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Work Room - Week 16

I didn't see those results coming: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1007046.html

But I did, at least, see the Topic coming: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1007141.html

That's the one area where I knew what was occurring. ;)

Which is always useful - to have at least one aspect of life where you know what is going to happen next.

Often enough, we rarely do. Or we may *think* we do, only to have life surprise us again and again.

Sometimes it's our own writing that surprises us. Or our reaction to something, an emotional response where we weren't looking for one to happen.

As we stare down into the spirally pit of doom and despair that is the Top 50, what have you been surprised about when it comes to your own writing? (Not just for Idol, but in general.)


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 24th, 2017 03:09 am (UTC)
I'm surprised anyone is interested in reading what I write.
Really. I almost never feel truly "good" about what I've written. It doesn't matter how much positive feedback I get; I always am able to find some "serious flaw" with my own work.

That's why, after all this time, I still haven't submitted any of my pieces for paid publication.
Apr. 24th, 2017 05:37 am (UTC)
Re: I'm surprised anyone is interested in reading what I write.
Personally, the way you handle historic tales, the way you create scenarios that take the reader in, the way you open up the scene that bring it to life, I think you could take the most drab and dreary historic moments and turn them into bestsellers. Seriously, if you wrote historical pieces, even the ones you've already written, they would be great, primarily because I don't think anyone is doing anything quite like it.

Sure, it might mean getting rejection letters from editors and publishers that don't quite "get it" right off the bat, but I really feel there are others that think the same way as I do about what you do.
Apr. 24th, 2017 02:41 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm surprised anyone is interested in reading what I write.
I agree with Penpusher about you making historic fiction interesting enough to make me read. That's some talent!
Apr. 24th, 2017 11:17 am (UTC)
I didn't do my research into the full history of LJ Idol. Is there an actual recap/summation of seasons somewhere, short of just reading through everything? (I might add that Gary made this very difficult as there is no "archive" button anywhere, so the only way to go is through reverse scrolling or guessing. Is he TRYING to prevent people from seeing the history?)

I have gotten hints at times that "LJ Idol" was supposed to be, or perhaps was more frequently in the past, a writing contest about standard blog entries as opposed to one where people craft fiction. This is only the second year I've done this, so in a way I'm still quite new.

Maybe that's not true at all and I just got that sense. But the fact is, the couple of times I did write something more personal and true to the spirit of blogging during this season's competition, I got my worst responses!

So, my tendency is to stay out of the way of the story!
Apr. 24th, 2017 11:58 am (UTC)
You can still get to the archive from http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/calendar

When LJ helped redesign the page to add the overlay, there was only so much space for links. That's one of the ones they took off!

Short of that though, there is no "recap of the season". I'm sure if one appeared that 10 other people would come out of the woodwork and say that isn't how it *really* happened! ;)

Every season is a little different and the focus shifts along those lines depending on who shows up. Early on there were more blog type entries. There were some seasons that were more fiction-heavy than others. That's interesting though that you didn't do as well with more personal stories, given that I've been seeing an (in general) shift back toward that in the last year or so. (as well as people getting more experimental in format, which is something that ebbs and flows)

Apr. 24th, 2017 12:31 pm (UTC)
This :nodding: In a few of those earlier seasons fiction was considered verboten because it wasn't "real" enough -- the rallying cry was WE WANT TO KNOW THE REAL YOU. A lot of what's now considered "historical Idol drama" followed that. There were a lot of cliques playing Idol back then, too, whether it was people from a particular community or people who'd been playing Idol from the very beginning or people who banded together on their own LJs...ergo, it was in your best interest Survivor-style to navigate the GR and get to know as many of your fellow players as possible. That was just as important as what your wrote every week.
Apr. 27th, 2017 02:48 am (UTC)
I was around for some of those early seasons but even then, I didn't have time to get involved in cliques. I took the LJ part of LJ Idol to mean were were supposed to be writing journalistic nonfic back then and in those days it did seem the majority of what contestants entered was "real."

I loved the disclosure of secrets, revelations about my fellow man - it made me feel better about my own weird heart.

Truly though, there were some weeks where a topic lent itself to some really dark material and I would have to steel myself before delving in to the entries because I knew I'd leave in a darker place than where I started.

I was always aware, as I wrote, that no one wants to read 50 weeks of gloom and negativity. That's not really my speed anyway, but, I tried to keep my themes fresh, even if the imagery did come from real life, which is sometimes brilliant and sometimes miserable, but can make for a great story!
Apr. 24th, 2017 01:35 pm (UTC)
As a relative newcomer (2nd full season, 1 mini-season), I appreciate the information on early Idol. It sounds . . . interesting, especially to someone who doesn't write blog/journal entries.
Apr. 24th, 2017 02:36 pm (UTC)
There was definitely a conflict between the "non fiction" and "fiction" elements of Idol, as Kizzy mentioned.

What tends to be underplayed though is that the fiction element felt that "early Idol" had too many people playing "personal tragedy/"sob story" of the week" with their personal stories, to the point that a lot of them felt like it was all fiction anyway...
Apr. 24th, 2017 06:14 pm (UTC)
That kind of lingered for a while, even in the more fictional seasons. I the first season I played that I'd end up yelling at the computer a couple of times about what would happen if I had to read yet another "rape of the week/all men suck" entry. And then I end up writing a semi-serial this season about the fallout from a character getting raped. The more things change....

