Writing Exercises Proposal

I wanted to throw this out there to see if anyone would be interesting in engaging in some writing exercises here on the forum. Here are a few suggestions-

Writing Relay:

A story is started and each writer takes turns posting the next segment, handing off each post like a relay race. versions of this could be…

Serious- Each writer puts their own touch into the story but does not try to take it over or deliberately try to trip up the following writer.

Wacky- Just for laughs, the story gets progressively weirder as each writer introduces weird twists and turns, as well as puns and inside jokes.

Card game style- Each writer deliberately tries to figure out where the others are trying to take the story and does their best to sabotage their efforts. This could get ugly…

The Wrench- Every two weeks either a commenter or a member of the Crue gets to use a ‘wrench’. They are allowed to throw a wrench into the story, in other words they get to influence the story by causing something to break down, or cause a reversal of events or some other such thing.

Prompt of the Month:

A simple exercise. Each month one of the writers presents a ‘prompt’ from which everyone will write a short little story or presentation. It can be a picture, a piece of music, or a nugget of an idea, or something as simple as a piece of dialog.

Exploring a World:

A writer creates a world that will become the others sandbox so to speak, and will also set all of the rules and parameters. Everyone will create a character to use in this world and then post little segments from within this world via your characters perspective. Once everyone’s characters are established the world creator will then introduce the ‘Event’, something which will vastly effect each character.

Invasion, natural disaster, political turnover of power, war… whatever. Now we get to see this event unfold from multiple viewpoints and how it effects each character differently, as well as how they deal with it.

If any of these sound interesting or if you have an idea of your own please let me know. Thank you!:slight_smile:

Sounds fun. Hopefully it’ll get me back to doing more writing than I have been recently

Omra, this may have been before you joined the forum, but there was this fun running thing we had for a while: Three Word at Time Story


And then we took that and expanding the ideas from that story into prose:


And then there was:

Three Word at a Time Game - Anything goes!


Fun times.

Alright I guess it will be just me and Starsaber to start, maybe after some of the others see the exercises and our results others will want to join in. I will start us out with something simple, a prompt.

Prompt one:

Within a short piece, work descriptions of a ship into it. in a way that gives it character and personality. Examples- tired, old, majestic, fierce, glamorous, sleek, etc. Bring it to life in a way that makes it rival the people within it.

It can be any type of ship, spaceship, airship, sailing ship. And of any size. There is no limit on the number of submissions, but they must all be in by the 20th the next exercise will be on the 21st.

Now go write! :slight_smile:

Hi omra, this sounds fun. Especially like the idea of a wacky relay story. I’m going to try to find time to write up something for the 1st exercise.

Cool, I look forward to it. :slight_smile:

Part One

Leaning against the cool polycarbonate window I watched the ship slowly glide into its docking moorings, I had been waiting 6 days for this old frigate to arrive at the dilapidated station I have been stranded on. I was bored angry and depressed, things along the rim were much different from my usual postings within the core worlds, out here far from the usual trade and supply routes one had to learn to do with less; and I do mean less, and even more importantly how to improvise. Take this ship for instance, it has so many modifications, patches and non-regulation upgrades it is hard to even tell what ship class it was originally.

Back in the core the naval vessels are sleek and shiny works of art, like an edged weapon forged by a master sword maker. This compact and rugged vessel has all the visual aesthetics of a pair of spiked brass knuckles, its purpose is chillingly clear and it makes no attempts to hide what it is.

As the clamps latch onto the ship the maintenance scaffolds swing out to embrace it and the work lights switch on exposing all of its many blemishes. Whereas the ships I am used to seeing are more like swords, elegant weapons which hide their true lethality. This brute is more like a mace, it is no flagship; nor is it a ship for parades, formations or diplomatic missions. It is not a pretty ship you send to impress politicians or foreign diplomats, this is a ship you send to scare away people who may have bad intentions.

It is not a dapper and well groomed young soldier in dress uniform who stands guard at a gate or doorway. This is a hardened and grizzled veteran who wears its battle scars and patches the way an old soldier wears his medals and campaign ribbons.

Its configuration seems similar to some of the ships I remember in the historical vids I viewed back at the academy, whatever the case I am sure I will find out the history of the ship soon enough. Captain’s love to drone on about their ships lineage and history, and this old warhorse is my ride to even further out on the rim. Stepping back from the window I pull out my transfer papers, hoping against all reason it will say something other than what it said last time, but no; it still says ‘Bifrost Station’; what god did I piss off to get this posting? Sighing dramatically to no one I pick up my duffel bag and leave the empty viewing room, time to report to the Fenris.

