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The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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alaurin's Avatar


alaurin
02.25.2022 , 03:42 PM | #6411
@Lady_Thorne: Glad you're still around and I wish I had some ideas of how to get this thread more active again. I know my time has been limited these past few months but I'm hoping to keep up more and maybe even start sharing some stories again. I know I have a few that were in the works last fall but I just wasn't able to find the time to finish them.


Okay, here's the new prompt......actually on time this week!!

Week of February 25, 2022

Left Alone: Your character won’t always have company. Sometimes they need solitude. Maybe they don’t need it, but they get it anyway. When has your character been left alone? Did they drive off all their friends on purpose, or were they abandoned because of hostile actions? Maybe another character is isolating them on purpose--for what end? Did your character need some alone time to process thoughts or feelings, without having to deal with other people? Are they so tuned in to others that they can’t relax and be themselves unless they’re alone? Are they in solitary confinement? Has some horrible event left them the last one alive? Is everyone else on vacation and they have the place to themselves? Write about a time when your character was left alone, whether voluntary or otherwise.

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*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:

Scary Stories-As long as there have been campfires, there have been spooky stories. The kind that send a chill up your spine, make you look over your shoulder, or sleep with the light on for a bit. This week’s challenge is to tell a scary story, either one featuring your character or an in-universe story they know and relate to others. Get creative and have fun!

Trigger Warning-Everyone--every character--has strong feelings about something. The old standby is “don’t discuss politics or religion” but there are many other options. What sets off your character? What’s that one topic they have to argue about? What’s their position and why? Is it rational? Was it learned and never questioned? This week, push one or more of your character’s buttons.

Lord_Thorne's Avatar


Lord_Thorne
02.25.2022 , 07:29 PM | #6412
Since you mentioned "Scary Stories," here's one I wrote some years ago.


“Multz works in the Archives – I bet he’s got a good story!” cried one youngling. The eyes of a dozen bone-tired younglings suddenly lit with glee. “Yeah, give us a good one, Multz!” Those still fiddling with tents and sleeping bags dropped what they were doing and gathered around him.

Padawan Multius stared off into space for a moment, thoughtfully rubbing what he hoped would soon be a proper Knight’s beard. He watched the trail of a descending transport in the night sky, until it disappeared behind the mountaintop to the north. “I don’t know – I see some pretty strange stuff in there, you know, in the Sealed Section,” he said with a conspiratorial wink to the young Jedi standing nearby.

Photin responded to his wink with a shallow grin and a sigh of forced patience. “Multz,” as he was known among the younger set on Tython, always had a story or a joke ready, and readily laughed at the most stale, silly bits of humor offered by the younglings. It endeared him to them greatly, and did much to make the lessons and disciplines of the Temple Masters easier to bear. His penchant for embellishment and invention – not always outright lying – sometimes bothered the masters, but always delighted his audience. As the younglings cheered and settled around him, Photin shook her head in resignation and positioned herself at the edge of the clearing, the better to watch for potential danger. These woods were pretty safe, so the younglings had been sent out to learn a little about how to survive in wilderness – but there was always the chance that some stray predator still lurked. She leaned back against a tree, close enough to see the younglings and to hear the story. Gazing out over the lake and into the clear night sky, she kept her senses alert to any approach.

Surrounded by younglings, Multius settled his considerable bulk upon a raised tuft of grass, fussing and posing in satire of a pompous Master, eliciting giggles. He’d never quite failed to pass tests of agility and speed, but he still carried several more pounds than one would expect of a proper Jedi. If his weight slowed him down, he made up for it with a combination of raw muscle power and an easygoing grasp of the Force. With a dramatic flourish, he pulled his hood over his face, then suddenly thrust out his hands. An expectant hush fell upon his audience. He held the silence for a long moment, glanced over the younglings and around at the woods, and leaned forward. Starting in a low voice, his audience leaned in as well, hanging on his words.

