Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Blacklist Spin-Off Contest! To Tee or Not to Tee? Answer our Question

Do you want to win an official NBC Blacklist t-shirt?

By now we all know that NBC is sending Tom off onto his own show. Well, with some other people, too. So we got to thinking ... what would make for some other neato-Keen spin-off ideas? 
For our contest, we're looking for you to ...

Imagine an idea for a spin-off and then
create a story about one episode
and put it into a 400-600 word essay.
Winner receives this 100% cotton shirt valued at $27

It can be a summary of your fictional episode, or a short recap, a synopsis, or fun musings.  Whatever works for you to describe the story of your episode, your plot, and the story arc(s) that get your 3 characters from the beginning to the end of your episode. 

You don't have to be a great writer! We're looking for great ideas - fun, creative, and interesting.  An excellent tale that is well thought out, perhaps throws us a curve ball, and makes us smile could very well beat out a snooze fest written impeccably by an Ivy League English Major. 


Rules:

  • Choose 1 character from each group 1 through 3, and then choose 1 scenario from group 4 to develop your story around. 
  • Stories must be 400-600 words in length. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Word counts can be calculated at www.charactercountonline.com 
  • You may not include any other characters than the three you choose - one from each group.
  • You will have 2 weeks. Submissions are due no later than 11:59pm EST, May 11, 2016. 
  • A winner will be chosen by the consensus of Tabasko, Charmed, and Chompstick. 
  • The winning entry and runner-up essays will be published on Blacklist Support Group for all to read.
  • Submit entries to chompstick@yahoo.com
  • All email addresses will be kept confidential

Group 1: choose 1
  • Aram
  • Cooper
  • Ressler
  • Samar
  • Fitch
  • Mr. Vargas
  • Madeline Pratt
  • Hudson
  • Mr. Kaplan
  • Meera
  • The Director


Group 3: choose 1
  • Brimley the Interrogator
  • Hudson
  • City Dog
  • Flat Cat
  • Motel man (Ezra)
  • Naomi/Carla
  • The Cowboy
  • Marvin Gerard
  • Janice the Beef Stroganoff Lady (The Good Samaritan)
  • Apolonia the Polish paczki baker (Monarch Douglas Bank)
  • Asian woman with missile launch codes (Kenyon Family)
  • Semo the car mechanic (The Caretaker)
    Group 2:  Choose 1
    • Apple Man
    • Dembe
    • Luli
    • The Pavlovich Brothers
    • Berlin
    • The Samoan (Samuel Aleko)
    • Glen from the DMV 
    • Gina Zanetakos
    • Hudson
    • Charlene
    • Nik
    • Anslo Garrick

    Group 4: choose 1 scenario
    • On a roadtrip in a RV 
    • On the International Space Station
    • On a Survivor-like reality show
    • In a remake of Gone With the Wind
    • In Kodiak's Bear Cave
    • At Dollywood in the Great Smoky Mtns
    • On an European bicycle tour
    • Locked in the San Diego Zoo overnight (no animals may be hurt)
    • On the Orient Express
    • Operating a DC Deli
    • In an off-Broadway rendition of
      The King and I
    • In the Australian outback with Crocodile Dundee
    • Blacklist: The Island of Ko Ri in the Andaman Sea
    • At the Alabama Space and Rocket Center
    • On a New Year's Eve ski trip to Aspen 
    • Red's tricked out shipping container


    87 comments:

    Chompstick said...

    Please ask any questions you have about the contest. Yes, I am fully aware that Hudson appears in all three character groups. This way he can be included in any combination!! :) BSG is the home to the original Hudson lovers, after all!

    Iowa Watcher said...

    Would it be possible to add Red's tricked out shipping container to the list of scenarios?

    Chompstick said...

    Sure Iowa, great idea! Who wouldn't want to spend some time in there?

    BL Mom said...

    Fun! I am sure happy you do not have to be a great writer!

    Fun idea, Chompstick!

    Kodiak said...

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Too funny, Chompstick!

