« Week #276 - Little Man History »

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Date: 11-13-2017
Word Limit: 1250
Words Written: 19,454

Judges (crits):

Audio Recap: Week 276
Week Archivist:

As you may know, I have a hobbyist’s interest in history. However, I find a lot of historical fiction to be about as dull as dishwater, with what might as well be rote recitations of Wikipedia pages and obsessions with big-name historical figures. Many poor historical pieces tend to sacrifice actual plot and characters in pursuit of historical verisimilitude.

This week, we’re going to see if we can avoid those traps. When you sign up, tell me:
  • A continent, and
  • Whether you want your story to take place before or after 1900.

Using this information, I will assign you a major world event. I want you to write a story written from the perspective of some schmuck living through the event, who has their own motivations and desires but who is forced to confront events much larger than themselves. These characters should have thoughts and motivations beyond the historical context in which they reside. They should not possess recognizable names and faces, but instead be obscure or fictional figures. Any prominent names should play a supporting role at most.

Just to be clear, the challenge here is to write an actual story with three-dimensional characters without giving me a Wikipedia summary of the event. The historical event does not even need to be the inciting event so much as the setting or exacerbating factor of a smaller, more intimate conflict.

14 Total Submissions, 11 Total Failures: