Shapeshifting 13 #102 Kickoff

April 19, 2017

Well, hello there, Ghoul Friends!

Holler if you’ve done this: You’re sitting there reading a book or short story, and you think,

“I really hate this character!”

I’ve been there, for sure, but to think of specifics is really challenging to me presently. However, there’s one character that I’ve never really thought about despising. That is, until now.

I recently stumbled across an article from The Daily Dot that discusses why so many people hate Grandpa Joe from Roald Dahl’s beloved Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and, I must admit, it’s pretty convincing. Sure, I read the book when I was younger, and, yes, when I read the book and saw the movie, I wondered why Grandpa Joe was so energetic upon Charlie announcing he’d obtained the final golden ticket when he was just bedridden, but it never occurred to me that this character was so dubious. Think about it: Grandpa Joe announces that “we’ve got a golden ticket,” when Charlie is the one who found it; Grandpa Joe often laughs at the misfortunes of the other kids, although they deserved their fates; Grandpa Joe encourages Charlie to disrespect and disobey Wonka’s rules throughout the tour, knowing it could result in a fate similar to Veruca Salt or Augustus Gloop, and more. I mean, the details are pretty damning and pretty damn convincing. After reading this, I’m going to re-read the book and see if my opinion of Grandpa Joe is changed. I think, though, that this is the wonderfulness that is literature: Characters can often feel like our best friends, our neighbors, and our lovers, and we find ourselves completely engrossed in these characters. To have such deep emotions about a fictional character is, in my opinion, what makes writing and reading so amazing! I think we all desire to write characters that evoke such deep emotions. This brings us to our discussion today: What are your thoughts on Grandpa Joe? Have you ever hated a character in a story so much that you wanted to see that person’s demise detailed explicitly? Do you find it challenging to write a character like this–one that is so despicable that you just want to kill them off? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and let’s start a conversation!

Before we get to this week’s prompt, here are a few important reminders:

  • Submissions for our Mutant 750 close tomorrow (Thursday) at 8pm ET. You’ll have until Saturday at Noon ET to cast your votes for your three favorites.
  • Don’t forget to keep in touch: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our mailing list.
  • The Shapeshifting 13 goes live every Wednesday at Noon ET. The grid will stay open until Sunday at 8:00 p.m., after which voting will open. Voting ends on Monday at 8:00 p.m., so you get about 24 hours to read and vote for your favorites pieces. Winners will be announced in a separate post on Tuesday at Noon ET. Further details can be found here.

Our challenge series of April is:

Ghouls on Rainbows

In this challenge series, we will present you with a word that works as both a color and a verb, noun, adjective, etc., as your word prompt. You must use the word and it’s provided definition as specified.

Last week for THE SHAPESHIFTING 13 challenge, you were tasked with creating a story or poem in just 39 words. This week, your challenge is to write a story or poem in exactly 52 words inspired by/using the following word:


–  a song often of lamentation characterized by usually 12-bar phrases, 3-line stanzas in which the words of the second line usually repeat those of the first, and continual occurrence of blue notes in melody and harmony

The Rules

  •    Challenge submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  •    Submissions must be exactly the number of words specified; no more, no less.
  •    Submissions must use the prompt(s) as directed, but it can be in any tense.
  •    Submissions should be written in response to the challenge, so they shouldn’t pre-date the kickoff post.
  •    One submission per person.
  •    Make sure to give proper credit to the artist if you include the image in your post.
  •    Please put lengthy explanations at the end of your post, not at the beginning.
  •    Don’t forget to add the code for the challenge badge to your post.
  •    When voting, you are on the honor to not vote for your own piece.

Now, while you’re getting ready to post those wonderful words, don’t forget to grab the Shapeshifting 13 #102 badge from the right side of the page, and insert it into your post. Remember, you have until Sunday @ 8pm Eastern Time to submit something. Have fun!

Until next time, au revoir, and SHARE THE GEEKDOM!

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