Hello, Surprise Hosts and Drop-In Visitors alike!
Do you like surprises? Are you the kind of person who likes to plan ahead? Yes? No? Well, whatever your answer is, do me a favour and take care of this prompt for me, will you? Great! I’ll leave it in your care, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
An Unexpected Guest
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!
A prompt like this is pretty self explanatory, isn’t it? You’re either rushing around to get ready to go out or just having a lazy day to yourself, when suddenly the doorbell rings and makes you go “Who could that be? I wasn’t expecting anyone.” as you move to answer it.
But like all of our wonderful prompts, there are more sides to this than it first appears. By the term “guest”, we can assume that whoever is being visited ends up playing host… whether they want to or not. Of course, there’s the very common “I was in the area!” kind of guest. The one who was running errands and happened to think of you, so they figured why not? They’ll surprise you by showing up randomly. But we also know that sometimes that very line is said casually but actually means “I came straight here. Just for you.” Now this can be twisted in several ways itself. Perhaps a friend you haven’t seen in a long time decided they just wanted to come see you. They missed you and wanted to surprise you with a visit! But what if the visitor isn’t so friendly? Perhaps that demon you made a deal with was “just in the area” and decided to pay you a visit to see about you holding up your end of the bargain.
Maybe there’s even more than one guest! Like those holidays you find out you’re hosting the family dinner by everyone showing up, and your sibling swearing they told you it was your turn this year but you know they didn’t and they just laugh it off while you have to now find a way to get a dinner ready for several people. Perhaps the “unexpected guests” are a few thieves who broke in in the middle of the night, and you come face to face with each other as you’re getting a glass of water from the kitchen. Maybe they panic and leave. Maybe you just don’t get in their way, letting them take what they want. Or maybe you manage to actually sit them down with a cup of tea and talk to them about life choices.
Who knows? Maybe the unexpected guest is simply you finding out you have another personality, or maybe even multiple personalities within you. Or perhaps it’s finding out your best friend has telepathy by them suddenly speaking inside your head from across the room.
There’s many, many ways to spin this kind of prompt. It all depends on how you would define the word “guest”.
Now, go on and weave your tales. We’ll keep the tea warm while we wait for you to return with your submission.
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.