Part Two

I handed my papers to the scruffy looking LC at the forward docking umbilical, he sniffed indifferently as he snatched them up and held them in front of his weary pot marked face. He lazily scratched at his beard while he read my orders with bloodshot and uninterested eyes. He snorted loudly and lowered the papers to get another look at me, his judgmental eyes took me in slowly from head to foot and then after apparently seeing nothing obviously wrong he looked back at the papers again. Something I have done many times myself lo these many days, often followed by a ‘this can’t be right.’ He chuckled and handed the papers back whilst grinning slyly, “Bifrost Station heh? Who’dya piss off to get that assignment?” I sheepishly collected the papers and avoided his accusing gaze; I really was not in the mood to discuss my unwelcome career change with a smelly unkept officer on the outer edge of civilization. After an awkward silence he slapped me on the shoulder, “Oh never mind kid, we’ll have plenty of time latter. It is a long trip to Bifrost Station and there are very few places to hide on a ship this size.” Oh joy. He sniffed and rubbed his nose with great relish, I did my best to hide my disgust, he finally and mercifully stopped and uttered, “Go see Reardon, he is the Logistics Officer on this tub. He’ll set you up with a room and a guest account so you can access the Mess Hall and the Rec Room, you will probably find him supervising the resupply in the cargo deck.” He pointed down towards the massive umbilical clamped onto the belly of the frigate, “It will probably be quicker if you go straight into the cargo bay from there instead of wandering through an unfamiliar ship,” he picked up an antique mike off of a mount on the entryway wall, “I’ll call ahead and let him know you are coming,” he winked, “good luck squirt, and don’t get run over by a loader OK? The paperwork is a bitch.” His laughter followed me halfway down the access way, it was as cold and unsympathetic as the metal panels around me. I hope the ships smells better than he does.

Reardon was another story; he was a picture of efficiency and professionalism. Unlike the LC he was clean shaven and his uniform was crisp and starched, his speech and movements were both kept to a minimum, he was a poster child for ‘Conservation of Energy and Movement’. I would hate to be his bunkmate, he reeks of OCD and likely has every item in his locker perfectly spaced and inventoried. The ideal person for this job I suppose… He disconnects and hands my PDM back to me with a precision of movement that would make an assembly line robot envious, “Here I have added your unit to the ship’s computer; you can use it as an access key to move about the yellow and green zones, and also to get meals from the mess hall. I even added a map to help you get around and marked your room as well, I suggest you introduce yourself to the Captain as soon as you get settled; he likes to meet all new arrivals and show them around. Welcome aboard Midshipman.” And with that he whipped around before I could even utter a response or offer a salute and started barking at a man driving a forklift, I shrugged as he scurried after the wayward forklift and its confused driver. I headed for the nearest door and looked down at the map on my PDM while feeling anything but welcome. Such is life in the Navy, be all you can be my ass

Part Three

As the days passed I developed a grudging respect for the old frigate. It was not a comfortable ship to be sure, but then it was never designed to be. This was a warship, cranked out en mass during a time of war; it was designed to be easily constructed, rugged and lethal. And decades after the war she was built to fight, she was still lethal. Her weapons, engines, software and hardware constantly having to be upgraded to try and keep up, she will never be a ship-of-the-line but I would never want to be on the wrong side of this baby’s hell-lances.

She may not much to look at but again she was not designed to be aesthetically pleasing or like some of those core ships a glorified luxury liner with guns mounted on her, this was a tireless guardian patrolling the dark and unruly outer edges of the federated world’s realm.

The Fenris was a lot like her crew, an old cantankerous veteran with a checkered past and surly attitude that would not fit in among the core worlds. Or the politically correct brass who sat in their ivory towers polishing their medals and counting the days until they could retire with full benefits. This heavily armored and scarred beast is just what is needed out here, she is not afraid to charge in and trade blows with the nasty and opportunistic types that thrive out in the shadowy reaches beyond civilized law. Doing the work that is needed to keep the colonies and trade routes safe and secure, the kind of things civilized folk would rather not know is going on. They can sleep safe at night because ships like this one are out there keeping vigil.

I leaned back on the pillow which rested against the thick hull plate, closed my eyes and allowed the gentle vibration and hum of the bulkhead to sing me to sleep.

Crap didn’t finish mine.

There is still time… :slight_smile:

I forgot to write a story until today. :eek: Sorry for the shortness of length.

The Caretaker

Busy, bustling engineers. Scientists and dreamers. Men and women. Sweat and tears. Life. Hope. Blazing through the sky, tearing away from the dying world in a violent birth into the stars. Now all is quiet. Five hundred years of sleep.

Galaxies of stars dance and fade into deep blackness outside, but no one else is here to see their cold beauty. Inside the lights illuminate, twinkle, and fade in their own cold dance. The spaces in between here and there echo the silence.

