Viramsata: Battle of the Authors

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« on: June 02, 2013, 12:41:04 am »
Quote from: Madness
"Across the plains surrounding the city of Invishi, the ruling caste-nobles are very remote, very effete. The narcotics they cultivate assure them of the obedience of their populations. Over the centuries, they have elaborated jnan to the point where it has eclipsed their old faiths. Entire lives are spent in what we would call gossip. But viramsata is far different from the rumours of the court or the clucking of harem-eunuchs - far more. The players of viramsata have made games of truth. They tell lies about who said what to whom, about who makes love to whomever, and so on. They do this continually, and what is more, they are at pains to act out the lies told my others, especially when they are elegant, so they might make them true. And so it goes from tongue to lip to tongue, until no distinction remains between what is a lie and what is true.

In the end, at a great ceremony, it is the most compelling tale that is declared Pirvirsut, a word that means 'this beathe is ground' in ancient Vaparsi. The weak, the inelegant, have died, while others grow strong, yielding only to the Pirvitsut, the Breath-that-is-Ground.

Do you see? The viramsata, they become living things, and we are their battle plain" (TTT, p451).

Original italics. Group writing has come up a couple times in the forum so far and an idea has come to me in reviewing my writing stuffs - class related and otherwise.

Not only is the above simply an apt and beautiful metaphor for the emerging study of memetics but it gives us an interesting starting place for another skill-building opportunity.

I'm not big on roleplaying and have little interest in dice roles but I do have an interest in furthering my writing technique by helping to write the most elegant and compelling narratives. The weak, the inelegant, will die, while others will grow strong, yielding only to the Narrative-that-is-Ground.

I'm suggesting a no holds barred viramsata, with, perhaps, a simple maximum of two perspectives per player.

Thoughts?

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 12:41:11 am »
Quote from: Swense
Well, this drew me out of lurking and reading other people's theories about Bakker's work. :D

What exactly is this proposal? A story contest? A collaborative story with some sort of competitive element? A Second Apocalpyse-themed collaborative story? What would the setting/theme be, or is that effectively determined by whatever the first post is?

Or something entirely different? I don't consider myself an effete caste noble, would I still be able to compete/participate?

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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 12:41:21 am »
Quote from: Callan S.
I think if you had a structue where people have seperate stories, but each person in their own story can write about the characters someone else raises in their story and propose what happened to those characters or what they did, by making it happen in their own story. Then the other writer might take those events and include them, or twist them further and include them.

Otherwise I'm not sure about compelling - I think it requires secrets and many authors writing one story requires co-operation and without some sort of RPG like ruleset in between, either cooperation cancels out secrets, or secrets cancels out cooperation.

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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 12:41:28 am »
Quote from: Swense
As long as there is no true competitive aspect, then I think a cooperative story would be very doable - basically narrating the same events from a multitude of perspectives. Not necessarily a game of lies, but a game of wildly different interpretations of the same event, perhaps so much so that the other perspectives would consider each other liars.

Edit: the difference between this and roleplaying is that roleplaying is invested in the victory of the characters and their achievements, this is invested in the success of the story and the achievements of the writers.

But I may be interpreting Madness entire wrong.

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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2013, 12:41:35 am »
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: Swense
A collaborative story with some sort of competitive element?

...

is that effectively determined by whatever the first post is?

...

I think a cooperative story would be very doable - basically narrating the same events from a multitude of perspectives. Not necessarily a game of lies, but a game of wildly different interpretations of the same event, perhaps so much so that the other perspectives would consider each other liars.

Edit: the difference between this and roleplaying is that roleplaying is invested in the victory of the characters and their achievements, this is invested in the success of the story and the achievements of the writers.

Quote from: Callan S.
Then the other writer might take those events and include them, or twist them further and include them.

You two are onto it. I'm not sure about a competitive element but it will appear of its own nature: "They do this continually, and what is more, they are at pains to act out the lies told my others, especially when they are elegant, so they might make them true."

Say Callan begins with a perspective that includes something as incidental as a rose in his description. But that is the idea that holds me so I use my character perspectives to explore the rose. However, then Swense liked something else within my own or Callan's perspectives, and he decides to focus on that. So the ideas that are more elegant, more captivating, become our Narrative-that-is-Ground, our Pirvirsut.

