Last stream, along with special guest Abbey, we did one of my favorite exercises: editing auto-generated fanfiction. We did this last week and it was a lot of fun, so we decided to try it again this week.
We used the auto-generator Fanfic Maker, and just to give you a taste of what we were working with, here’s the beginning of the story we were given: (all spelling/punctuation mistakes left as-is)
Yolanda kicked Abbey hard. “You father-of-a-goat, you are going to pay!”
Yolanda smashed her blade hard down on Abbeynearly cutting her ear off. Abbey screamed in agony and then lunged at Yolanda. Abbey ripped Yolandas head off in one move, sending it spinning accross the floor. Yolanda’s body slumped down, spraying strawberry jam everywhere.
Suddenly, Yolanda woke up.
“Did you have another bad dream, my love?”, said Brenda (earlier that week Yolanda discovered she was a lesban).
It may not be apparent by that opening, but Abbey is supposed to be a supervillain and Yolanda is supposed to be a superhero, and they’re supposed to be meeting Abbey’s parents before their wedding.
Just a little hard to spot, right?
So when we re-wrote the beginning, we tried to stay as true to the original as possible, but also wanted to give the reader a reason to keep reading, rather than just giving them word-cancer. Here’s what we ended up with:
It always sucks to meet your fiance’s parents, but it’s even worse when the two of you have spent years being archnemeses. Literally. In Oklahoma City, I was known as the Dreaded Abbeyzix, setting up dastardly plans and creating death rays, all of that great villain stuff. But every time, my plans were foiled by the Heroic Yolanda, with her fancy cape and flying ability and catchy catchphrases like, “You will do no more evil, you evil-doer!”
The first three times she got me thrown in jail I hated her. But as I spent time stewing in prison, I thought about how she specifically sought after me, specifically destroyed my weapons, and the way her fingers brushed against my wrists when she cuffed me. I wanted more. No, I needed more!
When I escaped, I sent Yolanda an invitation in the mail to my next crime spree. She showed up just in time for my villainous monologue, and she was the perfect audience. She patiently listened and nodded and even gave some pointers for next time before she smashed my vat of water-poisoning acid to harmless bits. Just like she smashed my heart.
When I escaped from jail again, the first crime I committed was hijacking a truck full of chocolate and riding it to Yolanda’s secret base in the abandoned tornado shelter outside the city. I made sure that they were her favorite: chocolate bits with strawberry jam filling on the inside. Yolanda was so happy that she didn’t even call the cops right away, and she let me pop a few candies into her mouth. Once I heard the police sirens on their way, I asked her if she’d go out with me that weekend, and she said yes.
Five weeks and five more jailbreaks later, I popped the questions. And now our wedding was going to be in a month. There was only one problem: my parents.
It’s not the most polished beginning of all time, but it’s definitely something that I wouldn’t mind reading more of! As it turns out the idea of a superhero and supervillain falling in love, and then having to meet the supervillain’s parents, is pretty hilarious.
This just shows that it’s always good to get something down on the page. No matter how horribly your first draft goes, you may stumble upon a seed of awesome that you can work with later. Don’t be afraid to discard what you’ve already written, especially if it’s just weeds holding back your seed of awesome from sprouting to its full potential.
After that we moved on to the writing prompt, and the chat voted on this one by _irish_potato: “You have spent years in a research lab ‘sacrificing’ thousands of mice. One day a feline goddess appears out of nowhere, pleased with your tribute to her.”
Thanks to some hilarious suggestions by chat, especially the one that gave us the perfect ending, I’m really happy with where this one ended up.
If you want to join us and help write a story by trolling in chat, or share your own writing for feedback, then we’d love to have you. We stream on Twitch every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 7:30pm-9:30pm (U.S. Eastern Standard Time).
And you missed the stream, you can still watch it here on rerun until Twitch deletes it.
Hope to see you next time, friend!
Featured image: Pinterest