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Monthly Writing Contests - Hq

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Makeshift
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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 1st, 2010 @ 10:43 AM Reply

At 7/1/10 04:10 AM, Coop83 wrote: I still need two judges for the new writing contest - people that will have free time to judge in August are required. I already have myself, Deathcon7 and sinfulwolf as judges, so more are appreciated. Please respond here or PM me.

I could do it. I've already read through most of this month's entries just for fun, so I'd have the time to do it. I'm just debating on whether or not I want to participate in the contest this month. I suppose it will depend on the theme.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 1st, 2010 @ 11:40 AM Reply

At 7/1/10 10:43 AM, Makeshift wrote: I could do it. I've already read through most of this month's entries just for fun, so I'd have the time to do it. I'm just debating on whether or not I want to participate in the contest this month. I suppose it will depend on the theme.

I'm sure that a little light reading of this thread could tell you :P

But I'll throw you onto the list - we now have all 5 judges :D


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 1st, 2010 @ 12:16 PM Reply

At 7/1/10 11:40 AM, Coop83 wrote: I'm sure that a little light reading of this thread could tell you :P

Ah. Has been found.

But I'll throw you onto the list - we now have all 5 judges :D

Alright, that works for me. I'd probably slack off and not submit in the end anyway.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 3rd, 2010 @ 09:22 AM Reply

Are there any pre-set criteria for the judges to go by while evaluating the entries or are they more or less left up to their own devices?


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 6th, 2010 @ 12:29 PM Reply

At 7/3/10 09:22 AM, EternitySpent wrote: Are there any pre-set criteria for the judges to go by while evaluating the entries or are they more or less left up to their own devices?

A judge, I feel, should balance both technical analysis and subjective opinion when rating an entry. Each judge is of a different mind state, and while a technical score can provide consistency between evaluations, a subjective score could provide deviation and a bit more realism to the scores. Ultimately the contest is about writing the best story using the theme as effectively as possible. This, of itself, is an entirely subjective process.

As an aside, I would like to suggest that my performance as a judge, during the July competition, be used as a basis to determine eligibility for a permanent position. Finding judges seems to be a bit of a process that I would like to ease by 1 spot.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 6th, 2010 @ 10:36 PM Reply

Yeah I meant more along the lines of how is one literally meant to judge. Is the format still a score out of 10, with a list of the top 5 preferred entries or what?

That is assuming I am still meant to judge June's contest, as I haven't had much time online over the past few weeks, and am more than a little out of the loop.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 6th, 2010 @ 10:51 PM Reply

In that case, I'd assume a simple X/10 would suffice. Since giving out individual opinions is not mandatory for judges, you don't have to be so thorough in your evaluation.

I would recommend contacting Coop if you've got any specific questions or concerns.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 06:32 AM Reply

At 7/6/10 10:36 PM, EternitySpent wrote: Yeah I meant more along the lines of how is one literally meant to judge. Is the format still a score out of 10, with a list of the top 5 preferred entries or what?

Basically, if you send me all of your scores, out of 10. I can collate them from there - if I need further assistance, I'll be PMing judges in the case of tie breaks.

That is assuming I am still meant to judge June's contest, as I haven't had much time online over the past few weeks, and am more than a little out of the loop.

I would say so - I'm in the middle of it and so long as I can get the results put up by August 1st, I'll be satisfied I'm doing a good job.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 07:04 AM Reply

Suggestion for a possible MWC (if I haven't done so already, excuse me if I have).

Contestants are to take an inherently two dimensional character and turn it into someone engrossing and weave an immersive tale around that character.

Not sure how specifics on characters would be handled, perhaps limiting it to the Looney Tunes library or something.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 09:22 AM Reply

At 7/9/10 07:04 AM, RNNR wrote: Suggestion for a possible MWC (if I haven't done so already, excuse me if I have).

Contestants are to take an inherently two dimensional character and turn it into someone engrossing and weave an immersive tale around that character.

It's going to take some development, as I'm personally not quite sure what you're on about, by developing the character - telling stories akin to what they would normally do, in order for them to progress?

Not sure how specifics on characters would be handled, perhaps limiting it to the Looney Tunes library or something.

