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Uncharted Territory · Friendship is Short Shorts Short Short ·
Organised by CoffeeMinion
Word limit 750–1250
Show rules for this event
#1 · 10
Greetings friends, and welcome to the inaugural contest of Friendship is Short Shorts! I’ll be your host for tonight’s entertainment. Most of you know me—my name’s CoffeeMinion—and a lot of you have heard my sales pitch for why it makes sense to have alternate lengths for FiM contests.

“But CoffeeMinion,” someone’s bound to say, “I haven’t heard the sales pitch!”

Let me do it for you this way: everybody knows there are three parts to writing a Minific entry, right? The first part is brainstorming it, the second part is actually writing it—but the third part is taking a hacksaw and cutting things out of it to try to get your perfectly functional 1100-word story down to 750 words so that you can submit it.

Or maybe the writing part doesn’t resonate for you. “Surely I have not had trouble fitting my Minifics into 750 words,” some of you say. All right, fair enough—but what about all those minis you’ve reviewed where 9/10ths of the feedback looks like: “Wow, this has some great potential, but it feels really compressed / the conclusion is rushed / it needs another scene / etc.” Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to read a slate of stories that aren’t all overstuffed?

“Now hold on Mr. ‘Coffee Minion,’ if that’s even your real name,” a few are bound to protest. “Surely you can’t fix the problem of people overstuffing their stories just by adding more words? Surely they’ll still push the limit, regardless of whether that’s 750 or 1250. The fundamental problem is that people need to be telling stories that work with the word count, not against it.”

To which I say: “Stop calling me Shirley THAT’S WHERE YOU COME IN!

I would argue that the FimFiction community in general, as well as the FiM Writeoff community, has amply demonstrated their ability to write toward a “sweet spot” of 1000 words where the stories are both short and satisfying. And yes, let’s address the elephant in the room: that’s also the minimum publishability threshold for standalone FimFiction stories, which also motivates my views. But I’d argue that 1000 truly does work well as a target unto itself. We’re collectively brilliant at Minifics, except inasmuch as we generally end up cutting and cramming at the end—so why not take that basic concept and just relive a bit of pressure at the upper end?

Here’s the thing, though: I could be wrong. Maybe everyone really will just plaster themselves up against a higher limit, and the stories won’t be any better.

But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think everyone who participates will have the chance to spread their wings a little more and write some flank-kicking short shorts. And I think they’ll also enjoy it more on the back-end when the higher limit makes it that much easier to transplant these stories from the Writeoff site to FimFiction.

I think it’ll be a win-win for everybody.

But to make it happen, I need your stories, your comments, and your reviews. You guys already know how to make a Writeoff awesome; please join me now in making this one awesome!
#2 · 3
· · >>Moosetasm
BTW, anyone feel free to post up with your thoughts about the word length, the schedule frequency, or what your odds look like for joining in this weekend. Oh yeah—and did I mention that you have a whole 48 hours to write? You can totally come up with 750+ words in 48 hours!
#3 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
We have needed a story length like for the longest time. It adds extra incentive to write if I know that I can post it directly to Fimfiction after it fails judging.
#4 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Why did this not show up in the active events?! Dammit.
#5 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
Took the words right out of my mouth. :derpytongue2:

The good news is you’ve still got an entire day to join in if you like, and it’s probably not going to involve much more work than the average Minific entry.

Lol, exactly! At least the consolation prize for us all is an easy transfer!

Though who knows... assuming relatively fewer people join in on this one, the top spots could be wide open to more than just the usual suspects...
#6 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Jewel's birthday party is tomorrow, but maybe I'll try to write something.
#7 · 1
Happy birthday to Jewel! It’d be great if you made it in, but I understand that conflicts happen. I’m just glad to have mine in already, and with another whole 24 hours to tweak it!
#8 · 2
"Friendship is Short Shorts Short Short"
#9 · 1
Pwew! Made my entry!

