1. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000

    Anyone up for something experimental?

    Discussion in 'Writing Prompts' started by Commandante Lemming, Jul 3, 2014.

    I'm not sure this is the right section of the board to be putting this in - but I usually surf the Character and Plot development subsections - and I've been intrigued by the threads where someone asks for help creating new characters and then you have the inevitable debate about "that's your job as an author" or "I can't make characters for your story" etc. I usually throw in character suggestions because I figure that if all I give are biographical details, it's really more of a prompt to get the other person's mind building around that skeleton.

    SO, with that being said, I wanted to do an experiment using entirely crowd-sourced characters to see how the resulting fiction looks, and whether it works.

    If anyone else is interested, I will do the following:

    1) Post a few quick words about the setting and a character description of a protagonist.
    2) Ask readers to invent the rest of the cast (say, 3 other characters) using similar bio info sheets (first 3 realistic characters submitted are in).
    3) Ask everyone who submitted a character to write a short piece (page or two - longer if you want) - featuring all 4 characters

    I think think this could be a fun way of seeing how "helping" with characters does or doesn't work - and how different people's minds flesh out the same skeletons.
     
  2. Ameronis
    Offline

    Ameronis New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    England
    I think this is an interesting idea. Although on the one hand, you might initially think that it's the authors job to come up with the character, locations and story all by themselves, in reality, it's usually the total opposite of that. Most, if not all ideas we get come from outside inspiration, so characters based on what you've seen, heard or experienced aren't uncommon. There's nothing wrong with suggesting and prompting.
    I could suggest a fully fleshed out character to you, which you might reject based on it not quite fully fitting in with the story you have in mind or the other characters, but on the other hand, perhaps there might be an element of said character that you like and take away with you and build on.

    I look forward to seeing how this develops.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  3. lookingforstars
    Offline

    lookingforstars New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    California
    I would be interested in doing this, definitely!
     
  4. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Well - I got two comments and a like, so I guess I will count that as three people interested and start. I said I would supply a setting and one major character, so here goes. The rest of you will have one week to submit your own characters and then maybe we come back two weeks from today with finished pieces?

    Setting:
    Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada - January, 2015

    In the dead of the polar winter, the Speaker of the Nunavut legislature - an 86 year-old Inuit elder - is found dead in his office. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police must investigate.

    Genre:
    Magical Realism

    Character:
    Corporal Juan Pablo Tejada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
    Age: 25
    Born:
    Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
    Childhood: Immigrated to Montreal with his family at age 10. Found it quite difficult to adjust to the much colder climate, as well as having to pick up both French and English in addition to his native Spanish. Lived in low-income neighborhoods growing up and got in some trouble in high school. Did not go to college but instead joined the RCMP, which provided the structure and mentorship that he needed to successfully mainstream into Canadian society.
    Current Situation: After spending his first two years in the RCMP working in his native city, Corporal Tejada was asked to fill an open slot in Iqaluit - which came with a significant pay increase but also the challenge of of working in polar conditions. Having started his life in the tropics and never fully adjusted to the cold in Montreal, he was totally unprepared for the conditions, especially the constant darkness of his first polar winter (when the story occurs). He spends most of his time assigned to bust drug and alcohol related crimes (substance abuse, poverty, and lack of housing are a big issue in Nunavut) - but gets pulled into the investigation of the assassination investigation.


    So - there's my end of the bargain...so READY, SET, GO!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  5. lookingforstars
    Offline

    lookingforstars New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    California
    Character:
    Andre Smith
    Age: 61
    Born:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Childhood: Andre spent most of his childhood and early adulthood in his busy hometown, studying law at the local university to become someone who could make a difference. He lingered constantly at the bottom-most rungs of the academic ladder, however, never quite realizing the potential he thought he saw in himself. Halfway through his college education he was introduced to hard drugs by his roommate Luke Reynolds and immediately became hooked. He took to selling his possessions for money to buy his next high, and gambling the little money he made from his side jobs in the hopes of buying even more. Eventually he was kicked out of his university for losing his tuition check in a bad hand of poker (he had the kings; someone else had the aces), and left the city altogether, drifting across the country aiming only to put food in his mouth and gas in his car.
    Current Situation: The drifting phase of Andre's life ended when he settled down in Iqaluit to marry his wife Sophia Clarke in his late 30's. He sobered up and quit drinking for over twenty years, with the intent of putting his past behind him, focusing on being with his wife, their dog, and his job as a janitor at the Nunavut Legislative Assembly Building. But every now and then he still yearns for the heavy adrenaline and reckless chaos of his youth. As of late, he's taken to having a drink every now and then when he's alone, cleaning the floors of the building at night. He knows the other janitors won't come to clean in his wing, so sometimes he tries other things, more experimental things he picks up sometimes from the kids around Nunavut. It just so happens that he has the keys to the Speaker's office, and gets dragged into the investigation as a result.
     
  6. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Wow awesome character. This is why I like stuff like this - because you focussed on an entirely different side of this setting than I would have.

    Since this is developing slowly let's give it another three days and see if we pick up a third character. If not, you and I can both throw in one more :)
     
  7. lookingforstars
    Offline

    lookingforstars New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    California
    To be honest the setting was so totally new to me that at first I simply wasn't sure what kind of character to make, but he's what popped into my head. I'm sure I'd be down to make another if need be too.
     
  8. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Yeah I was going to use a more normal setting but Nunavut popped into my head last minute so I figured I would throw the curveball and see what happened.
     
  9. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    1,275
    Is it too late for me to come up with somebody?
     
  10. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Go ahead. That will finish the cast then :)
     
  11. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    1,275
    Marvin Osborn
    Age: 25
    Born: Montreal, Quebec


    When their single father lost his job, Vinnie (then 16) and his sister Katie (then 14) started dealing drugs to support the family, with Katie manufacturing the product and Vinnie selling/networking. By the time Katie got to university, their business had grown so much that a local kingpin started to take an interest; before the end of her first semester, they got an "offer" to sell all of their product to him. Since Vinnie didn't need to deal personally anymore, he started experimenting with card gambling and internet scams.

    Half a decade later: Vinnie has just been exposed by scam baiters, and now the law is after him. He landed in Iqaluit Airport with $4000 and a fake passport, and he is planning to lay low for a few weeks before contacting his sister and/or trying anything illegal.

    ---

    Should I make this longer?
     
  12. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Nope I like it. How long do we want to write. A week? Two? I'll say we submit in a week but when they get done they get done. No submissions before Sunday August 3rd because we don't bwant to see the other works.
     
  13. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Hey - sorry for letting this thread die a while back - I have started working on this , but all of the time I scheduled to work on it fell out from under me. I will post something at some point - the relationship between these three interests me.
     
  14. Swiveltaffy
    Offline

    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    201
    Location:
    Roanoke, TX
    EDIT: I posted in the wrong thread. My apologies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014

Share This Page