“The tale I am about to tell is true; I have read it with my own eyes, hidden away in the darkest corners of the Sealed Section of the Temple Archives, where none but the wisest masters may go.” Eyes widened at impending revelation. “This story is forbidden to younglings, even to padawans – if they knew I was telling you this, I would be sent to the Outer Rim to finish my training under the most severe Master they could find. And they will do the same to you if you tell. Do you understand?” The younglings nodded, only a few actually daring to speak as much as “yes.” “What I am about to tell you, you must not repeat – not to your teachers, not to other students, no one. Do I have your solemn word on this?” His hushed tones conveyed an air of dangerous secrecy. Multius took a deep breath, closing his eyes as if in focused preparation. With his hood pulled forward, the campfire threw deep shadow across his face, so that his voice issued forth as if from the very depths of mystery.

“A thousand years ago it was, before anyone now on the Council had even been born,” the portly padawan began in a grave tone, “a mighty Sith Lord, strong in the Dark Side and a master of vile sorcery – whose name I dare not even speak – searched for a way to defeat the Jedi, not just in one battle, not even in one war, but forever and always. Like many Sith before and after him, he took predators of all kinds, from akk dogs to rancors and twisted them with sorcery and cybernetics, transforming them into mad killers. He unleashed these creations against his foes, to rampage against troopers, Jedi, and innocent civilians alike. Each monster would kill many before they were brought down – but brought down they were. Upon world after world, he made a new horde of experimental horrors – only to disappear among the stars before the Jedi could finish off the beasts and track down their evil master. The Council hunted him for years.

“Finally, one heroic Jedi Master cornered the sorcerer: on Dagobah it was, a world covered with swamps and marsh, teeming with creatures of all kinds, ready subjects for evil experiments. The Master, his allies, and their padawans battled for days against the sorcerer’s monsters – creatures large and small, twisted by Sith magic into horrible abominations. Many Jedi died, torn to bloody pieces and devoured before the very eyes of their comrades.” A murmur ripple through the crowd, repulsed but fascinated. “But they did not retreat; the master and two padawans survived to confront the sorcerer in his very laboratory, deep in the dark jungle. Covered with scratches and bruises from the battle, they gave their foe no respite. They broke down the massive gate to his stronghold, and fought an epic battle as the swamp water flooded in.

“Even three against one, it was not an easy victory. One padawan fell to the lightning thrown by the sorcerer; then the master fell to the dastardly stroke of a scarlet lightsaber. The last Jedi, a mere padawan, stood alone against the sorcerer’s final assault. With a mighty effort, he slew the madman, but not before he suffered grievous wounds himself. He collapsed right there, unable to even drag himself away from the rapidly flooding sanctuary.

“From one of the tanks in the laboratory – shattered by some stray blast during the fight – issued a swarm of creatures, the last horror created by the dead Sith. Tiny wormlike creatures, each about the size of your finger, spilled from the broken vat into the dirty, bloody swamp water filling the room. Smelling fresh blood, they wriggled toward the bodies on the floor – and toward the exhausted padawan. So injured was he by the sorcerer’s dying blow, he could do little but watch in horror as the creatures fastened themselves on the dead and feasted on their warm blood – and then turned toward him! The ones that were not bloated on gore surrounded him and burrowed into his skin before his very eyes. His last sight was the horde of worms draining him of life with their insane hunger.”

Multz paused, allowing a shudder of revulsion to make its silent way through his audience. Photin could not help but smile at the thrilled mix of delight and horror that resonated among the younglings, even as she prepared herself for a turbulent night of nightmare-triggered awakenings. After a proper dramatic silence, Multz continued.

“Oh, but the story does not end there, not at all! Those worms, those leeches, not only thrived on all that blood, they had been transformed by sorcery – and now they had fed on blood rich with midichlorians, from some of those most powerful beings in the Force. They became potent in the Force themselves, with powers far beyond normal parasites. They bred and thrived in the fetid swamps; normal creatures were devoured easily by the swarm of Force-empowered leeches. When other ships arrived to discover what had happened to the sorcerer and the Jedi who hunted him, they did not know what they would find, did not know how dangerous the little worms were. A few of them fastened onto a young padawan as he helped investigate the flooded laboratory a year later; he did not even know they were there until he was back aboard their cruiser, and he washed them off without a second thought. They made their way into the water system of the ship, and from there they have spread across the galaxy, ever breeding, ever seeking the blood of those strong in the Force. They lurk in quiet pools of water – ponds, puddles, even lakes,” he turned his head to gaze toward Photin, where she stood near the shore of the nearby lake, “on almost every world now, drawn to the smell of Jedi blood.” A dozen pairs of wide eyes turned toward Photin, who struggled to keep a straight face. “In fact,” Multius mused, “it was just a few years ago – before any of you got here… Photin, you remember! The sad case of Padawan Noman?”

