New 50-word short story challenge!

in #challenge5 years ago (edited)

Hello Fifty Worders and friends. Come on in and enjoy our fresh collection of 50-word short stories. In addition to the past week in review, you will find a weekly feature — a micro-fiction writing workshop — and a new challenge prompt.

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Mini writing workshop

Do you ever wish you could just snap your fingers and become a great writer? Me too. But of course we are dreaming. Writing takes practice and patience. The most seamless, beautiful fiction writing is achieved through the process of drafting the story, then spending ridiculous amounts of valuable time revising and editing instead of binge your favorite TV shows. It is not just about plot, character development and story line. Successful writing involves many things, not the least of which is the ability to work through clunky sentences and find better ways to say what you want to say.

The 50-word challenge is about that process. It's about going through the trial and error of writing, in the microcosm of 50 words. I mean, sure -- you could go write a novel and hope that it is publishing-worthy at the end. But that is kind of like running a marathon with no training. Writing stories in just 50 words is great training for whatever writing projects may be on the horizon.

Okay, let's survey the 50-word stories from last week.

Last week's story collection

It was a rough week, with the Hard Fork issues. Thank you to all who managed to participate!

Here is the complete list of stories inspired by last week's “if” 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

Each week I choose a few well-crafted stories from the previous week's entries to share as inspiration for us all. Enjoy this sampling from all the wonderful contributions from last week.

Failure Is Not An Option, by @preparedwombat

I had to read this a few times before the story came into focus. But it was worth it, once I finally understood the scary set-up, and what was at stake.
“About forty guards secure the property. Your contribution will be a disturbance just as the transfer starts. No bullets, or there won’t be enough pieces of us for a funeral.”

“And if they’re not drawn away from the package?”

“A representative of our benevolent organization will care for your widow.”

The Plan, by @gaby-crb

It is hard to put a finger on what I love about this story. Is it that I can't quite tell whether we are talking about a real war or one with a plastic army? Or perhaps it is the intensity of the moment, and the unsettling pause before something momentous happens.
The congregation huddled together around the map. Toy soldiers were placed sporadically, with no immediate coordination.

If there was any doubt, now was the time to speak up.

A rhythmic knock at the door signalled the arrival of the leader.

There was no turning back now.

The war had begun.

Rat With Wings, by @alheath

This compelling little tale takes us into a fun yet somehow familiar fantasy world.
The giant pigeon perched in the tree, casting a huge shadow over the farm. Branches creaked under the weight.

“Poop if you dare.” A green orb glowed in Mara’s trembling hand. “I will blast you into oblivion.”

It flew away.

“That’s what I thought.”

Diffusing her power, she returned indoors.

Accidental Apocalypse, by @bex-dk

Read if you dare....
Jimmy fumbled with the heavy book above the open coffin. He recited the foreign words.

"Jenny, arise."

The battered figure moved upon the pink silk then slowly crawled from the grave. "Feed. Must feed."

Jimmy had missed that part of the directions, but Jenny made do with the meager fare.

Order in the Court, by @creatr

Our friend @creatr went a little nuts with the prompt this past week, and I just had to share his handiwork. I haven't counted how many instances of "if" actually appear in this story, but I will hazard a guess of approximately 50.
Judge Clifton—fiftyish, dignified, bifocals—stifles sniffles.

Prosecutor Jennifer: "Whose spliff?"

Fifteen Goniff Drifters testify; differing, modifying trifles.

Biff—shifty, lowlife grifter—falsifies ramifications, identifying Clifton's wife.

Mortified, beautifully coiffed Tiffany vilifies Biff. "Piffle!"

Horrified Riffraff shift vociferously.

Swiftly lifting his rifle, Sheriff Leif, spiffily uniformed bailiff, pacifies the crowd.

Great work, everyone!

This week's 50-word story prompt

The prompt for this week is “goodbye." Deadline for this week: Saturday, October 6th, with a grace period until the new prompt is published.

