Mid-Month Short Story Challenge: An Update

I’ve been doing the Mid-Month Short Story Challenge since July of 2017. In that time, I’ve posted 16 prompts covering a decently wide range of genres, story styles, and other gimmicks to try to challenge both myself and others who were participating in the challenge to create unique stories. During that time, I’ve enjoyed developing my own writing skills based on prompts that were often created in collaboration with other people.

I put the Mid-Month Short Story Challenge on hiatus in December because I didn’t expect to have time to write a new short story around Christmas, nor did I expect anyone else to do so. That said, as I was creating my writing goals for 2019, I came to a realization. While the MMSSC has been a great way to build my own skills as a writer, it has not taken off in the same way I had hoped it would. Through 16 editions of the prompts, there have been a total of 4 stories other than mine written from those prompts. Total, that is, not per prompt. And while I do enjoy the challenge myself, I don’t feel the need to produce new MMSSC prompts if no one is writing for them aside from me. I already have a work in progress I procrastinate on a ton.

While I may bring back the MMSSC in the future, it likely won’t be soon. If you are interested in writing a short story based on one of the old prompts, that’s awesome! I’ve linked the prompts below, along with a very short description of each.

As for my favorite stories that I’ve written as part of this challenge, I’m quite partial to the weirdness that was Earth: A Study of Simulated Planet Behavior from prompt 11, as well as my first attempt at a true fantasy story with prompt 2’s response, In Training. The other notable thing that these prompts allowed me to do was to expand on abandoned projects I’d used for other things, such as The Isle Charon as well as Foxtails.

Thank you to everyone who has read the Mid-Month Short Story Challenge posts over the past year and a half or so. It’s been a lot of fun to do. I’ll make sure to give a heads up before restarting the project if I do reboot it in the future.

Mid-Month Short Story Challenge #16

Happy November! It’s one of the two best months of the year (at least in the USA), as you have fall weather, Thanksgiving, football and hockey season going strong, as well as summer and baseball mercifully ending. Of course, November isn’t perfect, as Black Friday is a thing1On one of my old blogs, I wrote a short story about how weird an alien civilization would find Black Friday to be. If I can find the post, I’ll put it up on this blog at some point in the future.. But hey, even a perfectly snowy day can have its moments of ugliness, right?

As an additional quick note, there will be no mid-month short story challenge prompt in December. This is because I’d like a month off from writing a prompt and a short story, particularly with how much I’ve been posting this month. Plus people are busy during the holidays and stuff2How dare all of you…. The next story prompt will be posted on January 15, 2019.

Your prompt is for this month below. Your story should be posted on December 1, 2018. Be sure to link back to this post so I can see your story and share.

  • Suggested number of words: Maximum 2500 words
  • Seven words to work into your story: Truculent, gabby, rambunctious, yellow, scared, fox, dye
  • Genre: No limitations
  • Rating/Content/Perspective Limitation: First person perspective
  • Topic: You are people watching at a public place. Tell a story where your main character begins making up a reality for those around him/her based on what he/she sees (how they look/what they’re doing/what they’re saying/etc). End your story with a paragraph or two where the people being watched by your main character shatter that reality in some way.

Mid-Month Short Story Challenge #15

This is Halloween. Or so the song goes. I don’t know, I didn’t write it. That said, we have entered my favorite part of the year — fall/autumn — and all the holidays that come along with it. While I have a personal fondness for Thanksgiving, I do enjoy Halloween. It’s the one secular holiday where you get to eat all the sweets you want and (nearly) no one judges you.

I didn’t get to go trick-or-treating as a kid until I was 13 years old. That said, the costumes and spooky stories around Halloween always fascinated me. In light of that, we’ll be going with a spooky prompt for this month’s challenge. The idea for this prompt was provided by frequent idea giver, Stephanie.

Your prompt is for this month below. Your story should be posted on October 31, 2018. Note the date in the previous sentence, as your post is due one day earlier this month to coincide with Halloween. Be sure to link back to this post so I can see your story and share.

  • Suggested number of words: Minimum 500 words, no maximum
  • Seven words to work into your story: Couture, amalgamation, spooky, twins, jury, centerpiece, control
  • Genre: The prompt feels like it works well for a young adult style, but you can deviate from that if you want.
  • Rating/Content/Perspective Limitation: No limitations
  • Topic: You are a ghost. You’re off to haunt someone. In your ghost world, ghosts get to choose what they wear on a haunt by haunt basis. Tell the story of why this matters, as well as how your ghost gets ready for this specific haunt.

Mid-Month Short Story Challenge #14

Welcome to September. It’s the perfect time to start kicking back with a cup of hot cocoa and watch as the leaves begin to turn. Or that’s what books want us to think. In reality, it’s the time of year — at least in Ohio — filled with absurdly hot weekdays followed by rainy, muggy weekends. I know you’re likely wondering how the weather knows to rain on the weekend. And I can’t answer that. It’s just science3It’s not actually science. That’s not how science works..

It’s been a couple of months since our MMSSC prompt hasn’t had a theme explicitly tied to it. And since there will be one that’s also very thematic next month4Spoiler alert., this month’s prompt will be a bit more straight forward.

Your prompt is for this month below. Your story should be posted on October 1, 2018. Be sure to link back to this post so I can see your story and share.

  • Suggested number of words: Minimum 500 words, no maximum
  • Seven words to work into your story: Sun, community, quest, happily, cave, diving, ring
  • Genre: No limitations
  • Rating/Content/Perspective Limitation: First person perspective is encouraged, though not required.
  • Topic: Write a story centering around change.

Mid Month Short Story Challenge #13

Welcome to August — objectively the worst month of the year for anyone who likes holidays, cold weather, or nighttime5In the northern hemisphere, at least.. August is always the month of the year that I like the least and that feels (to me) like the hardest to get through. I don’t like to do much of anything in August6I say this despite having a ton of posts written for this month., not to mention it always seems like the month where I’m the most creatively stagnant7Which is in no way convenient to the fact that this is the first month I have Patreon rewards going out..

I’ve been told that some of you out there feel the same way, so I figured, why not build off of last month’s music based theme? However, instead of you having to pick your own song and coming up with a post based off of that, I’ve given you three song options to choose from directly in this post. Two of the songs are peppy, upbeat, new songs, while the third is a song I was saving for last month’s prompt for myself…only to forget that I wanted to use it after the fact.

Your prompt is for this month below. Your story should be posted on September 1, 2018. Be sure to link back to this post so I can see your story and share.