Friday, March 28, 2008

Get Me Rewrite. Take 2...And The Writing Begins

OK, since Michelle was bored and since I have the attention span of a soapdish and since I have the patience of a three-year-old, we're starting the writing early. Shawn and MWT have said they're ready to go, so I put them first in the on-deck circle. The rest of the writers are in order of how I literally pulled their names out of a hat. (A Red Sox cap, if you must know.)
Note: I'm still going to leave this open to more people as long as they sign up by Noon on Sunday. Just ask to be included in the comment thread and I'll add you to the lineup.

Nathan
Shawn Powers, Part 2
MWT, Part 3
Eric, Part 4
Matt Warnock, Part 5
Jeri, Part 6
Saqib, Part 7
Michelle K., Part 8
Vince, Part 9
Kimberly-Ann, Part 10
Tom, Part 11
Kate, Part 12
Justin Ryan, Part XIII
Bryan, Part, The 14th
Tania, Part 15
Charles Duggelson, Part 16
Part 17, from me.
Part 18 from Shawn Powers.
Part 19 from MWT.
Part 20 from Eric.
Part XXI from Matt.
Part 22 from Jeri.
Part 23 from Saqib.
Part 24 from Michelle.
Part 25 from Vince.
Part 26 from Kimby
Part 27 from Tom.
Part 28 from Kate.
Part 29 from Bryan (that I somehow missed linking here when it went up. oops)
Part 30 from Charles.
There's two new parts today! One from Justin and another from Tania.

And Now everyone who wants to has been invited to post a final entry. Once they're all in (by Noon April 24th), we'll decide which one is the official ending.

Eric has posted this as his entry.
And here's mine.
And Michelle's.

Important Note: Justin, my link for you is broken, non-functional, pffffft! Please post your link again in the comments below. Oops. My bad

How it works:

Each participant's entry should be in the range of 100 to 500 words. All entries will be a sequel to the person's entry before them so that it becomes one coherent story-line. We're looking for two entries per day (one morning, one evening) and we'll each write a second entry when our turn comes around again. When you put up your entry please link the following: 1. This post for people who want to start from the beginning, 2.) the post of the entry preceding your, and 3.) the blog address for the person who will be following you. (It'll be nice to try to edit your link to the actual following post once its up. I'll be trying to keep them current here as well.) Vince's parts will be posted on my blog and he'll email me his entry which he can do easily from the link on my profile.


At the end of this post, you'll find the first part of the story...by Moi. Each subsequent writer, (reacting to the portion immediately before theirs), must change one significant element of the story. You can change the gender of one character. You can change the season. You can change the locale. You can change the time period. You can change any element but only one element. (The only exception is that if you change a character's gender, you may change that character's name to fit the gender if necessary, but you should do what you can so that readers recognize that its the same character [i.e. Sam could remain Sam, Joe could become Josie, etc.]). Also, you may switch from Third Person narrative to First Person or vice-versa, but that does not count as your one significant change. Your change could also be to return something to the way it was before (Summer could become Winter again), but you can't change the same element that the person immediately before you changed.

You may also choose to follow the story by writing about a character who may have only been secondary to that point, but you must make it coherently flow from what's come before and the character you're following must have been in the portion of the story immediately preceding yours.

So, without further ado, I give you:

Sophie from Shinola, part 1

As much as she was trying to hide it, Sophie knew her anxiety was as apparent as the landing beacons at shuttleport 3. She was fidgeting and alternated between swinging her legs and stopping to pick at one of the twin scabs on her knees. Both actions brought a remarkably similar reaction from he mother; “Sit still, Sophie”, “Leave that be Sophie.”

Sophie was trying to be calm, but everything was riding on this interview. She had only just turned 11 the previous week, and so, she was now old enough to apply for SpaceForce Training Academy. And she desperately wanted to be accepted.

She glanced once more at the receptionist sitting pinch-faced and silent behind her little protective counter. When they’d arrived for the interview the lady (Ms. Wilberforce, her placard declared), had told them they’d be called when the interviewers were ready for them. She hadn’t even looked up from her display (which Sophie noticed was tuned to one of the more garish celebrity gossip channels). Now, Ms. Wilberforce was completely engrossed in filing her long chartreuse nails. Sophie, young as she was, already felt a deeply abiding distaste for people grooming in public. “Is she gonna start flossing next?”, she thought.

