しりとり (take_the_end) wrote in writetomyheart,

SRTR101: A Guide to Shiritori-ing

SRTR101: A Guide to Shiritori-ing

[*]Welcome, welcome, one and all, to the magical land of Shiritori!

You have probably been directed here by your good friend, Curiosity, in which case I hope you will stay with us, even after your good friend has been satisfied. You are certainly in good company of people who, too, were once led by their good friends.

What's Shiritori?
Shiritori is a writing game based on the word game of the same name.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Wikipedia defines shiritori as:
a Japanese word game in which the players are required to say a word which begins with the final kana of the previous word. … "Shiritori" literally means "taking the buttocks" or "taking the end".

In the original game, a chain of words are created, for example:
A: いの (祈り; inori; prayer)
B: (ringo; apple)
C: (牛蒡; gobou; burdock [P.S. this stuff is amazing, especially when stir-fried with sesame oil!!!])
A: らぎりも (裏切り者; uragirimono; betrayer)
B: (望む; nozomu; to desire)
C: らさ (紫; murasaki; purple)
A: いいろ (黄色; kiiiro; yellow)
… and so on, and so forth…

Shiritori: the Writing Game
Just like the original word game, this writing game is played by taking the end of the previous person's story as the starting point for your story. You can begin your story with anything from just the last word to the entire final sentence of the previous person's story, as long as the original word order of what you choose to use is kept the same (small alterations withstanding, see below).

Example A: Last word

[…] “And they think we’re weird.”

Weird. Why is this so hard? […]

Example B: Part of the final sentence

[…] “You won’t get interrupted so much if you learn to lock your doors properly.”

"If you learn to lock your doors properly, you wouldn't have to worry about security breaches," Kitayama says lazily from where he's spread out on the couch. […]

Example C: The entire final sentence

[…] "Maybe it’s the leather pants."

"Maybe it’s the leather pants?" […]

From the building block you're given, you can write a story about anything you want, of any length, and for any fandom — or it can be set in no fandom and be completely original! (Those rare birds; I wouldn't mind seeing a few more of those around.)

I get it now! So what's next?
After you've signed up and the Failbot!Mod has acknowledged receipt of your sign-up, you can start preparing yourself by joining the community and hoarding your metaphorical pens, pencils and paper! (One can never have too many of each.)

Once the final members of the previous round's teams have taken their turns, there will be a few days for the continuing members to take a breather — read: for the continuing members' imaginations to take inventory and restock — before the line-up for the new teams is posted. As every member will be user-tagged, you should receive an e-mail to let you know that it has been posted immediately (Frank1 permitting); it will be easy to recognise, as the post subject line will contain the tag [Failbot!Mod] and probably something witty2.

Once the line-up has been posted, please take note of three things:
  1. Your team number: when you post your story, you will need to tag the subject line of your post with [Team #], as well as selecting the corresponding tag in the tags list.

  2. Your team leader: they will be your first port of call if you need anything, the person you will be working most closely with the make sure the game runs smoothly.

  3. Who's next?: It would help if you memorise the LiveJournal username of the person who takes their turn after you, so that you can throw the baton their way when you're done. The roster can also be found in the sidebar of the community layout.

Team leaders will get the ball rolling, and after that, all you have to do is wait (with barely concealed excitement) for your turn!

Once it is your turn, you have 72 hours — that's three days — to write and post your story, starting from when the previous person posts. If you find yourself in a pickle and are unable to write anything for whatever reason, you can post a skip post, or notify your team leader to do so on your behalf. If no action is taken, once your time is up your team leader will notify the next person to take their turn, but if you know you can't make it, it would be a great help to everyone to skip it personally.

1 Frank, LiveJournal's resident pet goat, has been known to chew on — among other things — e-mails for afternoon snack, but it's not something that's happened in a long while… reportedly.
2 If it is, and it probably will be, lyrics from a song, Failbot!Mod would very much enjoy it if you replied in the comment with the following words. She would enjoy it even more if you modified the lyrics to fit the situation. But that's a bonus, and there are no prizes — unfortunately.

You mentioned "small alterations withstanding"…?
Sometimes, it can be a bit hard to work with what you're given, so there are Failbot!Mod (and her predecessors)-approved methods of getting around those.

1. It would be okay to modify you've chosen to use by adding an article (a/an/the) to the beginning.


… what about walls?

