This blog is dedicated to Sicktember, a month-long prompt event focused around sick characters and their caregivers. Run by @yes-i-am-happyaspie & @obsessionoftheday FAQ
We looked inside some of the posts by sicktember and here's what we found interesting.
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sicktember · 2 days ago
Need some help getting started?   
These ‘Nice Dialogue Things’ work really well with our Sicktember prompts!  
Nice dialogue things
“I think the medicine’s wearing off”
“It’s just an upset stomach”
“You have a fever” “I know”
“You’re not yourself today. What’s going on?”
“Hey, take it easy”
“You should eat something”
“I- I’m gonna throw up!”
“Anything I can do?” “Just stay for a while”
“It’s so cold in here!” “It’s really not. Are you feeling okay?”
“Don’t tell me you’re getting sick now!”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap. I’m just not feeling well today”
“That really isn’t good for you right now” “I know, but I’m hungry”
“You don’t want to come in right now. Trust me”
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sicktember · 3 days ago
FAQ Update:
There aren’t enough alternate prompts for me. Can you add more? Can I add my own?
- If you need additional alternate prompts let us know! We would be happy to discuss the potentiality of adding one or two more if the need to do so becomes apparent.
You are also welcome to suggest an additional alternate if you have an idea of what you would like to use. However, there is no guarantee that it will be added to the official list.
We also want to take a moment to reiterate that you are, by no means required to write thirty prompts. If you find that there are only a few or perhaps only a single prompt on the list that you're comfortable working with, then that is absolutely fine! This event is meant to be fun for both the content creators and the content consumers. 🙂
No pressure.
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sicktember · 4 days ago
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We’re really looking forward to getting to know you all as writers and content creators! Today’s question is:
Have you participated in other writing challenges?  Which ones?
I have participated in @comfortember as well as @friendly-neighborhood-exchange, both were super fun experiences!
I took part in my first writing challenge this past November with  @comfortember  and I really enjoyed that!  I also jumped right into my first ‘fic exchange’ experience this past year by signing up for the @irondad-fic-exchange as both a participant and a pinch-hitter!  That was also a really great experience and I’m really glad that I decided to participate.
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sicktember · 4 days ago
This may be a dumb question, but about explicit content - is explicit language allowed?
When we say ‘explicit content’ we are referring to subject matter more so than language. We are looking to avoid pornographic and intimately sexual material.  Swearing is fine.  No smut, please.
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sicktember · 5 days ago
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Welcome to the Sicktember prompt list!
Sicktember is a month-long, multi-fandom prompt event that is taking place in September and is focused on sick characters and their caregivers.
Follow this blog for further information on the event. It will also be the place where we showcase the fics from this challenge.
Please refer to our FAQ which will continue to be updated as the event grows closer, but feel free to message us on this blog, or our personal blogs @yes-i-am-happyaspie and @obsessionoftheday if you have any further questions!
We are so excited about this event and we hope to have lots of participation! We can’t wait to read what you all create with these prompts!
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sicktember · 5 days ago
so, there’s absolutely no teenage relationships allowed, even if it’s explicitly stated that it isn’t sexual at all?
Thank you for asking, we’d be happy to clear that up for you!
The rules have been updated to state that relationships should be limited to consenting individuals (instead of ‘adults’) to be more romantically inclusive. Though we continue to ask that all relationships be represented in a non-explicit manner. Full (updated) rules regarding relationships are posed below, all changes are highlighted with italics.
* Are there any restrictions?
- The only thing that we ask is that any romantic relationships represented in your fics, be limited to legal and consenting individuals. Fics that contain romantic relationships between adults and minors, are incestuous, or are Stockholm syndrome-based are not welcome in the collection. Keep it wholesome
-Please do not attempt to work around the event’s 'no adult/minor' relationship rule by 'aging' characters up or down.
-For the sake of keeping the collection open to as many readers as possible, we ask that you not include any explicit content in your Sicktember submissions.
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sicktember · 9 days ago
Some great tips for adding fluff to your writing!
How to write softness
(if reposting, please use @irbelletti)
If you’re writing a book with a lot of action, battles, death, and blood, you should definitely add a little softness!
But how should you do it?
I gathered here a couple tips from great books I read that portray softness beautifully.
1. Get contrast
If your characters are grumpy and generally aggressive or cold, a fluffy moment is guaranteed to MELT the reader. Believe me, it does. 
Make your characters show softness only in specific moments if they’re not super warm people, and only towards specific friends, members of their family, or their significant other.
It will give your story a lot more depth and will make the reader yearn for more.
2. Decide the degree
A little stroke or a full blown eight-minute hug?
Make sure the softness is appropriate to the moment (for instance, it’s weird for two people to start embracing and kissing if they’re in the middle of a literal war) and if it’s in character.
Remember that for colder characters a simple arm caress shows a lot, and will never be forgotten by either the other character (the reiver) and your audience!
