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The Last Minute · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 · 7
We start again
To seek the pain
(Hey, ho, type and go)
And prose express
Under duress.
(So early in the morning)

With words be thrifty,
Just 750.
(Hey, ho, type and go)
Write not of Pone,
The tale’s your own.
(So early in the morning)

Within these straits,
Step to the gates,
(Hey, ho, type and go)
A prompt allot,
Choose aught but ‘Ot’!
(So early in the morning)

There’s no use hiding–
We’re expediting
(Hey, ho, up-all-night!)
Our tales exciting,
So start offWriting!
(The deadline’s in the morning!)

On behalf of GGA, author of this poem.
#2 · 6
· · >>Monokeras
Now's as good a time as any to make my return to the Writeoff. It's been way too long.
#3 · 1
Welcome back! Glad to have you on board again!
#4 · 2
im just writing in lowercase to annoy you

I don't know for what purpose, but this really annoys me.
#5 ·
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
Oh man. I almost want WriteOff Topia to win, but I'm not sure I could do a decent characterization of anyone in here.
#6 · 2
· · >>MrExtra
That'd be a pretty fun excuse for everyone to make a self-insert story.
#7 · 1
>>Zaid Val'Roa
Anonymity be dammed, just this once.

It would make the city really crowded really fast.
#8 · 3
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
I'm pretty sure Majin will be forced to vote for "im just writing in lowercase to annoy you" out of principle.
#9 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
If that wins, would we have to write all minifics entirely in ironic lowercase?
#10 · 5
>>Zaid Val'Roa

#11 · 4
· · >>Cassius
Let's not do WriteOff Topia, because it's very, very limiting.
#12 · 5
· · >>Whitbane >>Figments >>Trick_Question

>user joined in 2012
>0 entries, 1 post
>this is that one post
#13 · 3
1 Post every 5 years in September.
#14 · 4

And it's a pleasure seeing you again, too, Cassius.
#15 · 3
"Quill X Eva Vortex"

Now that's a prompt.
#16 · 2
Well, I don't have the excuse of a hurricane bearing down on me this time, so I guess I'll give this round a go.
#17 · 4
· · >>Ranmilia >>Someone Else >>Fenton >>Whitbane
Hi, Andrew here!

Welcome to the Writeoff! It's always been a dream of mine to make something special out of the things I love. Now that you're signed up, you can help me make that dream come true in this cute competition!

Every day is full of chit-chat and fun activities with all of the adorable and unique Writeoff members:

Cassius, the youthful bundle of hate who values mockery the most;
Ranmilia, the deceivingly cruel reader who packs an editorial punch;
Monokeras, the French and mysterious one who finds comfort in deleting his stories;
...And, of course, Andrew, the genre hack of the Writeoff! That's me!

I'm super excited for you to read stories from everyone and help the Writeoff become a more intimate place for all its members. But I can tell already that you're a sweetheart—will you promise to rank my story the highest?♥

This competition is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.
#18 · 3
Welp, time to over think and over write things again.
#19 · 2
Happy thoughts
#20 · 6
· · >>CoffeeMinion

Cassius - Tsundere
Ranmilia - Kuudere
Monokeras - Dandere
AndrewRogue - Deredere

#21 · 3
· · >>georg
This competition is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.

Yep, there are some pretty weird stories here and there. Damn these authors.
#22 ·
· · >>KwirkyJ >>Kritten
>>Someone Else
What, no yandere option?!

0/10, would not waifu again :-p
#23 · 2
The category is made available on a while supplies last basis only.
#24 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
I believeth the reason why such an option as... yandere... isn't included is because this peculiar waifu is of the trash!

Meanwhile, my waifu values a class of sophistication and grace. Such a measly waifu as yours could never hold a flame near the value of mine!

*laughs pompously with class*
#25 ·
>>Fenton I blame Dr. Seuss.
#26 · 1
And here I find that all my Writeoff-related emails have been going to my junk box for some reason. I thought it was odd I hadn't received any notices in a while.

