For some reason I've had an story idea roll around in my head. Now this in and of itself isn't exactly what one could call "new" with me. A better part of my journal is made up of various stories in various stages of start up. But this is a bit... different.
Remember back in school, usually around jr. high or so, when you finally got to a creative writing part of English/grammer/writing class? No?... well, make believe then. The teacher would get you into groups of four, everyone take out a piece of paper, and write the beginning paragraph of a story. Right then and there, so exact quality isn't a factor. But then after writing that first paragraph, you're asked to pass your paper to the left. Now you have someone else's paragraph, and good god
what the hell did they write?! Now with this sheet, you are to continue what they started. Don't discuss it with whoever wrote it, just read it and continue. Wash, rinse, repeat until you get your original paper.
Whatever it was you may have originally thought of your paragraph is gone. Left is a Frankensteinian-worthy monster of literary effort. A piece here, a rag there, and somehow it still, kinda, sorta, makes a wee bit of sense.
Having said that, I forget what the hell the assignment was meant to do. Maybe something about creative differences or Death of the Author, I dunno.
But for some reason I've wanted to give that experiment another go lately. Get a small group together and just have fun with a story that has no purpose other than enjoyment. No trying to undermine the previous or next writer with how you think it should ultimately turn out (also no stopping after just four paragraphs) but keeping the story going, or bringing it to a head should it seem time.
Probably not with each person starting their own and passing it around, that's a bit much, but one person starting and then playing creative hot potato just for shits and giggles.
Did you catch Work of Art
when it was on over the summer? Another in a line of Bravo-formula reality gameshows, WoA was a cousin to Project Runway
, Top Chef
, and a few others that aren't really as good as those two, getting together a small crowd of personalities with talent into a stress inducing space and timeframe and telling them to make something. Good times.
I liked it, mainly because like PR, it wasn't a stupid reality show just following people around for - whatever reason somebody thought it was good idea to follow them for - or just a gameshow of people doing things that, while entertaining, had no real value except entertainment. No, these people were actually doing something. They had talent, to varying degrees, and were told to put up or shut up. And often the moments when they did neither were the most interesting.
Some I liked, some I didn't, others I loved, and still more I cocked my head sideways and wondered just what they were thinking, even after they just explained what they were thinking. But it was all interesting. Something was actually being created, they weren't just playing a game. They were playing a game where they needed to have the skills that got them there, not just a good interview and a made-for-TV ratings personality.
I've had Interviewing Leather
in my favorites tab for a while now. I found a reference to it, thought it might be interesting but was tired at the time, so I saved it to read it later. Took a bit, but I finally did.
It's pretty awesome. The story reads like a Rolling Stone article (which it should, that was the basis of the story), where in a magazine writer is assigned to interview a supervillian. "Hunter S. Thompson meets Poison Ivy."
The world is a fairly basic comic book world, cities with superheros and villians, and the general public that live around them. But there is an excellent sense of history to it, that things have been this way for a while and it was just another aspect of culture.
All the characters feel real, even the few "supers" we meet. They have reasons for doing what they do, and for how they go about doing it. You can see where a sense of comicbook shallowness seeps in, but instead of reading about it you're "behind the panel" is a way and see why that shallowness exists, why it's there. Everyone is a real person, finding or justifing their place in the world. No one is right, but no one is wrong and everyone is just doing what they think is best, however "best" is defined.
It's not a comic book, and not totally a deconstruction of them, but it is one of the best "real" comic book stories I've read in a long time.
I can't say I'm a real fan of Glee
. I don't have cable to watch it, and when I did, I wasn't really impressed by the story.
But the music is and always will be the main draw (well, that and Jane Lynch as Sue), and sometimes they really hit that part out of the park.Teenage Dream
is an acapella version of a Katy Perry song, and to me is infinitely better than hers. These guys
already went into a better breakdown of the song than I could do, as well as the episode the song comes from. But one thing I do get from it, even just from that one clip they have of the song, is that it suddenly has much, much more meaning than anything Perry put into it when she sang it.
And, probably justified, the show most likely got the idea for the arrangement from this guy right here
. Bonus points for showing your work.