Wednesday

Houseparty!

Instead of talking about the monthly exercise at Compuserve, I wanted to tell you about something fun and extraordinary that we do there. We bring our characters to a party. Not just any party. A Houseparty.

Let me 'splain. No. Take too long. Let me sum up. (<--10 points, people - I know you can do it.)

Every 3-4 months a forum member's MC hosts a party in the setting of their WiP. Invitations are sent out (via a thread to "everyone"). Your characters jumps in with their response and then, on a specified date, the fun begins. The most recent party was held in 1493 Constantinople. Our lovely host for this round was Rosa, aka Deniz.

The host gives setting details and description, and informs everyone what will be taking place during the party. (Parties last anywhere from a long weekend to a week.) Everyone brings their characters and dives in. We play with one another's characters and have a good old time. We don't worry about typos and writing mechanics - we just go for it, and nobody judges. I'm amazed at how well we are getting to know the huge cast of characters - there are times where I have to go back and read a post because I can't believe it's not the actual author writing them.

Oh, and chaos and mayhem reign. We've had, bombings at the London Blitz, blizzards while skiing in New Zealand, an alternate universe with ghosts from the Civil War in Cherry Hill, and so much more! At night, there's usually a break from the mayhem and a few trips to the [cough*naughty folder*cough]. (No linky - you have to be a member and request access for that one.)

Some of the party-goers include: FBI agent, rock stars, soldiers, vampires, magikers, King Charles II and some of his court, a talking cat with a time traveling boy, a married threesome (m/f/m), a silky/selkie, paranormal modern day/ancient Egyptian travellers, werewolves, a widowed, retired teacher her adopted daughter, and Marine *friend*. Phew. No wonder mayhem ensues!

If you have a group of writers you are close with (crit group, friends, or website you frequent) I can't recommend something like this enough. It's so much fun. Oh, our last party = 172,000+ words!

In case you're wondering, it's not all about fun. Most of us go in with a goal (from a specific time in our characters development) that we are trying to reach/figure out. It's unbelievable what you can dredge out of a character when they aren't forced to stay in their own setting. We have side threads for commentary and after threads discussing what we got out of it.

Okay, this was not a summary, most definitely an explanation. Sorry, I tried.

28 comments:

lotusgirl said...

Quote from the Princess Bride. *Smile*

That sounds like tons of fun.

Slamdunk said...

That sounds like fun Tara--very creative as well.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've never heard of this idea before. Very creative. Does anyone actually read the "ms" at the end? ;)

Tara said...

I didn't think it would be too hard, LG ;)

SD - It is fun!

Stina - This go round Deniz re-read I believe, even put it into MS format. They are crazy and all sorts of out of order, but hilarious and exciting.

Old Kitty said...

It's sounds like a recipe for amazing chaotic fun!! Enjoy all those joining in!!!
:-)

Take care
x

Tara said...

Kitty - Chaotic it is :)

Jon Paul said...

Wow! That sounds like a blast! Where do I sign up?

Summer said...

That sounds pretty awesome!!

Mary Aalgaard said...

That's brilliant! I'd love to participate in something like that!

Tara said...

JP - Join the Compuserve Forum ;) We are going to be in another dimension (hosted by magikers and vampires) in February - maybe March. This one took a lot out of us. Although I only hit about 7,000 words instead of my usual 20k-ish.

Tara said...

Summer - it is!

Mary - I encourage everyone to participate in something like this. Not only fun, but very educational :)

Carol Krenz said...

Tara,

It looked like it was a real treat -- well, most of them are. The number of posts alone was dizzying to watch as the thread grew. I'd go into the forum, check the Exercises section, and my mind boggled!

So glad you guys have such a great time with it.
Cheers!

Eric W. Trant said...

172kw! Holy skim-reading, Batman.

What a great exercise, though, to kludge timelines and settings like that. It sorta jives with the serialized short story anthology.

You know, if you got a group of 4-5 authors to write 4-5 shorts each, serialized, in the same setting with a common theme and a pre-determined, plotted outcome, you might have something publishable.

- Eric

Lola Sharp said...

Oh man, this DOES sound like fun! (and Deniz is lovely.)

I love the insane mix of characters...I'm betting the Happy/naughty folder is entertaining. ;)

I'm off to call you now.

Love,
Lola

Deniz Bevan said...

Hear hear, Tara! The houseparty was a blast - I think we all need some recovery time before we leap into the next one :-)
I can't believe I brought 8 characters this time (9 if you count Lady Porphyry), including my talknig cat [g] - and yet it seemed very easy to keep track of them all. Chasing alchemical ingreidents was lots of fun!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That sounds like fun!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Damn, everyone got Princess Bride before me!

Tara said...

Carol, it's mind-boggling to wake up each morning to 1-15 new party posts and 30-40 new commentary posts! Daunting, actually! But,we do have a blast.

Tara said...

Eric, before I joined the group they had tried something like that. things went awry, and got ugly, from what I've heard.

Tara said...

Deniz - Chasing the alchemical ingredients was so much fun! And, Kasia *rescued* a new servant for Rosa while doing it. [g] I'm a little terrified to think of how we will destroy another planet!

Lisa Gail Green said...

That is such a cool idea!! I LOVE that.

Deniz Bevan said...

I wouldn't trust us on another planet... Hopefully Marilyn will be able to restore everything to normal once we've left [g]
I remember that joint story we wrote! It didn't quite work because everyone had such different styles and it was hard to stick to any kind of plot arc when people kept changing characters' motives. Still not a bad story at the end though.
The one that Claire/Jen/Rachel/Kristen did on their blog might have worked a little better because they stuck to the same genre throughout...

Tara said...

Deniz- Yeah, poor Marilyn, her world will never be the same again after we get through with it.
The Ripper story was so well done -so hard to see where one finished and the other began. I'm sure the same genre/theme was a huge help.

I really should have given Claire the credit for inventing these parties, and linked her - I'll have to mention it in my next blog.

Tara said...

Thanks for dropping by, Lisa :)

Jai Joshi said...

This sounds like so much fun! Thanks for letting us know about it, Tara.

Jai

Nezzy said...

Sounds like a blast and a half girl! I just wanted to thank you for your visit and hoppin' on my blog. I sure hope ya'll enjoy the ride!!! Please drop in often, the door of the Ponderosa is always open.

God bless and in the words of that crazy old Granny Clampett, "ya'll come back now, ya hear!!!

Jennifer Shirk said...

That does sound like fun! I bet it gets everybody out of their comfort zones writing-wise too!

Tara said...

Jennifer - Oh, we sure do, lol!

Nezzy - I enjoyed your place. Thanks for stopping by mine :)

Hi, Jai *waves* :)