TED Conversations

Terry Torok

Founder at Angel Producers, Founder at Live from Earth

TEDCRED 100+

This conversation is closed.

What If... we created a collaborative novel... write here, characters loosely based on a story that is being written before us...

Maybe only those who write it read it... and it's the worst idea ever... maybe it needs an editor or lots of help, but What If, by some very strange happy accident, it became a novel idea?

Chapter one needs just a few brave characters to begin...

Share:

Closing Statement from Terry Torok

IT IS POSSIBLE to CREATE A COLLECTIVE STORY within a TED Conversation.
With a little promotional support from TED and a little longer run...
We may have a novel idea worth spreading...
and perhaps worth publishing...

  • thumb
    Aug 22 2011: "Turn left," said a voice from the back. "I know of somewhere interesting."
    "Would it not be more interesting to go somewhere where nobody knows anything?" piped up another, as the Mayor began to turn the large wheel. He straightened up and pulled into a layby. The engine purred and popped in the heat of the day.
    It was the first stumbling block; what nothing did they all know...
  • thumb
    Aug 21 2011: Even he didn't know exactly where he wanted to go yet. "Away," Theodore Chase thought as he gripped the steering wheel of the old Volkswagen van even tighter. "Mommy," he heard her ask tentatively, almost afraid of the answer, but too curious not to ask, "why didn't Daddy come with us?"
  • thumb
    Aug 21 2011: At this he laughed out loud and spun the dial until a real voice that wasn't stuck in his head rumbled low through the van's speakers... "welcome to the random road, live from earth" coming up next an interview with The Bad Mitten Orchestre, live from Port Townsend". While the radio rolled into the music, the first direction rolled into Theodore's head. Port-something or other, sounded like a true north for now until someone else had a different idea to which he remained wide open.

    The VW van looked it's part, a true throwback to '72, it smelled like one too. An aroma of sage, lavender and a thousand joints spiced up the ultimate send off for a new Mayor-elect. Outside the back window was a hand painted suggestion of flowers and words that read "...based on a true story". Two minutes into the first song, an angelic voice emerged from the back seat. There In the rear view mirror was a striking silhouette; knees tucked under arms holding a summer dress and letting out an equally striking harmony. The rhythm of the road was in play with the buzz of the engine that sounded like the last margarita in the blender. Someone cranked on the sunroof that looked like it had been painted shut by nine shades of pink and purple. When it finally popped open, the handle flew off, a map escaped and a light rain poured in. Everybody laughed right through the next two towns, it was a perfect warm-up-act for getting to know who exactly was along for the ride...
  • Jul 26 2011: The new mayor of Now Town--his father swears he didn't vote for him, his mother claims she carried a placard in the demonstration preceding his election warning Now You See Us Tomorrow You Won't--had shut down, closed out, everything that made childhood worth remembering--the public libraries, the children's wading pools, the educational programs that worked with artists. He'd dragged his feet, smoked a few too many joints, maybe, wanting to hang on to childhood. But it was time to grow up and go looking for what was disappearing.
  • Jul 26 2011: My children and I did this when they were teenagers. We would each write a few lines whenever we had the urge or a creative idea and kept each others story going. Some of the story was fiction. Other parts non-fiction. We had many notebooks and at one period did not speak for almost 2 weeks. It revealed so much and at times was hilarious. So were would you start this story and what would be the first line?
    • thumb
      Aug 7 2011: Great it's time to call on the kids... jump in, the first lines are written... write here Lisa....
  • thumb
    Jul 26 2011: Sounds like fun and I think I already saw that somewhere.
    I'll check and let you know in case I find it.

    Edit:
    I checked, but it seems the site I had in mind is down or maybe dead altogether. But check it out anyway: http://www.glypho.com/
    But I found another one you might want to have a look at: http://www.younovel.com/en/.
    There are many other sites dedicated to collaborative writing. Just google it.
  • thumb
    Aug 25 2011: "Last call anyone?"
  • thumb
    Aug 25 2011: The old man laughed and offered a peach each to Dre and Scouse, "Look, Lucky" Ted paused realizing he may never have placed those two words together before, so he gave it another shot "Look, I read the ad, why do you think I am here?" "I applied too, just like you". I had no idea that I'd actually win the election, I just thought a road trip was a great escape after losing".