    I would like to invite Janice the Beef Stroganoff Lady (The Good Samaritan) or Apolonia the Polish paczki baker (Monarch Douglas Bank) into my Cave. Obvious reasons.

    Although I am thrilled by the prospect of anyone writing a "Crocodile Dundee, IV". x-D

    Chompstick said...

    To give you an idea of length,

    On page 2 of Cape May, comment #56 by Deadskie 13 is 404 words.

    On the 4th General Discussion Page, comment # 32 by Honey West is 606 words.

    Tabasko said...

    Nice job, Chompstick! I especially enjoy Chat de Flat and Snowy Hudson.

    Rori said...

    This is great, Chompstick!

    "To tee or not to tee"..."spinoffs" It's all sounding rather golf-ish (golfy?) in theme. Hmmm...excited to see who will compose the hole-in-one, on par with the best of narratives.
    Ouch. I will quit while I'm ahead!

    Thanks for the great work!

    Tatiana said...

    Chomps. you really take the cake!

    Rori-our punny poster!

    Too many clever, witty, creative, delightful posters! What a joy. Thanks so much Chompstick for starting this blog and for the three of you, Chomps, Tabs, Charmed, for continuing with it! Your ineffable brilliance brings so much joy! And this clever contest continues the quest :-)

    Honey West said...

    Oh now this looks like fun! My challenge would be to keep it under 600 words! LOL! The blog tells me over and over my posts are too long. That's why i break down the big ones until they go through!

    I get the idea that I may need to write something with Hudson in it if I get something written.

    Charmed said...

    Thanks for all the comments on the contest, especially to those of you "buttering us up" before you even start writing. What do you call an advantage in golf, Rori?

    Everyone on this message board is creative and has great insight into TBL. So tell us a little story. How would your 3 characters meet for the first time or run into each other again at some point? Do your characters mesh well or is there a little antagonism with their differing personalities? Speaking of personalities... :D

    You know you want to enter this contest. You know you want the t-shirt. I know Kodiak wants to add to his tech related, free t-shirt collection.
    Yes, I remember!

    So please, ask any burning questions you may have. Forget those tummy flutters. If you have never won anything before, remember this may be your big chance!

    Most of all, remember you are among friends and we are rooting for all of you!

    Chompstick said...

    I hereby solemnly swear that you will not be discriminated against if Hudson doesn't appear in your story. Now, I might question your taste .... joking.

    #10 - Honey West, we had a heck of a time deciding on a word count. We didn't want it to be too long and thus discourage people who have great ideas but aren't prolific writers. But we want it to be long enough to allow creative minds to really flesh out a juicy story. I'm hoping you won't be limited too much. It did cross our minds!

    Rori said...

    Charmed #11 What do you call an advantage in golf, Rori?

    LOL! I may have used up all my golf vocab with tee and spin, par and hole in one.

    Marie said...

    So Charmed, we have to use three characters? Can there be more ?

    Chompstick said...

    Only 3 Marie.

    Iowa Watcher said...

    Oh, don't worry. I figured out how to make it work with Hudson, but it needs to take place in Red's shipping container.

    Charmed said...

    Rori
    I'm out too. After having a husband try to teach me how to golf, I decided I would much rather drive the golf cart. Go figure!

    Iowa Watcher
    I share your enthusiasm about Red's shipping container. It's like a home away from home, away from everything. But according to the characters you choose, it could turn out to be a loony bin!

    Kodiak
    Are you going to write Crocodile Dundee IV or maybe about opening an outdoor cafe outside your den with those great cooks?

    Marie
    Were you thinking of having another character, for instance Crocodile Dundee. (Just a example of someone your 3 characters might meet?)
    Otherwise, just choose 3 characters from the list.
    We want this to be super fun for everyone!

    fangirl said...

    This is a thrilling project!! Please, will everyone's contributions be published? I mean here at BSG of course.

    I LOVE (repeat: love!!!) to read, and it would be SO much fun to read what everybody comes up with for this project!!

    Please?? <---- note emphatic whining!! :)

    Looking forward especially to anything set in the best coolest container of all time!!!!!!!!!!!! <------ note the plethora of extra exclamation marks!!!!

    fangirl said...

