The 221 Project
An ambitious collab project - come find out all about it!
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Aleine Skyfire

Maybe you've heard that Sherlock Holmes & Co. are in the public domain. It's true (http : / / www . techdirt . com / articles / 20100119/2318397826 . shtml). All stories but the 12 in the Casebook are in the public domain. This knowledge encouraged me to start work on a World War I Sherlockian novel (though heaven knows KCS and Aragonite could do a better job—go check out their WWI fics).

However, another idea hit me, and it's ambitious but so very doable! There are so many wonderful one-shot fics out there, fics that deserve to be published. I can think of quite a few, and I'm sure you can, too.

So, my idea is that we come together to compile these one-shots into an anthology and self-publish it through Lulu, Lightning Source, or Xlibris. We set up guidelines for what we want in the one-shots we use, and end up with 221 stories, hence the title 221 Tales of the Great Detective. We get a fan artist to illustrate the cover, perhaps net a few more fans for inside illustrations. Everyone who participates pays an equal amount to publish the book and gets an equal cut in the profit, to keep finances relatively simple. No stories will be used without the author's express permission. I would like to be the editor (mostly just compile the stuff and then do an editor's note), but everyone will be credited for their work. What would be neat is if the finale story, the 221st tale, could be a collab among all the involved authors.

The one thing we have to be careful about is not to use any copyrighted material (quotes, etc.) and not to use any material from the Casebook. The stories there are as follows:

Mazarin Stone

Thor Bridge

Creeping Man

Sussex Vampire

Three Garridebs

Illustrious Client

Three Gables

Blanche Soldier

Lion's Mane

Retired Colourman

Veiled Lodger

Shoscombe Old Place

So, what do you think? Do you think we can do it? If you are willing to help, you can sign up in this thread: (Note: only fans whose works end up in the finished project will have to pay and get a cut of whatever profits.)

Please let me know! It's ambitious undertaking, I realize, but I believe that we can do it if we're willing to invest a little time, effort, creativity, and cooperation!


~Aleine Skyfire

12/7/2010 . Edited 12/7/2010 #1

What are the qualifications for the story???

12/7/2010 #2
Aleine Skyfire

The stories, you mean? Well, obviously we want them to be top-notch quality. KCS, Pompey, Aragonite, and bemj11 immediately come to mind (now if we could snag them into this, that'd be truly awesome). Tristan-the-Dreamer, bcbdrums, and KaizokuShojo would also be great to have on-board.

Now something that ought to be worked out among the participants is whether or not to use AUs, time-travel, Holmes/OC (I have read some good one-shots), etc.

It should go without saying that there will be no sex or slash, and a minimum on swearing.

12/8/2010 #3

Any specifics length??

12/8/2010 #4
Aleine Skyfire

Well, a collection of short stories from FFN fans these days would not be complete without some 221B drabbles, so those are allowed. Possibly drabbles, sesquidrabbles, and droubles, too... depends. Technically, a short story should be no shorter than 1,000 words, but I'll allow a minimum of 500. Typical maximum should be 10,000, but 20,000 can be allowed if necessary.

12/9/2010 #5

Sweet. :)

12/9/2010 #6
Aleine Skyfire


Yesterday, I sent out PMs to several fans, requesting their participation. Thus far, I've gotten four replies, all positive—aragonite, Catherine Spark, Tristan-the-Dreamer, and Pompey. Catherine brought up some pertinent questions in her reply that I thought should be answered here so that everyone knows.

1. What sort of min/max length should each one shot be?

As I said in my post above, anywhere from 500 to 20,000 words (though, granted, the 20,000 reeeally shouldn't be pushed =D). And 221B drabbles—it wouldn't be right without them. (Possibly drabbles, sesquidrabbles, and droubles.)

2. Will you tell us which, if any, of the fics of each author you had in mind?

I did have some fics in mind when I first started this, but I didn't think of specific fics from every author I asked. I'll go through my folder and see what I can dig up, and then start a new thread.