Photin blinked in surprise. “Noman?” She’d never heard the name before; then she realized: Noman -no man. Cute, she thought. “Um. Of course – but… I forget the details…”

Multius chuckled deeply. “Oh, that’s Photin for you, always playing it straight.” He gave her a satisfied nod before the younglings turned their gaze back to him. “She knows we’re not supposed to talk about it.” He shook his head sadly. “Poor young Padawan Noman! She loved to go swimming, and was very good at it, as good as any human I’ve ever seen. Until the day she was found dead, floating on this very lake, just a few meters from this very spot! Her body was shriveled up, drained of every drop of blood, and her skin was covered with hundred small round bites, about as big around as your finger.”

Gasps and moans of dismay erupted from the younglings; two of them leaped to their feet. “We ain’t sleeping here!” Others looked to Photin for confirmation, but she remained silent, a looming shadow against the stars. There were one or two who seemed convinced the whole thing was just a story, but their voices were quickly drowned out as the younglings huddled together for comfort and set about breaking camp to move farther away from the suddenly-frightening lake. None noticed the delighted grin that spread across Multius’ face as he congratulated himself on another good story well told.
Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.
"The incomprehensibility of your statement in no way validates it." (HK-51)
"I'm a lump with a bad attitude! Honor! Misplaced loyalty! Grr!" (Z0-OM)

Lady_Thorne's Avatar


Lady_Thorne
03.03.2022 , 11:05 PM | #6413
Prompt: Left Alone: Your character won’t always have company. Sometimes they need solitude. Maybe they don’t need it, but they get it anyway. When has your character been left alone? Did they drive off all their friends on purpose, or were they abandoned because of hostile actions? Maybe another character is isolating them on purpose--for what end? Did your character need some alone time to process thoughts or feelings, without having to deal with other people? Are they so tuned in to others that they can’t relax and be themselves unless they’re alone? Are they in solitary confinement? Has some horrible event left them the last one alive? Is everyone else on vacation and they have the place to themselves? Write about a time when your character was left alone, whether voluntary or otherwise.

Setting: Republic Military Academy, ~3 ATC, 0300 hours, End of Term


Maioni Alone

Maioni Savage's closest companion since she'd been 11 years old had blazed her way out of their shared room, out of the Republic Military Academy, and if Mai had any guesses, right off of the planet. She'd made certain that they didn't want to keep her there any more than she wanted to be there. Hiero and Maioni had fought for first place across all their shared courses and skills tests, and Mai had gleaned that Heiro had a point to prove, after having spent most of their school years avoiding producing academic work (but learning the material, nonethess). Then today, the last day of their first term, everything had exploded into a reality Mai hadn't at all predicted. She had no idea of what her friend – almost a sister – had done to arouse the ire of Academy leadership, but it was clearly both serious and of a nature that none of the officers or instructors wanted to speak about, so Mai figured that it might be something that would embarrass at least one, and possibly a good number, of those people. She admitted to herself that she wouldn't put it past Hie to do something like that if she thought it would put someone in their place. Or possibly, just for the sheer hilarity of it. Hiero was capable of either or a mix of those two motivations. In any case, Hiero had declined to tell her, just succeeding in looking simultaneously gleeful and absolutely unwilling to yield to the authority of the Academy or the military powers behind it.

It was well past lights out now, and Mai had been just as happy to have an excuse to not see Hie's side of the room looking so void of everything that spoke of their camaraderie.

