Shapeshifting 13 #83 Kickoff

December 7, 2016

Oh, Ghoul Friends!

We have been under attack. It appears that someone has stepped through the Grammar Ghoul Portal and snagged a precious Grammar Ghoul Parcel!

Oh, Ghoul Friends, what can we do?!

Reports are still coming in, and we should have more information this Friday! So keep that cycloptic eye glued to our page and your email boxes!

Okay–deep breath!

I recently found something to kill my time besides writing. T-shirt designing! I know, it sounds absurd–who would purchase my t-shirts? I have no clue, but it’s really fun! In the process of coming up with designs, the few that I’ve done, my mind started wandering to characters in my stories. I would be lying if I were to say that I’ve never considered illustrated versions of some of my stories–if not full on illustrations like children’s books, then at least character images to write to/with or to be posted on the cover or on random pages for reference. Even if the images were just for me, I’ve considered what those images would look like. And this was an interesting conversation to have with myself. (It’s not like that’s a rare occurrence, either.) Sure, as writers, we often will describe the way our characters look–a dimple that sits a quarter of an inch to the left of a crooked smile, a wrinkle overlapping an eyelid, a hobbled walk due to a twisted knee. The descriptions often include other visuals, such as the streaks of red in an otherwise brown beard, the hint of decades-old dust on a wrinkled creme-colored blouse, etc. As writers, we have images of our characters in our minds that are constantly evolving, continually growing clearer and sharper with ever new word that is penned (or keyed, I suppose). And a large part of interpretation of stories, as readers, is to decipher the material and form our own images of the characters in our minds. That is truly one of the great joys of reading, at least for me! I always hate when I see a filmed version of a story I’m reading because the images of those characters are now forever changed to that one person–that one face–that played them. Illustrations of characters have a way of causing this issue, as well. So, while I think having images of characters is rather interesting, I feel like it somewhat takes away from the magic of the text. This brings us to our discussion today: What are your thoughts on illustrated versions of characters in your stories? Do you like it when you see a character in a book you love drawn or performed by an actor? Does it, for you, take away from the magic of the book? 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:

  • 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 Check out past celebrations here
  • 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 and using any form/definition of the following word(s):



  1. a:  means of support, maintenance, or subsistence :  livingb :  food, provisions; also :  nourishment

  2. a: the act of sustaining :  the state of being sustainedb :  a supplying or being supplied with the necessaries of life

  3. :  something that gives support, endurance, or strength

Retrieved from Merriam-Webster.


The General Shapeshifting 13 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 #83 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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