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      CommentAuthorTim Bishop
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2011
     (9714.1)
    I might've dreamt this, but do any of the old Engine holdovers/early WC members recall our Prime Minister offering a Remake/Remodel-ish thread for writers?

    100 words or less?

    "Flash fiction", I think he called it?

    I'd love to see that come back. (That said, Mr. Prime Minister, if that kind of thread violates the DON'T DARE POST YOUR FICTION HERE, KID rules of Whitechapel, I totally get that too,)
  1.  (9714.2)
    As somebody far more attuned to Word, OOWriter, and Notepad than Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint, I would completely support a dedicated thread for prose reworkings of pre-existing properties.
  2.  (9714.3)
    interesting idea, but I have a feeling it's going to run afoul of rule #4 almost immediately.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2011
     (9714.4)
    interesting idea, but I have a feeling it's going to run afoul of rule #4 almost immediately.

    Yes, what he said. I'm wondering if those nice people over at Weaponizer might be able to help though...
    •  
      CommentAuthorDarthmoga
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2011
     (9714.5)
    go to /co/.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2011
     (9714.6)
    Yes, what he said. I'm wondering if those nice people over at Weaponizer might be able to help though...

    at your ssservice.
    What are we talking about here though?

    R/Rs for artists here have focused on characters rather than stories. Would a 100 word R/R pen-portrait of a character be something people want to read? I'm not sure. A sharp 100 word R/R of a story - now I can see how that might make more sense but...

    Aren't there potential IP issues related to R/R that the aura of Ellis protects WCers from but which would tear us less virulently bearded mortals limb from limb? I have honestly never really understood how this works. I always figured the copyright holders of properties used here for R/R are happy for the highly gifted creative types assembled to have some fun with their corporate assets under the aegis of wily Internet Jesus. In the unlikely event anyone is really upset about their IP becoming a R/R choice, they likely have some way to reach Warren already. Perhaps they receive a message the week before, written in the air in letters of dripping fire, informing them that their IP is about to be R/R'd. Who can say for sure? I don't know enough about the legal situation with regards to R/Ring, it may or may not be insurmountable for us.
    Having said all that, there's plenty of good material with expired copyrights that could provide a start.

    But, this is the main issue for me: I can look at 30 different artists' R/R takes on, say, Captain America, and there is a lot of diversity in ideas and execution. I'd say a lot of the pleasure of those threads is that everyone really goes the extra mile to serve up something fresh and distinctive. Chris G, F4, QED. The visual dimension allows artists to really stamp their individuality on their work (even similar ideas can have radically different executions) and the cumulative result is a rich, gorgeous tapestry of polycosmic variations on the theme.

    Would it be as fun to read a dozen different authors' 100 word R/Rs of the same story?

    I think I'd rather read a 100 word self-contained original flashfic story than a 100 word reimagining of an existing story, every time.

    If you're clever enough to R/R "Dune" in 100 words then you're clearly clever enough to write 100 words of sharp storytelling. Why not leave the heartplugs alone? I think there's a danger that it slides into banal facebook meme territory along the lines of "backwards movie plots" or becomes a minimalist subgenre of fanfic. /co/ probably is a better place to go for that.

    prose reworkings of pre-existing properties.

    This seems to suggest a wider scope than I've allowed for above. I'm totally open to any discussions about how R/R flashfic on weaponizer could be made to work. I don't mean to be a donnie downer, just looking out for potholes. Bring it.
  3.  (9714.7)
    I have an idea how it could work.
    The setup is - you are part of a small time story brokerage.
    A partner comes up with a title, your job is to write the 100 word synopsis/sales pitch to get investors so the company might actually get to produce the story.

    So everyone works off the same title, a hard 100 word limit (not including title or name of writer) and there we go.
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      CommentAuthortexture
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2011
     (9714.8)
    I think I'd rather read a 100 word self-contained original flashfic story than a 100 word reimagining of an existing story, every time.

    Agreed.

    Does it have to be a remake remodel thing? Couldn't we just run a Microfiction blog off the Weaponizer site, and make it completely open source, contributable by email? Citrus, if you reckon it would work we could run with it. The problem I think with doing an R/R thread for writers is what you would end up with would technically be fanfic, something I've tried to avoid on Weaponizer. But yeah, posting any kind of fiction on Whitechapel except as links to external sites would be a no, I reckon, because of the aforementioned Fourth Rule.

    There were mutterings of a Weaponizer forum being set up at one point...
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2011
     (9714.9)
    There were mutterings of a Weaponizer forum being set up at one point...


