I originally planned to have someone new here as a Mentor. But they needed a little more time, and this week of all weeks I didn't want to leave you hanging without some sense of guidance. Especially with this as the new topic http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/493182.html
Well, I could have - but I figured that I would be nice. So I invited Tea back for one more week. Thanks Tea for agreeing to help out!!
Btw - That "10th tribe" I mentioned in today's Green Room is not the "tie-breaker" tribe. The 10th tribe is going to be formed by your own actions. The first 3 contestants to link thieir entries on each page of the topic thread will be moved to the new tribe. (unless they are in the tie-breaker tribe, in which case that bar moves accordingly) So it is completely your decision on who is, and isn't, going to be a part of the new tribe! I'm putting your future in your hands, let's see what you do with it!
But that's not why we are here - Once again, here is Tea!!
Ready for the biggest shock of the day?!
I’M MENTORING AGAIN.
I know, right? I bet you can’t believe it. Here’s what happened: I gave all the other potential mentors food poisoning so Gary had no choice.
The past couple of these things I’ve started with some good advice. So today I’m going to start with some bad advice.
One of the worst pieces of advice I know (and you probably know, too) is to “always expect the unexpected.” The problem with this is that if you go around expecting things, they are no longer technically unexpected. Even things like zombie walrus attacks. And then the things you gave up expecting to make room for expecting zombie walrus attacks, like eating scones and having to pay your rent, will suddenly be the unexpected things-- and you’ve now failed at this piece of advice.
Perhaps a better piece of advice is this one from the Russian poet, Boris Pasternak.
”Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.”
One thing that I do a lot of for fun is online writing-based roleplay. It’s a lot like dramatic improv, except it’s written down. One person writes what their character does or says, and then the next person writes their character replying. The most exciting thing about it, for me, is that sometimes, someone else’s character will do something I never expected. It will totally throw me for a loop, because of course, I have had the scene and how it will go planned out in my head.
The most important rule of roleplaying is not unlike the most important rule of improv: don’t contradict what your fellow players throw at you. Don’t deny it, don’t try to force it or shoehorn it into what you would rather it be. I was pretty bad at improv back in my high school drama club because there was this boy I had a crush on in the drama club, and I would try to turn all our improv scenes into excuses to make him rescue me from near death or something equally romantic (I thought!) like that. I didn’t contradict the rules I was given, but I tried to force it back into what I wanted it to be, and that wasn’t really much fun for anybody.
Since then, I’ve learned that the best thing to do, and the thing that is usually the most entertaining and fun, is to just roll with the punches. I mean, yes, this is probably a bad idea if the situation you were not expecting is a zombie walrus, but it is a pretty good idea if the situation you were not expecting involves writing on the internet.
In some ways, it can be a great inspiration to let your guard down even more and let your inhibitions go, do something you never thought you would do in a million years. It gives you an opportunity to go in directions that your own line of thinking wouldn’t have taken you in, or to use the opportunity to take the unexpected one step further.
Here are some questions for you to think about, and answer here if you like:
--Do you like surprises?
--What is your initial reaction to something unexpected? Does it change when you’ve had some time to think it over?
--What do you do when you get an Idol topic that confuses you or isn’t what you were expecting?
--What are some things you’ve come to expect from Idol so far? Is there anything you’re worried you might become complacent about?
--Are there things you’d like to see from your fellow writers that would be pleasant surprises?
--Think of some things you could do that you think would surprise your readers. Would your surprises be stylistic surprises? Subject matter surprises? Something else?