Fiction Challenge – Song Story

A few months ago, I was discussing with Timlah from Geekout South-West about interesting series ideas for The Mental Attic and his own site. For TMA he recommended I did writing challenges, a simple task with the winners having their work published on The Mental Attic and perhaps receiving a second prize. After much thought, I’ve decided now is the time to do this.

The first challenge is: “A Story Based on a Song.” It’s one of my favourite pastimes. I take a song I like and then I create a story around its title, the lyrics or both. For example, a sci-fi story about travelling to the world of the dead based on “Break on Through” by The Doors, a spy/assassination story based on “Wake me up, before you Go-Go,” and finally a sultry romance story based on “Light My Fire” by The Doors. I even tried to come up with a ghost story based on “Hotel California” by The Eagles, until I realised that song in itself is already a pretty chilling horror story!

For this challenge, the song is, “While Your Lips are Still Red,” by Tuomas Holopainen and Marco Hietala, both members of the band Nightwish, though the song itself isn’t an official track by the band. The first time I listened to it, I instantly fell in love with the melody and poetic words. The song inspired a Sword & Sorcery adventure in me, one I’ll share at the end of this challenge.

The Winner of this challenge will receive a copy of Neil Gaiman’s InterWorld trilogy plus Neverwhere, Stardust and American Gods—physical or Kindle, however you prefer.

The rules are simple:

  • Submit the story before the 18th of December.
  • You’re free to write in any genre you wish.
  • Send your stories in PDFs to with “Writing Challenge” in the subject line.
  • Feel free to add art to it, or present it in comic form if you’re so inclined. Be aware though that the story is the most important thing.
  • Length: Maximum of 7000 words.
  • If you wish to receive feedback on your story, state so in the body of the email, or writing “FEEDBACK” in your submission email’s subject.

The rules are simple and the genre is up to you, but execution is important. Typos and grammatical errors will count against you, so be thorough and precise in your work. A few typos aren’t much of an issue but if they pile up…

I will be picking out the winner along with a few other mystery judges and announce it by the end of the year. The winner and runners-up’s stories will appear on The Mental Attic in January.

Best of luck to you all!


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I love everything readable, writeable, playable and of course, edible! I search for happiness, or Pizza, because it's pretty much the same thing! I write and ramble on The Mental Attic and broadcast on my Twitch channel, TheLawfulGeek

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