Forum posts made by magnificent1rascal

Topic Writing in a competition - thoughts, tips, lessons learned
Posted 16 Oct 2020 23:36

I’ve been giving this topic a good deal of consideration and will reply as soon as I have a chance to organize my thoughts. Thanks for posing some great questions!

Topic Cheers to 10 WORDS: A 10-word story challenge
Posted 15 Oct 2020 20:18

Cozy by a crackling fire, we’re oblivious to winter’s wrath.

Topic Cheers to 10 WORDS: A 10-word story challenge
Posted 14 Oct 2020 20:55

1. Write a nanofiction story of exactly 10 words.
2. Post it as a reply in this thread.
3. Earn a Challenge Champ badge!

The fine print:
• You may enter up to 10 times
• One badge per member (not per story)
• Each story must include one of the Cheers to 10 Years competition word selections:
- Celebration
- Achievement
- Stories
- Space
- Camaraderie
- Ten
- Friendly
- Free
- Cozy
- Supportive

Topic SS Milestone - 10 years - when did you join?
Posted 14 Oct 2020 13:52

Stories Space went live October 12th, 2010, so we are celebrating the first 10 years of this wonderful site!

Tell us about yourself -

When did you join Stories Space/how long have you been a member?

What was the first story and/or poem you published here? Please add links so we can find it!

When was it posted?

What is it about, category, length, etc?

Is the first piece you published your favourite, or is that something else? If it is a different one, again, please post a link.

When you look back at your first works, do you see changes in your writing style or subject matter in the intervening time?

Is there anything else you want to tell us about yourself and your writing?


I joined and submitted my first piece here on Oct. 12, 2010.

“The Pants on the Floor,” a humorous poem written about a year and a half earlier but previously shared only with friends, was one of two submissions posted that day (the other was a Dirty Martini poem).


With friends and family along with me sharing the link, Pants quickly became the most popular piece on the site, and it remains among the top five or so. It is still one of my personal favorites. Oh, and on the topic of milestones, the clotheshorse and I will celebrate our anniversary in a couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll get him a new shirt. laughing9

Topic Announcing our CHEERS TO 10 YEARS celebration!
Posted 14 Oct 2020 08:24

I've just posted a story for the full story category but it said 2581 words in the submission box (which is what I want) which then jumped to 2589 when I checked the submitted piece - a discrepancy of 8 words between submission box and submitted piece dontknow

That's going to make getting the numbers right a game of pure chance. Eek!

Anyway, what the heck, it's a Halloween tale and I hope you like it drunken

The submission screen and what’s displayed when a story is posted sometimes end up with a slight discrepancy because of the different algorithms. We’ll go by what the submission screen says.

I’m looking forward to your Halloween-themed entry!

Topic Announcing our CHEERS TO 10 YEARS celebration!
Posted 11 Oct 2020 22:01

The three related Cheers to 10 Years contests are now open! Here are links to the competition pages:

• Ultra Short Competition

• Flash Competition

• Full Length Story Competition

Topic Announcing our CHEERS TO 10 YEARS celebration!
Posted 09 Oct 2020 16:20

Ok, that’s all rather vague. I assume the start date will be pushed back whilst the technical issues are being sorted? dontknow

No, the opening date remains Oct. 12.

I'm going to do a trial run now to see how the system handles multiple comps at the same time.

EDIT: It works! Three competitions will be set up to open on Oct. 12. hello1

EDIT 2: Phew, what a week this has been!
dontknow drunken clown
I’m sorry if this came across as vague. It was my commentary on the uncertainty of the past week in the U.S., not knowing if the occupant of the White House was mildly, moderately or severely ill; breathing on his own or not; and, of course, mortal or magically transformed into a reverse-aging superhero. There’s been a lot to process. Lwinking

Topic Announcing our CHEERS TO 10 YEARS celebration!
Posted 09 Oct 2020 15:38

Phew, what a week this has been!
dontknow drunken clown

In any case, here are some of the Cheers to 10 Years details promised.

We will most likely divide this into three contests based on word count to ensure that we aren't comparing apples and oranges in the judging. I say "most likely" because I'm waiting to hear back if the system will allow multiple competitions to be running simultaneously (that's one of the technical points yet to be ironed out). Whether it turns out to be three contests or one, judging will be done in the following divisions:

• 20-120 words — Entries will be accepted in Micro Fiction , Musings and Poetry . For this event only, entries up to 120 words may be submitted in the Micro Fiction category even if they exceed the usual 100-word limit.