    That should say, "the best coolest SHIPPING container of all time".

    Charmed said...

    The coolest container of all time is the "Bubba" cup. Chomps and I agree. The second coolest container is the "Yeti" 30oz, stainless steel and fits in the auto drink holder. So now y'all know!

    Okay fangirl! MAYBE.

    fangirl said...

    Ah, yes the Bubba cup. The Southern version of the Stanley cup!

    heehee

    Chompstick said...

    Fangirl! Good to see you! Stanley cup, hahaha!

    Yes, we will probably publish all of them.

    Creativity counts. It might not be advisable for so many people to do the shipping container. Iowa, of course, gets full creativity points since she thought of the idea herself. Thanks again, she who is named for a Midwestern patch of land.

    Iowa Watcher said...

    Well, mine is done and submitted to Chompstick. I reframed it twice to fit within 600 words. It would work a lot better expanded to about 1,400 words, but that's too long for contest judges to get through. Let's do this again later this summer, too. It'll be fun now (and later when the season is finished) to read the entries.

    Iowa Watcher said...

    No, actually, I'm an Idiot Out Wandering Around (local joke)

    Chompstick said...

    I'd love to do it again. I started writing one myself, not for competition of course. Perhaps I'll publish it with the others.

    Tabasko said...

    Iowa Watcher #24: LOL!

    Tabasko said...

    fangirl #21: Stanley Cup? Aaaahhhh! Have you watched an NHL game yet?!?!?!? Tee hee.

    Chompstick said...

    Tabs and I both watched our teams get crushed into ice cubes in the playoffs this past week. Tears were shed. Incidentally, our teams are rivals! Mine is the superior one, though. From the better half of the state.

    Tabasko said...

    Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    Kodiak said...

    At least a team from your guys' entire country made the playoffs :(

    Chompstick, I knew Tabs is a fan, but you are, too?

    Kodiak said...

    Iowa Watcher #23 You're making the rest of us look bad!

    I'm just now reading the rules......

    Kodiak said...

    Charmed #11 LOL lol lol lol!!

    I do dress completely in free t-shirts!! Thanks for remembering that?

    Chompstick said...

    #30 - Yes sir, Mr. Large Brown Bear. Hockey is my second favorite sport, just after napping. I'm a life long fan of the team once known as The Broad Street Bullies.

    Iowa Watcher said...

    Kodiak, as soon as I read the rules, I knew what I wanted to write. That sort of inspiration happens to me only once every seven or eight years. I could never make a living as a fiction writer!

    Lake Girl said...

    Chompstick #33, I don't follow hockey much. I know who Wayne Gretzky is, that's about it. Napping is a sport I want to become a pro in! I'm hoping to get some practice in today ;)

    Charmed said...

    I.O.W.A.
    I love your enthusiasm for the writing contest and your local joke!
    Are you sure you meant to tell us that one? :))

    Iowa Watcher said...

    Of course! (:

    I have always wanted to do stand-up comedy. I love entertaining people. Unfortunately, I don't think well under pressure, and while I dream of working the stage, I'd melt into a big puddle on the floor if I actually had to do it.

    Here's what I'd say if I had the nerve:

    Yes, of course I have stage fright! I'm from Iowa. I practice in front of a field full of cows, and they have their backs to me.

    On a good day, I can present the annual budget report at work to a small room full of bored, hung-over employees. I know that only the CEO is listening, while playing Angry Birds on his cell phone. True! I heard a bird belch when it died. I was checking the room to see if anyone looked embarrassed.

    One time, I sneaked in a photo of Groucho Marx in the corner of a projected costs Powerpoint slide. Only one person noticed, an intern. She asked me later who that "old dude" was and what he had to do with whether or not we'd get cash bonuses next year. I like to think that she even noticed because she's majoring in accounting but she was probably bored enough to be listening to my presentation.

    I told her that giving a projected budget report was an exercise in creative writing, which she didn't understand, and I never bothered to clarify. She'll learn soon enough when she graduates.

