Take Two Tag
Take Two Tag
(or, The Urban Spaceman plays writing games with you)
At the end of February, the Queen of Quotes, Jade M. Wong, and I had a play-date with our inner-fangirls, and the result was two Harry Potter one-shot fanfics based on the prompt of “Arthur Weasley at work” — one of three prompts I suggested, and the one Jade liked best.
It was super fun. The goal was to see how one prompt could inspire different stories, and to offer up some good old feedback on what we thought worked well—as well as what needed improvement—in each others’ stories. Then Jade was all like, “Hey, we should play this on WordPress, too!” only she was much more articulate about it. And since the idea works equally as well for WordPress/Blogger/<insert your blog type here> as it does for fanfiction.net, I’m game for a bit of Take Two Tag here as well.
The premise is fairly simple: one author runs up to another author, whacks them with the flat of their hand and goes, “TAG, HAHA!” then runs off whilst the tagged author is still recovering from seeing Roger Rabbit-style stars.
I’ve adapted my rules (they’re more guidelines, really) from ff.net since blogs do not suffer the same constraints — we don’t have to write fanfics. But we totally can, if you want!
• Story must be flash fiction, between 500 and 5,000 words.
• Any tense (past, present… future???) and perspective (first, second, third, fifth???) goes.
• The author who is “tagging” should ideally suggest 3 prompts, and allow the “tagged” author to make the final decision on which prompt to use. What kind of things should you prompt with? Anything. A genre. A title. An opening line. An idea. A theme. A description. A piece of dialogue. Whatever the hell you like! Though I would recommend avoiding anything too specific, such as “Erotic steampunk supernatural thriller involving three protagonists and one of them is a robot.” I’ll give an example below the guidelines, as I’m about to tag my very first author.
• Deadline should be agreed upon by both authors in advance
• Rating should be agreed on by both authors (not everyone likes to read smut or strong violence) — this isn’t as much of a problem here, since I doubt <insert blog type> will go deleting your posts/account simply because you wrote some naughty bits (ff.net will actually do that from time to time), but it would be nice just for politeness’ sake if authors could discuss whether there are any ‘areas’ they should avoid.
• Critique should be as fair as possible, with aspects of positive and (constructive) negative
Today I am tagging one of my favourite flash-fiction writers, the talented and creative Fatma Alici (whose Instagram would probably be worrying if her love of dragons and owls didn’t seem to rival my own).
I’d just like to say that no author I tag has to accept my tagging. If you’re too busy, not in the mood, or just plain don’t like the prompts, please feel free to say ‘No’.
Today, I offer Fatma the choice of following lines as prompts. They are just lines. Themes. Ideas. They don’t need to be used as titles, or as part of the dialogue; they don’t even have to feature directly in the story. Just pick your favourite (tell me which you’re picking so I can write too!) and we’ll set a deadline (say, end of March? Feel free to suggest something different if it doesn’t suite).
We go do our stuff, reconvene, do the whole read and review thing, then Fatma gets to be the “tagger” and have some creative fun with one of her readers. Woo!
Line 1: It’s still just the heart of a child.
Line 2: After a thousand years of darkness, he will come.
Line 3: There’s probably some kind of secret society behind all this.
And because no post is complete without a shameless plug, here are the results of the first round of tag:
Jade’s Story: Weasley’s Work Woes
Spaceman’s Story: Weasley’s World
As you can see, the Alliteration is strong with us.
Bonus points to the max if any of you reading this can ID where any of those prompts are from (without using Google! *stern glare*)
Ahhh, so a couple things:
1) I never received the pingback to my blog because apparently there’s a little WordPress glitch where if you just link to the homepage (jademwong.wordpress.com), the pingback disappears into cyberspace. You would have to link to a specific post or about page or something in order for a blog to receive it. The more you know, eh?
2) I love that you’re keeping Take Two Tag going. I’ve neglected my share of the tagging duties since I was MIA for a bit there, but behold and alas, I have returned. I’m so looking forward to seeing how far Take Two Tag gets spread. Go, go, go TUS 🙂
**3) Queen of Quotes? I’m flattered. Has a fantastic ring to it. I wonder if I can get that emblazoned on a nice shiny nameplate, haha xD
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Oh, I’ll totally do this. This is badass. Even though, you failed to mention the terrifying level of cat pics on my Instagram. That stuff is getting to crazy cat lady level. And, honestly, who doesn’t love owls and dragons? I actually have a clock that has a own, a dragon, a unicorn, and a wizard on it. Because, that is everything.
Line 2: After a thousand years of darkness, he will come. – This one speaks to me. I should have done in a weekish? I’m going to be without my desktop/cats/husband for a few days this week. That will give me some distraction free writing time.
I’ll let you know when I got it up.
Awesome. A week-ish sounds good and will give me an excuse to closet myself away and hammer something out. *prepares the closet*
A clock with an owl, a dragon, a unicorn AND a wizard? So jealous 😦
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It will be going up sometime afternoonish tomorrow. I set up it auto post, since I shall be otherwise occupied. I’ll check, mid afternoon make sure it’s up.
With Chuck being unwell looks like a good time to be setting challenges.
