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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
04.23.2022 , 04:56 AM | #6421
I'm not that late this time, just a few hours past Friday......well for me at least . Happy writing as we continue on with our Month of Meta: 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 22, 2022

Language(s) and Voice: Unless the tale takes place in a single village--and maybe not even then--a world and galaxy will have more than one language. Just because the canon material doesn’t specify languages and dialects doesn't mean they don't exist. They might be mutually intelligible via some sort of universal translator, but there’s still room for mistranslation, misinterpretation, and not knowing when to quit translating. Character voice is the more personal version of language, and canon sources rarely give guides to use of slang, dialects, and accents. Then there’s code-switching, where a character makes deliberate language or voice choices depending on their audience, and how they want to be perceived as well as understood. The language your characters use and how they use it is at least as important as your own as a writer. Give it some thought and bring depth to your world and your fic.

*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:

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.

The Hard Way--No one is good at everything, even The Chosen One. What skills or subjects did your character have trouble with? Did they work hard and eventually master them, or did they bail as soon as possible? What happens when they need to rely on that skill? Is it still a struggle for them, or have they incorporated it into their repertoire even though it’s difficult? This week, consider something your character had trouble learning or still finds difficult, and how they deal with it.

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alaurin
04.29.2022 , 05:26 PM | #6422
Ooooo, look who's on top of it this week with the prompt showing up on time!!! Happy Friday and Happy writing!

Month of Meta: A Whole New World! concludes this week. 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 29, 2022

Religion, Magic, and Advanced Technology: It may seem strange to lump all these together, but they meet at the intersection of belief systems and impossible feats. Established source material usually defines these things in broad strokes: Star Wars prominently features all three, whereas Star Trek and Hunger Games have technology but no magic and minimal religion. Fan writers find the most interesting places to explore where canon is vague, and there’s plenty to explore. How does religion influence technological development? What role is there for advanced technology when magic can do most anything? Can anyone become a magic-user given enough study, or do they receive their gifts from god(s)? Do amazing devices only work because of the user’s belief in them--their faith? Examining each of these themes and how they interact in your story can literally work magic.

*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:

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner? Character Version- Who hasn’t come up with a great idea well after it’s useful? Probably not your character, since they aren’t actually under real-world time constraints. What if they did? Characters can have regrets or second-guess themselves, too. Perhaps they come up with the perfect escape plan while fighting through guards they didn’t avoid. Maybe they wish they had bought the magical sword from the swordsmith. Maybe they remember the vital clue after setting off the trap. Consider this a chance to try some internal conflict for your character. What do they do when they realize they could have done something differently?

Giving Up: No way! Your character would never give up! That’s what makes their struggle, their story, so good, right? But they do have to give up some things, don't they? If nothing else, a life that might not make a very interesting story, but a good life nonetheless. Maybe the essence of their story is giving up. Maybe they give up toxic beliefs and become a better person. Maybe they realize that the course they set out on isn’t going to work out the way they thought. Maybe they see that the person they’ve been pursuing romantically is never going to love them back. Write about a time when your character gave up--and it was good for both them and your story that they did.

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alaurin
05.08.2022 , 05:13 AM | #6423
Just a little late this week but here it is......enjoy the new prompt and happy writing!

Week of May 6, 2022

Time for Some Thrilling Heroics: Our characters are heroes in their stories, aren't they? What heroic thing (or things) did they do? What moments in their adventures stand out? The ones where they shine? Did they lead a battle or talk their opponents into backing down? Did they hack the network or keep the hackers out? Did they lead people to safety while the world crumbled? Did they save the day when all hope was lost? How? Whether they’re the Chosen One or The One Who Happened to be in The Neighborhood When Everything Hit The Fan or The One Who Has Had All They Can Stand and Can’t Stand Any More, it’s time for some thrilling heroics!

*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:

Second Thoughts: a close cousin to both regret and cold feet, second thoughts usually occur when the situation isn’t played out yet. Before your character decides to back out, and maybe isn’t all that sure they want to. Sometimes it’s just the voice of anxiety. Other times they’ve received new information and need to re-evaluate their course of action. Maybe there is no new information, but your character took a step back and considered the full ramifications of their choices. Write about a time your character had second thoughts, what they were about, and what they eventually decided to do.