    I love my job. It's just the people I dislike. One co-worker is hard up for cash and brings her lunch each day to heat up in the microwave. That's all well and good but she's a dumpster diver, and HyVee* has been filling their dumpsters with leftover fish heads that they didn't sell from that Asian holiday last week. Ugh! There aren't enough Glade scented candles to cover that odor. Yeah, Marrrvy Meadow. It doesn't cut it.

    I had a client in the other day who started complaining about the smell. I whispered to her, "Not so loud! We're using a new, Green Cleaner for Earth Day." She whispered back, "Stop getting your cleaners from the dumpster! There are other ways to save money."

    And speaking of saving money, I set the office clock ahead ten minutes on Fridays. We save money by getting to Happy Hour on time.

    Hope your evening is happy! Thank you and good night!

    *HyVee is an employee-owned grocery store chain in IA and MN.



    Iowa Watcher said...

    True story: I really did put a tiny photo of Groucho in the corner of a Powerpoint slide in my budget presentation. This was while I was still working in Ohio.

    The maintenance guy, who was from somewhere in the Middle East, came up to me after and asked, "What was the deal with the photo of that old dude in your slide show? Is the company in trouble?"

    Turns out this guy made it a point to come to the annual report presentations and pay attention in order to know ahead of time if his job was in trouble.

    I explained that I knew no one was listening to my presentation and wanted to have a little fun. Then I had to explain to him who Groucho Marx was. He wasn't amused.

    He was even less amused when six months later, they let all but two members of the maintenance crew go. He shook his head at me on his last day: "Somehow I knew you weren't joking," he said.

    I never did anything like that again, but everything I wrote about in my routine was true, just not at the same company.

    Okay, back into my corner. Sometimes I get the urge to be twenty again and do weird things.

    Tabasko said...

    Iowa Watcher: Hahahahaha! Too funny

    Love the Groucho Marx part. Sometimes you just gotta be a little subversive in all the corporate nuttiness.

    You are a funny Writer!!!

    Iowa Watcher said...

    Thanks. (:

    Chompstick said...

    Iowa! You're awesome! I had a friend who was a stay at home mom to twin toddler girls by day, and a stand up comedian some nights. I couldn't believe she had the courage to do it. And do the stand up, too.

    Kodiak said...

    Chompstick #33 Oh, the Flyers. We'll, they came by that name kind of naturally. Sorry......

    Iowa Watcher,you're really funny! Great stories!!!!

    Iowa Watcher said...

    LOL, Chompstick! Twin toddlers would also scare me to no end.

    Thanks for your kind words, Kodiak.

    Tabasko said...

    Is everyone working on their spinoff essay? Iowa Watcher gets a gold star for finishing 1st!!!

    Tatiana said...

    Iowa Watcher - great story :-)

    There's a story, true or not, that one of our mid-century presidents, weary from long reception lines of empty small talk, decided to see if anyone listened during the exchange, so automatic was it. So he began an experiment whereby he greeted each attendee with something quite different, "Mr. President, how are you today?" "My pet dog died, And you?" :"Oh quite well, thank you for receiving us today"

    I think finally one man came through the line and without a beat, wished the president sympathy.

    One Paul said...

    Tabs #44
    Mine is in!

    Iowa Watcher, I love it. Funny people are the most intelligent, you know!

    Tatiana #45
    Lol, good story!

    Chompstick said...

    I was hoping I would have piles of stories in my in-box today from everyone who said this is a great, fun idea. C'mon people! So far only Iowa and One Paul will be battling it out for the DE-luxe apartment in the sky. I mean a DE-luxe t-shirt of a spy.

    Honey West said...

    I hope I can work on it this week. I was out of town most of the weekend. Lots of clay art stuff happening! One thing we noticed was how much negativity was portrayed in a lot of the student works. Political, social, and for some reason a lot of gory stuff. It got me worrying about today's college students and then I thought about it and realized today reminds me a lot of the 60's.

    Anyway I am trying to come up with something both short and clever. LOL!

    Honey West said...

