Sunday, February 18, 2007

Audience participation - story circle

(Updated below; updated again)

I used to play a game when I was growing up, but I never knew the name of it. The game went like this: the players sit in a circle, and one player begins a story. They can talk for as long as they like, and stop wherever they like. The person beside them in the circle then has to pick up the story where the previous player left off. Anybody can finish the story anytime they like.

Yeah, I know, not a lot of rules. But some interesting stories grew out of it. I still don't know what it's called, so I'm calling it (with my talent for the obvious) Story Circle.

Today I'm proposing a blog version of the game. I'm going to begin a story. You, my dear and kind readers, are invited to continue it on your own blogs. There are a few rules for this one:

  • Leave a comment letting me know that you have continued the story, and I'll post a link to your continuation.
  • You may either pick up where I leave off, or pick up after another blogger's continuation. This means that the story could have several branches.
  • Your piece of the story must pick up exactly where someone else's left off. Ideally, the first line of your story will repeat the last line of the previous piece.
  • You can change the style, voice, mood, whatever you like, and you can end the story if you like, or leave it hanging for the next blogger to pick up.
  • You can invite your own readers to participate. The more players, the more interesting it will be.

Am I being a shameless whore for comments and readers? Yes, yes I am. Am I being lazy because I have the beginning of a story but not an end? Guilty. But you know you want to play, so sharpen your pencils, class, and see what you can do with this:

The ballet dancer who lives in the flat above mine is home. I know he's a ballet dancer 'cause he told me so the day I moved in. He said it in an offhand kinda way, like he was just letting me know so I wouldn't wonder about his weird schedule, but I think really he was showing off, like he was still new at it and wanted the whole neighborhood to know.

I know he's home because he's the noisiest neighbor I've ever had. I don't really have any reason to doubt he's a ballet dancer - he's built like one, with all those finely developed muscles, and I guess he's gay - but I kinda thought ballet dancers were supposed to be light on their feet. This guy's not very big, but he sounds like a freakin' gorilla up there.

Usually I ignore it, but tonight I can tell I'm gonna have to do something about it. The girl sitting on my couch keeps looking up at the ceiling, all annoyed. Not like I can blame her. He's outdoing himself tonight. Like he's throwing steamer trunks full of hammers at the wall, over and over.

I'll have to go up there if I want to get anywhere with this chick. Mara. She's ready, too, if Twinkletoes up there will just take a breather. A glass of wine in her hand and that skirt inching up her thigh. I've been dreaming about Mara for weeks now. Okay, months. So I'm not gonna let the drum circle upstairs screw things up for me.

I tell her I'll be right back, and kiss her real lightly on the cheek. I take another look at her as I back out the door. I can't believe she's sitting on my couch. I head up the stairs, the rhythm party in full swing up there. On the third step, the stair creaks, and all the noise stops. Sorry to harsh your buzz, man, but I got Mara waiting for me. I get up to the door and knock.

Suzanne picks up the story: stompin' trompin' drum-circle frenzy

King Mongo circles in: the discomforting touch of nothing

LynnP goes deep: A freight-train rush of desire

A different branch, courtesy of monkey0: off the road and into the Salt Flats


Suzanne said...

Okay, I gave it a go, though it's way short.

Great idea, Chems! Should be fun.

Geo said...

Boy, oh, boy, do I like the word ballerino! I can't think of it without an image of Vinny Barbarino popping into my head though. I like the story circle idea too, especially live, though it seems like there'd be more pressure in-person.


Kang Mango said...

I am intrigued. my contribution has been...uh... contributed.

p.s. practicing making Manhattans is a great way to get completely shitfaced.

Chemical Billy said...

Bless you, Suzanne, you win first place! The prize is, um, my eternal esteem. Lucky you.

Geo, I've had a little ballerino song stuck in my head for days now. If you call I'll sing it for you. But, are you saying you'd play if I came over there and hovered over you?

Mongo, thank you for turning up the heat. Clearly, your shitfaced, manhattan-inspired writing works.

LyP said...

Hello Scratchers!

Most of you don't know me: I got here via my buddie ChemicalBilly. Anyway, I'd like to take it whence Mongo left off. You can find it at when I'm finished (which should be in less than 30 minutes or 2p PDT on Monday, March 12, 2007).

I'm not sure of the correct protocol. Do I also post a comment at kingmondo?
Thx! LyP 3.12.7

monkey 0 said...

Um, I was so disorganized that my branch from back when Mongo was working on his only now got posted. But, it's up now...