By The Fire: Episode 147: Challenge 12: Write a 2500-3000 Word Story Featuring a Diverse Woman and an Original Monster of Your Making

Our contest is drawing to a close, we made it to episode 147 of the podcast and the twelfth challenge for The Next Great Horror Writer is to Write a 2500-3000 word story featuring a diverse woman (of color/ethnic/minority) that also contains an original monster of the writer’s making. Our contestants created a monster way back in challenge 2 which they can use for this story, or they can create a new monster. The goal is to test their ability to write a story with a theme involved, they will be judged on creativity, overall story concept, and writing quality.

One thing I wonder about is would it be easier to create a monster or to create a good diverse female character and what would be the theme that would fit both? I think for all parts you are using a different part of your imagination. For a monster you want to try to think of something original but you also have to make it scary, being able to describe the monster and make it come alive is important. For the female character you would have to go into detail on her personality, what makes her tick and why should we care about her? When coming up with both of these creations probably the most important thing would be to make us feel some emotion for them and perhaps this is where the story’s theme would come out of. Whether its fear, compassion or even hatred, if we don’t feel anything and there is no theme, then we won’t want to finish the story.

So our contestants already know something about making a monster but how hard is it to come up with a good ethnic female character? Would it be harder to come up with a woman than a man? Or does that depend on if the writer is a woman or a man? Personally I think coming up with the monster would be much easier than coming up with your lead character because the lead character is the most important part of the story. So what do you think the hardest part of this challenge will be and who do you think did the best job with it? Let us know in the comments.

4 thoughts on “By The Fire: Episode 147: Challenge 12: Write a 2500-3000 Word Story Featuring a Diverse Woman and an Original Monster of Your Making

  1. I think coming up with the character would be the toughest, especially if the ethnicity and the gender are different than the writer’s. Today so many people are quick to point fingers and accuse people of racism and sexism that the writer has to be extremely careful how they represent “the other” in their writing. Every word needs to be chosen even more carefully than normal. Words that may seem perfect to the writer could set off someone else and get their finger pointing accusingly. Good luck to all with this challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From the perspective of a white woman who grew up in a wealthy family in an area that had little diversity aside from the Laotian population, accurately representing cultural nuances would be my greatest concern. In horror, I prefer to make ethnicity ambiguous. I only have one story in which ethnicity is commented upon, and that’s only because of the time period (1950s). Subtlety, is probably the most tactful way to approach it. The main thing to remember is that people from every background are capable of the universal emotions, so it really shouldn’t effect too much of the stories meat, aside from setting and specific nuances.


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