Hello, Interns and Attendings!
You’ve stubbed your toe, right? Maybe you’ve broken your leg once in your life? Do you still feel that pain now? Does the damage affect more than just your body? Hey… if you’re still in pain, you can talk about it, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
It Hasn’t Stopped Hurting
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!
We’ve all experienced pain. I mean, who hasn’t? But this isn’t just an “ouch, I pricked my finger while sewing” kind of pain. This is pain that lingers, that follows you and simply refuses to leave for one reason or another.
One way to address this kind of prompt is to explore something like heartache. Perhaps a couple has had to separate after years of being together. Why has this separation happened? Maybe things just weren’t working, slowly tearing apart what they used to have. Maybe some abrupt change caused one of them to leave due to being unable to accept this change. Or perhaps the separation isn’t by choice at all. What if one of them has to travel for work, but while they’re away, the weather delays their means of returning home? Or what if, in some crazy turn of events, the apocalypse hits so that they have to find their own way home through hordes of undead or cataclysmic events? Another form of heartache can be addressing the loss of a loved one. Maybe a grandparent who was best friends with their grandchild, or a parent taken too soon by illness. Maybe the loved one isn’t human at all, but a dearly cherished pet. You could even explore any of these, but a year later. Have they moved on? How bad is the pain at this point in time? Does it still haunt them?
Another way, obviously, is the physical aspect of this. There’s no end to the kinds of injuries the body can take on. The human body is strangely both tough and fragile. We can think ourselves invincible right up until we slip down the stairs and sprain an ankle or break an arm. It can really be as simple as someone going through the healing process of a broken bone. Perhaps you choose to write about someone who has hyperalgesia, a condition that makes one more sensitive to pain. While one person can bump their arm on a corner, wince, and move on, someone with hyperalgesia can do this same act, but the pain is stronger, will sting for longer, and can even feel like it’s worse five minutes after the impact. Maybe you choose someone who has chronic migraines that drive them to the point of tears, and no amount of painkillers is helping.
But who would we be if we didn’t address the fantastical aspects of this prompt as well? Knowing this group, I’ve no doubt in my mind that someone is most likely going to write about a pact with some demon or powerful being. Perhaps this pact is sealed with a tattoo-like mark on the skin that still burns days after the pact was made. Maybe a newly turned vampire finds the bite they received still aches, and seems to worsen if they don’t feed. Or maybe a fairy had once injured their wing, and though it has healed, they cannot fly as much as they used to due to the ache it causes.
The body is a hardy thing. Strong, durable, and can be tested again and again. But there’s more kinds of pain than just physical. Emotional and psychological pain are just as harmful, sometimes moreso.
So go forth and show us pain. Don’t worry. We can take it.
But we’ll have the band-aids on hand anyway, just in case.
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! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.
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).
- Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
- 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.
- Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
- 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.