Just a note y’all – we’ve turned on Tipping for the Duck Prints Press Tumblr Blog (here) and for our original posts (EXCEPT those written by guest bloggers, because US getting tips for a post written by a guest blogger just feels super awkward and not-quite-right).
Get your mental engines in gear and your keyboards ready, because Duck Prints Press will be hosting our second annual May Trope Mayhem starting on May 1st, 2022!
May Trope Mayhem is a multi-fandom/original creation event open to writers, artists, and content creators of all kinds! We’ve put together a list of 31 of our favorite tropes, one per day through the month of May, and we encourage creators to join us for this month of fun tropey mayhem.
Our goal is to promote motivation and help with habit building, so we’re encouraging people to keep their ficlets under 1,000 words, or if you make art or a gif or some such, to stick to a sketch or a single image.
This event is primarily held on Tumblr, but you’re welcome to participate on anywhere Duck Prints Press has an account (you can see all our current platforms here) and we’ll keep our eyes on our tag everywhere!
How can you participate? It’s easy! There’s just a few simple rules:
- to participate, write a ficlet, a poem, create art, make a gif, or create any other content that you want, aligned with the prompt for the day!
- post your correctly tagged fills to Tumblr, and we’ll reblog them!
- you must tag warnings such as gore, MCD, sexual content, etc., so that people can avoid triggering material!
- please also tag fandom and ship, so people can find what interests them!
- we ask that you put the tags at the top of your post, so they’re easy to find.
- if you write more than 1k words, please use a read more,
- if you write something with NSFW content or potentially triggering material, please put the entire story under a read more.
Ping us (@duckprintspress) or tag your creations “#may trope mayhem” and so we can find them! We’ll reblog all fills that follow the above rules and are posted between May 1st and June 8th, 2022.
If you post to AO3, you can also add them to our collection there!
You don’t have to sign up, just post your fills. You don’t have to be a member of the Press, or following us. You don’t have to be part of a specific fandom. We’re open to all ships, genres, formats, etc.! You don’t have to post fills on the corresponding day, though we ask that if you’re creating for a day that hasn’t happened yet, please wait for that day to post.
This is a low-pressure event, held all in good fun, and we look forward to seeing what you create! You can see last year’s list here, and read fills from 2021 by going to #may trope mayhem or by visiting our AO3 collection.
The official 2022 May Trope Mayhem List will be released on May 1st, 2022!
Aliens, shifters, and monsters live among us. Perhaps they have since the dawn of time, or perhaps they’ve recently arrived from the stars or found themselves the owner of a shiny new fur coat during the last full moon. However long they’ve been around, and whatever their reason for being here, one thing’s for certain: when human and creature lives become entangled, shenanigans are bound to happen. Here are some fun prompts to inspire stories about the messy, sometimes hilarious, and always intriguing ways alien and creature lives can collide with our own.
- “So, my grandpa has this story he tells at family gatherings without fail … it goes like this … … so now he’s convinced aliens/monsters really do exist.”
“Well, about that … funny story…”
- “I thought you knew! I told you at the club on your birthday. I’ve been open about it ever since.”
“I thought you were joking!”
“For four months? All of these conversations and you thought it was a joke and went along with it for four months?!?!”
- “When you said not to worry, you just had a few legal troubles to sort out, I didn’t expect to end up in a cell on a starship two-thousand light years from Earth.”
- “All right, I’ve had enough. It’s time you show me what you do out there in the woods every month. No more secrets.”
- “Why is that person looking at me like I’m a piece of meat. Like, literally, a piece of meat.”
*coughs* “Oh, well, you know, they’re a…”
- “I’ve always been drawn to the stars.”
“Perhaps there’s a reason. There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you, but you might want to sit down first.”
- “So… this is what you really look like in the morning? I…uh…think I can get used to it.”
- “Wait, the penalty for doing that is what where you come from?”
“It’s death, obviously!”
“But they hardly did anything wrong!”
- “You are going to tell me right now why you stole my identity and…uh…my face.”
- “Local cryptids need love too, so I made a dating app for them.”
- “Wait, so humans can hide their extra eyelids too?“
“What do you mean, humans?!!?“
- “Ugh I hate when I have these dreams where my [alien/monster feature] won’t go away! Wait. This isn’t a dream!”
- *Growls* “I very carefully planted all those myths and legends to scare folks so they’d leave me alone.”
- “You’re under arrest for breaking interstellar code 327.25 section B subsection 12. You have the right to…”
- “That is the most ridiculous alien costume I’ve ever seen. Aliens don’t look anything like that!”
