Fourth Fiction: The Complete Season

Dec 24, 2009 by

Fourth Fiction was a blog-based literary reality show in which 12 contestants, writing pseudonymously, each began a novella. Readers eliminated them, one by one, along the way, until one winner completed his or her novella. I (Host) delivered a literary challenge and announced the eliminated contestant in a YouTube video at the beginning of each round. Watch the introductory video for an overview. For more details, see the About page.

What follows is Fourth Fiction in its entirety from the pre-competition month on Twitter to Round 1 through Round 12, which features the winning post.

Pre-Competition Month on Twitter

Although the contest began on August 4th, the contestants all wrote on the Fourth Fiction Twitter page over the month of July as a way of introducing themselves to each other and to the readers. I’ve compiled their tweets in the posts below. For a more detailed explanation about the Twitter posts click here.

VIDEO: Fourth Fiction launch

Contestants’ First Ten Days on Twitter

VIDEO: Pre-Contest Literary Dares

Roundup of the Ten Literary Dares

VIDEO: Pre-Contest Chain Story

The Chain Story

*              *              *              *

*The links below don’t refer to contestants by their names but rather by numbers corresponding to the order of posting. The first writer to post in a round is referred to as “Contestant 1,” the second “Contestant 2,” etc, such that one number isn’t consistently assigned to any particular writer.

Round 1 Video – “Fire”

Write the opening sentence of your novella.

Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4
Contestant 5
Host
Contestant 6
Contestant 7
Contestant 8
Contestant 9
Contestant 10
Contestant 11
Contestant 12

Round 2 Video – “Canoeing”

Write your opening paragraph. It should be about interactions over the web. (300 words)

Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell
Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4
Contestant 5
Contestant 6
Contestant 7
Contestant 8
Contestant 9
Contestant 10
Contestant 11

Round 3 Video – “Speakers’ Corner”

Incorporate the death of a dog into your next passage. (400 words)

Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell
Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4
Contestant 5
Contestant 6
Contestant 7
Contestant 8
Contestant 9
Contestant 10

Round 4 Video – “US Open (Tennis)”

Weave an element of Fyor’s story into your passage. (450 words)

Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4
Contestant 5
Contestant 6
Contestant 7
Contestant 8
Contestant 9

Round 5 Video – “Poker and Magic”

Incorporate this image into your next passage. (500 words)

Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell
Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4
Contestant 5
Contestant 6
Contestant 7
Contestant 8

Round 6 Video – “Lebowski Fest”

Incorporate a White Russian and the words “over the line” into your next passage. (500 words)

Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4
Contestant 5
Contestant 6
Contestant 7
Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell

Round 7 Video – “Blessing of the Animals”

The Round 7 challenge is different for each contestant. See video for details. (600 words)

Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell
Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4
Contestant 5
Contestant 6

Round 8 Video – “Frogs and Torture”

The readers assigned the Round 8 challenges. See this post for details. (600 words)

Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4
Contestant 5
Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell

Round 9 Video – “Biking and the City”

1) Incorporate a hoax; 2) Incorporate a revelation; 3) Incorporate the number four; 4) Incorporate Stephen Colbert. (444 words)

Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell
Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3
Contestant 4

Round 10 Video – “Marathon and Masquerade”

Kill off one of your characters (1200 words)

Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell
Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Contestant 3

Round 11 Video – “The Video Challenge”

Put your main character in danger in a new and hostile environment. There should be a struggle for survival through which new aspects of his or her personality are revealed (1500 words).

Contestant 1
Contestant 2
Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell

Round 12 Video* – “Tournament Final”

*I asked commenters to send a video or photo of themselves for inclusion in this YouTube. Also, there was a change in the season finale timetable.

Assign the challenge to yourself. It should be the most challenging one of them all (no word limit).

Eliminated Contestant’s Farewell

VIDEO: Stephen Fry Congratulates the Fourth Fiction Winner

FOURTH FICTION FINALE

*              *              *              *

And for those of you crazy enough to have made it through the entire season, you can mull over the season a little more with a final Fourth Fiction cryptographic wrap up.

*         *         *

Polls

The readers voted off writers along the way. Click on the following links to see the poll results. The first poll was for the favorite writer during the pre-competition month on Twitter (the winner was exempted from the first round of elimination voting). In the final four polls, the readers voted for their favorite contestants. The contestant who received the least votes was eliminated.

Pre-Contest Vote for your Favorite Poll
1st Elimination Poll
2nd Elimination Poll
3rd Elimination Poll
4th Elimination Poll
5th Elimination Poll
6th Elimination Poll
7th Elimination Poll
8th Elimination Poll
9th Elimination Poll
10th Elimination Poll
11th (Final) Elimination Poll

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