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    1. The Proverbial Pen #3

      Today is day three of my "war against writer's block"! As I keep fighting with my proverbial pen, I hope that some day I'll be able to get out of my block and be able to write some real stuff like...

      Today is day three of my "war against writer's block"!
      As I keep fighting with my proverbial pen, I hope that some day I'll be able to get out of my block and be able to write some real stuff like research paper or novel or story book.

      What I realized today is that Word Power is a very important skill. A writer is essentially a Wordsmith or someone who carves and arranges the words and phrases into sentences, just as a sculptor or carpenter would do with wood or other raw materials. To be a better writer, you must learn to fall in love with words which is probably easier said than done - especially for us non-native speakers!

      Having a regular habit or routine helps with this. Each time you come across a difficult word, you open the dictionary software or app and learn its meaning. It hardly takes a few minutes but it's a very useful skill as each new word you know of acts like a raw material or building block for your writing. Better still, develop linguistics as a hobby as mastery of grammar is equally important and so is learning about how languages, cultures and people basically work and interact at the core.

      Apart from that, noting down right ideas as they come is also very important. For example, the idea about the Wordsmith thing occurred to me yesterday when I was having a cup of tea. I noted it on time (before it could vanish into the depths of that dark matter called subconscious mind and become irretrievable again!), and made a note of that on my computer so that I can write it in today's proverbial pen.

      Even after having these basic tools and ingredients, you may not be able to write anything at all if you lack that focused energy or passion to write about a particular topic - be it a research paper, novel, story book or something else. You need to have that energy to write which I feel I'm lacking right now. I might be able to feel that energy some day as I continue with my battles, at least I hope so! Thanks for reading this and staying with me in these challenging times.

      7 votes
    2. Writing Club #3—"Madness" (Submissions)

      Shakespeare's birthday is observed today. Thank you, verily, for sharing your writing! Please post your efforts below, with an introduction and/or questions for your readers. Here are the...

      Shakespeare's birthday is observed today. Thank you, verily, for sharing your writing!

      Please post your efforts below, with an introduction and/or questions for your readers.
      Here are the guidelines, again.

      8 votes
    3. Writing Club #3—"Madness" (April 23)

      Rounds one and two of the Tildes Writing Club have been smashing, if small-scale, successes. In the interest of luring out a few lurkers with a timely provocation, I want to establish this month's...

      Rounds one and two of the Tildes Writing Club have been smashing, if small-scale, successes. In the interest of luring out a few lurkers with a timely provocation, I want to establish this month's theme by fiat.

      What do you have to say about madness? Your contribution can resemble a clinician's assessment, a confession, a polemic, an absinthe specter, the cry of the cuckoo, the diagnosis offered by Major Clipton (but hopefully of greater length), or a 1980s ska band. That is, whether you take the word to be romantic, offensive, biographical, inspirational, or risible, take it as inspiration for your writing this month.


      Just follow these easy guidelines:

      Your submission can be prose or poetry of any reasonable length. Less than 7,000 words, surely.

      Watch for the April 23 submissions thread to appear. Reply to it with a link to your work, which may be housed anywhere you like, including on Tildes. Prioritize venues that are not known to be aggressively anti-privacy (e.g., Google Docs). You may provide questions for readers.

      You must provide feedback on 3 submissions if you are posting a submission. Only one needs to be a substantial critique. If you see a post without feedback, consider giving it preference in the order of your responses. No one likes to be left hanging.

      You don't have to follow the theme. Your detective fiction about beaver glands is welcome, too.
      Feel free to post questions or comments.

      12 votes
    4. Call For Submissions--Writing Club #2 (March 14)

      Lay it on the line in our March club posting! This time, let's submit short stories, chapters, essays. @eve suggests that the optional theme be "liminality/liminal spaces. It could be about them,...

      Lay it on the line in our March club posting! This time, let's submit short stories, chapters, essays.

