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The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

by frauzet
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

More New Year’s Resolutions for January 2020’s Month of Meta!

 

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of January 17, 2020:

 

Travel Without A Map: This one is easy for those habitual pantsers out there. Write a scene or a whole piece without having any (or as little as possible) preconceived idea of where it’s going. Let your characters tell the story they want to tell. They might surprise you! Write the whole thing, beginning to end. Don’t go back and change things! Not even typos! Or try not to fix typos–that’s hard. The goal this week is a word-vomit, totally unplanned draft that nevertheless is complete of itself. Travel without a map or GPS, but do make it home at the end. 

 

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Love Triangle: Two men vying for the affections of one woman, the oldest trope around. But there are endless permutations possible: Three men, three women, any combination of two genders and one of the opposite, nonbinary, aliens.  Consider, too, nonsexual/aromantic triangles, where “affection” is "deep and abiding friendship” and the point of contention has nothing to do with physical attraction, but social status, physical distance, or something else. This week, write some version of a love triangle.

 

There’s No “I” in Team: As you play you pick up companions aplenty, maybe make friends in groups, and head-canon a lot of NPC involvement in your personal story. Over time, you wind up developing a team of players who work together in some fashion. Without that team, your character would never have the level of success they’ve achieved. Write about either how your team learned to mesh with each other, how they function as a unit now, or how they bond in the aftermath of a mission. Prompt courtesy of sillymonkey71.


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 41 of 69 (488 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

Another New Year’s Resolution for January 2020’s Month of Meta!

 

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of January 24, 2020:

 

Self Care: Write the kind of scene you need to write or read. Not necessarily the next one to finish your fic. The kind you need to write: fluffy happiness, cathartic violence, something silly, something deep and philosophical, something satirical and full of sharp cutting edges. This is for no one but you. There’s no obligation to share it with anyone, even SFWC. And if you prefer, take the week off and write nothing. Recharge. You have permission. Take care of yourself this week, however that looks to you.

 

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Burnout: Working long hours with no end in sight. Tired of doing the same thing every day. Has your character burnt out on anything? A job, a career, a hobby, a show? What was it? Why did they start in the first place and what turned them off? Burnout can also be a catalyst for change. What does your character do afterward?

 

Favorite drinks: Living things eat and drink, and sentient creatures with cultures have a variety of beverages to choose from. With variety comes favorites–so what is your character’s? Cocktails automatically come to mind, but a favorite drink can be any beverage. Your character could have different favorites for different parts of the day–their favorite wake-up drink won’t be the same as their go-to wind-down libation. It might be something they grew up with, or something a loved one recently introduced them to. Maybe it used to be a favorite but they grew out of it, associated it with painful memories, or relocated and simply can’t get it or the ingredients. Expensive or cheap, rare or common, mind-altering or otherwise, share one of your character’s favorite drinks.


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 42 of 69 (467 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

The last of SFWC’s New Year’s Resolutions for January 2020.

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of January 31, 2020:

 

Complete Something: Remember that word-vomit first draft from a couple weeks ago? Edit it to completeness. Alternately, pick something from your WIP pile and finish it, whether it’s the first draft or final, ready-to-be-posted version. Choose a work that’s not done, and finish it. Move it from the inbox to the outbox. There are few things that feel as nice as finally finishing something. Wrap up the Month of Meta with that feeling of accomplishment. 

 

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Why They Fight—and Why They Don’t — Characters manage to get into all kinds of altercations, large and small.  Fights.  But why?  Not the easy answers: for the Empire, for the Republic, for family or the Force or bad luck any of the other reasons they might give to themselves or others.  Why does your character choose to fight?  Under what circumstances do they choose violence as a solution, and where do they draw the line?  Even cowards and pacifists have reasons for their choices, and borders they will not cross.  Explore it.  Check out this excellent essay on @howtofightwrite for a more in-depth examination of the question. 

 

It’s All Downhill From Here! The situation is handled, crisis solved or averted, nothing left but the cleanup and a smooth glide to the end. On the other hand, maybe it’s more like a downhill slide into a swamp or off a cliff. It’s fun to shake up reader–and character–expectations. Throw up some roadblocks or dig some potholes in their easy ride. Make that smooth landing less so. Complete disaster optional.