3. Brainstorm
Ideas for gentle softness can be:
Ask for consent to touch the other (meaning to caress them or kiss them)
Brushing leg against leg (or elbows, shoulders, arms)
holding hands
holding pinkies
blowing kisses
smiling encouragingly from afar
asking if they’re okay
moving closer without saying anything
resting their arm on the other character’s shoulder
protecting [keep reading]
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sicktember · 16 days ago
When writing a sickfic, sometimes it’s the little things that make our hearts melt on the spot!  Here is a great list of small interactions to consider when writing a soft caretaker moment.  🥰
Little caretaker actions I’m soft for
- caretaker smoothing chapstick on the sleeping whumpee’s chapped lips so they don’t crack and bleed
- warming up a blanket in the dryer
- pulling off whumpee’s shoes when they collapse in fevered sleep on their bed
- keeping a full water bottle on the nightstand at all times for when whumpee wakes up parched
- hushed phone conversations seeking advice from their medical friend on what to do
- when the caretaker doesn’t wake up whumpee for little stuff like taking their temperature or changing a bandage
- laying a cool washcloth on whumpee’s forehead
- spooning ice chips into whumpees mouth or nudging a straw past parted lips
- being the only one who can bring whumpee out of a nightmare that has them writhing and crying before they jolt awake at caretaker’s touch
- caretaker sitting on the edge of the filled bathtub to wash whumpee’s hair
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sicktember · 18 days ago
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We’re really looking forward to getting to know you all as writers and content creators!  Today’s question  is:
What makes you feel better when you’re sick?
We’ll go first!
I always feel so much better after I’ve had a day in bed where I can put on comfort shows or movies and doze in and out of sleep all day. I have trouble sleeping in the daytime so the noise of familiarity helps me zone out. The extra rest, especially when I have a fever, usually gives me the kick start I need to begin feeling better!
When I’m sick, I like to put on my comfiest pajamas and lay under my favorite blankets to read.  But I think what helps the most is when my family pitches in to take care of the tasks I’m typically responsible for.  Not having to worry about those things allows me to relax and get better!
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sicktember · 19 days ago
first off, this is really exciting, i've already been able to find time to write a few and i'm hoping that i can finish all of them! i just wanted to clarify something small. can the majority of the story *talk* about the sickness, rather than dwell on the time spent sick? random example - prompt 30, allergy. could the fic focus on the aftermath of an allergic reaction?
Thanks for asking!
Yes of course, you can use the prompts in whatever way they inspire you as long as they follow the event rules!
We are so excited to hear that you have already gotten a head start on your writing and we cannot wait until September to read your submissions!!
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sicktember · 22 days ago
Need to create an illness to suit your plot?
If so, this is an excellent list of things to keep in mind!
Things to Consider When Creating Fictional Diseases
What are its symptoms? How do they progress as the disease worsens?
How does it spread? From contaminated water? From bodily fluids? From food that’s gone bad?
How do people believe it spreads? Do they blame deities, certain animals, or certain groups of people for its spread? How do they treat the things they blame for the disease?
How well understood is it by the general populace? By specialists?
How fast can it spread through a population?
Can it be transmitted by other species? If so, do those other species exhibit symptoms or are they asymptomatic carriers?
Are some people immune to it?
What groups are the most severely affected by it? Young kids? Immunocompromised people? Old people?
Is there a cure? If so, does the cure have side effects? How many times does it need to be administered? How often? How expensive is it?
Are there many different ways to treat it? Which methods are the newest?
What ineffective or even harmful treatment methods do people think work against it? 
Will it do away on its own eventually?
How often is it fatal?
Is it viewed as more of a nuisance or something to be seriously concerned about?
How can people attempt to prevent it? Hand washing and other kinds of good hygiene? Vaccines?
Are their any over the counter medications that can be used to treat it or do you need a prescription? 
Is it used as a bio weapon?
Are some people more genetically predisposed to it than others?
Are the infected quarantined? 
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sicktember · 23 days ago
Hi, i'm really excited to try to participate in this because writing sickfics is way out of my comfort zone. I just had one question about an alt prompt - what do you mean by "vitamin c?"
Thanks for asking!
First and foremost, congratulations to you for taking a step towards expanding your comfort zone! We're happy to hear it!
Vitamin C is often credited for supporting the immune system and people have been known to load up on it in order to prevent or shorten the duration of a cold. The science behind it is a little iffy but it’s a commonly held belief in our areas. So, that was one thing that definitely came to mind when we chose that as an alt prompt.
Though the other consideration would be Severe Vitamin C deficiency/Scurvy which can lead to a whole array of problems all on its own. Everything from exhaustion and weakness to the loss of teeth.
This gives you some options! You could write something as simple as your character drinking a glass of orange juice to help get over a cold or as complicated as a scurvy pirate. It’s up to you!
