Any MeFites planning to do the Jupiter Challenge? May 17, 2015 12:29 PM   Subscribe

The Jupiter Challenge is "a project encouraging writers to go back to the worlds and characters they created in their childhood or early teenage years and use them to inspire new work." It's happening between June 1st and August 1st this year. Is anyone else here planning to take part?

It's called the Jupiter Challenge because it's inspired by the film Jupiter Ascending (FanFare), which has been reviewed thusly:
I fell so deeply in love with this batsh*t movie. Someone on tumblr described it as the novel all girls wrote when they were 14 and frothing with a mix of swelling hormones and fading Disney fantasies, which I have to say is accurate to the point of pain. I mean, gorgeous Russian toilet scrubber finds out she is actually a space princess when a werewolf space marine rescues her from death at the hands of Greys? Pardon me, werewolf ANGEL space marine with a Sad because his wings are gone. And then everything is Alexander McQueen dresses and melodrama and bees, for some reason, and Eddie Redmayne doing his best heroin-addicted Voldemort impression.
The idea is to go back to those days of your childhood and adolescence when writing was playful, id-driven and completely unbound by rules or realism. There are more details in the main link above. I'm going to be writing about a tortured loner with a mysterious past, meeting the tattooed survivor of a sinister cult while trying to escape from a deadly desert planet, which is pretty much the distillation of all my juvenilia. Who else is in?

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Bonus question for the mods: I was thinking about making an FPP about the Challenge in August, once there are stories up for people to read. I don't know the organisers. So long as I didn't link to my own work, would that be okay?
posted by daisyk to MetaFilter-Related at 12:29 PM (44 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

This sounds like fun!

About making a post, I think it will maybe depend how deeply you get into the org? Like if you were running a board at their site or if your story were a marquee story for them, I maybe would let somebody else make the post. Otherwise, should be fine.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:31 PM on May 17, 2015


Thanks! I'm not planning to get involved organisationally -- I think the writing part will be enough work for me -- but I guess you never know. :)
posted by daisyk at 12:35 PM on May 17, 2015


I was planning on doing it! I might not actually post it anywhere, though, I just want a reason to get some writing done.
posted by NoraReed at 2:21 PM on May 17, 2015


...this would be that urban fantasy rom com/mythic battle I wrote in high school. Not sure I have the stomach to dig up the old microsoft word documents....
posted by The Whelk at 2:28 PM on May 17, 2015


I was obsessed with baby name books as a young teenaged girl, and the country specific names led to an international group of girls who were the Only. People. In. The. World who could bring world peace. Still down with the idea of girls changing the world, so I might have to buy a new notebook.
posted by Ruki at 2:48 PM on May 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


When I was 14 or so in 1979 and the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy came out and just exploded in my brain and brought me so much joy, I ended up writing like 100 pages of Adams-pastiche about a 6-foot tall amoeba named Bob on my manual typewriter. About all can I remember about it was that my personal objective was to fit at least 3 jokes into every paragraph.

Since lost to time, and probably for the best.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:09 PM on May 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


I love this idea. I'd participate, but I'm so embarrassed about my middle-school attempts to write fantasy novels that I won't publicly admit to any middle-school attempts to write fantasy novels.

I mean, uh, I never wrote anything when I was young, and certainly not fantasy novels. This is a totally baffling and foreign concept to me because I spent my youth hanging out and buying jeans at The Limited and not writing about orphaned runaway girls with rare magical powers.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:29 PM on May 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am so down for this. I have a whole backlog of notes about A Magical World in which Magical Things Happen but at the same time, it is so much tamer than Jupiter Ascending, I wonder whether I should even bother excavating it.
posted by coppermoss at 8:03 PM on May 17, 2015


When I was in Middle School, I proudly wrote Fleetwood Mac fanfic.
By Gods, it was horrible. Fun, but *horrible*.

Somehow, I don't think that'd count.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:04 PM on May 17, 2015


You mean, like, the stories about how I was a super secret international spy who helped hunt down bad guys, and everyone was immensely impressed at my bad ass spyitude?


I don't know, man. Some stuff should never see the light of day. There was an underground secret hideout accessed via a tree.
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:17 PM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


My first OC was (unsurprisingly) a squib who eventually gets to Hogwarts thanks to Severus Snape needing a potions assistant. Then they fell in love and spoiler alert said squib was definitely me when I still had a tortured older man fetish and all my fanfic was some weird wish fulfillment stuff that needn't see the light of day again.

