Round-Robin Story

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Round-Robin Story

Round-Robin Story

I read on TNO's rant about how the Chatterbox could be made better something about a round-robin story, so does anyone want to make one? *looks up hopefully* 

submitted by Lena G., age 11
(January 17, 2009 - 6:25 pm)

Sure, why not! They're plenty fun.

It goes like this: One person writes the beginning of a story. Someone else continues the story. And so on. It's a bit like a Role-Playing Writing, only you have complete control over all the characters instead of just your own. For an example, see MuseBlog. Just search for "RRR"

Rules are as follows:

1. No Mary-Sues, please.

2. Please refrain from posting pointlessly.

3. If you're going to contribute to the story, please, please, read the entire story before you do. I've known people who just jump in with no clue what's going on and everybody ends up hating them for it.

4. This is fun. Really. We won't rip your head off if you fail to write words that absolutely leap off the page. So if you want to contribute, contribute, and don't be concerned if you think what you've written sucks.

I'll start, shall I? Let's see... I've got about a paragraph saved on my hard drive that was supposed to be an Oz-esque story about a kingdom called Mast, a world built entirely in the clouds that sail above our heads. Shall we use that?



The ocean waves rolled with ceaseless determination. The water was a steely gray in the predawn light. Fog spooled out over the waves, and Taurus, deckhand and cook aboard the Poisoned Emerald, leaned against the rail and peered downwards through the grayish swirls of the Mist Sea. He saw, or rather imagined he saw, the mythical waves of solid water rolling about in the depths of the mists.

Tarus sighed, leaned back, and stretched, shaking his long hair out of his eyes. It was almost dawn, and he could just see the first rays of pinkish sunlight reflecting across the vapour. Beautiful.

He was a tall boy of sixteen, lean and muscular, dressed in bright coloured trousers and a loose-fitting shirt that flapped wildly in the breeze. He was barefoot and tanned, full of life and confidence in himself. Lengthy chocolate hair graced his shoulders and his gray eyes sparkled with laughter.

Tarus tapped a finger against the hilt of his cutlass and leaned back for a last glance at the brilliant stars before they were hidden by the glare of the sun. 


Now someone else continues the story.


submitted by TNÖ, age 15, Deep Space
(January 18, 2009 - 12:15 am)

I probably will want to, but I have no idea what it is!:):):) Could you fill me in?:):):)

submitted by Kimberly B, age 13!:), California
(January 18, 2009 - 11:32 am)

Round-Robin 'Riting (RRR for short) is when one person writes part of a story, then someone else continues, then someone else continues, and so on, until either everyone gets bored or the story is finished.

submitted by TNÖ, age 15, Deep Space
(January 18, 2009 - 10:49 pm)

Hey, that's cool!:):):) It sounds like fun!:):):)

submitted by Kimberly B, age 13!:), California
(January 19, 2009 - 3:16 pm)

Umm, Admin., I don't get it. It says there are two responses to this post but none of them showed up! I thought maybe it was slow moderation, but other stuff got posted... Sorry to bug you (no pun intended), but could you tell me what that's about? Thanks! Smile


Sorry. We can't figure out what happened. More bugs in the system. 


submitted by Lena G., age 11
(January 18, 2009 - 7:44 pm)

Well since no one has continued yet, I suppose I will. *grin*


It was over very quickly; one moment, the young sailor could see each star blazing in the heavens like a brilliant diamond in the heat of a fire, the next, the golden sun rose, and its rays consumed the pinpricks of silver light. A fierce, hungry dragon, that sun.

A heavy, hairy, calloused hand with filthy fingernails landed on Tarus’ shoulder. “It’s a beauterful day, eh, lad?”

“Yes, sir,” said Tarus respectfully.

The captain drew a deep breath. “Aye, a fine day indeed.”

Tarus said nothing.

“Coming up on the Fugal Retreat. Should be upon her within the hour.”

“Aye, sir.”

“She’s a lumberer, that’s certain. Fine cargo, weak sail.”

“Aren’t all merchant vessels, sir?” asked Tarus mildly.

“Nay, lad, some are quick little blighters.”

“We’re quicker, though.”

“Not in maneuvering. They turn sharp, lad, we don’t. Too big, lad.”

“Of course,” said Tarus, grimacing inwardly. He had held this conversation many times with the pirate captain, daily in fact.

Captain Viktelstoy was famous in the Mist Sea, and in fact throughout Mast itself, for two things: first, his clever, quick fighting style, and his bloated, towering, monstrous ego. 

