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  • created 01/30/15

Figgy Idol

Like American Idol, only our contestants write. We are a multi-round, short story writing competition held annually-ish here on Figment. Anyone with any kind of experience is free to sign-up.

Discussion began on 03/24/2017 Lock This discussion is locked

ROUND FOUR: Feel This In Your Heart

  • Untitled Icon-founder Ellie Williams

    While the plot is the meat of your story, I would say that emotions are the buttery potatoes. They hit your readers right in the gut and make them feel things, even if they don’t want to. With a few well-placed words, you can get your audience to feel absolutely anything. The trick is knowing how to convey the emotion you want. As a reader, I want to feel with your characters and not just for them. Whatever they’re feeling, let me experience it, too. It’s more than merely telling us a character is sad because their kitten died. What does that anguish feel like to them, and how do they exhibit it? That’s the exercise we will be exploring this round.

    ROUND FOUR: Feel This In Your Heart

    Each of you have been assigned one of six basic emotions (happy, sad, anger, anticipation, fear, and disgust), and you must write a story surrounding a character experiencing that emotion. The catch? You cannot outright say what emotion they are feeling. This must be conveyed through your words. The actions of your character, the details you portray, and word choice are all powerful tools to use in this arena.

    As an example, I will use the description of a sunny day. Someone who is happy will describe it in positive ways: beautiful, blissfully warm, bright colors, soothing sunrays. They may frolick about in it, uncaring of what is going on around them. In contrast, someone who is angry may describe the day negatively: oppressive heat, glaringly bright sunlight, the breeze feeling like waves of heat exiting an oven. They may shield their eyes from the light, run for cover in the shadows, or glare at everyone they come in contact with. It’s the same day, but two different characters experiencing two different emotions will interpret it in polar opposite ways. These small details will really help sell the emotion in your piece.

    So, remember: you cannot tell us what emotion your character is feeling. It can’t be in your descriptions, character thoughts, dialogue, or anything. Another character cannot ask your character why they look so “down in the dumps” or why they are acting so angry. You cannot describe them as feeling blue, cheerful, excited, or apprehensive. Any details relating directly to their emotions are not allowed. It must be conveyed through other means. That is the challenge of this prompt.

    An easy way to approach this prompt is to put yourself in your character’s shoes. Think of a time you’ve felt your assigned emotion and how that made you feel. Think of how that physically affected you, what tone your thoughts turned to, and any unconscious ticks you may have exhibited. Consider any decisions you may have made while experiencing this emotion. Did you turn down any invites because your mood prevented you from getting excited about it? Did you agree to go along with something because your mood prevented you from declining or arguing about it? Again, this prompt will come down to the small details in your story.

    One thing I do ask of you is if you put what emotion you’ve been assigned in the story’s overall description (y’know, beneath the word count and whatnot), please make sure it’s not overly visible. We judges will be looking to see if we can guess your assigned emotion while we read your piece. If we can, you were successful.

    Your stories can be any length up to 6,000 words and take place in any realm, place, or time. You may use other emotions in addition to your assigned emotion, but the overall feel of your story must convey your assignment. The deadline for this round is Sunday, April 2nd at 11:59PM MST. All content will be accepted. However, please don’t go too heavy on the gory, violent, or erotic details. Do not submit your links in this discussion until your story is ready to be judged (but be sure to post it before the deadline). No late entries will be accepted, and we do not offer deadline extensions. Any contestant who does not submit an entry by the deadline will be disqualified. Two contestants will be eliminated this round.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them. One of us judges will respond as soon as we can.


    1. Elizabeth
    2. Mys Marie
    3. Hazel Gatoya

    1. Stephanie S
    2. SS
    3. Adrianne Etheridge

    1. Twinz
    2. Hannah

    1. Jane Apricity

    1. Paris Pearl
    2. Sekerya Mackenzie

    Emotions were assigned randomly by means of a sophisticated method--me pulling small pieces of paper with a word written on them out of a cup. Sort of like the Goblet of Fire during the Triwizard Tournament from the Harry Potter series. Minus the flames. And magic. -__- Blame the cup if you hate your assignment. Better yet, use that emotion in your story, if applicable.

    It was brought to my attention over this past weekend that there was some uncertainty as to what we are looking for in regards to emotional representation. One of my suggestions was to have the judges compile examples and provide them to you all to look through. I posted an inquiry on the Judges' Table earlier this week. Unfortunately, time ran away from me this week, and I haven't had an opportunity to post anything until this very moment. I know it's super close to the deadline, but I hope this does help some of you if you happen to be struggling. The emotion(s) each story corresponds to can be seen in parentheses next to the link. (Only Grant and I have submitted suggestions so far. If any of the other judges provide additional links, I will be sure to add them here.)


  • Stephanie2 Icon-member Stephanie S

    Oh, awesome! This will be challenging, but I'm ready for it. I'd like to be in your group, please!

  • Lightning bolt icon Icon-member sstwinz

    Grant, please!

  • Lepper Icon-member SStwins

    This is a super fun prompt!! I think I'd like to work with Ellie this time, if that's okay! Thanks!!

  • 2 Icon-non-member Jane Apricity

    Ooh, this'll be awesome. I'd love to work with Jo again! 

  • E21481bc8b34a1dea9a29334f55ab390 Icon-member E. Anderson

    Can I work with Becka, please?

  • Image Icon-member Adrianne Etheridge

    I'd like to work with Ellie this round please!

  • Cbdb92fe57c020651ea18e54a4f14769 Icon-non-member Mys Marie Post

    I'd like to be with Becka again as well please. Got caught up in mid terms and didn't get to ask for her feedback last time. 

  • Inktober_day_four_peeved_by_hazelgatoya-dbpgwwt Icon-member Hazel Gatoya

    Could I be with Becka this time?

  • Bd9d8oh Icon-member Paris Pearl

    I would like to work with Tilda this round, please. Thanks!

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