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Work Room - Week 20

Veterans, and those who have survived the Sudden Death Write-offs know the pressure of an Open Topic. http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1020534.html

Where do you go when there *are* no artificial limits imposed? Or are all "topics" actually a form of Open Topic?

That's definitely something that has been discussed before, with differing opinions.

How do you cope with open topics? What worlds will you unlock, and of course, what price will there be for unlocking them? *cue dramatic music*


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 2nd, 2017 02:31 am (UTC)
All topics are technically open topics; giving us a word or phrase is just a spark for one's imagination. Just my .02!
Jun. 2nd, 2017 02:56 am (UTC)
Fully agree!
Jun. 2nd, 2017 03:02 am (UTC)
Jun. 2nd, 2017 03:19 am (UTC)
I'm planning to go to the big graduation reception of a program all about finding your story. It's called the MFA in Visual Narrative. I want to go, but the session starts in the summer and I'd have to already applied.
It also is a really expensive program in the long run.

Still it may inspire me towards an open topic. Figuring out a story that must be told that I haven't or maybe I have but not in the way I shall.

I can only try my best to succeed and hope you all enjoy it.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 06:36 pm (UTC)
That sounds like an interesting program!
Jun. 2nd, 2017 06:48 pm (UTC)
This is detouring but maybe journalism and personal shall end up being what I write for LJ Idol. So here's a link to the program itself, especially if this isn't the path I do writing wise.... we do have till Tuesday after all and I have no plans till Sunday (and those are in the air).

Jun. 2nd, 2017 06:27 am (UTC)
The positive about having a topic is it gets you moving in a particular direction. It gives you a framework. But you can break the frame, as it were, by interpreting the topic to be what you want it to be.

The point is, the topic is like a signpost. It leads you along. But you can always choose a different route.

An Open Topic means you have to plot your course all by yourself. If you feel comfortable with that notion, especially if you have broken your share of frames, that really isn't a problem.

This is the first encounter of an "Open Topic" I have had in my two seasons of LJI, and my approach is a simple one: what do I really want to talk about? Whatever that is will be my best choice because that's the topic I'll be able to express the best, to give the most energy and effort to and will likely be the best entry I could craft at that time. That's where I begin.

But then there's the issue of HOW. How do I turn the topic in my head into the piece I'm going to write? That is where the rubber meets the road. Would I tell a story from my past history? Craft a fictionalized version based on that true story? Delve into pop culture? That's based on what I think would work best, how I want to tell it, or what I think would be the most enjoyable read.

I considered going back through my entries and looking at what got the best responses and maybe trying something like that again, but that seems disingenuous, somehow. Playing specifically to the audience probably would work for some, but I don't think I could, if only because it wouldn't satisfy ME.

And that's my mantra. Ultimately, everything I write really is for ME. I just hope that someone else likes it, too.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 06:39 pm (UTC)
Yes! This exactly. I have to be satisfied with whatever I write and my approach; if not, I feel like the audience will know somehow. It's always best IMO to write about something you're passionate about.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 06:52 pm (UTC)
I never play to the audience...
I always play to the work.

I am the subject. All of me. What I create is what I hope you enjoy. If you don't? Oh well.

Now this goes out the window when money is involved, unless it legitimately attacks integrity. Making more of what the audience craves unless you legit don't get why that's what worked and hate doing it and get offered cashola to make more of it... boom.

No money though? Make what YOU love unless that audience suggests they really love something and you yourself are stuck on what to even do next.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 10:03 am (UTC)
I'm going to do any week, whether we have a specific topic or an open topic. The first thing I do is "get Zen." In other words, I go about my life, with the topic in the back of my head, waiting for something to percolate.

I am thinking of possibly doing something about coincidences and interconnected fate. I recently had a very good example of a coincidence/interconnection that happened at the Memorial Day BBQ. Would like to tease out those threads and see where I can go with it.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 11:47 am (UTC)
Usually I dread Open Topics, but I've had an idea since March that has not lined up with any of the official topics all Spring, so I am really excited to share it with the gang.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 06:40 pm (UTC)
Ooh!! That gets my vote!
Jun. 2nd, 2017 11:52 am (UTC)
I'm playing with the idea of using "Open Topic" as the topic, mainly because I have something in the Ideas Folder that I can already use.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 02:53 pm (UTC)
This time I know exactly what I'm doing. In a previous season I was voted out just before a topic that inspired a plot bunny that has lived in my head ever since then. So this is my time to write it out.

Amusingly someone else this season did the same thing with the same topic and we had a conversation about it at the time, but I don't remember who it was.
Jun. 2nd, 2017 03:04 pm (UTC)

is this your "intersection" piece?! i'm so excited to read it and that a topic came up for you to write it :D

Jun. 2nd, 2017 03:30 pm (UTC)
Hello! Yes, this is it, I'm concerned it's lived in my head for so long that it's grown to epic lengths but I'm still curious to see what it'll be. Luckily my husband is a decent editor if I need it.
Jun. 3rd, 2017 02:44 pm (UTC)
Open Topics are the hardest for me. A specific topic, even the ones I don't particularly like (sorry, Gary) rolls around in my brain until something comes out. But an Open Topic gives me no direction, nothing to get me started. In the past, I have gone back to old topics to see if something new pops up, but that has never worked. I'm left to my own resource, which means my old friends, Panic and Frustration.
Jun. 5th, 2017 07:32 pm (UTC)

Ack! It's almost the deadline and I got nothing. Including no byes left!

Jun. 6th, 2017 01:27 pm (UTC)
I typically use my LJI writings as a sort of "sort my life" open therapy process. I choose to do so again with this piece and I actually used "open" as a prompt. :)

Good luck to all!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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