Friday, August 29, 2014

More Stops Along The Game of Writing

Looking back at my writing the last few weeks I've discovered some new stops along the John Is Writing Game:

Grandma Matriarch:  It's The Queen! It's the Powerful Old Woman!  It's... Grandma!  (Very seldomly, Grandpa!)  She's rich, she's experienced, she's got controlling secrets, she's got cookies!  She might be a high priestess, or a sorceress.  She might be dead but still influencing story events, and she very likely represents the Old Order the protagonist must appease, learn from, subvert, or outwit.  Roll Die:  1-4 Have some cocoa and stay where you are.  5-6 Go back to Dion Fortune.

Weaving on the Loom of the World:  What's that Grandma has?  It's a loom, and her shuttle passes the weft between the warp lines as they go up and down, drawn by the heddle.  Wait a minute; you say Grandma's a musician:  what is music but melody and words woven together?  What's that--Grandma is a physicist:  No problem, that's what Superstring Theory is for!  Roll die:  1-2  Stop writing the story to research what an inkle loom is, 3 Go back to the Dictionary of Obscure Usage, 4 Go to Mystical!Magical!Science!  5-6 Lose a turn singing "The Circle of Life."

Dream Sequence:  (Cue Stevie Nix singing, "Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions.")  Lewis Carroll sends Alice down the rabbit hole, The Author sends characters to sleep.  In a pinch, a Tarot Reading will suffice.   Roll Die: 1-2 The Readers Are Confused, go to Dion Fortune.  3-4 Lose a turn trying to make this dream actually advance the plot.  5-6 Stay here.

Between the Worlds: Is the character half-human, half-faerie?  Are there cyborgs in the story ("I'm not a man / I'm not a machine / I'm just something in between")?  Maybe someone's leading a double-life, secretly pretending to be a mild-mannered secretary by day, but walking the astral paths by night.  In any case, there are two worlds involved, and the main character is straddling them.  Roll die:  1-2, Lose a turn watching "Amok Time" (that old Star Trek episode where Mr. Spock almost kills Jim Kirk in a mating ritual.)   3 Go back to "Gathering the Lost.  4-6 Stay here, between the worlds.

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