Waiting to write. Photo: Angie Garrett, Creative Commons Attribution License.
Waiting to write. Photo: Angie Garrett, Creative Commons Attribution License.

Remember those ‘choose-your-own-adventure-books’ we used to devour at the back of the class while the teacher was teaching? We’ve found the grown up equivalent! Eqlee is the first crowdsourced novel platform in Malaysia. Now you can write your own adventure, along with hundreds of others!

Co-founded by a KL-based digital strategist, Victor M Lozada, Eqlee invites people to submit a chapter. If chosen by the public, then the chapter becomes part of the final novel. While crowdsourcing has been tried and tested when it comes to fundraising or the large scale collection of data, it’s still quite unusual for a work of literature.

Eqlee spurred from Lozada’s two passions, writing and digital businesses. Relating it to the sudden outburst of crowdsourced services, with businesses coming together to create solutions to serve their customers, he wanted to find a way to combine his two loves.

The concept is pretty simple: users either submit a potential chapter up to 7000 words or vote for other entries. The public casts their vote and the chapter with the highest votes gets published. And then the process starts all over again. But this raises the question: when does it end?

“I would like the story and correspondingly the public to decide this. Since the story and its development depend on the readers, writers, voters, it’s hard to determine when this could end… if ever! So, if at some point, the general opinion is that the story is getting too complicated, or if it needs some closure, then we would establish a time period to submit a ‘final chapter’. But when and how will this happen, we don’t know.”

Submissions for the first chapter are now open. What the verdict will be? Visit the Eqlee website or Facebook page to find out.

Marissa Hakim