    Did you know you have a photo of The Director but he's not listed in any of the three categories? Is he fair game?

    Chompstick said...

    Oops, thanks for catching The Director's absence. He must have been on a mission. He is supposed to be in the first group, which is where I just put him. Thanks! I don't clever is going to be the challenge you face, Honey West, lol.

    Your observation about the student artwork is interesting food for thought. I might ruminate on that a bit and comment over in Off Topic.

    Iowa Watcher said...

    Tatiana, I believe it!

    One Paul, I'm looking forward to reading yours! Thanks for your nice words.

    After 3 days of rain, it's finally dry again. I'll be planting after work, so I won't be online much until Thursday. I'm finishing potatoes and onions.

    Tabasko said...

    I only wish I could enter and finally complete my very old spinoff idea, starring Hudson.

    "The Barklist"

    Chompstick said...

    I'm going to finish writing mine, the one you read Basko, not as a contestant, of course, but for people to read. I'm not going to mention whether it stars Hudson or not ... somehow I don't think anyone will be kept awake at night pondering that mystery.

    Tabasko said...

    Ok, Stick! I will finish mine, too. Hudson, Dembe and Motel Man <3

    One Paul said...

    #53/54

    Lol

    Lake Girl said...

    After pondering what to write about while eating chocolate cake, I think I have an idea brewing....Madeline Pratt, Glen, and Apolonia ;)

    Chompstick said...

    Lake Girl, that's an intriguing trio. I love the combinations people are creating.

    Honey West said...

    LOL! to all of the combos and Tabasco's The Barklist. (You really have to write that one!)
    I was just having trouble with the scenarios. How close do we have to stay to those?

    Tabasko said...

    Honey West #58: It is not very strict. As long as the scenario has some play or is the outcome or setup, that is good enough for us. :))

    Charmed said...

    Iowa,
    The more I learn about you...
    I like you better than ever! You are hilarious and can count us in your audience anytime. Even your explanations were funny!
    Another great use for the Off Topic Page later.

    One Paul, I'm also looking forward to your submission for the contest, it's going to be great, I know!

    Kodiak, Have you finished reading the directions yet?

    Tabasko, The Barklist? I can't wait!

    This is so much fun already. Come on everyone, you know you want this t-shirt!

    fangirl said...

    Lake Girl! Yummy food is one of the fun highlights of The Blacklist, so a spin-off featuring food would be a lot of fun to read!

    But the baker and the stroganoff chef in a BEAR'S CAVE?! Way too scary for me. I'd have to hide behind the sofa to read that. lol

    Still laughing about Iowa's posts. Have you ever thought of doing a standup comedy channel on YouTube?

    fangirl said...

    wahhh I want to write a spin-off featuring RED! lol He's not on the lists?

    eastcoast said...

    I have a question???

    It says... You may not include any other characters than the three you choose.

    Does that mean they cannot mention the names of any other character or person?
    Can they talk about another person?

    Tabasko said...


    Eastcoast #63:Thanks for the good question!

    Yes, absolutely include talk about other characters if it suits your story.

    Like Glen was wanting to stop working for Red, etc. Or sure, characters in your scenario can talk about the rest. Any of that would happen in a real spinoff!

    Fangirl #62: LOL. Red can't spin off!!! He's the whole show! Good idea for next time

    Honey West said...

    I've picked my three characters at least! Now to get them to do something! So far just a couple of good ne-liners. LOL!

    Honey West said...

    One-liners, that is. My keyboard must need to be recharged.

    Kodiak said...

    Charmed #60 I finished my entry. I don't remember if I read all the directions. Just kidding.

    Honey West #65 mine is mostly that and a lot of filler.lol.

    Chompstick said...

    #67 - Kodiak, there were jokes? I thought it was all filler. Hmm ...I better give it a re-read.

    Kodiak said...

    Aaaaaack! Chompstick #68 arrow through the heart!!! Lol!

    floralouise said...

    Would it be acceptable for an auxiliary character to be mentioned as long as they are not given a name, do not speak, and do not play a substantive part in the story? Example: “Ressler looks up as an attractive new agent enters his office.” Thanks. This is fun!

