Exquisite Corpse, A Writing Game:

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Not about beautiful bodies. Exquisite Corpse is a literary exercise in which a group of people write a story, one sentence/scene/page/and so on at a time.

This exercise is supposed to help you adapt to unpredictable circumstances, so that you don't freeze if you stray from your outline. Relinquishing creative control broadens your imagination further because other people will likely take things in a different, but no less believable, direction which you might never have thought of on your own. Not to mention, it fosters a healthy distance between you and the characters.

1) Once you have hit "Post", the characters and plot are no longer yours. Please do not join this if you dislike the thought of having your brainchildren or carefully drawn plot lines controlled by someone else, or if you dislike the thought of working with someone else's characters or plot.

2) To participate, you are to write one scene responding to the person above you, in your preferred writing style. If you have trouble gauging what a scene is, fill in the blanks: "(Character/s) did (a thing/some things at the same time)." If you tack on "and then they did another thing after that", then in all likelihood you've started another scene. If you're one of those people who thinks in terms of length, 4-8 reasonable paragraphs ought to do the trick.

3) You may control any or all of the previously introduced characters as you like, or take the plot anywhere, but remember that this is only for the duration of a single scene. As a sign of respect, do your best to incorporate the events and characterization of the previous scene into your post.

4) You may introduce as many characters as you like, but again—as this is going to be written one scene at a time, you will not be able to control them beyond their introductions.

5) Don't feel totally constricted to the current time and place. You may write a flashback, or another scene which happens at the same time in a different place. Keep these, however, to a minimum. They tend to stall the plot, and moreover they're a little complicated to pull off with more than one author.

Scene 1

The coffee was transparent at the surface, and showed a sludge of grinds at the bottom when Candice peered under the lid. All the warmth seeped through the thin opening and she clamped it back down to save the rest from disappearing. But with two years as a burger flipper under her belt, she couldn't blame the kid who'd poured it out for her. Ten-thirty at night was the time when serving lukewarm coffee was even less appetizing than drinking lukewarm coffee. At least Candice could leave when she was done. When she put a dollar into the tip jar, he smiled and looked more like a person.

Candice sighed, her breath white in the light of the lamp posts outside, and sipped at her coffee while she called her boyfriend at home. Waiting a few seconds longer than usual after hearing “Hi, what's up?”, Candice sighed again when a message tone sounded, and hung up rather than leave a message and wait even longer for a ride. It wasn’t too far to her apartment, even though she really wanted another car. And danger wasn’t exactly a problem. She just didn’t want to walk home on a January night.

Watching alleys out of the corner of her eye, and dodging the occasional cat streaking out from under cars, Candice finally shoved her keys at the lock with numbed hands, slammed the door with a frosty ‘whumph!’, and let her boots drop onto the floor with unceremonious clunks. Then she stared at the door to their room.

Soon enough, the lamp would click on or stupid boyfriend would yell “Yes, I know you’re drunk!” Either way, Candice would wolf down something from the microwave and pass out on the couch, because it was warmer in the living room, then wake up after an hour or so and drag herself to bed.

Candice stared and stared, with her coat still halfway on, until she realized that she was waiting instead of staring.
2 NoirGrimoir4th Dec 2011 12:49:26 AM from San Diego, CA , Relationship Status: Anime is my true love
Rabid Fujoshi
Scene 2

He's not here, she realized, feeling her pulse quicken. Why isn't he here? Her boyfriend and housemate was always home by this hour.

Her blood pumped loudly in her ears as the ominous silence lengthened and horrible scenarios floated unbidden to the forefront of her mind. Something wasn't right here, somehow she new this situation was wrong, could taste it in the air as if tragedy had a flavor. A flavor she knew.

She didn't want to move. While she stood there, Candice imagined there was still a chance for the moment to pass, revealed to be nothing as her boyfriend stepped out of the room and yawned, and confided that he'd uncharacteristically fallen asleep early, waiting for her. But no such thing happened, there was no change in the silence of the apartment, and the only way to know whether her fears were truth or paranoia was to check that bedroom and face whatever she found there.

She crossed the living room in a daze, her head swimming in a sense of unreality as she reached her bedroom door and pushed it open.

“Bale.” The name came to her without understanding as she stood in the doorway, frozen at the sight of a figure at her open window, cloaked in the shadow of the bedroom and backed by the neon glare of the liquor store across the street.

Like war drums pounding on her mind, fear swelled and built inside her from some place she couldn't understand, the same place that had known something was wrong. The place that somehow knew that this had been inevitable, that urged her to keep changing residences, to be wary of new people, to keep quite and stay low and never let her guard down. The same place that knew the flavor of tragedy.

“Alice,” the figure said softly in the night, turning slowly, silently from the window to look at her, face still indiscernible in the shadow. “You remember me.”

“No,” she answered, hoping it was true, but knowing, on some level, that it wasn't.

“I can't believe you actually opened up enough to move in with a man,” he said, voice softly intellectual. It seemed so warm, but it chilled her to the bone. “You used to be so wary. If you hadn't strayed from that pattern he'd still be here.”

A tear rolled down her cheek. “Where is he? Where's Eric?” It was pointless to ask, because she knew. She didn't know how she did, but she knew.

The figure, Bale, ignored her question. Almost kindly, sweetly, the man whispered, “It's time to wake up, Alice. You've been living a pleasant dream here...but the time for dreaming is over.”

edited 4th Dec '11 2:19:24 AM by NoirGrimoir

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Total posts: 2