Hello, Damned Souls, Spelunkers, and Scuba Divers!
On your left you’ll see a lovely selection of screaming souls, and on your right you’ll see one of our main attractions: the River of Blood! Just beyond that is the Forest of the Damned! Now keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times because….
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Into the Underworld
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 is a prompt of epic proportions, taken on by many of the greats. How do you dare to use it?
I’d venture to guess when most people think of the Underworld, they think of the Greek Underworld. You could write about the journey of a soul after death, taking Charon’s ferry into the afterlife. Or you could write about a character like Orpheus, venturing into the Underworld alive to rescue his beloved…only to fail at rescuing her, and lose his life in the process. However, the Underworld isn’t a place of misery to everyone. For Persephone, entering into the Underworld is coming home. Perhaps you could write a story like that instead.
The Greek Underworld isn’t the only Underworld written about by the great writers of old. Dante’s Inferno is a tale of his journey through hell, as he’s guided by Virgil, and sees the many different circles and punishments. Osiris in Egyptian mythology is torn into pieces and put back together—not alive, but not dead, only able to rule the Underworld.
The Underworld doesn’t have to be the afterlife. You could write about a character entering a cave, and the dragons and spiders—or else the dangers of the real world—they meet within. Or it could refer to going underwater—perhaps in your world there are cities underwater your character must visit. Or maybe your character is a marine biologist who loves the world beneath the waves.
Maybe it’s more than just a cave. You could write about a character visiting an underground bunker, or city. Or maybe they shrink down and converse with the ants. Or maybe they want to go even deeper than that. Perhaps you want to write a Journey to the Center of the Earth type of story—is there a prehistoric world beneath the surface?
The Underworld could also refer to the seedy underbelly of a city or kingdom. Perhaps, your character is a detective who must face the less-than-pleasant parts of their city. Or perhaps, like in Arcane, not everyone gets to live in the prosperous and glistening Upper City.
Or maybe you want to go more metaphorical with it. Someone’s subconscious could be an Underworld of sorts. You could write about a troubled character speaking with a therapist about what’s below the surface of their mind. Or maybe, with a little bit of magic, your character can enter the subconscious more literally.
Ah, and here we have Ishtar, writhing in pain—Hang in there girl! And Izanami, still fuming—You might want to stay away from her. And—ooof, yeah…see… that’s why I told you to keep your hands in the vehicle. The wrathful souls are particularly nippy this time of year.
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.