Idea: To create an interwoven web of short stories, in a common setting, with an underlying theme, and lots of creative interaction between writers and their characters.
In the 80's, Robert Lynn Aspirin and Lynn Abbey edited a series of anthologies entitled Thieves' World (another link on that is here), which went on for twelve volumes (and was revived in 2002 or so by Lynn Abbey with three more volumes and a novel or so). Set in an Arabian Nights-esque desert harbor town called Sanctuary, each volume had a double handful of stories by different authors. There was a central 'theme' for each anthology, and each author's tale affected the overall plot in some fashion, but there was a great deal of creativity involved in weaving the entire tapestry.
Creativity and community. Each author has his or her characters, but all borrowed liberally from each other's work. Each vivid character that was created became a part of every author's pallette. (For an example, take a look at Jubal in the Thieves' World character page. He appeared in most every book, often several times, even if only for a page or two in some stories.) The level of trust and interaction between the contributing authors had to be high.
This community's goal is to adapt that formula to our own stories. We'll decide on a genre (or two or three), create a 'core cast,' and start drafting some story ideas. Start writing some stories. Create some work we're proud of, work we want to share, maybe even work to get published.
Top three genres on the bill, based on a LiveJournal poll (Go ahead and vote if you haven't!) and the community-creator's (quest's) own preferences:
1) Science fiction. Of course, worlds of possibilities here, first challenge will be to limit them. divatreasure, the sci-fi moderator, is initiating that process as we speak.
2) Urban fantasy. mercuralis gets the credit for this one, waking a long-sleeping idea in quest's own head. Modern or slightly postmodern setting, with the addition of magic, faeries, wizardry... dragons... who knows.
3) Gothic carnival. Think 'Something Wicked This Way Comes.' Eeeevil ringmaster, a fortune teller who can make her predictions come true, a lion tamer who's really a werewolf, a sideshow full of REAL freaks... I love this idea the most.
This is an open forum, all welcomed to join, contribute, critique. Each genre will probably have a moderator who will help everyone stay on theme and make sure everyone's characters and ideas are respected. The main thing is to exercise our talents and creativity, and enjoy it, together.