Accountabilibuddies For Creative Projects!

#1

In the Super Cabinet Discussion Thread we were talking about the different projects everyone is focusing on, or wanting to focus on. I found it so inspiring just to read through what y’all are getting into and thought it would be fun to have a thread where we could talk about what we are working on, suggestions for small steps to move forward on the project, sharing our goals and supporting each other in making it happen, hence, “Accountabilibuddies”.

All of you are seriously so inspiring, I can’t wait to see what we create. :heart:

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#2

I’ll start. I have a few ideas for creative endeavors I have been wanting to practice for years but always seem to give up and never follow through. One of the biggest ones for me is drawing, specifically character concept art. I downloaded an awesome video lesson on Udemy a number of years ago and have gotten about a quarter of the way through it. My goal right now is to keep watching it and start practicing regularly, begin with maybe a half hour a day? Get my body used to making lines on paper at least.

The other goal for myself is to start writing a cohesive short story. This interest is recent and still not sure where to go with it, I’ve been practicing writing in perspective but I want to come up with an idea and stick with it. I figured a short story is a good place to start with hopes of it developing into a novel. I’ve been obsessed with the idea of “World Building” and want to try my hand at it. :raised_hands:

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#3

Wow! Your ideas are already inspiring! Like you, I attempted to get myself motivated to do something “productive” and “creative” like writing a short story, but I just did not have “anybody” to kind of push me to do it. I guess having someone who strictly watches over your progress might help because you would have the feeling that someone is expecting “something” of YOU. If I mentally motivate myself to do something, then I can mentally distract myself also, and it is not effective at all.

Now, I hope that this discussion thread can be a way for me to invest in and keep track of my progress? I have been inspired by the “Midsommar” movie trailer and wanted to write a short folk horror tale of my own too (or you can think of it as a fable/fairy tale). I just need to have “someone” or “a way” to encourage me to not give up half way through the writing process.

How about this? Maybe you, @WizardAstraz, and I or anyone who keeps track of this thread can post a 5-sentences paragraph of a short story we are working on so we would not feel overwhelmed by the amount of writing and also receive some feedback from the community before we continue another 5-sentences paragraph on the next day. This will be an exercise for anyone who wants to participate.

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#4

I’m totally down, we’ve been playing with this a bit in our sci-fi thread too. Or even posting ideas of where you want to go with it, themes, plots, characters etc. Maybe post pieces of the skeleton of the story. Like writing a bit that describes what a certain character is like? Or what a setting in your plot smells like?

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#5

If you are ready to just give us what you have, then I would say a paragraph of the story itself and not just ideas. You can accompany the paragraph with a brief description or idea, but it is optional. That way, the community can expect more actual contents on the next day and so on.

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#6

I think I mentioned that because it might work better for my project. The world building I’m going to construct from lots of little pieces so I don’t get overwhelmed.

I read recently from an article somewhere on the forum about maps, that some authors won’t start writing until they have a map so they know where they are going. I’m kinda thinking the same thing. I don’t really know where I’m going but if the fragments get built up together as I go I’ll have an idea?

If that makes sense :sweat_smile:

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#7

Oh okay, gotcha! So if that is the case, then all of us should have a map planned out for a few days to receive feedback. How long do you think would be enough to settle down concrete ideas? Like a week or two would be good?

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#8

A week or two sounds good. That way the creative impulse can be followed through with, there is context to the story written and there’s a communal story with the making of the story itself.

I’m also thinking it doesn’t have to be limited to writing. Posting pictures of maps drawn or characters created could also be neat. Or any other multi media extractions can also be welcomed here.

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#9

I like this idea! I am currently working on a collection of short stories. The main connecting idea is that all the stories have a specific object connected to them, with significance to the plot. Each new story will have an ink drawing of the object as the chapter image. Main theme is the way that stories convey importance onto objects. Considering interjecting with a main story of a girl staying with her uncle for the summer. He’s telling her the stories. Moving away from this though, because the stories are told by different voices. I’m thinking of calling it The Cabinet of Curiosities or just The Cabinet

I have one finished (ish) called “The Secret Sea” and another in the beginning stages of being drafted called “Hornets”. I have two others as concepts, maybe as many as many as 11 if I’m taking my master list seriously. This would be part of my capstone for my major so that is my justification for it. My main worry if that I tend to end stories in a way that one of my professors might call ‘too cute’. Trying to get away from that and work with nuance better.

I guess a possible schedule would be a story a week? Concept free write on Mon., Drafting Tues, Wed; break Thurs, edit Fri, send out for peer edits over the weekend?

What do you guys think?

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#10

Yes! I like your writing schedule! That would de-cluster the writing process and allow us to establish more ideas. As for your story, are these short stories that the uncle tells his niece intertwined? I am not sure about what you mean by “too cute” ending, but I assume that it is like “happily ever after” kind of ending? Maybe you can put a little twist or a “signifier” that connects to the next story if you are thinking about writing a series of tales. That way, when each story is about to end, the girl in the narrative would ask a question like us readers before transitioning to the next one.

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#11

I love the idea of your short stories! I’ve been thinking of something similar using imagery with the written story. Can’t wait to read/see more about it!

I like the idea of a loose schedule as well, keeps a bit of a focus to prevent getting lost in a detail or a different project :face_with_monocle::heart_eyes:

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#12

Cool! Do we want to just post stuff here or share google docs?