I may be obligated to join this one just to make up for my absence.
#27 · 6
· · >>regidar >>Dolfeus Doseux
The ______ of Choice: Syzygy, Identicality, Chicanery? Last Chance! This Can’t Possibly Win.

Laser Beam! Once Upon a Burning Sky. To Whom It May Concern: I Need A Hero. I am writing normally to appeal to you, The Last Zombie on Earth That Is Not Dead. False Skin? Necessary Evil. No More Laughter! …In Theory.

The Butt Stop: Quill X Eva Vortex? WriteOffTopia! Take a Knee Against the Wind, Keep You on Your Toes, Enemy Mine.

Today Marks the Day I Sold My Soul For… Poetry! An Ocean of Artistry For Sale, Big Wave. And All Are Now Twice Damned. Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!–

im just writing
in lowercase
to annoy

Relative Time Travel! Everything, All at Once. Tales of the Future, Blast from the Past. Never Do Yesterday What Should Be Done Tomorrow. Where Are Those Who Were Before Us?

The Last Minute, Time and Again. If They Liked It Once, They’ll Love It Twice.

Wait For The Ricochet!
#28 ·
· · >>Oblomov
ive been forced to petition for "im just writing in lowercase to annoy you" to win. it isnt mine, but i want it to win.
#29 · 2
*waifu slap fight intensifies*
#30 · 3

Just Monika!
#31 · 2
I'm pretty sure it's just your imagination.
#32 ·
I have voted. Now I expect all the rest of you to pick my prompt.
#33 · 1
"This Can't Possibly Win"

I smell some reverse psychology in this one...
#34 ·
#35 · 2
James Joyce is that you
#36 ·
· · >>AndrewRogue
What's the prompt?
#37 ·
Will be revealed tomorrow. Today is for voting on it.
#38 · 7
· · >>Monokeras
Is it just to win? Last time you liked my writing. You were never mighty. No need to appeal to what they’ll love. Look, your works take everything butt despair. Chicanery be damned. A burning artistry that today, tomorrow, and yesterday marks where twice upon us travel tales of soul. And for the theory of writing, the time you normally keep from enemy and evil, for a false concern they may not stop in the future.

Hero, Earth can’t wait a minute more. I once sold ye to the zombie, who should identically wave those dead. I, an ocean of laughter, whom Syzygy annoy. I am the skin on sale. The sky, the wind, the vortex are necessary, relative, and possibly lowercase.

Now for my poetry:

past on once,
X this ricochet last

if im last on it,
in Eva once,
against blast, chance, choice

big beam laser knee, toes
before it day again all mine
all do at the quill


#39 · 3
· · >>Dolfeus Doseux
>>Dolfeus Doseux
Hey, welcome back! Nice to have you around!
#40 · 9
· · >>horizon
-insert joke about scrambling to submit story at The Last Minute-

I funny wheeee :>
#41 ·
Aww, man. I was hoping it would be one of the other ones. Had a story idea all worked out and everything! Now I gotta beat my head against the wall for the next 6-12 hours and hope something shakes loose.
#42 ·
First one in. Will write another, and it’ll be enough.
#43 · 5
Hunh. Twice in a row, my prompt won and I don't actually have any ideas for it. :P
#44 ·
· · >>Monokeras
What to do....sigh. Still short.
#45 · 3
This week's prompt describes when all Writeoff writers submit their entries.
#46 ·
#47 · 1
Ever get those moments when a story pops into your head, fully formed? It just did for me. Let's see if I can do it justice.
#48 ·

And setting an alarm for 4:59 AM so I can submit it in accordance with this round's --

dang it, dingus, stop stealing all the good jokes
#49 · 2
Thank you. I'm glad to be back, but I don't know how glad you will be once this round goes live, since original minfics are the perfect Petri dish for my brand of Joycean excursion.
Post by Shadowed_Song , deleted
#51 · 3
It's been almost a year:

Since I've managed to put together something for a minific round. I'd forgotten what maddening fun it is!

