Fifty-word story challenge: story collection and new prompt

in #challenge5 years ago (edited)

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!

Well okay, I'm actually just late in providing a new prompt for the 50-Word Challenge. But a little quote from Alice in Wonderland seemed like a fine way to start this post, as I fell down a rabbit hole this week. Figuratively, of course. I've been ramping up my fiction writing again. I had to take a bit of a hiatus because it was summer and I was traveling and busy with my teens out of school for the summer. Oh yes, and my full time job.

But as we all know, at some point, you must sweep all of your excuses and obstacles out of the way and write. I'm going to talk about that a bit more in the weekly writing workshop feature at the beginning of this post. At this moment I will share with you my excuse du jour, though. The rabbit hole I fell down was the writing of this story: Flying to the sun.

I will also share why I wrote that story. A contest. So there. If you have nothing else to keep you going when your excuses get in the way, think about writing for contests. They have requirements and deadlines, and maybe that is just what you need to stop living your mundane life and go down the writing rabbit hole. (Kidding! I'm sure your life is not mundane at all. Just don't pay attention to social media, because it will totally make you feel like you have a mundane life. I digress.)

Okay, let's roll. In this post, you'll find a summary of last week's challenge entries and a new prompt for this week.

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(Image credit: Original image by rawpixel, Pixabay)

A mini writing workshop

Why do we write? Seriously. We have to ask ourselves that, don't we? Right now, I have a sore back and shoulders, and it's past midnight, and I have to work bright and early tomorrow, and I'm writing. Why?

It is the same reason, I believe, that mountain climbers must climb mountains, and storm chasers must chase storms. We may not be able to fully make sense of it, but we are just not happy people, we writers, unless we are writing.

But the excuses! Do we collect them, or do they prey upon us? I honestly don't know. There are far more reasons to not write than to write, though. I do know that.

Let's talk about writer's block and how this challenge can help you.

Why write 50-word stories?

Let's say you are staring at a blank page and it is so intimidating that you are wondering if you should pick a non-creative hobby instead. Like, collecting ceramic owls.

Many people have been fulfilled by collecting ceramic owls. You may be one of those people.

Or you may really want to write, and it just feels like a ridiculous exercise in futility some days.

Try writing short stories that are a total of 50 words. See if you can include at least one character with a problem, a few details about where they are in the world, and something about how they are changed by a decision, an interaction, or an event.

That's it! Then fix it up so the words really matter and the story is interesting to read. Count the words, and do some additional work on the story to get to the word limit. BAM. You wrote something.

After a few of these, you may just shake off the cobwebs. You might find that words come a little more easily, you don't feel like such an impostor, and you are actually having some fun. And sometimes, you might even develop an idea in the process that you want to work into a longer story.

That's why.

Last week's story collection

I’d like to welcome our newest contributors, @rvag5, @haisa and @elbrujo. Thanks for joining the Fifty Worders!

Here is the complete list of stories inspired by last week's “pop” prompt:

If I missed yours, please let me know and I will add it! I always try my best to list them all, but I do occasionally miss one.

Highlights of the week

Here are a few intriguing stories from last week's collection. My hope is that the stories I highlight each week will bring inspiration to us all — seasoned and new Fifty Worders, alike.

Overcoming the past, by @roxy-cat

This story has a good message about letting go. Additionally, the author shares some intriguing background and beautiful painting-like photo that is one of her own.
Johnny checked the wires again as he wanted to make sure everything will work as expected. He could not bear another failure. One last look to the old barn and he pushed the button. With a big pop, the building crumbled to the ground burying underneath all the bad memories.

A Popping Revenge, by @bex-dk

A clever episode of sibling rivalry plays out in this story. Additionally, @bex-dk is one of our regular contributors who has much to say about her writing process. Check out the bonus info in her post.
"Hey, that's my soda." She glared at her brother.

He drained the glass. "Not anymore."

His nose would explode when her fist--

No, better not. He'd beat her to a pulp.

But she'd inherited Dad's brains.

Peeing in a water balloon was tricky, but her throwing aim was perfect.

Reflection, by @blueteddy

This story helps us to see the power of the human spirit to overcome, and to thrive.
The soap bubble drifted lazily into view and hung motionless in the air. It reflected the scene behind Lilly. She watched her parents fighting through the warped reality of the bubble's rainbow laced surface. When the bubble finally popped, she pretended that all the misery it captured disappeared with it.

The Doctor, His Patient, and Her Difficult Parent, by @creatr

I cannot do this oddly engaging little missive justice with any sort of introduction. Just enjoy. It is brilliant intellectual silliness. But I will say that the word "poppycock" gives me the giggles, and not for the reasons you might imagine. It is because it always reminds me of Helen Mirren, playing the nanny in the movie "Arthur."
Mood fountain poppling, synthpop playing, Physician Pope peers precipitously over pince-nez. The pretty popsy's epoptic joypoppinghas perilously depopulated hypophysial lipoproteins.

"Ve von't rehearse Poppet's past."

Apoplectically popeyed, the popsie's Poppa protests Pope's apophasis:


Pope parrys, unpopularly positing a populist apophthegm:


"No lollipop, Poppy. Repopulating lipophilic fluids, TID."

A final farewell, by @tuwore

Human angst is one of the most difficult things to capture in fiction. We typically want to use adjectives that describe how sad, or dejected, or angry someone feels. This author shows us the deepest imaginable anger and sadness through action.
A breeze blows the cocäine off my hand. Shit. I snort it clean and take out the bottle of pills. Tipping my head, I pop one in and take a sip of water. I return to the graveside whilst blowing my nose. Pop’s coffin already buried. Bastard never waited.

