XZ#1 – Annexe’s new online fiction series

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“The idea is to dissect various genres of writing, film and drama by reconstructing them from the ground up. One story at a time.” This was the spiel we threw at writers to tell them about our new project. We expected such lofty sentences to be thrown back, tied up with a derisive sneer. However, it turns out we know some rather inventive and experimental writers!

Welcome to XZ, our new online fiction project. The aim is to get inside stories and see how different writing styles can join forces to create something fresh, but recognisable. To do this, we’re taking particular genres/styles/species of fiction and breaking them down, looking under the hood and building them back up in smaller chunks.

Each story gets six writers and each writer gets one section. They are given a bare framework to work on, everything else is up to them, and  they aren’t told what the other five writers are coming up with.

The first issue has worked out far more splendidly than we could have hoped, with a story rife with suspense and dangerous turns. It’s the classic tale of a hardboiled detective, employed by a mysterious woman to investigate a murder.

Dive straight in and enjoy the story, or feel free to download it at consume at your leisure. (right click the link)

A special thanks go to the six magnificent authors of this tale: Ben Gwalchmai, Komal Verma, Akiho Schilz, Jack Swain, Eley Williams and John Boursnell.

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Part of the project is to invite a bit of discussion from you, the reader. If you want to comment on the project in any way – maybe you have an idea about breaking the story into chapters, or you didn’t like a character’s attitude, or you often find yourself in sleuth-style experiences and can relate – please leave a comment below. We want to generate an active back-and-forth about the project. The most discussed topics will be added to the issue in a month’s time. 

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