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WCT - [COMPETITION OVERHAUL - NEED IDEAS] The Writing Competition Thread

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Throw-down in Snowtown!

If all you want out of life is to just be good at things, just remember that you’ll still look pretty bad next to someone who strives to be great. The story of my life, summarized in one short “Note-to-Self” kind of a statement. It was quite the depressing thought to be greeted with first thing in the cold winter morning. Here I am, halfway through my senior year of high school, and up until today, just about my greatest achievement was being good at a ridiculous variety of things. Although it would be considered an achievement for some people, being just ‘good’ wasn’t getting me anywhere.

Running through my usual morning routine, I made my way to school. However, this wasn’t going to be an ordinary day for me. Today I was going to be competing in the Denali Conference Wrestling Tournament, facing off with other wrestlers in my region’s weight class for a spot in the State Tournament. It was a bigger deal since its being hosted in my hometown of Cordova, which hasn’t seen a wrestling tournament, let alone the Conference Tournament, in over 10 years. I should be excited being able to finish my 5th and final year of wrestling in front of my home crowd. However, there were a lot of things that happened this season that put me at a disadvantage. For the whole season, I was unable to attend tournaments due to injury, financial problems and grades from the previous school year. This was going to be my first tournament of the season and I have no idea what I’m up against.

I arrive at school in time to see that a few teams had already settled themselves in our gym, Valdez being one of them. Cordova and Valdez have one of those high school rivalries that have been going on for decades before me. Sure, we’ll cheer for each other against the other competition but when it comes time for us to face each other, it can get pretty ugly. This is the reason why I usually look forward to going to the Throw-down in Snowtown Tournament, which is held every year in Valdez. It was Cordova’s only chance to look good in the rival school’s gym and I was very upset having missed it my senior year.

The school day just seemed to fly by, with anticipation building every hour leading up to the beginning of competition. A few close friends wished me luck while most other people didn’t even know I was on the wrestling team. After school let out, we wasted no time preparing for the competition. Mats were immediately laid out, competitors were weighed in and the competition brackets were set up. There were only 6 people wrestling in my weight class, which meant I would have to win against three people to advance to the State Tournament. A teammate of mine, who was also a senior competing in my weight class, informed me about the other wrestlers in our bracket. My first opponent was apparently a ‘fish’, which amounts to an easy win in wrestling terminology. For our entire season, the team motto has been “No Regrets”; when you go out to compete, wrestle your best and leave everything on the mat. Shortly before competition started I told myself, “If today is my last day as a wrestler for this school, I’m going to go out, put on a show for my home crowd and go down with a bang!” In that moment, I had no idea how far those words would take me that night.

When competition started, intensity filled the atmosphere quickly. I wrestled my first match against the ‘fish’ and although I made a few obvious mistakes, it didn’t take very much to win that match with a few people cheering me on. However, my next match wasn’t as much of a cakewalk.

Winning that match would’ve secured my spot at the State Tournament as well as at least a 2nd place. Unfortunately, the guy I wrestled was very skilled and defeated me with ease. I didn’t feel as bad for losing later when he won 1st place and went on to wrestle in the title match at the State Tournament. After a fairly long struggle, I managed to pull off a win in my third match and the crowd grew louder. Suddenly, I found myself in the consolation bracket wrestling for 3rd place and the last spot to the State Tournament. As if it wasn’t enough hype generated by being the hometown senior wrestling for his last trip to the State Tournament, I was pitted against a wrestler from our rival school Valdez. I saw this as an opportunity to make up for missing that tournament in Valdez; this is going to be my Throw-down in Snowtown and I’m going to do it in front of my home town.

Intensity filled the air even before the match had begun. From the blow of the whistle, we clashed in the center of the mat and even then, I knew that this was going to be a tough match. Using his forward momentum, I caught him in a head and arm throw. Suddenly, I had him on his back and was in position to end this match in the first round. However, he escaped my control and we were neck and neck for the rest of the match. There were about 50 seconds left in the match and with a one-point lead, I had to find a way to hold on. I tried to run out the clock but the referee awarded my opponent a point for my stalling, evening the score with about 10 seconds left. The crowd was on their feet for nearly the entire match and at this point, the noise was almost deafening. Before this, I’ve never really believed that I could make it this far and to be this close to victory, there was no way I could’ve ever settled for less. I had to find a way to make the seemingly impossible happen. With everyone in that gym rooting for me, I gave everything I had in those final moments to break out from my opponents control and score the winning point just before time expired.