Sophie didn’t know what she’d do if she wasn’t accepted into the Academy. With the certitude of all 11-year-olds, she knew that if she wasn’t accepted, she’d be stuck here on Chenolla VI for the rest of her life. And that, obviously was a fate worse than death. Chenolla VI had only reached the point in its terraforming 60 years earlier where it could begin to support life and start to be colonized. Her parents had signed on with the third wave of colonists, so it wasn’t exactly like they were starting from scratch, but face it; Chenolla VI was a pit without much going for it. The mining operations and the planetary fisheries were the only things that made the planet worth maintaining in the first place and were also responsible for the God-awful stink that pervaded the place.

Sophie’s parents both worked in the clerical section at the beryllium mine just outside of town. The presence of beryllium in such vast amounts was one of the only things that made the planet unique in any way. Otherwise, the place was just one more fairly cold rock hurtling ceaselessly through space. Sophie saw absolutely no future for herself here and this interview was her only chance to get off. On top of that, Sophie’d been addicted to stories about SpaceForce since she had learned to read. All the stories were available on readers, but Sophie’s father actually had a collection of over 1200 titles on actual paper. He’d been collecting them since he was Sophie’s age and she cherished the collection, having worked her way through almost half of the them.

Objectively, Sophie knew that the real SpaceForce wasn’t all adventure and excitement, but compared to Chenolla VI, anything had to be an improvement. “Jeez”, she though, “What’s taking so long?”


Part 2 is up on Shawn's blog.
Part 3 is up on MWT's blog.
Part 4 is up on Eric's blog.
Part 5 is up on Matt's Blog.
Part 6 is up on Jeri's blog..
Part 7 is up on Saqib's blog.
And Part 8 is up on Michelle's blog. (Wow, that was quick)
Part 9 from Vince is up on my blog.
Part 10 is up on Kimby's blog.
Part 11 is up on Tom's blog.
Part 12 is up on Kate's blog.
Part 12 plus 1 is up on Justin's new underblog.
Part, The 14th is up from Bryan on Jeri's Joint.
Part 15 is now on Tania's blog.
Part 16 is now on Charles's blog.
I've posted Part 17.
Shawn has posted Part 18.
MWT has posted Part 19.
Eric has posted Part 20.
Matt who prefers Roman Numerals has posted Part XXI.
Jeri has posted Part 22.
Saqib has posted Part 23.
Michelle has posted Part 24.
Vince has posted Part 25,
Kimby has posted Part 26.
Tom has posted Part 27.
Kate has posted Part 28.
Bryan posted Part 29 a couple of days ago and I suck for missing the update here.
Charles has posted Part 30.
Justin has posted what might be an ending...but Tania chimes in too.

91 comments:

Shawn Powers said...

So do I go this evening, or do I have to wait until morning, since this was posted in the PM?

I have to go to dinner now, but if this evening is still available, I'll probably significantly alter Sophie before going to bed. Which is not nearly as perverted as it sounds, I assure you.

kimberly-ann said...

Ok...way to start early..glad i am off work for the next few days....
Also...not to be picky, but could you lose the "e" in my name..thanks!

Eric said...

I'm not sure if my entry works out to morning or evening, but I will have to post in the evening unless my entry comes up on a weekend.

Sorry if that throws a wrench in anything. If I'd figured out that that was what was being contemplated with the "2 per" discussion, I would have been clearer about that up front.

Nathan said...

Shawn,

None of us can follow rules here. Post when you're ready.

K-A,

Done

Eric,

I'm not sure where you'll land either, but if you get a morning, how about following the Tania model? Write at night and then post it before you go to work in the morning. Or whatever. I'm sure it'll be worth waiting for.

neurondoc said...

Being a complete bozo at fiction-writing, I wasn't willing to volunteer. But I am looking forward to reading the story.

Natalie

Nathan said...

Considering the combination of the rules and the inmates here, I have high hopes. I hereby grant you absolution for not writing, but we'll expect reviews from you Natalie.

vince said...

None of us can follow rules here.

That's one of the reasons I like it here.

Vince's parts will be posted on my blog and he'll email me his entry which he can do easily from the link on my profile.

Roger that.

Michelle K said...

Hey! What happened to the Open Thread? And Vince, did you see that you co-starred in the Jimi Hendrix story I wrote?

MWT said...