#52 · 1
Submitted. I'm worried people will legit dislike me for this story. :<

I'm sorry in advance, but I had feelings D:
Post by Garzeel , deleted
Post by Shadowed_Song , deleted
#55 ·
Bleh, probably not entering this round. It's unfortunate, because OFMini rounds are my best chances at writing something I could edit into shape for an actual lit mag. Just not in the right headspace to think up a whole new world and concept today, even knowing that it would inevitably end up being a litfic. Sorry, friends.
#56 · 2
First draft is finally done; it only took me all day. Here's hoping I can stay awake long enough to submit.
#57 · 2
One is enough. In fact, it's more than enough.

Maybe I should do more than more than enough.
#58 · 2
One and done!

#59 · 2
And it is in, folks. Let's hope I don't disappoint anyone other than the standards I had in my head for my entry.
#60 · 2
Submitted, but I don't feel good about my chances. It was good practice at any rate.
#61 · 2
So I finally submitted my story. I gotta admit, it's kinda strange even by my standards.
#62 · 1
Will bonus points be awarded if I submit mine within the last sixty seconds of the event?
#63 · 2
Suck on it, cold. I'm done.

Now I'm gonna let the cold medicine finally knock me out.
#64 · 2
I actually submitted something I think is not trash for once!

That's, uh, not to say I think it's good. I still wish I came up with a better idea. But at least I didn't write a random comedy in the last hour! Again.
#65 · 2
And done. Let's see if I can make up for all the lost years.
#66 · 2
Well, there's my "story" in. I see a lot of people saying their entries are pretty strange, so that makes me fell a little better.
#67 · 4
i did it this time guys
#68 · 4
Submitted! Look upon me and despair! My second original round ever. Hopefully it'll run a little better than last time.
#69 · 3
Oh little red dot
you will be the death of me
Come, let us embrace.
#70 · 3
I wrote a thing woooooo.

But only one thing.
#71 · 1
I am in, with an ill-favored thing.
#72 · 3
Oh wow... I actually used the margin time for editing this go. Yikes! Never a more appropriate prompt! :-P
#73 · 1
· on 11:59 AM
Hey stop stealing my titling shtick.

#74 · 1
· on 11:59 AM
I'll come back to this sometime later, but here are some preliminary thoughts:

-Good prose, for the most part. Some odd vocabulary decisions ("braggadocio" strikes me as particularly egregious)

-Story itself is about futility and fatalism to an extent, but it itself feels like a retread of every western ever made, and I don't think it brings anything particularly new or interesting to the genre.

-Not really enough going on for the Gunslinger or the kid to get much pathos of the situation. Or rather, the Gunslinger's drama is an informed trait as a result of this being a mini-fiction.

-Pretty good, will probably make finals. This is a story I would call a chaff separator, the benchmark to meet or overcome in terms of craftmanship to be considered a good entry.
#75 ·
· on Latchford Confesses His Sins · >>FloydienSlip >>libertydude
Preliminary thoughts (will come back to this later):

-Two-thirds of this story I liked. The last third takes everything far too fast and intense.

-Tonally shifts towards the end, overall breakdown of the character arc is incoherent and muddled

-What is the take away?

-This guy does sound like he would drink PBR (the drink of losers and neophytes)

-Narrative voice good, although drastically changes in attitude in the third scene
#76 · 5
· on Impossible Even Now · >>horizon >>Xepher
You unbelievable egregious selfish human.

I don’t know, but I can’t help but take that somewhat personally.

The primary issue with this entry lies not in its nonsense per se, but in its infidelity to the art of literary nonsense itself. Read, for example, Hey Diddle Diddle:

Hey diddle diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed, To see such a sight, And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Every word is in English, as your story is, but this poem has the sense to structure its nonsense in a way that imitates its more sensible contemporaries. You get the impression of narrative without understanding how that narrative hangs together.

Or examine Jabberwocky:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.