I like the amount of time you gave us and also the timing of when we could write. The minifics usually have such a short amount of time to write, so when Sunday comes along and I actually am able to sit down and do the writing, usually the writing portion of the contests is over. So I really like the new setup here. I just wish it showed up on the main page under the active events.
#10 ·
· · >>Bachiavellian
Having just joined today, I was wondering what the guessing segment of this contest meant.
#11 ·
· · >>Unseen Storyteller
>>Unseen Storyteller
Hey! Good to have you with us!

To answer your question, once the stories are visible the Guessing page will list all the authors that have entered this round, and will give you a chance to make guesses about who wrote each story. It's completely optional, but feel free to have a go at it! If you want to see what comes out of it, check out the bottom of the Results page of a previous completed event.
#12 ·
· · >>Bachiavellian
Thanks, I wasn't sure if I needed to select my name or anonymous to participate in that portion.
#13 ·
· · >>Unseen Storyteller
>>Unseen Storyteller
I think how it works if that if you select "Anonymous" during story submission, your entry won't be credited to your Scoreboard placement and your name will not appear even after the event is over. I'm assuming that your name won't be visible for other participants in the "Guessing" slates as well.

I've never actually submitted anything under "Anonymous" so I might be wrong, though.
#14 ·
· · >>Bachiavellian >>_Moonshot >>CoffeeMinion
If that's the case then I'm definitely not selecting anonymous. Not only do I want to be credited, everybody needs a target to aim their criticism at lol.
#15 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
>>Unseen Storyteller
Just cause I tend worry about new users to an unhealthy degree, I'll just throw in a reminder that regardless of which you choose, you should maintain anonymity about the entries you wrote until the voting period is over and the results are shown.

Good luck, and hope you have fun! :)
#16 · 1
· · >>Unseen Storyteller
>>Unseen Storyteller
Ay, glad to see you here!
Good thing people will be too distracted by my awful writing that I most definitely have already started working on to notice yours!
#17 ·
· · >>Unseen Storyteller
>>Unseen Storyteller
Welcome! I hope you’ll be able to submit an entry in the time remaining, but welcome regardless!

You too Bachi, get to it *cracks whip*
#18 ·
· · >>_Moonshot
I don't know, I've been told my execution of ideas isn't the most elegant at times.
#19 · 1
I'm trying but a chair is only comfortable for so long. I should have one ready if I keep at it though.
#20 ·
· · >>Unseen Storyteller
>>Unseen Storyteller
A couple comments I've gotten from the past couple speedwrites:
"A brilliant hook and a strong opening that quickly devolved into what feels like a semi-coherent crackfic" - GaPJaxie
"I think it's around here that this story starts to come off the rails for me. It's just a little at first, but it feels like a disaster by the end." - Lofty Withers
#21 · 1
It would appear we both have a lot to learn. While the comments you received seem rather blunt. It would seem that you've avoided make a person "physically ill" as they put it. Here's to the improvement of both our writing ability.
#22 · 2
· · >>CoffeeMinion
I submitted a fic!
#23 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Whew! barely made it.
#24 · 1
>>Unseen Storyteller
Huzzah, and welcome to the party!!

Edit: Actually, congratulations to everyone for joining the party! I love it that we’ve got a mix of old and new (or at least new to me) names in the running.

So what happens now?

Keep your authorship anonymous! The experienced Writeoff folks know how this works, but for any new folks, anonymity is rule #1. If you compromise your anonymity before the voting period is over, I will be forced to disqualify your entry, which I really don’t want to do. :-(

Read and vote! This is where the rubber hits the road, friends. Check out people’s stories and use your voting slate to separate the wheat from the gluten-free!

(Whether you’re into wheat or GF is, of course, besides the point.)

