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23 May 2013 @ 12:28 pm
Meme and HAAALP!  
First, a memelet (I almost typed Memley, which is what Christopher calls me. Or Memmi Quadremi):

I have 174 works archived at AO3. Pick a number from 1 (the most recent) to 174 (the first thing I posted there), and I'll tell you three things I currently like about it. If I ever had some non-writing time, I'd post more pieces over there, but it's mainly still all my random-fandom stuff.

Second, the current Idol set of prompts has me stymied. Argh! I can choose any of the 4, but I'm not getting any lasting ideas for any of them:
  • "Na wa ooooo" (a Nigerian Phrase meaning 'This is serious', or 'This is interesting/hilarious/unbelievable' etc., which might not confound me so much were it not in Nigerian! Distracting!)
  • "Um..."
  • 1337 (leet-speak is the source of this one, though not the only way to use it)
  • A directive to "Write about Indians"

    o_O Thoughts? Suggestions? Plz, help me brainstorm!

    BEWARE OF JENMAR.: MINE IS AN EVIL LAUGHclex_monkie89 on May 23rd, 2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
    "Na wa ooooo" is actually the only Nigerian phrase Hardison really knows.

    "Um..." is what Dean says every time Castiel pops in at an awkward moment.

    1337 is how Castiel types, and Dean will never not find it hilarious how much it bugs the shit out of Sam.

    "Write about Indians" is a prompt Sam got given in class one time which turned into a five-page paper about the difference between East Indians and Native Americans and why stupid essay topics from stupid teachers are stupid.

    I know this is less than helpful, but those are the first things I thought, so maybe they might help bounce through your brain until it hits something that fits for the comm?
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
    I'm trying to think how to apply those to original fiction, since I don't do fanfic for Idol.

    These could help! Thank you!
    BEWARE OF JENMAR.: Writers Block - SamandDeanclex_monkie89 on May 23rd, 2013 07:52 pm (UTC)
    Yeah, you do fic for just about everything else, but sadly I only tend to think in fic terms, so...
    phyllis2779phyllis2779 on May 23rd, 2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
    Hah! I'd almost forgotten about that Burn Notice drabble!

    I still like the phrasing of that, Sam Axe's "voice," and the hope that maybe someday he WILL find the right woman. So long as he keeps looking he thinks it's possible.
    (Deleted comment)
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
    I see you have similar feelings about all of those prompts! Even if I picked East Indians rather than Native Americans, I don't feel inspired and there seems to much room to get that 'wrong.'

    I like your suggested approach to 1337. I actually lost an internet friend I'd known for years because she suddenly decided that I was anti-lesbian based on a comment conversation... and I'd thought I was agreeing with her! Still puzzled over that one.

    Thanks for offering some suggestions!
    alien_writings: Question Brainalien_writings on May 23rd, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
    there seems to much room to get that 'wrong.'

    This is what would worry me, if I were doing Exhibit B and saw that topic. It does seem like the kind of prompt where you would have to tread very carefully.
    Seantalon on May 23rd, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
    Na wa ooo is interesting. Doing some more digging, it looks like 'oh man' or 'oh goodness' is also a translation. I think there isn't that much room to interpret, because it's a direct phrase (in a different language, at that). I feel like it skews towards nonfiction slice-of-life stories.

    I think I dislike 'um...' just objectively, because it's so... meh. I can't, at least, think of a creative way to take it that doesn't have this boring obvious moment of hesitation/awkwardness.

    1337 comes from leetspeak, and, like, ugh. I thought we left that stuff in the 90s where it belongs. That being said, cyberspace cyberpunk is rife with possibilities. The year 1337 is also the start of the Hundred Years War, if you like historical fiction. Dante died a few years before, and Chaucer is born a few years after.

    Writing about Indians seems like it could have some promise, whether you're talking about Native Americans and the arrival of Columbus or the Mayans and Cortez or Gandhi and the British or post-apocalyptic roamers on the plains reverting back to spiritual beliefs. I dislike how it's phrased, but I think there's multiple ways to take it.
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2013 08:03 pm (UTC)
    I feel as if both the Nigerian phrase AND the "Um..." skew toward non-fiction, but they're not inspiring any interesting (lasting) ideas.

    I am halfway tempted to approach 1337 in a really literal way. Often, when I hate a prompt, I resort to doing that. Hence the crack stories written for both "The Weak Force" in S8 and "Ultra Deep Field" in Exhibit A!

    I'm glad you added the Mayans into the Native American/East Indian mix I'd thought of. I don't know if any of those will take off for me (historical fiction/non-fiction really isn't my area), but you never know!

    Thanks for offering some ideas!
    theun4givablestheun4givables on May 23rd, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
    I personally liked Na wa oooo because it had different meanings -- the ones Gary gave could easily be stretched into fiction pieces, to me. Situations where the characters know that something serious is happening, etc. Or something unbelievable happening to them, etc.

    Honestly though I would probably go with Um... and just do an awkward/funny situation between characters. I mean, I would try like hell to avoid using the prompt in the post but Um... is such a normal thing to say when one doesn't know WHAT to say. So maybe going somewhere with that, too?

    I dunno man, I ~ideas~ and this is a case of "take the prompt as loosely as possible" territory for me.

    Also, na wa ooo could be an alien language in a sci-fi piece? I mean, I know it's from an ACTUAL language, but there's another way to twist it...
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
    The different meanings WERE slightly helpful, but I think the Nigerian context is flummoxing me.

    I'll think about the "Um..." more, though I'm envisioning a string of non-fiction anecdotes that may not be the best approach. Argh...
    theun4givablestheun4givables on May 23rd, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
    Ehhhh, do we really have to keep the topics in the context they were given, though? I mean it was like NIGERIAN PHRASE at first, but now I've managed to move past that.

    Yeah, "Um..." is probably the most versatile if you can nail it. Or even go for the topic at a meta level -- making the readers go "Um..." xD
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 24th, 2013 07:02 am (UTC)
    It doesn't have to stay in the original context-- it's more my thinking process that it thwarts. I feel like I'd have to explain the prompt somehow, and I absolutely hate that!

    Topic meta! You know, I think that was my Week 2 in Exhibit A as well!
    alien_writings: Question Brainalien_writings on May 23rd, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
    These prompts are really not inspiring me, but "1337" can imply "awesome skills at something," so...maybe something about an elite crime-fighting team that investigates crime in some kind of virtual world? Or people from a virtual world being somehow transported to the "real world" and speaking a wildly different dialect/language and failing to get along in the "real world" at all?

    Or you could write a story about a high school student who gets "Locker 1337" and it turns out to be haunted by the ghost of a dead hacker or something? Or you can do the same thing with a house with number 1337?
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2013 09:15 pm (UTC)
    I swear, you have the most intense imagination! I was hoping you'd respond to this question. :D

    I like your ideas for 1337 a lot. I'd thought of the house number thingy, but none of the others. *rereads and sets to 'germinate' mode*

    Thanks for the ideas!
    alien_writings: Question Brainalien_writings on May 23rd, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
    Aw, thanks! And you're welcome for the ideas. :D
    Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on May 23rd, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
    Unlike everyone else I have no love for "1337". Yes, I am officially old :p

    "Um" and the Nigerian phrase hold a lot of possibilities. To me, they both scream nonfiction, but they can also be applied to fiction.

    "Write about Indians" can be taken many ways. Essay, of course, but also historical fiction. In the latter case, there's a bit of research involved.
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC)
    I think I'm almost as old as you (I'm 49), because while I WORK with computers every day (software engineer), the leet-speak just made me groan. The rare time I've loved it was in a translation of the 404 error into different languages (including Welsh!), where "hax0rs" was one of the language choices. ;)

    Did you write your story (or decide your approach) already, or are you still mentally groaning over it like me?
    Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on May 23rd, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
    I know which one I'm doing. It's just a matter of refining what I want to say about it before I actually write something :)
    Lose 10 Pounds of Ugly Fat...  Cut Off Your Head.n3m3sis42 on May 24th, 2013 01:48 am (UTC)
    It doesn't have to be about leetspeak though. You could interpret it more loosely to mean any number of geeky things. I mean, it evolved from being used by hackers to being used by every idiot who wanted to look "cool" (which is pretty silly).
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 25th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)
    Well, that's helpful!

    It's completely unknown to me (after my time), so the nuances aren't at all familiar. :)
    n3m3sis43n3m3sis43 on May 25th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
    I'm using the hacker angle, for what may be obvious reasons. :)
    (Deleted comment)
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 23rd, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC)
    Write about Indians makes me think of school, history, and all that jazz so I'd rather avoid it.
    Yes, me too. "The Northwest Indians were skilled at surviving long winters in a time long before preservatives had been invented. They created pemmican, a combination of berries, lard, salmon, and..."

    (Deleted comment)
    The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 24th, 2013 07:09 am (UTC)
    You know it wouldn't go well! There'd be research or shopworn tropes or some kind of inadvertant insensitivity-- nothing approaching that Sherman Alexie poem about how the perfect Indian is a white man.

    #31...Oh, my god. Mapping The Tides is still probably my favorite of my Sam/Dean stories, and that's among several others I'm really pleased with. I still love the way it works in the context of S2, the overarching theme/atmosphere driven by the title (which was chosen before the story was even begun), and the long sense of ache slowly resolved.

    I wish I were still writing the boys like that, and just mourn that loss of connection with them. But I'm sure glad I wrote that particular story back when so many things seemed possible. ♥