Uhm, what happened to the original Get Me Rewrite and the Open Thread threads?

MWT said...

*gestures at Michelle* Uh, yeah. That.

Nathan said...

I replaced those threads with this one. I get to do that if I want.

Although, I'm wondering if I could have just taken them off the page instead of actually deleting them. If so, then, my bad.

Was there anything there we needed?

Shawn Powers said...

I think I left my car keys in there... ;)

Jeri said...

You could have just re-dated them their actual date, and they would have pushed down your list of posts to probably off the first page.

Why? Because we think are comments are *golden prose* not to be altered or deleted. ;)

Normally I have more evening time too, but next week is totally light at work - almost everyone on my project team is at a conference or on vacation - so I can do any time.

Nathan said...

are comments are *golden prose*

If you want to send me your entry for copyediting before you publish, I'm willing.

I'm such an ass.

Jeri said...

What's really funny is that I have a degree in technical writing - and wrote (and edited!) professionally for a few years before burning out on it and shifting fields.

Behave, oh gracious host, or I'll tell a smug puppy to attack.

Shawn Powers said...

eh, morning it is, I'm too tired... (and not even home yet)

Tania said...

Ok, I post after Justin Ryan? Right? I've had a margarita or three, and I'm easily misled right now. Oh, look a kitty. I better go.

kimby said...

Thanks Nathan....I guess I have a thing about extra vowels.

(Kimby, formally known as kimberly-ann. No-one calls me that except my father..everyone else calls me kimby..or just plain kim will do as well)

Shawn Powers said...

Nathan: You just did the link to his blog wrong. You didn't start it with http:// when you made the link.

Shawn Powers said...

Hehheeh... I just realized, I'm "Number 2"

Number 2. ehhehehe

Nathan said...

Thanks Shawn,

Fixed now.

Shawn Powers said...

Oh -- and I followed the rules, right? Changing Sophie into a podperson is the type of change you were referring to?

(I'm not terribly in favor of rule following in general, but in this case, I was trying to play fair...)

Nathan said...

It certainly wasn't a change that occurred to me as a possibility, but that's the whole point. Seems like fair game to me.

Jeri said...

Hmmm... disussion question for the group.

Should the one-thing-changed in each subsequent section of the story have a plausible buildup and explanation worked into the story, like Shawn did so smoothly? Or can it be an abrupt disconnect, freeing us from the need to explain it all in our 500 words?

The former serves the overall story better. I'm not quite sure which serves the spirit of the exercise better. :)

Nathan said...

Jeri, I think abrupt changes are fine to a point. If for example, the next entry moved the action to a city bus in Chicago, that could be pretty much self explanatory in one sentence or at most a paragraph. Then just continue the story and let the change of locale impact the story. Just don't forget that since only one thing can be changed, the bus better take them near SpaceForce's Office for Sophie's interview (inhabited by an alien at this point). Or something like that. :D

Shawn Powers said...

I find myself in the "impatient" category. :)

..and I do have a lot of work to do. I just keep coming back to look for part 3. :)

Nathan said...

Well Shawn, technically its not due until tonight sometime.

And this is why I was originally pushing for 3 entries per day, but some people said they couldn't just drop everything to get their writing done. Wusses!

kimby said...

Ok, so after reading the offerings by Nathan and Shawn..OMG what have i agreed to?
While I love reading this genre, it is not my writing forte.
Glad i have a few entries before it is my turn....I apologize in advance for the crap that you may be forced to read when it gets to be my turn...LOL

Charles Duggleson said...

Alright, I'll play along, too. I was wondering how this ends? Is it simply two turns each? And do we need to write with the entire story arc in mind or only with respect to the previous writer?

MWT said...

Done! I decided it was time for a scene change. You're up, Eric. :)

MWT said...

Kimby: well that's the beauty of it. You can always change the genre to something else. :)

Charles: Welcome. :) I have no idea, I think Nathan gets to make all the rules (though whether anyone follows them or not is questionable...).

Nathan said...

OK, first to Kimby (formally or formerly known as Kimberly-Ann, of the lesser vowels); we have faith in you. You'll do fine.

Charles,

1. As it stands now, we're aiming for two entries per person. I suppose we could play things by ear if any of us feel like keeping it going.

