Let's All Write Short Fiction! Now with new, disastrous prompts

writing

#81

Ooooooh! Why didn’t I find this thread sooner, this can help motivate me to actually get off my ass and write something.

Where do you guys get prompts at generally?


#82

When it comes to critique, experience doesn’t actualy matter that much! Well, it does in terms of the advice you can give, but if you can read a story and have an opinion about it, you can give a useful critique.

And what’s more important is that reading critically is a really good way to start improving your writing. It doesn’t have to be complicated, as long as you’re reading through and thinking to yourself “why did I like that bit?” or “why am I bored right now?” The more you get used to reading like that, the better your eye is going to be when you’re looking at your own writing.


#83

I can second this. Unless I’m too tired to think about something but I’m really excited to write it (like I did earlier :V) I can kinda tell what’s up with a story. You play enough video games and you can start to tell when someone doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing with a story.

I’m looking at you, Shattered Memories.


#84

I scroll through the twitter bot and pick tweets that look fun. Well it doesnt have to be me, but this thread is my baby so ive been doing them all so far!

Sorry for not being around recently, had to take some time doing nothing at all for a while cause of mental health related things. Im gonna work on getting the next batch of prompts shortly!


#85

@flerp:

@CandySpider:

@Zacmortar (im assuming you want one):


#86

Yes, thank you! I’ll start it up asap.


#87

Thank you! Will get to work today!


#88

I have finally read your behemoth (it’s more of a novella than a short story, but I’m really happy that I managed to inspire you to create so much :smiley: ).

First of all, fuck you, this is good. The story is not garbage, merely flawed. Thrive is a brilliant protagonist, and the first half of this story is really cool and interesting and I love it. The second half is good too, but I really don’t like you including real-world stuff in a fantasy story. It works best with your summary at the end, and I feel it might be better if you consolodated all the real-world stuff into an Afterword that is seperate from the main story. Also, rather than just linking to wiki articles about different races and creatures, i feel the story would be improved if you gave brief descriptions of them, maybe along with Thrive’s thoughts when appropriate. The political aspect of this story is important, but i feel like some of those segments can drag on a bit too long and almost become rants (which is understandable because man, I really feel you on that stuff). Also those ethereal people who show up out of nowhere to talk about a spanish king is kind of… jarring. Anyway, I can’t wait for Thrive and their army to come and recruit me :smile:

Overall, this is a real gem of a story, and all it needs to really Thrive is a little bit more polish. Jesse x Kira OTP.


#89

I’m going to be late with my prompt because I very suddenly and very quickly have to move to another state (thanks for that last-minute decision, roommate), but I’m working on it and will get it here eventually, I swear!


#90

Now you get to read my food coma/late-night tiredness driven stream-of-consciousness. I think part of the problem is that I dropped her into a cartoon land that is similar but not quite the same as our own world. That and I gutted a lot to fit it in under 10k words. I woke up the next morning in a cold sweat when all the pacing issues hit me :V

The idea was to basically set up kind of an anthology of this city of superheroes that get dragged into other dimensions to help sort out problems.


#91

[the awesome face emoji]
Thank you for the critique and for liking that mess. NVQ having horrible taste confirmed.

Current status: Struggling to find an end to REASONABLY SHORT AND SANE story, updating my LP and then pulling an ending out of my ass. It’ll be up tonight or tomorrow. Toxx me.


#92

hey no worries! there’s no time limit for submissions :slight_smile:

I’m looking forward to it!

You are most welcome. There’s no hurry I literally haven’t even started writing mine yet, although I know what I’m going to do with it (more or less).

I hope everyone is having fun at least, that’s the only reason I came up with this whole thing really.


#93

Okay, so I miiiiight have taken a few artistic liberties here. By which I mean I completely ignored the word “Galapagos.” And “tortoise.” But eh, turtles and tortoises are basically the same thing, right?

Prompt:

Word Count: 682
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byh5UtGlHVNLTFpTVTVBWk9kRm8/view?usp=sharing


#94

Artistic liberties are good. Prompts are to inspire, not restrict. Thanks for your submission, it was a very fun read! I’ve noticed a number of small technical errors, so let me know if you’d like some feedback and I’ll post some suggestions in the document if you do. I loved the dialogue in this one, Ruffington is a very good pupper. :turtle:


#95

I opened the document for commenting; feedback is definitely appreciated.


#96

The link took me to a .docx, which Google doesn’t let me comment on. Since this is short enough (and since you asked for feedback) I’m going to go a little more in-depth and get a little more critical with a line crit :toot:

The sun rose over the city of Uruk, lighting the home of a young Duchess who had already been far busier than she’d like to be. Not long after the city began to drowsily stir, a knock on the Duchess’s door allowed her to drop one of the many chores she had started, (and then subsequently stopped.)

This sort of slow, scenic start would be better suited to a story where the sun/the city/her daily routine are more important. A good rule of thumb for stories is ‘start where it gets interesting’. The phrase ‘drowsily stir’ feels redundant to me, because that’s how I’d imagine a city to be stirring in the early morning. If it was something other than drowsily, that might be worth noting.

This is a pretty dialogue-heavy story, which isn’t bad, but it’s something to be careful with–you don’t want to end up with two talking heads being vaguely witty at each other for the length of your story.

