Hey everyone, wouldn't it be great if there was a website where everyone could read great Nigerian fiction written by every day Nigerians who have learned How to write a book by themselves, and not through some fancy education?
As you all know by now, I read A LOT. I usually read books but ever since my junior year kicked in and my classes started taking up so much time (and ever since Inuyasha and Sesshomaru the Beautiful came into my life) I've switched to reading a lot of fan fiction.
In the middle of reading all that fan fiction it struck me how amazing it would be to be able to find good Nigerian fiction on the Internet in a community that actively promoted writing through comments/reviews.
In that vein, I'm working on a Nigerian fiction website. It will be a very simple community where Nigerians can write and upload their stories chapter by chapter. Anyone can read the stories (but you have to join to comment on/review the stories or to write/publish your own stories). People can review or comment on each chapter as it's published as well as favourite authors and stories they like. There will also be a simple forum where we can discuss story ideas or make story requests (I discovered in my Fan Fiction adventures that some very generous writers actually do write custom stories for their readers based on reader ideas if requested - I think this is very cool. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, see my Condom Challenge on Dokuga)
Stories will be in four simple formats:
Chapter stories - a single story that spans multiple chapters with each chapter being uploaded one by one, as fast as the author can write and upload or at their general discretion/convenience. (I personally get upset with chapter stories because some stories are so interesting and then you find out that the author hasn't uploaded the next chapter yet and then you have to start begging them in the comments to upload before you die. In other words, these tend to be the most exciting)
One-Shots - a story spanning one chapter only
One Shot Collections - a collection of one shots that MAY or may NOT be related, uploaded in the format of a chapter story. Each one shot must be confined to one chapter
Drabbles - Stories spanning a specific word count (usually 1000 words or LESS)
Of course, all stories will also be classified by genre, and anything goes. The idea is to get Nigerians writing as much as possible about as many conceivable topics as possible, so genres/categories will be anything from horror to smut to romance to comedy to fantasy to science fiction and so on, and we'll continue adding categories as needed.
Finally, we'll have awards to encourage people to write and to give greater visibility to really good writers that emerge or become popular on the site. Site members/readers/ you guys get to nominate your favourite writers and favourite stories. Prizes will not be physical (I'm broke. You know this. Nuff said) but writers will get the honor of displaying custom designed Prize Badges on their profiles, blogs, pages, Facebook, etc (think the profile badge prizes of the Naija Blog Awards - that sort of thing, but much cuter with the name of your story and your position - first place, etc) not to mention the adoration of their legions or fans/readers.
The only criteria that will be imposed on stories on the site are:
The story must be set in Nigeria
The main character(s) of the story must be Nigerian
Also, if authors write stories featuring copyrighted or original characters of other authors/publishers/etc then they must acknowledge in the Author's Note of their story that those particular characters do not belong to them/are not their own creation and are the property of their respective owners.
That's all there is to it. I really want to know what you all think and I really hope that all of you that love to write (e.g. the Mighty Myne Whitman and the Talented Leggy) and all of us who love to read will embrace the idea. Goodness knows it's so very difficult to find good casual Nigerian literature. I also think it would be great for anyone that wants to practise their writing or improve their skills.
Like a great Inuyasha fan fiction writer once said "Reviews are Fuel". Just as comments fuel bloggers, reviews (the comments of the online literary world) fuel writers to greater heights. Plus, anything that will get Nigerians reading again (and about OURSELVES this time not Emma and Alice and Amanda) is great in my book (no pun intended).
Oh yeah, and the site will be called NigerianFiction.com. [Super obvious I know, but sometimes, simple really is best] and membership will be free. All activities on the site will be free and you won't have to be a member to read the stories, but if you are so blown away by a story that you feel compelled to comment or send the author a message then you will have to sign up and join the community. =D
So what do you think???
UPDATE: I'm really glad lots of people love the idea.There's only one small problem though - is there anyone out there that knows how to build (simple) websites and would be willing to build one on a college kid's budget?* =D
*What this means is that in exchange for your web building services, I will (most grudgingly) part with my last pack of McVities All Butter Shortbread [do not laugh. Nigerian shortbread is a hot commodity in the United States. It is a big deal. Shortbread Scarcity is a very real affliction]