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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
06.19.2021 , 07:32 AM | #6371
Week of June 11, 2021

Level Up!: When has your character “leveled up:” reached a narrative milestone and gained a benefit? What did they gain and how did they get there? A skill? A social connection? A title and responsibilities? A title and wealth? In a game, tabletop or computer, these milestones are often somewhat arbitrary, as well as the benefit(s) gained. In a story, you need to build up to those moments and choose the results so they make sense to your readers. This week, conclude a character arc and begin another. Level up!

*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:

Baggage: “What’s in there?” “Only what you take with you.” What kind of baggage does your character carry with them from early experiences? Good or bad. Are they mistrustful because someone took advantage of them? Insecure because of past criticism? Confident because they've overcome obstacles? Sure of their destiny- or afraid of their fate? The past shapes your character's present. Tell a story about how or why.

Lost!: Really, really lost. So far off course that they don’t know where the course is, let alone how to get back on it. The compass is gone or broken. The sun or stars are hidden behind the clouds. The radio dead or not receiving signal. How did your character get into this situation? Is is real--as in they are physically lost? Is it metaphorical--they’re in a completely unfamiliar situation with no idea how to get out of it. Most importantly: how are they getting home?

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alaurin
06.19.2021 , 07:34 AM | #6372
Now for the current prompt....happy writing!

Week of June 18, 2021

Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain: What’s going on behind the scenes in your character’s story? Who’s plotting and planning, and what do they have in mind? Is it your character’s nemesis building their next death trap or world-dominating scheme? Is it a rival, itching for the opportunity to embarrass your character at their next meeting or conference? Maybe it's a good thing. Suppose a potential love interest is working up the courage or arranging an opportunity to confess their feelings. Perhaps there’s a companion planning a surprise party, or just a pleasant surprise. Maybe their doctor is trying to figure out how your character’s mild-mannered alter ego has so many grievous injuries. This week, write a story that advances your main story and character, but doesn’t directly involve 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:

If Wishes Were Horses: then beggars would ride. We often think of wishes as something for children, but everyone does it. Wishes can be for anything from a lucky chance through feasible-but-difficult to outright impossible. What things does your character wish for? Little wishes? Not much more than good luck? Middling-possible wishes? Things that could happen given some work and luck? Something that could never happen? Prohibited by the laws of physics or just wildly improbable? There’s nothing really wrong with wishes, however impractical or unlikely. Every so often, wishes come true.

Sweater Weather: It’s winter in the southern hemisphere. Definitely time to break out the jackets, scarves, and long sleeves if you haven’t already. What does your character think of cold weather? Are they the ones wearing shorts in the snow, or are they always cold even wrapped in blankets? Do they come from a place with an actual winter, but now live elsewhere with different traditions or no seasons at all? Are they accustomed to an unchanging climate and the seasons always throw them off? What is this “winter” you speak of? Wait, there’s something besides cold? Of course, sweater weather also suggests cuddling, cups of hot chocolate, tea, cider, or even soup. Be romantic, dystopian, or anywhere in between this week.

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alaurin
06.25.2021 , 12:46 PM | #6373
Would you look at that.....I'm actually getting the prompt out on time!!

Week of June 25, 2021

Sorry Not Sorry: An apology made but not meant. An apology offered for appearance’s sake but not for the offending act. An apology offered for hurtful, but truthful or sincere, words or actions. An apology offered for hard words said with humor, taking the sting out of the interaction. An apology offered for harmful or foolish actions which would have been done anyway (and might be repeated), despite knowing the outcome. Write about a time when your character or one of their companions was sorry not sorry.

*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:

Playing for Keeps: A phrase originally from the game of marbles, if you played for funsies you went home with all the marbles you brought. When playing for keeps, you kept yours plus any you knocked out of the circle, even if they were your opponent's favorites. You might even target those on purpose. Playing for keeps suggests a risk and a chance for genuine loss from which there is no recovery. An outcome which your character does not have full control over, and will likely change things for them. This time, someone loses. Things will not be the same in the aftermath. There's no chance for de-escalation. This week, your character is Playing for Keeps.

