Cheer up, Meteorologists and Storm Chasers!
Quite a downpour we’ve been having lately, huh? Don’t worry; we’ll walk in the sun again soon, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
Can’t Rain All the Time
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 comes from the movie The Crow. “It can’t rain all the time” is from the protagonist, Eric’s, band. He quotes this to Sarah, a street kid he used to look after, to identify himself. This optimistic ideal characterizes Eric’s worldview before he’s brought back as a revenant one year after he and his fiancée were murdered. The two loved each other and had a bright future ahead of them. While his motive throughout the film is revenge, Eric still possesses that idealism deep down that one day the metaphorical rain will stop.
Funnily enough, this saying has made its way into popular culture well enough that knew it, despite not knowing of the movie when it was picked. Many of you might have heard it too. It’s the idea that “things won’t be bad forever” when it seems like they will be. Usually I’ve seen it applied when a character is feeling down for one reason or another, and another is trying to cheer them up, telling them that things will get better.
It’s a really nice mantra in this way too. So many things one could say in this context are either unhelpful or untrue. “Chin up” or “It’s not the end of the world” often are quite dismissive and unhelpful. And, as for “It’ll be okay” or “Things’ll get better” well…unfortunately, one doesn’t know if that’s true, one can only hope so. But “It can’t rain all the time”? That is true. Even in places where it rains almost year round, it still doesn’t rain forever. Even in the world of the movie, where the world was supernaturally dreary, it still didn’t last forever. The same is true for the bad things in our lives.
In this use of the prompt, it could be interesting to consider which perspective you want to tell the story from. What would bring a character to the point where they feel like nothing will ever get better? And, on the other side, how might another go about cheering them up; what would bring them to the conclusion that it won’t last forever? Do they succeed in cheering them up, or does the first character run off saying ‘You don’t understand!’?
You could also apply the mantra more like the character in the movie does. He’s maintaining a positive attitude, despite the dreadful situation he’s in. Maybe your character is able to stay optimistic and cheer themselves up. How do they do this? Perhaps you want to delve into their psyche, and/or show the effect they have on the world around them. I’ve been watching Ted Lasso lately, and Ted is a prime example of how someone who (almost) always maintains a positive attitude. This positivity affects everyone around him (usually in good ways). But this isn’t necessarily easy. Watching this show, it highlights to me the fact that I haven’t seen a whole lot of characters who are like this, and how real people like that are even rarer. I would be curious to see how you all might write a character of this sort.
You could also take the prompt in a much more literal direction. The prompt makes me think of kids inside the house, staring at the rain outside the window, groaning that they’re bored. A parent might walk by saying “It can’t rain all the time. It’ll let up eventually.” Often with these scenes, however, it’s what the kids do inside that becomes far more interesting. Think of the scene in Narnia where they’re bored in the rain and decide to play hide and seek…something that sets their life in a completely new direction.
Another way you could apply that idea is by having your characters go out and play in the rain. It can’t rain all the time, true, but maybe your characters can learn to enjoy the rain anyways. Maybe there is good to be found in even the darkest situation.
“Rain” could mean different things. Maybe you want to write about sun showers, where the sun is out while it’s raining. Maybe you want to write about freezing rain, or acid rain—something that could seriously harm you if you went outside. It could be something like the sludge falling from the sky and corrupting the Zoras’ domain in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. You could go the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs direction and write about the strange circumstances that could cause things like food to rain down. What about fantasy worlds and alien planets? What sort of rain occurs there is limited only by your imagination.
However, considering this has become a saying that means “Things won’t be bad forever” you could even play with different kinds of weather than rain. Back where I used to live in Seattle, “It can’t rain all the time” was certainly the apt phrase. But here, in Texas, “It can’t be sun all the time” would be the more fitting idiom. Perhaps you could play with this sort of thing. What other weather could be the “bad” that will eventually end? How could you still make the prompt clear while using a different weather phenomenon?
Other things could symbolically act as rain. A leaky faucet could feel like a constant rain. A waterfall could be like rain (though waterfalls do generally rain all the time, so I’d be curious to see how you might use this one. Perhaps the troll living beneath it believes the rain will eventually stop, not realizing it’s a waterfall that won’t?). One of my personal favorite images is equating tears to rain—like in Fullmetal Alchemist when Roy Mustang’s friend dies and he says it’s a terrible day for rain, even though it isn’t raining, signifying that he’s crying.
My first challenge is a simple one. Last week there was a lot of introspection going on, and my challenge related to it. This prompt is one that could easily be introspective too. My challenge is to not use introspection! Last week we explored how to make introspection interesting. This week, why not explore using devices other than introspection to convey the emotion you want?
My other challenge is to use onomatopoeia somewhere in your story! In a story about rain, “plinks” and “plonks” and “dribbles” are all fair game. Help us to feel more grounded in the scene with the onomatopoeia(s) you use!
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!
Look at that. The storm let up! Just like I told you it would. Now we just need to get out of these wet clothes.
—Pearce & 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.