A Primer on Co-Authoring

by madglee

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What is Co-Authoring?


Simply put, co-authoring is when one or more authors have access rights to a story. Access rights allow the co-author to create and/or edit every page in the story. If the co-authors do not remove themselves or are not removed by the original author before the story is published, their names will appear as authors when the story is published.

Chooseyourstory.com will allow a maximum of five co-authors per story. This fact is not a technical limitation, but rather a way to avoid "community" storygames.

Why Use Co-Authoring?

There are many reasons to have a co-author.

Collaboration:
The first, and most obvious, is that two or more people wish to collaborate on a story. Collaboration can allow for some interesting creations, particularly if the authors work well together and are interested in the same topic.

Proofreading/Editing:
A second, less obvious reason, is to allow another author to test, spellcheck, and even edit your story. As previously mentioned, co-authors have access rights to each page in your story. These rights will allow a co-author to read through your story with an objective set of eyes; while doing so, they can fix spelling, grammar, syntax, and punctuation, as well as notifying you of any errors in page linking, item use, or variable interpretation.

It should be noted here that although one currently must be added as a co-author to edit someone's story in these ways, such a person isn't really a co-author. As Alexp once mentioned, "I think of Editing/ProofReading as a favor like moving: no one likes doing it, and as soon as you get your friends to help, you owe 'em all the same thing back."

Other:
Many other possibilities exist. Some examples include: letting someone read a particular part in your story to determine if it was exciting, helping you with a difficult plot point, or fixing the dialogue of a particular character to sound more realistic. Obviously, thousands of other scenarios exist, and I'll leave those to you to utilize as you see fit.

How to Add a Co-Author?

Now that you understand the basics of co-authoring, I'll show you how to add a co-author. First, you need to have an unpublished story and a co-author in mind. Once you do, follow these four easy steps:

1) Click "My Stuff" on the left navigation bar.
2) Click "[edit]" next to the story to which you want to add a co-author.
3) Click "[edit coauthors]" below the heading "Coauthors."
4) Type in the co-author's name and click the button marked "Add Co-author."

You may continue to add co-authors up to a maximum of five. That's it!

What Can Co-Authors Not Do?

Co-Authors cannot publish, change the sneak peek visibility, or add other co-authors to the story. Other than these restrictions, co-authors can do anything the author can.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Co-Authoring?

There could be. Due to the nearly unlimited access a co-author has to your story, be very sure you trust this person. If, for some malicious reason (or even accidentally), the co-author deleted every page of your story, the story would be gone forever. Once deleted, there is no way to retrieve all your hard work. Therefore, do not indiscriminately add co-authors you do not know! To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever happened, but the possibility merits being mentioned.

Another "disadvantage" is that with more than one author, a system needs to be worked out to ensure that each author does not overwrite the other's work. (E.g., I am a co-author on JJJ's story. I open the page entitled "Jabba the Hutt" and start changing things. Unbeknownst to me, JJJ also has the same page open. I finish my changes and save. Afterwards, JJJ clicks save. All my changes are overwritten!) I put the word disadvantage in quotes because with an appropriate system, this disadvantage will not be a problem.

A Useful System for Your Perusal

Authors and their co-authors can work out any system which works for them. Herein, I will give you one example to bypass any possible overwriting. Using the previous example with me and JJJ, we would simply agree that we would prefix any page we are working on with our initials. So, I would open a page, put [M] before the page title, then save. If he came to the site and wanted to edit some pages, he would see by the [M] that he is not to touch that page because I am working on it. He would do the same with a [J] before any page I am not to edit. Simple.

How are EXP Points Distributed to Co-Authors?

If the co-author removes himself or is removed by the author before the story is published, the co-author(s) receive(s) no points. Otherwise, the EXP points awarded for publishing and featuring are split evenly, with the author receiving any uneven remainder.

Here's an example. Fleshnblood_78 is the author and I'm the co-author. The story is published (10 EXP) and featured (100 EXP). That's a total of 110 EXP points. Because they EXP is split evenly between the two of us, we each receive 55 EXP points (110 / 2).

Let's say I'm one of two co-authors, making three total authors. The other co-author and I each receive 36 points. Fleshnblood_78 gets 38. Why? 110 / 3 = 36.66666666666666666666667. There is a remainder because 3 cannot divide evenly into 110. So, cut off the remainder, and all three authors receive 36 EXP points. However,  36 * 3 = 108. That's two less than the original 110. Therefore, the author gets that remainer, which adds two to his 36, making 38 total. So Fleshnblood_78 gets 38, I get 36, and the other co-author gets 36. 38+36+36 = 110!


That's all there is to co-authoring!
Feel free to send me a private message if you have any questions about this article.