Shapeshifting 13 #87 Kickoff

January 4, 2017

Hello, Ghoul Friends!

So, I have a question:

How much is too much?

I have been pondering different ideas for what was originally supposed to have been different stories, but, as of late, I’ve been thinking about piecing these ideas together. They work well, and I think it could make for a much more in depth, cohesive, and interesting story, but it sort of takes away from my original plan which is what I was so excited about in the first place. However, when it comes to piecing together ideas, how much is too much? I haven’t even really started working on it yet, just thinking about it. A lot. But I can’t help but wonder if the ideas being pushed together don’t really add up to a grand story like I’ve been picturing. How much detail is too much, even if it all works together? How much story is too much? How much is too overwhelming? None of this can really be answered until the piece is fully written–or even started, in this case–but the questions are bubbling. For some reason, I’m worrying about whether I should stick with the original plan for the original story because I like the way it will be told, or if I should really mash these ideas together into one story. What do you do when you find this happening? Have you ever had ideas for different stories and found that they work really well together? Have you considered sacrificing a concept just to tell a “good” story? 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 tony@grammarghoulpress.com.Check out past celebrations here. Our latest ghoulish celebration was hosted our head Ghoul, Suzanne, and you can read her interview of me 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.

As we enter the new year, we’re snuggling into our annual January challenge-series that is sure to delight and challenge you:

Ghouls in the Cabin

In this series, we will provide you with a three-piece prompt: a creature, a location, and an item. The word limit will remain the same, but you’ll need to at least reference all three parts of the prompt in your piece. See? I told you it was a challenge! You may explicitly use the three prompts in your piece, or only reference them–and your reference can be as literal as you want it to be. (EX: Does your story have to take place in the specified location? No, but the location should be at least referenced.) I’m interested to see what you come up with!

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

CREATURE LOCATION ITEM
squid kitchen shampoo

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.
  •    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 #87 badge from the right side of the page, and insert it into your post. Remember, you have until Monday @ 8pm Eastern Time to submit something. Have fun!

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


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  • jen January 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

    The book that I’m working on, I started during NaNoWriMo last year. And I realized like half way through that the characters and some of the concepts I totally took from other short stories I had written, and they worked for this one concept. It was kind of cool to see it come together like that, I didn’t even mean to it just kind of came out.

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