Gauging Interest: Would You Join an Interactive Fiction Writers’ Group on the Forums?

Hello fellow writers and interactive fiction enthusiasts,

I’m reaching out to gauge interest in a new initiative I’m considering—a dedicated writers’ group on the forums tailored to the art and craft of interactive fiction. Before launching into the details and structure, I want to understand how many of you might be interested in joining such a community.

What We Envision:

  • Bi-weekly Assignments: The group would engage in focused assignments every two weeks, each designed to explore a different aspect of interactive fiction writing. This could range from character development to branching storylines to everything writing in between, all to enhance our craft.
  • Constructive Peer Feedback: Members would exchange feedback on these assignments, providing and receiving insights that encourage growth and refinement in our writing.
  • Skill Development: The core goal would be to deepen our understanding and execution of interactive fiction, learning from each other’s perspectives and experiences.

Who We Hope Will Join:

  • Writers of All Levels: Whether you’re just starting in interactive fiction or have several works under your belt, your interest and commitment count.
  • Enthusiasts of the Genre: We’re looking for members passionate about interactive fiction and eager to explore its potential.
  • Community-Oriented Individuals: Ideal members would be keen to engage with others, share constructive feedback, and contribute to a supportive and dynamic learning environment.

How It Would Work:

  • The group’s interactions would occur via forum threads and direct messaging, focusing on structured assignments and open-ended discussions. I plan to kickstart topics and facilitate early sessions. Still, I envision the group adopting a collaborative approach, where all members have a say in our activities and direction.
  • Active participation would be essential, as the group’s success would hinge on regular engagement with assignments and fellow members’ contributions.

Express Your Interest:

If this concept interests you, please reply to this post or send a direct message. I’m eager to hear whether you’d like to join, what you hope to gain from such a group, and if you have any ideas for our sessions.

To echo Stephen King’s sentiment: “Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference.” Let’s see if we can create a space where we believe in and bolster each other, making the solitary writing journey a shared adventure.

Looking forward to your responses and kickstarting something extraordinary for our writing community!


I would be very interested in at least trying it out, and see if it’s something that could work for me, and become a source of motivation and focus.


Hey there,

Thanks for expressing interest in our upcoming interactive fiction writers’ group! It’s great to see that you’re considering joining us on this creative journey.

Here’s what you can expect: Once we’ve gauged interest and gathered our initial members, I’ll create a new direct message group where we can all connect and communicate easily. I’ll also post a new thread to announce that our group is officially up and running, welcoming any latecomers who might want to join us.

We’ll dive into bi-weekly assignments designed to challenge and inspire us, focusing on various aspects of interactive fiction writing. We’ll also have the opportunity to provide and receive constructive peer feedback, helping each other grow and refine our skills. Throughout the process, we aim to foster a supportive and engaging community where we can motivate and encourage one another.

I’m excited to get started and see what we can create together. If you have any ideas or questions before we begin, feel free to reach out!

Looking forward to writing with you soon,


It is a good idea on paper, but to be honest, It sounds like one that can be screw up really easy and turn in something perceived as toxic or even intimidating.

Personally I would not joining a group that behaves like a college with homework and assigments and all that being judged by the rest is not something I particularly found constructive. It can help others but the rules should be clear to not being a very cult group that can be perceived as you have to do all we group say.

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I like the concept, but fear a bi-weekly assignment in addition to reviewing other people’s work would be more than I could handle. A once-a-month assignment sounds much more doable.


I applaud your proposal. However, I would like to see something concrete and something substantially good come out of it. I’m not against joining, but to achieve something like what the Neo-Interactives did with their various activities shown here would take plenty of time and energy- which can only be gained via enough experience. I want some really experienced veterans of CoG (Hannah?) to take up the lead.


It’s a bit hard to say this, but the Neo-Interactives do have a webring that aims to bring together writers and players of interactive fiction. After some consideration, I finally joined this webring. It has been a journey of ups and downs. I hope this will encourage others to join said webring as well. Discussion on the intfiction forum can be found here: Neo-Interactives Webring - General - The Interactive Fiction Community Forum.

It sounds like a great idea - best of luck with it @Robd5822!

I think writing exercises and having structured peer feedback are concrete enough; it’s very standard for a writer’s group and will hopefully result in craft/skill development, which is great.

I’d rather not be volunteered for work, thank you :slight_smile: It’s clear to me that Rob’s put a lot of thought into this, and I’m sure he has ample ability to run it!


Hey everyone,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and concerns regarding the proposed interactive fiction writers’ group. I appreciate your insights and want to address some of the points raised.

First and foremost, I want to emphasize that this group is intended to be a supportive community for writers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting with a single scene, you’re welcome here. The assignments and activities are designed to help build skills, spark creativity, and encourage growth in a fun and engaging way. They’re not meant to be mandatory or intimidating, and there’s certainly no need to sacrifice your firstborn to join (unless you’re writing a dark fantasy, in which case, we might need to talk).

I understand the concerns about the time commitment and the potential for the group to become too demanding. To clarify, the bi-weekly assignments are meant to be flexible and adaptable to your schedule. If once-a-month works better for you, that’s perfectly fine. The goal is to find a rhythm that allows everyone to participate at a level they’re comfortable with while still benefiting from the group’s support and feedback.

