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Short Story Contest #9: Theme Discussion

Discussion in 'Submissions Archive' started by Keiji, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. Keiji

    Keiji

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    Disclaimer: I am not taking it upon myself to host this contest.

    That said, since we've all pretty much agreed (some more reluctantly than
    others) that "Lore" is a pretty dumb idea for the (speculatively) next short
    story contest, should it ever happen, we need some fresh themes on the
    table. So come all, come to my counter, where wares are not sold but
    accepted for astounding textual insight.

    Some ideas:

    - Ancient Architecture.
    - Evolution.
    - Ascension.
    - Arrangement.
    - Mountain (Swamp, Island, Forest and Plains).
    - Wedding cake in the middle of the road.
    - Manipulation.

    Actually, come to think about it, I'd love "Island" as a theme, think of all
    the various ways that word can be interpreted into various intriguing plots.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  2. Traxamillion

    Traxamillion

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    One prompt I've worked with before is, "center a story around a wedding cake in the middle of the road" which is nice on many levels. I'd enjoy some ideas that are more specific like that instead of the more vague. Even with a specific theme there is tons of room for diversity. I'll post when I have some decent ideas.
     
  3. Chen

    Chen

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    Manipulation-A normal story then some comes and learns that all are manipulated somehow by a shit guy or something like that ;)
     
  4. Apheraz Lucent

    Apheraz Lucent

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    ~Subbing.

    Yes, "Center a story around an object" goes to poll for sure.
     
  5. Razosh

    Razosh

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    I vote for "center around an object" such as mountain.
     
  6. Kyrbi0

    Kyrbi0

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    Is this a poll, or a preliminary-to-poll Ideas submission thread?

    Either way, I've already submitted mine. I think the ideas are fine, but in general I want to steer clear of generic, wishy-washy buzz-words (e.g. "Despair", "Eloquence", "Transcend") and come up with simple (but deep) one-or-two-word concepts (e.g. some of the ones already submitted (e.g. "Mountain", "Ruins", "Island", etc). The "Wedding Cake in Street" kind of concept sounds weird, but interesting I guess.
     
  7. Traxamillion

    Traxamillion

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    I've also worked with a prompt where we look at 1 inkblot Rorschach image and create a story based on what we see.
     
  8. Apheraz Lucent

    Apheraz Lucent

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    That's a bit odd tho for this, as it's used more to gain insight of a person than it could be useful for a competion.

    There should always be an "Action" theme so I'll suggest "Last Stand". Of a war or one's sanity, up to writer.
     
  9. Traxamillion

    Traxamillion

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    The problem with "Last Stand" and other cliches like that is it naturally produces cliche work. We Need more specific ideas that haven't been overused.
     
  10. Keiji

    Keiji

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    I don't know that I agree that "it will naturally produce cliché works"
    is a valid argument against a theme. What stories are produced by a
    contest is up to the contestants, not necessarily the theme.

    Following that logic, you could say any theme could produce a cliché story.

    A theme should merely be a guideline, I say, to channel the creativity
    in the contestants. And in that sense, I honestly don't see the absolute
    problem with "Last Stand".

    Personally, I don't like too restrictive themes, but seeing as I probably won't
    enter the contest myself, I won't voice too badly against it.
     
  11. Traxamillion

    Traxamillion

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    I'm not saying you can't take a cliche theme like "Last Stand" and produce something new and interesting; I'm just saying that with a cliche theme it is easier to fall into a cliche scenario. For example, the idea of Beowulf's lone survivor that has been rehashed out over and over to ad nauseam.

    I will also say that specific over vague tends to produce more interesting results, as opposed to the over-expansive possibility of something vague. With something vague you may as well just have a theme that is completely open seeing as the limitations are virtually limitless.
     
  12. Chen

    Chen

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    What about "Cliché" where you need to use LOTS of clichés and use them in a nice way that your story still feel unique.

    And also a story where you will base it upon a fairy tale/nursery rhyme but a different plot and different characters.

    Or maybe Plot Twist where you make a story with a MAJOR plot twist in the end.
     
  13. Traxamillion

    Traxamillion

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    Good God...
     
  14. Apheraz Lucent

    Apheraz Lucent

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    One of ideas for earlier story contest that was supposed to be hosted but people dropped out, was Macabre Classic, where people were required to transform a standard fairy tale into a more dark world.
     
  15. Silva

    Silva

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    "Story around an object" theme sounds promising. I vote for that. Shows how creative people can be. Altho, the top suggestions aren't so bad either.
     
  16. Kyrbi0

    Kyrbi0

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    Again, that's what every story should contain. If you have a Plot without any Twists... What are you telling a children's-book story? There's a place for that, but not (IMO) a creative story-telling Contest.

    Hmm... Interesting, although to be fair, that's pretty much just reversing what Disney did to the classic Grimm fairy tales (i.e. all the 'standard' fairy tales had dark settings & occurrences).
     
  17. WerBackIII

    WerBackIII

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    May I suggest pilgrimage/spiritual journey instead of mountains/plains/forests? It has a specific theme, which incorporates the geographical motifs in it.
     
  18. Apheraz Lucent

    Apheraz Lucent

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  19. Traxamillion

    Traxamillion

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    most stories tend to have a didactic aspect to them. Including it is good, but I think making it the theme will force out an "in your face" representation of a teachable moment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  20. Apheraz Lucent

    Apheraz Lucent

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    Hm, might be true.