Everybody understands the basic roles of hero and villain. Think of the pure classic versions as far points on a spectrum. Moving from villain toward hero, you find the anti-hero: someone who does good things (often this requires some pushing) but has the personality of a rascal. Han Solo is a popular example. Now coming from the villain side of the scale and moving toward hero, there is logically another point that is often ignored, the anti-villain: someone who does evil things, or at least things opposed to the protagonist's goal, but has the personality of a gentleman and deals honorably with his enemies. Both character types include complex shades of gray, and they bracket the "everyman" character type at the center of the spectrum, someone who doesn't lean strongly toward good or evil. If you like mixing things up or playing tug-of-war with characters, you can have fun with this.
If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.
Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.
I'm going to host a Poetry Fishbowl on my blog on Tuesday, May 1. I'll be soliciting ideas for thematic characters, objects, plots, settings, and poetic forms in particular. Chances are I'll spend a good chunk of the day, from afternoon to evening or more, alternating between this site and doing stuff offline so my back doesn't weld itself to the chair.
Perks: I will post at least one of the resulting fishbowl poems on the blog for everyone to enjoy, and an extra one if there's at least one new prompter or donor. The rest will be available for audience members to buy, and whatever's left over will go into my archive for magazine submission.
If donations total $100 then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl. These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size. If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row. Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day. If donations reach $300, you get a half-price sale for one week in one series. Everyone will get to vote on which series to feature in the sale, out of those with extra poems available.
I want to promote linkbacks pointing people to the "Fishbowl Open" post on Tuesday. I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of "Signs Along the Way" (Sort Of Heroes, 17 verses). One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal.
(See the complete list of current perks.)
If you enjoy my poetry -- or if you just love poetry in general, or want to promote interest in erapunk -- please mark the fishbowl date on your calendar. Drop by and give me some ideas, comment on the posted poetry, encourage people to come look, whatever tickles your fancy. I hope to see you then!