A Conversation for 30 Hours in Hooverville: A Novel Experiment

Pre- and aftermath

Post 1

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

I am mightily interested in how everyone set about to work for the Hooverville project. How much did you prepare beforehand? What choices did you make? Did you regret your choices?

For me it started with the invitation to join (thanks), and the first brainwaves on what kind of person the fire chief would be. (name, personality type, circumstances like family)
Then I started researching common firemanical knowledge, equipment, fitness requirements, rota structures, choose a truck.

One of the big impact things on my story was the choice to write first person narrative, unlike most others. This made it easier to follow / bypass the rule of one character only, as everyone else I thought up would be NPC (non-player character). The disadvantage of this is that it is much harder to "paint the scenery" as you can do with an omniscient narrator. (that is why I made this deliberate switch in the final hour). Originally, I only wrote the Fred side of phone conversations, but changed that with the Area 51 guy, because I ran out of question marks, repeating what had been said on the other side.
First person does make the narrative more up close and personal, grittier.

My main storyline I had in mind was that the fire chief had been married with a pyromaniac (hence P.Y.Romanov) who creates "accidents" in order to save her husband from a bore-out and have some "fun" in the process. Apart from that I put in the A.C.Q Ireland (acquire land) as a platform to trigger reactions from all of you, outside the scope of the fire department.

After that it was just improvisation based on what the rest did, what I had been watching on the television (e.g. bombing of Dresden on Netflix), whatever came to mind as provocative (Fred is a loud personality, I am not, I do listen to some loud music every now and then). There are some cases where I suggest something in one hour and twist it round the next (like the nocturnal bed activities that turned out to be a short dungeons and dragons session)

There was no preconceived idea of a birthday party, but since it was my own at that time, I couldn't resist (blame it on the coloured flags over my desk)
Sheriff Rowdybush could have jailed Paula. It was up to him. I spared the Mayor by saving the town hall and most of the Lady (that was an on the job decision, while fighting the fire)
The Mayor could have liked Anna's idea and we would have had a pink ball pool for the nite pirates. What she did was fill in a physical description for Anna and set me to investigate the meaning of "rural activities" like tossing vegetables.
I couldn't let the new prophecies of Agnes Nutter just lie around there. Lola chose not to let it get too much grip on the whole story though, which she was entitled to, I mean, she was on the wrong foot with Fred from the start. Thanks for taking responsibility for the jack-fish-o-lantern. I hoped someone would.
Wynken: Sorry for the bear. I was just trying provide a link between town and park life.
The Organ vs. Fire siren competition (and the effect on relations between Fred and Wlad) was already there before day 1.
Including Suzie Q and Factoid Fred at 911 was a joke at first, but quite useful as a source for surreal plot turns.
I would like to thank 2legs for unknowingly taking fictional blame as well.
The Anastacia reference just happened, just like the Latin groundhog (just try to translate meatball in Latin: ball of ground pork/pig).

I wonder how many of you got the French Steven Spielberg reference...

Pre- and aftermath

Post 2

FWR (under new management)

Mine was a little convoluted. After discussing the idea with DG for the Post and agreeing on the rough challenge, I then realized I was due to be out of the country for the first week, so had to plan the beginning in advance, so couldn't use prompts or interact.

So having realized my story would be a 'stand alone' tale, with as much references to everything else as I could squeeze in, I was going to pull it and let you maniacs get on with your versions of Hooverville!

But, as the original idea was to have different stories that happened to be set in the same time and place, decided to plod on.

The Nite (or Nice) Pirates are all based on real life bikers I know so that bit was easy. Writing a romcom without zombies, ghosts of vampires, with no gratuitous action was much harder!

The happy ending was a bit of an afterthought as RL got in the way!

Normal drivel will probably resume next year!

smiley - cheers

Pre- and aftermath

Post 3

FWR (under new management)


Cuddles eased his considerable frame through the shelves containing delicate China.

The guy at the counter had the usual look of fear on his face as he looked up and saw the bearded, leather-clad man-mountain squeezing through thousands of dollars worth of his fragile stock.

Breathing out as he successfully negotiated the aisles and reached the counter, Cuddles smiled at the proprietor.

*Good morning, wonder if you can help me out?*

Arsenio looked up at the biker, by Hoover this guy was huge, nice smile though.

*Sure thing, sir! What are you looking for?*

*Actually, it's a wedding present, two of the club are getting hitched,erm, again..long story... and I want to buy them something classy, English maybe?*

Cuddles couldn't help but notice the flicker of anguish that haunted Arsenio's features at the word 'wedding', a far off look, full of pain and...regret maybe?

*I saw a coffee set in the window, loved the words on the rims, erm, what was it now? Ah yes 'As the delicate but sturdy cup accepts the caffeinated brew', very poetic!*

Arsenio reached below the counter and offered Cuddles an exquisitely crafted bone China coffee cup, as he did so their fingers touched and both felt that electric shock not first contact.

