Examples of MetaFilter used as a platform for creative writing? July 26, 2016 7:56 AM   Subscribe

Are there any good examples of Mefites using MetaFilter threads as a space for creative writing? One example might be scarabic's infamous how to dispose of a body comment. I don't mean hoax posts, which aren't intended as "fiction".
posted by dontjumplarry to MetaFilter-Related at 7:56 AM (58 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

It sounds like you're asking for what are historically called "comment fables." The Mefi Wiki has a list of comment fables to start from (or add to, if people come in here with some newer ones).
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:57 AM on July 26, 2016 [10 favorites]


Big Birding
posted by duffell at 8:04 AM on July 26, 2016 [5 favorites]


My favourite is Mrs. Pterodactyl's touching account of her MetaFilter history.
posted by billiebee at 8:15 AM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


This, sort of.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:29 AM on July 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that comment fables link! It brought back some old memories and enabled me to give troutfishing's White House Pizza Room fable the twelfth favorite that allows it to enter Comment Valhalla.
posted by languagehat at 8:33 AM on July 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


Gah, what's that one about queuing up Ask Metafilter questions, where it's post-apocalyptic?
posted by Chrysostom at 9:11 AM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]






A number of commenters in the Harvard sentences post earlier this month proposed creative ways the Harvard sentences could be repurposed, and DevilsAdvocate & nickzoic workshopped the idea of divination-by-Harvard-sentence.
posted by duffell at 9:38 AM on July 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


I used to have a little stream of "Cabal Communiques" that I would drop into the occasional MeTa thread. It started with this response to something weird jessamyn found in the source code. Here are some other ones I was pleased with.

cookie deletion (data type), cookie deletion (baked good type)
This is not investment advice
The Plab

If you search my MeTa activity for "CABAL" you should find most if not all of them.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:51 AM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't know if well-crafted personal essays fall under your creative writing definition, but there are some jewels in sonascope's most-favorited comments.

All the mess we get because people are scared of their own ass.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:59 AM on July 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


dude, you can't go putting "CABAL" in the search box. that's how they know you're on to them
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:04 AM on July 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm biased, since I live with the author, but hypatia's Beowulf/Wodehouse pastiche is one of my favorite things I've ever seen on this site.
posted by firechicago at 10:07 AM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]






Funny you should ask, because I just linked to this story the other day; it is one of my all-time favorite comments on MetaFilter, posted after The New Yorker ran a sci-fi story, which prompted Iridic to imagine a sci-fi mag running a New Yorker story.

Typical New Yorker Story...or is IT?
posted by Greg Nog at 11:54 AM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


greenish: So.... anyone fancy the next line game? We could write the Next Great Transcontinental Novel.
Namlit: That needs to be explained...
Namlit: Unbelievably slow, how this thread is loading. We're about to break the internets
greenish: Very easy - storytelling, but each person leaves a cliffhanger for the next to pick up

And so, within an alphabet thread, grew a very strange and surreal collaborative work of fiction: "When Göran Hasselkvist opened his kitchen window last Friday, the first thing he saw was a shoe. ... "
[WARNING: Part of the massive 8000+ comment Alphabethread]

posted by Kabanos at 12:02 PM on July 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Wheel
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 12:38 PM on July 26, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh I just remembered this surrealist Starbucks comment from oulipian which I love with a passion.
posted by billiebee at 1:40 PM on July 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good lord, don't forget Pastabagel's dialogue about boring men.
posted by Melismata at 2:32 PM on July 26, 2016 [6 favorites]


The ongoing doings of the quidnunc kid are an endless source of dark funsies, business opportunities, and stump speeches. He's got all my votes in his pocketses.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 4:09 PM on July 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


well according to my profile ...

QUALIFIER: I am, more or less, a fictional character
posted by philip-random at 4:39 PM on July 26, 2016


Short but creative, a description of a way to view the world and avoid hoarding tendencies. Not sure if it qualifies, but memorable!
posted by Pryde at 5:12 PM on July 26, 2016 [2 favorites]


I always assumed that the girl in the park questions were an attempt at fiction.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:38 PM on July 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


More fiction and whatnot from Iridic.
posted by Wobbuffet at 6:41 PM on July 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does this one from tonight's DNC thread count? I really liked it.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:11 PM on July 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wrote this little comment fable back when I worked in the Flatiron Building.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:42 AM on July 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


A crowd-sourced epic about a dude called Göran Hasselkvist is buried in the longest-ever 2013 alphabet thread. Tooting my own horn obvsl. Here's where it started, typos and all.
posted by Namlit at 3:42 AM on July 27, 2016


I feel like sonascope uses mefi as a source of writing prompts. He claims his comments are all autobiographical, but at this point I assume it's simply well written fiction. But fact or fiction, they're certainly creative.
posted by pwnguin at 10:37 AM on July 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


But if it's all true how is that creative?
posted by Mitheral at 3:09 PM on July 27, 2016


the ways of nature are unfathomable (and hence inherently also creative)
posted by Namlit at 3:26 PM on July 27, 2016


But if it's all true how is that creative?

