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Q1 2020 Competition

Discussion in 'Q1 2020' started by Ched, Jan 3, 2020.

?

There will be HINDSIGHT because it's 2020! NO REGRETS

Poll closed Jan 9, 2020.
  1. "You have fifteen minutes to complete the exam. And your time starts now."

    5 vote(s)
    12.8%
  2. Abstract Magic (magic not covered by Hogwarts classes)

    20 vote(s)
    51.3%
  3. Gold, God, Glory: Convoluted Colonial Wizarding Adventure

    14 vote(s)
    35.9%
  1. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Congratulations to Entry #2 ! You won @Silirt , no need to regret things in hindsight for 2020.

    Note to author - if you want credit instead of staying anonymous PM and let me know!

    == == == ==
    Prompt: Abstract Magic (magic not covered by Hogwarts classes)

    == == == ==
    Welcome to the Q1 2020 Story Competition!
    Hindsight is 20/20 - so when we look back at the 2020 competitions it had damn well better the best year yet.
    /corny2020joke

    Word count limit: 17.5k max (no minimum)
    Deadline: March 9th (A Supermoon!)
    Voting: March 10th-30th

    We have a first line prompt option in the poll! "You have fifteen minutes to complete the exam. And your time starts now." must be the FIRST LINE of the story if that prompt is chosen. Personally I like it - we might actually get more stories set within Hogwarts, though I fully expect everyone to be creative with setting it elsewhere as well.

    Send your stories to @Xiph0 once you're done. Authors will be kept anonymous between the two of us, and I will not know who you are until after the competition has ended. Feel free to claim credit for your story if you want it but we'll keep it confidential otherwise.

    Polish your story up before you send it if you have time. Don't put it in WbA (obviously) but feel free to find a beta who will keep quiet. Sometimes people might guess which story is yours. That's okay - just don't advertise. And if you're the one that figures out who one of the authors is? Keep your mouth shut and avoid biasing others.

    Voting Rules
    • Read and review all entries, leaving at least 200 words of useful feedback.
      • Put the bulk of your review into a spoiler tag.
    • After you have read and reviewed ALL entries, post in this thread with your top three stories ranked.
      • Please link to your reviews when you do this.
    A guide on "how to review" in general is available here. We'd prefer that you not bias yourself by reading other reviews before making your own, but that choice is yours.

    One of the rewards for authors participating in this competition is the feedback, critique, and overall useful commentary on their work. Don't dial it in. If you don't know how to leave useful feedback then comment on the plot, pacing, characters, prompt usage, and anything else that comes to mind. You'll find that 200 words flies by.

    If you rank a story as #1 it will get 3 points, #2 will get 2 points, and #3 will get 1 point. Highest score wins. There will always be a winner. There may or may not be a runner up, depending on the number of entries and how close they are.

    Note: If you have no intention of even trying to write a story, please don't vote. The poll is meant for authors who want to participate whether they end up finishing a story or not. If you think you might write, vote. If you know you won't, don't.

    Note2: I don't bite. If you have an issue with how the competition is run and whether or not it's unfairly biased in some way, PM me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    DISCLAIMER - I want to talk to @Halt about if there's a better way to swap up the voting/points/etc - so what's listed above? That is TENTATIVE for now. If it changes it will be by the time the poll ends, however.
     
  3. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Time to write about an exam on abstract magic Dumbledore is giving Harry as they trek through the dangerous and magically forsaken Indian Subcontinent, now purged of wizards by a rampant Nundu Infestation.

    (The Patils were refugees after all)
     
  4. soczab

    soczab Professor

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    So out of curiosity, for abstract magic (since that looks like its winning). Would we interpret that as just any discipline not taught at Hogwarts? Or does it have to be a whole more esoteric branch of magic? For example would say a new class on "Professional Quidditch Training" or "Dueling" or "Household Spells" count? Or does it need to be more of a 'branch' such as like... Alchemy, Occulmency (which I assume counts since its not officially taught), etc?

    I suppose I ask, because (my own fault!) I struggle with what counts as 'abstract.' Something theoretical/non-concrete, or if its just any use of magic not taught in a Hogwarts class?

    This will be the first competition I try, so probably just me being unsure how much we let the writers 'bend' the prompt.
     
  5. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    IMO, I'd say something more esoteric. My first thought went to the subject of love(since we know the Ministry studies it. And Harry had a very real protection as a result of love). Your first three examples don't read as 'abstract' despite not being officially taught at Hogwarts, and I think that is the key difference. Alchemy or Occlumency are probably closer.
     
  6. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Supreme Mugwump

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    Ay, I hope we get the colonial stuff. I can totally picture a trip through colonial magic India, where British sahibs are insufferable while elephants stenograph history in remembrance of Ganesh, and where hindu-muslim conflicts reach into the magical world as old begums talk of djinns and giants beleaguering the old decrepit palaces of former mughal emperors. So much potential. I'd like writing about that a thousand times more than something about abstract magic, to be honest.
     
  7. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Just write a romance fluff piece and claim love was the abstract magic after all
     
  8. soczab

    soczab Professor

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    Hah well i had a fun idea for that household spells class...but if we insist. The power of love it is!
     
  9. Hymnsicality

    Hymnsicality Seventh Year

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    Is divination a possibility? The class is taught in hogwarts but no "real" divination ever is and it's a pretty abstract form of magic.
     
