View Full Version : Writing Prompt at Reddit Turns Into a Benefit

09-08-2016, 09:59 PM
Reddit is, according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit), "a social media, social news aggregation, web content rating and discussion website." That description barely does it justice, but that's not the point of this post.

One of the subreddits I look at fairly often is /r/WritingPrompts, which is exactly what it sounds like. Multiple prompts are posted each day. Some examples:

When time travelers go through time, they often don't know the languages spoken by those they meet. You've just been hired as a time-traveling interpreter who translates dead languages for time travelers on their epic adventures.
You accidentally discharge your firearm into the television. Much to your surprise, instead of shattering the glass, it passes right through and hits one of the characters on screen.
The only place to eat for miles is the Asian restaurant attached to the gas station. The food is great, but their fortune cookies always come true.
You die and find yourself in hell. You run into a family member that died before you but would have been the least expected to be there . . . they're running the place.
And the whole point of my post: Late in WWII, Germany launched a submarine carrying a top secret device they believed would turn the tide of the war. A day later, contact with the sub was lost and all crew were presumed dead. Now, nearly 100 years later, the sub has been found (https://np.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/5008uc/wplate_in_wwii_germany_launched_a_submarine/?st=isumq6t5&sh=52109cbb).

That prompt popped up about a week-and-a-half-ago, and one user turned out a really gripping bit about some salvage divers finding what turned out to be an old sub. The divers heard tapping from inside the conning tower, then when they touched the metal of the sub, it felt warm.

Since then, Salojin, the author, has cranked out 36 posts, running about 750-800 words, and he's typing them on his iPhone. Why? Because he's a paramedic and former Marine volunteering at a clinic in Ghana with Medics Without Borders. Normally, stories in /r/WritingPrompts stay there, but because this one was becoming so popular, it got moved to its own subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/Salojin/), which is a pretty big deal.

He did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) post (https://www.reddit.com/r/Salojin/comments/519dux/im_a_former_marine_current_paramedic_acting/?st=isumj07e&sh=bfa17cd8) that talked about his (and his wife's) work, and that precipitated a fundraising drive (https://www.gofundme.com/UBoatStory) that has generated almost $3,000 for the clinic!

At any rate, it's a fun story - shades of Clive Cussler. If you read it, keep in mind that it's really first draft material, so expect some typos and minor continuity issues. I thought the story itself is pretty well done, and I loved that it's become so popular that readers are helping support the author's cause like this.