Hi and welcome to Bumwinkers. We are the home of the collaborative horror story. There are two different ways that you can collaborate with others and write creepy stories on this website. These are called Mushups, and Duos. The basic difference is that anyone can participate in a Mushup, whilst a Duo is between only two members.
Here we will guide you through how a Mushup works, for more information on Duos please use this link.
Firstly, to participate in a Mushup, you have to sign up. It is free and only takes a minute. Once you have done that then you are ready to go.
There are always several 'Live' Mushups running at the same time. These are displayed at the top of the home page and are stories that are currently in progress.
All Mushups are started by the site admin. The admin chooses a working title and provides an opening paragraph of text. The mushup is then opened up to member's submissions. You are invited to write the next sentence/paragraph of the mushup and submit it for review by the deadline set by admin. These sections that you submit are called 'snippets'. All submissions will be reviewed by the site admin and the best one will be chosen and added to the chain of the story.
The speed of a Mushup determines the amount of time each submission period (level) is open for entries. There are three different speeds.
Normal: This is the default speed where each level is open for a number of hours. One or two levels will be completed each day giving you plenty of time to come up with your ideas.
Turbo: Each level is open for around a couple of hours (when admin is available).
Nitro: Each level is open for minutes and is judged straight away (when admin is available).
A mushup may be of any type ie: a ghost story, serial killer, monster, freestyle (anything goes) and of any length, but there is one special type called a 'Slasher' which has a fixed structure.
A Slasher is a specific type of mushup designed to get your writing descriptive juices flowing. Plot is out of the window, this is an unapologetic gore vest. They are fun to write and have the following basic structure.
A Victim: This person/creature is totally innocent but has the unfortunate luck to stumble in the path of the slasher.
The Slasher: A person or monster/zombie etc - hellbent on totally destroying anything that's in its path.
The Chase: The victim may make several escape attempts but his/her demise is inevitable.
End Game: Does the victim escape? well, you decide. The last snippet is always a humorous one-liner from the victim or the slasher. It could be dying last words or a victory wail.
Each Mushup has a set of guidelines created by the admin at the start of the Mushup. These guidelines are used to define what kind of length and type the Mushup will be. They are used as a backbone to the story but are not set in stone. You can view the guidelines by clicking the guidelines icon below the title of each Mushup. Here you can also change the colour scheme of the text if you wish.
Once you have read the guidelines and read the Mushup entries so far chosen, then you are ready to write your own snippet. At the bottom of each Mushup there is an entry box to submit your snippet entry. There may be a comment left by the admin also. If the admin has left a comment regarding the present submission level, then click the speech bubble icon to reveal the text.
When you have finished writing your snippet, please check your text for errors, because you will not be able to edit it once it is sent. To send your entry click the submit button.
Great, your entry has now been received and will be reviewed once the submission period has ended. You can only send one entry per submission period.
For a guide on writing a perfect snippet please read our post Writing the perfect snippet.
When the admin is reading through the entries, usernames are not displayed. So the admin has no idea who wrote each snippet when they are being judged. This is to promote fairness and remove any unconscious biases. The snippet that is chosen could have one or more of the following qualities:
Once the level has been judged, the chosen snippet is added to the story chain and a new level is opened. Each seperate snippet is added in an alternate colour scheme. Clicking on a snippet triggers a popup box containing the user whos snippet was chosen. Clicking on the eye icon will reveal all the entries that were submitted for this level.
The entries panel displays all of the entries for that particular submission level. If your entries made the shortlist then it will be marked with an icon. Any comments left by the admin will appear below the entry.
When the whole Mushup has been completed the admin will select the best snippet as the "golden snippet". The golden snippet will be highlighted in gold font colour in the completed Mushup. It will appear in the user's accolades section in their profile along with any other awards they may have picked up.