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Author Topic: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread  (Read 12185 times)

Offline xiagan

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[Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« on: March 01, 2018, 11:39:02 AM »
Letters



This month we want you to try your hand at writing a letter. Sounds boring and not fantasy-ish at all? We hope not!

We don't want you to write a random letter, there are four topics to choose from, some funny, some sad, some what you make out of it. First person is encouraged but not necessary.

1) The hero*ine writes a letter home but their mother has high blood pressure so they can't write exactly what happened. How close to the truth can you write without mentioning what really happened in that dungeon?

2) The MC writes a letter back to their loved one(s), knowing they will never come home again.

3) Time travel. The (aged) MC can (and want to) send a letter to their younger self.

4) The MC writes a letter to their old mentor, thanking them. The mentor will be surprised for what.

5) You're the villain of the story and write a letter to the hero(es) who thwarted your plans. 

From reading those letters it should be clear that it is in a fantasy or SF setting. In fact, we welcome you to use some padding. The letter can be your whole entry but it is enough if it is one third and the centerpiece of your writing. If you want, you can embed it in a setting/story/scene.


Rules:

1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. A letter must be the centerpiece of the entry (about 1/3 minimum). One of the prompts above must be used.
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 Mar 31th/Apr 1st, 2018 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: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018, 04:56:17 PM »
Daaaaaamn.

It's basically a long monologue.... This ruins my plans for this month... Or does it? I wanted to start an experiment running along several months, but I guess that's just another challenge...
"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 NightWrite

Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2018, 06:11:58 PM »
Does it have to be only the letter sent, or can the MC receive a letter in return?

Offline Nora

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2018, 07:18:55 PM »
Originally I thought it'd allow the epistolary style too. Back and forth letters. But then it just becomes long dialogue. And if we stretch further it can be emails.
"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: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 07:28:15 PM »
As long as one of the letters fits the 5 options above and represents about 1/3 of your entry (as xiagan explained), you can write the rest as you want - surprise us :)
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 07:30:00 PM by ScarletBea »
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Offline D_Bates

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 08:00:54 PM »
Daaaaaamn.

It's basically a long monologue.... This ruins my plans for this month... Or does it? I wanted to start an experiment running along several months, but I guess that's just another challenge...

Me too!

I'd love to be a bit in the forum you guys discuss these themes, just to see the sort of outlandish things don't get to make the cut!

Okay, so I have real world experience of writing soppy emotional letters to people, but I fear that I won't be able to help myself from devolving into silliness ala Homer's love letter to Marge. Five dollars!? Get outta here...
David Bates
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Offline Nora

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2018, 08:59:24 PM »
I also do soppy real life letters! My bestie and I mostly communicate by packages and letters and she lives in Melbourne, Australia. I end up plastering my walls with the postcards of her messages.

But for a while I've been playing with an idea... To force myself beyond the theme of the month and to stay in a world for longer... I've been considering making a mini series running from month to month inside the contest. I want recurring characters across the same setting (it'd be space opera-esk) but every story centres around someone different and each tale is self sufficient. I just want to see if I can pull it off.
A letter format is not what I had in mind to kick this off though.  ???

I can try for something super soppy and oozing love though. Who doesn't crave some forlorn star crossed lovers among the actual stars?
"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 tebakutis

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2018, 11:05:08 PM »
LOL. I ended up doing a letter at the last moment for my February post. If only I'd waited a day!

I'll have to come up with something.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2018, 08:09:51 AM »
LOL. I ended up doing a letter at the last moment for my February post.
Yes, when I saw that I just thought "oh drats, he'll have to do it again!" ;D
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Offline JMack

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2018, 11:04:21 AM »
Apropos of letters, but not much else, we have a letter that a great great grandfather of mine wrote to his mother in which he describes visiting his father - who had left the family some years before - as he lay dying. What makes the letter particularly interesting is the son’s disdain for all the low social types who are also visiting his dying father: Jews, Africans, Italians, etc. Reading behind the lines, you get the impression that the father was loved by many, but they didn’t fit the class expectations of the snooty son and the (so family history says) harridan of a mother.

