Hello, Shapeshifters and Sentient Statues!
It’s been so long, my dear. All these years…and you haven’t changed a day. You’re still as beautiful as the day I lost you. Because….
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
We Never Truly Change
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 far broader, and more applicable to real life philosophies than a lot of our prompts are. As such, I could see lots of more realistic stories for this prompt. Someone’s bad habits or attitudes destroying a relationship. Someone breaking up with their significant other because they thought they could change them, but they couldn’t. An addict returning to the needle or the bottle because they don’t believe they’re capable of being better.
Or you could go more positive. Maybe someone has positive qualities and habits that help others around them, and it’s a relief that they will continue to remain compassionate. Maybe a relationship is going well, and, as the couple sits on the couch, they bask in the joy that this will be their lives together forever.
You could also write about history, and how it repeats itself, or how “war never changes.” The prompt could refer to the human race as a whole repeating the same mistakes over and over.
Yet, at the same time…humanity always seems to find hope and compassion in the darkest times too. We always seem to get back up after we’ve been knocked down.
The prompt will likely make people think of, well…people. But “we” doesn’t have to refer to humans. Maybe in your world humans change, but the speaker is not, in fact, human. Maybe they are a god, tired of how Olympian life seem to be a cycle of lust and drunkenness. Your character could be a cat, wondering why their owner bothers trying to teach them not to knock stuff off the counter when they both know they’ll never learn. Maybe they are a sentient coaster, lamenting that its lot in life is to catch the condensation from glasses, wishing for more.
You could even go for more of the idea of the “Some Things Never Change” song from Frozen 2. Maybe your character ponders on all the things in their life that remain the same, even when it feels like things are falling apart, or moving too fast.
Heraclitus once said that “the only constant in life is change.” Perhaps you could take this prompt in this direction. Maybe we never truly change…in the sense that the only thing we ever seem to do is change. You could even take this idea in a more fantastical direction—perhaps your character is a shapeshifter, and the only constant about them is that they are never the same creature twice.
As for challenges, I once again have two for you this week.
I personally believe people can change, and it is an important beautiful thing when we do. If my username is any indication, I love reading about characters struggling to find the light. Characters who fall into the darkness, and then climb up again through a path of change. I’d love to read stories this week that use the prompt to refute the premise and show that, even when it looks like we aren’t capable of true change, the capacity for change lies within our darkest hour.
The second is the same challenge I had for Christmas: this prompt is not very Valentine’s-y, and I would love to see you guys make it related to Valentine’s Day in some way.
Please keep in mind that Valentine’s day (at least to me) isn’t just about romantic or sexual love. It’s about love, in any form. The Greeks had many words for love, referring to friendship, familial love, self love, longsuffering love, unconditional love…. You could write about any of these loves to celebrate the day. You could even use this prompt to remind yourself that you don’t need to feel sad just because you’re single. Especially if you have no interest in writing anything romantic, I’d like to see you tackle some of these other forms of love in your stories as a celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Or, if love is too big of a topic, you could write about a Valentine’s party down the street, or mention your character seeing heart balloons in the window. You could even write about how your character doesn’t like Valentine’s Day and laments the fact that the day never changes.
This prompt has great potential for some very dark and depressing stories, and I’d really love to read some fluffiness this Valentine’s day!
I know you may have a few more wrinkles and scars, but you’re still the same person I always knew and loved. You may travel the cosmos, die and go to hell, or decide to take up a side job as a dragon, but, when it comes to those who love you, how much can you truly change in our eyes?
—Kaylie & Paul
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.