RW’s The13 Writing Challenge. A Spooky Word Count Enforced Challenge for Poetry and Prose. UPDATED 10/19/2020.

This year I thought I would hold a writing challenge based around a spooky theme, your interpretation of that (some ideas down below to help you start thinking). I intend to do this annually moving forward. This would be a prime opportunity to share the spooky of your country/culture.

RW The 13 Writing Challenge featured image. Orange text on black background.(Not the Badge. 4 Badge choices throughout the post.)

There are some ideas you might use for your Poetry or Prose below, in case you need something to help get the creativity going. The posts will be due no later than Wednesday, October 28th. Here’s the short link to my post that day for everyone to pingback to or paste into once it’s live.  You can put the link in your post as a pingback whenever you complete your Poetry or Prose, and when my Poetry or Prose goes live, and yours does, it works. I actually made up the title of my piece and have no idea what it’s about or what style I’m using.

UPDATE: If you really don’t want to either schedule your piece for the 28th and maybe you just want it live now, you can put the link in the comments here and use he post link in the address bar to pingback.

The hashtag to tag your post with is: #RWThe13WritingChallenge

Orange Letter with qwill and ink on black background.



Note: The section on YOUR ENTRY MUST INCLUDE looks long but if you know what the 4 mentioned requirements are, you don’t really need to read the rest of that part. Requirements 3&4 of your P/P might be the one and the same.

  • THEME: It’s a spooky tale to be told. The interpretation of what that means is up to you. Horror, humor, mystery, or any other genre. Romance? Or combine them all.

  • STYLE: Poetry, Prose, Free Verse (As long as it’s tight and not loose like mine usual,ly is when I’m being random.) For those of you who would like to do a Haiku or Tanka, this would work with the word count of 13, which you see just below. Also, a Haibun would work nicely. If you had a non-fiction story to share and then end with a Haibun it might be an amazing combination and show your ability to stay with your poetry style.

  • WORD COUNT: Exactly one of the following, 13, 113, 213, 313, 413, or 513. If you need to go higher than that, just make note of it in the comments of my entry post of what ’13’ you did go up to. The challenge is to stay 513 or less, but I don’t want a great story idea to be weakened if you can’t get the word count down to 513. I would rather read your best than your lesser. The title is not included in the word count, only the body/content of the piece.

  • YOUR ENTRY MUST INCLUDE: You may find that 3&4 are closely aligned. Your Climax may be the Resolution of your idea.
  1. protagonistThe protagonist is at the center of the story, makes the key decisions and experiences the consequences of those decisions. The protagonist is the primary agent propelling the story forward and is often the character who faces the most significant obstacles.” – Wikipedia
    • I used the Wikipedia definition of the protagonist because it basically gave the best one. With this definition, you can see that even a villain can be the protagonist in a story. A perfect example of this protagonist type would be (SPOILER WARNING. If you click these two links, and haven’t seen House of Cards, you’ll learn  more than you might want to.) Frank Underwood from the Netflix series House of Cards. He has a political goal and stops at nothing to try and make it happen. You learn this in the first episode or two. If you’re a writer of fiction of length from a short story and upward I suggest you watch the series. You get some great ideas for a subtle, cagey, and crafty villain. He has the goal of the show, and anyone that tries to stop that goal is an antagonist.
  2. conflict   “In literature, conflict is a literary element that involves a struggle between two opposing forces, usually a protagonist and an antagonist.” –   There is also INTERNAL conflict.  The link takes you to a list of what internal conflicts can be. It’ll give you an idea of what it’s about, in case you’ve never really thought about it. Good examples of internal conflict would be when a reporter knows something that could be disastrous for a person’s career or crossing what is seen as a moral or ethical line to get a story and get it to press or on air.
  3. climax  “Climax is the highest point of tension or drama in a narratives’ plot. Often, [the] climax is also when the main problem of the story is faced and solved by the main character or protagonist.” –
    • Using Romeo and Juliet as an example, the climax comes in Act III, when Romeo is banished after killing Tybalt. But some contend there is a second climax when Juliet refuses to wed Paris by taking the drug to appear dead. This idea is considered because there are two protagonists to the story. Some say the suicides of Romeo and Juliet is either the climax or a second or third climax. But one can argue that the suicides result directly from Tybalt’s death by Romeo’s sword, and Juliet’s refusing to marry Paris by pretending to be dead. They are then left in a unique situation that ends with their suicides. And strangely enough, they were married the day after they met and it is implied they consummated the marriage that night since he spent the night in her bed.
  4. resolution “The resolution, also known as the denouement, is the conclusion of the story’s plot. It’s where any unanswered questions are answered, or “loose ends are tied.” –
    • Continuing with Romeo and Juliet the resolution is that now with Romeo and Juliet dead, their families end their feud as they realize that their hatred has led to the deaths of their children.


Orange Letters with Qwill and ink, transparent background.

  • IDEAS TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS MOVING: If you need help thinking of one.
  1. You open the door on Halloween and you find (?) wanting to receive a specific treat from you or they are going to trick you, and you have to figure out how to either escape or give them their requested treat.
  2. You’re driving along a foggy road and approach a one-lane bridge and (?).
  3. A circus comes to town and does a Halloween night special performance, and the center ring attraction is (?).
  4. You’re reading your favorite Fantasy/SciFi book when the main villain escapes from the pages and you must catch them before (?).
  5. Or using #4, the hero comes to life and you must help them stop (?) before they (?).


No later than Wednesday, October 28th. Why? Because I will put out MY personal entry on the 28th at 00:01 EST, That’s one minute after midnight New York City time. And at that point, pingbacks can ping, and you can paste your links in the comments. The no later part reason is given below.

UPDATE: If you really don’t want to either schedule your piece for the 28th and maybe you just want it live now, you can put the link in the comments here and use he post link in the address bar to pingback.

Black letters with qwill and ink, transparent background.



#RWThe13WritingChallenge for tagging your post and on Social Media.

  • MY POST’S SHORT LINK TO PINGBACK TO: (I’ve already named my post, Dance Till Dawn, without having an idea what it’s about or style for it yet. I figured that’ll be even more of a challenge.)

  • SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2020

On Thursday, October 29th, I’ll begin making a post with all the links, as I do with the poetry challenges. I’ll hope to include a one-sentence description. The collection post will go live on Saturday, October 31. With this collection, perhaps you can have some great stories or poetry to share with your friends of the family. Think like that when you write. This is a time to show your writing chops and entertain.

Good luck. Good writing. And most of all Good Fun to everyone.

There are 4 BADGES FOR THE CHALLENGE in this post for you to choose from if you would like to use one (not required). They are 300X300. Of course, reduce the size to tiny if that works for you. Two have color backgrounds and the others are just text with transparent backgrounds.

Black letters with qwill and ink on orange background.

© 2020 Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.


4 thoughts on “RW’s The13 Writing Challenge. A Spooky Word Count Enforced Challenge for Poetry and Prose. UPDATED 10/19/2020.

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