Quiction

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, newcomer: “Old Pines has forgotten how to spell ‘question’, the silly bastard.” Any other time — any other made-up looking word — you’d stand a good chance of being right. No, ‘quiction’ is a writing format that I’ve established as a practice ground for myself and others to develop skills outside of the normal story frameworks within which we often become hyper-focused.

What’s the format?

Quiction, a portmanteau of “quick” and “fiction” (not “quick” and “erection” or “quirky” and “diction”), is something that I thought up as a way to push my boundaries and free my mind from the well-worn tracks of my usual projects. Some quiction prompts are solicited from folks on social media. These are generally in the vein of “someone give me something to write about”. Other prompts may be issued by yours truly and have more of a “let’s play together” tone.

While there is a degree of randomness to each exercise, there are guidelines that dictate what sort of story qualifies as quiction.

Those guidelines are:

  1. Story must be single-draft
    1. One writing pass
      • The point here is speed, not perfection. If you’re artistically-minded, think ‘thumbnail sketch’ versus ‘fully rendered drawing’. Be anarchically free in your writing. Discard your cuffs and the seat of your pants: write from what’s left. Go nuts.
    2. No. Edits.
      • As mentioned above, the aim of this is not perfection. If anything, showing beginning writers what an embryonic story looks like can only help them feel more comfortable as they stare at their first written words. (I know it helped me.)
  2. Maximum word count is 2,000
    1. Anything up to 2,000 words is fine, but this is the upper limit
      • Again, the aim is speed and wordcraft, not some polished gem. A solid story can easily fit within 2,000 words.
      • If you hit the specified word count exactly — without buggering up the story — you get bragging rights. Nice work.
    2. A specific word count may be mentioned for a given prompt.
      • If you hit the specified word count exactly — without buggering up the story — you get bragging rights. Nice work.
  3. Content
    1. Genre is flexible
      • Sci-Fi, fantasy, Western, romance, noir, horror, thriller, etc., etc. Hell, mix and match. You get the picture.
      • Prompts received from Twitter, directed at Old Pines, may specify the genre of a given piece.
      • Furry isn’t a genre, but it is valid and encouraged as a theme.
    2. Can be “clean” or “NSFW”
      • No minors involved in sexual situations
        • No. Minors. Involved. In. Sexual. Situations.
        • NO goddamned MINORS involved in goddamned sexual situations, goddamnit. Prettiest of pleases. Sugar, cherry, and another ‘goddamn’ for good measure on top. Thank you.
        • Fucking don’t.
          • Minors do not understand the act and cannot give consent. Seriously, don’t even fucking go there. I don’t give one wet shit what manner of youth pastor, touchy uncle, “back in my day” excuses you want to foist upon me.
          • The only possible exception I’ll personally allow is a “So-and-So molested me, so I bit through his spine and now he’s fucking dead. Good riddance,” with zero explicit detail. I am, however, a bit biased toward that one.
      • Same applies to non-sapient animals.
        • Exception: if the animals are fucking one another and someone’s just casually noting “Hey, those crows are really going at it!” and no one’s, like, obsessively narrating the wanton clashing of the birds’ cloacae, fine. Animals fuck, whatever.
        • Non-sapient” is the kicker. I’m a furry writer, some of you are furry writers. Sometimes, you’ve got an intelligent dragon with a thing for soft, willing humans. A sapient animal can communicate a) maturity, b) understanding of the act, and c) consent. If the animal in question cannot do these things, as mentioned above: fucking don’t.
      • Try as best you can not to make the story just “Person A exists. Person(s) B – Z exist(s). Person A and Person(s) B – Z do a sex. fin.” It isn’t an art film, but try to at least have a story in there somewhere.
      • Also, this is just a personal note about my own personal taste: maybe don’t do non-consent/rape? Please? More sugar on top, sprinkles and nuts too. I understand that sometimes the story must have these things. Sometimes they belong to provide context. But, ugh.
  4. Sharing
    1. Post the story to your website, your personal blog, your Tumblr, a community website where you commonly share stories, or something along those lines.
      • If you haven’t got a space of your own to share it, DM me on twitter. If nothing else, I’ll post your entry on this site as a properly-attributed guest submission.
    2. When sharing via Twitter, use “#quiction” and mention @old_pines. (Damn right I wanna read them.)

Links to previous quiction exercises appear below. Feel free to share this page with other authors who might be interested. If you’d like to suggest a prompt, you can comment on this page, mention @old_pines on Twitter, or e-mail quiction@oldpines.wtf.

Feedback encouraged, critique appreciated!