Mixed Doubles: Combine any two prompts you like and write a story! For added fun, choose randomly. Nine years of prompts means more than 400 prompts to pick from.

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alaurin
07.02.2021 , 04:31 PM | #6374
On time two weeks in a row! Happy Writing!

Week of July 2, 2021

No Ragrets: Impulsive decisions don’t always turn out bad and mistakes aren’t always permanent...but sometimes they are. Or at least are difficult to fix. When has your character done something ill-advised? More correctly, since we love our characters, when have they done something ill-advised and it didn’t work out the way they thought? When have they planned something and someone else’s mistake ruined it? How do they deal with the resulting problems? Are they even aware something went wrong? And, most importantly, are they good spellers?

*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:

Souvenirs: They’re everywhere. Especially at cultural or historical attractions. Models of famous buildings or statues, clothing with maps or slogans, super-slick guidebooks, posters or postcards. Things for visitors to take home. But at its heart, a souvenir is a physical reminder of another place or event. It might be Official or it might be something ordinary that reminds them of where they bought it. It might even be a scar or injury. What kind of souvenirs does your character have? How and where did they get them?

I Dare You!: Few phrases in the English language have gotten people into more trouble, except possibly “Hey watch this!” So how about your character? Do they feel obliged to accept any dare? Do they dare others? Or do they regard the whole concept as ridiculous, an excuse to overrule common sense in exchange for a fleeting moment of acceptance or popularity? I dare you to write about it.

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alaurin
07.09.2021 , 07:02 AM | #6375
Happy Friday everyone! You all have been so good that you get the prompt early today.....that and the fact I am leaving for vacation shortly . Internet will be spotty for me where I'm going so next week's prompt may be late.

Week of July 9, 2021

Keeping Secrets: Not always a great idea, but one our characters often do anyway. Secrets can be anything from being Darth Vader’s son to the family fried chicken recipe. How does your character keep it? Not telling is far too easy. If the secret is important to your story, your character should find it challenging to keep that way. Do they rely on half-truths? Out and out lies? Evasion? A clever disguise? There are likely to be holes in whatever fabrications they’ve employed--who finds them and what do they conclude? Is your character the one poking holes in a companion’s cover stories and wondering what they’re hiding and why? This week consider not the secret itself, but how your character--or someone they care about--protects it.

*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:

Distractions- Some characters are more focused than others but everyone gets distracted sometimes. It might be the garden-variety distraction--an urgent message, children, colleagues, some guy who desperately needs six pig’s livers while your character is on their way to save the world. Or your character might distract themselves--endlessly exploring Encyclopedia Galactica instead of completing their research paper, or obsessing over shoe details rather than exercising. This week, write about how your character--Ooo, shiny.

Love Language/Showing Affection: Every person, character, has their own way of showing affection. There are culturally sanctioned ways, which often differ by gender and class. Everyone's different, though, and how they show affection is often how perceive their standing in another's eyes. Write this week about your character showing affection in their own way, or recognizing another's unique love language.

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alaurin
07.26.2021 , 07:52 AM | #6376
Now that I'm back in the land of good internet, I can get the prompts posted. Happy writing!

Week of July 16, 2021

None Shall Pass: Gates and those who protect them keep your character out of places they want to go. Physical ones and the associated guards might bar the way to the castle, the detention block, or the treasure they want to steal liberate. Physical gatekeepers overlap some more figurative: the ones who decide, based on their own criteria, who gets into a space. Those criteria don’t have to be (and often aren’t) logical, and may be changed on a whim to keep the “wrong people” out. They might be the security around the concert or ball your character wants to attend. They might be the superfans quizzing someone new on fandom minutia. Perhaps your character is one of the guards at the gate, keeping out the “undesirables.” Write a story involving your character’s interactions with gatekeepers, physical 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:

Forced Arrangements: A marriage, an assigned partnership, dormmates, weekend conference roomies, seatmates for a long trip or event, even a blind date. Sometimes your character has to deal with another, with little say in the matter. How serious is the situation? How long does it last? How does your character handle it? What happens afterward? Do they part as friends and keep in touch or never speak again? If permanent, how do they make it work?

