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Hello and welcome to the The Ink Well weekly fiction prompt and prize announcement! The Ink Well is a Hive blockchain-based social media community of creative writers. If you love to write short stories, we invite you to join us. Or peruse the work of our community members.
Note: We always launch our prompt posts with important information. So be sure to check it out first! Then we invite you to read on and see what we have in store for this week's prompt.
Important FAQs about The Ink Well!
Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about The Ink Well.
What Is The Ink Well All About?
The Ink Well is a short story community. This means we only accept short fiction. (Fiction means stories that came from your imagination, not from real life.)
It also means:
- No novels, chapter stories or multi-part stories
- No poems
- No introduction posts
- No essays or other non-fiction
- No memes
Just fictional short stories!
The Ink Well is all about creativity, quality, community, and engagement. As such, we ask the following:
- Please take the time to get to know the community and read other writers' work. Everyone who posts in The Ink Well is expected to read and comment on at least two other stories for each piece you post.
- See our catalog of fiction writing tips and make use of our resources. (Many of our writers are developing awesome skills, and you can too!)
- Put effort into your posts. Review and edit your content for errors before publishing.
What are the community rules?
You can find our community rules at the top of The Ink Well community (right side of the page).
Please read the rules before posting in The Ink Well, as we outline the "do's and don'ts." If you can't find them, you can read them here.
Our community rules are designed to make our community a safe, welcoming, plagiarism-free space for self-publishing original short stories. We do not allow stories depicting violence, brutality, or abuse of women, children or animals. If you have questions, please read this article explaining our stance on violence.
What does it take to get rewards in The Ink Well??
We refer you to the above description of what The Ink Well is about. If you are not getting great rewards, it is likely for one of the following reasons:
- Your story has many grammatical errors. (This is easily fixed with the tips in our post, Help for the Grammatically Challenged.)
- Your story lacks some important elements of good fiction, such as character development, dialog, scene details or a story arc. (See our catalog of fiction writing tips for information on these important aspects of short stories.)
- Your story lacks originality or does not follow our community rules.
- Among the factors we look at is quality of engagement with others in the community
- Please make sure your story is clearly inspired by the prompt.
- Remember to link your story to the prompt post.
Weekly Challenge and Prize Announcement
Time for the prize announcement and new challenge!
Last week's prompt was sinkhole and the skill target was to add action to your story. This community really came through with many amazing stories!
Writers came up with some very original ideas in response to 'sinkhole'. Our selections of this week's winners and honorable mentions reflect how well writers dealt with this prompt and skill challenge.
Update! We are excited to share that in addition to our first place winner, we are awarding a second and third place, in addition to a few honorable mentions. For second and third place we are awarding Hive Basic Income (HBI). The third place winner receives 2 HBI and the second place winner receives 3 HBI.
Here are this week's honorable mentions, all of them written in response to the prompt and skill challenge.
One thing she forgot was that Amelia Evans was a tough nut to crack and got that trait from her. At exactly eleven at night, I snuck out of my room using the tree by the window side. I climbed the nearest branch, holding tight until I swung my legs across and eventually jumped down from the tree. Running across the yard with my friends, we decided to walk through the bush path instead of the sidewalks to avoid being easily noticed. We could hear the sounds of scrunched leaves under our feet as we made our way through the path.
Unknown to the presenter and his guest, the programme was being monitored by agents of the government. Before rounding up the programme, the station was surrounded by gun weilding security personnel.
They arrested John immediately and whisked him away. Few minutes later, the presenter was summoned by the State security services.
Patting the wrinkling hands that almost matched hers, Margret’s mother only nodded her furrowed face to the sadness out pour of her sister in-law. “Anthony told me the doctors couldn’t have done anything to save him in that very critical stage his aliment was. He pleaded with me as his last wishes, not to show an iota of sympathy towards him during his last days”, Anne explained.
They started rappelling down. Due to its age and being untouched, the soil in the sinkhole was hard enough not to crumble or erode. Nonetheless, the two were still cautious with their movement.
Over 100 feet below, they reached the end of their rope. This caused them to swing around in the air and disturb the wall of soil around them. Loose rocks and soil started to fall below.