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Regarding the use of "Abstract Magic" as a potential prompt I'd like to refer everyone to this post in the competition about Death, and what would count as utilizing that prompt.

    First - it is extremely unlikely that you will be disqualified for lack of prompt use. That's never happened since we started these new competitions and I don't think it's ever come close to happening.

    If the only magic ever discussed or used in your story is wingaridium leviosa, and nothing new/interesting is brought up about it (or it's pronunciation, or it's usage), then yeah, okay, it might be hard to spin that as using abstract magic.

    The key here is how WELL you use the prompt, which is something I covered in the Death post.

    If you want to delve into why it MUST be Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa instead of Win-gard-ee-um Levi-o-sah and what the difference is and how that originally went into creating the spell, then fine, I'll count that as abstract. The spell might be taught at Hogwarts, but that part isn't.

    Want to make up a spell that works exactly like Stupefy but it's blue instead of red? Well, if all you do is invent it and go "hah! It's abstract because we didn't see it directly taught at Hogwarts!" then okay, I won't disqualify you - but that's SHITTY use of the prompt. However if you want to discuss in abstract why certain spells are certain colors, that's a slightly better use.

    Better yet? Ritual or "old" magic of some kind. Lily's Blood Protections are covered in canon but I'd call it Abstract Magic. Voldemort's rebirth ritual could be, as could Horcruxes depending on your headcanon for what goes into any of this shit. You can delve into a combination of Astronomy and Herbology and Potions meeting in some sort of abstract Venn diagram that goes beyond what Hogwarts has time to cover. You can invent a ritual to use a Fairy Circle but there are no directions to follow for this, you have to 'feel' it or some shit like that.

    In short - you will not be disqualified for your prompt use unless you are an utter dumbass. No one has ever come close. However if you are lazy and don't use the prompt WELL then some voters will be less likely to rate your story well, just as exceptional prompt usage may bump a mediocre story into a higher ranking.

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    As for Divination as Abstract vs Not, @Hymnsicality - have a resounding "it depends."

    I'd argue that my own Divination story is NOT abstract at all. Harry and Ron are following the instructions in the book and not doing a very good job of it. THAT SAID it would be easy to write a form of Divination that *is* abstract. However I'd personally choose to compare and contrast that to what is taught in the class, as I'd expect most "Abstract" magic not to be teachable in standard classroom settings.
     
  12. 9th Doctor

    9th Doctor Groundskeeper

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    Divination was actually my first thought as well, but then I reasoned myself into Trelawny actually starting it off properly, just not having the capability to deliver competently.

    If it was being done properly, I'd spend the first half of the first year basically having all the students exposed to all the different ways divination would work. In the second half of the year, I'd start teaming kids up in similar groups- think tea leaves in one, crystal balls in another, tarot cards in anther, and so on. The final year would be using what you have learned to find something missing or some other such thing. Bonus points to team one person from each group together and have each one find clues sequentially.

    The following years would have each doing two things: one, delving further into their primary craft and two, choosing an adjacent/related one to work on as a backup. Fifth-year I'd have the first two developed and a third added, preferably tying to another branch of magic such as Astronomy, Arithmancy, etc.

    If I were to do that for this prompt, I'd make it so that Divination wasn't taught at Hogwarts, and some of the students know how to do basics because family members taught it, then make a Divination Club or something.
     
  13. soczab

    soczab Professor

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    It does help, thanks Ched! Clears it up nicely. One other nit picky question. This might be too ambitious of me (eyes bigger than my stomach) but are we limited to one submission? Or if we have a couple of like 10k word ideas as opposed to one bigger one can we submit two?
     
  14. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I need to officially add that to the rules.

    In the past there’s been a bit of an unspoken consensus that two entries is fine, three is too many, and one good one is better than two unedited ones.
     
  15. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    In addition to that, with 20 votes for the winning prompt, an unedited entry is better than no entry at all. The more who write and submit, the better. Don't be intimidated by the higher word count. Treat this as a chance to improve upon your skills in time management, narration, crafting a tale.
     
  16. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    There’s also NOT a higher required word count. There’s just a higher limit. Please don’t feel required to get close to it and please edit/trim all the excess words from your stories as part of the editing process.
     
  17. anonymouse the First

    anonymouse the First First Year

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    Question: would a story involving a house elf talking to a curious wizard about magic count as abstract? Because discussing magic can easily stray into the theoretical.
     
  18. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I mean it depends on the magic and the conversation.

    If Dobby is telling Harry that transfiguration turns one thing into another, and he doesn’t say anything in this conversation that McGonagall wouldn’t have said in class, then not really?

    Theory is probably taught in class, after all. At least to some extent? Or perhaps not what you mean.

    But if they’re discussing, well, something more ABSTRACT than that then sure.

    There’s almost never going to be a super clear cut yes/no checkbox here. It’s a spectrum from ‘good prompt use’ to ‘not good prompt use.’
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  19. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter ⭐⭐⭐

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    I'd say if you're delving into the differences between wizard and house elf magic that would be abstract.

    Wizards need a match to start a fire - house elves are the fire. That kind of thing.
     
  20. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Bump again!!!

    Any one brainstorming?

    Can always find a cool type of unexplained magic from another story and use a similar thing as abstract within HP.