Tarus had been attracted to the Poison Emerald by the former, and had rapidly risen in the captain’s favor by his subtle padding of the latter. 

submitted by TNÖ, age 15, Deep Space
(January 22, 2009 - 9:44 pm)

here goes nothing:

"Well, i must be getting off, lad. Got a ship to run! Finest one in the Mist Sea, ain't it, lad?" The captain lumbered off, shouting out orders to the shabby crew that milled on the deck. Tarus leaned against the railing, squinting slightly as the salt spray blew in his face, stiffening his sun-bleached brown hair. At last, with a grunt, he turned away from the rail, and faced the deck, hands pressed against his hips.

"Right now! Didn't any of you hear the captain? Let's get to work! it's payday for us if we catch the Fugal Retreat today! Now look sharp!" The crew members got to work quickly, not because they feared the boy, but because the captain favored him mightily. Indeed, they found it somewhat amusing, the boy who was perhaps the youngest crew member bossing around all others. But they did what he said. When they gathered in the bunks, before he came in, they all whispered and joked about how the captain's ego had rubbed off on Tarus. Of course, they all thought him fine, with that sparkle of uncanny humor.

With a last look around the deck, Tarus jauntily strolled over to the ladder leading to the storeroom. He shimmied down it, but paused when a tanned hand closed around his wrist.

"Where ya' goin', young un'?" Tarus turned to meet the eyes of Serk, the gunner's mate, a relatively handsome young man, just several years older than him. 

"Oh, I'm off to check on our Never know what might happen out here on the endless mist..." Serk cocked an eyebrow, but released him. Tarus finished his descent down the ladder, landing lightly on the wooden and iron planks. He waited a second for his eyes to adjust to the gloom, before setting up a bag stuffed with his, and his shipmates, old clothes. He eyed it slightly, pacing around it. Then, in a sudden, alarming gesture, he unsheathed his cutlass, holding it across his chest. 

He danced around the bag, flicking out with his wrist, the blade of the cutlass slicing through the old canvas. It flickered, somewhat eerie in the darkness of belowdecks. Up above him, footsteps. Below him, the tumbling mists. But he stayed focused, warily eyeing up the torn bag that had morphed into his enemy.  

submitted by Kit Kat
(January 24, 2009 - 11:35 am)

Conflicting posts! Oh well. I vote we go with CK's for two reasons.

1. Tarus is a deckhand and a cook, not a commanding officer. Deckhand = someone who performs manual labour aboard a ship. So when he orders the crew around it's very OOC.

2. You head-hopped (changed POV very suddenly and without warning) in paragraph two ("the crew members got to work quickly etc."). 

submitted by TNÖ, age 15, Deep Space
(January 25, 2009 - 3:18 pm)

Well, actually, I like them both pretty accurately. First, in respond to what you said about Kit Kat's story:

1. It specifically mentions that the crew doesn't take him seriously, and in the book Johnny Tremain the lowly silversmith apprentice bosses around all the others who are older and technically more experienced. Also, it could possibly show the not so lowly side of Tarus...not every character is perfect and kind.

2. I have no idea what head hopping is....

Okay, now CK's story:

1. Not many pirates would really eat together...especially if everyone is trying to get ready for plundering a ship.

Either way, i dislike conflict very much. I have an idea...they both seem pretty good...why don't we just take both of them and maybe change them and twist them into the story? Both of them. They could probably both go in...and besides, this is RRR...which does mean MORE THAN TWO PEOPLE. How about it, KK, CK? TNO? 

submitted by Serpentess, age 16, In the foliage
(January 26, 2009 - 3:33 pm)

Hey, Serpentress, cool name!

I like Kit Kat's version just as much as mine (awesome descriptions!) It's confusing when two people post at the same time, does funny things to the plot... Hmm... Perhaps, since Tarus and the whole story beginning was TNO's, mayhap we could let her choose which version to use.

By the way, you guys can call me Kipin if you're in too much of a hurry to type out 'Commander Kip'. *understanding nod* Kipin's ALWAYS in a hurry. X)

Oh yeah, quick question: Serpentress, by 'conflict', do you mean conflict like fighting, or conflict like two bits of plot that don't match up?

submitted by Commander Kip, age 16, Zraeland, Irlic
(January 26, 2009 - 5:26 pm)

OK, I already continued off of CK's story... So this time we'll use that. In the future, if there are conflicting posts, we'll just use the first one that is continued from, regardless of who posted it. Bueno?