And never let me go, by @elbrujo

In his first entry in the 50-word short story challenge, this author came right out with a zinger about complicated relationships.
The seemingly everlasting bond that kept Charles and Jennifer together had been dwindling lately.

‘Perhaps, this balloon ride over Paris could rekindle our love’ Charles thought. He opened a bottle of champagne. An overwhelmingly loud ‘pop’, shook them both.

Startled, they looked above, and held tight each other, once more.

Excellent work, everyone!

This week's 50-word story prompt

The prompt for this week is “forgive.” I'm sure you will take this in many directions, Fifty Worders!


Please review carefully. Images must follow the Proper use of images guidelines below.

  1. Write a story in 50 words. (It's especially cool if you can hit 50 words exactly!)
  2. Use the #fiftywords tag, and **post the link in the comments of this post**.
  3. Be sure to read and upvote the work of the other participants. It's all about community!
  4. Use only artwork that you have the right to use, and attribute it properly. See the following guidelines.

Proper use of images

Proper use of images means one of the following:
  1. The image is public domain, or under creative commons licensing rules.
  2. It is your own image.
  3. If it is not one of the above, you must have actual permission.
Be sure to properly attribute the image’s source or mention that the image is yours. And if it's not public domain, under creative commons license, or your own image, be sure to state that you have permission.

I have two resources for you, from my friends at @thewritersblock:

And speaking of @thewritersblock, it's a great place to hang out and rub elbows with other writers. Check them out on Discord.

Deadline for this week: Saturday, August 18th. (With a grace period until the new prompt is published.)

The 50-word story clan

I'm mentioning you here if have participated in the #fiftywords short story challenge in the past. Please let me know if you would like your tag removed in this or future posts. (Note that I do trim the list. Those who have not participated for a long time or are not active on Steemit will eventually drop from the mentions.)

@ablaze, @adigitalife, @aggroed, @agmoore, @ahmadmanga, @akdx, @aksounder, @alexandered, @alheath, @anikekirsten, @anixio, @anonymummy

@bagpuss, @beginningtoend, @bex-dk, @blueteddy, @botefarm @brandonsadventur, @bryarose23

@caleblailmusik, @carn, @celsius100, @cheekah, @cizzo, @clacrax, @creatr

@damianjayclay, @dbzfan4awhile, @deirdyweirdy, @desmoniac, @diebitch, @dirge, @divineinyang, @donnest, @drahries

@eaglespirit, @elbrujo, @elementm, @emwalker, @enjar, @eroticabian, @esttyb, @evgsk

@fairyhedgehogg, @feebie, @felixgarciap,, @ficciones, @foxfiction, @foxyspirit, @fromage

@gaming-stuff, @girlbeforemirror, @gmatthe2

@haisa, @happyhairdays, @henry-gant, @hlezama

@iamthegray, @isa93

@jadams2k18, @janine-ariane, @jakeybrown, @jasminearch, @jayna, @jluvs2fly, @jonknight, @josecarrasquero, @joyyrush

@kaelci, @kally, @khadija14, @kimberlylane, @kingspiration, @ktfabler

@ldacey-laforge, @lightoj, @liverussian, @lucylin, @luiskrupaz

@Mammasitta, @marie-jay, @mark-dahl, @mgaft1, @mineopoly, @miniature-tiger, @mizdais, @momzillanc, @mydivathings

@navaneeth, @negativer, @niallon11

@olakunle10, @opiman

@paintingangels, @papacrusher, @phillyc, @pixiehunter, @pizzachain, @poeticnest, @preparedwombat, @prydefoltz, @puppetmaster1111, @purpledaisy57, @pyrowngs

@ravencorinn, @riottales, @rodrigocabrera, @roxy-cat, @rvag5

@sharoonyasir, @spalatino, @stbrians, @steemgiant, @sue-stevenson, @sukhasanasister

@tanglebranch, @thatlovechild, @theironfelix, @therosepatch, @thinknzombie, @tiatu, @tinkerrose, @tuwore, @tygertyger

@vaitelavicius, @vdux

@wa2qr, @yimiipsa, @yoganarchista, @zen-art

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you try the 50-word challenge. It's so fun to see what can unfold in a mere 50 words!

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Posted from my blog with SteemPress :


Sometimes I can't help but go for the cheap laughs:

Welcome to 50-words!

Thank you. I found it once before when the prompt was lemon, then forgot, but now I'm following so I won't lose it again. Phew.

Ooh, I missed that one!! and I had good ideas too... At least this prompt looks good enough, I need to learn to forgive myself more.

@jayna if you skipped a week or two because of depression or dedication to contest I'm sure most of us will forgive you for that. Speaking about missing, you should really appoint a vice-commander for this #fiftywords project! In case god forbid something happens to you.

and it shouldn't be me.

It’s not too late to participate, @ahmadmanga. I live in central time and it is not yet Saturday morning. You have all day Saturday (actually until I write the new post, which is usually sometime Sunday), so that is about 30 hours from now.

If something happens to me, I trust someone to step up and take it on, as I did when the previous owner quietly dropped it. 😊

How are ye now? All good this end.. below is this week's mini story.. I hope to read everyone else's entry over the coming days. Laters

That's a real and beautiful challenge!... I will read with pleasure the stories... and may be write my #fiftywords... Greetings!

Do it.... Even if it's not a masterpiece, I'm sure many here will enjoy reading it... I always like to see the different directions that people head of in from the same starting point or prompt..

My late entry:


Better than never?



Your dedication (and re-dedication) to writing is inspiring!

Thank you dear!!

Hi @jayna,

Thank you for featuring my story. I'm feeling very honored.
This is my entry for this week, hopefully I'm not too late.

You're fine. No worries!

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