In the distant past a group of four writers calling themselves Clockwork Storybook used to publish their prose stories online, most of those tales set in an urban fantasy shared world called San Cibola.

That site and those stories have long been absent from the internet, but the writers didn’t disappear. The original writing group grew from four members to ten and have been published all across the spectrum of fantasy fiction, including comic books, novels, TV and more.

Back then, the four Tick Tock Men would often publish what they called 30 day stories – novel length fantasy stories written in the course of the 30 allowed days, added to daily. These events predated the similar NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) by years.

Now five eight of the Clockwork writers have decided to do it again, starting right now.

Starting today, the 4th of January, and for the next thirty days, each of these fine fellows will write a short novel (or a long novella?) a little bit each day, finishing up in 30.

Since each of these new projects are slated for print publication, the writers can’t post each day’s progress, as they used to. But you can still follow their daily progress right here through their ongoing commentary, snarky asides, selected excerpts, and senseless bragging.

And of course it wouldn’t be a proper Clockwork event (meaning a typical silly stunt) without a modicum of gambling, so they’re betting on the results. Each participating writer who fails to reach the finish line, or even misses a single day of work, has to cook and serve a fancy dinner for each of the writers who succeed. They’ll pay off this debt at their next annual Clockwork Writer’s Retreat.

The participating writers are (in alphabetical order):

Marc Andreyko is a comic book and screenplay writer, known for writing the 2000s ongoing series Manhunter for DC Comics. In 2010, he wrote Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Oracle, a one-shot that tied into the Return of Bruce Wayne event.

Mark Finn is an award-winning author, playwright and essayist who is active in Robert E Howard studies. His biography, Blood & Thunder: the Life and Art of Robert E Howard was nominated for a World Fantasy award, and will be re-released in an updated second printing later this month. His comic books SCOUTS! Premeires in March from Ape Entertainment.

Dave Justus is nobody you’ve ever heard of. His published works include a bit of DC/Vertigo’s House of Mystery #25 and the short story “The Next Day” in Electric Velocipede #21/22. He would not be surprised to learn that his inclusion in this contest is an elaborate hoax.

Daryl Gregory is the author of the novels Raising Stony Mayhall, The Devil’s Alphabet and Pandemonium, as well as a bunch of short stories and a couple of comic books, including Planet of the Apes and Dracula: Company of Monsters.

Matthew Sturges is the writer of a bunch of comic books, including House of Mystery series and Jack of Fables, as well as the upcoming Four Norsemen of the Apocalypse. He authored the novels Midwinter and Office of Shadow.

Bill Williams draws the long-running webcomic Sidechicks. For more about what else Bill is up to, go to billwilliamsfreelance.com

Sean E. Williams is an Ohio-born-California-raised-Montana-transplanted writer who thrives at creating universes to tell stories in, drawing from his firsthand experiences traversing the globe. He is a storyteller in all mediums, with a background in theatre, film, and television, having worked for over a decade in Hollywood. His current projects include writing the third arc of the FABLES spin-off FAIREST from the wilds of Minnesota.

Bill Willingham is the writer of many comic books, including the Fables series, and author of the novels Peter and Max, and Down the Mysterly River.

For those long time Clockwork Storybook (CWSB) fans, this puts the number of Tick Tock Men participating in the event to over 60%.

In addition to daily story progress, each of the writers will be checking in here at Major Spoilers often enough to answer our questions, your questions and to indulge in a modest amount of unseemly boasting and bragging.  If you want to follow the adventures, be sure to look for the Clockwork Storybook icon in the upper right hand corner of the site, where we will collect everything.

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9 Comments

  1. Matt Sturges
    January 4, 2012 at 9:50 am — Reply

    I’m just going to jump in here first and point out that I’m clearly going to win this. Who among the others has the willpower and discipline–nay, even the stick-to-it-iveness–to go the distance? Answer: none.

  2. Bill Willingham
    January 4, 2012 at 10:26 am — Reply

    That’s right, Matt, old buddy, old pal, you jump in first with the bragging and boasting. I had to settle for jumping in first with getting my first day’s installment written and posted to the group.

    So, the score so far: Me: All required writing for the day is done. Everyone Else: Zero, Nix, Nada, a big batch of Nothing.

    Did I get that right? Us old farts are so bad with math.

  3. Mark Finn
    January 4, 2012 at 11:27 am — Reply

    Oh ho ho. You guys can boast all you want, but it’s been a while since we’ve done this, and I’m betting you’ve lost a step or two.

    I’m starting late, but I’m finishing this. And it’s going to be vintage CWSB stuff, too. Extra geek points for me.

    • January 4, 2012 at 11:31 am — Reply

      SAM BOWEN!?

      • Matt Sturges
        January 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm — Reply

        Didn’t Sam Bowen fall off a cliff or something? PLEASE TELL ME WE SAW A BODY.

      • Mark Finn
        January 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm — Reply

        No Sam Bowen. Sorry.

  4. Bill Willingham
    January 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm — Reply

    Mark, if you get your first installment in today, you’re not starting late. Late is missing the first day entirely, which then also makes it too late. Matt and I first cooked this up between us mid yesterday, so we’re all sort of required to hit the ground running.

  5. January 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm — Reply

    I see how it is. All you ancient clockworkers pull your dusty drafts from the trunk, run spell check, then post them, taking full credit for a day’s worth of writing. What next, novelizations of your high school term papers? Well that’s not for me, the new guy on the block. It’s all-new beats, baby. I’m bringing the newness, fresh like Will Smith. Ideas? I got this. Strong like a Cinnabon, poppin like Mary, typing out fast with rhymes so… frightening? Frightful? Damn, I need to rewrite…

    –d

  6. January 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm — Reply

    In honor of the contest, and as a bit of motivation, here’s The Punch Brothers doing our theme song.

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