Hello, soldiers and civilians!
Did you ever think the pall of war had missed you? That fighting was something other people got wrapped up in? Well, I’ve got news for you: there are all kinds of war, and someday, you’re bound to be drafted into one of them. That’s why…
This week’s prompt is:
A Different Kind of War
MASSIVE RULES CHANGES BELOW!
We’ve made some really big changes to the rules! Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of this post to see them before submitting!
At a glance, this kind of sounds like it’ll be a grim subject. War, but different. Maybe this time they’re using chemicals or memetic weapons. Maybe they’re still shooting each other to death like they always have, just for a new reason.
There will be submissions which take this more literal route, and they’re going to be great.
But remember: wars aren’t only fought on the battlefield. That’s how we use the term these days, but I think there’s something deeper in it. In fact, if you trace it all the way back to its roots, you find that it gradually shifts from our current “armed conflict” to an archaic “general, violent, uproarious confusion”. More or less.
And that is something which can happen anywhere.
So when you’re thinking about this submission, instead of just reframing the structure of two factions and some bloody conflict between them, think about the more general tumult that erupts at the center of contention. Think about all the different places it can happen, and what it’s like to be at the center… and then layer over something new.
For instance, maybe we have the foot soldier’s perspective: a cacophonic storm of death all around them, nothing but adrenaline keeping them on their feet. And now apply that perspective to a child in a divorce. Imagine, instead of bullets whizzing by, biting words, one parent to another.
Maybe we have the surveyor’s perspective: watching the formation and the carnage that, unable to see any individual face but watching the bodies fall. And now apply that perspective to a foreman at a factory, watching, day by day, as the machines come in to replace your line workers.
These are smaller, yes, and quite a bit less bloody. But they’re wars all the same.
Find yours, and write about it. Put us at the dizzying center of that general, violent, uproarious confusion, and if we manage to walk away afterward, leave us reeling.
Dismissed, and godspeed.
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit, and get ready to help each other improve their confidence in their writing, as well as their skill with their craft!
Rules and Guidelines
We read at least six stories during each stream, three of which come from the public post, and three of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!
Text and Formatting
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
- No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Write something brand new (no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
- No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
- Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
- One submission per participant.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
- Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
- You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.