21 April, 2011

Calling all Brains

I don’t say this often but I’ll say it now: I need your help. In fact, I never say this (I’m a suffer in silence kind of gal; “I try to keep my sadness pent up inside, where it can fester quietly as a mental illness”).
Writing has been a passion I’ve followed, like that star in the movie about Jesus, where the guys in the robes followed it because they knew they had to, not because they know particularly where they were going (or maybe they did I’m just running on assumptions here, I never saw the movie). I have written for the paper, for pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, posters; basically whatever I was allowed to deface with my musings I would.
I wanted to use my writing style, love of writing, and love of organizing things into one “challenge”, which would involve numerous people to join in to do something fun, and to submit their own creation (of what, I haven't decided - that’s where you come in). As a more on topic point, I wanted to make you all familiar with two examples of what I’m talking about.
Example #1
The whole idea here is that some people just want to make games. A theme is presented and game devs from all over can make a game and send a link to their game when complete and others can experience it. This is a great way for exposure, practice, and a way to thrive on your passion.
Similarly, Example #2 called Four Thousand Word Jam is the same idea only for 4,000 word short stories. A prompt is given and you must write to incorporate the theme over the course of a weekend. It’s a great way for writers to practice their craft while expanding comfort zones.
So this is where I need your help, I want to come up with a “challenge” or “jam” of my own; involving some kind of writing and creative aspect. I dabbled in the idea of media as the medium, Horror themed, Comic strip, etc. I have a ton of ideas but I want to know what YOU would participate in.
I like the idea of involving a community, but I don’t want to have anyone’s work rely on anyone else (you know how flaky some people can be). I like the idea of a writing contest (I don’t like the idea of judging, or having a winner... unless it’s #winning), but with less emphasis on controlled creativity, and more emphasis on involvement. If you have 30 minutes of spare time, 2 hours, or 2 days, I want everyone to be able to be able to contribute without feeling like their lives hinder their involvement.
Basically I want the theme to be “sharing creativity and bolstering ideas as a community”.
Here are some of the ideas I’ve had, please comment below to let me know which you would participate in - if any - and if not, what would you like to see? 
  1. Genre-based Challenge - A different genre would be picked each time the challenge is held, and writers would write a short 1-2 page story based on genres. Ex: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Western, Documentary, etc. I feel that someone with little time can sit down for 20 minutes and be able to write a 1 page short story that if nothing else get’s their juices flowing, and are able to contribute and gain exposure like someone would having wrote 20 pages.
  2. Comic Strip - Multi-talented individuals can use their talents to draw their own comic and write the material themselves; this allows them to showcase maybe a talent that is stronger but still having a visual aspect. Individuals who can’t draw (like myself) can do stickmen on MS Paint, or scan in a drawing, or even take a comic that already exists online and re-write the joke, creating a whole other level of context. This lets those with little to no time participate, as well as adding a funny undertone.
  3. Horror - Short stories in the tune of horror/thriller/suspense/creepy/fantastical themed. Individuals can choose from a list of topics/names/people/ideas and create their 1-2 page (or longer if desired) short story that revolves around a scary theme. I’m aware this creates a niche market and may turn off people form participating.
  4. Media - An idea/theme can be given (or none at all) and individuals can create a blog, video, song, or any aspect of digital/media to encapsulate their idea. They will need to publisher their works to their blog or on a site and then through a link, can share their work with others come deadline time. This is also a little harder as this involves more time, discriminates against users who do not have the means to do so, but generally outputs great results.
  5. Marketing Campaign - Creative individuals will love this. The idea to create a poster/website/banner/ad for a fake product. Fake product will be given, and you can write a jingle, create an infomercial, write a fake review, write a fake letter to the company, anything involving this product as if it were a real product. The ideas coming to mind for fake magazine ads are definitely fun to think about!
Let me hear your ideas: What would you do, what would you improve on? What would you suggest as additional ideas?
How would you involve the community? I extend to you, the thinking cap ‘O The Irish, and would like your feedback. Something that would be fun for a wide array of people, involving as much or as little time as they were willing to commit to it.
Let the thinking begin!

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