Conservation was important to a successful mission; sacrifices had to be made. There had been ten chosen as caretakers of the Aurora’s legacy. Two by two we awoke and worked, caring for the life launched into space as a last hope for human kind. Two by two we lived long and worked hard, awaking our brothers only when we could no longer carry the load.

I am the last, but I do not feel alone. Green and lush with the plants I care for, my days are full with growing and harvesting, of maintaining the DNA library for millions of species of animals and plants I can only begin to imagine. I talk to the flowers. I sleep in the trees. I look out upon the stars I call home.

Two years. That is how long it will take for the message to reach the Aurora. When the call comes, I fear and yet I hope I do not survive the journey back. I am getting old and have lived among the stars too long. I do not miss Earth. I do not miss people. I catch myself asking if they are worthy of her and her glorious gift of life. How can they be? They are the one’s that threw her away.

So she and I drift among the stars, crisp stark white against the blackest of space like a tiny jewel in a velvet box. The Earth Ship Aurora waits in quiet penance for the sins of her fathers. I will wait with her for as long as I can.

One day she will go home and I will finally sleep. I do not like to think about the alternative.

Nice Baconface… very nice! :slight_smile:

Thanks Omra, I like yours a lot. I wish I had the talent to put that much detail into my descriptions but my brain just spazzes out when I try. It makes your reality jump off the page into my head. :slight_smile:

Writing Prompt Number Two

Take a scene from any of the Rambo movies and twist it in an unexpected way, making it your own creation. This can obviously have some very comical consequences, you can also do cross-overs with other film franchises.

You have until the 4th of May to finish, the new prompt will be on the 5th… Have fun! :slight_smile:

Well, I haven’t seen any of the Rambo movies, but I’ll try to get my ship post done by then.

First Blood: Alternate Ending

After killing the Sheriff and the Colonel with the M60, Rambo swivels to face the sound of police cars squealing to a stop outside of the station. The camera zooms in on his intense and blood splattered face, the red and blue lights from the police cars sweep across his features. He grimaces at them as they take up firing positions and growls out a warriors howl as he unloads on them, the action slows down to slow motion as we watch emptied brass cartridges litter the floor as he fires on full auto. The screen fades to black as the darkened station strobes with brilliant light from the muzzle flashes.

The scene changes to a rundown and sparsely furnished office where an Asian in sweaty and loose fitting clothing is closely watching the news feed on an old news teletype; outside the dirty windows we can see tropical foliage. As he is reading the news ticker a large subtitle appears on the bottom of the viewers screen which reads VIETNAM.

He sees something interesting on one of the sheets and pulls down his eyeglasses which were resting atop his disheveled head so he can get a better look. His lips move as he reads the article, and a smile begins to creep across his features.

He tears the story from the feed and runs over to a nearby room nearly tipping over a watercooler along the way, “Comrade Chien, I think another of our ’sleepers’ has activated.” Another Asian male looks up from his cluttered desk, his eyes barely clearing the pile of papers in front of him, “Are you sure?” Excitedly waving the perforated paper he exclaims, “Yes, yes. And this is the best one ever!” The man seems unconvinced and says nothing. “No, really, I have a good feeling about this one.”

Rubbing his nose he ponders, “Alright Binh, if you are so sure, what is the name?” “Aaaah,” squinting at the print, “Rambo, John Jay Rambo.” The other man rolls his office chair over to a set of filing cabinets covered with stacks of papers and old books; he opens one of the cabinets, “Spell it for me…” “R-A-M-B-O.” After a moment he extracts a thick file, “Here it is, John Jay Rambo,” he sets it on a nearby table and opens it, “oh yeah, I remember this guy. He was a tough one.”

The first one walks over and looks down on the file, “Never could crack him heh?” “No, he would give up no information, no matter what we did to him.” “So you brainwashed him then?” The man shakes his head, “No that would have been too obvious, we planted suggestions in his head using hypnosis,” he smiled, “it was almost too easy, he already felt betrayed by his people for having abandoned him and not coming for him.” “So you used that anger and feeling of betrayal against them?” He nods and leafs through the paperwork. “What then?” He stops and looks up from the aged paper, “We allowed him to escape, never knowing that he was a ticking timebomb.” Binh stopped and pondered what he had learned, “And the Americans never suspected anything?”

He smiles and smiles and shakes his head, “No, and the way the Americans treated their veterans when they came home only helped promote our programming, one by one they have gone off and wreaked havoc.” “Like time bombs.” “Yes and the silly Americans only have themselves to blame, had they treated the returning soldiers with the dignity they deserved it may not have worked.” He pointed to the paper in the fellow’s hand, “So what did our ‘sleeper agent’ do?” He holds it up and reads from it, “Um, well; basically he wiped out an entire small town in Washington State.”