Get your reviews on! Feedback is a great part of participating in the Writeoff, but what makes it great is you! Post up with your thoughts about the stories, be they positive or (constructively) critical. What did a story do that you thought worked, and what still needs some tweaking to make it land properly? Whether you’re a professional reviewer or a warm body with eyeballs (or just ears, if you’re having things read to you), chances are you’re going to notice things that give you a reaction—and sometimes the best feedback is just knowing that one thing or another caught a reader’s eye, for better or worse.
#25 · 3

I only discovered the event here last night about six hours before the deadline as I was clicking around the site after putting up my final comments on the "Devil in the Details" contest. I've gone in and updated my preferences, though, so I should get notes from now on--and I'm oh so tempted to start a novel group since National Novel Writing Month is coming up in November! Still, I'll try to read and vote and comment.

#26 · 2
· · >>LoftyWithers >>CoffeeMinion
Haven't commented anything yet due to writing and need for sleep. This is the very first writing competition that I've ever properly entered, so regardless of the outcome, I'm super excited just having finished something to begin with! Just the act of submitting my work was extremely exhilarating! After a personal hiatus of several years, it feels like coming back into the fandom with a proper bang!

I had no idea this group even existed, so I'm glad I was referred here. This has been really fun! Thanks for hosting! <3
#27 · 1
with a proper bang!

Think I know what you wrote then.
#28 · 2
Tortoise, we’re excited to have you as well! And the fun is just getting started IMO. Feel free to throw out some comments when you have time, but don’t feel like you have to go overboard!
#29 · 4
This new reviewer is a wanker. Comes in here, pisses in our pool, and didn't even submit a fic? Lame. His one redeeming feature is his handsome appearance. This Señor Alta Cruz is quite the hottie. Rawr.
#30 · 3
I didn't see this event existed until just now.
#31 · 3
A pale shadow of a ghostly image in my mind
lies scrawled upon the page, and the labor of my hours
but mocks the golden lines my fancy painted.
I face the morning gallery with dread
I cannot aid it more; it’s time for bed.
#32 · 6
Who likes short shorts mashups? Bana-na, na-na-na-na, we like short shorts mashups!

For those who are newer, mashups are an old Writeoff tradition that I absolutely love. Feel free to join in the madness!

He’s Got The Pose: (Art mashup! Click here!)

Daring Do and the Dashing Case of Soccer Territory!:
“And that brings up another thing,” Twilight shouted, mere hoof-lengths behind Thoren’s fleeing figure. “I don't see how you can call yourself a ‘shut-in’ if you make it out to soccer practice every day!”

Thoren let his back slump even as he tried to put on another burst of speed. “I told you, I don't like crowds.”

"Just let it go, Twilight," said Rainbow Dash, who was struggling to keep up. “Thoren’s a terriffic athlete, but he has to go to work tomorrow!”

“I can’t. I mean, that makes even less sense! If he’s got a job, that means he must get out. And there's a crowd of at least a hundred ponies who gather to watch your practices--”

Thoren stopped and struck a dramatic pose. “WHY MUST YOU JUDGE ME?!”

Prince Cadance Rests In The Penumbra: After three years of incorporating the joys of magical genderbending into their physical relationship, Shining jokingly suggests that he's never made it with a terrifying eldritch abomination with night-black eyes that bore into your soul and subsume you into pools of deathless ichor. Naturally, Cadance misses the joke, and turns her prodigious magical prowess on what proves to be the undoing of all Equestria.

A Recipe for Facing the Storm: Dissatisfied with the slow progress of pony-imperialism via mapmaking, Rocky Road begins to wonder if he could magically enhance Equestria's birth rate to produce more “little soldiers” to overrun the frontier. But his ambitions are cut short when he's thrown out of a fancy dinner party because society’s trying to be better now.

An Undercover Ambassador in Search of a Soul:
Are you a good girl?


Who's a good girl!


Did you chase that squirrel?


Come on, be a good lil' magically animated timberwolf... you chased that squirrel, didn't you?