• 121-1,012 words — Entries will be accepted in Flash Fiction or any appropriate category (no Micro Fiction). For this event only, entries up to 1,012 words may be submitted in the Flash Fiction category even if they exceed the usual 1,000-word limit. Submissions in other categories must meet our standard minimum (about 600 words for most categories).

• 1,013-3,653 words — Entries will be accepted in any category except Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction and Poetry.

Topic Announcing our CHEERS TO 10 YEARS celebration!
Posted 30 Sep 2020 21:06

What will be the procedure for submissions? Clueless minds would like to know. No doubt I've missed this info somewhere along the line, either that or the plan is to wait until 1012 to list all the nuts and bolts type rules and regs?


Maggie talked about more details coming so I assume that will include submission process. She's still got a week and a half to get it up, I guess. I've actually got a first draft of a story I hope to use, assuming there isn't a devil in the details when they come out.

Sorry for the delay in posting more details. Life, y’know?

Don’t worry, there isn’t any devil in these details. Entry will be straightforward, just submit a piece and check the competition box. There is no theme requirement, only the word limits and selection of required words listed in the first post.

I still need to iron out a couple of technical points, but I promise to post more info by Friday.

Topic Announcing our CHEERS TO 10 YEARS celebration!
Posted 27 Sep 2020 11:29

Actually, I have a question about form. Are poems going to be welcome in the shorter categories? I can't really see me writing a 40 word story but some of my poems are in that territory.

Yes, poems will be accepted in the shorter submissions.

Topic Announcing our CHEERS TO 10 YEARS celebration!
Posted 26 Sep 2020 06:54

This contest will open on Oct. 12 and close 10 days later, but we’re announcing it early to allow time for planning and preparation.

Based on early feedback, we’ll change the closing date to the end of October. The original plan may have been a tad too ambitious.

Topic Announcing our CHEERS TO 10 YEARS celebration!
Posted 25 Sep 2020 01:39

Stories Space was launched 10 years ago, and saw its greatest influx of members when it "went public" on Oct. 12, 2010 — so we're going to have an epic anniversary celebration centered around that date.

The cornerstone of the Cheers to 10 Years celebration will be a new competition.

This contest will open on Oct. 12 and close at the end of October, but we’re announcing it early to allow time for planning and preparation. Members may submit up to 10 entries, one of each word limit listed below. There will be 10 different word limits, based on numbers of significance to Stories Space and/or its upcoming anniversary:

- Word Limit (significance)
- 40 (seasons since Oct. 12, 2010)
- 100 (holidays observed)
- 120 (months)
- 261 (fortnights)
- 522 (weeks)
- 873 (authors on site)
- 1,012 (tenth month, twelfth day - American date format)
- 1,210 (twelfth day of the tenth month - rest of the world date format)
- 2,581 (badges - not counting multiples in the same overarching category)
- 3,653 (days)

Bonuses will be given to individual submissions that are exactly the specified limit (according to the counter on the submission screen), and doubled if a member submits 10 stories, all of the maximum length.

Each submission must include at least one of the following 10 words:
- Celebration
- Achievement
- Stories
- Space
- Camaraderie
- Ten
- Friendly
- Free
- Cozy
- Supportive

More details will be coming soon, but now is the time to put on your thinking caps and start planning your strategy to earn double bonus points. Good luck and have fun!

+ + +

EDIT: Three related Cheers to 10 Years contests are now open! Here are links to the competition pages:

• Ultra Short Competition
• Flash Competition
• Full Length Story Competition

Topic Announcing the Winners of our Summer Word Bank Story Competition!
Posted 16 Sep 2020 13:30

Congratulations to Blackdog, Wordpusher715, Mendalla, and all of the top 10 — and THANK YOU to all the entrants who made the judging so difficult. It was truly a pleasure to read all the submissions.


Topic Summer Word Bank Story Competition!
Posted 26 Jul 2020 15:08


The closing date for this competition is 07 Sep 2020. The earlier you get your entry in, the more likely you are to get a higher number of story views and votes. Winners will be announced on the 16 Sep 2020.

If you have any questions regarding this contest or rules, please contact us.

Best wishes to everyone taking part. Happy writing!

I have been wondering if this implies that the judges are going to take into account the number of views and votes when judging the entries.


No, the judges will consider each entry independently, regardless of views and votes. However, we may have some sort of additional readers’ choice recognition. We’re still working that out.

Topic Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted 21 Mar 2020 13:24

Hello, friends.

As many of you know, I live near the worst of this in Washington state. My county has the highest number of deaths in the U.S., but no cases have been reported in our town yet. Mr. Rascal and I are observing all the distancing guidelines and are practicing strict sanitizing protocols. We’ll get through this.

All my best to everyone here. Thank you for your patience with submission verification as we all tend to more pressing matters in our lives right now.

Topic Jan. 31 deadline - Timeworn Literary Journal seeking Historical Fiction
Posted 18 Jan 2020 10:40

From their website:

“Timeworn Literary Journal welcomes unpublished historical fiction submissions in English under 5,000 words. They should be set before 1996, rooted in history and voice-driven.

We're looking for ‘Historical Fiction from the fringe.’ Work with a bend toward the surreal, the dream-like, the strange. The offbeat kind of story that settles into your heart long after reading. That said, we also value beauty and warmth and a generally well-written story with soul. Romance, Mystery, Crime and the Gothic are all acceptable. Speculative elements strongly encouraged.”

Details here:


Topic Inspirations, the Stories Space Coffee House
Posted 19 Nov 2019 10:35

I wonder if anyone has heard anything about the eBook we were going to put together called the Dirty Martini Anthology. That simply disappeared from our consciousness didn't it?


It didn’t so much disappear as it was pushed aside by some items of major importance in my personal life. I’m still keen on the idea if others are interested.


Topic Disease and Prevention
Posted 08 Nov 2019 08:57

Thanks for the good info, Keith. In my circle of family and friends, we’re big believers in herd immunity. thumbright

Topic Calls for short fiction plus some contests
Posted 01 Oct 2019 14:29

All of the submission calls can be found here:


Topic Challenge: Back to School
Posted 28 Sep 2019 15:39

I've updated the first post with links to all the stories posted so far in the challenge, and included a link to the backtoschool tag , so they will be easy to find.

Thanks to everyone, they're all great and each one is distinctly different. So much fun to read!

Thank you, Gypsy! thumbright

Challenge Champ badges have been awarded to participating writers as of Sept. 28.

Topic Where can we find you?
Posted 12 Sep 2019 09:25

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this site since I started writing my first story. I'm happy to hear what you think about it. If you're interested, It's called The Queen of Back Bay, a story about a student who has an eccentric uncle. I can't seem to make links in here, so tips on that appreciated as well!

I can usually be found in Brockton or Cambridge, Massachusetts, but online I have a number of locations:


Facebook: DarrenRobertBennett

Instagram: @d.bennettfinearts

Thanks for reading!


Welcome to Stories Space, Darren! hello2

Once you reached 20 forum posts, you’ll be able to include links and upload images. This requirement was put in place to deter spammers. Our Games and Word Play forums are great places to increase your post count, or stop by the Break Room for some casual conversation.

Topic Challenge: Back to School
Posted 04 Sep 2019 14:19

Thanks, Gypsy, this will be a fun challenge!

Participants meeting all the requirements set forth will receive a Challenge Champ badge.

https://upload.storiesspace.com/1738598434-gold medal.png
(Medal depicted is not the actual badge)

Topic About this forum
Posted 16 Jul 2019 14:08

Any member may post a writing prompt or challenge (no more than one per week, please).

Writing Prompts may take many forms. For example:

• Write a paragraph about your childhood
• Write a haiku about today's weather
• Tell a story about a photograph (you must have taken the photo yourself or have the photographer's permission to post a photo prompt)
• Write a story that must include specific items or phrases

Prompts do not require that whatever is written be submitted and published here, although they certainly may be if the author wishes. The idea is simply to provide a creative spark. No badge is offered for following a writing prompt.

Challenges should have a set of guidelines, including a tag or title requirement that will enable us to keep track of participating submissions. Pieces written in response to a challenge must be submitted for publication. Participants will receive a Challenge Champ badge that displays the number of challenges completed.

If a writing prompt or challenge is found to be inappropriate, it may be revised or removed.

Please contact me with questions or comments.


Topic Challenge: The Moon
Posted 16 Jul 2019 10:45

Thanks, Anna – this is a great challenge! Those who complete it will receive a Challenge Champ badge.

Topic Writing tips from some of the greats
Posted 08 Jul 2019 09:12

How I Do It: Anne Rice on Writing Technique

1. Rely heavily on concrete nouns and action verbs. Nothing conveys immediacy and excitement like the concrete noun and the action verb.

2. Rely heavily on short sentences and even fragments. Long complex sentences, especially when filled with abstract nouns slow the reader and even confuse him or her. Break up these sentences. Or balance them with short ones.

3. Don’t hesitate to write one sentence paragraphs and short paragraphs in general. Never, never bury a key revelation or surprise or important physical gesture by a character at the end of an existing paragraph. Move this to a new paragraph.

4. Go easy on conjunctions such as “but,” “and,” “yet,” and “however.” The prose may feel fluid to you when you use these; but if you go back and simply remove them the prose may be even more fluid.

5. Repeat a character’s name often in dialogue and in straight narrative. Don’t slip into “he” or “she” for long stretches because if you do many fast readers will find themselves having to go back to determine who is speaking or feeling or viewing the action. Punch the proper names.

6. Be generous and loving with adjectives and adverbs. These words give specificity to the narrative; they make it vibrant.

7. When you repeat yourself in a novel, acknowledge it, as in “Again, he found himself thinking, as he had so often before . . .”

8. If the plot takes a highly improbable turn, acknowledge that through having the characters acknowledge it.

9. In writing intense action scenes, avoid slipping into “ing” words. It may feel “immediate” to use these words, say in a sword fight, a physical brawl, or an intense confrontation, but if you stick with simple past tense, you will actually heighten the action.

10. Remember that in writing a novel, you are crafting something that must be fully understood and experienced in one reading, yet stand up to innumerable readings in the future.

11. Never underestimate the power of the two line break. You may not want a new chapter but you want to cut away from the scene. Make the two line break.

12. Never get trapped into thinking that if you have a character open a door, he necessarily has to close it later on. You are creating a visual impression of a scene, and you don’t need to spotlight every gesture. And you can cut away from a scene in progress.

13. Paragraphs again: they are the way you engineer the page for the reader. That’s why I say never hesitate to make one line paragraphs and short paragraphs. You’re punching action or an emotional moment when you set it off in a paragraph. And you want to make things easy for the reader. Long paragraphs always impose something of a burden. The eye longs for a break.

14. Multiple point of view can be very energizing for a reader. The switch in point of view can be exciting. And multiple point of view gives you a chance to reveal the world in a way that single point of view cannot. Favorite multiple point of view novels for me are War and Peace and The Godfather.

15. A single point of view throughout is the best opportunity a writer has to get a reader to fall in love with a hero or heroine. The limitations are obvious; you can’t go to “another part of the forest” to find out what’s happening. But you have immense power in single point of view to get into the thoughts and feelings of your champion.

16. First Person single point of view can take the reader not only into deep love but deep antipathy. Great Expectations, David Copperfield and Lolita are shining examples.

17. If you find yourself becoming bored, then do what you must do to make the novel exciting again for you. Never keep building a scene because you feel you must. Think of some other way to solve the problem that is goading you to write what you don’t enjoy.

18. When you feel yourself getting tired, stop and read something that is energizing. The opening pages of Stephen King’s Firestarter always refresh me and send me back to the keyboard. So does reading any part of Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song. So does reading The Godfather. So does reading a Hemingway short story.

19. Keep going. Remember that you must finish the novel for it to have a chance in this world. You absolutely must complete it. And of course, as soon as I do I think of new things. I go back, refining, adding a little. And when I stop feeling the urge to do that, well, I know it’s really finished.

20. If these “rules” or suggestions don’t work for you, by all means disregard them completely! You’re the boss when it comes to your writing.


Topic Up two, three, Down two, three... Make a word.
Posted 06 Jul 2019 00:18

Terri ble-at tach

Topic Words from words
Posted 11 Jun 2019 00:52


Under, stand, sand, and, strand, stranded, nude, rant, rants, rate, rates, rated, rat, rats, dune, dunes, rest, star, stare, stared, dare, dares, dared, dude, dudes, redundant


Topic Writing tips from some of the greats
Posted 31 May 2019 00:30

Best advice on the list:
7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

Worst advice on the list (unless you’ve perfected time travel):
1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

Topic Writing tips from some of the greats
Posted 31 May 2019 00:23

Zadie Smith’s Rules for Writers

1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3. Don’t romanticise your “vocation”. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle”. All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.

5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.

7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.

8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9. Don’t confuse honours with achievement.

10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.


Topic Hello I’m Rose from the other site
Posted 24 May 2019 15:32

Welcome to Stories Space, Rose!