Not one to miss any opportunities, he slid into a sinkhole and splashed dirty water on him. Joe was about to go down and pretentiously apologize when he thought "Naah, the rich don't go to the poor".
Third Place: Wins 2 HBI
Into the void disappeared the kiss. She could taste salt and beer in his mouth. That emptied into the darkness too, which also went ahead and swallowed the children. It dissolved the birds that scratched the gutters as they landed. It consumed the minutes of confusion she felt when he said he loved her and she was assessing what that meant. It gulped down the books she had read. She felt her sentences leave her one by one, each tugged from her until she bled, and then the sinkhole took her blood too.
Second Place: Wins 3 HBI
One night a terrible storm lashed the island in such a way that it seemed to rock a small piece of clay inside a large container of water. The waves pounded with great force and the wind swept away everything that was not firmly held to the surface. Between lightning and thunder, the roof of the fisherman's house practically blew off, but this ingenious man found a way to keep his family safe throughout the night. The hours went on forever until the storm finally dissipated. Already exhausted from the hard work, the early morning announced it was time to go fishing, but this man simply succumbed to fatigue and sleep as he lay back in his chair for a few seconds.
And the winner of the sinkhole/action challenge is...@gabmr with the story Gyl's First Book. Congratulations, @gabmr. You will receive 5 Hive!
As if they had detected my great fear, the fountain pens that until recently were floating randomly, began to chase me. I don't know if I ran like Bucephalus or like a chicken, but I tried not to let my weak body get any ribs on my butt
Okay, let's review fiction entries from last week's prompt and launch a new one.
Stories From the Previous Week
Thank you to everyone who posted a story for last week's prompt!
This Week’s Prompt
The Ink Well is fortunate to have many members who are eager to write. However, the curation team does not have infinite resources. In order to be fair to all writers, we have decided to ask our members to publish only one story per week. If members choose to publish more than that, they may. However, only one story will be curated.
It would be wise to use talent on the best story you can write so you can receive the optimal curation. Remember, Quality over Quantity. Moving forward the Ink Well Team believes this will provide a better experience for writers and curators.
At last, the prompt of the week!
This week's prompt is exhaust. Exhaust can represent an emission, as shown in the feature picture on this post. It can also represent a person's emotional or physical state. Or, it can signify that something is depleted, used up. What will the prompt word represent in your story? The word will help you to demonstrate a general principle of fiction writing: show don't tell. Inkwell Administrator @jayna discusses this well-acknowledged principle in her essay, Is Show, Don't Tell a Writing Rule?
An excerpt from that essay:
Writing is so much more powerful when it’s rich and descriptive. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What do I mean by that? Well, if I tell you a child is “lovely,” it’s just a word. What does that really mean? Does she have golden curls? A dimple on each cheek? Does she look up at you with eyes that sparkle like the sea on a bright day?
To show means to provide those details that help us to see Emily for ourselves, and to believe that she is, in fact, a lovely child. We don’t just have to take it on faith because the author of the story said so.
Read @jayna's essay in its entirety to get a better idea of the show, don't tell principle.
Here are a few examples ways you can use the prompt in your stories, and use the principle, show, don't tell. Of course, we hope you will be entirely original and surprise us.
Belinda's cheeks were beet red as she struggled to balance the chair on her back. She had been carting furniture all day and was exhausted.
Jonathan Smythe's brow furrowed as he studied the figures in his bank book. He sighed deeply. Would a trip to the Caribbean exhaust the family's savings?
A dark cloud hung over the village of St. Olaf. There was no rain in the forecast, just the interminable exhaust spewing from the tire factory's smokestack.
A week from now, we will select a winning story that demonstrates this skill and utilizes the prompt. Of course we will also be looking for overall quality in the winning story. Good luck!
Note: As always, please avoid violent, gory, bloody, brutal, sexist or racist themes and language, erotica and other NSFW (not safe for work) content, and stories featuring abuse of women, children or animals. (We have a complete article about The Ink Well stance on violence and brutality for more information.)
