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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in themodelchamber's LiveJournal:

Thursday, May 20th, 2004
12:43 am
[heathwitch]
Impatient...
So... Who's turn is it? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Who're we waiting for in relation to the Round Robin?

:-)

Current Mood: bouncy
Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
1:35 pm
[heathwitch]
Reading as a Writer
I found this is the book Becoming A Writer by Dorothea Brande, and decided to share for those of my Friends interested in writing and reading.

Reading as a Writer
chapter 9, pp91-95

To get the most benefit from ... reading ... you must take a little trouble to learn to read as a writer. Anyone who is at all interested in authorship has some sense of every book as a specimen, and not merely as a means of amusement. But to read effectively it is necessary to learn to consider a book in the light of what it can teach you about the improvement of your own work.

read more...Collapse )

(cross-posted to heathwitch and discuss_writing)

Current Mood: creative
Monday, April 19th, 2004
11:27 pm
[heathwitch]
Here we go... Part 1J :-)
parts 1A - 1H and part 1I.... And now...

~~~~

Psychadelic-coloured clouds swirled about him; he was no longer aware of where -- or even who -- he was. And he didn’t care. Not in the slightest.

The colours merged in and out, sliding around and through him, becoming part and parcel of him even as he was aware of their differences to his own physical form.

His physical form...

What was his physical form again? Did it matter? No, he decided, it didn’t. As far as he was concerned, he was going to stay here with all the pretty colours and float forever. Nothing commanded his attention here; nothing mattered to him. Nothing at all. He no longer cared.

Colours... There was nothing more important than the colours. They were his drug. His fix. He’d do anything for the colours. Anything for --

"Blaine!"

What the --?

"Blaine!" The female voice faded in and out between the colours, a jagged knife in the softness. "Blaine! You’ll wake the fuck up now or so help me God --"

A resounding crack against his cheek startled the colours for a moment; they wavered, wanting to stay with him. And then another crack, and they were gone.

"Blaine! I am not carrying you, you great oaf! Wake up, you bastard!"

~~~~

And over to aylara... :-)

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, April 13th, 2004
12:33 pm
[jeffrey]
We interrupt your friends page for a special report:

Just a quick reminder to heathwitch that she's writing the next part of the story.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled journals. :)

Current Mood: sneezy
Tuesday, April 6th, 2004
6:15 pm
[dragonblink]
Round robin-type majig part 1I
Linky linky to parts 1A-1H, newly renumbered since I skanked up the numbering. :)

Hyar be part 1I:

"I can't just leave him here," she said nervously, gesturing at Blaine, still motionless on the ground.

"Then take him with you," the gunslinger said, turning away.

Jessica stepped forward. "Nuh--" She stopped as she found herself staring down the barrel of a pistol. "--Uhhhhh look, man, d'you have any idea how much that bastard weighs?"

He looked back at her, the raising of an eyebrow creasing his weathered forehead.

"Not nearly as much as you think he does," he said.
8:51 am
[jeffrey]
I decided to rename all the parts to 1A - 1G, because if we do more than one of these, we should probably call the next one 2A and so on to help differentiate them, no?

Anyway, here we go.

Parts 1A-1GCollapse )
~~~

Part 1H, by jeffrey
"This isn't right."

The gunslinger stood in the alley, tapping his foot expectantly.

A second later the door sans handle opened and the two people tumbled back out, horrified looks on their faces.

"I told you to go." His words rang out, cold and unfeeling.

"We... tried to, y'see," Blaine began, but the gunslinger cut him off.

"You are different."

Blaine's eyes widened. "Who are you?"

The alley suddenly grew unbearably warm. Blaine's eyes rolled into the back of his head as he collapsed straight to the pavement.

Jessica looked down at him. "You wimp."

The gunslinger turned around, and not ten paces away stood the steaming maw of a large, crimson dragon.

"You should not be," the gunslinger said.

"We were talking about it for a story, see,” Jessica said, “And now it's all real and we're gonna die."

"A story?" The question hung in the air, unanswered. In a flash the gunslinger's left arm flew up, pistol in hand.

The ground shook as the dragon fell, dead. Blood poured from a single bullet wound, placed perfectly between its eyes.

The gunslinger turned back to Jessica. This time, when he spoke, there would be no disobeying him. "Go."

~~~

Back to dragonblink. :)

Current Mood: chipper
Monday, March 29th, 2004
4:26 pm
[aylara]
Part 2C and screw links to previous parts. Screw 'em.
Oh, OK, I'll include the last two parts as well.

The last two partsCollapse )

And the new stuff...Collapse )

Current Mood: knitty
Saturday, March 27th, 2004
5:07 pm
[heathwitch]
Round Robin part 2B...
Parts 1A-1D and 2A... And now, on with the show...

~~~
The creature that emerged from the ruins of the explosion was pissed off. Very pissed off. Here She was, enjoying a few thousand years' hiberation beneath whatever civilsation had come along after her catnap began, and then something loud and hot and bothersome had woken Her up.

The dragon -- for that was certainly what She was -- lifted Herself out of the rubble and onto the street. She was certainly not amused -- definitely not from Her rude awakening, and certainly not from the sight before Her. The world before her. What in all the seven flames had happened to Her world?

Typical. A Divine Being decides to take a short nap and now look -- the world goes to pot in their absence. Damnit all to hells.

Movement distracted her from her worries. There, in the narrow gap between buildings, hid two shadowy figures. From the sounds of things they were trying very hard to have an argument and be quiet at the same time.

For a moment the dragon indulged in the whimsy that they were humans -- what else would explain their odd, stupid behaviour? But, rather than judge the creature by the smell, as it were, She decided to take a closer look.

The dragon stuck Her thin, tapered muzzle into the alley and took a deep breath.
~~~

Okay, so it's 218 words. I got excited :p

Current Mood: good
Sunday, March 14th, 2004
8:25 pm
[dragonblink]
Round Robin part ... 2A? Am I right?
Part 1 A-D

"Hey ... hey, come on, wake up ..."

"Wstfglmuthafug." I peeled my face painfully off the ground.

"Oh, thank God. Look, we should get out of here." Blaine grabbed my arm with those eerily cold fingers of his and hauled me to my feet.

"Had a ... a dream, like," I muttered, wiping dirt and small pebbles off my forehead. My nose felt like it was bleeding, and my elbows burned where I'd scraped them when the explosion knocked me down.

"Riiight, right," he said, steering me away from the smoldering ruins. "Look, there'll be no end of trouble if I'm found around here, come on."

"People ... arguing ... did you ever feel like someone else was directing your life?"

He pulled my face toward him with his free hand and peered at me. "What is it you people get when you're concussed?" he asked. "Different colored pupils or something?"

"Different sized." I batted his hand away. "I'm not hallucinating, Blaine, it was just a dream."

"Right." He glanced behind us as if he heard something, then leapt for the shelter of a narrow alleyway, jerking me behind him.
9:57 am
[jeffrey]
Round Robin 1 A-D
Here's an idea I had... since when new parts of the story are posted no one really knows about them, why not make a new post for every new part? Include what has already come before (behind a cut tag in case this gets long) and then add your new part at the bottom. This way people can comment on individual parts if they so desire, and everytime a new part is written everyone will see it with the new posts on their friends list. Sound good?

Parts 1A, 1B & 1CCollapse )

Part 1D, by jeffrey
"See, that's what I don't get." Her voice rang out like a siren, piercing him straight to the bone. "These two people are having a nice conversation, and suddenly this guy walks in with guns."

"What's the problem?" Mickey asked, his face scrunched up in confusion.

"Well, it doesn't make much sense."

"Why not?"

"It's like three different people wrote this or something. It feels disjointed; like each new part doesn't go quite where you intended it to." She stared at him, trying to force the comprehension into his brain.

"Are you saying I plagiarized?!" Mickey's voice rose as it always did when he got too worked up over something.

"No, not at all. I just don't get it." She pointed down to the page to accentuate her point. "Look. Here's an explosion."

"Yeah, with lots of fire and hurting!"

She rolled her eyes. "But why was there an explosion?”

Mickey thought for a moment, and then shrugged. "I have no idea."

"You can't write like that! It's insane."

"I can write however I want to," Mickey defended, thumbing his chest for emphasis. "I suppose you think you could do better?"

