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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Power

   
Author Topic: Power
limo
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What would you use your powers of writing for?

Change the world would be nice, but think about it from where you are now. Someplace nice and normal with only a tini tiny voice in the universe.
You've been given the ability to sort something out in your own life through writing ... but it ain't moral. Would You?

Example:
You can get back at someone by writing something really nasty, and by manipulating many a thing through the simple power of the written word.

Would You?

And be truthful please. If you were really really angry at someone and you could make it so that there were no repercussions for yourself...would you?

sigh I expect you're all nice people and wouldn't.


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dpatridge
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hah. you have me completely wrong.

even IF there were repercussions to myself, if someone really, really, seriously pissed me off they'd find themselves written into a story as a convincing bad guy/gal in a way that anyone who knows both of us would recognize immediately and then proceed to hand it out to as many people as i can freely.

i'd also send him/her a copy of the story.

sometimes i'd not only do the above but i'd also reverse their sexuality (a guy would be a girl in the story, or girl a guy in the story) if they are a person sensitive to that kind of thing.


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limo
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Excellent.
I hadn't thought of that.
obviously I'm just getting ideas for my evil plan.
Not really.
But the idea of doing it is making me smile...ah the joys of thinking about being bad.
MAHHAHAHAH (evil laugh)

[This message has been edited by limo (edited April 27, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by limo (edited April 27, 2005).]


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wbriggs
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I wouldn't do it for revenge -- it would be an abuse of power. I had thought of posting a rejection slip on the web -- the one in which the editor told me I sent the story in order to spy on him.

But I would put someone recognizeable in, altered as needed, if it improves the book. I'm trying to get a transcript of a New Age talk I heard, so I can adapt it for some dialog. I could never write things like "our DNA itself is fractally based on phi, the Golden Ratio" without help.


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RFLong
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My favorite lyric from a song is from Elvis Costello's "Every day I write the book"

(I'm probably misquoting here)

quote:

in a perfect world where everyone was equal
I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel

But everyone I know works their way into my writing somehow - they're just usually mixed up with a whole load of other people so they can't be recognised. Everyone influences other people in their lives.

Mind you, I think this and then, I wrote a novel where the lead protagonists had a fairly convoluted love story going on and my husband read it and went "oh, that's us". Surprised me. I thought it was another pair of people entirely.

R

[This message has been edited by RFLong (edited April 27, 2005).]


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rickfisher
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quote:
You can get back at someone by writing something really nasty, and by manipulating many a thing through the simple power of the written word.
quote:
if someone really, really, seriously pissed me off they'd find themselves written into a story as a convincing bad guy/gal in a way that anyone who knows both of us would recognize immediately
The problem is that recognition is crucial here. If the person is not recognizable, you won't be getting back at them (though it may do your heart good). But if they are recognizable, they can sue you.

For big bucks.

I'm not sure that would be a satisfactory resolution for any of us.


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Jeraliey
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On the contrary, Rick, I believe that ONLY the person who you are taking down needs to recognize it in order for it to be effective. Then, whenever they hear about the book, see a copy of it, or even think about how many people might be reading it, they will become embarrassed/angry/ashamed anew. All it would take is one recognizable character trait that others would not pick up on, and you have a great way to make your nemisis self-impose a whole slew of negative feelings.
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shadowynd
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Bring my husband back.

Land myself a dream job. (And get one for an online friend's husband, too, while I'm at it. *G*)

Become published without having to put in the hard work for it?

Win a lottery, or otherwise have my mortgage paid off instantly and painlessly.

There are tons of things in my life right now that I would fix with a magic wand, if I could. If you are looking for ideas of a more retributory nature, though, try these:

Have a private ambulance company go bankrupt, then place it into the hands of those that truly care about the community rather than those intent strictly on profit and their own reputations.

Have a beloved family member of a doctor (that shafted me in the past, ultimately causing me to give up SAR) get lost and need SAR to find them. The existing SAR group would fail, causing them to seek me out for special skills I would develop for myself. Publically I would tell the doctor to get lost, that I am not in SAR any more because of him. Privately I would, of course, find the loved one, thereby saving the day.

Sappy? Oh well, what can I say? I would never let an innocent person be harmed. I'm just not that vengeful in nature! *g*

Susan



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HSO
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I wouldn't do it. Not because I'm of high morality, but because if I wanted to get even with someone, I would do it in person, to their face. If something gets personal, then I'll personally settle it with them. I dislike unnecessary confrontation, but I don't shy away from confrontation when it's necessary.

The trouble is: When is it truly necessary? We have to pick and choose our battles. I always hope that I choose the right ones.


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EricJamesStone
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> What would you use your powers of writing for?

I gained my powers of writing after being stabbed in the hand by a radioactive pen -- thus becoming the Amazing Writerman!

However, one of the things I have learned is that with great power comes great responsibility.


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goatboy
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A few years back there was a fad here of putting up large signs in your yard is someone did you wrong. When I say large, I mean 4x8 sheets of plywood some of them 20 feet off the ground. They had nice slogans on them too. Things like "I was screwed by--". "Thanks XYZ for ruining my lifelong dream." "I'm suing so and so."

In fact, there's still one painted on the side of an old bread truck parked on the property adjoining the nursing home. It reads "Don't trust your loved ones to a man who doesn't pay his bills..."

With that kind of getting even, my puny pen means little.


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autumnmuse
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Wow, some neighborhood, goatboy!!

I wouldn't do it. I don't care if that sounds like a goody-two-shoes. I've been a goody-two-shoes most of my life and I'm proud of it.

Not to mention that I've been lucky enough to not have anyone hurt me that badly. My friends and family are all good people. But if I was really hurt by another person, I probably still wouldn't exact revenge by putting them into a book. Because later maybe the friend and I would forgive each other, but that book would always be there as a constant reminder. I would have a hard time living with that.


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Elan
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I wouldn't do it because I truly believe in the law of Karma. Hating other people makes me miserable, not them.
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TaShaJaRo
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I think I would go back and change some decisions I made to the right ones.
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Survivor
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If I want to hurt someone, I don't use my writing skills. And let's face the truth, I don't believe that I can do evil with my writing abilities, they're too good

On the more general subject of using any of my powers for evil...no. I mean, I already don't, so why would I?


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Pyre Dynasty
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There was a performing arts school in the next neighborhood over that took their student's money and fled the country. For the longest time on the wall was written, "All that Glitters is not gold."

Personally if someone pisses me off I come up with a string of insults that would rip them to peices. Then I decide that would be counter-productive to use them and I say to myself Maybe next time. I've never had to use them though. (of course I also have a reputation for being physically dangerous, which is unearned I promise, that usually makes people apologize quickly.)


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dpatridge
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oh, it wouldn't be the same kind of exacting revenge as some people seem to think. in fact i'd have the greatest time doing it. as for legal issues: they don't exist as far as i am aware. if i were to make a story and then release it into the public, that would be legally troublesome, but just writing the story and distributing it among friends wouldn't cause nary a problem

after everything was said and done i'd hold on to the thing, so would the friend, we'd look back on it everynow and then and recall what happened and say: how were we ever so dumb? since, in point of fact, i'd have done something pretty dumb in order to make the friend insult me, and the friend would have been dumb for insulting me, and i'd have been being even dumber for reacting, and so on.


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limo
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Pure Dynasty
I envy people who have a reputation for being physically dangerous.
Actually I envy people who can think up good insults.
Ah well

I think if I could vent outrage at some of stupidity and corruption of local councils in the paper I would. Friends - well mostly people have a hard time annoying me to the point where I will become nasty. Good thing / bad thing who can say. Can make you sick. Generally I write really long nasty letters to people and then throw them out, but it's a good way to vent.

I always put people I have seen or know in my stories. How else do you get your characters but from an amalgamation of people you know/think you know? Of course they all and up having lives of their own but that goes without saying.
li


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Three Minute Egg
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I guess I would destroy someone with my writing powers if they messed with my wife or daughter.

I try to be a "turn the other cheek" sort of guy, at least in normal day-to-day situations. Get personal, and I s'pose I'd get ugly.

Something about using omnipotent writer powers would leave me unsatisfied. It would be more satisfying sending 9MM bundles of love from me to the transgressor, I think.

I guess I'm like the guy in Grisham's A TIME TO KILL.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the sword is so much more fun!


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Keeley
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I would never use words to exact revenge unless it was a situation like in the movie Sleepers. Of course, it would help if I were a lawyer.

Although I know I could, physically, I don't think I could ever bring myself to exact revenge in a more brutal manner. I firmly believe in what many call karma and the less crap floating around the universe, the better. Besides, my revenge could end up hurting a lot of innocent people as well.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Oh, goody! Another "how low will you go?" topic.

If your enemies are the only ones who recognize themselves, that's all they may need to sue you. Even if you win the case, it can cost you lots of money. And who has the revenge then?

Revenge never makes things even. Instead, it makes things escalate.


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Survivor
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That's one good reason to never take revenge in writing. If you're writing, try and stick to attacking those who have never hurt you personally.

I think this is a good rule because petty-minded revenge literature is almost always of very low quality. If the writer can't get enough emotional distance from the story to judge whether or not the criticisms seem fair or reasonable, then the text will just seem like the product of a deranged mind. Who cares about whether you get sued? The terrible thing is that you'll simply make a fool of yourself in writing.


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