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 43 of 69 (444 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of February 7, 2020:

 

Right Person, Wrong Time: When has your character met another who could be a perfect fit…but not now? It might be a soulmate, a mentor, a social connection, or a patron. But your character isn’t ready for their help, guidance, friendship, or love yet. Maybe your character is, but the person they meet is the one at the wrong time. Why are “the stars wrong”? Does the relationship require a personal change on someone’s part, or are there social or cultural forces in play? Do they ever figure it out? Or do they remain out of sync for the whole story?

 

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Missing Something: We have things we’re good at and things we’re not.  What happens to your character when something they rely on is suddenly useless or unavailable?  The obvious situation is if your Jedi or Sith can not call on the Force for some reason.  But what about a sniper without their trusty rifle, a smuggler without their contacts, or a trooper without their squad?  How did it happen?  What does your character do?

 

Life has no Reset Button — Your character makes decisions every day, from minor ones, like what to wear, to vital important ones that change lives.  Whether to capture or kill a prisoner.  To stay with a partner or break up.  To follow an order or disobey.  They do the best they can under pressure and with limited time.  What choices do they regret?  Which ones might they do differently, now that they’ve had time to reflect?  Would they make the same choice, knowing the consequences?  Are they even more convinced they made the right decision?


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 44 of 69 (422 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of February 14, 2020:

 

Chocolate! It’s Valentine’s Day here in the US and everything is red, white, and shades of pink. And chocolate! Does your character’s world have a day for romantic love? Is there a food or treat associated with it? Is it like chocolate: sweet, creamy, indulgent and yet ordinary any other time? Is it actual chocolate? Who would your character give it to, or who do they hope to receive it from? What does that person mean to them? They don’t have to be lovers, after all. Or does your character ignore the whole meaning thing and use it as an excuse to stock up? All of the above?

 

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Luminous Beings We Are – Life is bound up, figuratively and literally, with light. Whether it’s the physical study, the Light Side, or the dawning at the most unexpected times, we may find light altering the living space, illustrating the spirit, or showing the way. Write about your character’s interaction with light.  Prompt courtesy of brightephemera .

 

Treat Yourself: Indulge! What’s a treat for your character? Food, a spa day, a movie/theater/holovid/musical? Surely they have something they love to do that they maybe don’t do often, something that makes them feel good about themselves. We torture our characters enough. This week do something nice for them.


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 45 of 69 (392 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of February 21, 2020:

 

Found Family: Many of our characters collect a wide circle of friends and hangers-on. Do they have a closer inner circle that’s more than friends? A found family, a collection of characters that interact the way a tightly bonded family might but aren’t related? No one has to fall into stereotypical roles. There doesn’t have to be a “Mom” or “Dad,” “Kid Brother” or “Big Sister.” They don’t always get along, but they always support and care for each other. Write a story involving your character’s found family if they have one, or their adventure with someone who does.

 

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Another Day on the Job: Our characters lead pretty interesting lives.  Things they consider routine are anything but.  So what does one of those days look like?  What’s a regular day in the life of a special-forces trooper or Dark Council member?  What problems do they face on a day-to-day basis?  What unique occupational hazards do they avoid–or what perks do they enjoy?  Even an ordinary day for your character is bound to be extraordinary in some way.  Write about it.

 

Set the Standards: What’s the minimum your character will accept, be it service, the kinds of jobs they’ll take, or the places they’ll go or stay? What about the people they’ll work with or date? Do they have standards for decency or conduct? How do they define them? What’s their reasoning for their personal limits? Have they ever been tested? Are they reasonable, inflated, underrated, irrational? 


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 46 of 69 (369 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of February 28, 2020:

 

Ride or Die: Who sticks with your character for all their adventures, good or bad, boring or exciting? The one they call for a spontaneous vacation, to get them out of jail, or to help them move to a second-story walkup apartment. Hopefully their love interest (if they have one) qualifies, but Ride or Die is neither exclusive nor necessarily romantic. It doesn’t even have to be reciprocated. Write something where this relationship is front and center. The story doesn’t work unless the characters absolutely, unequivocally, have each other’s back, no matter what happens.

