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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, March 18, 2014
This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, March 18, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  The extra series fishbowl comes as a perk from recent fishbowls reaching the $250 goal.  An audience poll selected "Polychrome Heroics" as the poetic series to be featured.  I'll be soliciting ideas for Damask, their family, other established characters, superheroes, supervillains, supernaries (ordinary people competing on a super level, like Batman does), blue plate specials (people using superpowers in a conventional job), crickets (people hiding their superpowers), forks (anti-super bigots), damsels or gentlemen in distress, unusual types of hero or villain, rivals, superhero teams, gizmos or super-gizmos, costumes, superpowers, monologues, death traps, diabolical plans, thematic vehicles, Urbanburg and its university, Littleton, other established locations in Terramagne, secret lairs, "escape-proof" prisons (aren't), trains or bridges and other hazardous combat locations, science labs, super battles, being "in the fuse box" (hiding superpowers), coming "out of the fuse box" (revealing superpowers), struggling to discover or control superpowers, declaring a nemesis, saving the day, squabbles between people with and without superpowers, the challenges of having superpowers, creative uses of superpowers, side scenes from previous events, and poetic forms in particular.

Given the complexity of some characters in this setting, it's faster and easier for me to work with premade ones than to develop new ones as I'm writing.  I can make some fresh ones on the fly, but you're likely to get more poems total if you mix old and new characters than if you ask for all made-from-scratch ones.  See the character list (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) for ideas.  If you can't find the flavor of soup you want, go ahead and ask for it.  You may also find inspiration in the setting description for Terramagne.

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  This fishbowl is open to everyone, and you may share the announcement with anyone interested in the motifs that Polychrome Heroics incorporates.


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, March 18. I'll be soliciting ideas for thematic characters, objects, plots, settings, and poetic forms in particular. Chances are I'll spend about half the day, from early afternoon to evening, 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 get listed on the Serial Poetry page.  I'm not running the whole perk stack since this fishbowl is itself a perk, but you still get those two.

If you enjoy my poetry -- or if you just love poetry in general, or want to promote interest in Polychrome Heroics -- 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!

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