Looney Tunes? It sounds like we're heading towards fanfiction, which I'm not overly interested in. When it comes down to it, surely we want the authors to come up with original concepts and characters, that can be developed over time with the author's own influence "It's my story, I'll do what the hell I like with it!"


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 10:30 AM Reply

A good solution would be to use Archetype characters. A certain archetype can be given, or perhaps a few for writers to choose from, and they'll have to try to write the most original or entertaining character of everyone else.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 11:43 AM Reply

At 7/9/10 10:30 AM, Deathcon7 wrote: A good solution would be to use Archetype characters. A certain archetype can be given, or perhaps a few for writers to choose from, and they'll have to try to write the most original or entertaining character of everyone else.

I think it's a good idea.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 11:51 AM Reply

At 7/9/10 10:30 AM, Deathcon7 wrote: A certain archetype can be given, or perhaps a few for writers to choose from, and they'll have to try to write the most original or entertaining character of everyone else.

So, for example, you've got, let's say a Dungeons & Dragons adventuring party. A human fighter, a dwarf cleric, an Elven mage and a halfling rogue. What you'd be after there is for each author to pick the archetype (OMG cliche alert!) and then write a backstory for one of them. Of course, you could intertwine some of these, because let's face it, most groups of adventurers don't just meet up in the pub, get together and then go forth to kill stuff, do they?

If I've got the right idea, this is a very interesting idea. Perhaps stay away from the D&D idea though, as surely it would be best to get more in the way of range for the authors to work with. A fantasy, Sci-Fi, Costume Drama and stereotype could be the four basis, which the character in question could be created from...


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 12:46 PM Reply

At 7/9/10 11:51 AM, Coop83 wrote: Of course, you could intertwine some of these, because let's face it, most groups of adventurers don't just meet up in the pub, get together and then go forth to kill stuff, do they?

I'm pretty sure there's a guild that mandates that. Hell, if it were me, I'd need to be full of cheap beer before expected to face hordes of skeletons and company.

If I've got the right idea, this is a very interesting idea. Perhaps stay away from the D&D idea though, as surely it would be best to get more in the way of range for the authors to work with. A fantasy, Sci-Fi, Costume Drama and stereotype could be the four basis, which the character in question could be created from...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero - Maybe that could be a good resource for outlining the Archtypes.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 01:40 PM Reply

At 7/9/10 10:30 AM, Deathcon7 wrote: A good solution would be to use Archetype characters. A certain archetype can be given, or perhaps a few for writers to choose from, and they'll have to try to write the most original or entertaining character of everyone else.

That's... yeah, that's kind of what I was getting at, only better.

Basically give contestants a ballpark, a ball and tell them to do whatever the hell they want.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Jul. 31st, 2010 @ 08:55 PM Reply

So as I was sifting through the June contests entries, I started thinking that these contests may need an infusion of diversity - more so in terms of style than content.

Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of the theme's have been pretty cool; but they are just that, themes. Ultimately they are all pretty identical in terms of being short story, prose fiction of 1-5 thousand words in length.

My idea/suggestion/whatever would be a contest along the lines of:

- In x number of words or less write a prologue for x novel, or x type of novel
- First Person, Personal Essay, that describes an encounter with a stranger or experience with x.
- One Act Play: set in x, must include y.
- Dialogue; max of x number of characters, discussing x.
- Poetry; pick a style, pick a theme. (i.e. x lines of Free Verse/ Iambic Pentameter - love. Petrarchan Sonnet - Social Justice, etc.)
- Historical Fiction; select from x time and x place and attempt to maintain a high degree of continuity and historical accuracy while telling your fictional character's story
- Focus on a particular element: Realism, Satire, Feminism, Gothic horror, etc. and apply it to some theme

Or whatever, I'm just brainstorming. I just think it would be a fun and fresh way to approach things.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 2nd, 2010 @ 03:34 PM Reply

I was recently thinking of making writers use a specific sentence. Sort of like that Island one I think was a year or two ago. For example, make the writers incorporate this:

"Oh my" she said as she walked in, her heels stepping into the human liquid. "What do we have here?"

