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    DUE DATE for Competition - June 20th!
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Q2 - 2021 - DLP Story Competition!

Discussion in 'Story Competitions' started by Ched, Apr 11, 2021.

?

Pick yer poison, and for fucks sake only vote if you consider writing!

Poll closed Apr 16, 2021.
  1. Hogwarts Ghosts

    12 vote(s)
    34.3%
  2. "In hindsight, destroying the dementors was worse..."

    9 vote(s)
    25.7%
  3. Love in a time of war

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  4. Duelling

    12 vote(s)
    34.3%
  1. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    You can submit two entries. There's not a clear rule on it as it's never been a problem, but the last time or three it came up we said that submitting two was fine but we didn't want anyone to spam the competition so we cut it off there.

    Making sure @Xiph0 knows that two entries per competitor are allowed.
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Submit both from your primary account and don't do this >.>
     
  3. Wynter

    Wynter Order Member

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    Hypothetically, duelling can be anything resembling conflict yeah? So we could do Duelling loyalties ala Snape

    Or is it the more explicit has to be a magical duel between combatants?
     
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    It is hard to get disqualified for lack of prompt use. It is also hard to make good use of a prompt.

    I've answered this question before - what counts as prompt usage - and the best response I've come up with I'm going to copy and paste from the "Death" competition in 2019:
    "Death" is a very broad prompt just like "Romance" was. It's going to be partially subjective whether readers feel that it's included or not, and it's up to reviewers whether the story fits the prompt or not.

    If you want more stringent guidelines on the prompt then voters need to vote for one of the more specific prompts. A story that doesn't use the first line of a first line prompt didn't ... use the prompt. Stories that use the first line but as a one-off and/or joke that doesn't tie it into the story didn't use it well. This applies to other specific prompts, like the Dudley one, also.

    But my understanding from early on in the prompt thread is that most writers want non-specific prompts like Azkaban or Death or Vampires rather than the uber-specific prompts that I tend to prefer. So no, I'm not going to explain exactly what is meant by Death.

    I understand the desire for more specific guidelines given that no one wrote a full-on Romance for the Romance prompt, but frankly... I mean, I think it should have been obvious to all the authors that they were not writing romance. Maybe it wasn't. But if your basic plot/concept couldn't be revised into original fiction and found in the "Romance" section of the bookstore then it probably wasn't romance. It's like no one researched that at all. Not even using TVTropes or Wikipedia or even checking which popular movies have a 'romance' tag on them.

    But since you've asked about Death as a prompt... personally I'd say that something as simple as someone dying would fit. But there's a continuum here as well in terms of how well the prompt is utilized. For example:

    Someone dies in the story.
    Technically used the prompt, fine.

    Someone dies in the story and the death drives the plot in some way.
    Better - not only does this use the prompt but it makes the prompt part of the fabric of the story.

    Someone dies in the story, the death drives the plot in some way, and an HP specific aspect of Death and/or magic is explored.
    Above and beyond - This would be a tie-breaker for me though, since a poor story that did this wouldn't beat out a good story that only made the death plot-relevant.

    But that's just me. And there's other variations on the above. Maybe a death is just talked about. Maybe no one dies in the story but the concept and meaning of Death is explored in detail. Maybe there's a suicidal character thinking about Death constantly who ends up not dying. Maybe death is a constant companion in the story, always a hairsbreadth away and ever present in every paragraph, whether it occurs or not. Maybe all the characters visit the City of the Dead and what it means to be 'dead' is explored.

    I don't know. But my understanding, again, is that writers who vote for these non-specific prompts want freedom to be creative, and I don't want to stifle that by putting rails on these prompts. The prompt is "Death" - I'd hope that if someone who read your story was describing what it was about to someone else that 'death' would factor into their description/summary.

    Want more stringent guidelines? Vote for a more specific prompt.

    If you want to write about "anything resembling conflict" such as Snape struggling with which side to pick, then I don't personally consider that a good use of the prompt. However so long as you refer to it as a "duel" within the story you won't be disqualified for it.

    By definition a duel is a formal type of combat done 1v1 with witnesses. I'd consider someone doing that to be making good use of the prompt - think Draco v Harry in PS/SS if it hadn't been a ploy by Draco. They had seconds and everything, etc. However if everyone wrote this type of story it'd get boring quick - that's why I didn't like this prompt.

    In short, so long as you have 'something resembling conflict' that you / your characters refer to as dueling within the story, you're okay for entering and not be disqualified. Similar to how having a Death in the story meant you used that prompt - albeit perhaps not well.

    But if two stories are tied for first in terms of story / writing / quality I'm going to vote for the one that used the prompt best.

    ...but I admit I'll vote for an excellent story with minor/poor prompt use over a story that uses the prompt well but is poorly written, boring, and a canon rehash.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  5. AlbusPHolmes

    AlbusPHolmes The Alchemist

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    In the same vein of the earlier question - would ghost-adjacent beings like banshees, poltergeists, shades etc, be considered applicable for the Ghost prompt? And does Hogwarts Ghosts mean Ghosts originating in Hogwarts/linked to Hogwarts, or whole jettisoning the Hogwarts part be grounds for disqualification?

    Thinking of doing a fusion between Ghosts and Duelling.
     
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I’m just going to refer you back to my previous post where I linked my response to the “Death” prompt question.

    It’s hard to be disqualified so long as you at least make a token attempt to include the prompt. But part of the voting criteria is prompt use, so you may lose out there.

    But let’s be honest - the real prize here isn’t coming in first it’s the practice and quality constructive reviews we all get for entering.

