Hello, Wayfarers and Necromancers!
Walking. The simplest of motions. The dark. The simplest of fears. Walking through the dark is perhaps one of the most primal things to be afraid of. Well, I think it’s time we face our fears because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
A Walk in the Dark
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!
Often people will say “this will be a walk in the park,” meaning, even if it looks difficult, or frightening, it will be as easy as a peaceful stroll through nature. But what does it mean to walk in the dark? It seems to mean the opposite—that things are guaranteed to be difficult and frightening going forward. But the dark isn’t inherently negative. The reason we fear it is because it is unknown. Anything could be lurking there. But it’s the walking through it that matters.
Maybe you could write about someone getting lost, running through a shadowed forest, the trees looking more and more like they have faces with each passing minute. Maybe a scientist needs to venture into a cave to gather samples, but they’re still scared to descend into the depths. Maybe a child musters up the courage to face the dark basement, and the furnace-monster growling in the shadows.
What awaits in the darkness? Hungry monsters? Or old friends? Fairies? Dragons? Bunnies? Or what if there’s nothing there at all, and the fear is just that?
Maybe the darkness itself has power. Like the woods through the looking glass, where Alice forgets her own name. Or like in Mirkwood, where, if you don’t stay on the path, you might never make it out. The darkness itself could have some greater effect than simply shadows and the unknown.
Maybe it’s not a literal walk through a dark place. Perhaps it’s a dark path. A character descending into villainy, or madness. A character making the decision to walk the dark path, despite the risks, the potential consequences, and everything telling them they shouldn’t. Deciding to join the dark side, because at least on the dark side they’re allowed to feel. Or maybe it’s power. Maybe it’s love. Maybe the light has too many rules. Maybe the dark is the only way to get to a better place. Or maybe the dark isn’t as evil as everyone believes.
What if the dark path isn’t one of villainy at all? A ghost might need to walk the path between life and death before getting to the afterlife. A spy must face danger every day, even if they’re on the right side of the war. Or perhaps the darkness is more insidious than that: rather the darkness in our own heads that we must face each day. Dark paths aren’t always chosen, sometimes they’re simply endured.
Will it be a peaceful park stroll after all, or will you be lucky to make it out with all your limbs intact?
Go on in there. What? Are you chicken?
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.