Oh, naughty naughty! Auntie Fluttershy won't like that. Didn't you think about what Auntie Fluttershy would say?

#33 · 4
Undercover for Love
"Push, Lyra," said Bon Bon, holding her hoof.

Lyra screamed, arching her back before relaxing back into the bed and snarling at Bon Bon. "WHAT DO YOU THINK I'M DOING?"

Nurse Redheart gaze met Lyra's. "We're almost there. I can see the head. One more push. Get ready."

Lyra nodded, panting. Her grip tightened around Lyra and she screamed.

"Here it comes! It's--Oh my deer lord! It's--It's a monster. And another! Quick, call--"

Lyra's magic seized Nurse Redheart. "Those aren't monsters! They're my puppies."

Facing the Soccer
The uniformed buffalo spread before Rocky Road, and he turned to his little players. "Alright, team. They're bigger than us, but we've got a secret weapon--Thoren." They all turned to Thoren, who just shook his head.

"Sorry, captain. I've got to sit this one out. "

"But you play for Equestria!"

Thoren struck a pose. "I play for freedom."

Forever Modern
"Have a look," said Klondike. "Best view you've ever seen."

"Non." Fleur turned, walking off into the Tundra.

Impermanent Territory Vacation
Daring Do spun, facing Twilight, who flinched. "Stop. Just stop. Do you want to know how much I care?"

Twilight glanced at Dash, who just rolled her eyes. "I... how much do you care?"

"Open my saddlebag and take out the gem you find there."

Twilight did as instructed, and the gem lit with a scintillating aura, capturing her attention. "It's beautiful." She looked at Daring.
"Is this in appreciation for finding the typo? I had a professor once who paid students who found errors in his textbook. Doctor Gnuth."

Daring Do shook her head, rolling her eyes and smirking. "Not exactly. It's to prove a point. You see, that gem shows the emotion inside you. I can tell that you're very excited about typography and finding errors. Now hoof it back, and you'll see how much I care about that typo you found."

Twilight passed the gem back, and the colors winked out as soon as she did, leaving a dull, lifeless gem. Her hoof shot to her mouth. "Oh my gosh, I broke it!"

Rainbow snickered.

"No," said Daring Do, returning it to her bag. "It's working just fine." She turned to leave.

"Wait! What does that mean?"

Daring paused. "You're a smart mare, Twilight Sparkle. I'm sure you can figure it out." With a leap, she took to the air, leaving Twilight behind with her embarrassment.

"Hey!" said Rainbow, turning to me. "You don't need to rub it in like that."

"Oops. Did I say that out loud? Sorry Twilight."

"It's okay, Pinkie." Twilight and Rainbow shared a glance.

"Uhhhh, Pinkie?"

"Yes, Dashie?"

"Weren't you supposed to be on vacation with Cheese Sandwich?"

I gasped! "Oh my gosh, I totally forgot. He's probably looking for me!"
#34 · 4
· · >>horizon
And we’re done!

Congratulations everyone—you made it a great round. And a special congratulations to my fellow medalists Spirit and No Raisin—evidently we rocked the house!

Even though fic results are up, there’s still a bit more that folks can partake in. Pic results will be up tomorrow, so vote vote vote if you haven’t already! Also, feel free to post retrospectives on your fics if you so choose; I’ve got one cooking for mine, and hopefully it should be up later today.

Thanks again, and remember: you were there at the beginning!

achievement unlocked:
friendship is short shorts OG
#35 · 1
Aw, crud. I never even knew this contest was coming up, much less already complete. Really wish the notification thing worked better. :\
#36 · 4
Well, this is a fine way to discover that I didn't have my notification preferences set properly. :P

Anyway, thanks to >>CoffeeMinion's gentle prod, I've gotten the FIMFiction folder for this round created: https://www.fimfiction.net/group/200535/folder/68985/2019-09-uncharted-territory

Go ahead and add your stories there once you get them published to FIMFic!