Hello, you curious thing!
I know you’ve come expecting something specific, but prepare your inquisitive little brain. All is not as it seems. The answers you receive here are bound to be quite different from the ones you seek, because…
This week’s writing group prompt is:
So THAT’S What it Does!
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
My first thought was that this prompt was going to be comedic. Either you find out the doomsday device is actually just an alien salt shaker, or you find out that your salt shaker is actually an alien doomsday device.
But after chatting with everyone on stream about it, I’ve realized there are a lot of other angles to this as well.
You could play it straight—you actually just find out how something you didn’t understand works. You could play it for character dynamics—someone is preventing you from finding out how something works, for good or ill, and you find out anyway. You could play it for personal development—you had a lot of assumptions about something, but you finally allowed yourself to give it a proper shake and it isn’t at all what you built it up to be in your mind.
Lots of different ways to write this thing, and they aren’t all about some silly reversal, regardless of what the CAPS in the prompt title might have told you.
But there is one thing all these different approaches have in common: a revelation.
At its heart, this is a story about coming into information you didn’t have, or information you didn’t expect to have, and being very caught off guard by it.
So, surprise us. What can you lead us as an audience to believe, and how will it turn out actually to be so very far from the truth? Don’t just give your characters that moment of realization, give it to us as well.
I want to read your story and go “ohhhh, so THAT’S what this does!”
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.