He leans back in the chair and rubs his face, “Wow, that is impressive,” he blinks in disbelief, “is he still alive?” The other man scans the article again, “Uh well, they say that the National Guard was ineffectual and finally had to call in an air strike, the entire police station has destroyed by 4 500lb bombs.” The seated man crosses his arms and snickers, “But did they find a body?” He reads it again, “Hmmmm, no, there is no mention of a body,” he looks up from the paper, “you don’t really think?” The seated man shrugs, “Hey, he was good at what he did, who knows right?” He cleans his glasses and smiles, “Oh Chien, that would be something… Our own terrorist, committing guerrilla attacks on American soil.” Binh leans back and smiles, stretching and knitting his hands together behind his head, “Sweet revenge for all the broken promises and pain the Americans have caused.”*

*All in subtitles, translated from the Vietnamese of course

The scene changes to a manhole cover on a deserted street. It slowly lifts up and slides over. A dirty and wounded Sylvester Stallone peers out of the shadows and then gingerly climbs out dragging a duffle bag of weapons and supplies behind him, he looks around and then hobbles as quickly as he can toward the nearby tree line. He looks back toward the camera one last time before his bandaged and bloody form vanishes into the foliage.

The music kicks in dramtically and then the end credits roll.

If Only

Exhausted and bruised Rambo hung limply from his bonds; the humid air in the small hut reeked of ozone and the smoke from scorched flesh caused by all of the brutal electrical shocks he had been subjected to. The large Russian soldier was tending to Rambo’s custom Bowie knife, heating it up on a bed of hot coals. To what purpose he intended it the two prisoners tried no to dwell on. The proud and arrogant Russian Colonel taunted him, “This torment need not go on, give up your superiors. Confess your crimes and this can all end.” He smiled smugly, “After all they did abandon you did they not?” He lifts up Rambo’s chin, forcing him to look into his eyes, “Why do you protect them? They left you behind, allowed you to be captured, to be… tortured.” Rambo only glared back defiantly. The Colonel sniffed in disgust, “You are a fool to defend people who clearly consider you and your kind expendabl-urk.”

A knife to the back of his head cut his speech short; the Russian officer slumped to the floor silently. His burley bodyguard also joined him on the floor with a matching knife embedded in his skull as well. Jason Statham strides into the room and starts wrestling with his knife, trying to remove it from the officer’s skull, “Hey, you alright?” Rambo grumbles, “A little toasty, but I’ll live. What took you so long?” With the knife retrieved he walks over to undo Rambo’s bindings, “New pilot, and you know how difficult night insertions are.” During the awkward silence as he is cutting the bindings he asks, “So what was that douche bag calling us right before I killed him?” “Expendables, I think…” Jason smiles, “Expendables, I kinda like that… Maybe we finally found a name for our little group.”

Dolph Lundgren peeks around the door jamb and sarcastically adds, “Wow, how cool,… and like we can all get matching tattoos!” He is met with hard stares from the two. Terry Crews leans in for a peek, “Did I hear tattoos?” He smiles widely and adds with a sickly sweet voice, “Awwwwwwwww are we bonding?” Jason’s eyes narrow, “Shouldn’t you be doing something?” Terry’s eyebrows shoot up and he speaks in faux slave talk, “Yessum massah, I be going massah.” And he disappears from view his baritone laughter trailing off. Jet Li steps inside the shack, “The area is secured,” he glances at Rambo, “is he OK? He looks a little… goofy. Is he drugged or something?” Dolph smiles, “Naw, he always looks like that.” Rambo sneers, “Fuck You.” Dolph’s smile widens, “See? He is fine…” Jet shakes his head, “Whatever, are we ready to leave? Our pilot is getting nervous and I am afraid he may bug out on us if we don’t hurry.”

Jason helps to support Rambo’s weight and they begin moving forward, “No worries friend, let’s go.” Jet nods, “Good teamwork," he glances at Rambo, "nice to have you back,” he winks and leaves. Dolph walks over to Rambo’s other side and helps Jason support their friend, and as they walk together he suggests, “You know, if one of you two were to learn how to fly we wouldn’t need to hire these unreliable smucks to fly us around.” Just before they leave the camera’s frame Jason and Stallone steal a look at one another and go, “Hmmmmm,” at Dolph’s suggestion. The POW meekly follows the others out of the hut.

Time grows short people, where are your submittions? I want to read your ideas… And where is Starsabers belated ship post? :shifty:

Sorry, it just kind of hit a wall. Never really clicked. Of course part of it was that I was trying to get across that the ship didn’t really have a personality yet, as opposed to the one it was replacing. That made it more about the flight crew getting a rise out of the shipyard rep and griping about the ship than about the ship itself.