2. The story arc is kind of a paradox. I wrote the first part as if there would be an entire story following Sophie into SpaceForce Academy and possibly further. Obviously, by the nature of what we're doing, Shawn kind of threw all of that out the window and now Sophie is an Alien plant...a weapon aimed at SpaceForce. And MWT has just chimed in that part 3 is posted, so I suppose we'll find out shortly what direction we're headed in now.

Short answer? Write your part aiming where you'd like it to go. Then watch the next person derail that. :D

Michelle K said...

C!

Glad to see you playing along!

Don't be afraid of everyone here, they're all mostly harmless. :)

Michelle K said...

Oh.

I just realized that we may need an important clarification--what's the rule for killing off the characters of others?

Yes or no?

What characters are off limits to be marked for death?

Nathan said...

You may kill anyone you want anytime you like in any manner you like. However, that will count as a plot point, not your one significant change.

And if you're one significant change is something about a certain character, that character becomes off limits to your deathly wiles until the next writer picks up the story.

Ghosts of killed characters are permitted, but only after the character has been dead for one writer's complete turn. Hitler's head in a jar is permitted. Zombie George Bush is permitted, but not encouraged. Really.

You may put real historical figures into the story, and you may put fictional characters in from other stories, but only if they're from long enough ago that we won't get a cease and desist order from some writer's estate.

Change is just about the only firm hard rule.

Nathan said...

And if your one....

Crap! Stupid fingers.

Michelle K said...

OK. I just didn't want to have any hard feelings if someone murdered Binky.

Nathan said...

Binky is in a free-fire zone. But he'll be hard to kill since he hasn't been written yet.

Blink, on the other hand, I'm kind of fond of. (Doesn't mean you can't kill him/her/it.)

Eric said...

Part four is up. Little Sophie is no longer a girl.

She's not a boy, either.

Matt Warnock said...

Part 5 is up. More fun with Blink (whatever he actuall is). Also,
Sophie's problem with alien's taking over her body might not be what everyone originally thought it was. Enjoy.

Justin Ryan said...

Justin counts down the list to see what part he is.

*count* *count* *count*

13? I'm 13??

Does this mean I have to turn her into a hockey-mask wearing psychotic killer?

Nathan said...


13? I'm 13??

Does this mean I have to turn her into a hockey-mask wearing psychotic killer?


Well you can go that route if you want to follow the "13 is evil and bad luck and all that" model. I, on the other hand would choose to regress to adolescence and imbue the story with lots of farts and boogers and giggling.

Justin Ryan said...

Heh; I have some ideas, but I'm sure they'll all be completely irrelevant by the time it gets to me. ;)

Is anyone else getting 404 and database errors trying to get Part 6 from Jeri's site?

Shawn Powers said...

eiw, crap, yes... I hope Jeri knows.

...skitters off to email her.

Nathan said...

I already told her and her provider says she may be down as long as 24 hours.

She emailed me her part of the story and it's now up here at polybloggimous.

Shawn Powers said...

Awesome. Well done, Sir.

(You might want to temporarily change the link on the original post to point at your page)

Nathan said...

D'oh! (I thought of asking Matt to change his link but it never occurred to me to change mine.)

Michelle K said...

You're up Vince.

Michelle K said...

I told you I write quickly.

But I really got lucky since what Jeri and Saqib fit so nicely into what I'd been mulling over already. I just had to change a few tiny details of what I was thinking and it all came spilling out.

kimby said...

Just checking in to see if Vince had his offering up. I am off to work (i work the midnight shift) and won't be back online until tomorrow. I will try to not keep you guys waiting, but i tend to sleep all day....11 hour shifts tend to make you sleepy.

Nathan said...

I'm assuming Vince is observing the two posts per day idea and I'll see his entry by morning.

I spent the day chasing him around the internet poking him, so he knows he's up.

vince said...

After you chasing me around Internet today, I am tired and sore. Nonetheless, I have sent Part 9 to you via your email, so look for it. You may post it when you wish, oh fearless leader.

One other thing. This is FUN!

kimby said...

I left the comment on Vince's entry but just in case....Part 10 is up! (now really, I AM going to bed)

Nathan said...

You're linked Kimby. I'm a little busy now and I'll read it in a couple of hours. In the meantime, get to work Tom.

Justin Ryan said...

Part XIII is up now, on my new personal blog, not justin-ryan.com. Sorry for the change mid-stream; I didn't have it ready to go until this morning.

Shawn Powers said...

