This week's 50-word challenge prompt and last week's round-up

in challenge •  5 months ago

Welcome to the 50-Word Challenge!

Here's the summary of last week's challenge entries and a new prompt for this week. First, you will find a weekly feature about the challenge, with tips for writing 50-word short stories.

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(Image credit: Original image by rawpixel, Pixabay)

About the 50-word challenge


This challenge starts off each week with a one-word prompt. Participants use the prompt to create a micro-fiction story in just 50 words.

It wraps up in one week when I write a new post listing all the stories from the previous week, a few story highlights, and a new prompt. (Note: The deadline is technically Saturday, but there's a grace period until I get the new prompt posted, usually Sunday or Monday.)

So... just write 50 words? Is that it?


Writing a 50-word story is fun and challenging. The first time you do it, you will discover that it isn't easy to write a whole story in so few words. Ideally, your story will have some characters, a setting, a conflict, some action, and a resolution.

And it's not easy. That's why it's called a "challenge!"

Not every good micro-fiction story has all of those elements. But thinking about how to incorporate them into your stories as you write can really help. If there is no conflict, for example, you will probably find that your story seems to be missing something important.

Getting started with 50-word stories


Once the prompt post is posted, it's time to roll up your sleeves and have some fun. Your story can include the prompt word, or simply be inspired by it. Last week, for example, the prompt was "danger." We had quite a few stories that included dangerous situations, characters that perceive or experience danger, and danger signs. Everyone is inspired by the weekly prompt in a different way. (I personally did not include the word "danger" in my story.)

Believe it or not, the most important part of this challenge isn't hitting exactly 50 words. (Note: It's up to you whether you want to hit 50 words on the nose. I personally find it to be a fun exercise, and all of my stories are exactly 50 words, but you get to choose.) No, the most challenging part of this challenge is editing the story until it is just right — until every word counts, and the story has the meaning and impact you want.

So an important piece of advice is to sit down when you have a little time to work with your wording. You might write something that sounds interesting and feel like you're done. But you will almost always find that something amazing happens when you work with your story longer.

Is there a winner?


Nope! This is a challenge, not a contest. There are no winners.

But I do choose a few interesting and artful stories each week to highlight. I look for stories that are well-written, compelling to read, have correct use of grammar and punctuation, and follow the guidelines for proper use of images and attribution.

Last week's story collection


I’d like to welcome our newest contributors, @celsius100, @drahries, @fromage, @yimiipsa, @yoganarchista, and @diosarich. Thanks for joining the Fifty Worders!

Last week's prompt was “danger.”

Here is the complete list of stories inspired by the “danger” 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 stories that stood out to me this week as artful, poignant, and inspired.

Dangerous Liaisons, by @deirdyweirdy

Neither of the characters in this story is an upstanding citizen. But one of the two has a truly evil plot cooking.
There's absolutely no danger of her finding out about us, Deb assured him, as she slipped her lipstick furtively into the door pocket of his car. Evidently, his wife didn't make much use of the glove compartment, or she'd have discovered the earring Deb had surreptitiously stashed there last week.

For Them, by @anikekirsten

The protagonist in this story must make a terrible choice... and goes through with it.
The words 'danger: biohazard' illuminated the dark bunker. Another global riot alert popped up on her laptop, and she looked at her sleeping toddler.

Leaning over, she kissed the boy's forehead. “For you.”

These children deserved a peaceful world. This one was over.

She pressed the button, releasing the virus.

Merica! by @preparedwombat

This story pokes at those who believe only their language matters.
Bubba was the type who hung up when he got the “Press 1 for English” recording. Why should he bother with any other language?

He climbed over the fence not giving a damn about the sign.

¡Peligro, campo minado!

If it was important, they should have posted it in English.

Brain Damage, by @ahmadmanga

Kudos to the author, who accepted a few edits to his story from readers after posting it. There's an excellent backstory to this one.
We all laughed that day.
It was nothing more than a clumsy trip on the stairs. His smile after the fall told us "It's okay." No injury was found.
We laughed again. Foolishly remarked on how forgetful he was since. Unaware of the silently escalating danger.
Ignorance isn't always bliss.

Committed, by @therosepatch

What do you think? Is Alan crazy?
Alan fought against the orderlies holding him back. “Veronica, no!”

“You’re a danger to yourself.” She signed the forms then removed her sunglasses, revealing a black eye. “And to me.”

Alan stopped fighting. Had he done that? He hadn’t meant to.