    Go for it. If you’re worried your idea will be disqualified PM me details to ask. I’ll be voting but I can stay impartial based on who wrote what IMO.
     
  7. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Let's do a bit of brainstorming.

    I'm not sure what to say for dueling - except to emphasize again that it's hard to get disqualified so 'you do you' and call it a duel - but what about Ghosts?

    I thought providing a list might help get some of the Creative juices flowing for some of y'all.

    1. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington - Gryffindor House Ghost
    2. Bloody Baron - Slytherin House Ghost
    3. The Grey Lady - Helena Ravenclaw - Ravenclaw House Ghost
    4. Fat Friar - Hufflepuff House Ghost
    5. Cuthbert Binns - History of Magic Professor
    6. Moaning Myrtle - Myrtle Warren - dead student
    ...and more that you could go for, if you want to risk being more original!
    "About twenty ghosts had just streamed through the back wall. Pearly-white and slightly transparent, they glided across the room talking to one another and hardly glancing at the first years."
    — Harry's first experience viewing ghosts at Hogwarts​

    You'd really be pushing it to go even further without including any of the above, but apparently there was a toad ghost that Rowling created but cut from CoS. It left ectoplasm all over the classrooms.

    And didn't the headless hunt ride ghost horses? Or did I make that up?
     
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    History Channel - 8 Legendary Duels

    A certain Mrs. Elphinstone expected no more than a cup of tea when she paid a social call to Lady Almeria Braddock’s London home in 1792. But the visit veered off into decidedly unladylike territory when the hostess, evidently enraged by a casual comment Mrs. Elphinstone made about her age, challenged her guest to a duel in Hyde Park. According to reports, Mrs. Elphinstone fired her pistol first, knocking Lady Braddock’s hat to the ground. The women then took up swords, and Lady Braddock got her revenge by wounding her opponent in the arm. The “Petticoat Duel,” as it came to be known, ended without further incident when Mrs. Elphinstone agreed to write a letter of apology.

    TVTropes - Dueling Tropes

    So... many... tropes...! Perhaps the most obvious one would be --
    A Wizard Duel (also Wizard's Duel or Wizardly Duel) is when two (sometimes more) characters with magical or magic-like powers (spells, usually) battle each other using them. A trope found mostly in Fantasy, though it may apply to characters with magic-like powers of other genres.

    If both the heroes and villains have a wizard on their side, you can be assured this will happen at some point. Usually at or near the story's climax, probably because such a battle tends to be visually impressive. Of course, if the protagonist of the series is the sorcerer, then it happens all the time. The battle doesn't have to be between enemies; it can occur between friends or rivals, a master and his apprentice, and so on.

    Sometimes, there are specific rules that have to be followed in the duel, especially if both characters belong to a special caste or organization. Of course, if one of the participants is dishonorable, expect him or her to cheat.

    If such rules prohibit direct attacks on each other, or the work's demographic would make serious violence inappropriate, or the duel is just more of a friendly rivalry than an all-out fight, the participants may limit themselves to ostentatious spell contests instead. In this case, Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better, can mean something like "any fish you can summon, I can summon bigger," if you will, and then they might have the "fish" fight on their behalf. This kind of duel goes right back to The Bible, if not earlier.

    Curiously, one trick rarely used is to magically silence the opponent. This may be because it would make the duel too easy...or because an unspoken assumption of the setting is that it would not actually work. (Not all magic depends on incantations, and as long as the caster isn't physically prevented from speaking in the first place an invocation's effectiveness rarely seems to depend simply on how loud it is, or perhaps all competent magi have some defense against such spells.) One exception is in Role-Playing Games, where Silence spells are fairly common.

    If the win condition involves the death of an opponent, see Duel to the Death. If the magic users are specifically using Voluntary Shapeshifting spells to get the upper hand, it's a Shapeshifter Showdown.
     
  9. darklordmike

    darklordmike Headmaster

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    You definitely remember correctly. I think Nick referred to 'head polo' in CoS, and then there's this from Deathly Hallows, just after they destroy the diadem in the RoR:

    That raises all sorts of interesting questions. Where do the horses come from? Only wizards and witches can become ghosts (according to the Harry Potter wiki, at least). If they play polo, where do they get the sticks? How are they able to change clothes? If they can knock each other's heads around, that means they can physically touch another ghost.

    Maybe some of the ghosts have a weekly fight club, where they bash each other's brains in and no one gets hurt. (Someone needs to write that one).

    A fic that explores only metaphysical issues might be boring, but it could be interesting to see how a new ghost (maybe Myrtle) reacts to becoming a ghost. Did she make a conscious choice? Is she able to grow emotionally, or is she doomed to remain obsessed with her death for eternity?
     
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Bit under two weeks left folks! Get on it! My computer has been out over a month - along with my outline and started story - so I might not get to enter despite my excitement.

    Should I enter even if it's a POS story (again) or suck it and not bother if I know it'll be a POS without editing? Hrmmmmmm...
     
  11. soczab

    soczab Groundskeeper

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    Whats POS? Not familiar with the term. But id say put something in whatever it is
     
  12. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    POS = Piece Of Shit @soczab

    I'm just overly frustrated/pissy because I was on a roll with this story and had it all in my head and was engaged actively in writing it, and now most of that is not there anymore and the deadline looms. I was also proud of myself for getting started early for once, etc.

    QQ woe is me?
     
  13. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Professor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Yes.
    Edit: To be more useful, do what you can with what effort you are still able to manage. It may not be the masterpiece that you were first conceptualizing, but as long as you can say that you put your foot forward still and feel some degree of satisfaction from that, than yes, submit. If nothing else you may get feedback that you can build upon in future drafts.
     
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