She smiled at him. "I thought you'd never ask."

~~~

Back to you, dragonblink. :)
Tuesday, March 9th, 2004
5:38 pm
[jeffrey]
This has come up twice in two days now, in an email discussion with a friend and in a comment I left in heathwitch's journal. I thought I'd post it here whilst we wait for the aforementioned heathwitch to have the chance to write her part of our round robin story.

It concerns creative writing courses and the like, which I feel in no way make someone a better writer. Here's my thoughts on it:


While I agree that a creative writing course may help in the technical aspect of things, I still don't think it will make anyone a better writer (unless you consider someone who knows proper grammar and sentence structure, etc. to be a "better writer").

It's like learning to paint... you can learn shading and texture and shadow and how to mix paint and different types of strokes, but that doesn't make someone a better painter. Great painters make something more than the sum of its parts, as do great musicians and great writers.

No course can help you come up with better ideas for stories or more realistic characters, in my opinion. That's either something you can or cannot do. You can of course practice and make changes to your style and such, but all that will do is lift the terrible writers into the mediocre territory, and lift the good writers into the great category.

I think it's just one of those things that you either have or you don't. For those that have, the course is a waste.


Any thoughts?

Current Mood: groggy
Friday, March 5th, 2004
8:16 am
[jeffrey]
Reminder
I just wanted to remind everyone that you'll need to go back on your friends page (or go to themodelchamber) to see the parts of the story that have been posted so you know what's going on and when it's your turn to write.

Don't forget, or you'll get my reminders to whip your asses into gear! :)

Current Mood: sore
Thursday, March 4th, 2004
6:01 pm
[jeffrey]
Okay, no one else responded about wanting to (or being able to) join our round-robin story, so here's the random order that we'll be writing in:

dragonblink
heathwitch
aylara
jeffrey


Since I'm last, I guess when I'm done it will just go back to dragonblink and we'll just keep going until the story winds itself to an end or we tire of it.

Then we can do another one later with a different order and have fun trying to stump different people. We don't want to be stumping the same writers everytime, after all. ;)

So, since Blinke is first on the list, she gets the honor of starting us off. It can be absolutely anything you want it to be (although it may certainly not stay in the same realm or even the same genre... who knows).

Just remember to keep all entries to no more than 200 words.

Weee, fun. :)

Current Mood: busy
Monday, February 23rd, 2004
2:02 pm
[jeffrey]
Just in case anyone missed it, I wanted to make one last call for anyone wanting to participate in the creativity-stirring "stump-the-next-writer-in-the-rotation round robin" story. Presently, these are the participants:

jeffrey
aylara
dragonblink
heathwitch


If anyone else would like to join in you are more than welcome. Please let me know within the next couple of days as I'd like to start it soon.

I guess we can just do the pre-assigned order... once we know all the participants I'll draw up a random order (so the first person will get the fun task of deciding what the heck we'll be writing about... at last until some strange twist takes it somewhere else :)

So, um... that's all. Just let me know if any of the rest of you want to play along. :)

Current Mood: creative
Saturday, February 21st, 2004
2:01 pm
[jeffrey]
An exercise
Hey all, I had an idea I wanted to run by you.

I was wondering if, in the interest of flexing our creative muscles, you would be interested in writing a round-robin story together? What I propose is something like this:

Each part must be something like no more than 200 words (after all, this is an excercise in creativity, not typing or plot development). The object would be to actively try to stump the next writer, and leave them with a hard place to pick things up. Then the next writer has to find a way to conintue the story and stump the next writer, and on and on until we decide the story has come to an end.

This may produce an oddly disjointed story when it's completed, but then again, it may be a hilarious masterpiece. Who knows? :)

But I've done this sort of thing a few times before (although never actively really trying to stump the next writer) and it's always been a blast. Would anyone else be interested? And if so, do you think we should come up with a set writing order for the participants to know who-goes-when, or should we all just respond in the comments whenever we have an idea for the next part? The first is much more strict, but the latter could lead to chaos in two people tying replies to the same part of the story which could cause much confusion. I'm up for either, just let me know which you'd like to do... if you want to participate, that is.

And I hope that you all do. :)

Current Mood: busy
Monday, February 16th, 2004
8:52 pm
[heathwitch]
Ideas and Plots...
How do people get ideas, and then develop them into plots?

I'm always thinking of ideas, but can't seem to develop them into full plots or structures... Any advice, hints or tips would be appreciated. Thanks :)