And for future reference, the term "head-hopping" refers to a style (or mistake) in third-person writing, in which point-of-view switches to a different person very suddenly and without warning. It can be pulled off and done well, but it's very, very difficult and generally a thing to be avoided if that's not the style one is trying to write. :)

submitted by TNÖ, age 15, Deep Space
(January 26, 2009 - 11:44 pm)

Thanksssss...i like my name, too. By conflict, I mean like fighting! (about who's is better, bla da de da...) Anyway, i guess we can use yours this time, if KK (is it okay if I call her that) doesn't mind? Hey, KK, if you're out there, is that okay? Next time we maybe can use yours....

submitted by Serpentess
(January 27, 2009 - 5:52 pm)

Waow, Kipin's been out of the loop for, like... *counts in head* a WHILE. Whew! Chemistry! Take it awaaaaaaay!

TNO, may I participate in the RRR??? I have a soft spot for pirates!


As the brilliant sun rose above the Poison Emerald, and the sea of mist below her was gilded gold with its rays, her crew began to stir. Groggy sailors stumbled out of the forecastle, buckling on pistol-belts and cutlasses and ready for a day of plunder. Some of the more limber pirates swarmed up the rigging to unfurl the sails and man the crow's nest.

"Captain!" shouted Gwindolyn, the coxswain, "Bearings for the day, sah?"

The captain gave Tarus's shoulder another bone-jarring pat. "Ach, I'd better go deal with her, lad. Wish me luck and victory against her sharp tongue!"

Tarus smiled to himself as the captain made his way to the wheel. He always said that Gwindolyn's tongue was so sharp, she could fence with it. Grinning, he headed belowdecks to the kitchen. Soon, hungry sailors would be mobbing the mess hall, eager for a meal before the coming clash with the Fugal Retreat, and he would have to get busy in order to have enough vittles on the table by then.


Likey, no likey? TNO, seriously awesome concept, that. I say, wot wot, jolly good form!

submitted by Commander Kip, age 16!!! Woot, Zraeland, Irlic
(January 24, 2009 - 9:34 am)

I wrote the first bit at sunrise flying over the Atlantic this summer... If you've never watched the sun rise from an airplane window, that's something to add to your bucket list. 

And it looks like an actual landscape, which caused Mast to suddenly pop into my head.


Breakfast, of course, was a simple affair. Stale hardtack, the last of his store of salted meat, and water. Tarus hoped fervently that the Fugal Retreat carried fruit along with her cargo of precious orbs of crystal. The crew of the Emerald had gone for months without seeing so much as a wispy cirrus cloud. They were deep in the Mist Sea, though if recent wind patterns were anything to judge by, they would be hitting the swirling, donut-shaped pirate isle within a matter of weeks.

However, if the Fugal Retreat had no store of fruit, scurvy could potentially wipe out the crew long before then.

Suddenly a cry rang out above Tarus' head: "Sails sighted off the starboard bow!" A flurry of footsteps pounded on the deck above him, and Tarus hurriedly set the food out on the table. The captain's number-one policy was that the ship didn't engage in battle until the crew was well-fed. A wise policy, as it was generally easier to concentrate on a fight if you had food in your belly, but it was a bit of a hassle if a target was sighted very early in the morning.

submitted by TNÖ, age 15, Deep Space
(January 25, 2009 - 3:12 pm)

Hmmm.... if every pirate captain required his crew to be fed before battle, there sure would't be many battles, would there? *laughs* Good thing the Poison Emerald is so well off.


"Come on, me scurvy buckoes!" the Captain roared, "Get those vittles down yer gullets an' sharpen yer swords... we've got a vessel to plunder, orbs to steal, fruits to find! Get movin', lads!"

Pirates are not generally known for their table manners, and the crew of the Poison Emerald was no different. The mess hall was full of noisy, rambunctious pirates, busily stuffing themselves, spilling things, and laughing with their mouths full. Tarus took a chunk of dry bread for his own breakfast and quietly slipped away to a storeroom just off the mess hall. He had a mind to practice a bit of swordplay before the coming battle...


... Insert the last bit of Kit Kat's post here. I just LOVE that part where he's beating up the cloth sack! Gaah, so funny! So, Kit Kat, if you are there, please put that part in next. Pleeeease? *puppy eyes*

submitted by Commander Kip, age 16, Zraeland, Irlic
(January 30, 2009 - 8:50 am)