While most of this poem is not written in sensible modern English, it does accomplish its task by deftly using fake words to create an impression of meaning that can be followed throughout the poem. Many readers develop a habit of deciphering unknown words by using context clues and comparing those unknown words to known words. Jabberwocky might max out those capacities, but it only barely exceeds them.

Or, heck, even take my own Lunnas Ache as an example:

Lunas freet lambded on the iand schorses. Three bellystains loystered along the rain.

While this might not be sensible English, it gives you plenty of clues to the potential meaning of each word: “Lunas” could be a possessive with apostrophe purposefully omitted to imply plurality, “freet” is free and feet, “lambed” is lamb and landed, your guess is as good as mine for “iand” (possibly iambic and land?), but “schorses” is definitely shore and horses.

If you want to do some proper nerd sniping, you need to carefully consider the boundary between randomness and psuedorandomness. Ideally nonsense literature is not true nonsense. It’s a story viewed from many angles at the same time, creating a narrative while also ameliorating the distinctive qualities of traditional narrative device.
#77 · 2
Ironically, I looked at the prompt for the first time just now. :facehoof:
#78 · 1
· on True Sailing Is Dead · >>horizon >>FloydienSlip
The story does give a good sense of the brain deprived of oxygen, but I have no idea what the italic portion portents, besides the sailor's inevitable death. It gives off a distinctly Buddhist vibe. If that was the intention, then it is a clever metaphor to have a sailor drowning to represent the individual drop returning to the ocean of the One.
#79 ·
· on Hour of Victory · >>AndrewRogue

-This is fun

-The good material is mostly front-loaded unfortunately, although there is some shine towards the end, particularly with the remark about the dog tasting bad despite being prepared by a five star chef

-Doesn't go ridiculous enough.

-Denouement is lame

-I was expecting the reveal to be that these were just kids all along, but that never happened

-Still left wondering about the specifics of this whole shebang.

-Just needs a bit of polish and to be honed a bit more in terms what the overall product is supposed to be and we're good.
#80 ·
· on It's Probably Telling
I would delete the last three paragraphs, or structure it in some way so that the "someone wants to hear my story"/"I stopped writing" dichotomy lands at the very end. That will give the story more impact. As it stands Benny washes over it and you're swept up in what he has to say. Which would be ideal if this was Benny's story, but it's not.
#81 · 1
· on Pай и Aд · >>libertydude >>Fenton
Pай и Aд

R.I.P. Sansilav Petrov, world savior


Okay, so true story, which I recognized from years ago. The protagonist just died in real life earlier this year.

The story itself is... odd. I'm not sure if this is an English writer deliberately making grammatical mistakes to do the "bad russian accent" thing, or a non-native speaker doing it by accident. The change in spelling from the normal transliteration makes me think non-native.

I guess it doesn't work very well for me because I know the end already. Of course, I didn't like Titanic (the movie) for the same reason, but plenty of others did.

I think, with the short word count, this doesn't add much to the actual history. We'd need to get inside the mind of Petrov more for that emotional connection, but there's no room here if you don't assume ALL readers already know the story (which isn't a safe assumption to make.)
#82 ·
· on Up In The Air
I foresaw his survival, but you really got me with Airplane Mode. This one's beyond my ability to improve.
#83 ·
· on The Difference
Time is frozen, but people still suffer. Death requires a theft of time crystal.

Good hook here at the start, but... the body horror doesn't quite play out for me. My brain hitches up on "how" something as described to work. E.g. if tape sticks, then chemistry is happening, which means rot, or something similar. How you have one without the other was too much of a distraction for me to buy into the premise.

So, I'd rate this an "elegant nightmare" or some such. Disturbing visuals, but too cerebral for true horror.
#84 ·
· on I Won't Be Able to See You Again
I have no idea what the screaming is supposed to be. Also the repetition of "Just one more minute" feels really forced to me. I suspect it has to do with the way each repetition seems to be in reference to a different thing or event, which ruins the continuity created by such a repetition.

The man enjoyed the silence his tobacco


he threw a nasty tasting fish to the ground


In front of him a van.

Not sure if this is for effect or a typo.