The crowd roared, stomped and cheered as my arm was raised in victory. The emotions I felt in that moment was unlike any I’ve ever felt before. To see everyone cheer me on and to see that I can exceed my own expectations if I just believe in myself was just amazing. From that point, I went on with a newfound self-confidence that helped me accomplish a variety of achievements. These ranged from winning various competitions to contributing back into the community among other things. Looking back on it, I’m actually glad I didn’t end that match in the first round like I could’ve. If I did, I would’ve have seen how far I could push myself. As T.S. Eliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far once can go.”

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I'm writing a story, but I think it might be too heavy for this competition. I noticed almost all the other stories avoid iffy subjects.

I dunno, what is your guy's take on dark (but not too dark) subjects?

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I'm writing a story, but I think it might be too heavy for this competition. I noticed almost all the other stories avoid iffy subjects.

I dunno, what is your guy's take on dark (but not too dark) subjects?

I love dark. You should look in my closet. So many dark articles of clothing (you know, amidst the skeletons).

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I'm writing a story, but I think it might be too heavy for this competition. I noticed almost all the other stories avoid iffy subjects.

I dunno, what is your guy's take on dark (but not too dark) subjects?

In my messed up opinion; the darker, the better!

I am in an Advanced Creative Writing Class where I have to write shit regularly, so I don't know if I'll have time to submit anything new and original to this. We'll see what time/creativity allows.

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First, dark is fine. Not many dark subjects come up probably because we like writing about others things. Doesn't mean we won't like reading them.

Second, if you're writing something for, say, a class, and it was done entirely in the submission period, you're free to use that as your submission. There's no restriction on what it was written for, it just needs to be started within the submission period (and, obviously, comply with the other rules on submissions).

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Ooh, writing contests, yey o:

Since I'm too lazy to write a new story, I'll just use something I wrote about a week ago x3

And since DeviantArt keeps wanting to fight with me when I try to copy and paste it, I'm just posting a link the the stupid thing >_>;;

http://bakuri-chan.deviantart.com/#/d2yzaa3

:3

EDIT: Ahh, I finally got my comp to work with me x3 Anyway, here it is~! :D

"Silence..."

It was just an average day . . .

The girl sat in front of her laptop, pondering what she would write. Glaring at the stack of papers beside her, she finally sighed and decided to take a break from the insane amount of homework she'd been given to go get a drink and socialize with her family. She reminded herself that her cousins were visiting for the first time in a while, and that it would only be polite to talk to them, if only for a minute. With that thought in mind, she turned off her music, grabbed the empty glass that had been sitting, unfilled, on her nightstand for at least an hour, and headed toward the door.

It was then that she heard it. The crash. The screams. She swore she heard her mother's voice, yelling her name - "Karin!"

She stopped short. If she just ran out that door blindly, all that could happen as a result would be disaster. No, if she was going to help her family, she had to be ready. She ran over, throwing the empty glass aside, to her nightstand and opened the drawer. After shoving some miscellaneous items aside, she found a small gun - a .22 magnum mini revolver. She also reached into her purse and grabbed a small pocket mirror before going to her door, turning out the lights, and slowly opening her door.

She held the mirror so that she could see down the hall into the living room without putting herself in plain sight. Slowly, she crept down the hall, keeping herself in the shadows, and always checking in the mirror before moving further. Finally, she reached the end of the hall - she pressed herself against the corner of the loveseat and waited, watching the kitchen door to her left, and the mirror that reflected everything to her right.

She noticed a shadow on the wall in the kitchen. Taking one last look at her mirror, she took two leaps before she was in the kitchen doorway, her gun aimed and ready to fire.

But nobody was there.

That was when she realized that everyone was gone. Her mother. Her father. Her aunt, uncle, cousins. Everyone. Gone.

And yet, having thrown herself into plain sight, she felt not only alone, but incredibly vulnerable. The feeling that she was being watched simply would not go away. She turned and carefully walked back. She checked in every room, every hallway - she even checked the closets, despite the fact that every single one in the house was so packed that even a baby's toy couldn't fit in there. But still, she found nothing. And still, the uneasy feeling would not leave her.

She was scared. Scared of being alone. Scared of being watched. Scared to leave her house, lest someone be waiting for her there . . .

She ran to the phone and began to dial. Out of habit, her fingers flew not to 911, but to her best friend's phone number. Instead of a cheery "Hello?" that usually came, she got a mechanical voice telling her that she had reached her friend's voicemail. She immediately hung up and dialed 9-1-1. And yet, the phone kept ringing.

And ringing . . . And ringing . . .

Until finally it clicked. Followed by a dial tone. And a voice.

"There's nobody . . ."

She immediately dropped the phone and ran. All sense of logic left her, and she flung the front door open and ran, as fast as she could. She had to find somebody - anybody - to free her from this horror story gone real.

She passed many houses. Usually, there would be children out playing. Old ladies out gardening. Middle-aged men cutting the grass, or even teenagers forced to cut the grass. But not now. Everybody was gone.

