Hello, Paranormals and Paranoids!
Did you hear that? I swear, I just heard something… like someone speaking in a whisper. There it is again! You heard it that time right? You had to have heard it that time, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
The Shadows Talked
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 the things that go bump in the night, haven’t we? We’ve seen the people standing in the corner, only to find out it’s a housecoat and a hat. Why do we even hang them that way if they scare us in the dark?
But what if it wasn’t just a hat and a coat? Perhaps you wake in the middle of the night to the sound of whispers, and you feel a pull to look at the corner. You can’t quite make out what’s there, but you know your coat isn’t that high up on the wall. But what is it? Is it facing away… or watching you? Why does it loom over you as you sleep? What is it even saying? Maybe your story revolves around a paranormal investigator focused on debunking ghost videos, only to capture all sorts of paranormal evidence. Orbs, EVPs, all of which this investigator debunks, regardless if it’s real or not. But what about when they start hearing whispers when they’re alone? How do you debunk something like that without stating outright that you might be crazy? Or perhaps you write about an introvert with depression who finds out there’s some sort of entity living in their apartment with them, and every time the lights go out, the voices start up. But what if this entity feeds off the negativity by whispering positive things? Perhaps it is an entity that likes this new tenant and wants to help them get better? Or maybe, just maybe, these whispers really are just in your head. Maybe there are no demons, no monsters or boogeymen. Maybe the voices are just in your mind. But how can you tell? It’s so real, yet no one believes you. Could you truly be mad? Bonkers? Off your head? And regardless if it’s in your head or it really is the shadows… how do you run from either?
Maybe you don’t need to run from them at all. Maybe these ghosts and whatnots just want a friend, someone to talk to. Who knows? You’ll only find out by listening to them. But is it worth the risk?
Well, let’s shut off the lights and find out, shall we?
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.