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Work Room - Week 25

The new topic is up. Or rather, the new topic choices are up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/793590.html

Once again, you have choices to make, that will end up impacting choices you will have further down the road.

How does it differ - having more than one topic idea in front of you instead of just one thing?

Is it easier? Because you can pick and choose? More difficult? Because you need to make a decision?

Different folks react in different ways to that sort of thing - would you rather have the structure of YOU MUST WRITE THIS or the freedom to pick and choose?

When you get right down to it, all topics are a form of "Open Topic", in that the only one that you are answerable to is yourself, and the votes of the readership. But sometimes that can be enough to sabotage your brain, and trip you up.

What techniques have you developed that have proven successful in approaching a new writing situation?


( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 15th, 2014 02:27 am (UTC)
Erk. Wasn't fond of these the first time around. Barely understood most of them. Will have to rack the brain this week. At least we have plenty of time.

(Also, frist!)

Edited at 2014-10-15 02:30 am (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:41 am (UTC)
You're frist!!!
(no subject) - karmasoup - Oct. 15th, 2014 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo - Oct. 15th, 2014 11:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karmasoup - Oct. 15th, 2014 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ellakite - Oct. 15th, 2014 03:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:36 am (UTC)
Overwatch wasn't part of the original group IIRC.

...I've never heard of it.

:dashes off to Google:


From Urban Dictionary: "elite soldiers trained for controlling and support of an administration or occupation, ex. The American and British overwatch currently is in Iraq trying to keep the peace. I'm reading this as overwatch = peacekeepers

NYT's "On Language" column discusses more here.

Edited at 2014-10-15 02:44 am (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
yeah, I didn't think Overwatch was a part of the original intersection topic list, but I'll take it...
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Oct. 15th, 2014 02:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
I'm just glad that my gut, "Oh, we're writing four entries this week," was wrong. ;)

Decisions are not my strong point. And I have a thing I'm only half done with due tomorrow, and it's a combination of fiction and a research project, so wheeeee. But I've poked at these before, and I think I'll be okay.
Oct. 15th, 2014 05:30 am (UTC)
(no subject) - jem0000000 - Oct. 15th, 2014 08:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:59 am (UTC)
I step away from the situation, honestly, and let my mind cast about in odd directions. Without fail, something comes to mind. And if it's not the right thing, then at least I'm writing, and I can put it into the "spare parts" folder for future use. It means that a forced topic and an open topic are pretty much the same thing for me ... biggest difference is how many guiding lights I have to steer by.
Oct. 15th, 2014 04:21 am (UTC)
::nods in agreement::
(no subject) - n3m3sis43 - Oct. 15th, 2014 10:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:59 am (UTC)
Hmmm... I dunno. I think it's a little easier having an option of topics, to help inspire the entry, but overall as you said, they are all technically a form of "open topic".

Not sure which one I'll choose as yet, but I'm hedging towards either Shibusa or possibly Overwatch...
Oct. 15th, 2014 04:18 am (UTC)
Does this mean the topic our partners took is out also? I actually combined two with intersubjectivity (such a mouthful!) And captcha the flag.

Just trying to figure out if I've two or three options to pick from, and choice is always good. :)
Oct. 15th, 2014 05:33 am (UTC)
I know what you mean. Your partner's topic seems almost as used as your own, does it not?
(no subject) - eternal_ot - Oct. 15th, 2014 05:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2014 05:49 am (UTC)
Hmm, apparently 'overwatch' is not limited to the military term. It can mean 'watch over' as well as 'weary someone with long wait or lack of sleep'.

Yet I have I have never encountered it in any of these contexts.

Which of them seems the most common? The military one?
Oct. 15th, 2014 08:49 am (UTC)
I'm thinking of it as a thing you do when you're kind of surveying a lot of ground, for whatever reason -- "the tower squatted on the rise, seeming to overwatch the town with bristling stone brows" or something. But I might have it confused with "overlook", honestly.

