll write a couple more responses to the prompts you've been putting up. I want to continue the space opera series, every prompt seems to open up a new direction for it - makes it exciting for me 😁

Definitely can relate. Work, kids, and a surgery that ended up getting cancelled as I hit the OR definitely didn't help my creativity lol


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