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NeoGAF Creative Writing Challenge #215 - "Searching"

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Theme - "Searching"

Word Limit: 2300

Submission Deadline: Friday, July 7th by 11:59 PM Pacific

Voting Deadline: Monday, July 10th at 11:59 PM Pacific.



Optional Secondary Objective: An active and resourceful protagonist. Remember how in Superman Returns Superman was basically a lump on a log? Remember how Lois Lane's boyfriend was actually the real hero of that story? Why were we rooting for him and not for Superman? Because he actually did stuff and we were able to relate to that. He was active and resourceful. Our favourite heroes don't just sit around waiting for things to happen: they go after what they want and the story exists to serve them, not the other way around.

Proactive protagonists usually end up becoming likable or lovable. Even if we don't agree with their actions, we can empathize with them. Active and resourceful protagonists include the likes of Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, Lucy Pevensie, Princess Leia, Sarah Connor, The Bride from Kill Bill and many more. Yes, most of these are examples from film, but the same can apply to literature.

Here are some things to keep in mind to help guide you: (not exhaustive and not necessarily "correct," so take it with a grain of salt)

1. The hero must have strong will power.
2. The hero should have a clear goal.
3. At least one character should state the goal explicitly .
4. The hero must not be forced but chooses to pursue the goal.
5. Once the goal is known, the hero should stay on the case.
6. The hero can only be distracted because of a new, stronger goal.
7. Keep showing us the hero really wants to achieve the goal.
8. Make sure the obstacles in the way are significant.
9. Stay in the Hero's point of view for as much as possible.
10. If the hero seems passive, there must be a primal reason, e.g. fear of death.



Submission Guidelines:

- One entry per poster.
- All submissions must be written during the time of the challenge.
- Using the topic as the title of your piece is discouraged.
- Keep to the word count!

Voting Guidelines:

- Three votes per voter. Please denote in your voting your 1st (3 pts), 2nd (2 pts), and 3rd (1 pt) place votes.
- Please read all submissions before voting.
- You must vote in order to be eligible to win the challenge.
- When voting ends, the winner gets a collective pat on the back, and starts the new challenge.

Important side note: A lot of our regulars like to write out short critiques/comments for the stories, but you can always opt out by simply adding a note like "I'd prefer no critiques" in the post where you submit your story. We're an understanding group and respect that not everyone wants comments on their work. Above all, we just want to read your story.



NeoGAF Creative Writing Challenge FAQ
Previous Challenge Threads and Themes
 

weemadarthur

Member
Feb 27, 2012
3,598
0
410
You keep editing the OP, and now I make no sense because you took away the photo of the deer.

Man is the bad guy in Bambi. But the movie ends with Bambi sporting an impressive pair of antlers for his first rutting season, so the real message is probably that reproduction is the best life choice.
 

Cyan

Banned
Jun 10, 2004
34,830
0
0
Oh nice, congrats Alucard! Sorry I didn't vote, I'm still out of town and posting from my phone. For the same reason I won't be doing the Hangout this week.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
So I finished the first draft of something today. Around 2,400 words. Started it two days ago. Not sure I'll use it yet as it's pretty shallow and would probably need 500 more words to be anything significant. I'll see though. Could be a fun little adventure.

These challenges have made me push myself to write every day. Can't be grateful enough for that.
 

Nezumi

Member
Aug 8, 2011
3,374
0
590
37
Small town near Frankfurt in Germany
I think I'm gonna try something different for this challenge. There is this story idea I had at the back of my head for ages. The thing is, the one thing I am sure about this idea is the ending, which is why I have dismissed this idea many times, because whenever I started writing I just felt 'No, if I do it like this, I won't have enough words to get the ending across properly'.
So I decided for this challenge, I'm gonna write the ending first. This way I can see how much space the whole thing would actually take up. If it is too much, I can still change to another story, if not, I can come up with ways to make the ending work.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
I think I'm gonna try something different for this challenge. There is this story idea I had at the back of my head for ages. The thing is, the one thing I am sure about this idea is the ending, which is why I have dismissed this idea many times, because whenever I started writing I just felt 'No, if I do it like this, I won't have enough words to get the ending across properly'.
So I decided for this challenge, I'm gonna write the ending first. This way I can see how much space the whole thing would actually take up. If it is too much, I can still change to another story, if not, I can come up with ways to make the ending work.
Good luck! Nothing wrong with writing stories out of order. There's a short climactic battle in mine, but I just didn't feel like writing a fight scene two days ago, so I skipped over it and wrote all the stuff after the fight then wrote the fight last night once I felt like it a bit more.
 

mu cephei

Member
Jan 22, 2010
928
0
0
UK
I don't believe it's come up before while I've been participating but as there was some discussion of using previously written stuff in the last thread as well, I wanted to raise the question. The op says

Submission Guidelines:

- One entry per poster.
- All submissions must be written during the time of the challenge.
- Using the topic as the title of your piece is discouraged.
- Keep to the word count!

