Thoughts on Prompt 17: New Year's Eve – 501 Prompts

Technically, I cheated with that prompt. Read it and maybe you’ll figure out how.

But at least I’m honest about it and want to tell you what I did! If that doesn’t gain me some bonus points, I don’t know what does.

Now and then, I let Twitter decide on which prompt words I take for a given week. Little did I know that there would be a tie between two options. I decided to take both prompts and make it a 6-word prompt because… why not? What’s life without a little challenge?

So there they were: loyalty, pasta, necklace, anger, tree, and fruit. I’m not entirely sure if I got all the prompt words in, to be honest. If you notice one missing, point it out to me in the comments, and I’ll fix that… or probably feel bad about it for a week.

Where did I cheat then, you might ask? Well, actually, I already knew what I wanted to write before the results came in.

The story went online on New Year’s Eve, and I wanted it to somehow connect to the event. Clearly, it had to take place at a party. I am not a big fan of all the New Year’s celebrations myself. Every time it has the same feel to it. People follow the same traditions over and over again. To me, that doesn’t seem very interesting. But it was that idea of an always returning ritual that brought the connection to Groundhog Day or Matrijoshka to my mind.

So the setting was pretty clear from the get-go. I needed a party, a character reliving that particular night over and over again, and something to tie in the prompt words.

The story changed significantly from the first handwritten draft to the version I uploaded. At first, I wrote the narration in third person, but while editing, it didn’t really click with me. I have been reading quite a few novels written in first person and enjoyed the fresh air that brought. That’s why I decided to go with a first-person narration for that prompt.

The main character is left ambigiuous on purpose. It’s left open who they are, or better, who they were before getting stuck in the time loop.

Maybe I was too lazy to come up with that. Or maybe after repeating the same night over and over again, only seeing unfortunate events unfolding, again and again, they just started to break.

I really have pitty with that MC because I didn’t come up with a reason why they are stuck in the time loop nor how they can get out of it. So it’ll probably repeat itself endlessly. Soon nothing more than an apathetic husk of their former self will be left of them.

Instead, Jade, their friend, gets to have a relieving character change. She starts off as a worried but chill friend. Jade is the kind of person who keeps groups together that would drift apart otherwise, even over many years. And she likes her apartment organized and clean. Not a good idea to host a party then, Jade!

After learning about their friend’s condition, she tries to make the best out of a bad situation, sharing a laugh with them and just being there. When they tell her about the fate of the world though, she takes the chance last chance she can get to let loose. You go, girl!

In these short stories, space for development is limited. So most characters in this story are basically extras. Some get to carry a prompt word, others just have to fill the scene.

I’m at my wit’s end for this story. If there’s anything left, you’re wondering about, leave a comment, and we’ll talk more about it!


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