The Ink Well Prompt #66 - Plus Weekly Challenge and Prize Announcement

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Image source:mirkosajkov on Pixabay

Hello and welcome to the The Ink Well weekly fiction prompt and prize announcement! The Ink Well is a Hive blockchain-based social media community of creative writers. If you love to write short stories, we invite you to join us. Or peruse the work of our community members.

Note: We always launch our prompt posts with important information. So be sure to check it out first! Then we invite you to read on and see what we have in store for this week's prompt.

Important FAQs about The Ink Well!

Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about The Ink Well.

What Is The Ink Well All About?

The Ink Well is a short story community. This means we only accept short fiction. (Fiction means stories that came from your imagination, not from real life.)

It also means:

  • No novels, chapter stories or multi-part stories
  • No poems
  • No introduction posts
  • No essays or other non-fiction
  • No memes

Just fictional short stories!

The Ink Well is all about creativity, quality, community, and engagement. As such, we ask the following:

  • Please take the time to get to know the community and read other writers' work. Everyone who posts in The Ink Well is expected to read and comment on at least two other stories for each piece you post.
  • See our catalog of fiction writing tips and make use of our resources. (Many of our writers are developing awesome skills, and you can too!)
  • Put effort into your posts. Review and edit your content for errors before publishing.

What are the community rules?

You can find our community rules at the top of The Ink Well community (right side of the page).

Please read the rules before posting in The Ink Well, as we outline the "do's and don'ts." If you can't find them, you can read them here.

Our community rules are designed to make our community a safe, welcoming, plagiarism-free space for self-publishing original short stories. We do not allow stories depicting violence, brutality, or abuse of women, children or animals. If you have questions, please read this article explaining our stance on violence.

What does it take to get rewards in The Ink Well??

We refer you to the above description of what The Ink Well is about. If you are not getting great rewards, it is likely for one of the following reasons:

  • Your story has many grammatical errors. (This is easily fixed with the tips in our post, Help for the Grammatically Challenged.)
  • Your story lacks some important elements of good fiction, such as character development, dialog, scene details or a story arc. (See our catalog of fiction writing tips for information on these important aspects of short stories.)
  • Your story lacks originality or does not follow our community rules.

Weekly Challenge and Prize Announcement

As we announced in our February newsletter, we are now running a weekly challenge to generate some fun and excitement while also helping our members to work on the different skills involved in story telling.

Last week's challenge was to create an attention-grabbing 'hook' for your story.

You guys are amazing! There were some really good demonstrations of this skill. The first line, the 'hook', pulls the reader in. You want readers to be curious about what comes next. A great first line can have this effect. Because developing a great hook is so important, we'd like to include a few examples of stories in which this skill was clearly evident. This week, selection of winner and honorable mentions was strongly influenced by the power of the hook. (Examples below.) See what you think of these first lines as attention grabbers.

Selecting honorable mentions and the winner is never an easy choice. A significant factor that influences the decision is quality of engagement with others in the community.

Here are this week's honorable mentions. Pay attention to the 'hook' quoted for each author.

@philomenob with the story, The Rainmaker's Daughter

Today is the day they kill my father.

@zyzymena with the story, The Unexpected

“George! No! Don’t take me away from him! Don’t take me away from my husband! No! No!”

@restcity with the story, How to Break a Curse

What would you do if everything you touched turned to gold.

@ghost.queen with the story, If I'm to Die Today I Don't Want to Die Smelling

A black raven perched on the window croaking noisily, the five dogs in my yard started barking fiercely, in the same minute all the lights in the house turned off simultaneously.

@hdprinter with the story, The Last Warrior

The last thing he remembers was the smile on their face as he waved goodbye on the day of his departure.

And the winner of the create a strong hook challenge is... @diebitch with the story Rage Against the Machine. Not only did @diebitch have a really great first line, but she also had a very strong story. Here is her first line, her 'hook':

The nuclear blast rose like an ethereal cloud of smoke with its edges trimmed by fire and humanity became extinct.

Congratulations to @diebitch, who will receive 5 Hive as the winner.

Okay, let's review fiction entries from last week's prompt and launch a new one.

Stories From the Previous Week

Thank you to everyone who posted a story for last week's prompt, Fortune. Here are the authors who posted stories in response to the prompt.

@smilejerry
@hopestylist
@matyr
@iyimoga
@merit.ahama
@abigail04
@theawesononso
@gracielaacevedo
@popurri
@daniella619
@smokyice
@nasfyneboy92
@kei2
@diikaan
@kingkenny44
@hazmat
@buezor
@assegai
@thequizshow
@katleya
@anonymouse02
@philomenob
@repayme4568
@yhuddee111
@lordtimoty
@dwixer
@nurudeen081
@zyzymena
@gi-de-on
@ghost.queen
@hdprinter
@isabelpena
@cool08
@fantom22
@restcity
@zeraton
@raymondpeter
@young-boss-karin
@meitanteikudo
@ddn688
@itsostylish
@merrymay22
@lightpen
@artworkers
@luckydrums
@davidbright
@lenaspiritual
@diebitch

Thank you, everyone who posted a story!

This Week’s Prompt

The inkwell is fortunate to have many members who are eager to write. However, the curation team does not have infinite resources. In order to be fair to all writers, we have decided to ask our members to publish one, only one story per week. If members choose to publish more than that, they may. However, only one story will be curated.

