Hello, Scribes and Squids!
Argh, it spilled all over me! Prompt intro writing is messier than I thought it’d be. Now I gotta go wash it off because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Ink on Your Hands
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!
Some of our prompts are highly specific, like The Fairy Ring, where others are more versatile, like You Did What?! This prompt lands somewhere in the middle.
There are many professions that utilize ink. You could write about an artist consumed by the process, madly throwing ink at the page, leaving themselves covered in it. You could write about an author whose ink keeps dripping on the page, smearing and interrupting their flow. Even though we don’t use quills anymore, our pens can still break. Maybe you could write about a child whose pen spread ink everywhere…only for the teacher to scold them for using a fountain pen in class.
One of the other more realistic ways to use this prompt is tattoos. Perhaps someone has ink on their hands…permanently. You could write about how someone regrets a certain tattoo they put in such a visible place. Or maybe you could write about a magical tattoo for which the location on the body matters.
The phrasing of the prompt reminds me of “blood on your hands.” Is there a situation in which ink could function the same way? Maybe you could write about a situation like Inkheart’s, where certain people can bring stories to life, but, in this case, their hearts are literally ink, and the characters have ink in their veins instead of blood. Or you could write the opposite: someone entering a book—a world of ink. Perhaps the characters are shocked to learn that the real person’s hands aren’t made of ink. Or, like Tom Riddle’s Diary in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, maybe books themselves can bleed ink, if they’re alive enough.
The phrase “blood on your hands” can also be used to denote “caught red-handed.” Perhaps it’s less about the ink being lifeblood, but rather evidence of someone’s crime. Whether that be forging documents, stealing supplies, or a child finger painting where they shouldn’t. Or maybe, like with police fingerprinting, it’s not the ink itself that’s the evidence, but rather what shows up in the ink.
With this prompt, I can’t help but think of the game Bendy and the Ink Machine, where an animator’s creation comes to life as a monster…but it’s still made out of ink. Perhaps you could write about something like that, where the ink is more than just a means to an end, but the stuff monsters are made of. Perhaps, like with Audrey in the Dark Revival, your character seeing their hands be—not just covered in ink, but—turned to ink themselves, is a terrifying thing.
Come here! Yeah, I need your help. I kinda…can’t get this off.
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 five stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and three 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.