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Month: February 2018

A Guardian Angel Saves You From Himself – Writing Stream Recap

Since we’ve been trying out a lot of new exercises recently, for the last stream we went back to the classics: the poop book.

For the “poop book” exercise, we open up a Japanese kanji book to a random page, translate the poop-related example sentences for that kanji, and then chat picks one of them and we start a story with it. We’ve done it a couple times before, always producing hilarious results.

This time, we opened up to the kanji for “combine/group,” and this is the sentence chat voted for: “If you and I combine our powers, then we’ll be able to create even more amazing poops!”

What a crappy starting point! Here’s what we came up with:

Writing a GUT-PUNCHING short story – Writing Stream Recap

For the exercise portion of the last stream, we wrote an entry to a contest that one of our viewers (Nicole Dark) is holding. The prompt is simple: write a gut-punching story in 1,500 words or less.

After brainstorming a bunch of ideas we chat, we finally settled on one and started writing. I was expecting only to do about 500 words, but I got so into it we ended up about 100 shy of the limit!

I really love how the story came together. It delivers not only one, but several punches straight to the gut. And the last one is a doozy.

You can read it here:

Writing about writing about streaming about streaming – META Writing Stream Recap

For the last stream, we did a different sort of exercise: we held a discussion about what type of emote subscribers to our stream should get.

We were recently invited to join the Twitch Affiliate program, and one of the benefits is a subscriber emote. To decide what to go with, we brainstormed ideas the same way we brainstorm for a story: by creating an idea toolbox.

We asked a bunch of questions about the goals of the emote, came up with some answers, and narrowed it down. We still don’t know exactly what we’re going to go with, but it should end up being something that’s fun to use.

After that we moved on to today’s prompt, which was a pretty crazy one….

Swapping and finishing stories with a viewer – Writing Stream Recap

For the last stream, we did one of my favorite writing exercises: swapping a half-written story with someone and finishing it.

For the stream, faithful viewer Octavia Memories volunteered to participate in the story swap. We both began with the same auto-generated sentence, then wrote for half an hour, swapped stories, and finished the other’s story.

This was always one of my favorite exercises to do during IRL writing workshops, since you can see all the different directions people take the same information. Not only does the same opening sentence lead to completely different starts, but then the endings can become totally different beasts than the beginning.

The sentence we started with was: “She advised him to come back at once.” Here’s the stories we came up with:

Setting the Scene and Tone in a Story – Writing Stream Recap

For the last stream, we did something during the exercise portion that I’d wanted to do for a while: talking about setting the scene/tone at the beginning of a story.

One common mistake that beginning writers do which I’ve seen a lot during freeshare, critiques online, and during workshops in real life is that they tend to front-load their stories with backstory and history. But, unfortunately, we don’t care about history at the beginning of a story, because we don’t know who the people are yet.

So for the exercise, we came up with a prompt and then wrote the very beginning of the story, setting the scene and tone and hooking the reader, all without giving any sort of backstory or history.

Here’s the one the chat voted on: An Elf that’s the last of her kind due to war with Humans, disease, and other elves refusing to reproduce.

Here’s the beginning we came up with:

Worst Date Ever: Drug Dealer Surprise! – Writing Stream Recap

For the last stream, it was Valentine’s Day here in Japan, so we decided to have a love-filled stream.

For the exercise section, that meant dredging up memories from my past and writing about one of my worst dates ever. We’d done this before a few months ago, and it was a lot of fun; plus I still had plenty more bad dates to write about.

The chat voted between three choices, settling on “drug dealer surprise” as the story I’d write. It was a bit hard remembering all the details from high school, but I think I did a fairly good job:

Bird-Boy and Doughnut-Girl’s Love Story – Writing Stream Recap

For the last stream, we were joined by special guest Abbey, so we decided to try a new exercise: Abbey and chat wrote the beginning to a story, and then I had to complete it.

I left the room as they concocted the beginning, and when I was allowed to come back… I immediately regretted the idea.

I had no idea how to make sense of Abbey/chat’s story. Much less knowing where to take it, I barely understood it!

But then something clicked, inspiration hit me, and I knew what I had to do. Thanks to a few fun other suggestions, we ended up with something pretty beautiful: (bolded section is what Abbey/chat wrote that I had to finish)

Peeking Over at the Witch Next Door – Writing Stream Recap

For the last stream’s exercise, we did something we hadn’t done in a while: writing using randomly-generated sentences.

While it may seem a bit silly to use randomly-generated sentences, they can actually make for good exercises. First, they force you to work your creative muscles. Second, they’re perfect for breaking writer’s block. And third, they help alleviate writing pressure, since if what you end up writing sucks, that’s fine; it was just a randomly-generated sentence anyway!

For our exercise, we started our story with a random sentence, wrote a bit, got another random sentence, wrote a bit, and then got a final random sentence to end the story that we had to write to. Here’s what we ended up with: (bolded sentences are the randomly-generated ones)

The Tesla Roadster’s REAL Mission – Writing Stream Recap

Today we started off the stream by doing something I’d been wanting to try for a while: re-writing a viewer-submitted story.

During out last stream, viewer QueenLavana submitted a story during freeshare that I thought would be an excellent candidate. It had potential, but the beginning was getting bogged down by backstory, was too quick in places, and left the reader not knowing what to feel. After getting their permission, we re-wrote the beginning during the exercise portion of the stream.

We made sure to pay attention to three things while re-writing: (1) giving the reader the who/what/when/where/why so that they can visualize and understand what’s going on, (2) showing the reader how how to feel by setting the tone, and (3) not being afraid to take it a little slow and set the scene.

Here’s what we came up with:

Mario’s “super mushroom” trips come to an end – Writing Stream Recap

After the ten stream streak of the Rubbish to Published series, last stream finally marked us going back to our roots during the writing exercise section: random sentences.

Random sentences are a great way to give your creativity a workout. And thankfully we have a great source of them: the kanji poop book.

We’ve gotten some “crappy inspiration” from the poop book before, and it turned out great. This time, we opened up to a random page, getting the kanji for “tea” and three poop-themed sentences to choose from.

The chat voted on which of the three poop-sentences would start our story, and this is what we wrote: (bold sentence was our “random” sentence, “brown” is “tea-colored” in Japanese.)