    Chompstick said...

    Oh yes, that is certainly okay. Thanks for asking.

    Honey West said...

    Okay, I hope to have mine finished by tomorrow or even later tonight. I had to drive to the Bay Area this afternoon and since it's an hour and a half without traffic, I had plenty of time to think. So I chose to work on my story, even though I couldn't write it down. I changed one of my characters and it opened up a whole new line! LOL!

    Charmed said...

    floralouise #70
    I wondered where you were. Hmm, your essay is sounding pretty interesting already.
    I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Honey West #72
    Some people listen to the radio or books on tape while driving, but look at you working on your inner writing goddess!
    Change one character and it falls into place? Just imagine, if TPTB like comic books, they should love the stories y'all are coming up with!
    Kindle, anyone?

    Iowa Watcher said...

    I'm really looking forward to reading these! I hope we do this again later in the summer when we're all chomping at the bit for new episodes.

    Honey West said...

    Yeah, this was fun! It took a bit of shuffling to get the thing to come to life, but I think I made it work within itself. 600 words or less was the hardest part! And it's mostly dialogue, of course. More of a setup than a complete story. But, you'll see soon enough! I just need to review it one more time. I had to leave it for a day and go back with fresh eyes.

    Rori said...

    Hey CHOMPSTICK--I am responding here to a comment you made on this week's episode page (#69, I think). I believe that your nudge pertained to this fun contest!
    There's some HD&R* stuff going on in RL that precludes me from submitting to the contest! I just didn't want' you to think I was dissing you all!
    (*Heavy, Deep, and Real)
    I hope there are some great entries!Thanks for putting it together!

    Charmed said...

    Rori #76

    I really hate the fact that RL is currently handing you a bunch of HD&R stuff!
    But know, We Care.

    Your contest entry will be missed, even as I automatically do a "head count" for our member's entries.
    I hope you get a major break soon. I'm sure we all will enjoy reading along with you.

    Honey West said...

    Okay, Chompstick, I have a dilemma. Microsoft Word says my document is exactly 599 words, but when I paste it into that character counting site it says 615. Who do I believe? It looks like they are counting any word next to a quotation mark as a separate word, and so counting those words twice. I am going to go with Word's word count and that's what I will submit.

    Honey West said...

    Okay, I turned it in tonight. I was even editing it after I copied it into an email! LOL!

    Chompstick said...

    That's strange about the way the website is counting words. Odd. Yes, I believe Word would be the more authoritative source so well go with that. Thanks for playing!

    Honey West said...

    Just checking, Chomps, did you get my email?

    Charmed said...

    Hey to all you great support group members!
    We are waiting for even more good spinoff essays. Don't wait until the last minute! You're not Procrastinators and each of you are too good not to join in the fun.

    Just think, you could be the Winner of our first ever writing contest and proudly wear the official Blacklist t-shirt. Just think of the story you could tell your admirers, or even better, you could let them read your entry.

    Iowa Watcher said...

    My "admirers," such as they are, either aren't old enough to be watching TBL, or they have fur and purr, not TBL fans, per se. They are a fan of anything that gets me to lie on the couch long enough to comb them.

    Charmed said...

    Iowa Watcher #83
    I do know what you mean. At least my smallest admirer does watch with me, but she doesn't give anything away!

    Honey West said...

    Dear Judges, I hope you got lots and lots of good stories to keep you up all night reading! We do have a great group of very charming and funny contributors so I hope we get to read all of them someday. I was just reviewing the comments for this and there are some very interesting character combos mentioned and I'd love to see how they interact in everyone's imaginations!

    Chompstick said...

    Eight of our BSG addicts submitted stories and they are all wonderful, making the judging very difficult. We hope to have a decision tomorrow. Yes, all of the stories will be posted for everyone to read.

    The combination of characters was widely varied. Thirteen different characters were used with five different scenarios.

    I don't envy my job.

    Iowa Watcher said...

    I knew we were a talented group! I can't wait to read them!