Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How to Become a Fictional Character... In Just Minutes a Day!

By Nan Hawthorne

Monday I am a Seattle police detective who can turn into a lioness whenever she wants.

Tuesday I am the son of the King of a Saxon kingdom in the late 8th century who is engaged to marry the daughter of a scientist currently drifting without rescue in the emptiness of space while his family mourns him on a moon of Saturn.

Wednesday I am the ghost of a Roman woman whose life was only a little less dramatic than her afterlife.

Thursday I am a street kid searching for food in the middens piles in 10th century Winchester along with his stray puppy he named Brother.

Friday I am an embittered charter member of the Irish Republican Army who has been receiving letters from his ancestors who died in the Great Potato Famine.

Saturday I write stories about Raven, the Northwest Indian trickster god.

I take Sunday off to write my blog.

This is all possible because of an engaging Yahoogroup called Ghostletters. With Ghostletters you must write as either a historical or fiction character, the latter either being original or drawn from literature, movies, television, comics, you name it. You must stay in character. You can write stories about your character, and you can have one or many. The only things you cannot do is post as yourself or as a character already reserved by another member.

The result? A bisexual vampire corresponds with a former member of a shapeshifter mob. The Vice President of Hell shares memories with a blue demon named Pniff. Sam Malone throws a ghost story party at Cheers and has among his guests a Scottish immortal, an Irish bard from the 8th century, a supervillain called Serious Man, a street smart African American middle schooler, a quantum physicist, and many others. Sam Clemens throws in an astute and witty comment now and then. His contemporary P T Barnum, currently deceased, talks about the Greatest Show in Hell he is planning to travel with. A time traveling lute player puzzles over where – and when -- he has landed this time. A DC detective hunts for a spider-like monster terrorizing the capital. Three bright private high school students share the angst ridden adventures of adolescence. Need I go on?

Ghostletters is, as I said, a Yahoogroup. You join by visiting www.ghostletters.net. Most people join and read all the witty exchanges an d storytelling, others jump right in keyboarding fingers first, introducing themselves or jumping into conversations between cats and bottle imps and superheroes and sexy Breton mercenaries and medieval ladies in waiting and you can just guess.

The beauty of Ghostletters is that as a creative writing group it is engaging and fun. You participate just as much or as little as you wish. You get to try out and develop characters as you decide – or find out – how they react to given situations. You never know what you will find, what will happen, who will drop your character a note.

Check it out! If you have questions write to Master Timothy Bernersley (hathorn@drizzle.com). You can also visit the Ghostletters wiki at http://ghostletters.wikispaces.com.

1 comment:

Nan Hawthorne said...

Just wanted to announce that we set up a Ghostletters blog this morning after this was published... http://ghostletters.blogspot.com

Nan