CRAP! I'm so far behind. I haven't read past part VI yet -- and I'm coming around the horn for my next part.

Shawn vows to give up sleep so he can catch up on Sophie...

Tania said...

After more real world life interference that seems reasonable, I have cobbled something together and it can be found here.

Charles Duggleson said...

whoooops -- my turn! time to get caught up...

Charles Duggleson said...

ok, aww gone!

Charles Duggleson said...

just a wee heads up that the link to my part is http://waronfolly.tumblr.com/post/30828561

(at present what you have doesn't seem to work)

Nathan said...

I think I've fixed all the links.

There's only like 40 of 'em.

Shawn Powers said...

Sophie, part 18 is up.

Right Here

Shawn Powers said...

This sorta game works well for me. Planning, of course, is right out the window, so we're reduced to "pulling stuff out of our collective arses."

That tends to be where my best stuff comes from... tee hee!

MWT said...

Part 19 is in the second half of my previous post. :)

Eric said...

Chapter 20 is now posted! Kneel before Chapter 20, people of Earth! KNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL!

Eric said...

KNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL!!!!!!!

Eric said...

Sorry. That's what happens when you leave General Zod next to your computer while you step away to take a leak. Won't happen again.

Nathan said...

You can all get up now. He's left the room.

Tania said...

I was only faking, anyway.

Matt Warnock said...

Got a busy day at work tomorrow so I put my next part up already. Go ahead and check it out.

Saqib said...

done, done, done, and double done!

http://saqib-sadiq.blogspot.com/2008/04/sophie-from-shinola-part-23.html

Michelle K said...

I'm done! Vince is up next!

Matt Warnock said...

Gonna be out of town the next few days. Can't wait to see how the story ends.

Justin said...

Just got around to reading Part 29 -- it's been a busy week -- and I'm wondering if there's a Part 30. Have we fallen away, or is it just on hiatus because everyone else has had a week that was just as busy?

Saqib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saqib said...

I guess that's a wrap. Go here for a freebie, you'll love it!

http://saqib-sadiq.blogspot.com/2008/04/calling-all-sophie-from-shinola-writers.html

Nathan said...

Just to clarify, we are not done. We are owed installments and installments we shall have.

Saqib has said he'd get them included in his most magnificent E-Book once they're done.

Saqib said...

preferrably with a solid ending that brings the whole story to one stellar conclusion that makes you go whoa!

no pressure ;)

Michelle K said...

I can make a conclusion. Though it may involve Nathan, a toaster, and some tentacle porn.

Justin said...

I'm up last, and I have the conclusion well in hand. To quote Deep Thought: "42." Oh, wait, no. "You're not going to like it." :)

Nathan said...

We'll see about that, now shan't we?

Justin said...

Indeed, now we shall. I'll have my effort in shortly.

Tania said...

AH! I have access again (for a little bit). Who is up Charles and Justin wrote, am I the only one left? I can do an epilogue or something, or a 600 years later or whatever.

Dratted life and technology getting all wonky at the same time.

Nathan said...

Tania, Justin said he's getting me his entry shortly. Go read today's post "I get email" for the latest on what we're doing. You'll be up next after Justin's is posted.

Tania said...

Merci! On my way (I have 983 items in my RSS reader, 91 of them being in my Friends folder, where you guys are) to catch up with where I should be.

Tania said...

As the person who dropped the ball, I can't believe I'm saying - I'm waiting for Justin so I can whip out my part! Hurrah for connectivity!

Justin said...

It's up, but as I warned, you're not going to like it. ;)

Since I'm right at the tail end, and I already had an end in mind, and maintaining continuity has never really been an issue with this group, I went ahead and wrote my ending. You can take it as Part 31, or you can treat it as one of the pick-an-ending entries and Tania can pick up from wherever she likes. Not that she wasn't going to anyway, given the precedents we've set.

So, there you have it.

Tania said...

Done!

Having a networked computer that works is a wonderful thing.

Saqib said...

get 'em while they're HOT!

the e-book post

Charles Follymacher said...

desperately seeking closure ova heah. did we decide on an ending yet? there's a lot of voting tools around. i like em all, but i'll put my vote in for eric's.

Nathan said...

Charles,

We went with the choose your own ending model. Saqib put up the big red button to download the whole thing as an E-Book. It's on his site (sidebar) or I've got it linked on Saturday's post.