Maioni gazed into the dim room, then rolled to her back. Hie would have described it as pitch black, but then, Hie was human, not Cathar, and didn't have terribly good night vision. As she thought about what had happened earlier that day, she didn't like to acknowledge that she hadn't given much -- any, she chided herself -- thought to how her friend was doing here at the academy in any way that wasn't directly related to the competition to prove themselves as the best of the best. She and Hie had been friends for almost seven years, ever since her benefactor Vessen had placed her to foster with the Thorne family on their ship a year before sending both of them off to what had turned out to be the surprisingly exclusive Cressa Military Pre-Prep, and later, Prep Academy. The actual Academy had been their 'next step' for so long; she'd known since Vessen had so persuasively explained that she was on the fast track to permanently destroying her life of freedom unless she learned some self-discipline when she was ten. She had figured out that she would eventually come here within days of accepting his offer to “do what she did best” – fighting – in a soldierly rather than a “socially unacceptable” manner. She recalled the time she'd threatened her first foster-father, which had started the chain of events that had led her here. She still harbored an irrational dislike of Twi'leks because of him not treating Jaffy the way his big sister knew worked best. She realized now what an odd child he'd been! Thinking once more about Vessen, she knew she would continue to do her damnedest to excel and show that his belief in her abilities had not been misplaced.

Her thoughts bent between frustration that she hadn't realized or taken seriously that it wasn't really Hiero's choice of career, and what felt like a perverse pride in her friend's initiative in getting out. Hie hadn't left her any details on how to stay in touch, but had said she would - and that she figured she could always work out some way to contact her, "when she'd figured out what was next."

Mai realized that she didn't know how to contact her brothers right now, either. Jaffy was probably on Tython, but they were irritatingly controlling about family contacts. Not that she and Hiero - and Vikkie, who'd been the third member of their little band in school - hadn't managed to actually travel there the first year the Jedi Academy was setting up there and "unofficially" get a grand tour as "exchange students" back when they were on break, back in Prep. Who knew where Jaffy's twin Danik was, and she'd even lost touch with Shevri, the next closest in age to her. He was likely to be here too, in a couple of years. He didn't have the advantages she'd been given; he'd been too well behaved, she pondered.

She wondered where Vikkie was, and if she'd ever have to face her in battle – she'd probably been pressed to join their military one way or another, since she hadn't managed to contact Mai in almost four years. She missed the old “Triumph” crew -- Mai, Hie, and the Vikster had never lacked audacity back then, and had thought it was a grand name for their group of three buddies. They'd had wild plans to do great things --and always together. Then Vikkie's father had been killed, and get mother had, in Vikkie's words, gone crazy with grief, and insisted that they move back to her family home -- which was on an Imperial planet. She'd known that, and they'd talked about it, but none of them had ever felt they could do anything about it. It was one thing infiltrating Tython, so to speak, and another thing entirely thinking about trying to go break Vikkie out from her grandparents' estate on Veron. (Mai wondered briefly, for the millionth time, how Vikkie's parents had met and ended up sending their daughter to Cressa.) But the Vikster had staunchly said she'd figure out a way to come back to the Republic side. She hadn't seen Vikkie since they were 15. She sighed, and realized just how much she had assumed that Hie would simply always be there. And before that, that Vikkie, and before that, her brothers, and back and back – and everyone always, always ended up gone. She wondered if she'd ever get married, and if that would end in loss, too. Not that she had ever had time for boys. Again, she scolded herself -- she was an adult now, and certainly if she did ever find anyone interesting, it wouldn't be a boy, but a man. She needed to stop thinking of herself as a girl... She was a woman, granted one that wasn't feeling particularly successful in staying connected with anyone in this life, but a woman, nonetheless.

She reached for her personal holo and hoped she wouldn't be calling Vessen in the middle of the night wherever he was. She paused, thinking how ridiculous that was, since it was about 0300 right now. She tried anyhow. What she got was a message that forwarded to a command post somewhere. "Co, er, General Var Suthra is unavailable. I can connect you to Colonel Durffelt, instead. She's handling the lower level items for him right now." Maioni didn't even bother leaving a message; the old guy had gotten promoted and not even let her know.

