Sunday, May 8, 2011

Expansion Joints Challenge: part 11, "Twisted"

When this exercise was hosted over at Porky's Expanse!, he always chose the word for the Expanders! challenge based on some relevant happening that had occurred during the previous week. I do have standards, occasionally, so drawing from the obvious headlines was out: "shot", "terror", "compound" and "mission", while perfectly good candidates that might well make appearances in other circumstances, were rapidly eliminated, along with "eliminated". I'm not as active a blog reader or writer as the prodigious Porky, but a number of online coincidences, which will almost certainly be fodder for a blog post in the next day or so, have led me to ponder how and why writers, GMs, and other creative people deliberately reshape reality through intentionally distorted lenses to serve their ends. So, with that thought bouncing around in my brain trying to escape in some coherent form, the word for the week is "twisted".

If you aren't familiar with the Expansion Joints project, it all began over at Porky's Expanse!.

The rules are just as they are described over at Porky's: as much narrative as you can cram into fifteen words, one of which must be the word of the week.

This can take the form of

1. An epyllion,or litle epic, a stand-alone fifteen-word narrative, or

2. An epos, or 'epic'. Instead of an independent 15-word story, you can choose to develop someone else's story from a previous week, or extend your own story from week to week. Just write the next installment. If it has 15 words, uses the word of the week, and continues the story, you've done it.

There are two important things to think about if you choose epos. First, you should have the permission of the person who wrote the story you will develop. If anyone writes a 15-word epyllion or adds to an epos and is happy for others to develop it later, please say so, with something like 'for use in an epos'. Second, by using specific elements of someone else's story, we technically create a derivative work, so it's best to avoid this.

There are a number of generous contributors who have given express permission to use some of their writing as the basis for epos:

Porky, the founder of the project, offers up all of his contributions.

GDMNW has opened up the three stories here.

Dave G_Nplusplus makes any of his Expanders! stories available for use in an epos.

Jim Hale has an epos running on his Expanders! page, and he has graciously extended permission to play with any or all of the contributions there.

Andy, over at The Creepy Corridor, has also made his epos posts available for expansion.

And, as always, feel free to use any of the stories on this blog that are tagged as "Expansion Joints" in an epos.

Words that have previously made an appearance in an Expanders!/Expansion Joints include: food, fort, stuff, elf, rogue, pass, fool, hammer, note, temper, and table, in case you are of an historical bent, or wish to write a complete set.

When you've finished writing your entry for this week, either post your 15-word story directly in the comments here, or leave a link in the comments to the blog page where we can find it.


  1. I'm pleased you didn't go for the fairly obvious words that might have come out of this week's news.

    I've gone for;

    The former guitarist laughed inwardly, this very twisted world still had him playing an 'axe'.

    The full story so far is here.

  2. @ Jim Hale - Very clever. More backstory and depth, and no skimping on the fun.

    I've integrated this week's with the 31-word 'Geddon on it series, so there are two linked in a mini-epos, plus the extra word, all here.

  3. @ Jennie - Almost forgot: I'm looking forward to that imminent post...

  4. Here's mine:

  5. I would look in the mirror to find the one who is twisted, Chaplain Azariah.


  6. @Jim Hale - Love the insight into this character. i wouldn't have thought "musician" off hand, and this adds welcome layers of complexity.

    @Porky - I like the two-for-one very much! And the post I promised is in progress. So sorry that it (and everything else here) has been delayed.

    @Andy - This evokes powerful images, indeed.

    @Captain Kellen - No mincing words here! I like that.

  7. What I lack in timeliness I make up for in volume this week. My contributions for the week are here.