He walked into the asylum. Maybe he was crazy.

Just like daddy, by @ablaze

Regardless of the different views about gun control, I think we can all agree this story has an important moral about securing them in locked cabinets. And it is heartbreaking.
Boys want to be like their Dads.

Danny was no different, so when he saw the cabinet unlocked, he seized the opportunity.

He held out the "toy", studying it.

Just as he squeezed the trigger, little Joshua ran in looking for his big brother.

Searing bullet.

Lifeless boy.

Protection, eh??

Excellent work, everyone!

This week's 50-word story prompt


The prompt for this week is “lemon.” Have fun, Fifty Worders!

Guidelines


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 4th.

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

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

@feebie, @felixgarciap, @felt.buzz, @ficciones, @foxfiction, @foxyspirit, @fromage

@galactichunter, @gaming-stuff, @girlbeforemirror, @gmatthe2

@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

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

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

@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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Here be me submission: Ode to Cave Johnson for this lil’ ole contest.

Greeting.
This is my entry to the 50-word story challenge, titled Acidic Bust. It is a story about intrigue and the lawless, and the people dedicated to upholding the law.
It is also 50 words long. No standard deviation +/- 3%, which I imagine would be equal to one word and a contraction.

https://steemit.com/fiftyword/@henry-gant/henry-gant-man-about-town-this-episode-50-word-story-challenge-lemon

H. G.

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Great story. Lots of great conversation going on there!

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Great story. So funny (Could not comment on busy.org)

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Thanks, @hlezama. Trying to write something a little different from my usual twist.

Hi! This is my entry for the challenge: https://busy.org/@aleli/blind-a-short-story-for-the-50-word-challenge
I hope you enjoy it.

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Thanks for joining #fiftywords!

"When life gives you lemons, grow a lemon tree." I like this prompt :)

Thanks for the mention.
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That one is... unique! 😊

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:) Thanks, @jayna. Happy you liked it.

Here is my entry. Looking forward to reading the others!

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This is my ticket, a warm greeting and a strong hug to the entire reading community and to the participants.

lemons-2434941__340.jpg

https://steemit.com/challenge/@opiman/this-week-s-50-word-challenge-prompt-and-last-week-s-round-up

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Thank you for joining!

now I have something to write tomorrow

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That’s one of the motivations behind this challenge — to give people something to write about. 😀

Ah, and here I thought last week's prompt was limiting, haha. Here's this week's take: Contact.

Hi @jayna and fellow fifty worders. Thanks a lot for the shout out above. Delighted to get a mention amongst such talent. Onto this week, it took me a while to think of something for this prompt, but I got there :o) Let me know what ye think

https://steemit.com/fiftywords/@ablaze/an-elusive-night-out-a-fifty-words-story

Since I missed the epic 'danger' challenge word of last week, I deserve to be saddled with 'lemon' this week.

Here's mine. Thanks for running this show, @jayna!

Fallen

Despite my horrors over the prompt choice, I managed to come up with one. https://steemit.com/fiction/@bex-dk/lemonsmoremicrofiction-t9xx73rwli

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I will try to avoid allergens in future prompts! 😊

Here's my own 50-word story based on the prompt! (Well... one of them.) https://steemit.com/challenge/@jayna/unseenamicro-fictiontale-a49a6s6n21.

Many thanks for the shout-out. Much appreciated.
Here's my offering for this week, inspired by, but not including, the prompt word.
https://steemit.com/fiftywords/@deirdyweirdy/child-s-play-a-story-in-50-words

Getting a little close to the deadline again, but this story’s been waiting to be posted for the last three days. Someday I’ll submit something a little early :D

https://steempeak.com/fiftywords/@carn/4lnvfp-stranded-a-fiftywords-challenge-entry

…renames the story because it has the same title as a previous one…

Fashionably late, as usual. XD
Here is my entry for this week.
hugs

Hi, I was really late this time, thanks for the reminder @jayna & here's my entry: https://steemit.com/fiftywords/@ahmadmanga/fiftywords-mommy-s-lemonade-micro-fiction

There's a back story in the link above, but if you're only here for the lemons you can read it below:


Mommy's Lemonade

I try to drink mommy's lemonade.
"My neck hurts."
Mom made this lemonade for me then went to buy medicine earlier.

"'I'm dizzy."
Doctor said to sleep my sickness away.
I slept all I can, but it only hurts more.

"It's cold."
I'll sleep again, after I finish mommy's lemonade.