Social Fiction Expectations
I've written a lot about expectation-setting lately. As I rewrite RFK, one of my missions is to provide quick lists of expectations in the front of the book. Here is what I've got for Social Fiction:
What is Social Fiction?
Social fiction is the collaborative creation of stories via group communication mediums and techniques. It resembles and can include elements of roleplay -- whether it is Tabletop, Live-action, or some digital forms -- but we use the term as a grouping of a set of assumptions and expectations to better describe its intent, goals, and methods. There are many ways of telling good stories with friends, and social fiction is just one approach amongst many.
In social fiction, you can expect the following:
- Everyone is an Author. We refer to those who participate and play in social fiction as authors. As authors, all those participating have say and input into what happens and where the story moves. Though this seems a recipe for chaos, social fiction provides structure and positions for authors to provide, so everyone doesn't control every aspect of the story at the same time.
- Story over Strategy. Social fiction doesn't attempt to create story from the strategic play of a game (I'll refer to it as game-emergent storytelling sometimes). It attempts to build stories through creating collaborative structures and techniques to produce results with context, meaning, and tension from the outset. Social fiction works to remove "right choices" to open the possibility space in storytelling.
- Roles over Character. Stories need good characters, but social fiction doesn't centralize character and character ownership in the storytelling. Characters can be shared or rotate ownership amongst authors during play. Part of what we can enjoy is how different authors portray characters that the group has built during play. Social fiction prefers to give authors roles within the story that can include characters, environments, events, and more.
- Prepless Play. You should be able to start storytelling once you assemble friends and the materials to play. We create elements through prompts and creative collab techniques.
- Guided Improv. Social fiction asks authors to create elements and events on-the-spot, but doesn't expect them to be seasoned improv artists. Social fiction will provide structures like scripts and prompts to tell you where to go...but it won't tell you how to get to there. You connect the dots in the moment.
More on social fiction can be found here.