I swear I can see it. It’s just out of reach. Just beyond that glass wall there. That perfect word, the perfect phrase, the perfect story. I just can’t. Quite. Reach.
Sometimes I need to let a story sit at the back of my head for a while. If I chase it too hard I just hit the wall, over and over. It takes time and patience to tease it out. It’s almost harder with microstories than with longer pieces, because every word is so important. I have to be more ruthless; I have to kill my darlings. It feels like two steps forward, one step back, but the eventual result is a cathartic shattering of the wall.
How about you? Let’s see what’s on the other side of your mental walls.
Answer the ultimate question in exactly 42 words: what’s on the other side?
This week’s question requires only two things for a good answer: a physical or metaphorical object or obstacle, and a goal, destination or purpose. Remember, if you’re turning over a page, rock, or new leaf, we have to know what’s on the visible side as well as the hidden side. Please note that the verb tense of the answer should match the verb tense of the question. We aren’t looking for a historical or speculative perspective; we want to know what is actually there.
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; mistakes stick out.
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.
The top 42 entries will be open for voting on Thursday
You may enter only one gargleblaster microstory. This summer, all our grids are unmoderated, which means up to 42 submissions meeting the basic guidelines will be open to Thursday’s popular vote. Everybody: read, comment, vote!
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.
yeah write #219 micro weekly writing challenge is open for submissions
Basic microstory guidelines: 42 word count limit; must be an answer to the week’s ultimate question found in the introductory post; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; nonfiction, fiction, haiku, whatever, told in exactly 42 words.
How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:
- In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the micro badge and paste it into the HTML view of your entry
- Follow the Inlinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid
- Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message
- Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge
- Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog
This summer, all our grids are unmoderated which means submissions meeting the basic guidelines will be published Thursday on yeah write. Those entries will be open to a popular vote with the winner celebrated on Friday.
Thank you for sharing with us your hard work! Good luck in the challenge…