Crowd Sourced Writing Project: Exploits of a Midnight Traveler

Have you ever wondered what if a bunch of authors told a story together … without talking to each other or having any outline?

We have created a social group of authors to band together and take turns writing a story one page at a time. To read, all you have to do is go to the blog and check out Exploits of a Midnight Traveler and read it from the bottom to the top. (Recommended method is to click on the red link below and click through the parts like a news story)

I had no idea what this exciting project would be about, but figured through united with other authors, we could compound our aggregate creativity into a fine story. In many franchises, the director and writer will swap out, so the same concept is here, except there is no plot/outline and we are swapping after every page.

Maybe will be awesome, maybe it will be crazy. Who knows.

I began with one page,  then another author took the torch and wrote page 2. Then another author wrote page 3, the process kept continuing and will continue until the story ends at novel length.


1)Keep the Main Character alive (at least for first 50 parts)

2)Cliffhangers are fine, however large plot twists must be explained and not left to next author to figure out

3)Keep it rated R or less.

Other than grammar and continuity, I’m trying to let the authors put their spin on it.

Based on the progress and questions from authors and future contributors to the project, here it is: It is free for anyone to read. By adding a part, you are agreeing to provide the creative contribution for perpetuity to the project, with me acting as the manager of the project, and that it can be edited/revised/reproduced in any other creative medium (some examples include video adaptations, music, art, audio narration, reenactments, commercials, etc) Any and all proceeds from any commercialization will be donated to either marketing the writing project or the top two charities of the contributing authors choice via vote. If you wish to retract your part, you have 7 days from original posting to retract your part from the project. When contributing a part, I will ask that you state in email that you agree with the terms of the project. 

Will it be an adventure book? Or horror? Or romance? Or Sci-Fi? Or a tragedy? Or a comedy? Who the heck nows.

Contributors are listed below. If you enjoy the project, please follow/like their account and take a second to check their websites out. Part of this project sprung up from my first few weeks on twitter and hoping to engage in discussion with other writers on the feeds, but 95% of the messages were the top 5% of followers than spam the feeds taking up all the prime space (Something to do with the twitter algorithm, I’m sure). They spam inboxes with auto DMs with little regard to getting to know people. I’m trying to do something different. I talk to people, reply to tweets and blog posts, and am making an effort to get to know authors that are struggling in this writing game. Finishing a book isn’t easy. Getting published isn’t easy. For those indie authors that make a go at it alone and get crushed by the “Spam Author Tweeters,” then maybe this is the social group for you. Note:  If you want to get the consolidated PDF, we will eventually send it out (along with all the contributor’s info). Click below to enter the story!

Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Version C:Part 1)

UPDATE#1: I have decided to write 3 openings to the story. I will put up a poll and leave it up to you how the story kicks off.

UPDATE#2: We have our first few authors lined up. It looks like we are launching with Version C. The only rule we are making is to keep the main character alive at least until halfway through the story. After 25 pages, we will have the voters submit a more appropriate title for the story.

UPDATE #3: Part 2 has been posted. Version C was chosen from three options (A romance, a mystery, and a thriller). Two versions have been deleted and archived. Contributors information (twitter handle and website will be added below as parts flow in). Crowd sourcing explanation better defined in paragraphs above.

UPDATE#4: Part 3 & 4 have been posted. Authors are getting into it and I’ve lined up the next 10 authors, although the order is not final. If you want to contribute, DM me and let me know if you want to write something immediate and I’ll let you know if someone is currently writing the next part. We want to keep the story flowing.

UPDATE#5: Part 5-8 were posted. Some continuity issues were updated, particularly involving fight scenes and post-fight scenes matching, and adding detail in regards to the elevator issues added to match a later part. The part 8 scheduled author had something up come, so I stepped in to add a part, and finally get the story out of the building. For some reason this was turning into the Shining a little bit. Now we are out, and hopefully I only have to fill back in when another author misses the posting time. As usual, if you are posting a part, tweet me to tell me you have started so I can ensure someone else is not writing the same part.

UPDATE#6: Parts 9-15 have been posted. Quite some serious twists and turns in the story! Very little editing done. I did go back and update every picture with a black and white version to make it seem more uniform and match the feel of the story. (I hope people like it) Appreciate feedback in DMs if you agree with this approach or not. It is getting tougher to match the creative prowess of our writers! Please RT & share with friends on twitter and Facebook and other social media if you think you have creative friends that might be interested in this endeavor … or simply enjoy creative projects like this. So far, the authors that have taken part understand it more after participating and enjoy seeing what happened to the characters they created or predicaments they put the next author in. So far, authors have respected the rules in update #2.