I look forward to reading your stories, Fifty Worders!


Please review and follow the guidelines for proper use of images.

Note that

  1. Write a story in 50 words. (Try to 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.

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, @aleli, @alexandered, @alheath, @andersonrivas, @anikekirsten, @anixio, @anonymummy, @anutu, @aresbon

@beginningtoend, @bex-dk, @blueteddy, @botefarm, @brectar, @bryarose23

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

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

@eaglespirit, @elbrujo, @elementm, @emergehealthier, @emwalker, @erh.germany, @eroticabian, @esttyb, @evgsk

@fairyhedgehogg, @feebie, @felixgarciap,, @ficciones, @four20, @foxfiction, @foxyspirit, @fromage

@gaby-crb, @gaming-stuff, @girlbeforemirror, @gmatthe2, @goastrighter

@haisa, @henry-gant, @hlezama

@iamthegray, @intothewild, @isa93

@jadams2k18, @janine-ariane, @jasminearch, @jayna, @jluvs2fly, @jonknight,

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

@lightoj, @liverussian, @lucylin, @luiskrupaz

@marciabon, @marie-jay, @mineopoly, @mizdais, @momzillanc, @mydivathings

@negativer, @niallon11

@olakunle10, @opiman

@paintingangels, @papacrusher, @pizzachain, @poeticnest, @poetrybyjeremy, @preparedwombat, @prydefoltz, @purpledaisy57, @pyrowngs

@ravencorinn, @rensoul17, @riottales, @rodrigocabrera, @roxy-cat, @rvag5

@sidequest, @spalatino, @stbrians, @steemgiant, @steemitdiversify, @sue-stevenson

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

@vaitelavicius, @vdux

@yeceniacarolina, @yimiipsa, @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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For once, not at the last possible moment:

Table of Contents

The Impossible Dream

Thanks, @jayna...



Thanks for being an early bird!

Hello hello. I missed last week due to hard fork madness, but back with a bang.. Here is this week's story. A bit late, but better late, than never.


Yes, absolutely better late than never. And you have plenty of time. I haven't even written mine yet, and won't be posting the new prompt until probably late tomorrow!

Here be me submission: The Great Helmsman Calls for this contest.

Thanks @theironfelix. I'm having a super busy week/weekend, but will be catching up on all reading over this weekend.

Thanks for your entry, @jadams2k18. I'm going to catch up on all stories this weekend. :-)

Thanks to you too

Thanks for your entry! I'm behind on reading stories, but will be catching up in the next 24 hours.

Do you ever have easy weeks? :-) Glad you were able to write and turn in a story. I'll be reading all tonight and tomorrow.

Here is my entry. Just made it!

Plenty of time! Thanks @alheath. I'll catch up on reading stories this weekend.

Yay! I've missed you, @thinknzombie. I'll be reading all stories tonight and tomorrow.

I think work has been tough for us both. It's certainly been hard to keep up with my fiction writing the last few weeks.

Truth. Life is good, but the juggling act... always being pulled by the demands of work and life commitments, while being simultaneously pulled magnetically toward time for writing, however fleeting, is not for the faint of heart. But let's never give up. It's worth it. We will prevail.

HaHa!! "Order in the court" I like a lot.
In particular for me, as a not English native speaker it was first utterly confusing. Very hard to read but that in itself made the thing even more interesting.

Good choice!

I am so entangled into the other writing activities here, that I hardly find time to join this group as well again. Let's be patient and see when I can again take part in your prompts.

Congratulations to your success here, by the way. This is so encouraging how the community works.

Thank you, @erh.germany! It's a really great community. And we're an eclectic mix, many involved in various different writing communities. We are the Sweden of writing groups on Steemit!

That @creatr is really a hoot. I like that story too.

Looking forward to seeing your next #fiftywords piece, when the time is right.

Thanks for your submission, @vdux! I'll be reading all stories this weekend.

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