Tag Archives: Time

Pages and posts related to time and chronology.


Chronology is tricky. You may encounter disparity in temporal assumptions, synchronous action written asynchronously, or moves written out of turn.
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly… timey-wimey… stuff.” The Doctor
We suggest that you address these issues by adopting strategies such as…
  • Not sweating the small stuff.
  • Write fast and post. Part of this practice of writing is to create short writes pretty quickly. This is kind of writing calisthenics where you work your creative muscles hard and fast to build up strength.
  • Assuming that the time period of a scene is immediate and fairly brief (minutes or a couple of hours at most) unless the Narrator specifically provides other time passage information.
  • Playing consistently and promptly so other players aren’t waiting for you. This helps eliminate moves out of order.
  • Leaving some room – if it is more logical for another Character to move first before you, be patient and allow the player an opportunity to write. Comment about that in the sideline so we all know what the plan is. Everyone agreed to play consistently so the wait shouldn’t be too long.
  • If play order isn’t obvious, first come first serve. Assume that things happen in the order they are written. Just say Yes.
  • If necessary and not harmful to the story, write chronology into your move (e.g. before Jane shot the arrow, I ducked out of the way) as long as you are not abrogating the intent of the action or contradicting something another character specifically wrote (e.g. Jane writes that the arrow goes through the apple then you write later that you actually snatched the apple out of the way would be unaccepteble.)
  • Read more in a forum post about time and chronology

Time Commitment

You agree that play does not have to be super fast, but it does need to be consistent and timely to hold our collective interest and keep the story moving, therefore…

You agree to check in on this Storium story at least once a day to be aware of the status of the story, take note of whether it is ‘your turn’ to make a move, to read comments and what other players have written. You are encouraged to leave positive feedback, ask questions, mention when you will move next, and update players on your available status in the comments during these daily check-ins so we know you visited. (Narrators like to know if they are doing a good job too!)

You commit that you are available to play cards against challenges and write a move every 2 to 3 days minimum.

If you will not be available, you agree to pro-actively communicate about your expected absence on the comments section of the Storium scene. (AFK = away from keyboard) The Narrator doesn’t want to keep track of your calender, so just shortly before you will be absent, post a comment about your upcoming unavailability.

If you state that you will not be available for more than 3 days the Narrator has tacit permission to close scenes and challenges without your contribution and also to write for your character as necessary in order for the story to go forward.

The Narrator commits to smoothly facilitating and continuing to include players who communicate about their absence. Everybody gets to go on vacation or have a hard week now and then, including the Narrator.

Lack of Participation

Players who are frequently or persistently unavailable to the point that it affects the story’s progress will be asked to retire. Please understand now, this is highly detrimental to the group and the story so please carefully consider your available time and energy before submitting a Character to this Story. If you are in doubt about your level of interest or ability to keep up, please pass.

This is the process that this Esteemed Narrator will follow for non-participating / non-responsive Players who have not pro-actively notified the story participants about their availability. After three days…

  1. The Narrator may write for the absent Player’s character in the current scene.
  2. The Player’s character will be excluded from the next scene.
  3. The Character will be retired upon the second scene they are out of. Retirement is permanent and unrecoverable.
  4. Renewed communication and participation resets these requirements twice. Upon falling behind a third time the Character will be retired.

We feel that this is the only way to be fair to the other Players and ourselves as Narrators.

How Much Time Does it Take to Play?

This is a tricky question to answer because there are a lot of variables. As with all interesting and complex things, it can become really consuming and you can choose to spend a lot of time on it. On the other hand, most people who are really into Storium play in multiple stories at the same time because no one story really consumes all that much time.

Here are some of the variables to consider:

  1. Each game has a ‘speed’ setting which indicates how fast the Narrator intends the play to go. This is a guideline, not a hard and fast rule, but it will give you some idea how many scenes will be posted each week.
  2. You will write at least one move per scene, and could easily write multiple moves per scene.
  3. Each story has a word limit per move. The default is 400 words per move for players, 3000 words per move for narrators. Narrators may increase the limit, but of course you also aren’t obligated to use all the words on any / every move.  It is OK for some of your moves to be full of inspiring prose, long and informative and others to be shorter and more to the point given your time constraints and level of inspiration at that moment.
  4. There will probably be some think time, or maybe even research time that goes into moves depending on the kind of story you are participating in.
  5. You need to read all the other writing that is being done. Do you read fast or slow?

So if there is one scene a week, you write 3 moves per scene (say one per challenge card), and each move is a max of 400 words (you can make do with less), how long will that take you?

If there are three other players plus the Narrator and they each write three moves of 400 words each that you need to read and digest each week, how long does that take you?

Don’t you love word problems?