This (written) assignment entailed writing a story, on anything you wanted, writing in your normal writing style, and then rewriting it using “The Up-Goer Five Text Editor“, a software that you can type into that lets you know when you use any word that isn’t top 10 hundred most used. This was really fun because it allowed me to be creative with no parameters, and then challenged me to be even more creative! Following is the first draft of my story, with whatever words I wanted to use included!
The princess lived in a beautiful, big castle full of servants and food and all the activities she could possibly want, yet she was still unhappy. Materially, she was completely provided for, they made sure of that. However, they could not risk her knowing any of her kind, lest she realize how poorly they treat her and then try to escape. However, isolating the princess only served to strengthen her resolve to get off of the spaceship. When she turned 18, she was finally permitted to know why they needed her, and why she was living, alone, in this castle for her entire life. The answer was shocking. A mass catastrophe, they said, unavoidable, had hit the earth. And there were only 30 humans left in the entire universe. It would be enough to rebuild the population with limited biological damage (meaning: inbreeding would not be an issue), but only if each person made as many biologically different children as possible. Fortunately for the princess, the aliens had an abundance of high-tech machinery that could be used to speed up the birthing process, so it was much shorter than nine months and much less painful. The princess, a bisexual lady, was really hoping everyone else was kind and nice and attractive, because if there were only 29 other human beings, she wanted to like them. She asked the aliens when she would get to bond with the other humans, but was merely brushed off. “When you and all of them are all healthy, then we’ll have a mixer.” This went on for weeks, until the princess was certain that everyone else was either healthy or dead. So she asked again. And this time, she was introduced to another person. A man named John who had also been inconveniencing the aliens. And although it sounds like a match made in heaven, John was sent to the brig for his loud and quite rude comments on any and everybody who walked into his castle space. So the princess was, essentially, punished for her curiosity. She sat through her time with John and then promised to stop asking questions, although she would have said anything to get out of that cell with him. One day, the princess snapped. She was sick and tired of being alone in her cell and talked down to. So she high-jacked an escape pod off of the ship and flew away. From the escape pod, she could see the deforestation brown covering the planet, the deep blue of the melting polar ice caps, and the cement grey of what should have been ruins of skyscrapers, but as she got closer and closer to the planet, she saw something even better- neon lights, flickering and enticing patrons to come drink, airplanes flying through the sky, and, best of all, a Starbucks. It was good to be home. She knew those aliens were full of it from the start. What they wanted from her, she will never know, but she was just thrilled to be back on Earth with her loved ones.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Only using the most used 1000 words!
The woman of power lives in a beautiful, big house full of help-people and food and all the fun she could ever want, yet she was still not happy. She was completely taken care of, they made sure of that. However, they had to make sure she did not know any of her kind was still not dead, in case they realize how bad they have it and then try to escape. However, making alone the lady of power only made stronger her want to get off of the up-goer. When she turned 18, she was finally allowed to know why they needed her, and why she was living, alone, in this house for her entire life. The answer was shocking. A big bad happening, they said, could not have been stopped, had hit the big round land ball. And there were only 30 humans left in the entire star and big land ball place. It would be enough to make more humans with only a few bad body side things happening (bad bodies would not be a problem), but only if each person made as many different children with different parents as possible. Good thing for the woman of power, the not-land ball-people had a lot of things that could be used to fast up the baby making steps, so it was much shorter than 9 months and much less pain-causing. The woman of power, a woman who thinks men and woman are beautiful, was really hoping everyone else was kind and nice and pretty, because if there were only 29 other humans, she wanted to like them. She asked the not-land ball-people when she would get to meet with the other humans, but was brushed off. “When you and all of them are all not dying, then we’ll have a party.” This went on for weeks, until the woman of power was sure that everyone else was either not dying or dead. So she asked again. And this time, she met another person. A man who had also been bothering the not-land ball-people. And although it sounds like a match made in the place where God lives, he was sent to a space for bad people for his loud and mean comments on any and all who walked into his space. She sat through her time with him and then promised the not-land ball-people to stop asking questions, although she would have said anything to get out of that cell with him. One day, the woman of power snapped. She was sick and tired of being alone in her cell and talked down to. So she took an escape-goer off of the big goer and flew away. From the escape goer, she could see the no-trees brown covering the land ball, the deep blue of the going-away ice blocks, and the sad grey of what should have been broken tall work houses, but as she got closer and closer to the land ball, she saw something even better- bright lights, lighting and trying to get people to come drink, big sky cars flying through the sky, and, best of all, a coffee store. It was good to be home. She knew those not-land ball-people were full of it from the start. What they wanted from her, she will never know, but she was just excited to be back on the land ball with her loved ones.
This actually wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be, the editor makes it really easy to tell which words are unacceptable, and then its just a matter of what word (or words) I should use to replace it. I had a really good time with this actually, because I do tend to speak in a somewhat unconventional manner, using odd words and language, so being able fully commit to talking funny was quite fun. I started out by writing my story in the editor, completely ignoring all the red lines and messages of disallowed words. I actually ended up writing so much that I got an error message! I ignored that too though, because the squiggly red lines were still popping up. After my story was finished, I started from the beginning and edited out anything with a red squiggly line, finding an appropriate replacement word or phrase to put in its place. Once I was red line-less, I copy-pasted the entire thing into this blog post and went to sleep! The next morning, I woke up and rechecked the story for unusable words, copy-pasting in smaller chunks so as to avoid the error message, and all was well!
There is very limited reasoning as to why I chose aliens; I was going to a traditional princess story, but two sentences in decided to make a sort of Rapunzel with a twist (the twist being ALIENS!). The space and alien theme does sort of tie into the Space Race, which was a part of the Cold War, which was coming to a slow end in the 80s, but that’s a little bit of a stretch. My other 2 assignments for this week are sufficiently 80s (although I suppose I’m not the one who gets to decide that), so I just let myself have fun. I did have a lot of fun giving the princess and escape route, and even more fun nixing the idea of her being saved/having a male suitor to help her- my active revolt against that trope in the 80s (see: Night of the Comet). All in all, a really fun assignment, and will be playing with this editing thing in my free time.
10/10 recommend! -liz