What was that? She stopped, jerking her head to her right. Once again, she saw a shadow moving across the wall of one of the houses, as though somebody was running between it and the one next to it. Out of desperation, she began to follow this unknown person, but was once again met by nobody.

"You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you . . ?"

The voice made her stop short. She wanted to turn and look at whoever had spoken, but she found herself frozen in terror. That hadn't been said by another who had simply taken pity on her . . . But by someone who had been watching her every move all this time, for his own sick amusement.

"It's too bad . . . They all died, didn't they? And now you'll die, too . . ."

She wanted to run. She knew she should run. Her mind told her to run. But her legs refused to listen. There she stood, frozen in place, while being told that she was going to die. She heard footsteps behind her, and still she could not run. She felt a face next to hers, and still, she couldn't move. Finally, she felt air - someone's breath? No, far too cold to be that . . . - brush against her ear.

"Look that way . . ."

A scrawny finger pointed down a previously darkened space between two other houses. What she saw caused her eyes to grow wide with horror. She felt sick to her stomach, and that the last bit of her mental sanity had left her. Except for one thing.

She remembered how to move.

She immediately turned, but whoever had been behind her before was gone. Instead she was met by another image, this one just as gruesome as the one before. She lost the grip in her hand, and the gun she had been holding all this time fell to the ground.

She heard it all. The click. The bang! Her own scream.

How had it happened? There was no way . . . The force of the impact couldn't have been great enough to cause the gun to go off . . . And how could its aim have been so precise . . ?

The world became dark . . . All she could hear was laughter . . . Quiet, accomplished laughter . . .

*** *** *** *** ***

Karin's eyes snapped open. Through her door, she could hear laughter, and talking in the loud voices that had become known as a family trait. She immediately ran to her window, where the old lady across the street was pulling weeds from her flower bed. A child on a bike rode by, and everything seemed normal.

Was all of that . . . Just a dream? It had seemed so real. The terror . . . The pain . . . The loneliness . . .

She let her curtain fall back before sitting on the edge of her bed and thinking. Lost in thought, she didn't even notice the sounds from the other part of her house disappearing . . . Only one thing jogged her attention away from her thoughts . . . A single voice . . .

"You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you . . ?"

PS - Just throwing this out there before I get a bunch of accusations - this story was written at around 4AM, and I took the line "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you..?" from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, for lack of ability to think of anything better. xD

EDIT 2 - holy crap, this thing's longer than I thought O.o

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And since DeviantArt keeps wanting to fight with me when I try to copy and paste it, I'm just posting a link the the stupid thing >_>;;

RULEBREAKER >:o

He wants us to write stuff within the timeframe of the contest stage. If it were up to me, I'd accept it anyway but Halcyon will probably literally hunt you down now.

You'll probably want to keep your doors and windows locked and stay in your velociraptor shelter for a little bit... You do have a velociraptor shelter, right?

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RULEBREAKER >:o

He wants us to write stuff within the timeframe of the contest stage. If it were up to me, I'd accept it anyway but Halcyon will probably literally hunt you down now.

You'll probably want to keep your doors and windows locked and stay in your velociraptor shelter for a little bit... You do have a velociraptor shelter, right?

Waitwha?

I thought as long as it was written in the timeframe of the contest entry dates (AKA September 1st - 30th) it was fine...and I just said I wrote it about a week ago O.o

Someone wanna explain to me the rule I apparently missed? o.O

EDIT - Ohwait, I just saw the thing about putting it on FictionPress or Google Docs...I guess I should go back and fight with DeviantArt then since I don't have a FP, and Google Docs ALWAYS wants to fight with me...xD

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No rule has been missed. There doesn't seem to be any indication it was written before the beginning of the month, so you're quite fine.

Now, if you were to admit to breaking the rule about when it needs to be written... well, then I do suggest you stay in that velociraptor shelter until I forget all about it. ;-)

And you don't have to put it up on GDocs or whatever. It's just a suggestion for easier archival (if I ever get around to doing that -_-; ).

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No rule has been missed. There doesn't seem to be any indication it was written before the beginning of the month, so you're quite fine.

Now, if you were to admit to breaking the rule about when it needs to be written... well, then I do suggest you stay in that velociraptor shelter until I forget all about it. ;-)

And you don't have to put it up on GDocs or whatever. It's just a suggestion for easier archival (if I ever get around to doing that -_-; ).

Ahh, alrighty then n_n thanks for clearing that up!

But, is a DeviantArt link alright? Upon winning the fight with DA and getting it copied & pasted, I noticed that it's incredibly long... o-o

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Oh gosh.. I'm so sorry for falsely accusing you :[ I misunderstood when the beginning of the submission period took place. Thankfully, Halcyon didn't chew me to bits like what happened in that.. other thread. I still have nightmares about it.