      @eve suggests that the optional theme be "liminality/liminal spaces. It could be about them, the creation of one, a dissection, the destruction of one, or just take place there. Anything and everything liminal."

      Liminal is a sort of between. The definition is: relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

      You can also look into liminal spaces. These can be real places (like a train station that's simply a point people transfer to other trains to) or even the emotional betweens; coming to realizations or on a precipice of something. Like, summer vacation could be a liminal space even!

      If you're not into borders and transitional spaces, or if you've been incubating a polemic all pandemic long, you are still encouraged to share your writing! You may draw inspiration from any theme (fictional or real).

      Just follow these easy guidelines:

      1. Produce a short story, essay, or chapter of a longer work. Your submission should not exceed 7,000 words. Let's aim for pieces 350-3500 words.

      2. Watch for the March 14 submissions thread to appear... on March 14! Reply to it with a link to your work, which may be housed anywhere you like, including on Tildes. Prioritize venues that are not known to be aggressively anti-privacy (e.g., Google Docs). You may provide questions for readers in hidden expandable text, if you like.

      3. You must provide feedback on 3 submissions if you are posting a submission. Only one needs to be a substantial critique. Our first outing was a trial run, and the offerings were extremely short. I anticipate proportionally longer responses to come easily this time. If you see a post without feedback, consider giving it preference in the order of your responses. No one likes to be left hanging.

      Feel free to post questions in this topic. We had a stimulating and moderately edgy trial run. I'm excited for the longer prose to come!

      12 votes
    5. Writing Club #1 Submissions

      Valentine's Day Edition Optional Themes: love / unlove / hate / red / heart / viscera Submit your "Quick 'Ficts' and Poems" below! Very relaxed rules apply to this first round. Basically, just...

      Valentine's Day Edition

      Optional Themes: love / unlove / hate / red / heart / viscera


      Submit your "Quick 'Ficts' and Poems" below! Very relaxed rules apply to this first round. Basically, just post something short. And remember to leave feedback for at least two pieces if you're submitting (but more is welcome). You don't need to submit to leave comments. Looking forward to reading!

      14 votes
    6. Call For Submissions 2/14—Quick Ficts and Poems

      You are invited to cut right to the heart of things for the first Tildes Writing Club event. Let's road test the club with brief fiction or verse. Got a sonnet that needs airing? Want to weave a...

      You are invited to cut right to the heart of things for the first Tildes Writing Club event. Let's road test the club with brief fiction or verse. Got a sonnet that needs airing? Want to weave a brief spell and dip before the magic fades? Let's read it!


      Length: less than 500 words of prose, or 30 or fewer lines of poetry.
      Theme: Optional. But if you're in search of inspiration, @acdw suggests you work with this palette: love/unlove/hate/red/heart/viscera.
      Guidelines: Post your short work in the submissions topic, which will open on 2/14. Throughout the next couple of weeks, leave feedback for at least two other submissions. Brief rules for a brief, trial-run writing event. To opine on the rules that are taking shape for 3/1, reply here.

      11 votes
    7. Writing Club Theme Discussion

      Let's discuss themes for our March 1 Writing Club submissions. (If prompts or themes aren't your thing, you may write what you like and post when the submission topic opens.) Feel free to suggest...

      Let's discuss themes for our March 1 Writing Club submissions. (If prompts or themes aren't your thing, you may write what you like and post when the submission topic opens.) Feel free to suggest a prompt (a scenario, dilemma, or background), a theme, or an ambiguous title to jump-start writing efforts. What do you want to suggest?

      8 votes
    8. Silly Set Up; Creative Response

      I've been re-watching Avatar: Legend of Korra, and I've always thought Bumi's crazy stories would be super interesting to go into more depth on how they actually happened (if his descriptions were...

      I've been re-watching Avatar: Legend of Korra, and I've always thought Bumi's crazy stories would be super interesting to go into more depth on how they actually happened (if his descriptions were indeed true to life).

      Then I thought it would be fun to have a sort of creative thinking exercise where the set up is provided and you have to come up with the details of how the characters got to it. Can you make it work?

