The UG Birthday Group Penny Dreadful Experiment: Or, Do Too Many Cooks Really Spoil Sweeney Todd?
Back in the days when writers were taken SERIOUSLY... okay, maybe not, but
when they got about a penny a word as lowly content providers to write serials
for newspapers.. .
There was a famous writer (whose name I forget, which tells you a lot) with a
very popular serial about a hero named Jack. This writer had just got Jack into
a terrible scrape: he was hanging from a cliff, tied head and foot by the
moustache-twirling villain, while the heroine wrung her hands and uttered
helpful cries, when...
The writer ended up in hospital, run over by an applecart, or some such.
The newspaper staff tried valiantly to write Jack out of his dilemma. They
thought of this and that, discussed devices heatedly. Finally, they gave up.
They couldn't match the genius of the great serial writer. And so, with a
deadline looming, they rushed to the hospital to confront the writer on his bed
Fix this, they demanded. Then they waited, with bated breath, as the
great writer took pad and pencil, propping them on his leg cast, and scribbled
away for a few minutes. There , he said. That should do it.
They read: 'With a single bound, Jack was free.'
Starting on September 13th, we invite all present and former UG writers, miners, polishers, archivists and etc.s to match wits with Jack's author: On that date, a starting post will appear here. You are invited to participate in writing the heroes in, and hopefully out of, scrapes, messes, and plot entanglements. Anything goes, genre-wise, just be gentle with your fellow writers.
The rules? Simple and few:
1. Before writing, read the story setup here. Keep to the premise.
2. Add to the story by writing one post. Minimum length: One sentence.
Maximum length: One paragraph. (Semicolons are permitted, but frowned upon.)
3. Wait until it is your turn again, e.g.: If two people are writing, take
turns. If a third joins you, wait until all three have written, etc.
4. Throw in all the plot curves you like, but remember: they might come back
to haunt you. You might get stuck explaining why that moose head turned
up in the library.
5. No spitting - and no smileys.
At the end of whatever time is deemed reasonable for this exercise (or
whenever the hamsters start to scream), we will either have written our way into
a decent ending, or this editor will step in and write, 'With a single bound,
they were all free.'
See you in the Penny Dreadful.