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About Literature / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester Grace25/Female/United States Group :iconstoryedu: storyEDU
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I'm going to rent some movies tomorrow. Any quick suggestions? 

4 deviants said I love superhero/sci-fi movies!
1 deviant said And things that are off-beat with great characters.
1 deviant said But no horror.
Want to learn more about storytelling? Check out my writing guides.

One of my goals for 2015 is to build things. Personal projects, websites, tutorials, whatever I can create with the skills and tools I have at my disposal. Until now, I imagined myself building these things on my own because I've always been a creative loner who prefers working solo. But what if I gave collaboration a chance? How would I put my own spin on a joint project and do it in a way that's different from all the typical ways writers collaborate? 

The Concept

Well, this morning it came to me by colliding with an old idea I've had nestled away in the back of my head for years. It's a concept called "Fallout Letters," in which one writes a letter as a fictional character to another fictional character in the setting of a post-nuclear fallout. Maybe this event happened on earth as we know it right now it 2015, or maybe it happened at some future date or on some other world.

It's a challenge of the imagination as well as a challenge of medium. In keeping with authenticity, the letters would have to be written with whatever could be found in a post-nuclear world. They'd have to be analogue, right? What letter-worthy materials would be left in this world? Pens and scraps of paper or old books and notebooks? Typewriters? Homemade paints or inks? Something else entirely?  How would these letters get from writer to recipient? Would a postal service still be intact? Would government still be intact? Would they have to be sent via private courier? What perils would this correspondence encounter along its journey? What would it look like once it finally reached its destination? 

That's what you get to decide. 

Your mission, should you choose to accept: 

Step 1

Assume the role of a fictitious character living in a world sometime after a nuclear event. The timeline and details of this event are totally up to you.

Step 2

As said fictitious character, use whatever non-digital mediums you have at your disposal to compose a letter written in the first person to another fictitious character fully expecting them to reply. The contents of this letter and identity of the recipient are yours to invent. Try to keep it short; let's say less than 1,000 words.

[Some idea fodder includes 1) Someone from one part of the world writing about conditions in their area and asking for comparison from the recipient in another part of the world. 2) Speculation or investigation into events related to the nuclear event and possible conspiracy theories. 3) Communication between authority figures investigating or planning something. 4) Pirate radio broadcasters planning to hijack communications. 5) A group of mercenaries or opportunistic criminals using this new situation to their advantage. In other words, the possibilities are endless. Be creative and think outside the genre norm!]

Step 3

Take a readable-quality photo (or scan) of your letter, including any necessary attachments such as a map, drawing, Polaroid, cipher key, found objects, etc., and upload it to your dA gallery as a deviation. You may also want to include a photo of the envelope/package your character would've actually sent this letter in if truly living in the fictional fallout world. (If you take multiple photos, number them and put them in their own gallery folder.) Then "send" it to me (illuminara) via note titled "A Fallout Letter."

Example Deviation:
Fallout Letter - Dear Tom by illuminara
Reply by jdoem
To Hannah by jdoem

Step 4

I will collect these letters and "send" them on to the next randomly chosen participant, who will then compose a reply based on the contents of the original letter, following along with all the establishing information provided. They will then follow steps 2 and 3. You will do the same when you receive your fallout letter.

Step 5

This process will continue as long as there are still willing participants, and new participants are welcome to join at any time. Just start at Step 1.

There are no time limits or deadlines associated with this project and no "rounds" to speak of.  It's 100% for fun and to challenge you to do something  creative and collaborative that's a bit off the beaten path and see what happens. Participation is on your own time, at your own pace.


Isn't sending and receiving a fallout letter a prize in and of itself? Regardless, I will feature all the letters in my journals as I receive them, and I will be happy to provide you with any feedback you wish at your request. Good luck!

Spread the Word

That's my big idea. Let's call it a collaborative storytelling experiment. I've never been a part of anything quite like this before, but I'm excited and want to see some awesome creations come out of if. If you would too, join in! Write a letter, and spread the word by sharing this journal and telling your writerly friends. Let's build something together!

  • "There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes itís like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges."

    - Ernest Hemingway

  • Mood: Excited
  • Listening to: Mindi Abair
  • Watching: 3rd Rock from the Sun
  • Eating: Noodles


Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I like to consider myself a nerd with class--not because I'm classy but because I enjoy the classic things in life. I'm the kind of person who notices all the little specks of beauty and inspiration that tend to hide just out of sight everywhere we look. I'm passionate about living a life of creativity and enjoy writing, design, photography, and architecture to name a few of my favorites.

I'm currently living in Ohio, and I work at a gun shop for my day job and train dogs as my side job. Not even kidding. I have an interesting life.

Check out my tumblrs:

Inspiration & nerdy things
Stuff about writing
Novel progress blog



Add a Comment:
ChihiroInWonderland Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the llama! :D
illuminara Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! =D
Sonixu Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  New member Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the fav! <:
illuminara Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
jeychen5 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the llama :)
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