      Top level submissions will be the end state. You should reply to those top level submissions with how the subjects / characters got to that point while using the information provided in the set up.

      Example:

      "Yo Johnny, you remember that time we talked our way out of getting arrested using my pet rabbit and a dead cell phone?"

      Reply:

      "Yea dude, that was wild. I was shitting bricks when he walked up to my window with all that weed we had in the trunk. If Fluffy Jorge hadn't been in the back and your allergy pills hadn't wore off that you wouldn't have been all glassy eyed and looking like you were crying. I don't think he would have bought my fake ass story about your family being in a tragic car accident earlier that day."

      I'll provide a couple to get y'all started with, but if you have any good one's feel free to submit those as top level entries!

      7 votes
    9. Limerick thread

      A lim'rick is like a haiku But five lines, not three; you add two They're often licentious Or funny; contentious But they can be nice if you choose

      19 votes
    10. A thread for horrible puns

      By clicking this link and reading this topic, you find yourself under a grave and terrible thread. The only way to defend yourself here is to lower yourself to punitive measures, and engage in...

      By clicking this link and reading this topic, you find yourself under a grave and terrible thread. The only way to defend yourself here is to lower yourself to punitive measures, and engage in wordplay in mass corruption. All is fair in pun and warfare, but do remember your actions are your pwn, and that there are no winners here. Only broken arts, and shattered themes.

      (Just make puns.)

      15 votes
    11. Friday haiku challenge

      I used to work at Amazon, and one of their internal "chatter" mailing lists had a tradition that every Friday people would write haiku, often about how their week went, or something in the news,...

      I used to work at Amazon, and one of their internal "chatter" mailing lists had a tradition that every Friday people would write haiku, often about how their week went, or something in the news, or just something random. Going to try to resurrect that here.

      If you want lines to color within, the "normal" requirements for a haiku are:

      The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru). This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji ("cutting word") between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.

      Traditional haiku often consist of 17 on (also known as morae though often loosely translated as "syllables"), in three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 on, respectively.

      A kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such terms.

      But of course often the 5-7-5 syllable structure is the only part used in Westernized haiku. Feel free to follow the guidelines above as narrowly or as loosely as you want.

      14 votes
    12. Animating the Inanimate Poetry Challenge

      @cadadr's 4 word poetry challenge is one of my favorite Tildes threads to read through on account of the many clever and thoughtful responses, so I figured I'd try to kick off another one. This...

      @cadadr's 4 word poetry challenge is one of my favorite Tildes threads to read through on account of the many clever and thoughtful responses, so I figured I'd try to kick off another one. This one is a little more conceptually involved, but I think it still has the potential to be a good time like the last one.

      Rather than going with a strict word or line count, instead I am creating a restriction based around personification:

      Challenge:
      Your poem must:

      • Be written from the point of view of an inanimate object
      • Give the object personality/emotion
      • NOT name the object, so that people have to infer it from what you've written

      An example might be an automatic door that is bored to tears from opening and closing ad nauseum. Or maybe a watering can that is excited to tend to its garden.

      In trying to come up with a model I decided to channel a resentful milk carton:

      It's fine
      I get it
      You don't have to justify yourself
      Lots of better things have come around
      Since you first chose me

      Just know that I'm still here
      If you need me
      Waiting for that blissful moment
      Where you light up my world
      And take me in your hand
      And make me feel like I'm flying
      Before you lower me down
      In a lover's embrace

      It's fine
      I get it
      Until then I'll sit here
      In the cold, cold dark
      Trying not to go sour
      Next to the slowly molding cheese
      And forgotten grapes

      It's far from perfect but hopefully it gives you an idea of what the assignment can look like. While I saved my "reveal" to the end, don't feel obligated to use that tactic unless you want to. You don't have to hide the identity of your object, just don't name the object outright in the poem.

      Feel free to make your poem as long or short as you wish. Feel free to make it as meaningful or silly as you want. Above all else, have fun!


