magistrate: The arc of the Earth in dark space. (Default)
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Shared Worlds prompt call!

This prompt call is:

Prompting closed at: 11:59 PM PST, Monday, June 23, 2014

Thank you everyone for coming by! I will continue to write prompt responses until every prompter has received at least one response, and will hopefully complete a response for every prompt. However, prompting is now closed.

Sponsoring is:

Sponsoring remained open until: 11:59 PM PST, Friday, July 4, 2014

Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Wait. What is this? Briefly, please.

Leave me prompts, and I'll write you snippets of fiction. Donate $10, and get 500-word flash fiction or complete scenes on a prompt response of your choice. These funded scenes will become part of the Shared Worlds canon.

Who are you, anyway? Why should we care what you're writing?

I'm an author and editor of short fiction, with a number of professional publications, including appearances in various "Year's Best" compilations. You can read almost all of my short fiction for free online, and decide whether or not what I'm doing works for you.

So tell me about prompting. How does that work?

You leave me a prompt. I'll try to write a snippet of fiction for you. These will just be me jotting down bits of the story as they occur to me, which is how I approach writing generally; what you get will probably be a bunch of illustrative lines without any real connecting bits. A taste of what I'd be doing with the story. (Check the link for an example of how that formatting looks.)

I will try to get to every prompt – or at least one prompt from every prompter – but cannot guarantee that I will.

Prompts can be whatever you feel like. "A girl-in-tower-guarded-by-dragon story from the dragon's perspective" could be an example, as could "something riffing off Sappho's You May Forget", or even just "a F/F/M poly triad fights crime". There's a Bingo card below with some prompts – this time, I generated the card using the "worldbuilding" and "end of the world" lists that [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith worked up – but those are just jumping-off points, and should not be considered restrictive. Feel free to suggest anything.

(I reserve the right to refuse any prompts, though only expect to exercise this right if I've got too many prompts on my plate, or if I find prompts offensive. Additionally, you can't prompt for stuff in universes I've already written, unless they were written in this prompt call or are otherwise part of the Shared Worlds canon.)

Okay, and what do I get if I pay you? And why $10?

If you donate $10 (USD) toward a prompt response I've already written (whether or not you were the one to prompt for it), you will get a minimum of 500 words (of new writing) of non-patchy fiction expanding on the response or continuing to flesh out its potential story. Could be a 5x drabble or flashfic, could be a complete scene in a potential short story. You may get more than 500 words – you may get substantially more, depending on how the mood strikes me and how engaged I am with the universe of the prompt response. But 500 words is the guaranteed minimum.

$10 for 500 words works out to 2¢/word. This is lower than I usually aim my fiction, but I'm hoping that it'll be an accessible price point for people, which in turn would help build up a canon of works in the Shared World universes.

For this prompt call, I'll release these flashfics/scenes into the Shared Worlds canon, which allows authors to write and sell derivative, transformative works (including fanfiction) based on the stories, so long as they release them under a similarly permissive license. My eventual hope is to create a body of works which can offer people the community benefits of a fandom while still nurturing and encouraging a culture of rewarding creative folk for their work.

Gamma Ray Burst Dominant species Magic
Local cuisine Overpopulation Extreme weather
Honors & insults Sex / gender dynamics Divine intervention


Date: 2014-06-21 09:51 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Dominant species: two species share a planet, one dominant on land, the other in the water or air. How do they conflict or cooperate?

Gamma ray burst: These are very brief events, so imagine what would happen if a nearby planet received heavy damage on the facing side but the other side was sheltered.

Magic: What would it be like if the same techniques which develop enlightenment and compassion also nurtured magical ability?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Wow! This is a wonderful portrayal of dysphoria
(and possibly sensory processing disorder too). I
also like the contrast between Leoh and Alam, because
people are good at different things.

Thanks for sharing this.

Re: Lessons of Flesh and Water

Date: 2014-06-30 09:20 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
>> I've expanded this prompt into a 2000-ish word piece, Lessons of Flesh and Water, which has been released into the Shared
Worlds canon! <<

Yay! This is beautiful. I love the way it turned out, now that it's fully developed. I have linked.

>> Thank you again for prompting and funding this! Here's hoping that the setting and characters will seed many stories to come. <<

You're welcome, and thanks for creating both the story and the Shared Worlds project. I've encouraged other people to get involved; maybe some of them will give it a try.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I like seeing these little glimpses of what was
lost and what was saved, from the world gone before.

Thank you!
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Wonderful glimpses, full of possibilities!

Thanks for posting this.

Re: Gamma ray burst: the lee side, a generation on

Date: 2014-06-23 03:00 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] thnidu
thnidu: blank white robot/avatar sitting on big red question mark. via Google Images (question mark)
(Here via Ysabet.) Interesting, sad... But I don't understand the
lines and the
middle of a sentence.