She realized she'd been so absorbed in her own life, progress, and expectations that she hadn't made time for the people in her life that made it interesting -- worth living, in a lot of ways. Right now, she didn't have anyone who really knew her. Sure, there were a few others scattered in here at the Academy who had been at Cressa, but she didn't know them particularly well, and she knew that at least some of them didn't like her much, and viewed her (and Hie, and even Vikkie back in the beginning) as thinking they were better and smarter than everyone else. She always felt torn about that, because she knew the value of humility, but she also was well aware of their abilities, even if Hie had had a casual attitude about academics. They were good and they worked hard to build skills and to learn and know as much as they could. On the other hand, that didn't make the night any less lonely and frustrating.

Tomorrow, or rather today, was the beginning of a brief break between sessions, and in a couple of hours she'd be finding out where they'd – she'd – be posted for an advanced course in survival skills and geographically specific training related to combat and logistics of one kind of another for the next term. Realizing that it was unlikely that she'd be getting any significant sleep, she reset her alarm for an hour, and decided she'd go knock out PT after that to try to convince herself that it was just another restart, and that she hadn't actually lost the people she cared about. She forced herself to relax, and resolved to try to treat her interactions with others in ways that would, she hoped, help her stay connected better with her family. Hie of course, was effectively family, as was Vessen. Right now she needed at least a modicum of sleep... Tomorrow she'd begin working on something just as important as her next posting; learning how to better hold on to the people she was really doing all this for. Doing it for only herself was useless. Closing her eyes and settling herself, she willed herself to put her losses behind her for now, and sleep.

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alaurin
03.04.2022 , 11:38 PM | #6414
It's been a crazy week so comments on stories to come when I have the time to sit and enjoy them!! For now, it's prompt time and it's not yet Saturday in Chicago so technically I'm still on time with this week's prompt! Have a great weekend everyone and happy writing!

Week of March 4, 2022

Pity: Sadness for another’s suffering can motivate your character to help them, or, if your character is the one in pain, encourage cooperation from others. Maybe it means your character donates time or money or a cause, or becomes even more involved. Maybe your character’s distress garners a group to solve their problem. Not everyone responds to appeals to pity with kindness, however. Perhaps your character sees the suffering as deserved and refuses to help. Maybe they subscribe to the ‘suffering builds character’ trope and view the ordeal as necessary, or they don’t believe your character needs help despite their distress. Maybe others cheerlead your character while they struggle, but offer no concrete assistance. This week, feel sorry for your character, then do something.

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*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:

Strength in Numbers: Some problems are too big for one person to deal with. Maybe your character needs specialized help; someone (or several someones) with particular skills to fill gaps in their own. They might want backup, or moral support, or someone to share the blame if everything goes south. Or perhaps they simply want confirmation that others believe they’re doing the right thing. This week, write about a time when your character found strength in numbers.

Forgetting-No one’s memory is perfect. Everyone forgets, even your character. A date or name slips their mind, the password or combination to a lock, maybe they left something at home. It’s not always a bad thing. Painful memories are sometimes best forgotten, or at least put aside for a time. This week, write about a time your character forgot something, and what happened when they did.

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alaurin
03.11.2022 , 03:16 PM | #6415
Two weeks in a row I'm on time!!! Happy Friday and Happy Writing!!

Week of March 11, 2022

Six Impossible Things: We often imagine our characters as logical. Reliable. Truth-y. But like real people, they may entertain ideas that are, shall we say, less than realistic or likely, even in worlds governed by magic and myth. So what sorts of erroneous beliefs does your character or one of their companions hold, and how often do they cause complications? These beliefs could range from the silly or superstitious to the dangerous or harmful. Problems could be minor or major. Your character might know that their belief is impossible, but be unable to stop the behavior related to it. The impossible things might even turn out to be true, if only with certain points of view or specific circumstances. What six impossible things does your character believe before breakfast?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*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:

Return from Holiday - However nice the vacation, eventually your character comes back to their regular job. Is it a difficult change in mindset? Did your character leave the phone off the hook or did they check in all the time? What happened in their absence? Did everything fall apart? Did things hum along smoothly, no one noticing your character was gone? What do they find when they return? An emergency, a slow simmering crisis, or nothing at all out of the ordinary? This week, write about your character dealing with the transition from holiday to everyday.

