Lately I’ve been in the kind of mood that makes me want to hunker down in my own little corner of the galaxy, ignore the rest of the star system and stick to my familiar routines. I came across an article today, though, that is making me think about those routines. About the difference between being in the groove and being stuck in a rut. Don’t get me wrong – I love my gargleblasters. I love writing them, I love what I’ve been doing. I feel like I’m in a groove. But here’s the thing: are they really microstories?
According to this article, a true microstory should contain all of the elements of a full-length story: character(s), setting, conflict. A beginning, a middle and an end. Of course, we take all sorts of micro pieces here: poems and vignettes as well as true microstories.
I’d like to challenge you – like I’m challenging myself – to take a hard look at your stories this week. If you like what you see, then great! But take a minute to think about your piece. Classify it. Determine what makes it work. Read the other stories on the grid. Classify them. Determine what makes them work. Just because microstories are short and quick doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be giving them the attention we give our longer works.
Answer the ultimate question in exactly 42 words: whose house is this?
This week’s question requires only two things for a good answer: a house (actual or metaphorical) and an owner. Please note that the verb tense of the answer should match the verb tense of the question. We aren’t looking for whose house this was, once upon a time. Whose house is it right now? A few other reminders:
PROOFREAD. Nothing is easier, and nothing will get you bumped from the voting grid faster than typos, spelling or punctuation mistakes, or grammatical errors. You’ve only got 42 words; use them properly.
Keep in mind that your post has to make sense if your reader doesn’t know the question. Don’t use the question as your title or anywhere else in your piece. And remember, any words surrounding your gargleblaster — explanations, references, footnotes, shout-outs, etc. — will be counted against your 42-word limit. Need a second set of eyes? Find yourself a writing partner over in the yeah write coffeehouse. Want a complete list of submission guidelines? We’ve got those for you too.
The top 42 entries will be open for voting on Thursday
You may enter only one gargleblaster microstory. Submissions are moderated. All entries will show up on our submissions grid, and up to 42 entries will be moved to the voting grid, which opens on Thursday. Everybody: read, comment, vote! If you don’t make the voting grid, don’t despair – you’ll get a detailed love letter from our wonderful submissions editor, Rowan G., letting you know what needed improvement. Email us or head over to our pages on Facebook and Twitter with any questions.
Winners will be announced on Friday
Look for Friday’s combined winners’ post to see the crowd favorites and editors’ picks from across all of our challenge grids.
What else is happening around here?
We’ve got the nonfiction grid opening on Mondays, the speakeasy for fiction and poetry on Tuesdays, the gargleblaster micro challenge on Wednesdays, and the come-one, come-all moonshine grid for the weekends. We’ve also got a great hangout space over at the coffeehouse. Make sure you subscribe to our weekly e-mail blast so you don’t miss out.