Hello Disgruntled Leaders, Thrill-Seekers, and Promise-Keepers!
Phew, we made it! Alright, did everyone see that? Because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
I’m Never Doing That Again
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 almost endless possibilities—from silly to serious, from fantastical, to real. There are many things one might never want to do again.
It’s hard to know where to even start with examples, there are so many to choose from! Someone might try a new or different food and say “I’m never ordering that again!” or “I’m never eating here again!” You could write about a kid on the playground eating worms on a dare, saying they won’t be doing that again after throwing them all up. Perhaps this kid was bullied into doing it, and instead of vowing not to eat worms, they vow “I’m never letting myself get bullied again, I’m gonna stand up to them next time.” Maybe, to complete a mission, one of your characters has to dress up in a way they find silly and/or demeaning, and after they finish said mission they tell their team they’ll never do it again. Maybe someone kisses their crush (or, if you want to make it even spicier, the enemy) even though they’re not supposed to, and says they won’t do it again.
This prompt doesn’t just have to apply to someone who found a situation unpleasant. You could write about someone running from themselves. Perhaps someone is afraid of their own powers—like Aang in the “The Deserter” episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, vowing he’s never going to Firebend again. I think a number of artists will at one point say, out of fear, frustration, or disappointment, “I’ll never make art again.” when it’d be a very sad thing if they truly didn’t. You could create lots of interesting juxtapositions with this: like a healer vowing not to heal people anymore, because they’re only taken for granted. A ghost vowing to never haunt again because they’ll never be noticed. A villain vowing never to do another evil thing because they believe they’ve changed.
Along this line…just because someone says they’ll never do something again doesn’t mean they truly won’t. This is where things fall into a more realistic and tragic category. Someone who’s addicted to a substance might say “I’ll never smoke again” or “I’ll never drink again” when you know…they probably will. An abusive person might say “I’ll never hurt you again,” …but you know it’s another tactic to keep you from running. Someone who’s abused—or in any sort of relationship that’s not right for them—might say “I’ll never run back to them” but you know they’ll pick up the phone when they call.
This prompt touches on our core nature. Sometimes people can say this phrase and really mean it, and truly follow through. But I think more often than anything when we say we won’t do something again we’re trying to change ourselves, convince ourselves…and usually that doesn’t work. Usually we haven’t addressed the deeper issue that keeps us going back to that bad habit, or bad person.
My challenge for you is to once again take inspiration from your own life. Think about a time when you said “I’m never doing that again” and what happened following. Did you follow through on that promise? Or was it said in a moment of emotion, not really meant? Or did you really mean it, but didn’t follow through? You can use your own life in a variety of ways. You could write an account of the event; you could end the story in a different way than it did in reality; you could use the event/promise as inspiration for a fiction entirely different from the situation it was born from. [And if you do use your own life you can add (Based on a True Story) or (Inspired by a True Story) to your title].
Get out there and get writing. I hope you got all that, because I won’t be saying it again.
—Pearce, Paul, Kaylie, & Derek
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.