“Oh no, I finished that… when was two in the morning? Well whatever. Anyway, I was just about to go walk Ruffington.”

Something happened to this line of dialogue. I think you maybe meant to put ellipsis after ‘when was’? As is, it sounds like she’s asking when two is.

It’s tricky to get a handle on what setting you’re going for, because you’ve got a couple of very Sumerian names (Uruk, Inanna, Ninsun), and then a couple of much more modern ideas (referring to ‘paperwork’, the title of duchess, the very English-sounding Ruffington), and you don’t offer much description aside from that, so my mind ended up going to some kind of steampunk British Sumeria.

“Too… big?” Ninsun muttered. Inanna didn’t reply as she leaned out the window, took a deep breath, and shouted the name Ruffington to the arid dawn, her voice somehow echoing into the distance. She quickly stepped away from the wall as a roar rang out in response, deafening several passerbys. For a moment, it seemed the world itself was rumbling before a gigantic shell spun through the wall, shattering it into copious sandy chunks.

I’d probably put a paragraph break after Ninsun’s line, to make Inanna’s lack of a reply more like a response. (Just taste, though.) That second sentence is really long, and you should probably split it after ‘arid dawn’. Speaking of, that phrase also didn’t quite land, because it didn’t feel that relevant to the rest of the sentence, which was about her yelling. Maybe if it was in something like “her voice echoed sharp in the arid dawn” I could see it fitting, because then you’re using some parallel imagery between the clearness of her voice and the dryness of the air etc etc anyway

I also have no real idea of the scale of this turtle, because on one hand, the earth itself is rumbling, and on the other, it can fit inside this room. Speaking of, I don’t know what this room is or how large it is either, except that it’s probably not the kitchen.

“I’m pretty sure Ruffington’s a puppy,” Inanna stated, folding her arms.

“Have you ever seen a puppy?” Ninsun asked, her question being answered with a finger pointing to Ruffington, “Inanna, Ruffington just flew through the wall.”

Watch out for too many said bookisms (words used instead of ‘said’ or ‘asked’). They can be useful if you need to be very clear about how someone’s speaking, but generally if it’s clear from context, you don’t need to specify. Using them too much can make your characters feel like they’re pantomiming on a stage.

Also watch out for sentences after your dialogue tags getting concatenated onto the end of the tag. If it doesn’t make sense for it to be happening simultaneously with the dialogue, it should probably be in its own sentence. So in the above, Inanna doesn’t respond by pointing simultaneously with Ninsun’s question, so it should probably be more like “… Ninsun asked. Inanna replied by pointing a finger at Ruffington.” (That also solves the very passive construction of ‘her question being answered by’.)

“Yes! His doggy fire powers. Remember that horrible fire that almost consumed the shop down the street?”

“Aye. I heard it was horrible,” replied Ninsun.

“Well, I’ll have you know Ruffington flew right up to that fire and ate it up, thus recharging his own energies,” Inanna stated, nodding her head for emphasis.

The ‘fire powers’ bit didn’t really work for me, since it’s a bit of a non-sequitur. Nothing thus far has made me expect there are fire powers, and it’s presented in a way that’s more like how someone would talk about a superhero or something. The real thing I wanted to point out here is that Inanna mentions a “horrible fire” and then Ninsun says “I heard it was horrible”. It sounded redundant to me, but maybe that’s intentional?

“Nah,” Ninsun shook her head solemnly, “them’s turtles.”

Ninsun just got really colloquial for no real reason I can tell.

And then it ends with a couple more jokes about the distinction between dogs and turtles. They don’t really land for me, and comedy is notoriously tough to critique. I think what might be the case is that everything is so arbitrary in this story (giant spinning turtle, fire powers, etc) that I no longer know what to expect so a punchline (a subversion of expectations) feels more like I’m being given more arbitrary information.

The only other critique I can offer would be a really boring, rambling and probably not-terribly-correct evaluation of the way that humor works, so I’ll spare you that. I will say though that people have different tastes, so even though the jokes didn’t really work on me, it’s entirely possible it could work for someone else. I’ve found humor is more subjective than other sorts of writing, so it’s not like I’m trying to be some kind of Joke Judge here.


#97

Thank you for the critique. I don’t know why you couldn’t comment on the document itself, but I think that’s fixed now.
I was going for “Sumer if it were modern,” buuut I’d probably want to stay away from “British Sumeria.” In general I did want to put a bit more research into Sumer (and Gamera as well,) but didn’t quite have the time due to school stuff.
The colloquialism was a leftover from earlier drafts, but yeah, it doesn’t really work when it’s the only one there.


#98

Prompt:

This sort of inadvertently became a micro-fic? I had a broader idea, but was completely unsatisfied with it and stripped the story down to the core components. I’m somewhat happy with what I came up with, but there’s definitely room for a lot of improvement and expansion. I’d definitely like some criticism so I’d have a clearer idea of what to improve.

Also, I completely ignored the setting because I know absolutely nothing about Manchester.


#99

Hi, gimme dat hot prompt, please


#100

If it’s alright with you, I’ll step in for NVQ.

I just want you to write about owls.