      If you need help with ideas or just want the challenge of writing to a randomly selected specification, you can use this noun generator for objects and this adjective generator for sentiments.

      9 votes
    13. [writing challenge]: say nothing.

      hey everyone! i was sitting down to write some today, and i kept coming up with lines and lyrics that were great, but for absolute vapid-type songs (gucci gang type stuff hahaha). i thought it...

      hey everyone!

      i was sitting down to write some today, and i kept coming up with lines and lyrics that were great, but for absolute vapid-type songs (gucci gang type stuff hahaha).

      i thought it would make for a fun challenge. whether you want to write a short story, a poem, maybe a little stageplay script - what's the largest amount of words you can use to express absolutely nothing?

      whether it be something like the lyrics for lil pump's "D Rose" or something like the internet-famous article "The Rumor Come Out: Does Bruno Mars is Gay?"

      how long of a piece of writing can you make, whilst saying absolutely nothing?

      6 votes
    14. 100‐Word Writing Challenge № 2: “I can see [them], but [they] cannot see me.”

      We now have the opportunity to continue our 100-word writing prompt fun :) @Kat, the initiator of this writing club, nominated me as her successor as this round's topic keeper (or if we allow some...

      We now have the opportunity to continue our 100-word writing prompt fun :)

      @Kat, the initiator of this writing club, nominated me as her successor as this round's topic keeper (or if we allow some fantasy, the "queen of stories", as in the Decameron). I'm very happy, honoured, nervous ... and so eager to read your contributions!

      As a reminder of the rules, let us make the written piece exactly 100 words. Next weekend, I'll pass the garland to one of the writers, and they'll become the monarch of stories, bring to us a new topic.

      This week's prompt is in the title:

      I can see [them], but [they] cannot see me.

      Here the pronoun they, in the brackets, is a generic one. It can be anyone, anything, or ... let us know :)

      11 votes
    15. Weekly Writing Prompt Group - Prompt 0 - The Road Trip

      Voting has closed for this week's topic. The prompt is... The Road Trip Some questions to help you get started: Who is the traveler? Why are they traveling? Where are they going? Are they going...

      Voting has closed for this week's topic.

      The prompt is...

      The Road Trip

      Some questions to help you get started:

      Who is the traveler?
      Why are they traveling?
      Where are they going? Are they going anywhere?

      The questions are only meant to help you get started. Make it happy or sad, adventure or horror, romance or tragedy. Go where your imagination takes you. Don't feel constrained by what may seem to be the obvious response to the prompt.

      Please keep your submissions between 1000-2000 words (for reference, this topic section is about 200 words), make sure to properly format to Tildes when submitting to the submission thread.

      Submission thread will be created on Wednesday, Aug 29, EST.

      Please feel free to use this thread to brainstorm or share ideas or post any other comments you have about the writing prompt group.

      Have fun everyone! I can't want to see what you create!


      Things I may change:

      I may do away with topic voting if/until the group gets big enough, and I'll just post a weekly prompt.

      Depending on the number of submissions, I may increase the max length.

      11 votes
    16. Writing Prompt: Four Lines of Dialogue Between Two People

      I came up with the following dialogue for a scene in a novella that I'm working on, and thought that if I stripped out the extraneous details it might make a decent writing prompt. What can you do...

      I came up with the following dialogue for a scene in a novella that I'm working on, and thought that if I stripped out the extraneous details it might make a decent writing prompt. What can you do with the following dialogue?

      "How could you keep this from me?"

      "You weren't ready --"

      "What gave you the right to decide I wasn't ready to know?"

      "You weren't ready to ask until now."

      What's the secret? Who's keeping what from whom? Why wasn't the first person ready to ask until now? That's for you to decide if you decide to use this.

      16 votes
    17. Proposal: Weekly neologism thread

      I'm a terrible writer, in part because I've got that epistemophiliac adoration for obscure, archaic or onomatopoeic words, word-play, and more pedantry than most audiences can bear. That being...