It even reflects benjuka ;).

We're limited only by say a maximum of perspectives, or not at all, and by the ideas that take collective hold of our imaginations as we practice our craft.

We must only concede embellish the ideas of others - even if it tests our usual loci of writing.

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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2013, 12:41:46 am »
Quote from: Swense
Hmm. Sounds interesting, I'd certainly be willing to give it a go.

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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2013, 12:41:54 am »
Quote from: Callan S.
I was actually thinking of seperate stories and authors cherry pick from others stories*.

So you describe from a perspective, with a bit of extra detail all around (don't keep it too tight to the subject the character is focusing on), then others might pick up from some part of that extra detail and extend it under another perspective?


* And for anyone who says this is similar to a perspective, stop being so clever! ;)

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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2013, 12:42:00 am »
Quote from: Madness
You could have it right tight on the character, Callan. Then I might simply decide that the actions or words or allusions by that character are what I'd like to explore - your perspective mentions an event or city, etc.

I suggest drawing the line at writing the deaths of other perspectives (use this word rather than character because I can see the bowl of petunias making an appearance).

Also, no limit in time or space, though our ideas do not have to roam such edges if they don't.

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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2013, 12:42:09 am »
Quote from: Madness
Today it was the theater.

The actors paced on the stage. It was an antique piece, something performed in wordless song. At peace with the fallen.

Projecting meaning was a practice Azrael thoroughly enjoyed. He'd found in his lifetime that attributing meaning was far more pleasing than having intent spelled out for him.

They wore uniforms hundreds years old. Preserved originals if Azrael gauged right. He inhaled at the smell of smoke. Saw as much as felt the creased and cracked leather.

A historical performance...

And Azrael would know.

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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2013, 12:42:16 am »
Quote from: Camlost
Marden glided across the stage with the grace of smoke on a battlefield. She had performed the steps so many times before that she could get lost in their silent rhythm, letting her thoughts wander to the audience.

What was this performance to them, this dirge for the vanquished? Was it history, was it art, was it simply wealthy posturing?

She caught glimpses of rapt faces in the crowd as she drifted across the stage, the stage lights reflecting in the eyes of the dimly lit crowd. Except for one. As she spun, her eyes caught his, dark, hoary and immeasurable.

And she staggered in her dance..

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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2013, 12:42:29 am »
Quote from: Callan S.
That they'd both gone to such pains with the audience, so much ensurance of uniformity in every identical expression! That one could be out of place, an other expression, twisted the role of audience and show back, jarringly, to its original position. The order of watcher and watched snapped back to it's origen by a single compromised face. What was this blasphemy?

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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2013, 12:42:42 am »
Quote from: Madness
The actress, stunning motion, stumbled... stumbled.

He felt it, before he heard it, the dance of sorcery, magic, soma. It never remained the same, strange synestrous, sensual in matters of degree.

Azrael's soul aflame, he felt frantic in this skin. Another trapped animal...

His perception depended always on the caster, on the wielder, creature or kreten.

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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2013, 12:42:56 am »
Quote from: sciborg2
This good stuff guys!

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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2013, 12:43:11 am »
Quote from: Camlost
Anjiera shifted agitatedly in his seat. His pulse raced to the war drum vibrations of tragic resignation. His blood felt hot in his veins, his muscles tensely poised, and he was surprised to look down at his white-knuckled grasp on the arm rests of his chair.

He released his grip and raised his gaze back to the stage, the inexplicable fervour fading. The actress had regained her step, again moving effortlessly about the stage, but that intangible thing that had held him so enthralled was no longer there

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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2013, 12:43:20 am »
Quote from: Madness
Azrael remained motionless in his seat.

The actresses' eyes unchained from his own and she continued her next, perfect, step. He knew there would be others. Strangers like himself, looking upon the stage. Staring in full, white-eyed, knowledge... that here, now... something had happened.

And Azrael was so ready to escape...

That nothing had happened, could only mean that one of the sensual among them made some more personal play at preservation.

Azrael raised pressed palms to grinning face. Someone needed his gratitude.