Hello, Apneics and Hangmen!
Let’s hide in here! Shh. Hold your breath. If you even so much as exhale, it’ll hear you. Because….
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
No Time to Breathe
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!
This prompt is one that could lend itself to very intense stories, or very realistic stories. There’s even some surprisingly cute and/or silly directions I think you could take it.
Upon first glance, the prompt seems to have a similar idea to “no time to die.” Of course you have time to breathe—if you didn’t you’d be dead—but sometimes it feels like you don’t even have time to live, to simply be. You could take the prompt in a similar direction to the Bond film by that name—someone has to work so hard at keeping their loved ones safe that they don’t have time to truly breathe themselves.
This prompt could describe someone who is so busy, rushing from obligation to obligation, they are unable to find time for themselves to just relax and breathe. You could write about how this person feels, or you could write about a friend or family member of theirs trying to encourage them to stop and breathe, even though they don’t feel like there’s time. Perhaps you could write about someone who has one big obligation coming up, and preparation is so intense they don’t have time to breathe.
You could write about someone who struggles with a mental illness. Maybe they’re not busy, but their mind is causing them such stress they feel they can’t breathe. A panic attack could certainly represent the feeling that there’s no time to breathe becoming literal.
Or perhaps someone is talking so much that they don’t seem to take a second to breathe. One of the more cute directions you could take the prompt is someone laughing so hard that they don’t have the chance to breathe.
You could also apply this prompt well to being underwater, and knowing when to come up for air. Perhaps a whale comes up for air…only to see a whaling ship and realize that this is no time to breathe.
You could take the prompt in a very literal, and potentially comical direction. You could write a character so neurotic about schedules that they have scheduled in breathing time. This could work especially well when applied to some sort of inhuman creature that doesn’t have to breathe, but can choose to.
What are you doing?! I told you not to even exhale! …What? You humans need to breathe to live? Well, that’s…inconvenient.
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.