collective narrative, short story assignment

I had been wanting to write fan fiction for Waiting for Godot for a while.  It was a sort of joke idea I had last semester when I was thinking and writing a lot about fan fiction for the Narrative Lab class.  I never got around to doing it in my free time over the break, so I figured this would be a good opportunity.  I found it pretty difficult.  I tried a few different scenarios and spent a lot of time writing a scene that ultimately didn’t work.  I wanted to tell the story from the perspective of the boy who enters the play at the very end to tell Vladimir and Estragon that Mr. Godot won’t see them that day.  I thought it might be interesting to invent a life for this boy who we know almost nothing about, but I kept resolving on bad cliches and making him seem like a sort of idiot-savant character, which wasn’t very appealing to me.  Then I tried some absurd reversals, like Godot is actually a cow or Godot actually appears, but they all seemed stupid.  The best attempt I had was actually going to a classic fan fiction trope—homosexual romance—which I had wanted to avoid.  But it was so much more fun to write.  I didn’t quite finish it, but here’s what I’ve got:

Gogo was trembling. He had been lying in the ditch for almost an hour. Before, when he collapsed, his fit of rage taking over his entire body with a tremor, I lay next to him, stroking his stiff, dusty beard and telling him it would be all right. We had been standing together in that abandoned desert for so long, but we had never before been so close. I could feel his strained breath. He woke suddenly and our eyes locked in intense contact, I could see the tiny veins of blood that ran rivers through pristine white. He looked confused, look down at my face for a minute, I saw him lick his lips and then he smacked my face and jumped up.

“I’m not waiting anymore Didi!” he yelled at me and ran across the road, a cloud of dust following him, rising high into the air, as if in slow motion.  When the dust settled he was climbing the tree, the single tree in miles of grey pancake desert, like a petulant child, grasping at weak branches, until one snapped and he fell to the ground again, another cloud of dust rising over his impact.

He lay there. I could see he was angry, but I knew he wasn’t going anywhere.


So it kind of resorts to just making fun of the tone of fan fiction, which really isn’t successful at all.  If I get some time I may try to finish it with some actual kind of plot.


Author: owen ribbit


One thought on “collective narrative, short story assignment”

  1. hi there! i’m assigned to write to you about your fanfic here. first off, i love the idea of beckett fanfic, haha. i think the star of the story is the last line, mostly because it’s the part that seems to most directly tie together genre-parody+the actual play (then again, maybe i missed some things, because i haven’t read the play in a long time). i think there is, overall, a successful capturing of some of the oddities of fanfic style (the totally excessive amount of detail, most notably), but i agree with your questioning your own choice to kind of go with a simple lampooning of the genre. actually, i think there is an interesting opportunity to explore homosexuality via fanfiction in the play, it featuring pairs of males in these dependent relationships.

    if you do pursue this again (which i think you should because it’s a hilarious idea) why not let godot arrive? what better an extension/ satire of a play in which no one arrives and nothing happens than godot arriving and it suddenly having a plot?!


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