One thing that I believe is that a complacent writer is stagnant and does not grow. So I created this challenge to help people grow as writers!
It is my personal preference to run this challenge mostly through this livejournal community, since the community was created just for this. However, I understand that some people don't like lj or simply feel more comfortable on dA or ff.net. It just means you're really going to have to touch base with me more, because I want to keep an eye on everyone who takes this challenge. Alright?
This challenge was initially intended to take an entire year, so there are 52 prompts/exercises (one for each week). I'll get into the rules in a few minutes, okay?
01. Crack Fic According to the current top definition at UrbanDictionary.com, a crack fic is "a type of fanfiction (or original fiction) that is intentionally unbelievable and insane; often humorous. Usually short, one-shot stories." Additional information on this topic (this article at TV Troupes.org) indicates that "in its broadest sense, Crack Fic is any story whose premise and events would be completely implausible in Canon." Feel free to embrace either definition!
02. PWP This moniker generally indicates "Plot? What Plot?", though most people will tell you it's "Porn Without Plot". It's the same basic gist, anyway... Basically, write a sex scene with no plot.
03. Canon This type of story can be difficult if you're writing fan-fiction. This is the opposite of a crack fic! This material must fit the setting, storyline, and behaviors of the characters and the world they came from.
04. Reader Insert A reader insert story can be defined as "a written piece in which the reader is the main character. It is usually voiced in second person, addressing the reader as 'you' ", according to this article on LunaEssance. For this prompt, simply include the reader as a character, however you can make that possible.
05. Love Words Those silly, sweet words that one lover whispers to another... Those are the focus of this prompt.
06. Hungover The not-so-fun morning after a night of drinking... One character can be hungover, both could be, they can be taking care of someone else who is, or any other thing you can think of!
07. "It's Not Fair" The prompt line must be somewhere in the text.
08. Song-Fic Since I prefer the not-as-offensive definition, I recommend you look at this TV Troupes article . There are basically two types of song-fic: 1) The type in which you place one stanza/verse of lyrics, followed by a chunk of text it inspired and contiue clear through the song, ending the story when you run out of lyrics. 2) The type in which you obsessively listen to one song during the writing of a piece. While there are some mirrored themes and quotes that are supposed to bring the song to mind, it tends to be less heavy handed and more enjoyable to read. Still, it is your choice.
09. One-Shot This is the first prompt in which length is important. A one-shot tends to be a short-story length piece that completely stands alone. What I wish to see in response to this is a single piece, approximately what you would normally write for a chapter (for me, that is around 3000-4000 words).
10. Supernatural This one is more of a genre modifier. Ghosts, werewolves, vampires, demons... if it's paranormal and you want to add it to this piece, go right ahead!
11. Third Person This one addresses the perspective in which you write. Third person perspective uses pronouns like "she", "he", and "they" primarily. Example: She crashed into him and they fell together in a knot of arms and legs. For this prompt, the entire piece should be written in third-person perspective.
12. Date Night It's date night for your pairing! Where do they go? What do they do?
13. Black and White Black and white as colors, as moral codes, as opposites... however you wish to show it...
14. Flowers Work flowers into your plot line somehow --receiving flowers, sending flowers, playing in a meadow... Be original!
15. Tweet This one deals in length, as well. For this prompt, I want a seven-part story, told in incriments of 140 characters or less, the length you can use in a tweet on a twitter account. (You can post it as one piece, though! Just show the divisions!)
16. Dare According to Dictionary.com Unabridged, "dare" can be defined as (definitions and [most] examples lifted from definition here): ~having the necessary courage or boldness for something: You wouldn't dare! ~having the boldness to try ~challenging/provoking someone into a demonstration of courage: He dared her to drink pickle juice. ~having the necessary courage/boldness: How dare you speak to me like that! ~an act of daring or defiance; challenge. Use whatever definition you prefer!
17. Secret I don't care how you use it, but I want it to play a part!
18. Alternate Timeline In a world where one minor thing changes (they didn't meet when they were five, he kissed her when they were ten, she was his best friend instead of ignoring him...) what else will change because of it?
19. Kink I use the word "kink" but what I mean is "not missionary-position sex". Anything else can qualify!
20. Crossover Bring in a character (or some characters) from another story and write about how they interact with your pairing!
21. Purple Prose According to Dictionary.com Unabridged, "purple prose" is "writing that calls attention to itself because of its obvious use of certain effects, as exaggerated sentiment or pathos, especially in an attempt to enlist or manipulate the reader's sympathies." Instead of going as far as they do, I want you to actively describe everything: the scenery, the clothes, the characters... go overboard!
22. A Day at the Beach Everyone needs a bit of a getaway now and then. Take your characters to the beach!
23. Gift(s) Write a piece that involves one or more gifts.
24. Heaven and Hell You could interpret this as literally or figuratively as you like. It doesn't really matter, so long as it keeps with the theme.
25. Alternate Universe This prompt involves a radical change in your setting. Just as long as it looks nothing like your cannon, you've nailed it.
26. Two-Shot Tell a story in two chapters.
27. Prompt When you decide to tackle this prompt, send a note to ~SinsofMidnight (subject: PROMPT) and I will give you an incredibly random prompt!
28. Rural Life Write something about a rural setting. Are they driving through a countryside? Working on a farm? Anything and everything, so long as it's rural!