Incongruity--A wookie with curlers, troopers in armor dancing to a popular tune, a toddler with a lightsaber. Some things just don’t seem to go together. The result may be funny or tragic. When has your character encountered incongruous things or odd juxtapositions?

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alaurin
07.26.2021 , 07:54 AM | #6377
And here's this week's prompt...

Week of July 23, 2021

Don't Fall Asleep: We’ve had several prompts regarding rest and sleep. How about the opposite? When has your character needed to stay awake when they otherwise would sleep? These usually aren’t entirely voluntary situations: guard duty, cramming for tests, finishing a report or project in the wee hours before it’s due, or working a double shift (for any number of reasons). Why does your character have to stay awake? What methods do they use? What’s available to them? Suppose they can’t rely on their usual stimulant beverage of choice? How much of a challenge is it to stay awake, anyway? It would be harder to stay awake for a boring stint of guard duty than an eventful one--but making decisions while sleep-deprived has its own consequences.

*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:

What About That Guy?: Stories usually concern major characters. Sometimes the main plot is from the game, sometimes not. Regardless, stories also contain a number of incidental characters and minor plots as well. The guard at the door, the customs official who broke up the fight, a convenient corpse, the character (probably in a red shirt) who dies in the first scene to prove the situation is serious. Not to mention why was there a guard, how did the fight start, where did the corpse come from, what made the situation serious. Every story has places to explore behind the scenes. This week, pick one of your favorite works and fill in one or more of those spaces. (apologies to Galaxy Quest’s Crewman #6)

Happy Place: When your character's feeling down, frightened, or overwhelmed, where do they go? What's their "happy place"? Is it a literal, physical location? An actual place they visit that never fails to ground them? Is it an object that brings soothing memories with it? A story, a book, or a piece of music? An activity that helps them refocus? Is their happy place a lie? A bar where they can drink away their feelings, a painful memory that crowds out the new one, a story, song, or activity that distracts but offers no real solace? This week, write about your character's happy place.

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alaurin
07.30.2021 , 07:19 PM | #6378
It's prompt time.......Happy Friday!

Week of July 30, 2021

Work for It: A broad theme in fiction is that our characters want something and then do what they have to in order to get it. They earned their reward, worked for it, therefore they deserve what they have. Villains and antagonists also “earn” their defeats: they opposed our heroes and get what they deserve. But...did they? Friendship, love, forgiveness--these are freely given or not at all. Social positions have elements of both. Consider this week what your character gained by actually working for it and what they feel they deserve--whether they do or not.

*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:

Fasting or Going Hungry - A character may go without food for a number of reasons: poverty, crash dieting, disciplines of faith or duty, declining weird alien food, forgetting to restock, or even forgetting to eat. What about your character? When have they experienced hunger? Was it intentional or accidental? Why? We had prompts for taste as well as favorite foods. This week, consider the opposite.

Dearest Love: In worlds where instant communication is the norm, there's still something special about a love letter. Where letter-writing is the only kind of long-distance messaging they're even more treasured. Simultaneously raw and full of heartfelt emotion and meticulously edited. Every word considered and weighed. They embody the uniqueness of love. Who might your character write a love letter to? Have they ever received one? What did it say? Were the feelings reciprocated?

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Lady_Thorne
08.02.2021 , 04:11 AM | #6379
Not going into the background of how she got ahold of the letters, but having some recent experience with letters from my dad to my mom, about 70 years ago, I thought I'd take the Dearest Love prompt, just a generation back from the character I most frequently play.


I miss you.