Arsenio smiled back, *I've just brewed a fresh pot, if you'd like a coffee? It's quiet today, maybe you could tell me that long story, whilst we have a drink?*

*Never say no to a coffee, especially with such charming company*

Arsenio disappeared into the back office, unconsciously running his trembling fingers through his hair, this could be a very exciting start to the day!

Pre- and aftermath

Post 4

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

smiley - ok Thanks.

Just Math in general then.

I'll add that bonus bit to my unabridged version. More happy endings, and not bound to the rules of interfering with someone else's character anymore.

Did you know that "Hall of the mountain king" could be heard on the surface? I wonder what Wlad would have made of that. Probably an organ rendition at his next midnight session, but more along the more classic classical lines. (Apocalyptica consists of Conservatory graduates, so that must have been classical music as well)

Pre- and aftermath

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

Wlad would go on about the satire that was 'Peer Gynt', and how 'king' is a mistranslation of 'dovvegubbe', which means 'mountain troll guy'. smiley - rofl Oh, and that Grieg meant the music to sound silly, and was appalled that it became a hit, so to speak. He might find it suitable for Medium Leslie, as the composer was being ironic and said himself the music 'reeked of cowpats'.

Please ask before taking liberties with other people's characters, please. Tavaron, Superfrenchie and I colluded. This is also a good technique. smiley - winkeye

I actually did no preparation for this at all beyond the obvious. I never knew what I was going to do each day - my intent was to create some space/time for the rest of you, since I knew where I was. I'm very grateful to Tavaron and Superfrenchie for adding depth to my simple narrative. smiley - hug

Pre- and aftermath

Post 6

FWR (under new management)

My apologies, won't happen again!

Pre- and aftermath

Post 7

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

Collaboration is a wonderful thing, say I. smiley - smiley Team efforts would be good...smiley - winkeye

Hm, what could the firemen and the bikers get up to together...? Just thinking aloud... smiley - runsmiley - bikersmiley - bluelightsmiley - run

Pre- and aftermath

Post 8

SashaQ - happysad and 'slightly mad'

Thanks for the insight into your characters, Caiman raptor elk - I confess a lot of that passed me by, but I admire your achievements. Fascinating that I had something in mind about the Town Hall fire, and you had something in mind, too, and we ended up with something in between both smiley - laugh

My character was more reactive than proactive, but I was pleased with how he got on. After reacting to Sandy Beeches' first posting, he became more like me than I had intended, but it was good to imagine how he would have been able to become a sheriff and he definitely enjoyed wheeling around town smiley - biggrin

I love Cuddles' dream smiley - loveblush - thanks FWR!

Pre- and aftermath

Post 9

FWR (under new management)

Shhhh...it's forbidden! Let's pretend it never happened..smiley - run

Pre- and aftermath

Post 10

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

smiley - laugh Just say, 'Hey, Paul! Alright if I 'ship our characters?' smiley - winkeye

Pre- and aftermath

Post 11

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

I did very little preparations for this because I knew that having a plan would keep me from going with the flow and reacting to what other people do in the story - which I thought would be essential. What I did prepare were ideas about what the Waffelhaus looks like and the menu. I expected this to be like a kind of rpg with extra handicap - and I think I wasn't completely wroung.

I think it was best where everyone came together and when we managed to all evolve around the same plot without getting in each other's way or move other people's characters around.

Caiman, that's how I actually imagine the fire brigade making music:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9WknUeDvHI (ENglish version for better understanding of everyone)

And I am sorry, but for me the last song is actually this one:
smiley - rofl

Pre- and aftermath

Post 12

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

smiley - snork Now, that's what I call chainsaw music. smiley - rofl

And you're not wrong: it's a good way to approach group writing: RPG with extra handicaps. smiley - biggrin

Pre- and aftermath

Post 13

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

It's beautiful scene. I like it. smiley - smiley

Did I prepare?yes. I overprepared. At first, I thought the story would proceed in real time, so I assumed that November 2 would be one day later than Nov. 1, and so forth. Honestly, I had *no clue* that it would only get as far as early November 2 by the end of the month. Maybe I'm not good at reading the fine print?

So, I had two or three days written ahead of time, only to scrap them and figure out how to create seven hours' worth of dreams and/or insomnia smiley - yikes. I also wrote ahead of the schedule later, and scrapped more stuff.

But life on this Earth is Sisyphean (Sp?). You roll tat boulder to the top of the mountain, *knowing* that it will be back at the bottom when you wake up the next morning. True rest will not come to you on this side of the grave. If you want to producer an excellent piece of writing (and I often do), count on rewriting until your eyes cross. This s less severe than what happened to Colleen McCullough: she did so much typing that her fingers bled. And James Joyce is said to have gone blind while writing "Ulysses." I don't know if that is apocryphal. but it's what I've heard.

But I ended up with a journal entry in which I described the china shop as if it were a character in its own right. I'll give that link in my next post.

Pre- and aftermath

Post 14

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

Here's the link. It will doom you to life in alabaster http://h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/alabaster/F69196?thread=8323354

Key: Complain about this post