Be sure to let us know if you have any more questions!
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sicktember · 23 days ago
For the Food poisoning Allergy prompt does it mean a Food Allergy or can it be a plain ol' allergy? Though the other prompts like Rash or Sniffling might be able to cover that I suppose.
Hi, thanks for asking!
We’ve discussed this and have decided that food poisoning/allergy should stick to food based. We feel our prompts allow a wide range of imagination and you are correct, there are quite a few other prompts that can be utilized for other allergies. But yes, that one was meant to be about food specifically. However, if you would prefer not to tackle a food allergy don’t forget there are alternate prompts to pick from!
We hope that helps clarify for you! Let us now if you have any other questions!
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sicktember · a month ago
Don’t invite anyone to tear you down by going first.  
‘No one can tear you down without your consent’- Eleanor Roosevelt
very small tip for new writers: write about yourself in good faith. 
Cut out the phrases “I know this sucks but …”, cut out the phrases “I don’t know how to write summaries but …”, you never have to finish with “I’m sorry” or “don’t hate me.”
you don’t have to doubt yourself on page. you don’t have to write about your work as if the reader has already decided it is bad. tell the reader what the story is about. tell the reader any details or fun facts.
but don’t assume you need to feel ashamed. don’t assume you have anything to be sorry for after putting yourself out into the world, after trying to make something beautiful, after starting and trying and beginning.
I know it is easier, safer, to judge yourself before anyone else can, to tear yourself down before anyone else can, to be your own worst critic. rejection is easiest to handle when you don’t let them do it first.
but here’s the thing: it doesn’t achieve anything. it doesn’t make your writing better, it doesn’t make people want to read your work, and doesn’t make you want to keep going. it just hurts.
so have some charity. have some respect for your art and effort. readers will often surprise you: more people than you might imagine want to see you succeed, more readers than you think will have good faith in you. but first, you have to start by having good faith in yourself.
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sicktember · a month ago
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We’re really looking forward to getting to know you all as writers and content creators!  Our next question  is:
What are your writing rituals?
As always, We’ll go first!​
@yes-i-am-happyaspie I think that the closest I get to having a true writing ritual is that I always make sure that I’m comfortable, the room is relatively quiet and that I have a snack or drink nearby before I start.
My favourite time to write is early in the morning when my brain is fresh and the house is relatively still. The only thing I really need to do before writing is get my headphones on with soft instrumental music playing to drown out any sound, otherwise I get distracted.
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sicktember · a month ago
#sicktember is already inspiring people! 
We hope you’re getting ready for the September event!
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Prompts: Vitamin C and Comfort Item from Sicktember prompts (event by @obsessionoftheday and @yes-i-am-happyaspie)  I’m drawing a Doctor Who collection of sickfic prompt art on AO3 here (prompts borrowed early with permission) (Updated at own pace) I’ll probably include Ten, Donna, Martha, Wilf, Nine, etc. So follow there for sickfic art goodness if that’s what you enjoy. 
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sicktember · a month ago
Using synonyms is a great way to keep your readers interested!
Do you ever find yourself over-using the word “sick” to describe characters in your writing? Try using these words/phrases instead:
run down
laid up
under the weather
not (/doing/feeling) so hot
coming down with something
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sicktember · a month ago
Hi! I was looking at your prompt list and wondering what you mean by 'sneaky temperature check'? I mean, think I have a concept but I wanted to double check just to make sure I understand it right. 😅
Great question!  
When I think of a sneaky temperature check, I imagine a reluctant patient and a caregiver determined to make an assessment by any means necessary.  Whether it’s a kiss to the forehead, a pat to the shoulder, or gently brushing their bangs to the side. 
Of course, those are just a few suggestions.  There are plenty of ways for a caregiver to subtly check their patient for a fever without obviously placing their hand to their forehead or placing a thermometer under their tongue. 
Feel free to get creative and think outside of the box!  We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
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sicktember · a month ago
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We’re really looking forward to getting to know you all as writers and content creators! So, for our next question, we’d like to ask:
What prompt are you most looking forward to working with?
We’ll go first!
@yes-i-am-happyaspie I really like the idea I’ve come up with for ‘unlikely caregiver’ and I can’t wait to start writing!
@obsessionoftheday I think ‘Comfort Item’ and ‘Faking it’ will both be a lot of fun
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sicktember · a month ago
Thank you for clarifying the rules. I know we have quite a while before the event begins, but I was curious if there will be a structure (ala whumptober) where we post to a collection on AO3, or whatnot? Like, does it matter how/where we post so long as it abides by the rules and is tagged appropriately, etc,? I guess that’s my question. Hope that wasn’t too confusing 😅
Great question! The short answer is yes, we plan to have a collection as well as a hashtag for sharing on tumblr. Stay tuned for more information regarding these things in the coming months!
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