For the letter E I'm going to talk about the little experiment my critiquing buddies and I have taken on this year. I guess this can double as that Chrysalis shout-out I was planning on doing at some point on this blog! The Chrysalis Experiment is a year-long foray into the art (and science, and other things too) of short-story writing. This is how it all began:
In 2011, I'm going to attempt to write 25-50 short stories (that's one story a week or one story every other week). Not to sell. Not to publish. Not to torment other people with. Simply for the purpose of trying to grow as a writer. And I was wondering if anyone else would like to play too. - Jenn
And Winter summed up our feelings on the matter when she said:
Heck. Yes. I'm so in.
So we started plotting and planning, and I added the Experiment to my Goals 2011 page. We opted for Blogger as our platform. Then we devised our blog design. Hard on the eyes but oh so pretty, our blog looked like THIS except with an entirely black text background. Eventually we changed it slightly so it was a little easier to read. We came up with a crazy schedule (you should see the tables we refer to each week to remind ourselves who's doing what!), and put out the call for participants.
The Chrysalis Experiment kicked off in late 2010 with our "preparatory" post. The first prompt went up on January 3. At that time, we had about seven participants (5 of these original 7 have written stories so far, that we know of). But now we're on prompt 14, and we have fifteen participants, who I affectionately refer to as the test rats (hey, I'm a test rat too!). We also have some visits from non-participants which we welcome as well.
Since the beginning of this Experiment, I've read about angels and demon mermaids, totally creepy hampers, magic spells that turn grown women into babies, zombie penguins, forced smiles, mourning fathers, jaded cyborgs, confrontations with the Devil, and some very tough love...to name just a few. I've written about murderous paintings, the consequences of bullying (basically, you die by poisoning), bad relationships, post-apocalyptic worlds and what happens when you're a tiny person stuck in a bottle on a beach. For a start.
What I love about the experiment is that I never know what I'm going to get next - either from the other participants or from myself.
We've just completed March's stories:
And for those who have written at least a story, there's a shiny up for grabs too!
In closing, here is a shoutout to my fellow Experimenters!