• live spots covering her face and hands
→ liver spots
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Fascinating! I also write in a nonlinear fashion, using snippets of description or dialog as a quasi-outline. But I haven't seen anyone else posting samples like that, so it's hard to tell how rare or common this is. Thanks for sharing.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I figured it was supposed to be "liver spots" but "live spots" would be fascinating. Maybe they're like freckles that creep across the skin, a relic of the gamma ray burst?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Hey, I like creepy things and I like weirdness
inspired by typos. You've seen some of what *I* write!

Re: Gamma ray burst: the lee side, a generation on

Date: 2014-06-23 07:29 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] thnidu
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)

Yeah. But that was my reaction. I didn't mean it should be yours, too. I like to think of myself as being open-minded that way.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
>> This time, when Eneja came to the cove, the big Deeper male he called Blackside appeared with a cord of kelp wound around his chest and neck, in which small forms writhed. Eneja was already reaching for his knife, ready to offer to unentangle him, when he recognized the little shapes: he'd seen them drawn in the Marebestium. Deeper young. <<

Awww! Water babies, so cute!

>> placed on webbed hand on the trade wheel. He turned the circle of interest toward assent, and then the circle of questions to
amount. <<

This is an awesome piece of xenolinguistics and I love it. Thanks everso for sharing!
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)

No "universal translator", no centuries of trade history. I /love/ it. i love the increased risk, increased 'alien' percpetions. Much more powerful than anything in Trek.

Thanks for posting this.
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio (Dr. Whomster)
(Following [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's pointer)

My word! Yes, the low-level contact pidgin rings true, and the setting and the bargaining are intriguing.

Mmmm. And I would guess that the Deepers have a fairly good idea, from trading and otherwise interacting with landfolk, of how "large" a boat Eneja means.

Prompt idea

Date: 2014-06-22 01:53 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
How does extreme weather affect the cuisine (where the character lives)?
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Wow... I mean... WOW.

And there's so much potential for expansion here, so much hinted at but not /said/.

Thank you, thank you for posting this!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Last line nails it.

I love the intense terroir of this entry. It's a setting that would be worth exploring further. I really like caves.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
I've commented on this earlier, but it is 105F here, and I just /wanted/ to imagine the bitter, biting cold, to see if it would help me feel less like a melted puddle of human.


But it's still an awesome story!

Date: 2014-06-22 02:56 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] sholio
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Local cuisine: The dragon doesn't know what prince(ss)es eat. But it's trying very hard to be a good host!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Wow! This is terrific.

I really like stories with a language barrier. It annoys me when authors handwave that in situations where it should clearly prevail. But I also like ones such as this where the barrier is placed by choice and used well.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
Awww, I love this! Really neat details of biology and Nhasa's POV.

Date: 2014-06-22 09:06 pm (UTC)From: (Anonymous)
Here's my prompt:

One of my favorite things in stories is the discovery of ancient stuff: ancient ruins, ancient texts, ancient remains, ancient doodads. Old wrecks. Identifiable or complete mystery.


Re: Wind Crossing the Brown Land

Date: 2014-06-25 12:42 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Fascinating. I like the airid future and the stubborn prairie plants.

Date: 2014-06-22 09:31 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] rootsofthestories
rootsofthestories: A woman wandering into the forest (Default)
I'll tell you a story of when time had no meaning, when legend and history walked hand in hand.

Blood makes noise.

Cast your shadow down.

Do what you like with these. Use one, use all, put them together! I'm good with whatever.

Ooo ...

Date: 2014-06-23 07:01 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I love that first one!

Once I saw a list with hundreds of entries about all the ways that stories begin:

"Once upon a time ..."
"Back in the slavery days ..."
"Long ago, when animals still could talk ..."

Today we have "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ..."

And I'm just enchanted by these things, because there's something about them that is all the same, how they delineate a shift between story-time and current-time; yet the details vary in ways that tell you about the culture.

In Torn World I decided that a common example would be, "Long ago, before the world was broken ..."
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is an awesome world and I want to swim in its awesomeness.
rootsofthestories: A woman wandering into the forest (Default)
I want to be able to throw things at you on a regular basis. Getting things like this, it makes me want to see more and more stuff from you because I could really fall in love with it.

Date: 2014-06-22 10:39 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] thelinesoflearning
thelinesoflearning: (Default)
Something combining magic + local cuisine for food-based or food-affecting magic?

Honors & insults: Differing reactions to being called the same name/term, depending on who uses it.

Divine intervention: You want me to do what to fulfill my destiny?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Ooo, I like this! Destiny is a fascinating thing, especially when it is somewhat malleable.


magistrate: The arc of the Earth in dark space. (Default)

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