Now provided, you can probably take that in any direction. You could write a romantic comedy, noir or even horror, just based off of that one sentence.

The trick though, is to create a general enough statement that can be used across genres while at the same time give a specific enough scene.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 2nd, 2010 @ 11:03 PM Reply

I was thinking more a long the lines of a semen puddle.... -_-

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 3rd, 2010 @ 12:18 AM Reply

I like the archetype idea

It would be great to see some people really take some less popular archetypes like 'The Damsel in distress' or 'The Young Ward' and make them something fresh and inventive while still within the parameters of the archetype.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 3rd, 2010 @ 12:52 AM Reply

At 8/3/10 12:18 AM, Gobblemeister wrote: It would be great to see some people really take some less popular archetypes like 'The Damsel in distress' or 'The Young Ward' and make them something fresh and inventive while still within the parameters of the archetype.

It really is in your best interest to do that anyways because if your premise is really unique (while still fitting within the parameters, obviously), then it's going to stand out to the judges a lot more than something traditional. As I was judging the June entries, there were a whole bunch of stories in succession about battles in war and although that concept is fine for a story, it just didn't have that "wow" feeling. I didn't score down for it, but I did score up for the premises that I thought were unique because it shows artistic ingenuity and the ability to think outside the box.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 3rd, 2010 @ 02:04 AM Reply

At 8/2/10 11:03 PM, Deathcon7 wrote: I was thinking more a long the lines of a semen puddle.... -_-

That's the point here. You could interpret that sentence in many different ways.

While you thought semen, I, as a noir writer, think blood as the women walks in witnessing a murder.

It could be a man coughing up after a bad drug overdose. It could be many different things.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 3rd, 2010 @ 02:14 AM Reply

At 8/3/10 02:04 AM, BrianEtrius wrote:

That's the point here. You could interpret that sentence in many different ways.

While you thought semen, I, as a noir writer, think blood as the women walks in witnessing a murder.

It could be a man coughing up after a bad drug overdose. It could be many different things.

I thought of a puddle of urine. Deep in a part of the city that's a bit run down, overrun with drug users. Help set the scene as the location not being very pretty in the least.

As to Ifun's comment... yeah I'll admit I was guilty of having a story focusing on battle. However, I wrote what I knew, and it's what I wanted to do. Like I've said before, something that seems overused can be given a fresh coat of paint that reads well. Max Brooks took the zombie genre and ran with it in World War Z. It was something new that I didn't expect from a zombie novel, and it was quite gripping.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 3rd, 2010 @ 05:48 PM Reply

Just quickly to touch base with everyone here - there will be no monthly writing contest for August, as I have far too much of a workload to contemplate judging another contest.

As a result, I was considering asking you people what you would think of restructuring to a system of 6 x bi-monthly contests, which might be able to garner more impetus and as a result, more prize money. I can speak to Tom if you guys feel that's the way forward.

NB: This would not come into force until MWC11 - new year, new layout, that sort of thing.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 3rd, 2010 @ 07:55 PM Reply

Ah, anyone remember me? I'm that guy...

I haven't actually been on much (at all) lately, so you could take my input with a grain of salt. Bi-monthly would be nice, because a month, while a reasonable amount of time to work on a story, requires that entrants actually keep to a schedule in writing. Two months would give me the coveted ability to take a month-long break from my story and not be unable to enter the contest. Work/school gets in the way often, and it's easier if you have the leeway to ignore the MWC for a month. The short deadlines in place now are kind of daunting for someone like me, who doesn't know whether or not he'll really have the time to finish the story if I don't put in overtime. ^_^"

Twice the time doesn't mean twice the entrants, but I bet it would accrue at least another couple. More time means better quality writing, yadda yadda, but more importantly, more time means better judging. I've judged a few lesser contests on other forums, and it really does suck if you don't have oodles of time. Of course, if the judges really had a month to do their thing, it would be nice to at least get a blurb about each entry from those who reviewed it. Just a paragraph or something I think would benefit newbies and residents alike.

I also second the more prize money proposal, on the off chance I win one. :D

That is, if I actually hang on long enough against the onslaught of 'actual work.'