    "Crap man, everybody at the bar thought you were the one taking us on this journey" Lucky looked very disappointed and confused too. Scouse led the way, as they took a more direct cut through the garden.

    The bar was now full, Sierra was mid stream ordering up shots, seated on top of the bar, when she said, "...and catch one for water boy here, you can heat his up" "You're a funny girl" Ted smirked. "Funny yeah, I almost burst into flames fixing your sh(^%t van while you were in the rose bed with Scouse" Ted popped on top of the bar, at the precise moment the bartender slid the shot down the bar right under Ted's unfortunate position.

    "I prefer to take my shot orally, but hey, whatever turns you on". "Bartender, make sure the next one is on fire" Sierra, was musical and she didn't miss a beat, slammed her shot. Ted now standing up on the bar, as if stumping on his last campaign stop, alcohol dripping from his back pocket "Listen everybody, that thing, is not my van, I do not have any more money than a hundred dollars, and I responded to the same ad you all did" "I just thought I'd be nice and drive first, since I seemed to be the only local"

    Dre upheld her vow of quiet, popped the last of the peach in her mouth, Lucky shook his head grabbed a shot, and declared "I aint payin' for this". Sierra was apparently serious about the flaming shot. When the bartender lit it, she decided not to slide this one. Ted looked surprised and Sierra with shot in hand suggested, "try this one orally, water boy, you might want to blow it out first" "Unless you prefer everything to be overheated"...
  • thumb
    Aug 25 2011: His words sprouted considerable curiosity, but Ted was torn between asking the next question that could lead to a story too long or attempt to meander further into the fruitful possibility of running into Sierra again. "Is it possible you have a token sixpense sir, somewhere in your garden?" "Sixpense?" "So you are the ones? " Well actually Scouse here seemed quite interested and..." before he could decide his next escape clause, two more passengers from the van emerged. It was the guitar-toting quiet Canadian girl Dre and the guy with the big laugh who permanently unscrewed the van's homemade sunroof. "Ted, Sierra was wondering if you were ever planning to bring water back for the radiator"... "but no worries man, we got you covered, while you were lost out here in the lilies, Dre and your good man Lucky, we got the water for you man".

    In a comic book moment Ted's eyes popped, as he raised his hand with the empty bottle still in it. "But you know man, we need the money" "Money?" Ted was clearly caught in kaleidoscope of confusion. "Money, come on, we loaded into that crazy van like we were supposed to" "you know, if I knew it would be so small..." "Wait" Ted tried to hit the reset button. "What are you talking about money?"