By creative use of telling devices: framing, selection, and reflection. Example.
posted by pwnguin at 4:31 PM on July 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


The story of the apocalypse pepper.
posted by moonmilk at 5:18 PM on July 27, 2016


Every now and then I get all excited by a comment thread and twice I've proposed movies -- a thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Liam Neeson on the missing MH370 plane Kazakhstan conspiracy theory (don't miss the surprise ending) and a touching historical drama about women from around the world coming to medical school in Philadelphia in 1885. And then a little children's story about the rescue plane to Antarctica.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:48 PM on July 27, 2016


I'd long had the idea for this short story, and this Metafilter thread about sports prayers seemed an ideal place to bring it to life.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:03 PM on July 27, 2016




I wrote some mathowie fanfic that one time.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:39 PM on July 27, 2016




This letter from a young rules-lawyer was fun to write and well received.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:42 AM on July 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Every so often a thread pushes the right button and I blarg some words out.
Dear Visionary, in a thread about a minor architect's (mildly kooky) life's work to redesign all of human civilization.
NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI, in a thread from last year about an actual sword with actual runes that are actually pretty mysterious.
JHarris' little-known past.
Where tweets come from.
Crazy people are doing this shopping no wait that one really happened.
posted by ardgedee at 2:43 AM on July 28, 2016


The story of the apocalypse pepper.

That remains one of my favorite things that I have ever written.
posted by maxsparber at 8:29 AM on July 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


I liked the thread where The Whelk and others crowdsourced a pitch for a trashy Showtime miniseries based on the meeting of Mary and Percy Shelley and Lord Byron at Lake Geneva, where, among other things, the concept of Frankenstein and the first modern vampire story were born. It culminated in this lovely excerpt of an imaginary script by Think_Long.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:20 AM on July 28, 2016




Does anyone else remember the old metatalk thread where someone discovered it didn't close and would pop in every once in a while to have a nice chat with himself about pancakes?
posted by maggiepolitt at 9:48 PM on July 28, 2016


...well obviously. Said someone used the magic word: pancakes.
posted by Namlit at 4:22 AM on July 29, 2016


I wrote some mathowie fanfic that one time.

I propose a new Metafilter subsite for all Metafilter-themed fanfiction: MetaMeFi.
posted by duffell at 6:40 AM on July 29, 2016


MetaMeFic, you mean.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:32 AM on July 29, 2016


MetaShip.
posted by maxsparber at 8:14 AM on July 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


There was a group of us that were trying to do some Dadaist thing a while back... I got quite into it but then the kibosh was put on it when I took it up again a year or so back, maybe?

Someone somewhere had a partial list of them. Now I am struggling to even figure out the keywords to find it again.

This might be one? Not one of the better ones though. Lobster / lederhosen. Pat Sajak. Coming back now... Probably it was better in my memory than objectively, in real life.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:19 AM on July 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Lobster, the Stained Lederhosen, and Pat Sajak. Ah, those were the good ol' days. The surreal halcyon days of longboat threads and month-long alphabet games.

While individual comments in the above threads may not be "outstanding" literature, these same individual comments may make for — nay, are — outstanding "literature".

And in any case they kept me awake way too late for my own health and well being.
posted by not_on_display at 10:51 PM on July 29, 2016


551. The lightly-soiled lederhosen are draped across the lobster, never to be removed on pain of ligature.
posted by Kattullus at 12:01 AM on July 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Thanks for all the cool shit folks! (Life intervened right after I posted this which is why I took a while to come back.)
posted by dontjumplarry at 12:11 AM on July 30, 2016


Does anyone else remember the old metatalk thread where someone discovered it didn't close and would pop in every once in a while to have a nice chat with himself about pancakes?

No pancakes, and it's from after the 30-day limit was imposed, but that reminded me of this one from 2005. (And here's a MeTa about it, when it was discovered by someone doing a site or tag search a month later.)
posted by nobody at 5:37 AM on July 30, 2016


Believe it or not, I'm given to being verbose, which in a classically-Chestertonian inversion is why so many of my posts are so short. I remembered this one of mine as longer fwiw, it's actually a three-line groaner rather than a fable. Wasn't going to self-link except someone favourited it recently, so why not? (read: any excuse!)
posted by comealongpole at 8:23 AM on July 30, 2016


I really put a lot of work into my biography of Ronald McDonald & was sad that the thread died before much of anyone noticed.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:49 PM on August 1, 2016


You get a Pity Favorite, my friend.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:07 PM on August 1, 2016


The name's Tyr. Phillipe Tyr.
posted by googly at 8:16 PM on August 2, 2016




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