Current Mood: curious
Wednesday, February 11th, 2004
10:50 am
[jeffrey]
Everyone's been relatively quiet here for a while, so to stir up disussion, let me ask you this:

How do you come up with characters? Do you have a set method, or a way that they usually form in your mind? What do you look for in characters in other stories (that you read about in novels, see in movies, etc.)?

Current Mood: curious
Monday, February 2nd, 2004
12:19 pm
[silverhanael]
Harlan Ellison wrote a story called, "All the Lies That are My Life," which is about a writer (among other things). I recently saw "Big Fish," (which I'd recommend to anyone who considers themselves a storyteller) and I was reminded of Ellison's story and its title and the whole issue of writers and writing. We are telling stories and our ability to do so springs from our life and life experiences. We can make stuff up, we do it all the time, and I imagine that the anecdotes that we tell about our lives tend to have beginnings, middles and ends. It seems important to me, somehow, that to get to the end, one must know the beginning, one must know how the ending came about. And we figure that out, that structure, which helps us understand about storytelling and also about ourselves. As we do that, at some point, ideally, we learn some sort of Truth that can apply to others, that someone else can relate to, understand, and, wonderfully, say, "Yeah, I've felt like that but I couldn't have said it like that. Thanks."

So, we begin with real, we move to a constructed lie, and we reach truth. The writer's journey -- may we all follow our dream.

Just some thoughts.

Current Mood: thoughtful
Thursday, January 22nd, 2004
4:37 pm
[jeffrey]
Discussion...
Okay, since the first discussion didn't go anywhere here (probably because too much of it had already taken place in vengeant's journal, here's something I wonder...

What process do you folks use to go about writing?

Do any of you use the brainstorm on paper - outline with roman numerals - rough draft - second draft - X draft - final draft process that they taught us in grade school?

I always hated that myself, as I find it very constrictive and making something free and artistic confined and boxed in. Writing isn't like math, and I personally think it's wrong to make it so. If that works for someone, fine, but to tell me I'm *wrong* because I write differently is assinine.

So I used to write the stories and then make fake outlines and brainstorming sheets based on what was already written.

Stupid teachers. :)

Anyway, the method I use I am sure most people would find aggravating, impossible, or at the very least stressful.

I have a general idea of what I want to write. And by general I mean *very* general. It usually consists of maybe a semi-character idea and something have to do with what they do in the story. Sometimes I will sort of "see" a scene and base everything around that, but most times I sit down and fly by the seat of my pants and see what happens.

Very rarely I will make brief notes, but only if I know I won't be able to write for a good long time and I don't want to forget what I've already thought of. This will usually consist of just two or three cryptic sentences (if that much).

For me it is very much like someone is just downloading stories into my brain and I'm typing them out as they come in. I see and hear them all in my head, like movies. And then I just write what I see.

It wasn't always that way, and when it wasn't like this writing was a LOT harder. I would try to force things to go a certain way, or force writing about a certain thing, and the results weren't pretty. But then I found if I just *let go*, it would all come as I was writing. And it's always good to go where my muse takes me, and not where I want to take it to. Hence one great screenplay idea a friend of mine and I came up with about three years ago that still only has the first scene written. I have tried and tried to work on it, but my muse just isn't swinging that way now and hasn't been for a while. There's nothing I can do about it, so I learned to stop fighting it.

So... what's it like for the rest of you?

Current Mood: happy
Sunday, January 18th, 2004
6:08 pm
[jeffrey]
From the journal of vengeant, who hopefully won't be mad at me:

Neil Gaiman said something interesting on his weblog tonight. Someone asked him what literary figure he wanted to be on one of those "READ" posters, and he said, "Red Riding Hood's Wolf." He wasn't sure why he said it, so he sat down and wrote about it to figure out why. But one of the last things he said caught my eye:

The wolf defines Red Riding Hood. He makes the story happen. Without him, she'd just be another girl on her way to her grandmother's house. And she'd leave her goodies behind, and come home, and no-one would ever have heard of her.


Interesting. My mind is just enjoying chewing on the idea that some of our archetypes are defined by their opponents, that heroes are made by their opposition. Thoughts on this, anyone?


I'll post my thoughts on this in the comments, and I would love to see what any of the rest of you (who will hopefully be joining) think of it... are villains defined by their heroes or vice versa? Or do you see it as something else entirely?

Current Mood: curious
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