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No Prompt! Have Fun! · Original Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
#1 · 10
· · >>destinedjagold
Please refrain from saying anything that might compromise your anonymity. Doing so is grounds for disqualification. It's recommended you do dummy reviews of your own stories should it otherwise be easy to deduce which you wrote.
#2 ·
First! :)
#3 ·
I haven't entered one of these for ages. Hopefully I can make something decent. Ah, well, good luck all.
#4 ·
Oooh, site upgrade! When did this happen?

I really shouldn't get involved with this.... but I might.
#5 ·
I'd like to, but I can't spare three whole days; uni is keeping me busy. Good luck to everyone participating!
#6 ·
Well, this is new.

Looking forward to it.
#7 ·
#8 ·
· · >>M1Garand8
Pretty sure:

I'm out again this round. I'm still squishing the full version of "A Great Wall" into shape....

#9 · 3
No Prompt! Have Fun!

Well, I guess I already know which prompt I'm going to vote for. :P
#10 · 1
Alright, here we go...

*Cracks knuckles*
#11 ·
Wonderful, I'm working to have a free week-end, so I should be able to enter the fray this round.
#12 · 1
I'll participate this time.
#13 · 3
· · >>John Cena
Anyone else care to point out this "officially" starts on April Fool's Day...?
#14 ·
Oh boy, here we go! Another Original Fic comp!
#15 · 8
You shouldn't have pointed that out.

You really shouldn't have done that.
#16 · 3
· · >>Waterpear >>billymorph
Hmm. It is harder to get excited about fiction not involving lesbian horse escapades.
#17 ·
· · >>RogerDodger
Comment voting? Cool. (Except that, currently, if I try to vote on more than one comment it spits out "Bad Request" for some reason.) never mind it seems to work now

Original fiction short stories? Also cool. I'll participate if the prompt is any good, but I haven't really been enjoying any of the winning prompts lately.
#18 · 2
That "Bad Request" thing was a cacheing problem. I've fixed that now.
#19 ·
· · >>Baal Bunny
>>Baal Bunny
And I've been wondering where you've been. o_o
#20 · 1

Who says you can't have lesbian horses in a general writeoff?
#21 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
I'm afraid that I'll be out this time.

...at Whinny City Pony Con! :-P
#22 · 1
Enjoy. :twilightsmile:
#23 · 1
· · >>Monokeras
>>Trick_Question ...And that's my new prompt submission :D
#24 · 1
· · >>billymorph
What? “Enjoy :twilight smile:”?
#25 · 1
>>Monokeras Not quite ;)
#26 · 4
Would it be possible to add this site's link to the email notification whenever there's a new event?
#27 ·
· · >>M1Garand8

March was chock full:

Of incident, but I'm about halfway through chapter 4 of "Great Wall" and am hoping to get it all finished and posted by the end of April. Then there'll be time again for Writeoffs.

#28 ·
>>Baal Bunny
Nice. For me, I have a convergence of school assignment and crunchtime at work. Busy weeks. D:
#29 ·
· · >>KwirkyJ >>Trick_Question >>Not_A_Hat
I've been thinking of renaming the genre of these events to "Original" with the constraint of "Stories not dependent on work under U.S. copyright."

The topic of whether fanfics and ponyfic in particular should be allowed, and how to judge them, has come up every General contest so far. My answer in the past of judging them as you would anything else has proven not to resolve the issue. I think it may be best to clear things up by simply not allowing them.

Upthumb one of the following posts to decide whether to make this change.
#30 · 29
Upthumb this post if you think the genre should be changed to "Original".
#31 · 11
Upthumb this post if you think the genre should remain as "General".
#32 · 5
For this event I would side with remaining 'General,' as some people may have some ideas already in mind that would be preempted with the additional constraint; moreover, it seems unfair to change the rules so soon before the event itself. For the future I would be inclined slightly to move to 'Original', if only to simplify the issue of derived versus non-derived works -- I have not found it a problem, myself, but as you say the issue has arisen consistently.
#33 ·
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
We have reached the Prompt Singularity.

Wake me when we cross the event horizon.
#34 ·
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
We have reached the Prompt Singularity.

Wake me when we cross the event horizon.
#35 · 5
· · >>Soaring
And now it's posting my comments twice.

