Hello, little lost ones.
Have you ever thought back to something you lost or misplaced? Remembered how you searched high and low, far and wide, but ultimately gave up? Have you wondered where those things might be now? Wondered if… maybe they aren’t happy about being forgotten? Prepare to find out, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
The Things Left Behind
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!
With a prompt like this, we can expect things to get deep rather easily. It can also bring to memory stuff we’ve lost over the years, from soothers and mittens, to friends and opportunities.
So many different tales can be found among the lost. Perhaps a child left their favorite stuffed doll at the playground, and had already made the twenty minute trek home before realizing it was missing. Perhaps a special keychain fell from its latch and into a grate, too far down to be retrieved. Even simpler, a mother finding out only too late that her baby decided to once again throw their bottle out of the stroller on the way home.
The best thing about this prompt is that the lost things don’t necessarily have to be actual objects. Perhaps the things left behind were friends who stood in the road and waved as one of their group moved away. A father deciding he no longer wanted his wife and child, and departing for his own selfish things. Maybe even just a pet staring curiously as their person leaves for whatever lies beyond that big, heavy door, wondering when their person will come home. Or reversing this, a child wondering why their little furry best friend has run off, staring out the window and waiting for their furbaby to return.
But maybe… maybe the things left behind were left for a good reason. Maybe he just couldn’t take the day to day dullness in the office, and quit to chase bigger dreams. Maybe she wouldn’t let her parents control her anymore, and took off into the night to find freedom. Maybe their relationship was too toxic, and one finally broke those chains to escape the painful chaos that they had gotten too used to. Maybe it’s as simple, and as complicated as finally being accepted to college, and having to move to the dorms, leaving behind old memories and the comfort of home for a chance at a bright future.
Alternatively, we can look at the other end of the scope. That teddy bear watched as its owner forgot it on the park bench, unable to move as their favorite person got further and further away. That mother cried at the kitchen table as her husband marched down the driveway, suitcase in hand. The garden that had been so loved and cared for grew dusty and overgrown with weeds and thistles. No doubt these things feel lonely, lost… and jaded.
Leaving things behind can be easy, or it can be hard, and both for so many different reasons.
So lose us in the land where memories lie, and who knows? Maybe we’ll find something we didn’t know we were looking for.
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.