October 19, 2019, 08:55:53 PM

Author Topic: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread  (Read 1863 times)

Offline xiagan

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[Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:54:25 PM »
Employment



Apprentice Collar by boscopenciller

This month we have a solid, honest theme. Employment. This isn't about heroes doing hero stuff. This is about people doing what they have to do, or probably even love doing, to get by. This is about the people ignored, used or exploited by the MCs of their world. Those who have to clean up after the tavern brawl or desperately try to salvage the harvest after a passing mage killed a dragon with a hail storm. They're insignificant in the grand scheme of things but not to their families and neighbors. They exist and they deserve a story of their own.

Rules:

1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. Employment has to play an important role in your story.
3. Prose must be 500-1500 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-750 words long.
5. One story per person or writing team (not per account).
6. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
7. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
8. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
9. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
10. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys under the B.
Bonus rule: We consider voting in a contest you're taking part in a given. Others take time and effort to read the stories - you should do the same. A small community like ours lives from reciprocity and this contest needs stories as much as votes. 

If you want so submit your story anonymously you can do so by sending it in a personal message to @xiagan.

Entry will close July 31st/August 1st, 2019 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.
Submitting a story counts as published. The author retains all rights to their work.

Please post your entry here.

Note: This thread is only for questions or discussing this month's writing contest. Good luck!
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Nora

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2019, 09:20:36 PM »
That's a very misleading description and I shall call you out for it. Employment and small/low profile jobs are entirely different concepts.
The high profile mage who kills a dragon with hail can be just as lawfully employed by a king as the guys who fixes the damage. I think you've got to pick which concept you want to go for, and get a longer title if need be, but "employment" should suit a waitress just as well the emperor's master of assassins.
If their lives have good conflict and they act instead of passively reacting, any character in any employ should fit the theme. So a paladin employed by a local lord to clear a dungeon coming out of it exhausted and thinking "man, the shit I do for a living..." should be just as in theme as a waitress desperately trying to mop up the magic goo sticking to the floor after a brawl.

Please don't send confusing messages, especially when we've had months like TNotSSmbtoaFBbtSiathatdwtB  8)

Which is it, any employment or low profile, unusual jobs you don't often find MCs in?
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2019, 10:45:43 PM »
My first thought was that this means the Minions in Despicable Me or the House Elves in Harry Potter...but then I thought I can extend this to slaves or even apprentices who often get the shit parts as a "learning curve". Are those ok too?
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Online J.R. Darewood

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2019, 12:40:08 AM »
1) I agree with Nora and
2) I find this topic triggering. :)

Offline Nora

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2019, 07:45:04 AM »
My first thought was that this means the Minions in Despicable Me or the House Elves in Harry Potter...but then I thought I can extend this to slaves or even apprentices who often get the shit parts as a "learning curve". Are those ok too?

No, slaves should not count. The definition of employment is this :

the state of having paid work: a fall in the numbers in full-time employment.
• the action of giving work to someone. the employment of a full-time tutor.
• [ count noun ] a person's trade or profession. he travelled in a variety of employments.

Slavery is servitude :

the state of being a slave or completely subject to someone more powerful. you've got thousands of years of peasant servitude to make up for.

Apprentices though ought to be in the employ of their masters of guild, so they count. I doubt minions receive wages though.

And I think it's a great topic, I just want it to be well defined! :D  Come on JR, you can write something from a tavern wench's pov!
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 07:47:32 AM by Nora »
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2019, 08:26:56 AM »
@xiagan , help!
 ;D

Pertsonally, I think it's "normal level employment"/"people in jobs not normally paid attention", but I'll let xia clarify.
We've got a list with interesting themes and this month he just picked a title off the list, we didn't have time to discuss the details :)
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Offline JMack

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2019, 10:05:27 AM »
I agree with @ScarletBea about the theme. Of course, “normal” is a slippery word.  ;)
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Offline Nora

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2019, 11:28:33 AM »
But then it has to be everyday employment, not just employment... Also I can come up with a world where everyday employment can be something ludicrous to us.  :P
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline isos81

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2019, 01:12:21 PM »
I agree with Nora. I get what Xiagan wants to tell and it's not Employment :)

Low profile jobs suits better IMO.
Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2019, 03:22:48 PM »
Or we could just call it the Underlings. They should not be the MC or his sidekicks. Just part of the supporting cast.
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Offline Nora

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2019, 05:46:54 PM »
Or we could just call it the Underlings. They should not be the MC or his sidekicks. Just part of the supporting cast.

No. That's way too confusing. My MC is an MC because they're the hero of the story I'm telling. They can be a chimney sweep, it doesn't change they're the MC. Fantasy and Sci-fi are both chokeful of great characters that started or kept humble origins.

I don't mind writing the story of a low profile worker, but I don't want to have to implant fake "standard mc characters" just to highlight the low key aspects of my character.

I don't want my mc to be someone's underling. That's not what being employed means.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline xiagan

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 06:48:40 PM »
You're absolutely right of course.

I have to admit that I got carried away while writing the description and the original broad definition of employment got changed because of this. So yeah, this is about low-profile employment, peasants, villagers, etc.
Not slaves, not apprentices, not master assassins or battle mages.

I don't mind writing the story of a low profile worker, but I don't want to have to implant fake "standard mc characters" just to highlight the low key aspects of my character.

Please don't! That's probably neither fun to read nor to write. Those "standard MC characters" don't care for this story and the people in it and it should be the other way round too. (They can have a positive or negative impact, though.)
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Online J.R. Darewood

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2019, 07:05:42 PM »
You're absolutely right of course.

I have to admit that I got carried away while writing the description and the original broad definition of employment got changed because of this. So yeah, this is about low-profile employment, peasants, villagers, etc.
Not slaves, not apprentices, not master assassins or battle mages.

I don't mind writing the story of a low profile worker, but I don't want to have to implant fake "standard mc characters" just to highlight the low key aspects of my character.

Please don't! That's probably neither fun to read nor to write. Those "standard MC characters" don't care for this story and the people in it and it should be the other way round too. (They can have a positive or negative impact, though.)

I wouldn't have minded the broader interpretation of "how these fools make money" though I think the mysterious absence of economic stress is 99% of the escapism of reading for me :)

Speaking of which could the theme be interpreted as "unemployment" with a character actively seeking employment/coping with unemployment?

...or I could just write the story I had in mind a few months back about a woman who left a kung fu monestary un China to be a cardio-kickboxing instructor at an awful chain gym in LA bc she's tired of being broke and battling evil but she's got competition with a pushy arrogant Uber powerful Zumba instructor with very strong chi that wants to push her out of her popular 6pm time slot

Offline Nora

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2019, 10:46:39 PM »
...or I could just write the story I had in mind a few months back about a woman who left a kung fu monestary un China to be a cardio-kickboxing instructor at an awful chain gym in LA bc she's tired of being broke and battling evil but she's got competition with a pushy arrogant Uber powerful Zumba instructor with very strong chi that wants to push her out of her popular 6pm time slot

"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Nora

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Re: [Jul 2019] - Employment - Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2019, 09:47:07 PM »
@Brand J Alexander congrats on being first to submit, but let me advise you on something : have a look at past months, you'll see everyone tries to format in a more readable way. Jump spaces around dialogue, etc.
Your text is one big chunk, and I know I'll hate it when I'm reading the stories on my phone. Don't loose points over presentation!
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty