During 2015 I participated in The Legal Theft Project, a process in which a small group of people commit minor acts of sanctioned plagiarism. The rules for this criminal enterprise (which I read for the first time ten minutes ago) are below:
1) Write something
2) Give the first line of your piece to another person
3) Don’t show them the original piece until they’ve written their own, using the same first line
4) Laugh or stand in awe of how differently or similarly your creative minds work
Apprentice, Never Master, the ringleader of our collective skulk, asked what our favorites were. Here are my five in no particular order.
Silas was rarely awake in time to see the sun come up, let alone up, dressed, and walking outside in the crisp last moments of darkness.
Evil people come in many flavors. I find the most frustrating are those you can’t give an after-school-special-lesson to via a punch to the nose. Sometimes you work for them, sometimes you are related to them, sometimes they love you. These types of people are the most fun to write.
“You are the reason we have been banned from four countries.”
The opening line presented some difficulty. Many of my characters are banned in countries, or at least should be. But one particular social climber thinks more globally than the rest.
After I knew who was speaking, the piece was very fun.
Her first thought when she woke up was that she hated him.
When the lines are posted each week I rarely know immediately what I am going to do. Usually it takes a few false starts and a paragraph of strung-together impulses before I find something I have an opinion about.
I knew who I was writing the moment I saw the line. There are different types of hate, just as there are different types of love.
Mommy says my goldfish ran away today.
I almost skipped this week. I rarely write children and had difficulty with the word ran. I could not get the picture of fish with legs out of my head.
So I gave up and wrote a story about goldfish who possess legs and feet to run away with. What came about was something whimsical and very outside what I normally write. Also the word swoopy.
Knocking on the door gave her the same sensation as hitting the ground after being thrown from a horse.
My first thought upon receiving the line was that I needed a door like that. My second thought was how amazing it would be if I could make my door like that. This led me eventually to a story about a witch who doesn’t want to be bothered and a girl who isn’t quite rude enough to really get in trouble.
Legal Theft has been great fun and I am looking forward to a whole new year of criminal enterprise. Make sure to check out the rest of the Thieves and their blogs below.