Of course, we do tend to be fairly relaxed about some rules! Maybe this is one of them?
 

mu cephei

Member
Jan 22, 2010
928
0
0
UK
I'm not asking because I want to do it myself. Alucard says he started writing his entry two days ago. I don't want to be petty but maybe I am.
 

mu cephei

Member
Jan 22, 2010
928
0
0
UK
You're nice.

re: Superman Returns, I liked that it felt like a continuation of the 1978 Richard Donner film, but I also think it works quite well as a film (as I recall it; I haven't seen it in ages). The premise is whether the world needs Superman. Lois and her boyfriend are active and get shit done because that's what people do when there's no one to save them. I think Superman's battles are more internal? I don't exactly recall how it ends but I'm imagining it probably says something like, Superman is needed for the big stuff, but also in a more ephemeral way. That said, I thought the whole kryptonite island thing was rubbish, too.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
I liked the Donner connection too, and the music and visual continuity in particular. I even liked the first part of the movie and the plane rescue scene. After that though, I think the movie kind of falls off a cliff.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Started a new story. Only 100 words in, but the first image and the main goal are at least set.

Listening to a fantasy music mix at work, and came across an image that I'm basically stealing for inspiration.



I hope my story lives up to the image's majestic glory.
 

MilkBeard

Member
Jun 20, 2013
9,220
2
0
Currently working on a novel based on a short story I wrote in 2013, but I have also been working on creating a good story idea for this as well. It's pretty basic enough that I could write a number of stories under this theme.
 

choodi

Banned
Aug 23, 2007
2,735
70
955
I wonder how many fantasy stories we're going to end up with just because of those images?

I am currently resisting the urge to go full Conan the Barbarian :)
 

Enoch Root

Member
Mar 2, 2017
84
0
0
Massachusetts
I've never done any creative writing, but I think this thread is the inspiration I need to try. All my writing in the past has been for school and has been essays/research/non-fiction. I have an idea that I think I can use, hopefully I can get a decent word count out of it.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
I wonder how many fantasy stories we're going to end up with just because of those images?

I am currently resisting the urge to go full Conan the Barbarian :)
You totally should. Barbarian searching for an artifact, enemy, or village.

Plenty of possibilities for this that don't relate to fantasy too!
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
I've never done any creative writing, but I think this thread is the inspiration I need to try. All my writing in the past has been for school and has been essays/research/non-fiction. I have an idea that I think I can use, hopefully I can get a decent word count out of it.
Welcome aboard. It's a tough go in the beginning, but the longer you do it, the more you read, and the more you read and learn about writing skills themselves, the better you get.

...or maybe you're a genius already who will put us all to shame. :) Either way, glad to have you here if you do decide to participate.
 

choodi

Banned
Aug 23, 2007
2,735
70
955
You totally should. Barbarian searching for an artifact, enemy, or village.
Coban the Blind Barbarian adjusted his furred loincloth and, in his mighty arm, which was as thick and strong as the branch of an oak tree, he took up his white walking stick of legend and set out on an arduous journey to find the virgin princess who could restore his sight!

The Princess Zonda had been kidnapped by Malkazar the four-eyed wizard and whisked away on his winged steed to his large tower which throbbed with general evilness and phallic metaphor.
 

LaMagenta

Member
Oct 6, 2013
420
0
0
Ok it's been awhile since I did one of these. I see some new faces. I've been reading a lot lately to get back into the mindset. Got about half the word limit down so far.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Nice. Good to see new faces! And old faces by the sounds of it.

Yessss. Just typed out the entire outline/motivations/relationships/story beats for my story. Feels so good. Probably the most complex story I've ever come up with in terms of relationships and motivations, but execution is everything, so fingers crossed.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
How you guys doing? Productivity at zero today due to child only falling asleep at 1030pm and having to clean for the next two hours to prepare the house for a visit from my parents this weekend. Ffffuuuuuu.
 

choodi

Banned
Aug 23, 2007
2,735
70
955
How you guys doing? Productivity at zero today due to child only falling asleep at 1030pm and having to clean for the next two hours to prepare the house for a visit from my parents this weekend. Ffffuuuuuu.
I had a child vomiting from 12.30 am until about 3.30 am last night. I feel like an absolute zombie. Maybe that's what I should write about...
 

MilkBeard

Member
Jun 20, 2013
9,220
2
0
How you guys doing? Productivity at zero today due to child only falling asleep at 1030pm and having to clean for the next two hours to prepare the house for a visit from my parents this weekend. Ffffuuuuuu.
Focused on my other story yesterday, but today I will be honing in on this one. I have the entire story in my head; now it just comes down to actualizing it.