Hello, Phylacteries, Horcruxes and Soul Gems!
Wait! We have to go back for something. Yes it’s important! No, it can’t wait till tomorrow! Well, um…it’s because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
I Dropped My Soul
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 has a wacky chaotic energy that makes it very fun. The idea of dropping something seemingly impossible to drop leaves lots of room for creativity.
Let’s begin with the more symbolic and potentially serious takes on the prompt. In most worlds souls cannot be physically dropped, though they may be spiritually lost. You could write about someone who symbolically “dropped” their soul by going down a dark path in life. Perhaps they were once good, and then became some sort of villain or dark lord, and as their loved one sees who they become, they feel as though they’ve dropped their soul. This could be more fantastical, or it could be realistic. For instance, someone in the real world becoming a corrupt businessman could be someone who dropped their soul.
Perhaps it’s more like Dementors in Harry Potter. In your world, maybe when someone’s soul is taken away their body becomes an empty shell. Perhaps you tell the tale of someone trying to help a lost soul find their body.
This prompt could also be taken much more literally, and this is where I think hilarity could ensue. Liches (or any adjacent type of character) are certainly a good candidate for this situation. Maybe a demon or reaper has collected a soul, and drops it on their way back to the afterlife. Or maybe you could write about a world in which souls are always a physical thing. What if someone could simply trip and drop their soul? Could a soul be something like keys, or a phone, that you could accidentally leave it home, or drop on the way to work?
Where was it dropped? Dropping your soul on the sidewalk is a different story from dropping it in a burning building, or at your ex’s house, or down The Bottomless Pit of Metirchalah.
What happens when it falls? Are souls something that could break? You could write about a soul breaking into pieces upon falling. Maybe there are soul repairers in your world to which your character must go. Maybe instead of breaking, souls in your world ooze, and your character is desperately trying to catch it before it oozes down the sewage grate. What happens when a soul is damaged? Would the person change once they put it back in their chest?
Who might find it? Whether a stray dog thinks it’s a chew toy, a homeless person holds it for ransom, a dashing prince nobly searches for its owner, or an arch nemesis uses it against the protagonist, who finds it would change the course of the story drastically. And if you hold someone’s soul, does it affect the person it belongs to? Can you control their actions? Their personality?
My challenge for you this week is to make me genuinely laugh out loud with your story. I am not the easiest person to make genuinely laugh out loud, and this prompt I think could potentially be one of our funniest if you really lean into it.
Well what do we have here? Hello little soul. I know you’re in there. I know you can hear me. You’ll make a lovely addition to my shelf.
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.