UPDATE#7: Parts 16-19 have been posted. Political intrigue. Life and death reveals. A possible love interest? Wow. Thank you and keep the DMs coming. Thanks to Adrian Jonklaas and Andrew Reeves, I’ve made some continuity corrections through the story and tightened up some grammar. Authors if you see issues with previous submissions, you are free to update, so long as there is no butterfly effects. If you are interested in contributing, please DM me so I can confirm your scheduled contribution. We are moving more toward a daily update schedule as the plot thickens. This past week, I’ve been able to project out 3-4 days all week. Thank you for working with me and thank you for telling your followers/friends about this social crowd sourcing project.

UPDATE#8: Parts 20-28 have been posted. Wow. Words can’t explain the twists and turns in the story. I want to thank our clever host of writers who come up with new ways to stump the next writer. The story really stretched the limits of science by part 25 that I had to come in part 26 to kind of put a bearing on the story and set it back on track while still keeping everyones work the way they intended (minus continuity and grammar corrections). I have instituted a new rule. I still want to embrace all he creative powers of the pool of writers, but because of the “stump the next author” routine that was happing, I am ensuring the “twists” are being explained by the writer who adds it. This ensures creativity, but also allows for better continuity because it doesn’t put the next author to make up rules for the ending the other person added. This was causing some issues with writers not knowing what to do and only moving the story forward a tiny bit. For example, Caleb waking into a bar full of ninjas waiting to kill him is a cliffhanger, which is a fine ending. Caleb walking into a bar and all of a sudden he sees himself 9 years in the future sipping on some scotch, you kind of have to explain how the hell time travel came into play. Pretty fair rules. Cliffhanger good. Crazy Twist = please explain.

Note: If you happen to catch anything weird, like grammar or continuity mistakes, please let me know. I’ll add you at the bottom of the blog as a proofreader sponsor of this endeavor.

MM Leonard

March 20, 2016


Contributors (I encourage you to tweet them if you liked their part! Check out their websites) There is also a Table of Contents

MM Leonard – Part 1 – @Matt_M_Leonard

Jeff Boman – Part 2 – @jabwriter

I.A. Ashcroft – Part 3 – @ia_ashcroft

Gordon Wilson – Part 4 – @gordana_wilson

Adelina Jaden – Part 5 – @AdelinaJaden

Emily Royal  – Part 6 – @eroyalauthor

CE Hansen – Part 7 – @CynthiaEHansen

MM Leonard – Part 8 – @Matt_M_Leonard

Angelique Anderson – Part 9 – @AuthorAngel82

Robert Sharpe – Part 10 – @MrRobertGSharpe

Lexi Lefere – Part 11 – @LexiIsAWriter

Thadd Presley – Part 12 – @authorthadd

Lauricia Matuska – Part 13 – @LauriciaMatuska

Lexi Lefere – Part 14 – @LexiIsAWriter

Will Waiwaiole – Part 15 – @willwaiwaiole

Blair Mackinnon – Part 16 – @blairmackinnon9

Carrie Green – Part 17 – @CarrieGreenBook

Adrian Jonklaas – Part 18 – @AdrianJonklaas

J.M. Bush – Part 19 – @M_to_the_Bush

Andrew Reeves – Part 20 & 21 – @AndrewReeves_

I.A. Ashcroft – Part 22 – @ia_ashcroft

Julie A Martin – Part 23 – @JaMartin1973
(website TBD)

Leo K – Part 24 – @SparkedSynapse

Angel Veselinov – Part 25 – @AngelVeselinov

MM Leonard – Part 26 – @Matt_M_Leonard

Jules Bearsong – Part 27 – @Earthbentliving

Robert Sharpe – Part 28 – @MrRobertGSharpe

MM Leonard – Part 29 – @Matt_M_Leonard

Brandon K. Nobles – Part 30 – @MrBrandonNobles

Wiebo Grobler – Part 31 – @WieboG

A.L. DeLeon – Part 32 – @WingSeeker

Julie A Martin – Part 33 – @JaMartin1973
(website TBD)

Devon Hall – Part 34 – @SynDolly

Matt Kirby – Part 35 – @Gradyperlson

Kathe Messina – Part 36 – @NidaPeabadly

David N. Lewis – Part 37 – @davidlewisbooks

Owen Mullen – Part 38 – @OwenMullen6