This is truly the darkest timeline.
#36 ·
Best prompt ever.
#37 ·
You menace!
#38 · 1
>No Prompt! Have Fun!
Uh oh.
#39 · 1
· · >>Everyday
Actually, on second thought... Maybe this is what we should have expected to get for finalizing a prompt on April 1st.
#40 ·
It just doesn't seem to fit the spirit of the write-off...

...Or perhaps this is just the kind of thing that happens on April Fool's Day.

Wow, less than thirty seconds apart.
#41 ·

No Prompt! Have Fun!


This is gonna be weird. xD
#42 ·
· · >>Winston
#43 ·
I dig this.
#44 · 1
I love how your avatar fits your post. :D
#45 · 4
My "prompt" actually won?

I can't believe that worked!
#46 ·
· · >>horizon
Oh god, this won't end well. Couldn't we have had 'Killing Time' instead?
#47 ·
Guys. I was just kidding. I wasn't actually going to vote for this prompt.

Jesus christ.
#48 · 4
Inb4 "This story is not related enough to the prompt!"
#49 · 9
· · >>billymorph >>plumander >>Bradel
Huh, my prompt tied for first place? That's a first.

So, uh, I guess this is just a "screw getting a core of an idea to wrap your story around!" competition? I know I tend to creatively stall out with such a completely open window, so here are some brainstormy ideas to get people's minds going:

* Take the prompt literally, or as a quotation, or as an excuse for the world's worst feghoot. (Or don't, because I bet there will be at least half a dozen entries which do this)

* Use "Killing Time" as an alternate stealth prompt ... or, heck, just use your favorite prompt ot of the entire batch, since nobody's grading you on ot

* Grab your friendly local Tarot deck, or lay out an online spread, and see what story the cards suggest.

* Use one of Seventh Sanctum's story idea generators for a full premade premise in one of many genres

* Use the premise+plot+setting that you had already half-planned before the prompt dropped and were going to try shoehorning into whatever won. P.S. we hate you you cheater

* Flip through your circular file of unused story ideas, find one that you jotted down a while back after waking up from a really vivid dream but never developed into a published story, and flesh it out to a few thousand words. P.S. you goddamn super ultra mega cheater horizon don't you dare

* 2000 words of Shakespearean sonnets written in Urdu about a werewolf spaceman throwing The Ten Commandments into the sun, as a metaphor for the midlife crisis of a twice-divorced Manhattan junior publishing executive
#50 · 1
* Use the premise+plot+setting that you had already half-planned before the prompt dropped and were going to try shoehorning into whatever won.

That seems like the solution to me! :P
#51 · 4
* Use the premise+plot+setting that you had already half-planned before the prompt dropped and were going to try shoehorning into whatever won. P.S. we hate you you cheater

* Flip through your circular file of unused story ideas, find one that you jotted down a while back after waking up from a really vivid dream but never developed into a published story, and flesh it out to a few thousand words. P.S. you goddamn super ultra mega cheater horizon don't you dare

#52 ·
· · >>horizon
I didn't know you're into tarot.
#53 · 3
· · >>Southpaw
Despite the apparent results from thumbs, it seems curious to me that a group of ponies who will merrily vote "no prompt" into first place would want to be so restricted in genre. :derpytongue2:
#54 ·
· · >>Remedyfortheheart
So is this prompt thing like a timed event or like random drawing for who gets to write. Because I really really wanna write but this site keeps aggravating me to the point where I just wanna quit already. I haven't even started yet! No fair. I understand you guys need to be able to read all the stories for fairness, but there are so many restrictions already. Sigh....discouraging.
#55 ·
· · >>The_Letter_J >>Winston
Nvm nvm! I guess prompting is a fun thing not something to do with the story submissions. 0.o! What is this site?!
#56 ·
Maybe this will help?

Go ahead and ask questions if something doesn't make sense, and someone will be able to answer them (though probably not me, as I'll be on the road for the next several hours).
#57 ·
Here's the brief introduction
And here's the associated FimFiction group

Hopefully these should help answer your questions.
#58 ·
At first I was annoyed that "prompt" won. But perhaps it's good. I think a lot of us love the community that sprang up around MLP fanfic, but we don't have that for any of our other writing. A non-prompt in the general category here is maybe a sign that we need a place to share our other (non=MLP) ideas, more than we need a contest for the sake of competition. The feedback alone in most writeoffs is far more than I can usually get elsewhere for my general fiction.

Now, if only I can come up with a good story quickly! (So I don't have to Horizon it with something from the slush pile!)
#59 · 2
Ding dang it!

I may be physically unable to resist this prompt...

#60 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
>>Trick_Question The voters on those two things aren't necessarily the same. Just a sample of one, but I voted Original and vetoed the current prompt.

FWIW, the restriction with Original isn't by genre: that's wide open, as long as your work isn't based on copyrighted material.
#61 · 8
· · >>RogerDodger
>>RogerDodger My biggest problem with this, is that you're complicating the rules a lot for (in my opinion) very little gain.

The complications come from the fact that, even if you disallow fanfic, you're going to have trouble enforcing it; what level of influence counts as 'fanfiction'? Would Quiet Boy and Moon Horse have been DQ'd under these rules? What about fanfiction that's out of our norm, like that Metro 2033 fanfic-ish-thing that cropped up a few rounds ago? Who's responsible for reporting this, and why should they bother/how should they go about it?

I mean, you'd probably catch a few stories, but I don't know if it's actually worth the trouble, honestly, which brings me to my second point.

Are people really annoyed enough with the MLP stories that crop up in this contest that we feel we need to disallow them completely? Sure, I don't enjoy them as much as the original stuff I see, but... if people want to write that, I think they should be allowed to. I'll likely dock them a few points, or I'll abstain, but they can write in hard mode if they so desire. I have tools to express this in the contest. Is it really worth the complication and annoyance that 'no fanfic' would bring to the table to remove them completely? Because I'm convinced that the complication wouldn't be trivial, and the implementation wouldn't be consistent, even across things that might by MLP fanfic.

TL:DR - do y'all really want to DQ Quiet Boy and Moon Horse? Whose job is it to pull that trigger?

I vote to keep it 'general'.
#62 · 2
· · >>Not_A_Hat
Enforcement of genre (in non-trivial cases) will be done as it is in FiM contests: by voters. This is simply clarifying the expectations to voters and participants.

The problem with "General" was that the majority of people submitting fanfics were not aware that they were "playing on hard mode". The expectations were unclear. Similarly, voters were not sure how to approach these stories.
#63 ·
Ugh. This is a terrible prompt for me. I've got plenty of ideas floating around my head, but the prompt usually allows me to narrow them down, or gives me direction. Right now I'm more or less aimless. All of my ideas are either stupid, or would require well more than 8,000 words... Plus I'll have zero time to write tomorrow, unfortunately... Blech.
#64 · 1
· · >>plumander >>TitaniumDragon
> tarot

Yup! Longtime pagan and practicing mage, though in much more subtle (and often narrative) ways these days. Got a few decks I keep around for cartomantic emergencies. Mostly I haul them out in altered states of consciousness, which for some reason levels me up as an oracle by, like, geometric proportions. Closer to the source, I guess? :derpytongue2:
#65 · 3
So I was really bummed I missed the last original short story writeoff, because they're kinda few and far between (I intentionally skip minifics. I don't do minifics), so I was really hoping I'd be able to come up with something for this one.

Turns out I totally did and have been drafting like a maniac. Signs say 100% chance of finishing and posting in time, and I will hedge that by backing up this draft. Good luck, everyone, see ya on the other side of the finish line! :P
#66 ·
Full steam ahead here as well.
#67 · 2
>>RogerDodger Mmm... I'm somewhat more okay with it in that case, but still not entirely sure how I feel. Honestly, this is the 'not pony enough' problem that's come up in FIM rounds several times, except we're approaching it from the opposite direction: "Is this too pony?" But we never added a rule to clarify on the FIM rounds, and the argument eventually died out. it was simply understood that submitting say, a Transformers fic to the contest was unlikely to end well.

On the enforcement, though, I'd like to ask... are you intending to change the rules to reflect our current voting, or do you expect us to adjust our current voting to reflect the rules? Because I don't think this accurately reflects my voting, and if you take a strong stance one direction or the other, I'll likely adjust that. Although I currently penalize ponyfics slightly, I don't ding them nearly as much as I would if the rules explicitly stated they were prohibited.

If you intend to reflect the current penalty that ponyfic incurs, perhaps instead of adding this as a rule, you could add a genre or voting guidelines sort of thing, to clarify what the intent of the contest is - and maybe explain that going outside this is not explicitly prohibited, but is unlikely to be received well unless executed with unprecedented skill and aplomb. For extra clarity, this could also explicitly shift the onus of enforcement off of you and onto the voters.
#68 ·
sweet. I've been reading for about 3 or 4 years now and I have four decks, though I only ever use one of them to read
#69 ·
No prompt? No problem. Took me a while, but i think I found a goodie idea in my imagination. Let's see where this leads~
#70 ·
· · >>Baal Bunny
* Use the premise+plot+setting that you had already half-planned before the prompt dropped and were going to try shoehorning into whatever won. P.S. we hate you you cheater

* Flip through your circular file of unused story ideas, find one that you jotted down a while back after waking up from a really vivid dream but never developed into a published story, and flesh it out to a few thousand words. P.S. you goddamn super ultra mega cheater horizon don't you dare

Is this why I never actually enter these things? 'cause I always wait until after the prompt drop to even think up a story? :-p
#71 ·

My curse:

Is that I fully intend not to enter most of these contests. Then I see the prompt and get popped right between the eyes by a lovely story idea and, well, that settles that right then and there.

#72 · 1
· · >>bats >>Southpaw >>Orbiting_kettle
So Alice in Wonderland is fair game, then. Copyright seems a rather arbitrary line.
#73 · 3
Copyright seems a rather arbitrary line.

Considering when something falls into the public domain is utterly arbitrary in and of itself, it seems fitting. :P
#74 · 2
>>Trick_Question So is Joyce's Ulysses, but I don't think my 750 word minific crossover of it would go over well. ;)

Anyway, defining the boundary by Original is actually far less ambiguous than General, and even then, Roger is allowing readers to make the call with their votes.

That said, I wouldn't mind seeing a fic based on Alice in Wonderland, as long as it was accessible on a base enough level (at least in this writing competition format) that didn't force me to spend forever researching another story and its characters in order to 'get it'.

While I'm absolutely fine with otherwise doing that research to gain understanding, this format requires writers to read and vote on stories within a small timeframe, and realistically that's going to put a limit on what people are willing to accept when they have jobs, and families, and other interests that take up their precious time.
#75 · 4
I like the idea of re-branding it as Original Fiction. I admit that may come from egoistical reasons, as I'm trying to bring a couple of friends who don't care for pones (the HORROR, I know, I'm working on it) to take part in the Non-FIM rounds. I may have some degree of success, we'll see it in six weeks.

Pointing out that it is Original Fiction and leaving the enforcement to the voters is kind of a putting up a sign that says "Do not presume that the reader will be familiar with any specific fandom", which I think is an acceptable indication.

Edit: It also says if "If you refer to a specific fandom expect to have heavy disadvantages." Giving the enforcement to the voters means that, if you refer some copyrighted works, you will place a bet on your story at your own risk.
#76 ·
· · >>Orbiting_kettle
I have a story or two, but I'm going to bow out of this round guys. Not feelin' it and would like to relax a little, maybe focus on some non-story projects for a bit.

Have fun! :twilightsmile:
#77 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
Will you leave some opinions on the stories that will be submitted?
#78 ·
Yep, I've got nothing. I thought I'd get some good short story ideas from the prompt, but uhh...yeaahhh that didn't happen. Did get a nice novel-length idea though, so not a complete loss.

Anyways I'm going to try to not be busy this week so I can start reviewing like I said I would two writeoffs ago, but no promises. Good luck everybody!
#79 ·
Ugh. This is depressing. I've got a decent idea.. But the words just aren't flowing. And it's too late to finish it properly I think. :/

I'm really bummed because I SHOULD have had enough time to finish SOMETHING this weekend... And I really hate to miss a contest. :<
#80 ·
Probably not. :applejackunsure: I have midterms to grade and now's the right time to hit them.
#81 ·
Despite my efforts, I have no work to contribute to this round; further evidence that writing is hard. (Alas, I cannot ask that people accept Octavia Butler's "The Evening The Morning and The Night" in stead of my defunct attempt(s).) Unlike most other rounds where I either participate in both writing and reviewing or participate not at all, I intend to make a fool of myself provide feedback on the entries, because General/Original fiction is worth cultivating.
#82 ·
I'm also joining the ranks of "I totally meant to write something but didn't find the time." The irony is that my weekends are busier (with fun and social stuff) than my weekdays are with work. C'est la vie! Good luck to the rest of you though!
#83 ·
I got about 500 words in and stuck, just like glue. Darn.
#84 ·
· · >>Solitair
Alright, just submitted my first entry in what feels like ages. Certainly the first time I've done an Original Fic entry here! I'm so excited I just can't hide it!

* Grab your friendly local Tarot deck, or lay out an online spread, and see what story the cards suggest.

* Use the premise+plot+setting that you had already half-planned before the prompt dropped and were going to try shoehorning into whatever won. P.S. we hate you you cheater

I'm doing both at once, kind of. I won't elaborate on how until voting's over. I don't believe in cartomancy at all, but I adore the Tarot as a well of symbolism and storytelling engine. I've been reading a lot of Paul Huson's Mystical Origins of the Tarot lately, and it's teaching history in an ironically demystifying kind of way. Did you know that the meanings we ascribe to the Major Arcana are a far cry from what they originally represented back in medieval times? You can thank Rider, Waite and Crowley for that.
#85 ·
· · >>Monokeras
So everybody's not finishing this round?

Umm... Well, I actually did write a thing for once! So... Uh. This is weird.
#86 ·
I submitted something. And I also think it is a good story for once :D
#87 · 1
You don’t want to read what I submitted. It’s going to be a disaster…

On the other hand,
Welcome back Bradel, we missed you.
#88 ·
Alright, I'm in (anonymously) with a story I'm really not happy with. :/

Blergh. Working friday/saturday night is seriously giving me problems with this contest. If you see a story with super flat and boring plot, that one's mine.
#89 ·
I wrote a thing, too. It has words, even.
#90 ·
Best prompt ever. But I'm out.
#91 · 1
· · >>Bradel
Well, of course you're a mage. All dragons have caster levels once they reach a high enough age category. It's in the rules.
#92 · 1
Uuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhh. It took me until Saturday morning to solidify my idea (definitely not a fan of the lack of prompt here), and I did that stupid thing again where I submitted a hugely popular story to FIMFic right before the Writeoff started, so I've been keeping up with feedback all weekend and couldn't drive it out of my brain to focus on writing the new one.

I dropped an entry in during the 5-minute grace period, so I'm at least committed to this round, but once again, the original fiction competition just kicks my ass in really discouraging and totally avoidable ways. I'm beginning to wonder if Quiet Boy And Moon Horse was the exception that proves the rule that I just can't writeoff without pony. :-\
#93 ·
Anyway, I did, in fact, get a story done (barely... two minutes go to when I sent it in). Frankly, I wasn't fond of the lack of a prompt, but I managed to come up with something.

I hope folks appreciate it, as I did actually end up liking it.
#94 ·
You lot are making me feel pretty guilty about submitting a thing and actually being happy with it for once.

I kid.

I frigging hate it.
#95 ·
· · >>horizon >>Monokeras
I had the best damned idea for this, I wrote 2,000 words and with 17 hours left on the clock I went to bed.

But then I had a bad reaction to some medication, so instead of sleeping twelve hours and having five to write and edit, like I expected, just slept eighteen hours and had to duck to dodge the deadline passing over my head.

God damn it.
#96 · 2
· · >>MrNumbers
D: Shit, that is all kinds of suck. Can you post it somewhere anyway? I for one will make a point of giving it a Writeoff-style review.
#97 ·
That ain’t cool.
I hope you feel all right, though.
Missing the deadline is a thing, feeling bad is another.
#98 ·

Yeah I'm making into a blog post. Should be up for Wednesday, just gives me a bit more time to work on it.

Cheers for the thoughts.
Post by Monokeras , deleted
#100 ·
· · >>Monokeras >>Southpaw
Oh! The comments are public? Oh boy. Hm. Maybe I should do my own reviewing. This looks like super fun! Oh well when I get the time. Still trying to get used to the system here. I soooo wanna hint and question my own submission, but I can't! Darn you CARMEN SANDIAGO!!! Hm. I'm gonna have fun reading all of this. Wonder if any of them can keep my interest up? Who knows, I might be surprised this time around.