  

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Flashback/Flashforward: Both very common storytelling devices and, like all tropes, sometimes handled well and other times, not so much. Ideally, a flashback provides readers with important character or situational information. A flashforward, on the other hand, more often shows an alternate future that the character rejects–unless done at the very beginning–in which case the entire story is a flashback. For this exercise, try something different from the standard “traumatic moment” flashback. Maybe the character recognizes the significance of an item, statement, or situation they didn’t the first time around. Maybe what feels like the end of the story really is the beginning. Maybe the flashforward future is one the character wants and will fight for. If it doesn’t happen, maybe they recognize it as a fantasy in a flashback. Experiment!

 

First Impressions–of someone else:  Our characters encounter many others during the course of their stories.  Some become strong allies, loyal companions.  Others implacable enemies.  Some end up just plain useless.  Still, it’s hard to size up someone in a glance.  Write about your character’s initial encounter with someone who becomes important later in their story.  


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 47 of 69 (345 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of March 6, 2020:

 

Time Change: When has your character been out of sync with their surroundings? In space all planets have their own day-night cycles as well as years. Travel to a new place at light speed or more means having to adjust to a wildly different schedule upon landing. And what time does the crew keep in transit? Is there an agreed-upon standard or does every captain choose their own? Fantasy settings can still have abrupt time changes: long-distance teleports, extended sleep spells, world-altering magic. Does a place like Discworld have time zones? Maybe your character is the habitual early riser in a world or night owls, or the reverse. 

 

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Reunited: Characters who spend time apart must come back together. Do they look forward to it? Dread it? Count every moment until they can reunite, or invent ways to prolong the separation? Do they have any special rituals? A particular knock or bell ring, a call to their partner, a hug or kiss? Furtively sneaking in and hope no one notices? How do they catch up? Long conversations? Bare mumbles? Does it matter for them how long they’ve been apart, or is a few hours separation as hard to bear as a month? 

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Pictures can also provide inspiration.  A scene in a movie, a well-known painting, a screenshot, a character portrait, if you’re lucky enough to have one.  Write the “thousand words” (figuratively) behind the picture and share both if you can. 


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 48 of 69 (329 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of March 13, 2020:

 

Bad Advice: What’s the worst advice your character received? Something so patently wrong they disregarded it immediately and questioned the giver’s sanity or intelligence? Something they thought was valid but proved less so in practice? Something they fervently believed in until their own repeated experiences made them change their mind? Write about your character and some colossally bad advice.

  

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

A Good Villain: Every hero needs an antagonist, someone who thwarts them at every turn.  This week’s challenge: write a story centered on your character’s main villain.  This might be an enemy the game made for your character or one you invented in your character’s story, but either way, this is their time in the sun.  Make it good.  Or bad, as the case may be.

 

Censored! [Redacted] Strikethrough! Restricted! Takedown!: When has your character encountered censorship? What was it? Something they wanted or needed but weren’t allowed? Why? Something they created that was blacked out, altered, or removed? Was it a report, a discovery, a work of art or fiction? Did they agree with the censor or fight the decision?  What problems occurred because of the restriction–or lack thereof?


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 49 of 69 (302 Views)
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Re: The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

Champion

This week’s SFWC prompt:

 

Week of March 20, 2020:

 

Rock Your World: When has your character received unexpected, life-changing news? Was it good or bad? Both? Maybe they learned about an otherwise-unknown relative, received a large inheritance, or acquired a large debt. Perhaps they received medical news–positive or negative. A domestic animal showed up on their doorstep and decided it lived there. Whatever happened, their life is different from this day forward, and it isn’t their choice. What do they do?

 

This week’s prompt not for you?  Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive.  Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.  

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

 

Boring Conversation Anyway - Our characters talk to a lot of people. Sometimes these conversations end well. Sometimes they end…less well. Conversations may culminate in agreement, anger, happiness, thoughtfulness, kisses, or bloodshed…or get cut off before any satisfying conclusion is reached. Write about the way one of your characters’ conversations ended.

 

A Matter of Public Record:  Every character is a wealth of information, and it’s probably to someone’s advantage to know it.  Everything from basic information like name, species, and gender, to more specific things, like school records, close relatives, or their favorite snack food.  So what do they know about your character?  What’s on their public record and is any of it accurate?  Has it been changed, erased, or confused with someone else’s?  Who might want to know?  Why? 


"From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."

[Robert Frost - Fire and Ice]

I don't work for EA. The opinions I express are my own.
Message 50 of 69 (274 Views)
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