« Week #161 - Negative Exponents »

SA Prompt | SA Results | BB Code
Date: 9-1-2015
Word Limit: 1225
Words Written: 25,096

Judges (crits):

Audio Recap: No talking
Week Archivist:

The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges. The Liberation of Earth by William Tenn. The Balloon by Donald Barthelme.

What do these stories have in common? Apart from being some of my favorite short stories of all time, that is? Well, let me ask another question. What's an aspect of story writing that a lot of 'domers consistently have trouble with? That's right, dialog. Now, some people might try and assign a dialog-heavy week to correct that, but I don't hold with that kind of hippy teaching attitude. When the kids keep abusing the toys, I say take them away entirely. And that's what those stories have in common. No dialog. They're all purely exposition-based stories. Pure narrative. That's what you're doing this week, God help us all. (I'll permit one spoken line if you must, since some of my examples do that and fair is fair.)

If You Were a Dinosaur, my Love by Rachel Swirsky. From Neil Gaiman, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury, and also May, June, September, and November out of A Calendar of Tales.

Just throwing a few more examples closer to Thunderdome-size. Speaking of size, you have 1,225 words to use. And since this is a structural prompt, I'll even give a nice, broad theme for your stories as well. To celebrate Labor Day Weekend, the theme is You Had One Job. (Special bonus rule: if anyone submits some cutesy meta wordvomit about themselves failing to write a story this week, they will, without fail, get the DQ/DM combo platter.)

What I Want: For people to take advantage of the format. Tell stories with an epic scope, or that engage an interesting and complex idea, or do a deeply personal single-character story. Most if not all of my examples can be found trivially online with Google, and if I didn't like them they wouldn't be there.

What I Don't Want: Fanfiction or Erotica, obviously. I also don't want to be bored or confused.

I will offer flash rules on request. They will be harsh, and fairly abstract. You run a risk of being assigned epic poetry if you ask. If you want a more concrete flash rule, ask one of the other judges when and if they show up.

22 Total Submissions, 7 Total Failures: