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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. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    1. 3
    2. 4
    3. 2

    Thanks all for entering.
     
  2. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    This was really really difficult:

    1. #3 - I think everything about three is sublime. Its false-starts, Andromeda's overwhelming anxiety, the characterisations of every character, particularly the fact it can elicit a hint of sympathy alongside condemnation, for its antagonist and her pain. It's incredibly well-written to my mind. And these star-crossed lovers in Verona are now my headcanon Romeo and Juliet in the HP series. From a nothing relationship, in anything I now write, these two will have a weight in my mind that will make them worth mentioning.

    2. #2 - There was a slight loss of clarity at the end, but otherwise it had a very well constructed story and a likeable protagonist through a well rising and well-paced story and was perhaps just a hair above 4 and 5.

    3. #4 - I was incredibly torn between this one and number 5. I almost just left out the third place. I think I just have to go for the story that was more in line with what I was looking for which was fairy tale not tragedy. But I feel really cut up about it, it was a tough decision.
     
  3. Halt

    Halt 1/3 of the Note Bros. Moderator

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    #3 - The easy standout winner for the comp. I had absolutely no complaints with this piece and it was a masterclass in how to write romance and characterization and chemistry.
    #2 - The second best entry. Luna was written well, the otherness of the culture was well portrayed. Some minor quibbles prevented it from being a contender vs #3, but it was still very solidly written.
    #4 - Another Luna entry. This had a bit less culture, but being written in the style that it was helped mitigate this somewhat. Quite the charming piece.
     
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Vote vote vote!
     
  5. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells DA Member DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Do we have all day Saturday to review? When's the deadline? Is it just "before everyone wakes up Sunday"?
     
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    All day through the 30th for most time zones.

    If you are actively reviewing/reading at midnight just post here so I know not to call it till you finish.
     
  7. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    @Niez & @Agayek

    I mentioned my 'idea' earlier about the foreign magical region I was brainstorming and a few of you expressed interest in hearing what it was.

    Well, I didn't write it. It never came together in terms of plot. But just for reference, here's more or less what I was working with.

    == == == ==

    Starting paragraph in italics - it's an excerpt from Hogwarts: A History that sets up the fact that this is an AU by explaining details around the Triwizard Tournament that don't match canon. Specifically that it is a competition between teams of three wizards from many schools.

    Story starts with Bagman/someone explaining the current task as Harry waits to draw an item from a bag that someone is walking around the Champion area. This task will last up to a week in real time, with clues being optionally provided on Days 3 and 6 for a point penalty. Harry draws a Buddha and walks over to Ron and Hermione (his team).

    The first part of the task is to locate the owner of the item. This requires that each team (1) identify the correct magical country their item is from, (2) get there via whatever transport they choose, (3) go to the Wizarding 'capital' area for that country, which for England would be London and either Diagon or the Ministry, and (4) ask people there who the items belongs to in order to proceed. Wizards will be waiting on the competitors to appear in any logical places and ready to provide them with further clues from there.

    In terms of my version of Wizarding Tibet I browsed Wikipedia reading articles and running through rabbit holes and finally caught on Langdarma and the events surrounding the region at the time. Basically (from wiki) he was the last King of the Tibetan Empire, which then fell into decline after his assassination by a Buddhist Monk and lead to something called the "Era of Fragmentation."

    I can't find all of my notes now, but I had written down that either one of this guy's two sons was a Wizard OR his assassin was a Wizard. And then I had it sorted out where one of the 'fragments' of this empire basically kept going as it was and led to Wizarding Tibet, which split off from all the muggle areas back around 900 AD (well before the Statute of Secrecy was in effect in other areas).

    They maintain a monastic tradition (all genders) and interact with the Muggle region differently from other areas of the Globe, since they separated from the Muggles centuries before other regions. Muggleborn children are typically identified early and, while they may still visit their parents/families, mostly go to live at the Wizarding monasteries from a young age. The parents keep in touch regularly, even being allowed to visit them there, and having a child that is able to attend these secretive monasteries is a net positive for the family. Most people know that these places exist and are special, with associated mystical rumors that are widely believed, but details (magic is real) are not widespread.

    And there was a lot more. I had scratched out notes on Tibetan Wizarding culture in a Word doc that didn't end up getting saved despite the nifty auto-save feature.

    == == == ==

    I never got around to coming up with an actual plot, just the premise (with Harry and the Tournament, outlined above) and the setting (which was fairly well fleshed out before I lost that information).

    Will go review soon!
     
