Sunday, August 8, 2010

Spookymilk Survivor: Challenge Ten

I briefly mentioned Spookymilk Survivor the other day. At its essence, it's a creative writing contest with Survivor-like rules. Initially, there were three teams, but one team chose to invoke the curse of Nick Punto, and were brutally destroyed. Now there remain two teams of seven (now six) a piece. Challenges are issued every week, with a due date of Saturday night. On Saturday night, Spooky and Beau judge the entries and score them. The team with the lowest score votes out a member of their team.

This week, the challenge was "Fortunately, Unfortunately". Players were given a "seed phrase", and had to build a story, using sentences which alternated starting with the words fortunately and unfortunately.

This challenge taxed me more than any other, actually. In the end, I wasn't particularly pleased with either entry, but I guess everything turned out all right.

Spookymilk had me start out with "I gave up smoking a few hours ago", Beau started me off with the classic "Mary had a little lamb". Here's where I went with each:

I gave up smoking a few hours ago.
I gave up smoking a few hours ago…
Fortunately, I think I’ll be able to go the rest of my life without a cigarette.
Unfortunately, that’s because I’ve been captured by a tribe of cannibals.
Fortunately, the cravings haven’t really started kicking in yet.
Unfortunately, their cravings for human flesh aren’t similarly checked.
Fortunately, I’m thinking I can get these ropes untied.
Unfortunately, after slipping away, I’ve realized I’m trapped on an island, and the only pack of cigs is in the cannibal camp.
Fortunately, I think I can sneak in without them realizing.
Unfortunately, I can see that I was mistaken in that thought, and I’ve gotten myself recaptured.
Fortunately, I’m back to quitting smoking again.

I was trying to loop the story back to where getting captured by cannibals would be preferable to going without a pack of cigarettes. I'm not sure I succeeded, but it ended up looking a lot better than the first few drafts, so I didn't feel too badly about this one.

Mary had a little lamb.

Mary had a little lamb.
Unfortunately, its fleece was worthless, and it was sent to a packing plant.
Fortunately, eco-terrorists attacked, and the truck was driven off the road.
Unfortunately, it came to rest on some train tracks, with a train bearing down.
Fortunately, it was able to jump out of the vehicle in the nick of time.
Unfortunately, the slaughterhouse supervisor was bizarrely single-minded, and tracked the lamb – always one step behind it.
Fortunately, the lamb was able to escape by jumping off the dam and into the river below.
Unfortunately, it came out of the river thoroughly bedraggled, and barely clinging to life.
Fortunately, a girl named Sylvia found the lamb and nursed it back to health over the course of four months.
Unfortunately, both Sylvia and her parents are BIG fans of lamb chops…

I really had no idea where to go with this one. I tried about 5 or 6 different things, but none of them showed any promise, so I ended up making the lamb into Richard Kimble from The Fugitive and bluntly ending it with cookery. I felt bad that I phoned this one in, and I stared at it for a good ten minutes in my outbox looking for inspiration, or at the very least, some way to make what I already had not suck. Nothing came, and I had to leave for the rest of the day, so I sent it off. Not my best, but The Winner Group lives on, anyway!

Next week's challenge is "Video Game Pitch". I'm actually kind of excited about this one. There's a lot of different directions to go with it. Hopefully, inspiration hits me over the head a little harder this week.

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