      I'm a terrible writer, in part because I've got that epistemophiliac adoration for obscure, archaic or onomatopoeic words, word-play, and more pedantry than most audiences can bear.

      That being said, I think it would be a fun exercise to create and justify new words. A broad range of examples can be found here.

      I'm suggesting this both to give serious writers new tools, and as a light-hearted lower-but-not-low effort community-building exercise to include those who don't consider themselves writers yet.

      Rules:

      1. Any subject matter, though I'd prefer we kept this SFW.
      2. The "logos", or rationale, of the neologism should need little explanation, or be presented in the context of usage, e.g. "asshat", "we're not leaving town, we're staycationing this year."
      3. English language is not required - if you can make a logical creole word and provide English justification, that's fine.
      4. Please Google to ensure originality.
      5. Puns are going to happen. If that's a problem for you, please refrain from complaint unless you feel there's unnecessary cruelty outside the bounds of Tildes' terms of use.

      Here's a starter:

      mortlifting - abusing the occasion of a celebrity's death to make an unrelated political point.

      7 votes
    18. Weekly Writing Prompt Group - Week 0 - Open Voting for the Weekly Prompt

      This is week 0 of the Weekly Writing Prompt Group (WWPG). After asking about interest, I've decided to try running this. This is week 0, so I'm trying to see what works and what doesn't. Feel free...

      This is week 0 of the Weekly Writing Prompt Group (WWPG). After asking about interest, I've decided to try running this. This is week 0, so I'm trying to see what works and what doesn't. Feel free to make suggestions!

      Vote for the prompt you like most by adding a 'vote' to the prompt in the comments. Writers and non-writers, are encouraged to vote:

      The Necronaut:
      Who is the traveler in the after life? What do they see? Why are they there? Are they alone or part of a team? Was this an accident? or an organized, international endeavor?

      An Audience of None:
      Who is the performer? What are they performing? Are they truly alone? Is there a watcher after all?

      The Road Trip:
      Are they going towards or away from something? How are they getting there? What happens if they arrive? What happens if they return?

      Vote closes tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug 21, 10AM EST.
      Submissions will be accepted on Wednesday, Aug 29, EST (~9 days).

      The questions are only meant to help you get started. Make it happy or sad, adventure or horror, romance or tragedy. Go where you want. Don't feel constrained by what may seem to be the obvious response to the prompt.


      This will be different from other writing prompts in three ways:

      1. You are encouraged to take your time with the prompt. After a prompt has been chosen, I will post another thread after a week for submissions to that week's prompt.

      2. I will personally read and provide feedback to every submission in the submission thread. It will be more than just a "good job" or acknowledgement. I will highlight things I liked, didn't like, how I think things could be improved etc.

      3. Selection of the prompt is open to everyone, even non-participants. I hope this will encourage the greater tildes community to follow the WWPG and to participate by reading and commenting on the creative works of the writers.

      What I feel separates this style of prompt from others is that it encourages writers to let their ideas breathe and it provides a creative outlet for writers who may be intimidated by the faster nature of other writing prompts.

      Another aspect that I feel makes this unique is the promise of feedback. I believe that if you take the time to really work on something, you should get something back. To make this possible, there are some things that I need from you:

      1. The submission must be completely original. In the future I may post more fan-fictiony prompts, but I want to encourage brand new ideas from the writers.

      2. Keep the length of your submissions between 1000 and 2000 words. This is to make it easier for me to read (as we continue I may extend the length). This should also keep you well within the 50,000 character limit.

      3. Avoid shopping large tracts of your writing as the goal is provide new works on the submission date. However, feel free to brainstorm ideas.

      4. Make sure to properly format to tildes. Feel free to also post your stories to your personal blogs etc., but I will only provide feedback for work posted in tildes.

      12 votes
    19. Interest in a weekly or biweekly writing prompt?

      One aspect of the Writing Prompts subreddit that frustrated me the most was that the submission that got the most responses was often the one that was submitted first. I found that in order to...