It Takes Two: Write a story in two parts. Use any previous prompt (or pair of prompts) or choose your own topic. The reason for the division is up to you. Switch perspectives, follow a different character, or leave the reader with a cliffhanger. Publish on successive days or in separate posts. Each section can be any length but they can’t stand alone! They must need each other to be complete.

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alaurin
03.18.2022 , 11:14 AM | #6416
Another Friday, another prompt.....Happy Writing!!

Week of March 18, 2022

Conflict Resolution: Stories often involve conflict, and our characters often have go-to solutions for resolving them. Suppose your character’s go-to solution isn’t available? Why it’s not is an entirely different prompt; regardless, for this exercise they have to choose a different approach. What happens when the character who fixes everything with their fists has to rely on diplomacy? When the character who always buys their way out of trouble has no funds, no access to their funds, or is dealing with people who aren’t interested in money? A character used to being in authority doesn’t have it anymore? Someone who relies on fast-talk, charm, and seduction needs to persuade a group that knows they’re lying, finds them annoying, and isn’t at all interested in sleeping with them (and may even find the idea repulsive). Put a conflict within the conflict this week.

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*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:

Wrong Size--”one size fits all” rarely does. Anything can be the wrong size: clothes, armor, weapons, starship or computer components, backpacks or duffels, the bowl of soup your character ordered. The incident could be a minor inconvenience or a major problem. The reason behind it might be a simple mistake or deliberate sabotage. Write a story where something was the wrong size, and how your character coped.

Disillusion: Disillusion requires an illusion to begin with. What was something your character believed or believed in, then learned it was not true, or at least not what they thought it was? They might find out their childhood hero is hardly heroic. Perhaps the position of power they aspired to--and later gained--wasn’t nearly as powerful as they thought. Or maybe it is, but the power isn’t worth the price to get it. Their noble bloodline wasn’t, or they’re not really part of it. Maybe it's something smaller--the magician's magic was all a trick or their favorite band lip-syncs. Perhaps your character would prefer the lie and try to maintain it. Maybe they lose faith in the ones who deceived them. Perhaps your character is the one deceiving others. Write about your character learning (or admitting) an uncomfortable truth this week.

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alaurin
03.25.2022 , 11:26 AM | #6417
It's that time again!!!

Week of March 25, 2022

And You May Ask Yourself, How Did I Get Here?: Well, how did they? Is your character the type to question the choices that led them to this moment? Did they plan every step and know exactly what they’re going to do at each juncture? Do they wonder what possessed them to start an adventure in the first place? They could be home, comfortable, in their favorite chair, with a favorite snack and entertainment! Are they at home right now, thinking about the adventure they just had, or contemplating going on one? Whether your character is naturally introspective or simply pondering the situation, have them ask themselves, “How did I get here?”

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*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:

Wakeup Juice: Every world, every culture, has their version of “that stuff everyone drinks in the morning, usually with breakfast.” What is your character’s favorite? Coffee? Tea? Hot chocolate? Fruit Juice? Energy drink? Hair of the Dog (aka a dubious hangover cure)? This week, write a story centered on your character and their morning beverage of choice (or necessity).

Camouflage: There’s more to camouflage than the standard brown and green irregular blobs. Some visual camouflage is meant to deceive cameras or other electronic sensors, not organic eyes. Other types disguise not the presence of an object or person, but its apparent movement. Even ordinary clothing can be camouflage if it lets a person blend in when they would otherwise stand out. At its heart, camouflage is concealment. Consider a time when your character needed some, or was fooled.

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alaurin
04.01.2022 , 03:34 PM | #6418
Happy Friday SFC!!!

We have 5 Fridays in April and many who have participated and/or lurked in the SFC know what that means.......it’s time for another Month of Meta! This month, prompts are aimed at the writer and the craft and less on situations your character gets into. This month’s theme is: A Whole New World! Worldbuilding.

Wait a minute, isn't this blog for fanfiction prompts? Why do fanfic writers need worldbuilding? It's already done.

Even if you write in an established world, canon doesn't cover every single aspect. How your character relates to established canon, and filling in the places that aren’t clear, is important for both fanfic writers as well as those exploring their own original world. Worldbuilding doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it’s where your character meets the world that the story happens.