Now, my Sailor Moon fic from middle school... That's different...

so excited about this, ngl
posted by Hermione Granger at 8:58 PM on May 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


I dunno, does the world really need another story where a shy, mousy girl discovers she's a witch and gets to go off to witch boarding school inside a magical biodome where the uniform is apparently both bell bottoms and belly chains? Because I did just find my notes on that particular fantasy...
posted by muddgirl at 9:17 PM on May 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


yes, muddgirl. the world really needs that. really.

everyone please do this and link to all of them because I really need them.
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:01 AM on May 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, I really want to read ALL of these. If you think I don't mean yours, yes, I do!

Maybe this is the time to write that AskMe on, "How can I get a bunch of password-protected Lotus Symphony files off a 1990s MS-DOS computer with no compatible screen left?" Or maybe I should first do that when I have the new version to compare.
posted by daisyk at 1:09 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


This sounds like fun, but my teen writings tended to be the dark, brooding, dystopian kind of adolescent scrawlings.


I do assure you they were also quite bad and I hope they all ended up in the woodstove at some point.


(The dark, dystopian animal cartoons of my early childhood were weird and great and terrifying, and the female characters had enormous boobs, much to my mother's eternal amusement. I am sure at least some of those still around.)
posted by louche mustachio at 3:29 AM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I remember two stories I wrote before the age of 13:

1) An illustrated rags-to-riches story about a squirrel. He used his tail to fling a bomb planted by terrorists on US soil into a thinly-veiled Germany. This actually won a local Young Authors award.

2) A seven-page story about a guy that went around looking for street crime and then killed the criminals with a hammer. For some reason, the toughest criminal had a sword.

I didn't leave much room for future me to work with.
posted by ignignokt at 7:22 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess the one good thing about my half-baked adolescent stories is that they often included at least one female character who was sort of chunkily-built (like me), but that chunkiness was an incidental detail and not relevant to the plot or the character's development. Like, they weren't beautiful or ugly; they were too busy studying ancient magic to care.

I'm not a very good storyteller, but sometimes I think I should write for the sake of having more incidentally-chunky women out there.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:47 AM on May 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


Psychic powers and their attendant world-saving responsibilities just seem like a burden now.

There was an underground secret hideout accessed via a tree.

chainsofreedom, you are not alone in your Shirt Tales homage fic.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:36 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh. Gosh. I have just remembered...
Earth gets blown up and just a few city travel around in giant bubbles. Our plucky protagonist first saves her hometown from alien invasion, then get recruited in a time traveling agency. Het best friend is an alien orphan. They have cute manga uniforms. And are great gymnastics. And her boyfriend dies but then comes back.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 9:32 AM on May 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


My juvenilia is entombed in a dead Mac's hard drive, you're all safe.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:06 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


A seven-page story about a guy that went around looking for street crime and then killed the criminals with a hammer.

Hammer Man! Bitten by a radioactive maul, he uses his unearthly affinity with all percussive hand-tools to seek justice from a merciless night! He must match wits with the vile Mystery Sword!

The catch-phrases alone mean you must do this -

"Don't worry citizen, I've got this nailed down!"
"Our disagreement seems to have come to a head... a hammer-head!"
"I'm here to hammer out our differences!"
"Evil is my anvil, and you're hard up against it, Sword!"
"All I see is a nail!"
"Meet my mallet, varlet!"
"My hammer-sense is pounding!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:44 PM on May 18, 2015 [8 favorites]


Hammer Man! Bitten by a radioactive maul, he uses his unearthly affinity with all percussive hand-tools to seek justice from a merciless night!

Yes

He must match wits with the vile Mystery Sword!

YES

Memail me yr fundraising link plz
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:49 PM on May 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sorry, Hammer Man's already been done.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:02 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes! I hereby transfer my rights to Blood Hammer to Slap*Happy so he can execute this re-imagining!
posted by ignignokt at 2:03 PM on May 18, 2015


This would be back to 1987 and the woman in the insane asylum so obsessed with Alice in Wonderland that when her twin sons tried to get her released she did a Chris Nolan/Inception-like bit of mental trickery and flipped realities.