Anyway, I'll just have to give myself the customary 50 lashes for being wrong. Where is my whip...

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One week added to the submission period due to insufficient number of entries.

ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL THE END OF THE SUBMISSION PERIOD! GET TO WORK!

Thankfully, Halcyon didn't chew me to bits like what happened in that.. other thread. I still have nightmares about it.

Well of course I didn't chew you to bits. After all, velociraptors shred.

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Well of course I didn't chew you to bits. After all, velociraptors shred.

340x1.jpg

Regarding this lack of submissions predicament, I did start writing something but then got bored of it but I guess I can finish it up.

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I have school all day today (until 5:30 pst)...and I have something to submit. I'll try to find time to submit it before midnight UTC. I'm pretty sure I'll make it.

(woo for post #420)

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Well... I did end up writing that storyboard within the time period. The problem is that it's a storyboard and not a short story. Would you consider accepting it anyway, esp. given that we are low on submissions so far? I understand if not, but let me know, it would be no problem for me to post it.

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Well, that sure is frustrating. I emailed the document to myself just before I left only to find a few changes I had made to not have... been saved...or something. Whatever. I fixed up what I could and I'm satisfied with what's there.

https://docs.google.com/View?id=dfzbswsw_1207ngj5gx

I'm working on a short story with a simple title Love. I contemplated submitting the first section but it was above the word count, so I decided I'd submit the second and third sections instead. They are fairly self-contained, but as they are the middle sections of a larger work, they certainly don't resolve. The plot in the first section was a fairly complete mini-arc that ended on a turbulent note. This is a part of the larger conflict and rising action of the entire work.

If you don't think this is appropriate, feel free to disqualify it Halcyon. I leave this to your better judgment.

...and as an aside, I was thinking that we should consider using "themes" or basic plot concepts for these competitions as is done with the various musical competitions run here. My rational is that it can be more interesting to see how several authors tackle the same topic, and that there might be an easier basis upon which we can rank the entries (how well the idea was incorporated into the work in addition to the intrigue of the story/imagery of the poetry/overall meaning, etc.). It would also push authors out of their comfort zones and help them "find" creativity (or at least not have to figure out a concept of their own if they're completely dry). For instance, a plot guideline for a short story could be "Two people meet in class at the start of a semester and fall in love" (gee, wonder where I pulled that from); a theme could be something about friendship. Poetry might benefit from motivic or thematic guidelines, like the passage of time or loss.

The winner of one competition could pick the idea for the next one, subject to your approval Halcyon.

And if we do this, the freeform section would remain completely open-ended to allow for any sort of work stemming from any sort of interest in the author.

(edit: halcyon halcyon halcyon - it's odd referring to someone with an adjective! unless you're using it as a noun as an adjective... uhm, yeah. lol)

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Voting period starts now! We have three entries this time:

Throw-down in Snowtown! by Contricity

Silence... by Bakuri

Love by SoulinEther

Good luck to you three! Everyone, get to voting! You have until the 21st!

---

diotrans, as much as I would love to bend the rules so you can have your storyboard as an entry, I feel I need to be a "responsible" organizer and hold firm on them. I don't believe storyboards fit the short story mold. It's unfortunate, but I need to keep to the rules that have been laid out. Still, if you would like to post it just to let others read it and maybe get some feedback, feel free. The general Writer's Thread died a long time ago, so while this is the competition thread, myself and likely others would probably not mind having works unrelated to the competition posted from time to time. I know I'd like to read what you've done.

Soul, I like the concept you're proposing, but I feel it wouldn't work out too well here. The problem I'm seeing is that narrowing the focus will likely reduce the participation in a given round in any competition; people like to write in certain areas, and some won't bother entering if they're restricted to something they're less than enthusiastic about (admittedly, I have this issue from time to time). This is an issue here because, right now, we're barely getting enough entries as it is. If we had more regular participants* I'd be all for this idea, but until we do, I feel as though it would only hurt us in the long run.

* Also, sorry about not entering something for this round. I had something planned, but then... SUDDENLY, MINECRAFT.

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Soul, I like the concept you're proposing, but I feel it wouldn't work out too well here. The problem I'm seeing is that narrowing the focus will likely reduce the participation in a given round in any competition; people like to write in certain areas, and some won't bother entering if they're restricted to something they're less than enthusiastic about (admittedly, I have this issue from time to time). This is an issue here because, right now, we're barely getting enough entries as it is. If we had more regular participants* I'd be all for this idea, but until we do, I feel as though it would only hurt us in the long run.

You're right indeed... I hadn't considered how few entrants this competition regularly sees.

Perhaps someday.

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