Writing Challenges

This is the made-up post that I had promised earlier for the post I had skipped due to sickness. In this post, I’m going to talk about writing challenges. How are these different from writing prompts, you ask? Well, not different at all in essence as they are both meant to spark off ideas. It’s merely that this is what they are called over at my virtual writer’s home that I’ve blogged about previously (since they are challenges thrown out by specific Strolenatis) so I stick to the term.

Firstly, I have to admit that I’m quite “picky” when it comes to writing prompts. That is, I have to find the ‘right’ writing prompts for me so that I could write. As for writing challenges, at the least they’ve prompted me to create a submission for the Citadel which is usually less than 2000 words but tend to be longer labours of love than the random passages that I tended to write off any other prompts. So in this post, I am mainly going through those writing challenges I encountered that inspired me personally. They include:

  • The Bizarre Lifeform Challenge- based on the premise that in theory, anything could be the sustenance of a particular lifeform. Personally, I came up with the Sheen Leech which made a ‘diet’ of sheens as part of its mating process. As for the physical appearance of these creatures, I came up with the idea that they look like caterpillars but have frog-like tongues that have a suction-cup located at the tip that they use to capture flies.
  • The Red Herring- not the standard term for detective books but referring to some item utterly useless to standard adventurers starred in fantasy. For this I came up with the idea of Fools’ Gems that are coloured due to exposure to magic but would very quickly lose their colouring when ‘mined’ and taken out from where they are found.
  • Placeholder Gods- the idea that standard gods had left a realm, resulting in a new set of unconventional Gods to step in as replacements, meant to be silly in nature really. My personal contributions include Zxtkvf, God of the Unfathomable and Unbelievable and Setam, the Goddess of Nerves. Both of these I had written a neat 100-word snippet for. Both are fun ideas but I’m not quite geared for silly/humorous pieces for that’s the most I want to push out for these ideas.
  • Archaic Words challenge- did anyone know the special name given to the “miniature reflection of himself which a person sees in the pupil of another’s eye on looking closely into it”? no, well, it’s called babies-in-the-eyes. Based on this term, I came up with a method of fortune telling purely revolving around gazing intently at the babies-in-the-eyes reflected in the fortune teller’s eyes.

Btw, there are heaps more writing challenges actually on the Citadel if anyone is interested in them. I’ve given out the link before but here it is again for new followers: http://strolen.com/main. It is a fun community for writers really, especially fantasy writers (there’s a fair amount of sci-fi as well). So visit it and join if you are as keen on fantasy and writing and improving with honest feedback as I am.

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