She also explained to him of her soon leave.

Soon is an adverb, not an adjective.
#85 ·
· on A Brief Time for Consideration · >>Fenton >>horizon
Too many "single" adjectives to start. "Last human," "A knock," "the door," "last round," "single flickering candle," "the floor," "the clock..." etc.

Then it gets good. Very interesting "truce" twist on the zombie apocalypse. Reminds me slightly of Warm Bodies. I'm not sure the ending quite makes sense to me though.

On the one hand, it seems like she's shooting her brain so she won't become a zombie and suffer. The zombie begged her to do it through the heart, so I'm not sure if that preserves the freshest brains, OR instead if he's begging her to join him in brain-having undeath (which a head-shot would prevent.)

Either way, a pretty good twist on a classic trope.
#86 ·
· on De Morte Machina · >>Xepher
Why do they have hammers?

'containment breach.

The containment breach has breached its apostraphic boundaries.

Yah, yah, nah. I don't have any constructive criticism. Sorry.
#87 ·
· on Inertial Frame · >>Monokeras
Hehe, I think I see where this is going.

Or not.

Totally thought Einstein was going to prove time dilation and thus his "365 days" would be far, far longer than death was prepared for. Instead, it seems to be the opposite, that young Einstein doesn't quite grok the time/age implications of his theory yet.

Still, I'm stretching, and I probably know more about the general subject than the average reader (though I'm not an expert on relativity by any means.) Thus, this has more the "apperance" of being clever, than actually doing so, because I could be wrong and then it's just death telling an in-joke that none of us can get.
#88 ·
· on WriteoffTopia: Australian Apocalypse! (Issue 6 of 6)
Aside from the organizational problems inherent in trying to cram 10+ users into a story and trying to give them all something to do, this was a fine entry. You get my stamp of approval, and this is now canon.
#89 ·
· on It's Probably Telling
Ooh, writing about writing... let's do the meta tango!

Okay, yep, and we loop back on the title.

So, this feels like the sort of thing that would be written at a writing workshop. The prose is quick and bouncy, but gives a lot of character for the short word count. Very well written in that regard.

But the story itself just doesn't do much for me. Benny is pushy and cuts Dean off at the start. At the end, the same. I know it's a matter of preference, but I prefer a change/twist/growth at/near the end. I suppose Dean learning to accept the "listener" role is a form of growth, but it's unsatisfying to me.
#90 ·
· on 11:59 AM
Hmmm… It could probably be a short version of a spaghetti western such as Once Upon the Time in the West. It has a nice feel to it, and captures well the atmosphere surrounding these movies, itself derived from a (mostly fantasised?) historic reality.

The plot is fairly straightforward though, and while the stakes are high, the end is predictable from the start. It's like the whole scene is a mere pretext to that stream of consciousness.

I mean, competent prose, interesting psychological portrait, but there’s nothing grasping or unexpected that I can take away.
#91 · 1
· on Last Minutes · >>FloydienSlip

I'm not the best judge. And even if I were, I wouldn't want to judge it againt prose fiction. The metrics just aren't the same. But I'll try my best here.

For the most part, I can speak this aloud and it sounds okay, but a few lines here and there miss the beat. I'm sure there's a poetic license word somewhere that drops a syllable or something to make it line up, but... The rhyme scheme though just seems to be hap hazard. Some verses rhyme every line, others are AABA, still others have no rhyme at all... and everything in between.

Overall, I like the theme, but it's too long for the content it has. In a poem, I feel every line must be strong, and this, while it has a few, is mostly filler to me. Bottom line, art should take effort to make, not to enjoy.
#92 ·
· on Did You See It · >>FrontSevens
This better be absurdist.

Nope. Just bad trollfic and a "punchline" I don't get. Instructions literally in the last line for a hidden message.



I hope someone is having fun out there when they read that.
#93 ·
· on Last Minutes — 20$ · >>Monokeras
“Do you sell five last minutes?” He asked with a smile. “There’s something I’d like to do.”