We also have a poorly written autobiographical short story from one of my 1800s ancestors that tells how her husband’s body was stolen by grave robbers.

And finally, the family story of two sisters who lived on opposite sides of a river. A tornado killed one of them. When the storm cleared, the living sister found the other’s wedding dress hanging in a tree in her back yard




Edit: March story idea firmly in place. Working out the details in my head. Writing will begin the weekend.  8)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 12:23:55 PM by JMack »
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Offline Norman Gray

Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2018, 07:48:07 PM »
Hmmm, I initially thought that it would be a challenge to write a letter. . . Then it occurred to me that I've done this exact thing once before; a story that contains a letter from a man to his family where he says his final goodbyes. Only I wasn't terribly fond of that story. Hopefully I can do something better this time around.

Offline D_Bates

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2018, 11:55:56 PM »
But for a while I've been playing with an idea... To force myself beyond the theme of the month and to stay in a world for longer... I've been considering making a mini series running from month to month inside the contest. I want recurring characters across the same setting (it'd be space opera-esk) but every story centres around someone different and each tale is self sufficient. I just want to see if I can pull it off.
A letter format is not what I had in mind to kick this off though.  ???

Tell me about it! Because oddly enough, I had the exact same plan!

Maybe it was last month's mention of repeating stories, but I've already devised a potential 4-5 part series with the intention of the monthly theme inspiring the antagonist's means of achieving his goal... then this :p.

The letter or diary format I could probably work with, but the strict requirements of using one of the four (sic) five! topics pretty much puts a giant irremovable spanner in the works. Which is ironic, because I tend to always be grumbling about how broad and vague the theme is, and now here's one that's about as concise and on the mark as can e and it's still not good enough! So it goes to show you can never please creative types...

Or me at least, but that's nothing new!

Anyway, an idea's hit me on the walk home. Weirdly, I'll be going for the time travel one, which, when I first read the options, was the one I immediately thought "Okay, that's definitely out!" So this is going to be interesting to say the least.
David Bates
Works in progress:
Ciara: A Faun's Tale - 90,000; The K.B.G. - 100,000; Maria and the Jarls of Jotun - 90,000; The Shame that lurks in Stableton - current project; Ezra'il - Plotted. TBC July 2018

Offline Nora

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2018, 08:30:11 AM »
Haha! Great minds think alike! I also thought the same about the time travel option.
What I'm disliking in the theme is that it's a long one character monologue, and whatever action or dialogue in it is reported. I've started on something but I feel it makes it boring, having just one character speaking. Have to remedy that somehow.
"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: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2018, 09:55:06 AM »
What I'm disliking in the theme is that it's a long one character monologue, and whatever action or dialogue in it is reported. I've started on something but I feel it makes it boring, having just one character speaking. Have to remedy that somehow.
You might be looking at it in the wrong way, @Nora.
Think of some action, events, etc, and then fit a letter at the end of it, sort of post-script.
Or start with a letter, and then move the action.
Or I also thought of starting with a letter telling an event happened like X, and then we see, not by letter, the event happening like Y

Myabe it's hard to do within 1500 words, but we like challenging you ;D
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Offline Nora

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Re: [Mar 2018] - Letters - Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2018, 10:40:06 AM »
What I'm disliking in the theme is that it's a long one character monologue, and whatever action or dialogue in it is reported. I've started on something but I feel it makes it boring, having just one character speaking. Have to remedy that somehow.
You might be looking at it in the wrong way, @Nora.
Think of some action, events, etc, and then fit a letter at the end of it, sort of post-script.
Or start with a letter, and then move the action.
Or I also thought of starting with a letter telling an event happened like X, and then we see, not by letter, the event happening like Y

Myabe it's hard to do within 1500 words, but we like challenging you ;D

Mmmh. Bears reflection. Definitely not an easy month. Probably will end up being more challenging than the last.
"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