“How would you know?”
- “Why [name] what big ears you have…”
“You know, that joke is getting old.”
There’s so much potential in confusion between people of different species. These are just some ideas – we hope you loved them!
Now, go forth and write some things!!
Prompts by @owlishintergalactic, @alessariel, @unforth, and @ramblingandpie
Long time, no Sunday blog post, but we’re back with a seasonal collection of the sappiest, sweetest, emoji-inspired prompts that we could think of! Just imagine your OTP…
🥀: the flowers in my yard had all wilted and I didn‘t know what to do; luckily, you see me looking sad in my garden and come over to help out with your awesome green thumb.
💐: you saw me buy a bunch of flowers and were sad because you thought they were for someone else—surprise, they‘re for you!
🌸: I had a bad day, but then you invite me to see the cherry blossoms together and I realize just how much I love you…so I spontaneously propose.
🌈: it‘s our wedding day and it‘s raining, this is the worst! But then you hold the umbrella over me and point out the rainbow arcing across the sky, and now I think this may be the best day of my life.
🌻: my sunflowers grew so tall that they leaned into your yard; I was worried you’d be upset but instead you say, “I like them there because they remind me of you.”
🌞: I know you‘re a summer person, so I‘ve been waiting for the first really warm day of the year to take you out on a picnic and watch the emerging leaves with you—and today is the day!
☔️: we meet for the first time at the bus stop when I arrive drenched and you extend your nice umbrella over my head without even looking at me.
🪴: honestly, I didn’t think you knew I existed, but when I got sick, you sent me a plant and a note asking me on a date when I got better. I still don’t feel 100% but the plant on my bed stand cheers me up every day.
🌼: you know I love flowers, but we’re broke and there’s no way you can get them for me…except you came home today with a bouquet of wildflowers you picked from a field and I’m so happy I could cry.
💫: you invited me out to look at the stars through your telescope on the first clear night of spring, and I want to support you and share your enthusiasm but it’s so cold I’m shivering…and so you pull me close, spread you coat wide so we can share it. Huddled wonderfully together, we can stargaze together.
🐚: the winter cold is lingering, but I’m thrilled because you’ve surprised me with plane tickets for a beach vacation!
🌬: the first big storm of spring catches me unprepared and everything on my porch flies away! I don‘t know what to do, but the next day it‘s all back on my porch with a note inviting me to dinner. You didn‘t have to go and hunt it all down just to ask me out for a date, I‘ve been fancying you for ages!
🐛: I’ve worried that you were going to break up with me at the end of the school year, but you just bought me a “watch these caterpillars grow into butterflies” kit and I know you’d never do that unless you planned to stick around to watch their metamorphosis with me.
🐣 : there are strange sounds coming from your apartment so one day I go to investigate and it turns out you? are? hatching? CHICKENS? in your one-bedroom apartment, what, why, OMG they‘re so cute??
🐇: I was kind of meh about this date but then it turns out your idea was to take me to an animal shelter to pet the bunnies. You tell me you love them and want to adopt one once you live in a bigger place, and you give me the most earnest, hopeful, vulnerable expression, and…okay, I think I may be falling for you kinda fast? Like, super fast?
Usually, writing bingos are either fandom-specific, ship-specific, or linked to certain themes or tropes. A couple months ago, we at Duck Prints Press got to talking – what if there was a “fulfill this challenge!” style bingo aimed at writers? Instead of squares for tropes or ships or kinks, the squares for this bingo are writing challenges, such as “write x words in a sitting,” “participate in a sprint,” or “draw a map or floorplan for a location in your story.” We’ve been developing it on and off ever since, and now we’re ready to share the results!
We now have a list of 100 writing challenges (you can see the full list here), ranging from pretty darn easy to really hard (but we haven’t rated their difficulty – what’s easy for one writer will be hard for another, so a difficulty rating would be meaningless). We pre-generated a few cards, just for fun…
…or, you can use this link to generate your own!
We are not running this as a formal event. Sadly, we just don’t have time right now to make rules, handle sign ups, track participants, create custom bingo cards, etc. However, we don’t think we need to! Everything you need to run your personal writer self-challenge bingo is right in this post – if you’re the kind of writer who’d find something like this helpful, we encourage you to use one of our pre-gen cards, make your own, or even just use this idea as a launching-off point from which to make a challenge that fits your brain.
And, if you do choose to use a bingo card, and end up writing and posting any fic, we encourage you to add it to our AO3 collection, and/or tag us so we can reblog/retweet/boost it!