Edited at 2017-04-24 06:15 pm (UTC)
Apr. 24th, 2017 02:58 pm (UTC)
I really enjoy writing fiction. It's a different euphoria all together. So yeah, I indeed am surprised by my non-fiction that came out this season. Which also brings me to this week's topic for which I do not have any ideas.

Suggestions are welcomed. Wiki gave me this

Apr. 24th, 2017 04:03 pm (UTC)
I've been writing a lot of non-fiction this season. Mostly cuz I write fiction all the time, so it's nice to do something new. (Well, I write fanfiction all the time, but still.) I try to shape my non-fiction, though, in the shape of how I would write fiction, so I personally wouldn't call them blog/journal style.

But I think what's surprised me is the reactions I get. Sometimes the pieces I'm the most 'ehhhh' about get seem to get the best responses. Which is a good reminder that you never know what people are going to like, so it's better to write what I want and not write for other people necessarily.
Apr. 24th, 2017 08:57 pm (UTC)
What a tweest!
I've been surprised by a few things this year... the positive feedback I've received has been phenomenal. It's not just that it has been praise... it's that it's been helpful... in years past, I got tons of 'love this' type... but not the more critical (in the good way) as I have this year. I just wish I had the time to comment back more... I really don't even have time to be in this season, but can't refuse it's been AWESOME and so I am squeaking in under the line many times...

I've also been glad I've made time to read and vote most everything... I'm surprised at the amount of great poetry and the other unique entries, like photos and music. Lovely.

In the meta way, I've been really surprised how not cliquish it feels this year. That's nice. I'm a player that never had the time to get to know folks deeply or be parts of many communities and I don't do well pimping my entries and voting times... so sometimes in past seasons my votes would suffer from that as much as weak writing I think.

I have found this season to be very freeing in the sense that it has given me more confidence to be my real writing self... and not who I think will get the votes... (which could also be the age I have on me now... as I tend to care less what people want from me the older I get LOL)...

Overall, I am truly digging this season and want to thank you all for your kindnesses so far and for future ones, no matter how long I make it! It's a privilege and a fun time! :) Know that I am reading the wonderful feedback and appreciate it!

Oh, and thanks Gary, for not kicking me too many times for my obvious hippie ways.
Apr. 25th, 2017 01:02 am (UTC)
A little help here. Please?
Right now, my muse is absolutely nowhere to be found.

(Translation: I can't think of a single good story idea based on the word "Thunderclap".)

Yes, I know what the word means. But so far, whenever I think of such a loud, sudden noise... I just can't think of a single good story idea.

OK, that last statement isn't completely true. In actuality I have thought of a couple of story ideas which involve the sound of a thunderclap. The problem is that these stories are ones that I've already written and posted earlier in LJI. Right now, only these old stories spring to mind... and I just can't think of anything new.

So: Anyone have any interesting interpretations for the prompt that they know they aren't going to use? If so... would you please share your idea with the less fortunate? Thanks in advance...
Apr. 25th, 2017 07:59 am (UTC)
RE: A little help here. Please?
You can check this out :https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderclap_plan

Other ideas :
Once upon a stormy night - snoopy fanfic/childhood memories /clichés in script writing

You can name a character or a place - Thunderclap.

It could be a signal for something - robbery

There is a rubik cube game called thunderclap

Its also a dance move - flash mob /rock concert experience
Apr. 25th, 2017 02:41 pm (UTC)
I'll mull those over. Not feeling especially inspired at the moment, but that's not your fault...
Apr. 27th, 2017 02:40 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks.
I hear music lyrics all the time.
I immediately thought of Fleetwood Mac - "Thunder Only Happens When It's Raining..."
And "Thunder, Lightning...the way you love me is frightening. I better knock, knock, knock on wood, baby..."

Thunderclaps could be a variety of loud sounds - cannon fire,car crashes, dumpsters being overturned.

I live in Georgia though, in tornado alley, and I love a good storm, so I had to sort through my favorite stormy memories as there are several!
Apr. 27th, 2017 02:44 am (UTC)
Any LJIers out there with a Bye to spare?
I just couldn't come up with an idea that I was happy with this week, and I just had some personal stuff come up that I *MUST* deal with in the next 24 hours, so even if I had an idea I have no time to write it... and I'm out of byes.

If a fellow LJIer is willing to give up one of their Byes for me, that would be great. If you are someone like that, e-mail Gary and let him know that you're giving up one of your Byes for me... and thank you.
Apr. 27th, 2017 04:30 pm (UTC)
Please help!
Does anyone remember what those round things with the bars coming out of the center to hold onto that we ran around to get them turning and then we'd jump on and spin were called? I can't for the life of me recall. I need the name for my Idol entry.

Thank you!
Apr. 27th, 2017 10:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Please help!
Exactly! But I am fairly sure we called them roundabouts, just like we called teeter-totters see-saws. Thank you!
Apr. 27th, 2017 09:33 pm (UTC)
Wasn't sure if I was supposed to link... or what... but finally getting into the Home Game.

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


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