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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Writing Challenges » Time for a new challenge?

   
Author Topic: Time for a new challenge?
snapper
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I have an idea for a trigger that honors one of our own WotF winners but would like an opinion on what to do.

Word count...

1000? 2000? More?

Prize...

I'm kinda broke. In the past we did it for pride. I do have one idea that I would be willing to shell out a few dollars for but need the willingness and cooperation of a certain adminstrator to carry it out.

Of course, the standard rules apply. Whoever submits must be willing to read and judge all the participants. In the past not everyone were able to fill out that obligation.

So that leads me into a time frame. 1) How much time would you like to think, write, and complete your submission. and 2) How much time would you need to judge and read the competition?


Looking for input...

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited November 26, 2009).]


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skadder
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Why don't you just start with an intro challenge? I always found that they were a minimal investment, but maximum fun.

With long stories you need anonymous judging because people have put time and effort into them--which is a serious effort if your organising as people rarely seem to follow the instructions.

Besides which, just TELL people what you are organising and then see how many play. Asking will just cause a debate and you'll then get people not playing because you went for something they didn't suggest. I'm not suggesting Hatrackians are petty, but by delivering a fait accompli people will just decide if they want to play or not--they won't pre-decide.

Just my opinion...


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Unwritten
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I'd love a new challenge, no prize necessary, but I think most of us Nano-ers need to get through November and have a week or so to decompress before moving on.

My favorite challenges to both crit and write are under 2000 words, and I think I learn the most from the ones under 1000.


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Tiergan
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I'm up for antyhing, would prefer a whole story versus just the intro, I tend to like to start stories but seem never be able to finish lately. As far as length I like 3,500 words or so, but can work with a 2,000 word window, not huge on flash, but if thats the case thats the case.
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LlessurNire
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Hi snapper,

thanks for taking the initiative, I would love to participate in a challenge again, I really liked skadder's last challenge with 2 parts, intros and then flash stories (1000 words).

I liked the time frame of 4 weeks or so to write the story, then a week or two for critiquing/voting.

Perhaps with Christmas approaching, deadlines for stories could be after Christmas, maybe Dec 30 and then voting for a week or two after.

If you decide on just an intro competition, these time frames could be faster.

I realize that it does take a lot of work to run it set up as skadder did, so I would love to participate in this one and then I volunteer to help organize the next competition possibly, in the new year.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I still have hopes for some kind of ending contest.

Could you have a contest where people write a story (flash or just short) and post only the last 13 lines?


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Bent Tree
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I would love to participate in an ending contest! Wheels just started churning in my head.
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Dark Warrior
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I have an idea I may introduce later, but i dont want to hijack this thread. When this contest, however it turns out, gets off the ground I will throw it out there.

Hopefully it garners more interest than my IGMS feedback thread in Published Works Forum lol.


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BenM
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Definitely no prize necessary in my case. The amount I learnt from merely participating in the 13 line flash fiction competition was prize enough.

What I have found most difficult to get my head around with the first-13 competitions is that there is no way to ensure resonance between the beginning and the end of the story, no way to ensure that what is introduced is going to be sustainable for the story, and no way to ensure the context makes sense. For me, I would have the same issue with a last-13 competition. I think making a hooky beginning without care for the rest of the story is one thing, making a hook and having the story resonate as a whole quite is another.

Of course, I could just write some flash and post it in F&F. So I guess I'm just, er, throwing this out there. Or maybe I'll propose a little flash competition in a few weeks if nothing comes up in the meantime.


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InarticulateBabbler
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Kathleen, what would be really cool is to post one of the winning openings and write and end to them.
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skadder
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Don't forget that a story consists of 13 lines after 13 lines. Establishing hooks on a n ongoing basis is a skill that walks an reader to the end of your story. Everything should interesting.

The point of the 13 line competitions--as far as I was concerned--was nothing to do with the fact it didn't reflect a real story's first 13, it was to do with the skill of creating interest in only a few paragraphs. Story should consist of of paragraphs that sustain interest all the way through.


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snapper
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Excellent suggestions everyone.

I am intrigued with Kathleens idea and would like to try an experiment.

Here is a coupel of ideas.

We work under the same synopsis, perhaps a famous published one, and we all try to write the best finish for it.

or...

I post an opening, perhaps to a famous story, Enders Game for example, then (without plagerising) we write the ending. Best one wins.

or...

a combination of both ideas

or...

everyone writes a brief, one or two paragraph synopsis of their story then post the last 13 lines of it.

What do you think?


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I'd recommend the two-paragraph synopsis of original stories with the 13-line ending posted.

Using something already published is messy (copyright issues). I'm not sure I see the point of it, if everyone knows how it really ends.

If you want everyone to write to the same idea/situation/"beginning," then I'd recommend just coming up with one to toss out there. Or use a randomly selected three-word trigger.


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satate
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Sounds fun, I'd love to do a challenge.
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philocinemas
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I think I'm in - it all just depends on a butterfly in Japan.
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LlessurNire
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I think the 2 paragraph synopsis with the 13 line ending could be a fun challenge...maybe even with the extra challenge of adding some triggers that everyone would have to use in the last 13 lines.

I would be excited to participate in either this or a full flash story competition (as commented above).


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shimiqua
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What if we used these competitions to work on specific things. For example we could have a Write What You Know Challenge, and then focus on descriptions. I know that setting the milieu is something that needs work in my own writing, and it might be easier to write if the milieu is the one the author lives in.

Or we could focus on Character, Justice, Dread, Dialogue. etc. etc. etc. Maybe even vote for the best description, character work, sense of justice, dialogue...so we could see what works and what doesn't.

Or I could just go back to my corner and stop talking.
~Sheena


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BenM
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Perhaps rather than voting on specific points we could simply be asked to lend a sentence to each point in our critiques? I tend to regard writing very subjectively, and wonder if a regimented scoring system might work against that freedom of expression.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Ooh! I just had an idea for a challenge, or even a series of challenges: cliche-busters.

First challenge would be to write a 13-line opening where someone wakes up in a strange place, and make it work.

Any subsequent challenges would involve other kinds of writing cliches (challengers can refer to the Turkey City Lexicon if they need ideas).

These would be writing exercises, and not particularly intended for publication. And hope that people might be able to get some of the cliches out of their systems?


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MAP
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quote:
What if we used these competitions to work on specific things. For example we could have a Write What You Know Challenge, and then focus on descriptions. I know that setting the milieu is something that needs work in my own writing, and it might be easier to write if the milieu is the one the author lives in.
Or we could focus on Character, Justice, Dread, Dialogue. etc. etc. etc. Maybe even vote for the best description, character work, sense of justice, dialogue...so we could see what works and what doesn't.

This is a great idea.

[This message has been edited by MAP (edited December 02, 2009).]


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