I know you won't see this for a long time, but I am writing it to you, because somehow, I feel like maybe you'll sense the feeling, even from so far away. That's why they took you, after all, isn't it? I don't understand the force thing at all, but it isn't right that they won't let people who seem to be able to use it just learn or not, and the way they want to if they do, without being forced to leave everyone they know.

I know they don't care about people like me, and I'm nobody important or impressive, just a “mild mannered archaeologist” (albeit hyper-ancient extra-galactic archaeologist, with barely her foot in the door in her career) with a bent for learning about how everyone even got to this galaxy. Yes, I know, highly classified information that hardly anyone believes – but I am glad that you do. I don't know if I could love you – or you me – if we didn't agree on that!

Right now I'm feeling bitter about not having you with me, and not being able to help you get out of there. I'll keep trying to find out more, and work with our friends and contacts to see if something can be done. I trust that you'll be working on your side, as much as you can, to come back to me, somehow, some way. I can't believe that this is a forever parting, like they made you say. I could see in your eyes that you didn't accept that, and I won't either!

With all my love, and may we be together again, soon,
Gean


----------------
We're coming,
I can't wait to see you again. I don't want to put any details in this, even though probably nobody will ever read it but me – and maybe you, if this works. Let's just say I found some people who could help. I'm sure you don't know them.

Anyhow, at least I know where you are supposed to be, a little more exactly. And we have a plan for later, too. I'm really sorry about the things we'll both lose, but at least we'll be able to be together again, and I arranged for appropriate messages to be sent to both our families. I'll tell you more about that when I see you in person. This is crazy, what I'm doing, but I know you'll agree it's for the best.

Hope. It's the second most important thing in my life now, other than you.

Your very own, Gean.

---------------

What am I going to do if I can't find you, Vornhardt? All our plans blew away like dust in a windstorm. We went to the capital, only to find out that you'd been sent from there to the Academy over a month ago. Who knew anything about how this all works out. Certainly not archaeologists, that's who. I feel so stupid and like I wasted money we don't even have. But I'm going to keep searching, and I guess I must have melted a few stony hearts with my sob story, because they said they'd help me even though it's more dangerous, without charging me more. Something about them “owing a favor” to someone there. It didn't sound like a friendly favor. I hope you're OK, and not . . . well, not in as much danger as I think you are. I wish I knew what was going on. Then I wonder if I really do want to know. I just want us together Vor. I don't understand how they can rip people out of their own homes to force them to do something they don't want to do! I'm so mad that it is a good thing I'm not a force user, or I'd do some forcing of them, and damn the consequences!

And with that, I'll say goodbye, and go have a good cry. You know that when I'm mad I cry! I miss you so much, Vor, and I'm going to get you out of there if it's the last thing I do.

I hope you dream of me the way I dream of you – In a better future than it looks like from where I'm sitting tonight.

Love you, kit.
Gean

---------------

Wow, Vor – you'll never believe the type of people I've been meeting on this journey to finding you and getting together again. Would you believe we've enlisted an actual Jedi in this thing now? Don't even ask how that happened. But he was able to inform us all a little more about how things work out there, and was more than willing to assist – in fact, he insisted on it. He says he has a contact there who also wants to get away, and that she's of sufficient rank that he thinks she can smooth the process at least some. So far, he's talked to her only once, but it sounds like she was both encouraged that she's not the only one there who is fed up with their policies, and wants to leave, permanently, but also very sad that we're all stuck in this mess.

More soon, I hope,
Your Gean.


---------------
Dearest Geanna, my pet –

I can't believe that I may be able to get out of here – and that I have you to thank! It's been a nightmare, and you know how I feel about random killing, “good cause” or not – and trust me, it's rarely anything like a good cause.