The walls of…

2. It would be okay to modify the tense of the verbs and/or the number of the nouns.

Example A: change of tense

… as the wall crumbled.

Crumbling at his fingertips…

Example B: change of number

… as the wall crumbled.

As the walls crumbled…

3. It would be okay to modify the pronouns and the proper nouns.

Example A: modifying pronouns

… want to adopt him.

He stared unseeingly…

Example B: modifying proper nouns

Chanyeol will get anything he wants.

Taemin will get anything he wants…

Are there things that aren't approved of then?
Now that you know the rules and how to circumnavigate them, there is two final things you should take note.

The first thing to note is that ending with a proper noun will cause the chain to break! (Your team was on a roll as well! ☹)

In the event that the person before you accidently does that, you will inherit the final sentence they had been given.

For example:

… Kitayama had a belated growth spurt in his dreams and became tall.

Tall trees surrounded … "Don't die, Fujigaya!"

Tall and proud…

The second thing to note is that you can't squish or break words up.

For example:

… the best one night stand.

One nightstand…

… and vice-versa.

Otherwise, that's all of the writing rules!

Are there non-writing rules?
Yes~! There are two final rules to remember.

Firstly, in the event that you somehow inherit your own words (i.e. if everyone in your team after you skips and it's your turn again), you have the fortune to begin your story however you like! (Isn't that exciting? To be beholden to nothing and no-one~)

Secondly, if your story contains underage characters engaging in NC-17 behaviour (13 or under) or an underage character and a legal adult engaging in NC-17 behaviour (one being under 16, the other over 18), please post the story off-community with the story linked and the last sentence posted in the community.

Neither of these have happened in a long time — in fact, it happens so rarely we have to dig out the rules every time it does — but the rules still apply.

Great! I'm ready to go now!
Most excellent!

Before you submit your first story, though, please take a look through the archives and take note of the posting guidelines, some of which have been mentioned above.

The subject line of your post should contain your team number ([Team #]) tag. Titles are optional — we understand the pain that is often associated with having to come up with titles.

Your story should be contained under the lj-cut tag, and you may or may not choose to include information such as characters, rating, word count and warnings, though these are always appreciated.

You should always finish off your post by username < lj user="USERNAME" > mentioning the next person, which — again, Frank permitting — will let them know that it's their turn.

You must tag your story with — at minimum — your team tag (*team #). Other tags, such as your love ranger tag3 and the fandom tags, are optional, although it would help for future references and perusal. If you do choose to use the fandom tags but your character does not yet belong to any of the available tags, please use the fandom: other tag; if you have written something set in an original universe, there is the fandom: original tag for you to use.

There are also optional "warning: …" tags that you can use to, obviously, warn other readers of trigger warnings or mentions of death, should that ever be a problem for them, although the rest of the tags are more for catching people's attentions than warding people off. (Mind the cavity-inducing fluff one: there are some really fluffy things.) The notification e-mail — if it's a general/tag-specific new post notification — also contains information about which tags have been selected so using the tags can be very helpful.

Once you have posted your story, you may crosspost/link/share your story anywhere you like. It belongs to you, and it's yours to do what you want with. You don't even have to link to this community or reference it in anyway, although we wouldn't mind a little publicity, I'm sure.

3Small note on your love ranger tag: LiveJournal is an ornery dragon so the first time you post a story, LiveJournal won't let you use your love ranger tag. Fear not! Contact Failbot!Mod via LJ Message to fix matters. This only applies to first usage; after that it will work perfectly.

Remember, Shiritori is a writing game. It is a writing challenge, to work your imagination and your writing ability to produce something within a set amount of time, but it is also a game and should not be too time consuming. You can choose to write something, and you can choose not to write anything, if that's your muse's will; you can choose to hop in when you want, and you can choose to step out if you feel too overwhelmed. It's up to you — but if you do choose to step away, either on hiatus or permanently, please update with your team leader so everything can run efficiently!

Now, with everything said and done, I shall send you off get yourself signed up (link in the sidebar).

Credits & Acknowledgements
This is a repost of a post by jojibear, her credit below:
Many thanks to bluedreaming for providing the general template and some of the wordings used in this post.
Many thanks, also, to the wonderful people who have provided such a wealth of material to pluck words from for the examples used in this post.

[HTML]You can find a complete copy of the HTML of this post HERE, password shiritori.
Tags: !rules
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