Finish the Story: Manna for the Imagination

in contest •  4 months ago

finish story header2 image.jpg

Source: Amalgam of Pixabay Analogue and Leave

Finish the Story Contest, created by: @f3nix
Carried forward by: @bananafish
Reward: @steembasicincome

For the past few weeks I've been following the activities of a creative writing trail, Finish the Story Contest. The concept that drives this contest draws energy from a stable of contributors who never seem to run out of inspiration. The format is ingenious. Each week a story fragment is posted. The fragment begins a tale, and then leaves off before completion of the story line. Contestants carry the narrative thread forward and, in 500 words or less, provide a resolution.

I contributed to a couple of these story fragments, but find sometimes, as the deadline approaches, that I come up short. However, there is so much potential in Finish the Story Contest that I would like to direct other Steemians to it. To me, this is less a contest than an opportunity to let loose the muse that resides in even the dullest of us.

But make no mistake, this is a contest. There are winners, and there are rewards, although I think all the contestants "win" simply by participating. There's a strong sense of community and mutual support.

Even if you don't choose to finish a story, you are likely to be surprised by the novel interpretations offered by contestants. Occasionally authors cannot contain their enthusiasm and ignore the 500 word limit. I'm not sure if this dooms their pieces, but it doesn't seem to matter because they've had such a good time writing.


The most recent story idea (deadline Tuesday, July 24 at 12PM, PDT) offers an excellent example of how richly textured the story fragments may be. Crafted by @marcoriccardi, it drops us without warning into the tense universe of a young Legionnaire who is patrolling the border of hostile territory. The name of the story is, appropriately, Border. That in itself can be an inspiration for so many offshoots. It can be literal: this is a barrier intended to keep hostile forces out. Or, it can be a metaphor: the young man is beginning a new phase in life. He is equipped with knowledge transmitted to him by authorities. Will this information govern his actions, or will he learn to break from received wisdom and form his own judgments about experience? I think @marcoriccardi has given us license to explore the second option as he introduces an element of surprise in his last line.


Source: Pixabay

And then there is the enemy, the "Others". From the mind of the young Legionnaire we receive an impression of these "Others", but what are they, truly? We are invited to decide. The nature of the Others is presented to us almost as a "Tabula Rasa". What we write becomes their fate. This is the charm of creation--ownership and design.

Another theme suggested is scarce resources, a theme that has become a staple of science fiction. But how exactly is it intended here? There's a concept of managems, a fuel that is not defined--although as a compound word, managems offers provocative possibilities. Manna (mystical gift from the gods), and gem (a rare and precious commodity). Surely the name of this fuel cannot be accidental.

You see from my brief description how open the possibilities are. The limitation does not reside in the story fragment, but in the imagination of the writer who picks it up. There, I'm afraid, is where I fall short this time around. I can see the issues, but I cannot summon the magic that will make my interpretation irresistible. So I offer the baton to others.

If you are inclined at all to creative writing, give this contest a look. Maybe some weeks you will find yourself coming up with something satisfying. Your writing doesn't have to meet an objective standard of excellence. It has to answer to your own hunger for expression. How can that be anything but good?

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Hi @agmoore, I'm @checky ! While checking the mentions made in this post I found out that @bananafishl doesn't exist on Steem. Maybe you made a typo ?

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Well done! Your writing doesn't need much exercise- I like to read it. I like writing too and completing a story must be nice, but this is a contest in English and as far as you know I am not good at that. Wish you fun and luck!


I always feel good after reading your comments. Thank you!! I think it is in English, but I've begun to practice my German reading so I'm sure I'd love your story :)

And, by the way, your English is excellent. Some of the greatest writers in English (Conrad, Nabokov, for example) regarded English as their second, or even third language.


Hehe - thank you!

Awesome, @agmoore! Your presentation post is perfect! I couldn't explain better than this the implications of my story, and the general purposes of the contest!
I'm sorry you decided to not participate this round, but there will be many editions in the future weeks in which you can delight us with your story endings.

I have to resteem your precious contribution, and give you a tip!


Thank you! Your story has so much potential for an ending. I even wrote one, but it wasn't very good. I wanted to show my support, so this is what I did :). So glad you liked it. Thank you for the "tip"!

Thank you @agmoore, you totally succeeded in enshrining the spirit of my initiative in your words. We're trying to create altogether something special on steemit, a contest but also a workshop at the same time.. an engine for fostering the creativity on Steemit. You're a precious member of this project and I hope that we'll keep experimenting and writing together for long! Tip!


Thank you! Finish the Story Contest offers community and the opportunity to be creative. I'm really glad to be part of that. Next week I'll put my muse to work :)
And thank you for the "tip"!

Many thanks! The Bananafish loves you!


A very interesting & challenging contest..
As a writer, i also hope that i can join this contest in the next rounds...
Thanks for the info, dear friend @agmoore...


I hope to see you there :) If I have courage, and can come up with a worthy piece, I'll join, also.

Hi @agmoore! You have received 0.1 SBD tip from @marcoriccardi!

Check out @marcoriccardi blog here and follow if you like the content :)

@tipU voting service | For investors.

Hi @agmoore! You have received 0.1 SBD tip from @f3nix!

Check out @f3nix blog here and follow if you like the content :)

@tipU voting service | For investors.

Great write up and promotion of the 'finish the story' comp/community agmoore. You really manage to grasp hold of the core value of the whole thing and communicate it well for the reader. I think anyone reading this will be inspired to check us out. Cheers :-)


Thank you. It's such a nice group. I wanted to show my support, but a story simply wouldn't come--not a good one, anyway :)