As long as you’re writing using strategies that help you, the rules don’t matter, so get out there and write that thing!
(and, if you have ideas for more writing challenges we can add to our list, we’d love to hear them, and we’ll potentially add them to our bingo card generator list!)
Have a writing question? Send us an ask!
When we started considering Doctor/Patient as a theme for a prompt list, we had concerns: it has so many inherent potential consent issues, perhaps it would be better not to? But we had a few tempting ideas, and decided…why not give it a try? For the most part, we’ve tried to avoid consent issues, but of course some will crop up (especially depending on how a story written for one of these prompts actually goes!) and of course if the potential consent problems give you pause and you still want some prompts on this theme, nearly all of our suggestions can be read as platonic instead of romantic or sexual! So, without further ado…prompts!
1. That awkward moment when Doctor enters the examination room to meet their newest Patient…and it’s the barista they’ve been crushing on for months. (and yes, it’s mutual pining, and no, the barista didn’t realize that Doctor was their favorite customer.)
2. For years, Doctor has been developing feelings for Patient, but there was no appropriate way to express them, so Doctor makes small (and, they know, also inappropriate) notes (or poems, or doodles, or something similarly personal and really not supposed to be there) in Patient’s file. Patient finds out when they move away and have their records transferred…and they need to know more.
3. An urgent message comes through on subspace: the creatures of a distant planet need a Doctor, stat! Doctor’s ship jumps to hyper-speed to get there as fast as possible, and Doctor is set to treat the Patient(s)…only to discover that there is a massive pheromone incompatibility(…or compatibility, depending on one’s attitude and point of view) between the Doctor’s species and the Patient’s. They experience nigh-irresistible attraction, and it’s mutual, and that might be interesting to explore if the situation wasn’t so dire…
4. Doctor and Patient coincidentally find each other vacationing at the same spot…which turns out to be a favorite among couples. Most of the events there are aimed at couples, and going solo is awkward at best, agonizing at worst. Neither knows anyone else there, and both are lonely, so they decide, maybe just for the week, they’ll play the couple.
5. Doctor sees Patient’s name on their docket for the day, and their first instinct is panic, because they and Patient dated in college (and Doctor is loathe to admit it but they definitely think of Patient as “the one that got away”) but Doctor is determined to be professional. They can handle this! Patient, on the other hand, only finds out that Doctor is their ex when they arrive. Some names are not at all common…and some are really, really common…how was Patient supposed to know?
6. Local snake oil dealer pretends to be Doctor, develops feels for Patient they’re duping, now has a serious problem. What do?!?!
7. The last thing Doctor wants is to treat their friends, and they have strict policy about that – no office privileges for people they know. Unfortunately, that policy is impossible to enforce when Doctor and friend-and-soon-to-be Patient get lost together while on a hike, and Patient falls down a ravine and is injured. Now, Doctor has no choice but to treat them…and that can’t help but expose some awkward truths about one or both of their feelings.
8. “Oh, I don’t date Doctors,” says (maybe, potential, could be) Patient.
“Why not?” asks Doctor.
“I mean, what if your specialty is something obscure, and I have a medical emergency, and you’re the only person in the tri-state area who can treat me? How awkward and awful would it be if that happened and we’re a couple? The ethics of it make my head hurt!”
“…you…you realize I’m a Doctor of Philosophy, right?”
9. A bright light awakens Patient in the middle of the night, and they’re astonished as a person appears in their home…they blink until their eyes accustom to the light, and when they can finally make out who is there, they discover it’s Doctor. “Look, I don’t have time to explain,” Doctor says, crackling like they’re on a bed cell phone connection. “But you have to find a new Doctor. The future of the world depends on it!”
10. After trekking through the forest, surmounting mountains, and slogging through flooded valleys, Patient finally reaches the hut in which the only Doctor in the province arrives. Patient is in desperate need of help, and they’re prepared to beg for it if necessary…what they’re not prepared for is that their soulmark activates the instant they and Doctor lay eyes on each other.
11. There’s something nigglingly familiar about the person Patient is on a date with, but they don’t think much of it. There’s something nigglingly familiar about the person Doctor is on a date with, but they also don’t think much of it. And it’s a good date. So they go on another, and another, and another, and anyway, it’s somehow six months in before either realizes that they’re dating their Doctor/Patient. (“At least I have the excuse that I only ever see you in a lab coat when you’re treating me – what’s your excuse?” “Look, I’m a little face-blind, okay?”)
