Michaeline: Making the Reader Do the Heavy Lifting

This post has only a nugget of truth in it, and I will be asking you, the reader, to do the heavy lifting of separating fact from fiction from pure flights of fancy.

The truth is this: Grey @RayPilley hired one of those write-my-essay groups to write a 1500-word romantic encounter. Grey provided art of two male characters, names of the two men and the basic scenario: “two characters confessing their feelings of love for each other at a fancy dinner party”.

Dinner Party by Jules-Alexander Grun showing hundreds of people in a grand hall with a mezzanine also full of tables and people.
“Love was seated several kilometers away from Hero, much to their mutual chagrin. How could professions of love take place over the distance of the Grand Hall?” (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

I’ll provide a link at the end that should get you through THAT wonderful story of connection between two strangers on the internet – one trying to make a buck, the other looking for easy entertainment and a few laughs.

But let’s call the ghostwriter Hub (they/them). Hub provided a story full of stilted sentences, bad spelling and no stakes. Oh, and some pronoun confusion; Hub seems to have lifted half the essay from a hetero scenario and forgot they were writing about anime boys. Dear Reader, if you are feeling bad about your writing these days, I encourage you to follow that Twitter trail Grey laid out. The first two-thirds are so bad in so many areas that

you will feel, “Oh, even *I* can do better than this.” Is that petty? So be it. I’m petty and willing to feed my ego on this anonymous ghostwriter’s plagiarized essay. There are no innocent parties here – everyone is trying to exploit a little juice from this deal.

However, the end turned into something beautiful. There were lines like, “My partner was seated several kilometers from me.”

Is that a metaphor? Or was it the reality of the dinner party? Perhaps dinner was given in a vast dome for thousands of people, and fate (and a rotten hostess) separated the hero and the object of his desire, and placed him in the middle of strangers to build a relationship with them before dessert was brought around.

The other guests put together a puzzle of conversation (I’m assuming), and figure out that our hero is an alien! NOW I can kind of understand why dinner is being held in this huge hall. Maybe it’s a world gathering.

Hero finds his Love, and as they leave, Hub steals a wonderful evocative literary line to put in his mouth: “I would not, I said determinedly, as we hurried away, be keeping my side of this very British bargain by organizing a return match.”

This world conference, gathering diplomats and covert aliens, was held in London. And Hero will not be establishing contact with the people of Earth, it seems. They are clever enough, but still not enough to be galactic partners.

And what of Love? Was he, too, an alien? Or an Earth boi who will now run away with Hero to find a new life with a higher civilization (or endless marital spats with his would-be colonizer)?

On some level, Hub drips with cynicism and provides several levels of disappointment. The silly college freshmen who turned in this assignment would be sure to be caught by a plagiarism bot, even if they corrected the spelling, grammar and pronouns. And poor Grey never got their confessions of love over dinner.

But, if the reader is ready to do some heavy lifting, it’s a beautiful story full of mystery and love.

Not every reader is willing to do the heavy lifting, but if you find the right audience, there’s plenty of entertainment to be had.

Here’s a retweet by Grey that contains important new information about the source of the essay, and you can easily find the beginning of the thread that chronicles their dealing with Hub.

This quoted retweet provides the link to the beginning of the story as well as a thank-you to Yue for finding the sources of the hilariously awful essay.

2 thoughts on “Michaeline: Making the Reader Do the Heavy Lifting

  1. Wow, that’s something else, Michaeline! You’re very generous to these folks—while I found the “story” to be rather entertaining in its awfulness, I wouldn’t want to do it very often. And you’re right; I DO feel better about my writing now. 🙂

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