Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Wanna be a writer?
February 1, 2007 4:07 PM   Subscribe

"A Million Penguins is an experiment in creative writing and community. Anyone can join in. Anyone can write. Anyone can edit. Let’s see if the crowds are not only wise, but creative. Or will too many cooks spoil the broth?"
posted by goo (39 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The first paragraph has certainly given me immense confidence in myself as a writer.

"He started laughing, a long, dark, ululating laugh that any hyena would envy."

Jesus Christ.
posted by fire&wings at 4:16 PM on February 1, 2007


Pretty sure that I'm going to abandon my current account and start posting as Rough, Ragged, Ultimately Satisfying Dog Hair. Watch out!
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 4:18 PM on February 1, 2007


Ouch. So far, spoiled inedible broth. I think the masses need more editors, less "writers." Although it's probably too late, already.
posted by kozad at 4:22 PM on February 1, 2007


Whoa, spoke too soon. A Big Wet One for Your Ru-Ru beats Dog Hair by a mile.
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 4:22 PM on February 1, 2007


An infinite number of monkeys wept.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:25 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


He focused on the rhythmic swagger of Inu's behind.

Can little dogs swagger? Perhaps Inu keeps changing size, and it's all the conscientious penguins can do to waddle after him, keeping up with his changing descriptions.

It gave Howard the time he needed to fly out of the house and down the road, to pick Liz up by her flimsy T-shirt, and to take her into his arms and declare his undying love for her.

"But... for how long?" she gasped, unable to comprehend why a 57-year-old bachelor with a club foot and a right eye that wandered as much as Carlo's sanity would think he'd have a glimmer of a chance with her.


This made me laugh, but at the same time it gave me that "I've been in the mall for too long" bad writing panic.

Anyone else get that peculiar nausea when reading bad novels?
posted by felix grundy at 4:27 PM on February 1, 2007


"It was a dark and stormy night......."
posted by unrepentanthippie at 4:38 PM on February 1, 2007


And that's fewer writers that they so definitely need. /edit
posted by felix grundy at 4:38 PM on February 1, 2007


Can little dogs swagger?

Further: can a butt, canine or otherwise, do the swaggering?

Waggling, sure.

And, yes, always, this sort of thing will fail to produce good writing in any traditional sense of the words. If you want to herd cats, you have to have a special cat-herding system. This is just cats wandering around pissing wheresoever they like.
posted by cortex at 5:06 PM on February 1, 2007


Man...I’d like to herd a cat. Y’know? Phfft. You kiddin me? Herding some cats n’shit? That’d be the thing. Cat herd. They have those? Why is it a Shep-herd not a sheep-herd? No, I’m off track here. But really, herding cats? Man, think about that. Really think. About herding cats. Hell, I know I’d like to do it. One cat anyway. Just as a thing, y’know? My thing. It’d be my thing where I herd a cat. That’s all I’m saying. Instead of doin’ this shit. I’ll tell you that. This ain’t cat herding man. When you’re a cat herd the cat needs you. And looks up to you. To herd him. Or her. And just herd them around, y’know. Like to supper or to take a nap or something. Maybe a piece of yarn. What is it, a ball? A ball of yarn? I could wind that up for a cat. I’ve got thumbs. It’d be like an extra thing. And I could take care of the cat and herd the cat around. Man, that’d be sweet.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:25 PM on February 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


"I've been in the mall for too long" panic

I get this. Badly. It really needs a name. "Mallaise" is sort of in the right direction, but doesn't really work. Hmmm.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 5:32 PM on February 1, 2007


And, yes, always, this sort of thing will fail to produce good writing in any traditional sense of the words.

yes. The thing about writing is that since it's "just" pressing keys, everyone thinks they have the tools to be a pro.

"As an experiment, we're going to start a football game with anyone off the street who wants to play, no matter how old, out-of-shape, or completely unfamiliar with the rules of the sport. Our theory is that the resulting game will be as good or better than the Colts vs. the Bears."
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:45 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Impossible.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:01 PM on February 1, 2007


Some just add "The End."
posted by The Deej at 6:17 PM on February 1, 2007


SomeONE just add...

sheesh... never mefi right after a percoset
posted by The Deej at 6:18 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


A Million PENISES is an PENIS in creative PENIS and PENIS.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:34 PM on February 1, 2007


Ooh, that reminds me—I need to borrow 999,997 monkeys for my million monkey literature creation thingy. And a million typewriters.
posted by Mister_A at 6:53 PM on February 1, 2007


can I just delete the whole thing?
posted by Megafly at 7:00 PM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can't wait to read this well-plotted piece of nonclaptrap that won't ever make me want to retch.
posted by logicpunk at 7:43 PM on February 1, 2007


can I just delete the whole thing?

