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Q4 (Part I) Story Competition!

Discussion in 'Q4 2019' started by Ched, Oct 10, 2019.

?

Prompt?! Keep in mind these stories are SHORTER than previous ones!

Poll closed Oct 14, 2019.
  1. Foreign Magical Regions (Setting outside of Britain)

    35 vote(s)
    57.4%
  2. Dark Lord Potter

    17 vote(s)
    27.9%
  3. Time Travel (non-Harry POV)

    9 vote(s)
    14.8%
  1. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I have an idea! Sort of. It hasn’t come together.

    I have just about given up on writing for these things anyway. I always get a good idea mostly outlines then run out of time to write. Always. FML.
     
  2. Dirty Puzzle

    Dirty Puzzle Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Just do what I did @Ched and outline for a prompt and then write it three months later and throw it in the WbA lmao. Though this time I really do wanna write something since it's shorter.
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    It’s interesting how differently we think about this.

    To me this prompt isn’t shorter.

    It’s longer.

    The prior competitions had no minimum word count. Entries could be drabbles of 100 words or flash pieces under 1k.

    This time they can’t be short. They have to be at least 2500 words each.

    Maximums are always easy for me to fit within.
     
  4. Dirty Puzzle

    Dirty Puzzle Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    Yeah that's way harder for me to do, mostly because I come up with and discard plot outlines really quickly, and usually end up with something that could be a very long fic in and of itself. The fact that this is supposed to be shorter (by maximum length) actually helps reign me in and discard longer ideas out of hand instead of playing the "Well I can just run right up to 17.5k" game every time and not finishing it within the deadline.
     
  5. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Excellent and that makes sense!
     
  6. Distended Destiny

    Distended Destiny Slug Club Member

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    So, are casual readers allowed to vote on the stories this time? IIRC one of the requirements in a recent competition was that we had to have intended to write at the least. Does the same apply to story titles?
     
  7. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    Intend to at least write, or review. I would say casual readers were never discouraged from voting, and pumping out a 200 word review is a five to fifteen minute thing if you don't want to put in @Blorcyn level effort into it.

    Readers who don't even intend to review (not even a single story) should not vote though because they aren't participating at all.
     
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    We have said in the past that you should only vote on the topics if you had at least a vague desire to write - not just read/review - but Halt is correct that it does appear to be shifting to ‘participate’ which includes reviewing.

    But if you only want to read (not write and don’t intend to review) then you don’t have much business voting.
     
  9. anonymouse the First

    anonymouse the First First Year

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    Okay, I'm new and a horrible writer who's never made it past 2K (and that was my shittiest story ever), but I'm still excited!

    But, stupid question....
    How do you post something?

    Also, is it OK if my idea is set in 1843? I'm going beyond the HP books and doing all OCs.
     
  10. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Minister of Magic DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    That’s within the rules definitely, you can write about a historical event sure.

    When you finish your story you private message the whole, edited, document to Xiph who is one of the administrators for the site who then posts it on your behalf, anonymously.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  11. anonymouse the First

    anonymouse the First First Year

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    Thanks for confirming that! While I'm on this train of thought, I'm lacking in writing skill, though I like to think I make up for it in enthusiasm. Most of my stories (READ: fanfics) hit a dead zone around 700 words. So, despite my research and actual planning, I'm really nervous. Any tips on how to stick with a story, develop an idea into a plot, and allay the "inexperienced writer going into the big(ger) leagues" nerves?

    muchas gracias!
     
  12. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Order Member

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    I explain my story to my cat. Verbalizing the general idea helps raise questions.
    " Well, the good guy needs to get the mcguffin that gives him unlimited power.
    He wants the mcguffin because... Huh. He's not a power hungry guy. Hmm maybe it's a personal connection to him? Or maybe keep it away from someone else?"
     
  13. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Try the 7-Point Plot system for a basic outline?
    The Parts of the Seven Point Story Structure
    Hook — Your character’s starting point. This is the opposite of the Resolution.

    Plot turn 1 — The event that sets your story in motion and moves you from the beginning to the Midpoint. You introduce the conflict and your character’s world changes. This is basically when you character sets out on his/her journey.

    Pinch point 1 — This is where you apply pressure. This is often used to introduce the antagonist.

    Midpoint — Your character moves from reaction to action. He/she determines he/she must do something to stop the antagonist.

    Pinch point 2 — This is where you apply more pressure. Your story takes the ultimate dive. Your character is at his/her darkest moment. He/she has lost everything.

    Plot turn 2 — Here you move the story from Midpoint to the end, the Resolution. Your character gets or realizes he/she has the final piece of information to achieve what he/she set out to do in the Midpoint.

    Resolution — This is the climax of your story. Everything in the story leads to this moment. Here, your character achieves (or fails to achieve) what he/she set out to do.


    Instructions on How to Work With the Seven Point Story Structure
    In order for this structure to work effectively, start at the end, with the Resolution, first before you write down the beginning, the Hook. By starting with the Resolution you can make sure that your main character begins the story at the opposite end of where he/she will finish the story (if he/she ends strong he/she should start weak).

    The next step is to write down the Midpoint before you write down the Plot turns. Since the Midpoint is central to your story because Plot turn 1 leads to the Midpoint and Plot turn 2 leads away from the Midpoint to the Resolution it will be easier to outline your story if you have the Midpoint before you think about the Plot turns.

    At last, write down the two Pinch points to apply more pressure to your story.

    In conclusion, this is the easiest and most effective order in which you write down the events in the Seven Point Story Structure:

    1. Resolution

    2. Hook

    3. Midpoint

    4. Plot turn 1

    5. Plot turn 2

    6. Pinch point 1

    7. Pinch point 2
    Once you have the plot points sorted out (using the above copy/pasted guidelines) you can turn it into 8 short scenes that take you from the start through each plot point.

    Loads of other ways too. But I still default to this when I'm trying to plan out stories. I personally like it for short stories in particular, as if each of those scenes (which may not actually BE scenes) I get from these plot points ends up at 500 words I get a 4k story.
     
  14. anonymouse the First

    anonymouse the First First Year

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    ...Wow.
    Thanks for the help, that's 2 users who've extended a helping hand.
    Love the name! :)
     
  15. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    We're lucky enough to have some users who have put together some incredibly extensive threads aimed at improving your writing skills. Beyond all that, there's the Work by Author subforum, which will expect more than 1k words to digest before giving you feedback. On that count, all you can do is keep writing, and eventually it'll feel natural to plow through that 700 word barrier.
     
  16. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    When a scene feels dead, add metaphorocal explosions. A character walks through the door, something literally blows up, introduce a plot element or twist. Obviously this method has its own pitfalls and requires editing to become good, but is effective at extending scenes and breaching word limits.
     
  17. anonymouse the First

    anonymouse the First First Year

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    Thanks, Halt, but what happens most of the time is that I get a flash idea. I grab a piece of paper or a Word document and write until the lack of thought gets to me. So this time, I got the idea, stopped and planned (I actually did research!), and am now barely beginning to write. I probably won't finish in time.
     
  18. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Just get high. The first 25k words I ever wrote was under the influence.
     
  19. anonymouse the First

    anonymouse the First First Year

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    I'M UNDERAGE, YOU DOLT!
     
  20. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Sounds like a personal problem. Your age isn't public. I'll ban you into a social life if you call me a dolt again. :)