This quote would seem to contradict the earlier "One per customer scribbled hastily underneath."

I hate time paradoxes.

I hate time travel.

Trying to unravel continuity errors in a time travel plot is... well, it's nigh impossible, because time travel itself is a form of continuity error. Anyway, solid prose overall.

The ending is predictable.
#94 ·
· on Epithalamia · >>QuillScratch
Oh no, more poetry! And now with whitespace bugs (features?)

Look, poetry and prose are different things. Judging them in the same contest doesn't work. I respect it as an artform, but as I've said many times before, anything more cerebral than a limerick typically feels pretentious to me. This feels like that times ten. The "e.e. cummings" lowercase, the deliberately obtuse words like "unsex," and the obnoxious whitespace.

I'm sorry, I typically hate to be so negative toward something, but I also don't want to just say "not my thing" and not give real feedback. This is how poetry can look to a non-fan. Bottom line, I said this on the previous poem I read, and I'll say it again here: "art should take effort to make, not to enjoy."
#95 ·
· on See You, Math Cowboy · >>Monokeras
I like how casual these two characters are, and how they play off each other. That said, the story itself seemed sort of lackluster to me, a very literal take on the prompt which, while competently executed and amusing to read, doesn't do anything new or exciting. It's a pretty standard doomsday thing.
#96 ·
· on Did You See It
but did you see it

like did you see it

did you see it tho :v

I didn't find this story funny, at least in the way that it was trying to be. I've never really taken to "lolrandomXD" style humor. I like ridiculous, but not random.

Random jokes tend not to tie into anything else in the story, and end up being distracting for me. Take something like this, for example:

Today's the day. The stadium is packed, and vendors are selling everything from penuts to porcupines. Why would you buy animals here? Has everyone gone crazy?

The fact that animals are being sold here does not have to do with anything else in the story. It's random for the sake of random, sort of riding on shock value and not much else. Added to that that the narrator comments on how crazy that is [Why would you buy animals here? Has everyone gone crazy?] when it's already shown to be crazy just kind of runs the joke into the ground.

I think the comedy could use some work, here. I was expecting it to end in a pun or something, but the end is that first letter thing, which isn't really new, and what it spells out doesn't really tie into the story either.

But this is good to do if you're doing comedy: telling jokes until they're funny. Keep practicing, author, and if you want to do random stuff, go for it, but my advice is to cut back on random and try another form of comedy :>
#97 ·
· on Last Minutes — 20$
Ok, the prose is not really up to snuff (spelling inconsistencies, bad punctuation, etc.), there's a lot of rambling, and it is quite linear and slow in execution, but still I liked the end.

All right >>Dolfeus Doseux, you can object it’s predictable, it’s still funny after a fashion.

#98 · 1
· on In Sparking Skies · >>Ion-Sturm
Well that was weird and interesting. Also,

I breath.

I breathe. The e is important.

This minific would make a great basis for a short story or even a novel.
#99 ·
· on The Slow War · >>Fenton >>AndrewRogue >>Cassius
Vivid intro here. I like it. The "New stars at day" thing is just the right kind of subtle weirdness.

"...stargazing on a sunny afternoon," much less subtle.

Okay, this is very well done. The ending section fails it though. It drops the eloquent subtlty and just info dumps the situation. It should've ended on the first use of the word "Gorae" because that's a word one looks up these days. And the definition tells us all we need to know in the current world poltical situation.

So yeah, trust the reader to know enough. Maybe give a few more subtle hints about the flashes across the sea or something if you're still unsure though.

Oh, and I think there's enough detail on Japan here that I suspect the author has been there for a bit longer than the mere week I spent there.
#100 ·
· on Sixty Seconds to the End
I liked this a lot, but then I've always had a weakness for short sci-fi stuff. It's a neat twist on a tired concept, but I enjoyed the voice of the narrator on the whole. He does tend to get a bit wordy in spots, which drains the energy from the story, but overall this is a strong contender.

Also, a word of advice: write out any words less than 100. It looks cleaner.