Thanks for this. Do you think you could write some about finding / managing a team? How do you find the people you end up working with? How do you allocate creative control to people while protecting vision? How do you make decisions about the content / direction of the novel -- do the writers have more control in general, or is it pretty democracy-like?
Hello. The questions you raised deserve a DevLog on their own but I can give a few quick pointers.
Do you think you could write some about finding / managing a team? How do you find the people you end up working with?
The Minoh team is composed, for the most part, of people I had known for years (like nanoff and Kangarube) whose talents and skills were already evident, and we already had a good level of trust going. Nemo and Awoo I met on 4chan and we were all anonymous writers, just writing stories for people to enjoy. I enjoyed their writing, we were all doing the same thing for fun, we all got along well.
Later efforts to expand the team were difficult. We have a very particular culture and chemistry among ourselves, if someone is going to join then it's important that they can mesh well with our creative environment.
How do you allocate creative control to people while protecting vision?
For Asterion's story I have a very clear vision. When anyone writes content for it (I write most but not all of it) I make sure to tell them what the scene has to convey and where we have wiggle room. I also am conscious of each writer's particular talents and I try to match it.
Outside Asterion's story... Well, my vision for Mino Hotel encompasses the kind of creative freedom to try our ideas. Giving everyone a considerable amount of freedom — including to propose characters, comment on any other part of the production, make edits, everything — is part of the fundamental creative freedom I have.
How do you make decisions about the content / direction of the novel -- do the writers have more control in general, or is it pretty democracy-like?
We have the story's themes and all decisions must mesh with them. It all must fit together and make sense. A lot of creative decisions are based on this, which can be quite objective at times. We also decide by consensus, which means that everyone has to be on board. It is surprisingly easy for us because we are all very in synch.
There was one time we made a decision by democracy and that was the one thing that we had to go back and fix (a story for another day).
Anyhow, the best way to describe the way we work is we take pride on Minotaur Hotel being a group effort. I want everyone to throw their ideas, even bold ones, and it all works because we have a very firm grasp of the story's themes and where it's going. I want everyone to write stories they love, even if that means they are peculiar. I do not care about telling the stories that would bring in the most people.
The process is also very improvisational at times, kind of like jazz. We have a strong idea of how this song is to be played but every once in a while someone strikes a great solo and we conform to his work. Sometimes we even have to tinker with the story's outline to make it work. But it does work.