If you don't feel inspired by this prompt or the featured image, feel free to peruse any of our past prompts or our collection of idea-generators:
Weekly Prompt Rules:
- Deadline: You have a week to write for the prompt, until the next one is posted. (Note: You can write for any of the prompts anytime. This is just a guideline to be included in the weekly round-up in the next prompt post.)
- Story link: Post your story in The Ink Well community, and post a link to your story in a comment on this post.
- Hashtags: Please use these hashtags: #fiction #writing #inkwellprompt #theinkwell and #dreemport, if you are also posting your story to the DreemPort site.
- COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Visit the work of at least two other community members and comment on their work.
- Title: The title is up to you. You can come up with any title you wish. You do not need to name it after the prompt or include the prompt word.
- Images: Please only use images from license free and creative commons sites, like Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels. Images you find on the Internet are copyright protected and cannot be used. Be sure to provide the source link.
- Length: We request that story word counts are a maximum of 1,500 words maximum length (preferably 750-1000 words). This is just a guideline. Longer stories are okay too, but they tend to get fewer readers. Additionally, The Ink Well admins appreciate keeping to that maximum story length for our time management. Thank you!
Reminder: Be sure to also read our community rules. The reason for the repeat reminder is that we see many stories describing brutality of women, children, or animals, or that have excessive gore or violence, and we must mute them. Please do not post these stories in The Ink Well. We want our community to be a safe and comfortable place for all readers.
Here are the past prompts if you would like to use them or refer back to them:
- #1: Heart and Soul
- #2: The moment when...
- #3: Beauty with a twist
- #4: The Way Home
- #5: A Matter of Time
- #6 50 Story Ideas
- #7 The Library
- #8 All the way to tomorrow
- #9 Legend
- #10 Three Words
- #11 World Building
- #12 Childhood Summers
- #13 50 Imagination Ticklers
- #14 Railroad
- #15 Cats - 750 words
- #16 Your Birthday
- #17 Action, Dialog and Narrative
- #18 Change
- #19 Tea Time or Tee Time?
- #20 Summer Camp
- #21 Main Street
- #22 Fireworks
- #23 Picnic
- #24 Run
- #25 A word of advice
- #26 Winding road
- #27 Mirror
- #28 Shipwreck
- #29 School Notes
- #30 Three Words: Scooter, River, Midnight
- #31 Flash Fiction Contest
- #32 A Fork in the Road
- #33 Shadows
- #34 Three Words: Island, Witch, Cake
- #35 Full Moon
- #36 Graveyard
- #37 Jack-o-Lantern
- #38 Family Ties
- #39 Longing
- #40 Feast
- #41 Gift
- #42 Season of Light
- #43 Believe
- #44 Elf
- #45 Holiday
- #46 New Year
- #47 Unlikely Hero
- #48 Inheritance
- #49 Under the Light of the Moon
- #50 Three Words: Shoes, Mood, Adventure
- #51 They're Here
- #52 Artist
- #53 Headlights
- #54 Tomorrow
- #55 Lense
- #56 Perfection
- #57 Making and Breaking Rules
- #58 A Reckoning
- #59 Blossom
- #60 Temptation
- #61 Happiness
- #62 Footprint
- #63 Frequency
- #64 Sailing
- #65 Fortune
- #66 Worry
- #67 Adventure
- #68 Shadow
- #69 Motor
- #70 Embarrass
- #71 Proud
- #72 Guide
- #73 Impression
- #74 Lost
- #75 Wonder
- #76 Tear
- #77 Splash
- #78 Brilliant
Thank you for being a part of The Ink Well!
- #79 Sinkhole
Interested in joining our community? Start by joining Hive!
You can follow our curation trail by going to our hive.vote curation trail page and clicking the follow button.
We welcome delegations! These support our community in many ways, including helping us to provide support to quality content creators through curation and contests.
@zeurich, @jayna, @felt.buzz, @marcybetancourt, @marlyncabrera, @stormcharmer, @generikat, @agmoore, @iamraincrystal, @preparedwombat, @gracielaacevedo, @chocolatescorpi, @kirlos, @josemalavem, @morey-lezama, @sayury, @evagavilan2, @deraaa and @popurri.