      One aspect of the Writing Prompts subreddit that frustrated me the most was that the submission that got the most responses was often the one that was submitted first. I found that in order to ensure that I got feedback and criticism, I often found myself rushing or submitting sloppy work so that I could submit first. Often times I would ignore prompts I liked because other posts had already taken off.

      I’d like to try something here that addresses some of those issues. I imagine it working like this:

      1. The first post would be a number of prompts that participants would choose from to be that week’s prompt.
      1. After a prompt is chosen, I wouldn’t accept submissions for one/two weeks to give people time to develop their ideas and submissions.
      1. A new post would be created for submissions for the past week’s prompt and providing a new list of potential prompts for the following week.
      1. Go to 2...

      So long as it is practical, I will read and provide feedback and constructive criticisms for every submission.

      I hope this encourages people to develop fledgling ideas as they have the time to let their ideas breathe and they have the promise of feedback at the end of it.

      Of course this isn’t meant to replace other casual writing prompts.

      Edit:

      For those interested a few questions:

      1. Is one week enough time to write?
      1. Would it be better for the writing time to include the weekend?
      1. Would you be okay with certain restrictions like 1,500 words? Is that too many words? Too few?

      Edit2:

      Okay, I'll try to set this up!

      Over the weekend I'll think up some prompts. Here's how I see it rolling out right now. Feel free to suggest other things as it's all fluid right now. I'm open to any and all suggestions.

      1. Monday, Aug 20, I'll post three or four prompts. I'll leave voting up to participants? Or maybe allow the whole Tildes community to vote on the kind of story or theme they would like to read (hopefully to bring writers more feedback)?
      1. Tuesday, Aug 21, I'll announce the weekly prompt. Remaining prompts with good support will be carried over to the following week? Remaining prompts with little support will be removed from the pool?
      1. The following Wednesday, Aug 29, I'll open a thread for the past week's submissions and post a pool of three or four prompts to choose from.

      Not sure how voting for prompts will work, I'm thinking of posting the possible prompts in the comments and using Tilde's voting system.

      17 votes
    20. Tildes writing prompt week 2!

      You're home alone and watching TV. Yawning, you tilt your head to loosen up the knots in your neck and out of the corner of your eye see a dark, fast, blur. When you focus on that spot, you can't...

      You're home alone and watching TV. Yawning, you tilt your head to loosen up the knots in your neck and out of the corner of your eye see a dark, fast, blur. When you focus on that spot, you can't see anything, so you turn back and continue watching. It happens again during a blink, but as you turn your head you almost catch it. Another round of this and you are positive you aren't going crazy, so you blink but turn your head as you open your eyes.

      Shout-out to Mozzribo for the idea. I hope this is inspiring enough to the writers out there! If anyone is interested in doing a prompt next week just say so in the comments. Thanks everyone!

      14 votes
    21. You are a legendary warrior, with a several decades-long reputation of tirelessly prevailing over hordes of monstrosities. In a sudden moment of clarity, you come to your senses in a psychiatric ward.

      You are a legendary warrior, with a several decades-long reputation of tirelessly prevailing over hordes of monstrosities. In a sudden moment of clarity, you come to your senses in a psychiatric...

      You are a legendary warrior, with a several decades-long reputation of tirelessly prevailing over hordes of monstrosities. In a sudden moment of clarity, you come to your senses in a psychiatric ward – a miraculous medication has been tested on you to counter your schizophrenia. As time passes, you begin to recognize the people and other things from your former psychosis.

      [This is the first attempt at having a writing prompt at Tildes. It is too long to wholly fit in the title (only 200 characters permitted – nailed it exactly), so it had to be expanded in the text field.]

      Edit: as per a suggestion in another thread, please feel free to be inspired only by the title text and use the additional info here only if You feel like it helps. I believe that if a prompt sparkles something that ultimately doesn't have much to do with the prompt itself, the goal of the prompt is still accomplished.

      14 votes