Enough moping. Maia thinks she can get this smuggled out to you without getting us both executed (or worse – and yes, worse is possible, if it doesn't work – keep me – both of us-- in your thoughts). So I'm just going to tell you that I think about you every time I'm not being forced to do stupid errands for my captors. I haven't lost sight of that, though I can tell they wish I would, and think I should. You are always with me, and I can feel your presence and your worry for me. Don't lose heart! If anyone can make this work, or make other people make it work, you can. You get to people, and make them want to help you – and you're so wonderful as you do it – you're a much better person than I am. Unfortunately, I think that's what they want me to be here. I miss you, kit. So, so much. If I hadn't heard from Maia, I'd have done something stupid, because it's driving me crazy here! Trust me, this is no place for a Cathar.

Here's hoping things work out, because I can't wait to see you, sweetie. At least I see you in my dreams – and by next week, that this will all be a bad memory.

Until we meet again, I'll just be here, but with you in my heart
Vornhardt


---------------

Dearest Vor,

Our Jedi friend told me all about Maia, and she got me your note, too! It was so good to hear from you – I heard it as I read it, almost like you were right there with me. That was hard, but also wonderful. I can't believe that we'd have been married by now if they hadn't taken you off the way they did. But honestly, this may be a blessing in disguise. I really think Master Vreoni is the right man for the job, and with the help of our other friend, that this is going to work. I can't actually send this letter – or any of the others I've written you, Vor, because they're too dangerous, of course. I'll copy down here, “for posterity” as they say, what I am going to send, and I hope you and Maia will understand and be able to make your part of this crazy plan work. But we're going to get you off of Korriban tomorrow night, or (may it never be so) die trying. Because I don't think that the Sith Lords and whatnot are going to cheerfully let either of you go, willingly. But we have plans for later, and I think we'll be able to keep out of harms way once we're out of Imperial Space. We may have to lie low for a long time, but at least we will be together. Words can't express my emotions, so I'll just say, I do love you Vor. Now and always! No matter what!
Your Gean


---------------

Vornhardt and Geanna Savage were married aboard the ship that took them to Coruscant. After some heated negotiation, Vornhardt convinced the Jedi that he was not cut out to be one of them, and really didn't have any interest in learning more about using his “talents” (as he'd always thought of them) for anything beyond his studies and work in his field. With Master Vreoni's continuing support, they were connected with a team studying hyper-ancient/extra-galactic history, with whom they worked for the following ten years, rarely leaving their small ship other than at dig sites and libraries.

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alaurin
08.07.2021 , 08:19 AM | #6380
@Lady_Thorne: What a beautiful exchange of letters and such a sweet inspiration you had to write them! Perfect for the prompt, I loved it!

Now for this week's prompt.....only a day late this time!

Week of August 6, 2021

Thanks, I Hate It: Humans seem to have a need to share not just pleasant experiences with their friends, but truly awful ones too. Has your character ever done the same? Did they find a terrible recipe or restaurant? Discover a show they can only hate-watch or heckle, and need a friend to hate-watch and heckle it with them? Have they bought a gift they know the recipient will hate--but also know it was intended as silly? There’s plenty of overlap here with trolling and practical joking, but without any malice. Write about a time when your character had a bad experience, and then shared it with dear friends.

*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 side of the Bed: Every character can have an incident that ruins an otherwise decent day. As an author, that's fun to write. What about those times when they just wake up in a bad mood? No reason, no inciting incident, They're annoyed from the get-go. Those are usually the days that go from bad to worse. Does someone try to get them out of their funk? Are they usually bright and sunny and this is a noticeable change in disposition? Maybe it's only a matter of degree and their companions are walking on thinner eggshells. This week, write about a time when your character got up on the wrong side of the bed and what the rest of their day was like.

Evil Twin: A subset of mistaken identity. Suppose there was another character, related or no, who looked so much like your character that everyone assumes they are the same person? Further suppose that this doppelganger has the opposite personality of your character. What happens? Do people trust them when they shouldn't, or get surprised when they're generous? How much trouble do they make for your character? Does your character even know they exist? Do they figure it out? What happens?