(and no, this isn't an April Fool’s joke)

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of April 1, 2022

Class, Social Structure, and Social Standing: All societies, even egalitarian ones, have a social structure of some sort. Are there leaders? What makes them leaders? Is the society highly stratified or is there little difference in lifestyle among people? Your character has a background, so they start from some class or standing. This can affect how they’re educated, what connections they make, how the law treats them, even who they’re likely to fall in love with. It also affects the kind of story you’re telling: is it a political intrigue among nobles? A tale of outlaws and smugglers? The travails of a student in an exclusive academy--and is that academy an expensive school accepting only the specially talented, or a reform school for juvenile criminals?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*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:

Birthdays–Does your character celebrate their birthday? What do they do? Have a big party or an intimate gathering with a few close friends? Or do they hope no one notices? Perhaps they eternally claim some age they like the best, whether it’s a birthday past or one yet to come. Maybe they neither know nor care. Living another year might not mean much to them. Maybe they mark a day of different personal significance. Or maybe a significant other throws a surprise party whether your character wants it or not. Consider birthdays this week, and what they mean for your character.

Because I Can: When has your character done something just because? Was it a harmless act done on a whim? A luxury or trip they can finally afford? A crime they knew would go unpunished? A cruel act enabled by power? A heroic one, likewise enabled by power, lack of oversight, or cleverness? Something small that makes them happy? This week, write your character doing something just because they can.

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alaurin
04.10.2022 , 07:55 AM | #6419
Well, better late than never.....here's the new prompt!

As you might recall from my last prompt post, we're in another Month of Meta! The theme is: A Whole New World! Worldbuilding for fanfic writers as well as original settings. Stories happen when your character meets the world, regardless of who imagined that world first.

This week’s SFWC prompt:

Week of April 8, 2022

Environment, Terrain, and Weather: Stories take place somewhere and it’s rare that canon details every locale in their world. There is plenty of space for a fanfic writer to put their character or their adventures by expanding on what exists or making up something that fits. How does the local terrain and weather affect the characters? What problems does it cause, and what things are made easier? Not every character likes the same weather and environment---does this cause friction in the party? What was the environment like where your character grew up? Did it change, and how? Is your adventure set on an ice planet or a desert planet or a jungle planet--and shouldn’t planets have more than one biome?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*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:

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.

Starting Over - Rarely, your character may get the chance to start over. To try again. Do it right this time, or at least differently. What would your character do with such an opportunity? Would they take it or are they content with their current situation? What might they pay, give up, to start over? Or have they already done so? Did it work as well as they hoped? In most cultures the new year is a time to get a fresh start. What about your character?

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alaurin
04.17.2022 , 04:45 PM | #6420
Was s bit busy with family visiting from out of town for the holiday but here's the new prompt....only slightly late this week. Continuing on with our Month of Meta:

Week of April 15, 2022

Culture and Cuisine: Expansive worlds have many different cultures--think Wheel of Time or Game of Thrones--while others are more limited or less described for a variety of reasons. Even in the most detailed worlds, there are places to put your own stamp on things. How about a town or planet with its own unique celebration or hero (Jaynestown, anyone)? A character who rejects a belief or observance otherwise widely accepted? Food, cuisine, and manners are intricately tied up with culture--see the aforementioned works--how does your story explore them? What kind of culture and cuisine did your character experience growing up and where are they now? What do they miss, what are they glad they left behind, and what new things have they adopted? Did they do so to get along or because they genuinely enjoy or believe them?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*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:

Snappy Comebacks - in real life, people rarely have the perfect response to a rude question or comment. It usually occurs hours or even days after the conversation that prompted it. But fiction is different. Your character has the advantage of time-your time-to devise a fantastic zinger. This week, write about your character winning (or losing!) a verbal joust.

Sentimental Value: We’ve covered heirlooms, inheritance, and souvenirs, but what about things with value only your character can assign? What’s something your character keeps for its sentimental value alone? Something that sparks good memories. Something that makes them think of a particular event, place, or person. It could be a loved childhood toy, a photograph, a book, anything at all. They might even keep something that reminds them of a bad event or time--one they overcame or survived. Write about something that holds sentimental value for your character.