Hello, Preachers and Padres!
Fathers always tend to be someone to look up to. Someone who can protect the family against harm and fault. The big, strong patriarch. But what if he’s the one that people need protection from? What if he’s wearing a mask? Perhaps it’s time to peek at his true nature, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Sins of the Father
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 all want to feel safe. A sense of safety gives us peace of mind, and a place to relax. This can often be in the presence of family. Fathers, for the longest time, have been considered the “head” of the family. They were a symbol of bravery, strength, and discipline. Had they a son, they were expected to pass on the responsibility to him. Had they a daughter, they were expected to protect her from the world that wanted to do her harm.
But what if the man they show everyone else isn’t the man they really are? So many look up to this upstanding person who seems so perfect, so ideal. Yet one little slip could reveal all the skeletons hiding in his closet. Perhaps he has a wandering eye, and has a hard time remaining faithful to his wife. Perhaps he has a habit of sneaking money from the register at work, or having a few sips of alcohol on the job. Maybe he puts his friends above his family, always coming home late and going straight to bed. Maybe he just keeps putting the family in debt and continuously fails to make things right.
As Launcelot quoted in The Merchant of Venice, “the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.” This line, without scene context of course, can be taken many ways. Perhaps it is up to the children to settle their father’s debts, whether they be bills, rent, or paying back money he owes to people he’s borrowed from. Maybe he has stirred up all kinds of trouble in his life, and it is left to his children to right all his wrongs. Likewise, perhaps those who knew the man knew he was no good, and so they cast that image upon his children, who have to then work to break the mold they are forced into.
Sins come in all shapes and sizes, from a touch of greed, to a drunken one night stand, to full blown murder.
It is now that you must decide, do you punish him, let him handle it himself, or give him one more chance?
Whether you wanted it or not, this mantle now falls to you.
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.