    Lucky materialized a crumpled newspaper from his inside, jacket pocket. "The advertisement was pretty clear man... Seven Lucky people..." Lucky stopped and smiled "Shoot man I am the only Lucky on this ride, and I'm not feelin it" he went back to finding his place reading the article "Seven Lucky people, on the ride of their lives, a road trip to their dreams, must be able to travel light- 6-9 months, all expenses paid. Apply today and tell us your dreams... blah, blah, blah," Lucky's eye caught Ted's and Dre leaned in curiously, and said her signature nothing. "You know the deal man, we need some money, some people want to stay here for the night, and the South African guy's got a healthy bar tab started".
  • thumb
    Aug 24 2011: "Have you had a look around?" Ted asked. "Have you found it yet?"
    "Found what?" Scouse mouse answered, thinking that if it was on this kaleidoscopic carpet, it would be lost forever.
    "The sixpence" he said, smiling.
    "The sixpence?"
    "Yeah, apparently you guys spin on it."
    "Well, we don't actually spin on a particular sixpence, but there is a saying that 'life spins on a sixpence'. It's a metaphor for how the direction of life can change quickly. I don't know where it originates but I suspect it was a betting game. But that sixpence it a long way from home."
    Curious to find out more, Scouse mouse followed Ted. He walked out of the door, and turned into the garden, On and on they walked, past cyclamen, chrysanthemums, lavender, lillies, allium, acers, many, many roses, poppies, hollyhocks, a laurel tree, an ash, a beautiful weeping willow, a magnolia in bloom and a myriad of plants which Scouse could not name, some which she could not even remember seeing anywhere else.
    In the centre of the garden, stood a mighty Oak. It looked like it had been there forever, and the plants around it had travelled here on pilgrimage. In the far distant groves of oranges twinkled in the sunshine,
    Their pace slowed. She knew they were going to see the sixpence, but, without words, both agreed it would be a folly to race through such beauty.
    Like butterflies they bobbed their heads to drink in the scents from one flower to another, held the delicate flowers in their hands and marvelled at the strength of such thin stems.
    At the base of the oak sat an old man, peeling a pear he had plucked from the orchard which sat in the east of the garden. Around his feet lay the stones and seeds of the fruit he had eaten today; an apple core, a peach stone and some cherry pips. Welcome, he said.
    "What is this place?" Scouse asked.
    "I sat here one day, eating some fruit and looking out at grass, and I had an idea. I planted one seed, and then another. Very soon it turned into an idea worth spreading..
  • thumb
    Aug 23 2011: As the engine cooled and the Mayor-elect kicked his heels and pondered the best way to elicit the relationship status of Sierra, Scouse Mouse scurried off to the 'Obble Inn to find refreshments, and maybe even a bed for the night.
    She surveyed her surroundings; optimism was all around here. More than 200 other seats in the bar lay empty, all positioned for optimum ambience and ready for the celebrations that have never materialised.
    The pattern of the floor swirled before her eyes as she gulped down the first of the many drinks her dehydrated body needed, although she knew it would never be enough. That thought lay like a stone in the pit of her stomach, threatening to send the drink back the way it came and add to the pattern on the floor.
    Her life was a drama worthy of a film script, but one none would commission. It was blancmange; she was blancmange. A public servant, no better than an automaton. At least she was, until 2010 beckoned and she resolved to spend the year saying 'yes' to everything which wouldn't bankrupt her, harm her or land her in jail.
    Instead, it landed her here......
  • thumb
    Aug 22 2011: The last sputter of the engine produced a loud pop that motivated everyone out of the van. The steamy smoke, stoked the van's aroma for one more round. As unsettling as it might be, the VW van's hand-painted artwork somehow looked much better with steam swirling around it.

    The previous silhouette in the layered sundress wasted no time and had the radiator cap off before the smoke settled. "dry as bone" she laughed. The Brit from Liverpool, declared "so am I" and made an about face towards a half-lit sign in the distance. The Hobble Inn with the burnt-out "H" became destiny for five of the seven.

    The mayor-elect, captain for the moment, stayed with the ship. "I'm Theodore", he said looking through the steam. The silhouette with the angelic voice responded. "Can you hand me that bottle" He did and she poured it over the radiator.

    "Isn't that supposed to go inside?" said Theodore. "not yet, it's too hot". "I'm Sierra, hi". "hi" "I need to call you Ted or something, anything, really, who would name their kid Theodore?" "My parents would. I'll get some more water". Prior to that moment, Theodore never settled for Ted, his parents wouldn't have it. Now Ted from Now Town heard a new voice in his head and it stuck like a song from high school days. With bottle in hand, he followed the trail towards the burt-out "H".
  • thumb
    Aug 6 2011: So it seemed no one would miss the mayor-elect before his first few weeks of duty, getting out of Now Town, might be his best way, back in... Mayor Chase, took to the wheel first. The six other strangers, seemed happy not to know where they might be headed, at least, for now...
  • thumb
    Jul 26 2011: A random road trip around the planet... seemed like a good way for the seven strangers to get to know each other...