Indeedy! And I’d encourage everybody to tag one of their readers this week; no need to wait to be tagged yourself—potential fun should be shared, like a bag of delicious double chocolate chip cookies, not hoarded, like a bag of delicious triple chocolate chip cookies!—and maybe we can keep ourselves busy enough to survive until our next dose of Chuck.
I admit I am torn between the distraction of this challenge and thinking that I should be working on my novel then, thinking I can’t write this stupid novel and what I’ve done so far is no good anyway. For the first two moths it all went so well, I have no idea what happened, if you have any advise for me I’d love to hear it. Didn’t you say you were working on a novel? how is it going?
Sounds like you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of negativity. What you’ve done on your novel so far is probably fine, but maybe your frustration about not being able to continue is just building and feeding on itself. I’ve been there, and I get caught up on going back and trying to edit/”improve” what I’ve done, until it reaches the point where I feel like I can’t move forward until I’ve made the beginning perfect. In fact, moving forward and just writing with abandon and without care for how good/bad it is, is probably the best way past that block. I think that sometimes there’s a “honeymoon” period for a new project (whether it be a novel, a work of art, a new hobby, whatever…) when your motivation is high and you’re keen to forge ahead. A period of crazy creativity and free-flowing ideas which, after a time, begins to turn dull and become buried under the ennui of doing the same thing and running out of ideas, when the minutiae of writing starts to sap at your momentum. That happens to me on about 90% of the stuff I write, and the longer I work on a project, the more I experience it and find myself looking for distractions. I am probably the King, Queen and Prince of Procrastination. But sometimes, doing something fresh can give you new ideas and a different perspective on your novel, so sometimes it’s good to seize distractions, whilst at other times it’s good to ignore them and try to plough through the block. If one doesn’t work, try the other!
Not exactly advice, per se, more of a ramble, but I hope it helps. At the very least, know that you’re not alone with your frustration 😉 As for my progress on my novel… slow. Very slow. See also; distractions.
I know you were asking Spaceman, but I have written a novel or two, myself.
There could be a lot reasons why you feeling like ‘omg everything sucks, why do I bother?’. First of all, all writers have time when their they don’t care for their work. That’s simply the way it goes.
If you feel stuck it could be a lot of things.
* If you don’t know what to write, you might need to make a plot to give yourself direction.
*If its general negativity try writing a short story related to the novel. Remember yourself of why you love the story/characters/situation/whatever.
*if you can get pass a scene or spot write out what you want there, brief, then jump to what’s more interesting at the time.
Also, your first draft will probably suck. The two novels I’m shopping around have been a ton of drafts.Boy, did they suck. I had to edit to find the delicious creamy cookie center. Once they get accepted for publishing or I decide to self pub, they’ll go through more drafts as I go through final editing stage. Writing is the rewriting, the editing process more than anything.
Thanks so much for the encouragement guys, much appreciated. Looking back I did start out with the goal of just getting it down on the page no matter how bad it was, which worked well for a while. Then I got some great input and decided to go back and do some editing. Plus I’d been studying several books on writing and had leand so much, so I made more changes. A few weeks ago I got some concerning news about my Dad’s health, and my stepsister has been a pain in the butt, plus I dislocated my shoulder for the third time. I don’t think I’d realized how feeling down about other stuff, could affect my writing. I think that’s where the cycle of negativity started, I felt crap so I wasn’t writing much, which made me feel more crap etc. I think not having any feed back on my writing has added to my doubts too. I’m going to join a local writing group, which will hopefully help. On another topic, did you get your name from the Bonzo Dog -Doo Dah song?
Indeed, although *The* Urban Spaceman was already taken when I tried to sign up for WordPress and Twitter.
Best of luck with the writing group, it sounds like an exciting new adventure as well as a way of helping to re-establish your writing.
Hmm, after some thought, I want to say that line 2 is from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
Correct on both counts for Howl’s Moving Castle/Nausicaa! You get TWENTY brownie points! (redeemable on any Human world)
As for the definition of ‘flash fiction’, well, I had to adapt it from ‘one-shot’ on ff.net, and 5k words is a pretty decent count for a one-shot story there. I realise 5k is a bit heavy for true flash fiction (and I don’t realistically expect anybody to write that much on their blog), but WHAT THE HELL! Life is too short to be restricted by other peoples’ definitions 😉
WOOOOO HOOOOO! Twenty Points! Now I just have to decide what to spend them on. Transmat? Fission Field Generator? Wormhole Drill? Warp Trigger? The possibilities are legion.
If it’s not too early, what is the third line from? I like it, so I might write something based on it.
Personally, I’ve always been very fond of Subspace Interdictors—do you find your territory plagued by Space Pirates? Fed up of those surprise SCOLIS Audits catching you off-guard? Then merely set up a field of Interdiction mines around your colony and kiss goodbye to the problem of uninvited “guests” dropping in on you!—but of course, the choice if yours.
The third line is from one of my favourite Discworld Novels; Feet of Clay. It’s actually one of Pratchett’s humourous footnotes, so I would be incredibly surprised if anybody ever managed to guess that.
Line 1 is from Howl’s Moving Castle. Ha! My useless trivia cabinet has puked out something useful. How many bonus points do I get?
BTW, when did Flash fiction get expanded up to 5k words? 😉