I think I just proved I'm a time traveler.
posted by cocoagirl at 7:37 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just remembered another gem - picture a dystopian sci fi future where Christianity has been outlawed throughout the federation of planets. I only wrote the first chapter, where our intrepid hero is being chased by, like, atheist-bots through the gritty streets of Capitol City, desperately praying for divine guidance to hide him in gritty back alleys. IIRC, his eventual goal would be some kind of monastery planet where God's light is being hid under a bushel, and he has to convince them to let it shine? But I'm pretty sure any definitive records of this story were lost several computer hard drives ago.

That's actually a story I could stand to write today, although not in the earnest tone I did in 1997.
posted by muddgirl at 8:08 PM on May 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


The catch-phrases alone mean you must do this -

"It's hammer time."
posted by gauche at 7:23 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


chainsofreedom, you are not alone in your Shirt Tales homage fic.

Aaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha, that's great. I am pretty sure it was less Shirt Tales, more Rescue Rangers, though.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:33 AM on May 19, 2015


My grade school best friend moved away just before middle school. We kept up our juvenile Narnia-inspired stories as letters from our characters to each other for years. One of my better college essays was about the evolution of how my Mary Sue designed to be antithesis of everything I hated about myself turned into a character defined by a lot of my better qualities I'd never valued.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:55 AM on May 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh wAit! I did revisit my old old old writing ideas before! I mean in that I drew a little bit of it.
posted by The Whelk at 2:44 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hah! The only story I have worth revisiting is one about a society where everyone is assigned a job according to their skills, even if the only thing they're good for is petty crime, and interfering with state-sanctioned petty crime is a felony.

Sorry, I was like twelve and hanging out with my ditto-head grandfather a lot when I wrote that.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:21 AM on May 20, 2015


I've been in a bit of a writing slump recently and this has me all fired up to go re-read some of the (terrible? not-quite-so-terrible?) stuff I wrote as a teen and try something new. What a great idea! I'm definitely in.
posted by blithers at 2:30 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The catch-phrases alone mean you must do this -

"It's hammer time."


Stop.





















Hammer time.
posted by dersins at 8:04 AM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


"With my eerie blade, I shall slice all of your tools from our temporal reality and leave them frozen in place for eternity! Stop hammer time!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:10 AM on May 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wish I could find the archives of the BBS's I was on in the 80's when one of my main social interactions was "storyboarding" (I guess they'd call it text RP these days). I had some fun stuff on those, too.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:26 PM on May 21, 2015


Ooooh! Oooooh! I'm in! If only to reconnect with my old jr high best friend and see if he wants to finish the awful, Frank Frazetta/Boris Vallejo inspired story we co-wrote about our D and D characters, panther woman and muscley warrior guy.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 5:52 AM on May 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Earth gets blown up and just a few city travel around in giant bubbles. Our plucky protagonist first saves her hometown from alien invasion, then get recruited in a time traveling agency.

Be sure to get your royalty check from Steven Moffat!
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:47 PM on May 26, 2015


Oh dear god the world definitely does not need more of my self-insertion ElfQuest fanfic. Truly it does not.
posted by Andrhia at 1:50 PM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


100 pages of Adams-pastiche about a 6-foot tall amoeba named Bob

It had probably been 30 years since I last thought about Bob when I commented upthread. Just last night I remembered that Bob was also a bandolero-wearing gunslinger, which struck me as hilarious, because, you know, amoebas ain't got no hands to sling gun with.

It's nice to remember that I was as silly as an early teen as I am in my dotage.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:13 PM on May 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just four days to go now! I'll be at a conference for the first week in June (my first time as a speaker) and thinking about what I'm going to write is distracting me from nervouseness.

Stav, that IS hilarious. Maybe the world needs more Bob? ;)
posted by daisyk at 1:08 AM on May 28, 2015


I've actually been working with the same set of characters since I was 11 or 12 but they have changed a lot over time. A friend was helping me do some plotting out for this and my notes include a bunch of things like "yeah and this character is actually an amnesiac but I probably won't include that in the story because I already have a shitload of things going on"
posted by NoraReed at 1:15 AM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, I didn't know about this. Me, and my totally bad ass female space pirate who is loved and feared by all, are totally on board, as it were, with this idea!
posted by dejah420 at 5:28 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


oh jesus which of my Savage Garden fic would qualify
posted by divabat at 10:21 PM on June 12, 2015


Alllll of it! :D
posted by daisyk at 4:17 AM on June 13, 2015


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