Formal Occasion--No matter how informal a character and their story, at some point they’ll probably have to dress up. Maybe it’s a formal dinner, a wedding, a graduation or promotion, or a date at the opera. Different cultures have different etiquette for these kinds of events as well. How does your character fare? Are they as home in formalwear and surrounded by numerous forks as they are around a campfire? Are they uncomfortable? Or are they most at home in high society? This week, put your character in formalwear and at a special function and see what they do.

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alaurin
05.13.2022 , 03:07 PM | #6424
Happy Friday SFC! Here's this week's prompt on time!!! Happy writing!

Week of May 13, 2022

Parents: Who raised your character? Biological parents or other relatives? Two mothers, two fathers, one of each, an entire household of possibly-related adults as well as their friends and other children of various ages? A series of nurses or nurse-robots? The caretakers at the orphanage? A pond of other spawn? What relationship (if any) does your character have with the ones who reared them? Are their parents still alive? Dead? Don't know, don’t care? If your character is a clone or a droid they still have parents of a sort--even if those parents are impersonal machines tasked with importing knowledge and behavior matrices into the new units.

*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:

Auto/Biography: We often write backstories for our characters with no intention of using the information directly in their adventures. But suppose someone in their world did? Who would write your character’s biography? What would your character want in it? What would they write if they did it themselves? Is your character protective of their legacy or are they willing to authorize a warts-and-all tale? Would your character exaggerate their adventures for the sake of a good tale, or downplay them as irrelevant to their later work? Do they want to be venerated as saintly and good, or feared as a tyrant no one would dare cross? Something in between? And who would read or listen to the tale?

Good Fortune- This week, things are looking up. Maybe your character finally won the lottery, a game of poker or pazzak, or just won the flip and don’t have to do dishes. Maybe they found a parking meter with time left, or maybe they managed to catch the last transport off-world before the quarantine. Maybe something that looked bad on the surface turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Luck can be about big things or small.

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alaurin
05.20.2022 , 03:00 PM | #6425
Oooo, on time 2 weeks in a row!! Happy Friday, here's the new prompt!

Week of May 20, 2022

Rashomon Effect: No doubt your character has memories of events that they believe are true and accurate. So do their companions and other characters present at the events. Do those accounts all agree? How do they differ? Are the differences important? Are any of them true and in what ways are they true? Your character might not be a truly unreliable narrator, but they’re also not unbiased either. This week, consider characters comparing notes and discovering inconsistencies.

*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:

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?

Just a Flesh Wound: In the well-known Monty Python skit (cw: blood, gore, comedy dismemberment) the Black Knight somehow keeps fighting despite losing all his limbs, insisting he’s not hurt. When has your character downplayed the severity of their injuries and why? Was it necessary to complete their mission, or useless bravado? What were the repercussions? In a broader sense, have they ever insisted on an argument, opinion, or course of action when it’s obvious to everyone else that they haven’t a (rhetorical) leg to stand on?

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alaurin
06.01.2022 , 05:49 PM | #6426
Happy 10th Birthday to the SFC thread!!

Exactly 10 years ago today this thread was born! I know I've gotten behind with prompts and personally haven't contributed a story in a while, but I'm still lurking around enjoying the wonderful content provided by so many talented authors!! What a tribute to the original founders that we are still going! Hopefully we will have many more years to come!

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alaurin
06.01.2022 , 05:52 PM | #6427
Now for this week's prompt a few days late...

Week of May 27, 2022

Red Flags: Is your character the kind to see potential problems a mile away, or do they overlook obvious warning signs for as long as possible? How far into the situation did they get before they realize it’s bad? What did they overlook--or what was hidden from them? Are the red flags enormous, flapping on mile-high flagpoles, or are they small and subtle, more like cocktail umbrellas or cupcake decorations? Are the problems clear to everyone but your character? Is your character the one sending up the red flags and hoping to get away with it--again? Are your character’s red flags another’s reassurance--or vice versa?

*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:

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.

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner? Author Version- Who hasn’t come up with a great idea well after it’s useful? Every writer ever. Maybe it’s a better way to relate your character to your world, maybe it’s a background event, maybe it’s a change to the world itself. But you already established all of these events. It’s ok: there’s Retcon. Writers retcon all the time. Sometimes it’s major--a reboot of the universe--sometimes it’s not--rewriting or throwing out an episode or scene or adding foreshadowing where you didn’t before. This week, make a change to something in your story you wish you’d done from the beginning. The new timeline can become your new canon or you can keep it as an AU. Stories aren’t finished until the writer says they are.

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alaurin
06.27.2022 , 06:03 AM | #6428
So sorry for getting behind again......

Week of June 3, 2022

5/5 Stars!: Ratings--stars, tomatoes, numerical scales--all seek to quantify the unquantifiable: satisfaction and reputation. Does your world have a system like the ratings we’re so familiar with? Is your character subject to it? Are they a five-star rated bounty hunter with the Bounty Hunter Association? Did they get a 1/10 for “sociability” on their last performance review (because zero and negative numbers aren’t permitted)? Do they check user reviews before making a purchase? Do they take pride in patronizing the armorer with less than one star? In worlds without explicit systems, reputations still matter. How does your character maintain theirs, and how do they navigate others’?

*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:

Scars--Reminders of old wounds. They might be visible--remnants of a childhood fall, a parent’s rage, an accident, a fire, a careless slip with a weapon or tool. The near miss that wasn’t quite a miss. But scars can be internal or emotional as well. A song that was a former lover’s favorite, a scent that summons a painful memory, a street or neighborhood your character refuses to travel. This week write a story about a scar your character bears. Consider how they acquired it, and how it affects them.

Forbidden Knowledge: The secret technique, a hidden history, a coded text. What does the secret technique do and why is it secret? What was your character taught, what really happened, who hid the truth and why? Is the code unbreakable or was the key lost on purpose? Is it really a code or is it actually a lost language? What does the text say? Worlds abound in knowledge that’s forbidden to to learn or at least difficult to find. Have your character search for, find out about, or discover some this week.

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alaurin
06.27.2022 , 06:05 AM | #6429
Week of June 10, 2022

Trusty Steed: The Lone Ranger had Silver, Han Solo had the Millennium Falcon, does your character have a Trusty Steed? A means of transport that's a character in itself? One with which your character shares a special bond? Loyal to a fault, remarkably clever, capable of incredible feats of bravery? Requires unending maintenance, refuses to perform on command, would sell your character to satan for a corn chip given half a chance? A trusting relationship based on mutual respect, or something more passive-aggressive and hostile? Write about your character's trusty steed--or someone else's.

*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:

Haunted: Has your character ever encountered something otherworldly? Something they know they saw but can’t explain in a logical way? Or maybe they can--but the explanation rings hollow? What did they experience and what was it like? Does anyone believe them? Do they believe it? In our world things such as ghosts or hauntings are generally dismissed, but for your character, they might be accepted as valid explanations even if not technically “real.” Or they might be frighteningly, terrifyingly real.

Breaking Point: At some point, your character will have hit their breaking point. The last straw, crossed the line, they’ve had it with something, someone, or some situation, and aren’t going to put up with it anymore. Something has to change--so what is it? Mundane: the last straw with a job they hate. Relatable: their SO doing that thing (you know, that one thing). A larger issue that requires recruiting others who’ve also hit their breaking point, or a tiny one like the takeout place getting their food wrong for the last time. Write about your character reaching their breaking point and what they change in response.

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alaurin
06.27.2022 , 06:07 AM | #6430
Week of June 17, 2022

Sneakin’: Even if your character is the most bombastic, damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead kind of person, there must be a time when subtlety was required. When the direct approach was doomed to fail (or perhaps already had) and they had to employ more sneaky means of getting what they wanted. Were they literally sneaking and skulking? Finding their way in through the sewers or air ducts? Sticking to the shadows and sabotaging security cameras? Or was the subterfuge more social in nature? A disguise or forged tickets to get into the exclusive affair? Creating a false persona or fake credentials to trick their way into someone’s confidence or computer system? When has your character done some sneakin’?

*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:

Just Desserts--Everyone loves to see the villain get what’s coming to them. Maybe it’s your character who delivers justice. Maybe they’re on the receiving end. This week, hand out some just desserts in your story.

No!: Not just no, but hell no. Absolute refusal, you can’t make me, never gonna do it. When has your character outright refused another’s request? What about orders? Demands? Did they agree and then think better of it? Did they go along and quit when they reached their limit? Did the request seem reasonable on the surface but turn out less so? Was it just awful from the get-go? Did they say no just for spite? What were the consequences for refusal?