Hello Spinsters and Oracles!
Oh! Don’t mind me! I was just doing a little weaving. No, it’s no trouble! Sit, sit! I’m so glad you joined me. I was just thinking about you. Well, the tapestry has your face on it. I don’t know why, but it can’t be good because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
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!
Fate is often seen as a mystical force that cannot be stopped or contained. However, many stories tell of beings who can and do just that, often depicting fate as a thread that can be spun, woven, and otherwise cut. Sometimes those two ideas exist in tandem: with the gods weaving fate, and the mortals beneath slaves to it. Which side will you choose to focus on in your stories this week?
Many cultures depict destiny as the work of three or more mythical beings: the Greek Moirai, the Roman Parcae, the Norse Norns, even the Albanian Fatit. However, weaving fate in a more literal sense is not exclusive to the supernatural. In the Odyssey, Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, weaves by day and unravels by night to keep her suitors at bay until Odysseus returns. Perhaps it’s not the weaver that’s supernatural, but the weaving itself. “Weaving a spell” is a phrase for a reason.
The Egyptians intrinsically interweave fate throughout every aspect of their lives. For instance, Shai, the god of fate or destiny, is stated to be a personification for the fate of the human being, which begins at birth. This means that fate follows people from birth to death. Another staple Egyptian deity is the goddess Renenet, who is tied to worldly possessions. The Egyptians believe that pharaohs can take their material wealth with them into death, which they are fated to do, and it’s also why they’re buried with them. Sounds like carrying all of that would be quite heavy.
Of course weaving is not exclusive to humans and gods, and fate need not be nearly as mystical as it sounds. Spiders are the most well-known weavers in the animal kingdom, and our mythology shows, from Uttu the Ancient Sumerian weaving goddess to the prideful Arachne of Greek myth to the Spider Grandmother of Hopi folklore. Maybe a spider is an important symbol in your character’s destiny. Perhaps your character is cornered, but a spider spins a web in the front of their hiding spot. Spiders are not alone in this ability either. Some African and Asian songbirds construct complex nests that earn them the moniker “weaver.” Maybe a bird will grant your character a great boon for their journey if they help it finish its nest.
Weaving, however, is not the complete focus. Fate is a complicated topic; in some ways it’s about luck or chance, in other ways it’s about a predetermined event, and in still others it’s about suffering and woe. You could focus more on the aspect of fate in this prompt, and the different influences it might have on someone’s life. There are other myths that focus less on the weaver, and more on the thread; in some Asian myths, the threads of fate are more about love than overall destiny. In Chinese myth, the god of love and marriage ties a red thread to future lovers’ ankles. More than likely you’re familiar with the Japanese version, which sees the man’s thumb tied to the woman’s little finger. In Jewish folk tradition, a red thread bracelet wards off curses. Maybe your character notices a thread on them they haven’t seen before. Do they follow it? Where will it lead if they do? Will it lead to their soulmate, or to their doom? Or, instead, do they try to cut it? Can they cut it?
I have two potential challenges for you this week. The first is to write about a character going against fate. As I said earlier, fate is often seen as something that can’t be stopped or contained, and a lot of the myths (or, more accurately named, tragedies) where fate is a woven thing explore this idea. But is it possible to unravel your own fate? To weave it again yourself?
The other challenge I have is to write about the mundane ways in which fate is woven in our lives. I think “weaving fate” is a prompt that automatically brings grand ideas of supernatural powers and prophecies to our minds…but what are the more simple and gentle (but no less important) ways in which fate makes herself known in our lives? What are the butterflies we are stepping on, or else nurturing, each day?
Remember, these challenges aren’t mandatory! They are meant to be a fun bonus if you’d like to have a little extra challenge. But, if you don’t want to use them, please don’t feel obligated to!
Oh, yes, the tapestry! You wanted to know why it can’t be good. Well, weaving fate lends itself to exploring magic and wonder…but it creates opportunities to bind and ensnare as well. I’m not quite certain what this means for your path, but all I can say is, be mindful of which you take. If you don’t make your own choices, someone…or something else may choose for you.
—Pearce, Felicia, & Kaylie
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.