Speaking of feedback, one of the key benefits of this group is the opportunity to receive constructive criticism on your work. We’ve all been there – pouring our hearts into a story only to receive vague comments like “It’s good” or “It’s not for me.” While any feedback is appreciated, we aim to foster an environment where writers can receive specific, actionable insights to help them refine their craft. And don’t worry, we’ll make sure the feedback is delivered with a healthy dose of encouragement and positivity.

I want to reiterate that this group is not a cult (no robes or chanting required), nor is it a rigid writing class with strict assignments. It’s a community of passionate writers coming together to support, inspire, and learn from one another. We’ll laugh, we’ll write, and we’ll grow together.

I appreciate the suggestion of having experienced veterans like Hannah take the lead. While their expertise would be invaluable, I believe that every member of this group has something unique to contribute. We can all learn from each other, regardless of our experience level.

As we move forward with this initiative, I’m open to your ideas and suggestions. If you have any concerns or thoughts on how we can make this group even better, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. Your input is valuable, and together, we can create a truly amazing community of interactive fiction writers.

Thank you again for your comments, and I hope to see you in the group soon!



It seems you have it a clear goal in mind so I wish you luck, in the case it works it would certainly be a great asset and tool for the community.

However, my previous experiences with this types of communities have been horrible in all fronts with several trying to boicot me and kick me out to the forum.

So I tend to be really really concerned about group dynamics.

I am open to help you or give you any feedback on private if you want.

And mostly I wish you luck.


A writer’s group, like the one envisioned here, can be a very solid way to improve and to add structure to your writing. So, I encourage people to chime in and work with Rob on building on a unique idea here. The more people that add their voices, the better.

Rob is really putting his heart into making his vision a reality. This isn’t my vision, nor is it Hannah’s, so I believe allowing Rob the time and space to make his vision a reality is the right call here.

So far, with everything he has said and put forth, it seems Rob is angling for a highly collaborative group, so if the group members are like-minded, I feel this can grow into something grand.

. :revolving_hearts:


I like the idea, but I think I’m getting paranoid. I can’t read long-format posts (especially those that have bullet points) without immediately assuming they might’ve been written by ChatGPT.

• Just a guy
• Using a word processor
• Not a robot

So now, being organized and knowing how to use a word processor is the realm of AI? :face_with_diagonal_mouth: You know, if I really wanted to get beat up this bad, I might’ve just walked into a biker bar and told everyone in there that Harleys suck. Hey, you gave me an excellent idea for the first project in the group. Bullet points in LibreOffice. :smirk:


I like the idea. I think a group dedicated to feedback would offer criticism that is direct and constructive as opposed to WIP threads.

For budding writers, I can see this being a great resource. However for those of us who have projects in the works already, a biweekly assignment seems like a lot of extra work. Maybe we can share excerpts from our WIPs instead?

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Absolutely! I completely understand that many interested writers, including myself, are already working on projects. The goal of this group is to be collaborative and supportive, not burdensome. We all have busy lives, and the last thing we want is for this group to feel like an obligation.

Regarding the bi-weekly assignments, or perhaps we should call them “projects” to avoid sounding too much like work, these can be completely tailored to your current needs. If you’re working on a project, feel free to share excerpts from your work in progress (WIP) instead of starting something new. The projects could also be tied into outlining a new story or exploring different aspects of writing.

For example, we could have prompts like, “Have your character sit down with a psychologist in a session and talk about their childhood,” or “Describe a setting in vivid sensory detail as if your character is experiencing it blindfolded.” Or even something as simple as taking a picture of your writing notebook or jotting down five interesting conversations or phrases you heard. We could also discuss different outlining techniques and share what works and doesn’t work for each of us. Simple stuff. The goal is to keep these projects short, around one page, to make them manageable for everyone.

Beyond the bi-weekly projects, one of the primary objectives of this group is to provide a space for writers to receive constructive criticism on their work. We want to help each other refine our stories and prepare them for release into the wild. Of course, we’ll establish guidelines to ensure that all feedback is delivered constructively and with kindness.

Ultimately, the purpose of this group is to encourage and support one another. I’m open to suggestions and ideas from all members to ensure we create a community that benefits everyone.


I would be interested, I love to read interactive fictions and even had ideas for stories. Sadly after my office work hours I’m not so energised anymore and struggle with headaches. But if we had a chat/assignment every two weeks I think I could be more interested :yum:
Btw. could we also learn about coding?

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You’re clearly not a robot, Rob. (Notwithstanding a username that does look a little bit like one a robot would come up with…)

I’m too busy to join any writers’ groups, I’m afraid – but I wish you welll.


I’m not sure “project” sounds less work than “assignment”.

“Writing exercises”, maybe?


I should probably stop commenting on something I’ll not be able to join. :slight_smile: But I wonder if two-tier participation might be more welcoming? Where you’ll organize a writing exercise twice a month, but folks have the option to participate in just one a month?

I imagine you’d get a few more people willing to commit to monthly sharing than fortnightly – and if the group fulfills its promise as fun and skill-strengthening, then some who start at the monthly level may decide to start taking part in the second monthly exercise as well.


I like the rebrand. “Projects” feels more all inclusive.