Many years ago, when I was young and carefree, I thought up, together with a friend, the notion for a writing group called the Three Pages Club.
This is how it was meant to work: once every two months, one of the members would propose three rules. Any kind of rules: content, form, restrictions, theme, mandatory elements, style, tone… anything.
In the course of the following month, each member would write a story of about three pages following the stated rules. At the end of the month, all stories were to be posted on a dedicated (and private) blog, for a month of mutual reading, discussion, and critiquing. Then the next member would post their rules, and the game would begin anew. Whoever made the rules was to moderate the discussion for the bimester, and, in extreme cases, an unanimous vote of all the other members could have the current Ruler revise or replace a rule that was manifestly impossible to follow.
We were still discussing whether more than one rule at a time could be gainsaid, when the whole project evaporated. A lack of participants, doubts about the mechanics, a fear that a month was too short to write a story, a fear that a month was too long to keep everyone motivated and active, sheer terror that the discussion would, sooner or later, descend into brawling… Ah well.
Truth be told, though, I still rather regret that the TPC never even started in earnest. I liked – still like – the combination of group writing, exploration of limits, and miniature society. Had I but time and world enough, I’d like to try again – but then, had I but time, I’d also like to take drawing classes, go to the opera, work on my German and Spanish, read a lot more…
I guess the TPC will have to remain in that hazy realm of unfulfilled intentions. Still, o Readers, if you want to give it a try, go ahead, by all means. And maybe let me know how it works?