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Author: Scott

Cracking Open a Story-Egg with the “Hammer of Details”

For the last stream’s exercise, we did something we’ve done before: edit the beginning of a viewer’s story.

FateOfSilver was generous enough to allow us to use their story for the exercise. But this time, rather than completely rewrite what they had written, we instead focused on doing more detail-oriented editing. FateOfSilver had crafted a nice opening, but it was a little too fast and was missing out on some juicy specifics.

So we employed a tactic that I wrote about nearly two years ago: cracking open scenes with the Hammer of Details.

Take a look at the original and our rewrites below.

Cursed by the Gods to be Eternally Friendzoned

For the last stream’s exercise, we went back to a classic exercise: the Japanese poop book.

We’ve done this exercise a couple times before. What we do is 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.

This time, we opened up to the kanji for “meet,” and this is the sentence chat voted for: “At the exercise meet, I participated in the poop-carrying relay race.”

As always, hilarity ensued. Here’s what we came up with:

Writing a Story Using the Literal Tax Code

For the last stream’s exercise, in honor of U.S. tax day, we tried a new exercise: writing a story that starts with a random sentence from the Form 1040 Instructions.

We generated some random numbers and got three sentences from the 107-page document. All three of them were equally robotic and miserable, but that’s exactly what we signed up for.

Chat voted for one of them, and we started our story with it. Then, halfway through, we got another sentence from the document.

I’d say given those restrictions, we did pretty awesome. But you can read here and decide for yourself: (text from the Instructions is in bold)

Cooking up a Story Where Every Sentence Has a “Food Word”

For the last stream’s exercise, we tried a new exercise: writing a story where every sentence has a food word in it.

This was suggested by viewer iWriteGooder, and I liked it because of its unique restriction.

Food words could be anything from food items themselves (“bread”) to metaphors using food (“egg him on”) to cooking terms (“boiling”), the only exception being puns (no “he tried to catch-up” or “won’t you lettuce try?” allowed).

As usual, chat voted for the opening sentences and then we went wild. Here’s what we came up with:

Twitch Chat of the Dead Streaming the Living

For the last stream’s exercise, we wrote a submission to fellow writing streamer Erica Drayton’s online magazine StoryZine.

We had four prompts to pick from and chat voted for this one: “Write a story about an “oddities collector.”

I don’t want to post our story just yet, since hopefully it will appear in the magazine, but I will say this: the story’s title is “Organic Medicine.” Take that however you will!

After that we did a writing prompt and chat voted for this one submitted by SuperBreakfast: “It has been discovered that in the afterlife, the deceased humans can now “spectate” anyone on Earth. You just got a notification stating that you have 300,000 people spectating you, in first person, for the rest of your life.”

We decided to take this in a unique direction. Rather than from the point of view of the person themself, we went with the point of view of the people watching. Specifically, the point of view of the chat, basing it off Twitch stream chat.

Here’s what we came up with:

Taking Over the World with a Mundane Superpower

For the last stream, we tried out a new exercise: the 7x7x7 exercise.

To do it, you open up to the 7th page of a random book, find the 7th sentence on that page, and then write a 7-line story that starts with that sentence.

The sentence we got was from page seven of Patrick Rothfuss’s book The Wise Man’s Fear: “Graham stood with his thick hand poised to knock on the door.”

It actually ended up being a ton of fun, so much that we wrote two stories, and chat contributed several amazing ones of their own creation.

Here’s what we came up with: (the stories were 7 lines long in Word)

Editing Olive Garden Fanfiction

The last stream was special guest Abbey’s last chance to join us for a while, so she got to pick what we did. And she picked one of her favorite exercises: editing auto-generated fanfiction.

We’ve done this a couple times before. For those unfamiliar, what we do is we go to the website Fanfic Maker, put in some parameters, and then auto-generate an entire story. We read the whole thing, and then rewrite the beginning, trying to stay as true to the original intent/spirit as possible.

As usual, the original story was very… unique. (You can read it here, just prepare yourself mentally first.)

Here’s what we came up with for the rewrite:

Disaster in the Library Bathroom

A few streams ago, we did an exercise where guest-star Abbey wrote a story and then I edited it. To get Abbey’s writing juices flowing, we had her write about an embarrassing life experience, and it worked pretty well.

This time, we did the same thing, with Abbey writing about another miserable experience: April Fool’s Gone Wrong. Since April Fool’s was just a few days ago, we wanted to get the story out there while it was still somewhat relevant.

Last time, Abbey’s first draft actually ended up surprisingly good, and we didn’t have to do much editing at all. This time around though, thankfully it was much more of a mess! We had plenty to work with.

Here’s Abbey’s original and our final edit:

April Fool’s! You’re Reincarnated as a Dragon

We had to end the last stream a bit early, so we combined the exercise and writing prompt together. To do that, we picked a prompt, then gave it the twist that it had to be themed around April Fool’s Day.

For the writing prompt, chat voted for this one submitted by UExpectedANameHuh: “When they die, humans get reincarnated into animals depending on their actions in their life. You have been reincarnated as a dragon.”

How did we turn this into an April Fool’s themed story? Read it and you can find out.

Creating an Elevator Pitch Using Your Name – Writing Stream Recap

For the last stream we tried a new exercise: getting a pitch for a novel by using the letters of your name.

The chart to make the pitch has been going around online recently, and I recently saw it on Twitter. Using the letters in your name, you get a word from seven columns, and then create a quick “elevator” pitch for a story.

Since Abbey’s full name is seven letters (“Abigail”), we decided to go ahead and write whatever story it came up with for her. Here’s what we got: “An edge-of-your-seat meditation about a young student’s adventure to pursue their writer’s block.”

Ho boy. An “edge-of-your-seat” meditation… what the heck is that? And someone pursuing writer’s block… why?!

It was a challenge, but here’s what we came up with: