500+ march madness prompt

I spy two characters arguing about something that begins with the letter ‘M’….

Remember back in school, when you were given set writing assignments that would bore a beaver to tears? Ever wanted to be given a little more free rein? Well, here’s your chance: March Madness.

Yes, I’m a big fan of alliteration. But it sounds cool, catchy, and quirky, so why not?

The deal is this: the expected completion date of Book 1 of my online serial Above Ground is February 16th, 2010. I’m going to give myself an extra week as precaution, but I definitely want to take March off. Thing is, I’d love for the website to remain active whilst I’m on hiatus, so I’m going to set a little challenge, writing prompt, or whatever you want to call it.

You write a 500+ short or 10 lines of poetry following the guidelines below, of two or more characters arguing about something. What something? That’s up to you, as long as it begins with the letter ‘M’.

It can be a drabble, a short sketch, nothing necessarily serious nor convoluted. You email it to me, along with an 100-word blurb about yourself, your website, a cause you care about, or your dog. I post it sometime in March.

Think of it as fun, free advertising for your awesome writerly skills and/or your website, whilst simultaneously helping me out. See? No good deed goes unrewarded.


The Rules

  1. The theme is the letter ‘M’; the story must include an argument or discussion about something which begins with this letter, e.g. mothers or mandibles.

  2. One character must be from Above Ground. Other characters may be from your own writing, or from someone else’s, or newly made up, or dusted off from an old shelf, or not there at all.

  3. Fiction must be at least 500 words long. Why? Because March is the third month of the year, and 3 x 166 + 2 = 500.

  4. Poetry rules are less strict, but aim for 10 lines, the theme of ‘M’, and make it relate to Above Ground whether by character voice or something else. I don’t know; I’m not a poet.

  5. Email it to me at qazyfiction[at]googlemail[dot]com – the sooner, the better.

The Rewards

Pick one:

  • Advertising for your own site.
    If you are a webfiction author, writing a cross-over drabble would work particularly well as it would introduce your character! If not, I’ll still post a blurb/link to your blog or whatever site you own.

  • Advertise your favourite site.
    Want to spread the love and help out a friend? Same deal as in #1 – give me a blurb and a link.

  • Return drabble.
    If advertising isn’t your thing, you may instead request a 500+ return drabble from me, on a subject of your choosing, giving conditions of your own. Our two drabbles will then be posted together.


Rae from Above Ground and Shiva from Addergoole argue about the benefits of marriage and decide to kill or enslave all males. At the bottom of the drabble is a small blurb on Addergoole to encourage new readers to give it a try.

OR… Fang from Above Ground gives a short monologue on why he dislikes monologues. You link to your site – you’re a speech writer.

OR… the character you hate most from Above Ground is brutally murdered by a creature of your own creation. Then you promote a wolf protection society.

The sky’s your limit. No, wait: the edges of the universe are. I dare you to do your worst!


So what do you say? 500 words. It’s the length of this blog post. It’s nothing.

Any questions?

**Edit: stories will be posted in the order I receive them, unless you decide you want them posted on a specific date. Still, first come, first served.**


About A.M. Harte

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the post-apocalyptic Above Ground and the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate.
This entry was posted in Ze Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 500+ march madness prompt

  1. Najela says:

    Ha ha, I will so try to do this when I get the chance.

  2. a.m.harte says:

    p.s. anyone thinking of joining in should try get their entries to me by the end of February for planning purposes!

  3. Isa says:

    What a great idea! O.o How did I miss this… *likes the idea of return drabble* :D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s