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Cafe Doom  |  The Critique Crypt  |  General writing chat  |  CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
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Author Topic: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread  (Read 109862 times)

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Offline delboy

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2010, 05:16:32 AM »
I was half thinking of starting my story this week - but I've been asked to step into the guitar-slinger's breech for a gig on Saturday and now I have 28 songs to learn in four days... including some disco! I can't even hear the guitar on the disco tracks when I listen to them on YouTube so I might just put on some spangly bellbottoms and shake my hips with the guitar volume turned way down low... Also have a jazz assignment (Green Dolphin Street) to submit to my teacher by the end of September and next week I'm away all week on a business course, so time is tight and I shan't be starting my tale until October at the earliest. That said, I really don't have a tale to tell yet, just some ideas on setting, so the next fortnight's busy-ness isn't really a factor.

Derek
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Pharosian

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2010, 07:31:09 AM »
Isn't it funny how we all think our best work's ahead of us, or it's the story we're working on, or the one we've just finished :scratch:

We probably have tons of great stories sitting on our hard drives by now, but we always think we can do better with the next one :smiley:

I would hope my best work is still ahead of me... otherwise why would I bother trying to learn how to tell stories more effectively and improve the readers' experience?

I don't think I've got tons of great stories on my hard drive so much as tons of great ideas that didn't quite pan out for one reason or another. Each of us has our own set of weaknesses, and in my case it isn't a lack of writing ability per se, it's a tendency to write "at a distance" without getting up close and personal with my characters... that and an unwillingness to give my characters sufficiently tough obstacles and to hurt them... and up until recently, only a foggy grasp of how to structure a story for maximum advantage... and that's just the stuff I know about!  :/

delph_ambi

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #62 on: September 22, 2010, 06:22:12 AM »
This is tough. I have my characters. I have my scenario. My set up. My location. Even a sort of a theme. What I don't have is any sort of a plot. Help! I know if I write my normal literary-virtual-poetry-poetry I'll get nowhere in this particular competition. I have to have a story. I don't do stories. I do textures.  :scratch:

This is probably the most challenging writing I've done all year.

Offline Pharosian

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #63 on: September 22, 2010, 07:08:55 AM »
Plot comes down to Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. What do your characters want? What are they willing to do to get what they want, and what obstacles must they overcome in the process--that is, who (or what) is preventing them from getting what they want?

delph_ambi

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #64 on: September 22, 2010, 08:07:21 AM »
Thanks Pharo. I'll paste that at the top of the document and keep referring back to it. Very useful. Should keep me focused.

Offline LashSlash

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #65 on: September 22, 2010, 08:50:02 AM »
hey delf, i'll ghost write it for you, if you want --- wont tell a soul, cub's honour ;)

delph_ambi

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #66 on: September 22, 2010, 09:22:26 AM »
A very kind offer, but one which I will have to refuse, as a good and honorable girl guide.   :azn:

Offline Ed

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2010, 01:41:45 PM »
What Pharo said :afro:

Give your MC a hard time. Ask each character what they're doing in the story -- they're either helping or hindering the MC, and if they're doing neither, they have no business being in the thing.
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

delph_ambi

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #68 on: September 22, 2010, 03:55:28 PM »
Good point.

(If I ask enough questions you lot will end up writing the story for me.)

Offline Rev. Austin

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #69 on: September 22, 2010, 05:24:32 PM »
Make the protagonist a talking hat.  There aren't enough talking hats in horror literature nowadays.  :grin:  :cheesy:
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Offline leatherdykeuk

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #70 on: September 22, 2010, 05:55:03 PM »
Make the protagonist a talking hat.

Been playing Echo Bazaar, by any chance?

Offline delboy

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #71 on: September 23, 2010, 08:46:56 AM »
My story is starting to coalesce in my mind. Still got a lot of fermentation to go, but I'm beginning to feel the first connections growing. Or at least some random proteins slowly drifting towards one another in the thick soup of my muse. Can't see me starting it in anger for another week so it may be touch and go...
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
Robert B. Parker

delph_ambi

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #72 on: September 23, 2010, 09:41:35 AM »
I just surprised myself by writing 600 words of mine. I have my character(s). They have a problem. They are trying to overcome the problem. The problem's getting worse. Only thing is, the problem has no logic to it whatsoever. Yet.

More to the point, I don't think the story's remotely scary. Not sure how to fix this.  :scratch: Build in some tension? That might not be a bad idea for starters. It's all too comfortable at the moment. Could be sorted by a sensible chat over a nice cup of tea and a ginger hobnob (or whatever the galactic equivalent might be). Who needs dilithium crystals when you have hobnobs. Who needs WD40 when daleks can fly. Who needs fisshhhh.... (of the red herring variety).

Offline delboy

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #73 on: September 23, 2010, 11:35:01 AM »
And there's the thing. In addition to Pharo's excellent summary of what a story is:

Quote
Plot comes down to Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. What do your characters want? What are they willing to do to get what they want, and what obstacles must they overcome in the process--that is, who (or what) is preventing them from getting what they want?

you also have to have some reason why the characters can't just walk away from the conflict (or, of course, can't solve it in an easier way than they're doing, like having a hobnob and a cup of tea).

We've almost got the Cafe Doom "How To Write Stories" book finished in about 50 words!

Derek
"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
Robert B. Parker

LeeThompson

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Re: CafeDoom's Sixth Annual Writing Competition -- Rules thread
« Reply #74 on: September 26, 2010, 12:12:57 AM »
Got my story idea but it's going to be hell to pull off just right. Onward and upward!  :cheers:

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