Too cute meaning kinda cliche, happily ever after. Stories are only connected by the objects. Thinking about taking the girl and her uncle out of the collection entirely. Focus is on objects and stories. I think it’s starting to distract from that. Maybe the cover art could have a printing press tray with all the objects in it to connect them. I think they’re only gonna be connected thematically. I want them to also function as stand-alone pieces.

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#13

I’d say post it here. Keeping everything on the forum maintains consistency and connection with the community. :heart:

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#14

This sounds great! I’ve just this afternoon picked up a story I stopped adding to about 2 years ago, and (in between snacking and watching quiz shows) I’ve managed to add 1326 words! I think this was the right time to go back to it. Despite my procrastination the words have flowed pretty easily. I’ve even edited much earlier parts of the story that seemed a little… ‘meh’ now that I’m (a bit) more mature and more widely read.

Quick outline - it’s a collection of short stories a bit like @Ravenwing’s by the sound of things! Each segment is based on a dream that I’ve had and recorded in a dream journal. The stories are connected by a sort of… ‘travelling mechanism’. At first it’s not clear whether the main character in each segment is the same as in the previous one (the stories are completely unrelated in terms of time and location), but then things trickle through that make you think perhaps they are… I think ultimately it’s going to be a circular narrative, as I don’t see any real way to end it except back where it started. Anywho, would be great to get feedback and also to get that encouragement to just. keep. writing!

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#15

Awesome! Glad you’ve picked up the writing again! I Love that the story came from actual dreams you had. Kinda infuses it with a personal quality and I imagine a bit surreal too! :sparkles:

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#16

I agree with @WizardAstraz. I think the character(s) in each dream should have a background story to explain why they exist in that surreal realm. Also, are these characters alternate personalities of one person or they exist on their own? Are you planning to connect them all together in the very last story?

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#17

Ah, so… are the characters in a dream or not? As far as each character is concerned, they are real people and their world is their reality. So through this ‘travelling mechanism’ you sort of land in media res with each character. They do have back stories that are explored within each segment, so you’re not left completely in the dark about who they are and how their world operates.

Connecting all at the end - not sure if I am. Like I said, so far it feels as though it’s going to work best as a circular narrative, and at this stage I can’t see how that could work if all characters occupied the same space.

Did any of that make sense? :sweat_smile:

Edit: also, just because the stories are based on my dreams, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re surreal (in an Alice-in-Wonderland kind of way). For instance, one of them has turned into a sort of dystopian future, and the only ‘surreal’ aspect is that planet Earth turns out to have a consciousness.

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#18

Well, the idea of it coming from dreams is surreal :blush: In either case I Love where you’re at with it. Can’t wait to read one of the stories :sparkles:

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#19

… I guess that’s true :sweat_smile:

Would you like to read one now? I can post the beginning and the first real story. I’d really appreciate feedback on the beginning (although general feedback is always good, too), as that’s the part I have the least confidence in!

Edit: I’ll probably post something tomorrow now, I really need to get some sleep - had not realised how late it had gotten! :sweat_smile: Good night, everyone, see y’all later!

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#20

Ok accountability day, Monday–> concept:

“The Hornets”

  • Shows mental illness in a family coming down through the generations.
  • Gradually, family members become more and more equipped to deal with depression, anxiety, etc.
  • A story of growth and renewal, based on the fact that my grandfather struggled with wasp’s nests on the farm constantly. When he died, my dad began getting wasp nests under our eaves. The struggle of temporarily conquering something only to have it come back.
  • Character of grandfather based on my great grandad who was hardworking, but also suffered from alcoholism. The man worked two fields at a time–a neighbor’s during the day and his own at night. Idea of monomania, survival, family, and heritage.
  • Internal fight within mountainous exterior
    Family curse—> What triggers it? Overwork?
  • Not super happy with what I have but here are some excerpts so far:
    (Warning, some sensitive themes, including suicide): Hornet Piece (WIP-1.5).docx (483.8 KB)
  • Another shot at it (I’m bleeping out swearing but it’s there)
    “We didn’t have a large yard mind you. Central Californian real estate was bad enough without adding any extra bits of land. We lived in the town of the $1,000 dirt clod as it was. Our only main consolation was the half rotten deck tacked onto the second floor leading off of the living room. And even that was taken from us once the hornets moved in. We tried every poison and spray we could find but those little [mother frickers] refused to die. They buried themselves in dark rot of the eaves and hummed their constant drone. If the TV was turned down low,there they were, constant, unrelenting, niggling in the periphery of your ear. It was enough to drive one to madness. After all, that’s what happened to grandpa after all was said and done.
    I come from a family of men who wage war with nature, but never the large forces. We respect storms, I know of no one who’s ever gone to sea, fire and wind and tornado and quake are far above us. We are farmers at heart. We never razed a bit of land or declared that a river must be dammed. No, we wage war on the little things. My great grandad fought a twenty year battle with a stump. Grandma had a tentative rivalry with the possum under the deck. Grandpa fought the hornets. I think it’s more a quiet madness, this thing that drives us to fight enemies that may wish us no ill will, like the bully who does not know his own strength. But I think that lack of self awareness makes any slight against us feel all the more infuriating. A man who fights and knows he fights, that is someone we can understand. The man who drives us to madness and does not know it is the one to be resented. That possum just wanted the cat food on the deck, she was not sent just to make grandma’s life more difficult. The stump was there long before my great grandad stepped foot on the land- when it was still a tree and my great grandad was stardust. But I do believe those hornets were evil. Pure evil. Whether they knew it or not was unclear but they killed a man. The stump never did that.”
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