12. Doctor isn’t actually a Doctor, they just know a little herbalism because they love tea. Unfortunately, no one else in the caravan realizes that – and the tea is very good, and psychosomaticism is a very powerful force. They finally arrive at their destination, where Doctor had hoped to make a fresh start…and they’ve not been there five hours when Doctor is summoned to attend the local Royals. Apparently, the merchants have promised that Doctor can cure one of the Royals – the Patient’s illness – and the consequences for Doctor failing would be dire.
13. Patient has an hour to kill before their appointment with Doctor, so they scroll through their Grindr/Tinder/etc. until they find a promising hook-up…and their hook-up is Doctor, who also had some time to kill.
14. After a miraculous, innovative bit of medical magic, Doctor and Patient are invited to attend a high-profile conference at a fancy hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel’s receptionist staff misunderstood when the conference organizers indicated that Doctor and Patient are traveling together…so only book them one room, with one king bed. And by the time Doctor and Patient arrive, all the other rooms are booked by others attending the conference, so they’re stuck.
15. Patient is a Patient…but Patient is also a Doctor. In fact, they are Doctor’s Doctor. No, it wasn’t on purpose, and each time they see each other in a Patient/Doctor capacity (with either in either role!) they squabble and argue about how best to treat X, Y, and Z, and concede anything they get wrong begrudgingly, and praise the other for being right even more begrudgingly, and each swears – to each other, to their friends, to the nurses, to the schedulers and office staff, to other random Patients in the waiting room – that they’re definitely going to find a different Doctor before their next appointment. But neither ever does. And neither is brave enough to ask why not.
We hope you enjoy these prompts!
Now go forth, and write a thing!
It’s Pride month, and (at least where Duck Prints Press is based) incredibly hot, so here, have some some dialog prompts for stories set at the beach!
- “I know this is kinda personal, but I’m here solo (and you’re hot)…can you put sunscreen on my buttcheeks for me?”
- “When I said ‘spike it,’ I meant the volleyball, not the punch!”
- “Shit, this sudden storm is pretty bad…I know my beach umbrella is small, but if you stand closer…no, a little closer…liiiittle…closer…there, see? We both fit! Snug and comfy!”
- “You know what? I’ve had it. This time, I swear – this time, my sandcastle will be better than theirs, and if it’s not…I’ll just keep building until it is! If it takes me all night, I. Will. Win.”
- “I noticed you’re reading the same book as me! Or rather, I noticed you just finished reading the same book as me. Please – please, no spoilers, but tell me – promise me – it does get better, right?”
- “Don’t you dare complain about how hot the sand is. These horseshoe crabs need our help – they’re not gonna flip themselves, and the same sun that’s baking the sand is baking them! – and you are getting over here and helping until they’re all back in the water.”
- “When you said we were going to the beach, I expected there to be more sand, and less…ya know…rocks. But, I suppose we might as well make the best of it. Rock lobster, anyone?”
- “This whole ‘re-enact the scene from From Here to Eternity’ thing seemed like a great idea until I got sand up my nose, and in my mouth, and in my ears, and just everywhere. Next time, let’s make out in the shower together. Same end result, way better process.”
- “Oh…oh, thank God…it’s just…phew…when you said you had crabs, this is really really not the first thing I thought of…don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice tidal pool!…just. What a relief.”
- “So, not to be rude or anything, but that’s my beach towel, and my sunscreen, and my beer, and my spouse.”
- “Cough, cough – no – no, I’m okay – I can breathe – thank you for saving my life! Holy shit, that riptide is powerful. But now that I’m okay…maybe don’t stop kissing me?”
- “Cowabunga! Gnarly! Hang ten, my swell dude! Man, I am so stoked to…fine, fine, I’ll stop with the surfer talk, on one condition…”
- “Hey! Stop! I found that shell first! It’s mine, I tell you – mine – you won’t surrender it? Fine, then you must meet me for a duel at noon sharp. Water guns at ten paces. Winner gets the shell.”
- “If I told you I brought this metal detector, not because I was trying to strike it rich on lost wedding rings, but ‘cause I think it makes me look cooler…what would you say? Did it work? I mean…you’re talking to me…”
- “With a sunburn that bad, you really shouldn’t be walking. Here, let me carry you. Free beach taxi service out of the sunshine – just tell me where you want to go.”
May Trope Mayhem is a multi-fandom/original fic writing event being run on the Duck Prints Press Tumblr, also open to other content creators if ya’ll are feeling so inspired! We’ve put together a list of 31 of our favorite tropes, one per day through the month of May, and we encourage creators to join us for this month of fun tropey mayhem.