Edited at 2014-10-15 08:49 am (UTC)
(no subject) - kehlen - Oct. 15th, 2014 01:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jem0000000 - Oct. 18th, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - n3m3sis43 - Oct. 15th, 2014 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kehlen - Oct. 15th, 2014 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dmousey - Oct. 15th, 2014 01:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 15th, 2014 10:08 am (UTC)
I don't like open topics, because I like to have a jumping-off point for my ideas. However, I really love turning the definition of a given topic around. I've noticed more gravitation toward the literal interpretations in this season (I think). Which means I've had a harder time getting inspired by the topics because I start off thinking my topic connection won't be perceived as "right."

tl;dr: I am neurotic. :)

I thought I was going to be really unhappy with seeing these topics again but I am currently sort of inspired by them, so that's nice.
Oct. 15th, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC)
For some reason I like them a lot less now than the first time around. Probably because back then I could twist half of them to suit what was most on my mind, and now I can't do that anymore because I have already used them that way, lol.
Oct. 15th, 2014 12:10 pm (UTC)
I personally enjoy the structure of the prompts. Although, that being said, having a few to choose from is a bit refreshing. I probably won't be going with "Captcha the flag".. partly because the slang makes it seem a bit less approachable to me. You'd have to write a very specific kind of story or character (or both) to fit the prompt. (Anyone else have any thoughts on this?)

I'll probably go for Shibusa or Overwatch. I really like Intersubjectivity as well, but it's a bit daunting. I feel like it's something that D.H Lawrence does particularly well in his writing and I'd be scared to even begin to approach it.

Oct. 16th, 2014 03:29 am (UTC)
The specific definition is in regards to the internet "captcha" tests that require you to enter numbers and/or letters in order to identify you as human. When I used it for the intersections I took it very loosely and focused on the concept of determining the humanity of a person.
Oct. 15th, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you sweet baby Jesus, the due date isn't until Monday! That gives me enough time to get my Behemoth Tower hooked back up to the Infernal Machine. I know that a major piece of hardware has gone bad and I haven't heard back from the Fixin' Shop yet. Getting a bit antsy here.

On a different note, I laughed my evil laugh when I saw the Return of the Topics. I hereby promise I will not write another disturbing suicide story. Roy Rogers' horse can stay in the stable this week.

Edited at 2014-10-15 12:44 pm (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I missed that! Thanks for pointing it out! Yay we get the weekend!
Oct. 15th, 2014 01:15 pm (UTC)
Most of these topics actually seem like they're right up my alley.

They also seem kind of Surreal Darkness-ish. Which hey, I'm here to write new stuff and get it done and up, not win, so if I want to use Sims pictures and a sort of serial thing I will! I do what I want! ;)

And I really like Surreal Darkness and it's fun and it's easy and fast, so no burn out. And it's a way to participate in the Sims community at the same time and do two things at once - have something for Idol, and have something for my Sims friends. :)

Actually I think it would be fairly easy to include all those topics in a Surreal Darkness bit. Since Surreal Darkness is supposed to be abstract and surreal and random and whatever I want it to be. :)

So...does "serial thing I have been writing for a bit over a year now using Sims scenery shots and that is very fluid and easily adaptable to almost anything" count as a technique for approaching a new writing situation?
Oct. 15th, 2014 01:21 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Shibusa, here is a little gem, Paris at Night by Jacques Prévert:

Three matches one by one struck in the night
The first to see the whole of your face
The second to see your eyes
The last to see your mouth
And the complete and utter darkness to remember them all
While holding you in my arms.

Translation credit

[French original]Trois allumettes une à une allumées dans la nuit

La première pour voir ton visage tout entier
La seconde pour voir tes yeux
La dernière pour voir ta bouche
Et l’obscurité tout entiére pour me rappeler tout cela

En te serrant dans mes bras.

Edited at 2014-10-15 01:22 pm (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2014 07:41 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful, I'm so glad you posted it.
Oct. 15th, 2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
Found this quote about intersubjectivity:

An intersubjective truth asserts a “fact” that a group of people agree implicitly to treat as axiomatic, and as though it were an objective truth. All moralities and collections of “common sense” are thus sets of intersubjective truths."

Also this site seems like a good reference:


Oct. 16th, 2014 06:38 am (UTC)
Oh, this is a nice one.
Oct. 15th, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
Usually, I spend some time racking my brain and it just goes "Lol, no."

And then, when I'm doing something else, like trying to sleep, an idea pops up.

I'm going in a much darker direction (well, for me) this time probably, and that bothers me. My more serious pieces tend not to do as well, for one, and this is something that I'm not particularly comfortable discussing.

On the other hand, maybe that discomfort is a reason to write the piece. I don't know.
Oct. 16th, 2014 06:42 am (UTC)
That depends on what the discomfort does to your writing. Were your other serious pieces also discomfitting to write?
Oct. 15th, 2014 03:53 pm (UTC)
Gah! I didn't like these topics the first time around! I'll see what I can do.
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