3. Will we use the forum to facilitate the creation of the final piece that is a collaboration?

I actually hadn't thought of that (thinking of PMs and/or emails, I guess), but that is a great idea. Forum creation would probably be best.

4. How much will contributing authors each pay?

To be honest, I don't know. That's something I still need to check into—and if we go with Lulu, I'll probably ask for aragonite's help, since she's already published a book there.

5. Is there going to be a contract that we have to sign to say we will pay our share/that we redeem a share of the profits?

There probably should be, shouldn't there? Hmm… working out a contract on the 'Net… does anyone have any ideas as to how to do that?

6. Will we use our own names or our pen names in the publication? That should probably be for everyone to decide. As I am trying also to finish editing my own fantasy novel and self-publish it, using my own name would probably be a good idea. However, YMMV, so this is probably something to thrash out.

1/4/2011 #7

While I'm certainly not committing to anything, I am interested. Will be following this thread's progress.

But I would ask that regardless of my participation, if anyone uses the 221B drabble format in any form that they credit me, as I came up with it. :)

1/4/2011 #8
Aleine Skyfire

Well, at least I've got your interest - that's good, right? =)

KCS, I honestly wouldn't dream of using the 221B drabble without crediting you as the creator. I mean, it's so special, and people should know where it came from! Did you know that even in the BBC Sherlock fandom, they use it? Seriously! You've created quite a legacy for yourself just with that drabble format!

(I didn't have time this morning to get back with you on your PM - sorry about that - but you should be getting a reply by this time tomorrow, okay? Sorry!)

1/5/2011 #9
Catherine Spark

Thanks for posting these answers - that clears up a lot. I just thought if money was involved, people might feel more comfortable with a signed contract - as if something happens (and I don't mean to sound miserly and distrustful and paranoid!) there is a contract to go back to to check what was originally agreed, and as a very last resort, to use as evidence. But I'm sure it would never come to that!!! Possibly PDF might work, or else maybe you could start up a facebook group? I know the facebook group maybe doesn't make it that much easier, but then if people felt comfortable they could provide a secure email address (e.g. gmail, aol or something), in order to send a PDF contract. Just an idea though, as I am not entirely sure how you would go about it either!

Look forward to hearing more and being involved, and sorry for the delay in replying. :)

CS :)

1/6/2011 #10
Aleine Skyfire

Totally okay, Catherine! And glad to clear things up for you. And yes, the contract is definitely a good idea—I understand, because I think that way, too.

Erm, Facebook is a no-no. My dad's last job was in IT, and he really knows Internet security. As it turns out, Facebook is not really a safe site. At all. Therefore, 'tis banned in this family.

The PDF is quite possible, however, and we might end up sharing emails, yes (or, at least, I'll probably have to know everybody's email and you all will know mine). I'll have to look through my books about writing and see if I can find anything about contracts…

I'll see about getting some new discussion threads started tomorrow for more specific topics—namely, what types of stories we want to use, and the stories that I had already thought of using (w/ permission, I mean).

1/6/2011 #11
Aleine Skyfire

Okay, two new threads, people - check 'em out! One is about types of stories to use (a discussion thread, so I need your input), and the other lists some of the stories I'd like to see in the book.

1/7/2011 #12
Protector of the Gray Fortress

Also interested, although, with my finishing college in the next few months, I'm not sure what state my finances will be in.

1/20/2011 #13
Aleine Skyfire

Understood. I... really have to look up how much this will cost. *is annoyed at self*

1/21/2011 #14
This sound's awesome! I don't really have the talent (yet, hopefully) to be a part of something like this, but I think it's a great idea, and I look forward to seeing where it goes. Best of luck to everyone involved!
1/28/2013 #15
Lilly McMissile

That sounds pretty cool... I'd join, but my stories aren't very good yet, since I don't have a beta

5/8/2013 #16
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