The Diametric Literature Hour

Here is a wonderful example of an eye for an eye story craft offered by an English
Professor at an American University. In-class Assignment for Wednesday

"Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story.
The process is simple. Each person will pair off with
the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will
then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read
the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first
person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember
to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story
coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking and anything you wish to
say must be written on the paper.
The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of my English students:
Rebecca - last name deleted, and Gary - last name deleted.

STORY: (first paragraph by Rebecca)
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted.
The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy
evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in
happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all
costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if
she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So
Chamomile was out of the question.
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the
attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important
things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo
named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago.
"A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic
communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..."
But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of
nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the
direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not
before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing
the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth
stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4.
"Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel,"
Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously
excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming
of her youth - when the days had passed unhurriedly and
carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from
her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her.
"Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?"
she pondered wistfully.
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands
of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of
its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the
Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through congress had left Earth a
defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to
destroy the human race
. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty
the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to
pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly
initiated their diabolical plan.
The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The
, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean
floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which
vaporized poor, stupid, Laurie and 85 million other Americans.
The President slammed his fist on the conference table.
"We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty!
Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature.
My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic
whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of
Valium. "Oh shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort
Oh no I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Mills & Boon
Get fucked.
Eat shit.
Go drink some tea - whore..

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