Said Kellnerin, "How about: loneliness and found objects?" That Sunday happened to be the last day before the deadline for WFC, the Seventh, and it being only noontime in bo's neck of the woods, she knew he wouldn't have started yet.
More ideas were tossed about, and then someone remarked, "I hope there'll be more entries to the WFC before the deadline."
"Next time, we should write a story together." We've attempted this kind of insanity before, though not for the WFC.
"We could do it this time!"
It was just crazy enough -- not to work, exactly, but for us to try it.
We avoided the logistical nightmare of splitting up the story by beginning, middle, and end and trying to write them simultaneously, but gave each person a different character and point of view instead. ana went delving in a spam bucket for names, and Kellnerin hit up a random plot generator for a premise. It returned the following:
Setting: a tiled subway station
Character: a thief
Conflict: someone needs money, but has none
ana mixed that with the names and came up with the following sketch: Rick Grimm, thief, is pickpocketed by his intended victim, Rosalyn Gallo. Willis K. McDaniel, transit cop, witnesses the deed. Rebekah Springer was a name we held in reserve, for a bystander or something else.
When bo suggested that subway stations also feature CCTV cameras these days, and that there'd be a more distant observer of the scene, Kellnerin instantly knew she'd want to put Willis in the monitoring booth, watching. If you've seen the movie Kontroll, maybe you know why that limited, camera's-eye view was appealing.
Then when bo also suggested the additional perspective of the thing stolen, ana knew that was the part bo was born to write.
Which left ana with Rosalyn, the victim who wasn't.
It was amusing to at least one of us that the thief supposedly at the center of the auto-generated story was the one not represented.
We made up some physical description of Rick and Ros, then we each started writing, in three blocks, comparing notes in between each section. Turned out Rosalyn knew Willis, and that Willis knew Rick. And the wallet hid a picture of Ros and Wil, back in the day (a working title, "Ros/Wil BFF" was abandoned because the characters are not seventeen years old, but it entertained us due to the UFO-esque speculation of the wallet inhabitants about Wil's scar on the strip of photos). Backstory sprouted up in a somewhat ad hoc manner and some of it even made it onto the page (screen). Somewhere along the way, some of us tried to remember that the theme was supposed to involve loneliness, and found objects.
After the first drafts were done, we compared notes and tried to reconcile the discrepancies, see if there was a way these pieces could tell one story. We cut back some -- the moment when Willis recognizes Ros definitively on the camera, Ros discovering the photo in the wallet -- maybe pruning too severely, leaving too much in the gaps rather than in the events that were told, but hey. No one can say we didn't have fun.
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