29. Different Language Use at least one word in a language other than English.
30. Drunk Some people are happy drunks, sad drunks, and/or touchy-feeling drunks. One thing's for sure: nothing has ever done more in the way of plot development than adding alcohol!
31. Party It's up to you to decide what sort of party, whether it's a pool party, a dance party, or a Tupperwear party!
32. Personal Demons Some personal demons are more literal than others...
33. A Normal Day What is a normal day for your pairing, anyway?
34. An Amusement Park A trip to an amusement park can be incredibly fun or just down-right horrible... This prompt is also open to any other interpretation!
35. Friendship Friends are just as important as lovers, don't you think?
36. Pregnancy I don't care who your pairing is, get one of them pregnant! Part of the story can be the how!
37. First Person The first person perspective primarily uses adjectives like "I" and "me" and possessive forms like "my". Example: I accidentally ran over my boyfriend's toes with my car. He wouldn't stop swearing at me.< The challenge is to write an entire piece in first person perspective!
38. Cityscape Write something set in a city. Getting lost in a sea of faces, going dancing, or going shopping... Some things are just better in the city!
39. Tea/Coffee Write about tea, coffee, or both. Do they drink it all the time or only just to wake up? Do they only drink it at night?
40. Fight Your pairing is having a fight. It's up to you to tell us if it's verbal or physical, their first fight or their last...
41. Death Fic You are officially required to kill someone off, but it's up to you as to who! How does the death affect the remaining character(s)?
42. High School Write about high school. You can create a high school AU, talk about their high school experience, or anything else you can come up with!
43. OC Adventures/OOC Adventures "OC Adventures" involve inserting a character of your own creation into an already established universe. Since some of you might choose to use a set of your own characters, there is a second option:"OOC Adventures". "OOC" stands for "out of character", generally in terms of behavior. Embrace either choice and have fun!
44. Parenthood Well, one of the most notable aftermaths of pregnancy is parenthood. How do your characters deal with such a responsibility?
45. Character Sketch The Collins English Dictionary defines a "character sketch" as "a brief description or portrayal of a person's character, qualities, etc". Chose one half of your pairing and write one!
46. Office You can take your characters to work, talk about their home office, or anything else that comes to mind...
47. Valentine's Day It's a cliché, but write me a Valentine's Day story! Make it as interesting and different as possible!
48. Ever-After Write your pairing's "ever-after". You get to choose: do they get a happy ending? A sad ending? Do they drift apart and find new lovers?
49. Chores Chores are a part of everyday life, so give us a look into your pairing's everyday life. Focus on one or two chores so that each task gets the attention it deserves!
50. Art Choose one thing you think of as art (even if no one else sees it that way) and write about it --with your pairing, of course.
51. Animal Note that I said "animal", not "pet". You can use it in that sense, but I'm leaving it open. Heck, it doesn't even really have to be an animal --someone could be behaving like one
52. Revision and Editing This one must be done last! Look back at the other 51 prompts and choose your favorite. Edit and revise it and post it again!
So, let's talk about rules!
1) Select a single pairing and make sure to claim it, via note to ~SinsofMidnight (on dA, ff.net, lj, FictionPress... wherever you can find me, really) The note should include the names of both parts of the paring and the origin (your own story? a fandom?), please! Your pairing can be a fan-pairing or a pairing of your own characters, but please specify in the note. Choose with care! You will be using this pairing throughout all of the prompts! The sexuality of the character pairing does not matter. Choose what you feel comfortable with.
"Why am I sending a note to tell her who my pairing is?" Before anyone asks, I want to keep track of what pairings are being used. That does not mean that two people cannot use the same pairing. I'll be keeping a list of participants, pairings, and completed prompts/exercises that will be available for anyone for anyone who asks, as well!
2) Do not use one post to cover multiple prompts. It's fine if a post contains more than one, but one response cannot cover three different prompts. Thus, you should have 52 results, ultimately.
3) When you post make sure that you let the crazy lady (aka, Sins) know! I want to read what you write!
4) Length does not matter, with the exception of three prompts: "One-Shot", "Two-Shot", and "Tweet".
5) Perspective does not matter, with the exception of two prompts: "First Person" and "Third Person" (though one might also argue that "Reader Insert" is very specific...).
6) Respect the others taking part. Comments should be be constructive and/or uplifting.
7) This challenge is about improving as a writer, so take chances and risks! Please attempt each prompt!
8) Since this challenge no longer has a time limit, the individual exercises/prompts have no time limit, either!
9) Most important of all, have fun!
Let's see... is there anything else I want to say...?
Again, I stress: ~ These prompts do not need to be completed in order (aside from the fact that the very last one needs to be last). ~ There is no time limit on this challenge or the individual prompts. ~ You can participate in this challenge here, on fanfiction.net, on deviantART, and some have asked to do it on AO3. There is simply a community set up to support it and the participants on livejournal. ~ If you chose to participate, I need to know what pairing you're doing and where the characters come from (fandom? own story?)! ~ Participants, pairings, and stories will be listed in the community on livejournal, no matter where you are participating. ~ I will be checking in with all the participants: reading and commenting on their works, touching base, that sort of thing.
If you have any questions at all, be they big, small, simple, or complex, comment on this or send me a note!
If you are sending me a note to claim a pairing, please put the words "Writing Challenge" in the subject line!