Cyberpunk Challenge: Write This!

*** This is a re-post, with the original post from last March taken down. In a day or two, I will begin creating a new cyberpunk city landscape for my characters. You can read the details below, but basically, I’ve provided a large number of story prompts and the challenge is for any writers out there to create their own Creative Commons, open-world stories, which I would love to post here! ***

From March 14, 2021 – I’m a little late here… I meant to put this post up about a month ago, but my computer wasn’t being very cooperative at the time. Below is the original intro to what I’m setting up. The PDF link includes 39 pages of notes that you can use to create your cyberpunk story, in your own words, in your own style and world, while I do the same as a writing exercise now that I am between longer writing projects. Future posts in the Cyberpunk Challenge series will appear on this blog, with an expanding PDF Story Archive to be found on the Freebies page of my writer’s site Raymond Towers Dot Com.

Anything I write in this series, and any stories submitted by contributors will be considered Creative Commons BY-NC. That means credit will be given to all writers and contributors, but this will all be free to share and build upon, with the intent to get your imaginations cruising and not because I’m trying to make money here. That’s it! Read the intro, download the two PDFs, and get your heads cranking for a cyberpunk story only You can create!

Original Intro

Today (actually tonight) is February 5, 2021, 10:00 PM.

Tomorrow, I will be starting a new novel, Dobrynia’s Path 9, a story that will continue in the cyberpunk universe my lead character has been in for novels 6 through 8. A couple of hours ago, I went into the free movie apps like Tubi and Plex looking for old cyberpunk movies, and I did find a few of them, but the movies were all action-based and the themes were unoriginal and played out, such as the protagonist getting revenge for his family’s murder, or an invention that could save the world pitting the protagonist against the big, bad corporation.

For DP6, I collected about 8 pages worth of ideas from several random generators I came across on the Internet. Over the last 3 Doby novels, I must have used 40-50 character names, maybe 3 building types, and zero of everything else I generated randomly. Why did I use so little of the juicy stuff? Sometimes, my characters and their stories grow legs and take off in their own directions. This is what happened for the last 3 novels, with so many characters and subplots doing their thing that I didn’t really need to toss in any of the story ideas or NPC descriptions or anything else.

The same thing might happen with DP9, but I went ahead and collected the old ideas I did not use yet, and I generated a bunch of new ones to double the potential sparks of creativity for my next novel. I thought I would present these as an article for other writers to have a look at, before I start crossing through whatever ideas I end up using, deleting and moving things around and whatnot. So, here are the notes I will be reading just before I start my new project, which has a lot of subplots competing for attention already with all those characters and, so far, five city-state type population centers with two desert communities and three mega-city districts with over a million people each.

If these ideas inspire you to write a story, that would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? So here they are, organized by subject, with the name of the generator I used and its specific engine. My advice is that you take these ideas and use them as they are, but personalize them, or toss them around in your head until you can come up with something similar but with an unexpected twist or as a springboard to send your characters into bigger and better plots. If you do end up creating a story, I would love to publish it on my blog and / or my e-zine Verum Et Inventa. Shoot me an email and let’s talk about it. I’m at raymondtowers777@yahoo.com.

Update: March 12, 2021 – Dobrynia’s Path 9 was completed on March 5th , and I still have all of these story ideas lying around. This is the challenge for you: browse through these, write a short story based on them in the cyberpunk genre, and send them to me for editing. Don’t worry if you’re a new writer. I’ve worked with about a dozen people already, including some who had never written anything before. Any submitted stories will always remain your property, and will be included in a short story collection under the same Creative Commons License shown below, with the title Cyberpunk Challenge Story Archive. Check for the latest announcements on this blog and go download the free PDFs at Raymond Towers Dot Com / Freebies / Cyberpunk!

Creative Commons License: C C BY-NC (Creative Commons – Attribution – Non-Commercial) This license allows re-users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

Here is a list of stories I’ve written for the Cyberpunk Challenge. They’re in sequence, so start at the top if you want the full picture.

  1. Cyberpunk Challenge – Darwin Delucca Of Stem Corp
  2. Cyberpunk Challenge – Frankie Four Fingers – Seedy Info Broker
  3. Cyberpunk Challenge – Frankie Four Fingers Continued
  4. Cyberpunk Challenge – Irani Elsee – Victim Of Circumstance

Cyberpunk Challenge: Detective Rickard Varriano – This series continues the story outline put forth in the first four intros linked above. The Detective Varriano series has 8 posts.

Cyberpunk Challenge: Menoko Boi – This story continues the adventures of Detective Varriano. The Menoko Boi series has 15 posts.

Cyberpunk Challenge: Nightfish – This is a new series featuring young protagonist Sohl Fish, set in near-future Triumph City. Sohl’s adventures don’t begin there, not yet, because he originally starts out living in a rural, pleasant arcology setting. The Nightfish series has 14 posts that have grown into two full novels so far. Nightfish 3 will include the cyberpunk landscapes I will be creating over the next couple of weeks. Note that the Nightfish posts have both ongoing story, and details regarding how I came up with Sohl’s motivations, local arcology info and Triumph City’s regional details.

Stay tuned for more!

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