Hello, Lygophobes and Crepuscular Beings!
That was a fun day wasn’t it? But it looks like the sun is starting to set. Did you bring a flashlight? Maybe we should turn around, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
The Fear of Sundown
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!
The sunset is beautiful to most, but for some it is a time to be feared. Creatures of the night thrive after the sun goes down. Sundown is the curtain call for the night, the last chance you have to make it home. You could write a story about someone rushing home as fast as they can during sundown to avoid the monsters that come out at night. You could write about a monster hunter sworn to protect others during sundown. You could write about one of those monsters taking pleasure in people’s fear, or perhaps even afraid to come out themselves.
Oftentimes, in stories where someone is forced to turn into a monster against their will, the transformation begins when the sun sets, which is a very fair reason to fear its departure. Someone might be cursed to become a monster every night, or at the full moon. You could write about the dread they feel as it approaches. Or perhaps you could write about their friends who have to make the choice between fearing the monster, and comforting their friend. Or maybe, like in Shrek, the princess herself is the monster…but maybe she has to learn that being a monster isn’t something to fear, but embrace.
Or perhaps it’s not a repeated curse, but a devastating one that only happens once. Like Aurora, cursed to prick her finger before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday and fall into a sleep like death. There are many more fairy-tale-esque stories whose curses must be broken before either sundown or sunrise, otherwise they’ll be permanent. You could write a story about a similar curse that’s prophesied to happen before the sun sets, or be permanent afterwards, causing fear and panic the closer the sun dips towards the horizon.
In some stories, the sun setting doesn’t bring about a curse for a single person, nor is it simply a herald of night, but rather twilight is a dangerous time in and of itself. In the anime/manga Noragami, twilight is when the lines between the world of the dead and the land of the living are blurred, giving spirits greater power. Perhaps you could write a story about that, or something similar. What if the night is safe, but dusk is not? Is this something not many people know about, but still experience the effects of? Or do entire towns lock their doors during twilight?
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, twilight is more than just a time. It’s a shadow that keeps spreading across the land, turning those under its influence into spirits and monsters. Perhaps your story could go in this direction.
Or maybe you’d like to go with something a little more real. Fear is the currency of the night during childhood. You could write about a child who fears sundown because of the night terrors that plague their sleep. They might fear it because they have to return to a less-than-ideal home life after school. Or maybe it’s sweeter and gentler than that; maybe the child is having so much fun at the fair, or a friend’s house, that they dread the sun setting because it means the fun will have to end.
It could be more metaphorical. Sundown doesn’t have to be literally when the sun sets, but a metaphor for something ending. The last phase before the end. A last hurrah. It could quite simply be a symbol for death—the ultimate sundown, leading into the eternal night.
Those tendrils blazing the horizon are shrinking, and the shadows that pull across the world might just swallow you whole.
Come on, kid, let’s head home.
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.