Hello, Beasts and Creatures of all kinds!
Oh my, what big eyes you have… and what big ears you have… oh, and what big teeth you have! Your fur is so soft, too! It’s like you’re one big, misunderstood teddy bear! What? How could I run screaming from something so cute? Monsters have it tough already. I think it’s time we see them differently, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Embracing the Monster
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!
Count on all of you to start Spooky Month off with a prompt like this. But I suppose monsters are a year-round thing, aren’t they? After all, who doesn’t like to sit in the cold basement on a hot summer’s day with a good vampire movie? And it’s never not a good time for werewolves.
But I think this prompt goes a little deeper than that. We ourselves sometimes look in the mirror and see monsters. We see parts of ourselves we wish we didn’t have, parts we try to suppress into nonexistence. For some, it’s surface level. A girl using coverup to hide her freckles that adorn her entire face because she was teased about them in grade school. A little boy hiding a scar from when he fell off his bike in sheer embarrassment that if it’s seen, everyone will know he fell. But maybe one day, the rain washes away the coverup, and she’s complimented for those very same freckles. Or someone shows him they have a similar scar in the exact same spot, making them twins of a sort.
For others, it delves into parts of ourselves we fear to even look at. Perhaps someone is suffering from OCD, or depression, maybe even PTSD. It sounds strange, I know, but think about what an embrace means. It’s accepting, it’s meant as understanding. So perhaps the friends and family of the affected person accept them as they are. This in turn allows the affected to realize they’re not irreversibly broken. It lets them see that they are still human, even with all these demons inside their head. Through the supportive embrace of their loved ones, they can come to accept these “monsters” themselves, and maybe even finally take steps to getting help for it.
Of course, on the lighter, more literal side of things, this prompt could be about transformations of an entirely different kind. A newborn vampire finally accepting their new form when they realize it allows them to do so much. And while they can’t choose when to feed, they can choose who to feed on. Or a werewolf keeping just enough sense to enjoy the feel of the night wind as they bound through the woods in search of dinner, so lost in the melody of the moon that they forget they’re even hungry. Maybe the monster under the bed isn’t so bad after all. Maybe they’re just as scared of you as you are of them. For all you know, they could be your new best friend. They just need a chance.
There’s so many more kinds of monsters to be explored. So many that just need a hug, just like any of us on a bad day. I mean, it can’t be easy living in darkness and perpetually scaring everyone, can it?
So go forth and show these monsters a new appreciation!
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.