I tried to do that to Wikipedia once. Didn't stick.
posted by bicyclefish at 7:44 PM on February 1, 2007


"I've been in the mall for too long" panic

I get this. Badly. It really needs a name. "Mallaise" is sort of in the right direction, but doesn't really work. Hmmm.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:32 PM CST on February 1


It's "malaise" and if you think it is any kind of panic then you're not nearly the literary luminary you believe. Sorry to be a smartass, but if you're going to be haughty, it becomes incumbent on you to do it correctly.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:55 PM on February 1, 2007


I think it was spelled "MALLaise" on purpose. Not refuting the rest of your point, however, Ynoxas.
posted by dazed_one at 8:44 PM on February 1, 2007


Not the biggest fan of neologisms, but:

I thought that the uncommon spelling not only captured the mall part, but rendered "malaise" into its two separate parts, thus bringing out echoes of "mal a son aise," which does have that shifty feeling of needing to get out of building/text right away.

(that "a" up there should have an accent, I know. What I don't know is how to put it in.)
posted by felix grundy at 10:18 PM on February 1, 2007


Ok I voluntarily accept 1 demerit if I missed a purposeful witticism on Jon's part. Sorry, it's a mallady I'm sometimes afflicted with.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:48 PM on February 1, 2007


MetaFilter: cats wandering around pissing wheresoever they like.
posted by loquacious at 4:04 AM on February 2, 2007


Apparently the story is over, because Big Tony just took a bullet in the back of the head.
posted by tadellin at 6:09 AM on February 2, 2007


And now, thermonuclear warheads have been detonated in every major city on the planet. So, I'm pretty sure this story is really over now.
posted by tadellin at 6:14 AM on February 2, 2007


Cat herding.
posted by LordSludge at 6:49 AM on February 2, 2007


And now, thermonuclear warheads have been detonated in every major city on the planet. So, I'm pretty sure this story is really over now.

On the contrary, the story is JUST BEGINNING:
Lord Sludge looked out over the destruction he had wrought. Why all the death? Why all the destruction? And all for a girl? There were so many questions left unanswered, so many wrongs left unrighted, so many cliches left uninvoked.

Suddenly, a giant robot lurched violently from the debris that he (Lord Sludge, not the robot) had once called home...
posted by LordSludge at 6:58 AM on February 2, 2007


Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.


Worst. Story. Ever.
posted by Merlyn at 10:18 AM on February 2, 2007


Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server was temporarily unable to service my request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems, so I decided to try again later. Suddenly, I heard the unmistakable shuffle of my gimp-boss sliming his way down the aisle. I quickly closed the window to the ailing streaming porn site, and whispered a note of praise to the wise and powerful 404 Gods for their intervention on my behalf.

Captain Jaggoff poked his frumious noggin over the padded wall of my cell, sniffing imperiously.

"You're late getting your Company Values Certification, Friedman," the nasal incantation began. "It was due COB Friday."

I agreed that it had been due "COB" Friday.

"Failure to comply with company business standards training is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal."

He was right, again, of course.

So I shot him.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:44 AM on February 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Lt. Jaggoff was promoted? Oh, yeah, right. Of course he was.

LordSludge - wow. Dude! Oh, man. A video. That’s like, really big time. Man, oh jeez. I'm having trouble calming down.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2007


It's something to shoot for, anyhow.
posted by LordSludge at 11:58 AM on February 2, 2007


So is the heart, LordSludge. So is the heart.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:02 PM on February 2, 2007


Lt. Jaggoff was promoted?

To hell and back. Flyers on every light pole in town, radio spots every thirty minutes for a week.
posted by cortex at 12:16 PM on February 2, 2007


"'It was the best of times, ... it was the blurst of times'?! You stupid monkeys!!!"
posted by sparkletone at 12:31 PM on February 2, 2007


The single worst application of a wiki I've ever heard of. This is going to read like the best paper in a ninth grade creative writing class. Hooray for adjectives! Why don't they just cut and paste paragraphs from four hundred different Livejournals?

"Tony felt hungry and could easily have seen off a large pizza."

Is Tony bringing his pizza to the airport?
posted by inoculatedcities at 2:28 PM on February 2, 2007


It's a perverse idea. Wikiing an insanely individualistic art form. But isn't that what makes it cool?

felix grundy, you have adjusted my brain ever so slightly by linking that mall-feeling with that bad-writing feeling. File them both under cultural claustrophobia.
posted by dontoine at 3:13 PM on February 2, 2007


Lt. Jaggoff was promoted?

To hell and back. Flyers on every light pole in town,


leading to an arrest by the Boston Moonicipal Police.
posted by eritain at 1:01 AM on February 3, 2007


« Older You've heard of ScummVM and MAME, but harvest time...  |  "I'm bleeding. You can check ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments