Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CoWrite: Learning to Fall

Today I was happily working on a writing prompt while also avoiding working on a writing prompt when I saw that someone had tweeted at me. I don’t really know that many people on twitter, so it’s not very often that someone tweets at me. I checked out my notifications to find that it was the developer of a website called cowrite.net, a twice daily writing game for anyone who wants to play.
I love writing games.
The idea is this: everyone contributes a sentence, then votes on their favorite. The sentence with the highest amount of votes is the winner (the computer chooses randomly in the event of a tie). Then, everyone contributes the next sentence, votes again, and the game continues.
There’s a new story twice per day, once at 11 AM GMT (which is blisteringly early here in the States), and once at 9 PM GMT (during those fully awake afternoon hours). If you miss both, you can always start your own story, but it’s not as fun unless you have a couple of other people to write (and compete!) with, but if you’ve got a couple of friends with some time on their hands, then I highly recommend you check it out!
Thankfully, I found out about it a little over an hour before the second story of the day, so I was able to join in. Writers are given around two minutes to write their sentence and vote (or you can skip writing and just vote). With myself, the site’s developer malie, and three other writers, the beginning of the story zoomed along. We eventually got the hang of how quickly we should write to allow time for voting, which gave us more time to think about what we wanted to write next.
You can read our story in its entirety, but I’d like to share the version I’ve edited (and I didn’t just cut out everyone else’s sentences in favor of my own!).

Learning to Fall
by malie, MelLC, myloxyloto, *JBcF [a generic name given by the website], and me

When I first fell through the sky, I wondered if flying was like always falling. Maybe falling is a part of flying; maybe flying is falling with style. But what if your wings aren’t as large as you expected? You have to swallow your heart and stretch whatever wings you have, praying they’ll carry you safely to the ground. But my wings are metaphoric. My fall was not.
I fell from a high wall once; I didn’t mean to fall, but it was the best accident. The wall did not seem immensely high as I fell, but looking back after landing, I could see that it stretched much higher than my eye could reach.
Falling was like flying, but it was not flying. One cannot fall up.
I tried to learn. I climbed high, then leaped away from the wall, coasting, gliding, turning somersaults in the air. But afterward, I always fell. Style came with practice, but the one thing I could not do was soar up into the sky: I could not fly. I could only fall.
That’s when I got an engineer and developed the sweetest fly pack on earth, with lots of buttons, and a thousand page manual.
Going up is no longer a problem.

Malie is still working on the website, so it’s not perfect, but that doesn’t mean that CoWrite is any less fun. Participating was a blast! I don’t think I’ll get up at 5 AM tomorrow for the next story, but I’m definitely going to try to make it tomorrow afternoon, and in the meantime I’m going to tell as many people as I can!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how I love original ideas. I publish a print journal exclusively for new writers and this is an absolutely wonderful way for the unpublished writer to practice writing on a regular basis in a fun way! Visit my site for the flash fiction contest but you have to be an unpublished writer to enter! literarybeginnings.org