    This is relevant to my interests.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2011
     (9714.10)
    Does it have to be a remake remodel thing? Couldn't we just run a Microfiction blog off the Weaponizer site, and make it completely open source, contributable by email? Citrus, if you reckon it would work we could run with it.

    Been thinking some more about this, trying to figure out a way to preserve the things that make R/R work so well, but without it becoming a) too predictable or b) too fanfic-y.

    There's a basic solution that's not really R/R but definitely not fanfic:
    A weekly challenge (or fortnightly, more likely) where an image (or video, or audio, or whatever) is posted and any interested writers contribute a micro-flashfic based on the image.
    Use stimulus content as free of context as possible, preferably original/obscure, so there is no intrinsic fanfic potential. This seems like something that every SF magazine with a website should already be doing, and admittedly there are a lot of similar 'weekly art challenge' type threads already out there, but I haven't found any fiction ones yet. It's more like Make/Model than R/R though.

    Then there's a more-faithful-to-R/R solution, where we post stimulus media that's recognisably from some classic work.
    For a quick lazy example, set the stimulus as the audio of Roy Batty's "time to die" monologue and the task to produce a completely different backstory/future for that speech in under a hundred words. R/R the universe that supports that monologue, as it were. Maybe I just haven't had enough sleep, but I can see that kind of challenge having the potential to be fun if it produced a dozen tiny, original stories.
    The aim, as with the R/R threads here, is not simply to ape or even rejig the original source material, but, using a minimal stimulus as a common reference, to veer off in a completely new direction and take it somewhere totally other.

    There's probably a long discussion to be had elsewhere about what sort of things would make for suitable story stimuli, but I think the model (usually) used here of selecting a given character each week would struggle to translate well into mass-flashfic format. It might need to be a bit more flexible than that.

    Then there's the framing of each challenge: Most of the R/R briefs I recall offhand define a specific purpose - often front cover - that sets clear requirements and parameters on the work. What is the flashfic analogue for that? blurb writing? first paragraph? gah. Maybe not every element needs to be analogised exactly, but constraints of form make the works make sense with each other. Maybe a secondary rule that changed with each iteration - must/must not include dialogue, must have only female characters, must feature the words "loose", "watery" and "prolapse", etc etc. Something to tie all the threads together. This feels like a balancing act though - make the secondary rule too strong and all the stories will end up too similar.

    There is also the regular R/R injunction "this is all you know about it" which, if you'll excuse me getting pseudo-psychological, surely sets up some sort of tension for the artist (and audience), as they have to ignore/subvert the (eg) Captain America mythology already loaded into their brain. This feels like a crucial element of R/R to me - it's the "re" part, right? - but it's also the slippery road to fanficdom when translated across to writing. I'm apprehensive that the only way to police that border is with searchlights, plasma cannons and cold, cold blood.

    Probably over-analyzing this now. I feel oddly guilty dissecting the mechanics of R/R right here in public, and probably rather ineptly too, but it'll be worth doing if it generates any useful insights from other WCers.

    @Warren and Ariana - if this discussion grows ugly to you, or it suddenly becomes unavoidably obvious that we are trying to cut up and bastardize your ideas right under your noses, please make a fitting example of Bram and I promise never to bring it up again.

    We probably should work on getting that forum running.
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2011
     (9714.11)
    One time, Gaiman came up with a writing challenge on his blog or something that involved taking a line of poetry and rejiggering it into a story outside of the original context (I took a line from Beowulf and made it into a Galactica-y space opera, for example). Something like that might work, where you're just re-synthesizing something into a writer's challenge.
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      CommentAuthortexture
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2011
     (9714.12)
    A weekly challenge (or fortnightly, more likely) where an image (or video, or audio, or whatever) is posted and any interested writers contribute a micro-flashfic based on the image.

    This sounds awesome - an image prompt is always a great idea. Didn't you and Aaron J used to do something similar on LiveJournal?

    please make a fitting example of Bram and I promise never to bring it up again.


    Agreed, maybe we should switch this to an email rounder? Hit me up at texturemusick[at]gmail.com if you want in and have some ideas to share.

    We probably should work on getting that forum running.


    It looks like Citrus is game for helping set one up. I still have doubts about the numbers we would attract, but I'm willing to give it a try.
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      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2011
     (9714.13)
    Email brainstorming has begun, great response so far :D
    Looks like we will probably do something like this, hammering out details...
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2011
     (9714.14)
    Nice.

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