  8. Paradise

    Paradise Paraplegic Dice DLP Supporter

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    thread break
     
  9. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    1st - #2
    2nd - #3
    3rd - #5

    I was torn on these rankings. NOTHING was clear cut for me in terms of which story should be where, though I did feel that 2 & 3 were a cut above. I felt that 1, 4, and 5 all tied for second after those two tied for first.

    Entries 2 & 3 I felt used the prompt about equally well and had a similar quality of writing. But I enjoyed 2 more both because I was biased in favor of hiking / outdoors / Luna and because I am a bit biased against Romance, however fun Andromeda / Ted was to read.

    Of the other three... I think Entry 1 handled the prompt the best, Entry 4 felt the most magical, and Entry 5 had the best pacing. I picked pacing, as I never found myself struggling not to skim for #5 and to me that is vitally important.

    Also interesting to note is how close some of these ran up on the 5k word limit. Didn't pass it, but damn if y'all didn't toe the line (yes, I checked).
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  10. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator DLP Gold Supporter

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    3: A charming romance that I enjoyed getting invested in. Clear winner for me.

    2: Both 2+5 had similar strengths and weaknesses in my opinion. Strong thematic elements but a lack of clear structure which left the storyline unfocused. Particularly at the end. Ultimately 3 had culture as more of a central theme so it won out for me.

    5: A good premise and some decent writing I enjoyed reading it. It didn't really include the prompt in a central way but neither did the other two options.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  11. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Are you giving #3 1st and 2nd place?
     
  12. Niez

    Niez Seventh Year

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    I see 3 will be declared winner, even without my contribution. This is indeed a good choice, and proof that the masses sometimes get it right. Well done everyone, SPQR, and all that jazz.
     
  13. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    o_ODon’t think I didn’t read your review for #5, Niez.
     
  14. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Midnight my time is in half an hour - but it'll be a few hours before I tally. Will do it when I wake up in the morning, so take a bit more time if needed.

    But yeah, technically? TIME BITCHES. If you're not done yet then get there.

    Thanks all! Great run.
     
  15. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    DLP Contest.JPG

    Congratulations to Entry #3 - Violent Delights!
    Well done as well to Entry #2 - The Luna Lovegood Guide to Making Babies!
    I'll edit the first post to reflect the winners, PM the authors to see if they want credit, and in a few hours try to have the next poll up (I have a lunch obligation first).

    But for anyone curious - Q4 Part II will be a Flash competition through January, when we'll go back to our regularly scheduled competition format for Q1!

    The story threads will stay open for a bit so people can get last minute commentary in, but expect them to close in a week or so.
     
  16. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Congratulations to the winner, and to all the writers in what was a really strong bunch. Particularly given the new format. It was a delight to read them.
     
  17. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Editing to add...
    @FitzDizzyspells8
    ...was the winner!

    The runner-up has chosen to remain anonymous, but may later post their story on AO3 if anyone cares to snoop.
     
  18. FitzDizzyspells

    FitzDizzyspells DA Member DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Thank you, everyone, for your incredibly kind words and your insightful concrit. Everyone who wrote and tried to write for this competition knows that this prompt was really, really difficult. I was forced to think about world-building in a way I’d never really had to before, and I was grateful to have my sanity back once the deadline rolled around. The prompt required some intense creativity which clearly paid off for a ton of people. Reading the submissions has expanded my headcanon of the wizarding world five-fold in a really spectacular way. So, well done y’all. (I also still hope that Lindsey posts her one-shot when it’s done!)

    I honestly did not think people would like my story. I joked with my beta that it was as if I’d written something for the prompt, “Write a story that DLP will hate.” A Shakespeare-inspired romance, starring two HP characters people don’t care about? I felt like I’d written a story that only I could love. I was prepared to be taken to task for my pretentious, sappy idea, so your reviews kind of stunned me.

    A few weeks ago, I mentioned in the competition thread that I took my own advice after writing myself a scathing review. You wouldn’t believe how lame my first draft of this story was. Bellatrix wasn’t even in it, for one. Once I looked at my story critically, I could sense the “meh” reviews I’d get. This was the first time I really forced myself to articulate why a piece of my fiction didn’t work, and my solutions took me by surprise. I could not have written this without the anxiety of having to face reviewers who don’t pull punches.

    So thanks, DLP.
    --- Post automerged ---
    Oh! Also! @sonder already found the AO3 posting of "The Luna Lovegood Guide to Making Babies"!

    https://archiveofourown.org/works/21638836