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 3rd, 2010 @ 08:11 PM Reply

At 8/3/10 05:48 PM, Coop83 wrote: As a result, I was considering asking you people what you would think of restructuring to a system of 6 x bi-monthly contests, which might be able to garner more impetus and as a result, more prize money. I can speak to Tom if you guys feel that's the way forward.

I haven't been writing as much this year, so I shouldn't really have any say in the matter, but I do enjoy having a different theme to try and wrap my head around each month :/

As far as drumming up interest, I think that the lowered participation in this year's contests is due largely in part to the move from General to Writing Forum. Sadly, I don't know how that can be helped, unless we moved the discussion threads into General to keep potential entrants reminded of the contest.


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 4th, 2010 @ 12:30 PM Reply

Ignorant question time- Have the results from the June contest come out yet?

And might I make a suggestion for another contest; myths, fables, old sorts of stories with a more modern twist could be cool.

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 4th, 2010 @ 02:10 PM Reply

At 8/4/10 12:30 PM, Frakenbourrough wrote: Ignorant question time- Have the results from the June contest come out yet?

No

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 8th, 2010 @ 07:47 PM Reply

I'm sorry about my recent illusiveness in this competition, I started my judging process today and I have to comment that the first submission 'TreadVigorously - A Bit of a Philosophical Take on Time' claims that humanity are necessarily the, "creators of time", which is a falsifiable notion, complicated as a falsifiable notion, but non the less falsifiable. If anybody has a further query regarding the matter PM me, and I'll try and explain a really complicated analogy to you (one which works).

Nor is he correct to, following his argument draw such a conclusion, that we create time.

Our rational concept of time, which is forever (till we depart) experienced by sense experience allows us to declare that the present 'had' existed in its before sense. That aforementioned, 'infinite' collection of sense data then allows us to draw the conclusion that we do not 'create time', but rather we experience time moving as a constant, however the conclusion that we 'create time' relies where there are no possible ways we can define 'present', and present in the piece is often spoken as of a memory.

Yet we can still draw the concept of present, when we trace back to a memory, which invokes a time and location. The problem is that we are then experiencing the past, however, the past cannot exist without its necessary 'creation', which requires an experience based in the present. We can empirically justify this based upon our sense data, and how that sense data came to be.

If A 'knows' X, where X is a claim (such as the sun is shining), that requires X to be true, and thereby A believes X is true, and following this initial belief, A must have reason or justification such as evidence to believe X is true. It is a false argument to have a belief, for which you have evidence for, which isn't true.

If we are receiving the sense data consistently, by staring into the sun, we envision that 'glare' of the sun, and as we constantly receive that sense data, we know X 'the glare' to be true, because it is sense data as of the present tense. Grammatically "I am staring into the sun" is different from "I stared into the sun", even though we still recall the sense experience, through the memory of staring into the sun.

It is a false envision to declare that we are the 'creators of time', where we have no experience of 'time making', and as human beings rather than acting as creators, and manipulating time, it is time that manipulates us. Rather we exist in time, than time exists because we perceive it.

But I see where he's coming from, that we only perceive time because we are the only beings who empirically justify it. But I found it easy to see simply by paraphrasing the statement, that this only applies to a memory, rather than an experience which is consistent.

I know that sounds muffled, confused, dazed, but I'm trying to recall back to some college work here. I written an excellent essay on something along the lines of this, but much more concise, illustrative, in depth, and VERY VERY meta-critical, and I'm going to have a good dig around for it in the morning.

Don't you hate writing amazing things which get lost in computer files, paper.etc.etc?

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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 8th, 2010 @ 07:49 PM Reply

I suppose his piece is good in a contextual sense, without me beginning to troll at grammar, spelling.etc. But do I mark him down for the criticisms I can draw against it?


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Response to Monthly Writing Contests - Hq Aug. 8th, 2010 @ 08:22 PM Reply

At 8/8/10 07:49 PM, ArmouredGRIFFON wrote: I suppose his piece is good in a contextual sense, without me beginning to troll at grammar, spelling.etc. But do I mark him down for the criticisms I can draw against it?

His piece is disqualified for not reaching the word count quota.


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