It would be wise to use talent on the best story you can write so you can receive the optimal curation. Remember, Quality over Quantity. Moving forward the Ink Well Team believes this will provide a better experience for writers and curators.

At last, the prompt of the week!
This week's prompt is Worry. The skill challenge this week is essential for developing a well-structured story. We are going to look at the subject of character types. The character type we will focus on is the antagonist. Simply put, an antagonist is someone who presents a serious challenge to the main character (protagonist). Read on to learn more about the role of an antagonist. You may also refer to @jayna's essay on developing character types (in the Inkwell's catalog of Fiction Writing Tips.)

What should you do with the prompt, worry? And how do you handle the skill challenge? Here are some additional details:

Worry: We all have worried. The ability to worry seems to be both essential and necessary to human beings. Worrying is a way of heightening awareness. However, this word may have meanings other than to be concerned. For example, there are worry beads, which some people use to help them relax, or pass the time. Or, we may 'worry' a piece of fabric and wear it down. A dog may worry a bone. Worry may be noun, a verb or an adjective. Use your imagination. Come up with something surprising.

Character type: antagonist. This sounds complicated, but it's not. We all know that the lead character in a story is the protagonist. Opposing the protagonist, prompting action from the protagonist, is the role of the antagonist. For example, a young woman may have a boss at work who is acting inappropriately. He is her antagonist and will prompt her to take some action. Or, perhaps there is a woman in the neighborhood who keeps picking apples from the protagonist's tree. This will prompt the protagonist to take action. A good story with conflict (every story needs conflict) benefits from a worthy antagonist.

Details about character types, and antagonists in particular, may be found in @jayna's excellent essay on the topic, Character Types in Fiction.

The examples below of antagonists may be familiar to you from popular movies, or stories.

  • In Star Wars, Darth Vader is the main antagonist.
  • In Ghostbusters, Gozer (the demonic entity), may be the main antagonist.
  • *In Breaking Bad, Gustavo Fring may be the main antagonist.

Think about your own story. Think of the protagonist, and then carefully choose your antagonist and the main character's reaction to that antagonist.

If you read @jayna's article, you will get a clearer idea about how to create your antagonist. Mastering this concept will help you to become a better story writer.

A week from now, we will select a winning story that has a clear antagonist. Of course we will also be looking for overall quality in the winning story. Good luck!

Note: As always, please avoid violent, gory, bloody, brutal, sexist or racist themes and language, erotica and other NSFW (not safe for work) content, and stories featuring abuse of women, children or animals. (We have a complete article about The Ink Well stance on violence and brutality for more information.)

If you don't feel inspired by this prompt or the featured image, feel free to peruse any of our past prompts or our collection of idea-generators:

Weekly Prompt Rules:

  1. Deadline: You have a week to write for the prompt, until the next one is posted. (Note: You can write for any of the prompts anytime. This is just a guideline to be included in the weekly round-up in the next prompt post.)
  2. Story link: Post your story in The Ink Well community, and post a link to your story in a comment on this post.
  3. Hashtags: Please use these hashtags: #fiction #writing #inkwellprompt #theinkwell and #dreemport, if you are also posting your story to the DreemPort site.
  4. COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Visit the work of at least two other community members and comment on their work.
  5. Title: The title is up to you. You can come up with any title you wish. You do not need to name it after the prompt or include the prompt word.
  6. Images: Please only use images from license free and creative commons sites, like Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels. Images you find on the Internet are copyright protected and cannot be used. Be sure to provide the source link.
  7. Length: We request that story word counts are a maximum of 1,500 words maximum length (preferably 750-1000 words). This is just a guideline. Longer stories are okay too, but they tend to get fewer readers. Additionally, The Ink Well admins appreciate keeping to that maximum story length for our time management. Thank you!

Reminder: Be sure to also read our community rules. The reason for the repeat reminder is that we see many stories describing brutality of women, children, or animals, or that have excessive gore or violence, and we must mute them. Please do not post these stories in The Ink Well. We want our community to be a safe and comfortable place for all readers.

Here are the past prompts if you would like to use them or refer back to them:

@jayna, @agmoore, @gracielaacevedo, @wrestlingdesires and @yaziris

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We would like to invite lovers of creative writing to visit The Ink Well, a Hive community started by @raj808 and @stormlight24 and run by @jayna, @agmoore, @gracielaacevedo, @wrestlingdesires and @yaziris.

We also invite you to follow The Ink Well curation trail on the Hive blockchain, at https://hive.vote/. Simply navigate to the curation trail section and search for theinkwell (all one word with no @ symbol) and our trail will pop up as an option.

Similarly delegations are possible on Hive using the fantastic https://peakd.com/ Hive Blockchain front end. If you wish to delegate to @theinkwell, you can do this from the wallet section of https://peakd.com/

A big thank you to all of our delegators:
@zeurich, @jayna, @felt.buzz, @marcybetancourt, @marlyncabrera, @stormcharmer, @generikat, @agmoore, @iamraincrystal, @preparedwombat, @gracielaacevedo, @chocolatescorpi, @kirlos, @semarekha, @adncabrera, @josemalavem, @morey-lezama, @sayury, @evagavilan2, @deraaa, and @rayt2.

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