May Trope Mayhem is open to anyone who wants to create anything – art, gif sets, mood boards, etc. – but we’re emphasizing fic writing
Our goal is to promote motivation and help with habit building, so we’re encouraging people to keep their ficlets under 1,000 words, or if you make art or a gif or some such, to stick to a sketch or a single image.
How can you participate? It’s easy! To participate, write a ficlet, a poem, or create any other content that you want, aligned with the prompt for the day! Post your correctly tagged fills to Tumblr, and we’ll reblog them! (you must tag warnings such as gore, MCD, sexual content, etc., so that people can avoid triggering material!) Please also tag fandom and ship, so people can find what interests them! We ask that you put the tags at the top of your post, so they’re easy to find. If you write more than 1k words, please use a read more, or if you write something with NSFW content or potentially triggering material, please put the entire story under a read more.
The primary platform for this challenge is Tumblr – we will NOT be boosting works posted on other platforms (such as Twitter), though you’re still welcome to participate regardless of which platform you’re on. If you post to AO3, you can also add your works to our collection there!
You don’t have to sign up, just post your fills. You don’t have to be a member of the Press. You don’t have to be part of a specific fandom, and we’re open to all ships, genres, formats, etc! You don’t have to post fills on the corresponding day, though we ask that if you’re writing for a day that hasn’t happened yet, please wait for that day to post.
This is a low-pressure event, held all in good fun, and we look forward to seeing what you create!
Duck Prints Press will be hosting a small multi-fandom/original fic writing event on Tumblr called May Trope Mayhem! How it works:
- we’ve put together a list of 31 of our favorite tropes, one per day through the month of May!
- we’ll announce the prompts on May 1st.
- open to anyone who wants to create anything, but we’re emphasizing fic writing
- write a ficlet, or create any other content that you want, aligned with the prompt for the day! (we’re focused on fics, but we won’t say no to art, gifs, etc., if making those floats your boat)
- our goal is to promote motivation and help with habit building, so we’re encouraging people to keep their ficlets under 1,000 words, or if you make art or a gif or something, to stick to a sketch or a single image.
- post your correctly tagged fills to Tumblr, and we’ll reblog them! (you must tag warnings such as gore, MCD, sexual content, etc., so that people can avoid triggering material!) If you write more than 1k words, please use a read more, or if you write something with NSFW content or potentially triggering material, please put the entire story under a read more.
- tag us @duckprintspress with your creations, and we’ll reblog them! If you post to AO3, you can also add them to our collection there! Note that we’ll only reblog works that respect our tagging rules and “read more” usage rules.
This is a low stakes, low pressure challenge, envisioned to help people who’ve been in a writing funk “get back into the groove.”
So, come groove with us – we’d love to see what you create!
We were in the mood for some silly fluff, so we cooked up the most awkward wedding proposal prompts we could think of.
- “Why is my face on the jumbotron? Why are you on one knee? Oh God, can the whole stadium hear me right now?”
- “This didn’t go at all like I planned.” “Which part – the downpour or the alligator?”
- “No.” “But I haven’t even–” “Stop. Just no.”
- “Oh my god – oh my god – does anyone here know the Heimlich maneuver?”
- “Why did you drive me to a church? We’re engaged? We’re getting married? Since when?”
- “Hey, you’re cute. Let’s get drunk and see if those Vegas chapels are as good as they say.”
- “Before I can be wed to thee you must answer me these riddles three.”
- “Okay, so…um…I really appreciate the whole song and dance…literal song and dance, wow…like, this was really something, but uh…no…I actually don’t want to marry you…ummmm…sorry?”
- “Grandma’s will says I can’t inherit unless I marry someone by the end of the month… wanna go for it?”
- “You could have warned me that marriage doesn’t grant citizenship in this country before I said yes…”
- “Wow, that was a really sweet proposal… I would LOVE to spend the rest of my life with you…but…technically…I’m kinda already married…?”
- “Darling…I love you…but we both know you’re clumsy as fuck, and maybe you should have considered that before pulling out a ring while kneeling beside the La Brea Tar Pits.”
- “Marry you?? We’re in high school! I want to go to college, get a job, and at least travel to another country before I marry the first person I’ve ever dated!”
- “How dare you?” “But…I proposed? I want to get married? To you?” “YES. THAT. HOW DARE YOU?”
- “What’s this?” “A list.” “Of…?” “Challenges you’ll need to complete before I agree to marry you.” “…what does stealing from a gnome have to do with marriage?”