Many of our Writing Essential editors have put out prompts or challenges dealing with learning the basics of writing. I think those basics are important but, at some time, you have to use all those basics and actually write something.
I would say I’m not one for the basics but most of you know I’m working on a basic writing book. I do, however, try to challenge you to do things you’ve never done before. For instance, did you notice the title of this post? My title always has something to do with the challenge without telling you exactly what. In this case, there’s a title talking to you. Hmm, what might that portend?
This week it’s anthropomorphism (often called personification) or using human characteristics with non-human entities. Most often found in fables, fairy tales, cartoons, and mythology, it is also a valuable tool in humor and romance writing.
I first issued this challenge in 2010 and had some fabulous responses. We have a lot of new members that might not have seen the original challenge so…
This Week’s Challenge:
Write something (prose or poetry) where a non-human is talking or thinking; either telling the story or is the main character. Make it a tree, an animal, a rock, or anything else you can come up with.
The first deep-space colony ship, carrying five hundred humans in sleep chambers, is thinking about where she is going. She is designed to last five thousand years and is having a problem dealing with these humans that have to sleep throughout the voyage. Maybe she’s irritated that she has to wake them every hundred years so they can eat and exercise and then make sure they go back to sleep.
A crab sees (smells or senses?) a chicken-back tossed into the water near his home. Maybe he has a back-and-forth discussion with himself or another crab about whether he should go grab hold of the obviously easy dinner. (In case you’ve never gone crabbing, tying a chicken back or neck to a line and tossing it into the water is one of the best ways to catch crabs.)
The North Wind and the East Wind are having an argument resulting in tornadoes across some unlikely place such as Maine. Your job is to tell us what the argument was.
A perfectly smooth, circular stone is waiting for one of the boys to pick her up to skip across the lake. Little does he (it) know that, once skipped, she’ll (it’ll) be lying on the bottom of the lake forever -- never to be skipped again!
There’s a party where something happens. Make it a murder, an argument, or something funny like one guy getting wrapped up in duct tape and being hung from the ceiling in his underwear. The only witness is an empty beer bottle lying on the floor and it is telling the story of what happened.
Watch Out For:
If you’re going to have a computer, robot, or android doing the thinking or talking, make sure that you follow logical thought. Hmm, you might use illogical thought and use that to explain how it happened.
If you’re going to have an inanimate object talking to a human, make sure you give it a mouth -- somehow.
A great selection of new worlds. The following writers spent the time to come up with new worlds and I’d think it would be nice if you’d take the time to see what they did with their responses.
In search of time for Saturday Writing Essentials by Sheila Deeth
Another world satwe by karen vaughan
SatWE Challenge: The Second Class Railroad by Patrick M.
A New World (Saturday Writing Essential) by Len Maxwell
A Brave New BW World (Saturday Writing Essential) by G.M. Jackson
Weekly reminder: Don't forget to recommend an article that you like (to learn why, read Ann Marcaida's article Attract More Writers and Artists to Gather!). Also, try to place a comment on at least one article and say more than you liked the piece. Tell the author what worked and what needs work.
- Put this challenge statement at the beginning or end of your submission so readers will know what you’re supposed to do.
Challenge: Write something (prose or poetry) where a non-human is talking or thinking; either telling the story or is the main character. Make it a tree, an animal, a rock, or anything else you can come up with.
- There is a limit of three submissions from each member per day. If you’re extremely prolific, spread out your work and post only three submissions per day.
- Post to Gather Writing Essential.
- Tag your submission with SatWE.
- Include (Saturday Writing Essential) as part of your title.
- I ask that you make your submission(s) by next Friday afternoon.