The BUTTERFLY WINGS Project – jurgen wolff
This will be a collection of connected flash fiction stories, each on a maximum of 750
words (shorter is OK). It will be published as an ebook.
I will write the first story of no more than 750 words which will feature a main
character and will involve at least two (but possibly more) other characters.
The next writer will write a story in which the main character is one of my
secondary characters. That main character will have been influenced in some way—
major or minor—by something that happened in the previous story.
The third writer will do the same, based on the characters in the second story, and
Example: Let’s say the first story is about a man going on a blind date. It also
mentions the woman who is his blind date, the waiter, a couple at the next table, and
a man to whom he said a few words in the toilet.
The writer of the second story makes the man in the toilet his protagonist.
Something in that story links him to the events of the first story. Perhaps my
protagonist said something about wanting to impress his date. That made the other
man realise it has been a long time since he has done anything romantic for his wife
and he buys her a bunch of roses on the way home.
Every story uses that pattern. The stories will all take place in the present day, but
you can have some short time jumps. For instance, a week might go by between the
blind date dinner and whatever it triggers in the waiter.
The stories are all set in the real world. It’s OK to revisit settings used in earlier
stories, and minor characters, but I think we shouldn’t have the same person be the
protagonist in more than one story (although I guess I reserve that right for the very
last story, if we haven’t strayed too far away by then).
Let’s assume that we are mostly in greater London, but it’s fine for a character to go
anywhere real as long as you bring them back or give us a secondary character who
can get us back instead of leaving us stranded in, say, China.
Your goal is not to make life difficult for the next writer, so do give some thought to
giving the next person
Writers will be invited to participate. If you choose to take part, you will get all the
previous stories and have one week to deliver yours. If you’re too busy when you
are asked the first time, just say so and if you want, you’ll be asked again later.
No writer will have more than 4 stories in the collection (multiple stories will not be
consecutive—so you might write story 3, 26, and 54).
You retain copyright to your story but you give the project exclusive first rights. You
won’t publish it anywhere else until after the collection is published.
I will be the story editor and do such editing as I feel is necessary. If you are not
happy with the edits, you are free to withdraw your story.
The collection will be published as an ebook. It may also be serialised on a sharing
site (perhaps released as each part is done). I will assume any costs associated with
this, such as buying an ISBN number, getting a cover made, etc.
Any income from the book will be distributed as follows:
First any direct costs will be reimbursed to me. This will be fully transparent (I’ll
provide a list of expenses to everybody.)
If there are any profits they will be distributed as follows:
20% to me for initiating and coordinating the project and editing it
An equal split of the other 80% to all the authors, based on how many stories
they contributed. For instance, if 100 writers each contributed one story and
the profit is £5000, each writer gets £50.
Each author agrees to make a reasonable effort to promote the book, for instance by
linking to it on their blogs and websites, mentioning it on their Facebook or Twitter
I’ll write the first story and deliver it to Zoe, the second writer, by Saturday, July 28.
She will have one week to write her story and send it back to me. If it takes less time,
please send it to me as soon as it’s ready. I’ll have a quick read, then pass it on. We
keep going until we have about 40,000 to 50,000 words, and with any luck we’ll
have a bit of a following from the serialisation.