Shapeshifting 13 #59 Kickoff

June 22, 2016

Hey there, Ghoul Friends!

So, today, I’m listening to talk radio–more specifically, That American Life in podcast form. I love this show, but I love it because they have an overarching theme that they create based on all these stories that they collect and think they can weave together into one show, and many of the stories are insanely interesting. I mean, when I was still working, I would listen to this show often, and I cried and/or laughed so loudly that people would turn and stare at me, thinking:

Is he okay?!

I say this because I want to talk about storytelling–more specifically, weaving together details and plot lines to form a single story. Whether we’re writing a piece for a challenge here at Grammar Ghoul Press, or if we’re trying our hand at a long-form story, like the novels I’m forever thinking about and never attempting. There are often strands of stories swimming through our minds, and we strive to write them down, but we sometimes struggle with finding out how to connect these different ideas into one cohesive plot or finding which ideas will work best to tell an interesting (if only slightly) story. At the same time, though, we don’t want to lose those ideas–if we can’t weave them into a single story just yet, we don’t want to lose them. One thing that I’ve begun doing is jotting these ideas down in a spreadsheet to look at later, but I have never used any of the ones that I’ve jotted down. What does it all mean? If we’re unable to weave ideas together, should we give up on those ideas? It’s not a huge issue for many people who happen to write–new ideas are constantly popping up and some fade before they even fully form, which is natural considering how rapidly the synapses fire in our brains on a regular basis. But this has me wondering what you think and do: When ideas come and you fall in love with them but you can’t find a great way to use them just yet, what do you do? Do you go ahead and start writing something to see how it turns out, or do you hold on to the idea for later usage, thinking that you’ll have another idea that works well with it, or that you’ll be able to fully develop the idea and turn it into a full-fledged story? Let’s start a conversation!

Before we get to our new challenge series, here are a few important reminders:

  • On the last Friday of each month, we will celebrate a fellow writer here at Grammar Ghoul Press, in a segment we’re calling “Celebrating the Ghouls”! If you’re interested in being a part of this project, please email out past celebrations here. We have a new celebration going live this Friday!
  • We have a new challenge series going live next week!
  • Our Lair is currently taking a hiatus, as is our Mutant 750 challenge. Should either one open up, we’ll announce it here!
  • 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.

Last week for THE SHAPESHIFTING 13 challenge, you were tasked with creating a story or poem in just 26 words. This week, in exactly 39 words, your challenge is to write a story or poem inspired by the following image:


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 as directed.
  •    Submissions should be written in response to the challenge, so they shouldn’t pre-date the kickoff post.
  •    One submission per person.
  •    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 #59 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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  • Joe June 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Hey Tony! What’s the source of the image. So we know.

    • Tony Lovell June 22, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Whoops–forgot to mention that. The image was found months ago via Pintrest. When I was putting this challenge together and chose to use this image, I searched for it, and couldn’t find it anywhere. For now, there is no source to refer to, but if anyone comes across it and lets me know, I’ll share it with everyone.