Hello, survivors and undertakers.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Or so they say. But is it really that simple? Do the ashes of aftermath really settle as softly as we’d like? Is it really so easy to wipe away the stains they leave? It’s time to see what ashes your disasters leave behind, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
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!
At first glance, a prompt like this might seem fairly simple. But when you really think about it, it’s not just about ashes in the physical sense. Sure, it can be physical. But if we look at it a little differently, it can be so much deeper than that.
It can be about the aftermath of something devastating and disastrous. A divorce finally tearing a family apart, leaving the children confused and nervous. It could be an office worker who lost her job after her work went up in smoke. Perhaps it could be the aftermath of a fight between two lovers when one finds out the other has been unfaithful. Or more innocently, it could be two kids dealing with the hurt feelings after fighting with each other.
The ashes could also be physical. Maybe it’s the ashes of a beloved pet who reached the end of their long and happy journey, and their humans have to pick up the pieces and cope with the loss. Perhaps it’s a home, the memories within burned mercilessly to the ground in a fire. It could be a village covered in ash like snow following the eruption of a volcano. Perhaps it’s the aftermath of a car wreck, in which the thing lost could simply be the car itself, or someone inside. Maybe even a vampire’s remains after they’re brought down by the sun. Or maybe it’s simply the ashes of a midnight cigarette.
Maybe these ashes don’t have to be about moving on, though. Maybe they can bring life instead. A phoenix reborn after it bursts into flame and dies. A druid bringing a golem of ashes to life in an attempt to prevent more of her forests being burned. Maybe it’s a power, born of great sacrifice and the wielder needing to come to terms with those consequences, always wondering if it was worth it.
Whatever tale ignites from within you, let it burn bright and wild.
Let us stain our fingers with the ashes it leaves behind.
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 four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two 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.