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Lights Out
A Writing Contest


Hello and welcome. I'd like to keep this brief, because I tend to get wordy when I write these things...

So! Here goes.

Notice the title? Yep. November is NaNo month. This is a contest that askes why the hell you aren't writing your NaNo (if you're participating). If not, then you should have no problems. 3nodding The title will change in December, probably, because NaNo'll be over by then...

Since it is December, the title has changed. Lights Out is the name of the album from which the short story prompts came from (excluding one). It is the newest album by the band Sugarcult, which is one of my favorites. Again, all the prompts are from songs on that album.


Basics
Here's some basic things about this contest:
  • It is for short stories only. Poetry within the story is okay, but the entry must be a short story that incorporates the poetry. For the character contest, a straight question-answer set-up is acceptable, or you may turn it into a short story. If you do this, the short story word count will not apply to you.
  • No fanfiction. I've never liked fanfiction, so I don't want to see it here. Plus I probably won't know what you're writing about.
  • New deadline is January 15th. This gives you more time, because this wasn't as successful as I'd hoped when I first started it. This contest will end, for certain, Friday, January 19th at 11:59pmEST. This change has been made so I can be present here to close the contest, and because I forgot to PM those who have not sent entries yet.


Table of Contents
Introduction and Basics - Guidelines - Prizes - Entrants - Judging - Links - FAQs - Reserved
Guidelines

We all need them, so let me make this brief.
  1. No plagairzing! (I'll fix that spelling in a moment)
  2. Be nice to other contestants. Remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
  3. Do not ask me to read your entry, and do not ask me what I think of it. I do not read any entries until the contest ends to avoid choosing favorites before all the entires come in. You will get your results at the same time as everyone else does.
  4. Use the following form when submitting your entry. Be sure to use the correct one!.

    Short story:
[b]Username:[/b]
[b]Title of piece:[/b]
[b]Word count:[/b]
[b]Rating:[/b]
[b]Prompt number(s):[/b]
[b]Post URL:[/b]
[b]Story:[/b]

Character contest:
[b]Username:[/b]
[b]Name of character:[/b]
[b]Word count:[/b]
[b]Post URL:[/b]
[b]Bio:[/b]

To find the URL of a post, please read here. I made that tutorial last year for another contest I was running. Please use it. "I don't know" or a blank space will affect your score a lot. If you still aren't sure after reading that, ask me. Do not name the URL. Just post it. Just the http://www.gaiaonline.com/topic/etc. part.
  • One entry per person, unless you'd like to pay the entry fee twice. If you do submit more than one entry, you cannot win two prizes. You will win the highest prize you achieved; the other one will go to the next person in line for it.
  • I reserve the right to add more rules.Short Story
    Entry rules:
    • Short stories only. If you're going to submit a piece of a larger work, make sure I can understand it without having to read any type of background.
    • 1,000-7,500 words. I will allow up to 500 words above the maximum, but no lower than the minimum.
    • All entires must be posted here in the thread, unless they're over a PG-13 rating. If they're R-rated, PM them to me, including the form in the PM. Also post the form here in the thread, saying that you PMed it to me where you would normally post the story.
    • Use a prompt from the list below this section, please. The option to write a story without the use of a prompt has been eliminated.
    Prompts
    Please use one of the following in your entry. As was stated above, you may choose to write with no prompt, but your entry fee for that entry will be doubled. More than one prompt may be used if you like.
    1. Lights out. (Lights Out)
    2. The basics of want and need. (Hiatus)
    3. The cowards in you and me.(Hiatus)
    4. Don't confuse this.(Hiatus)
    5. "I want you." - This isn't like the Uncle Sam "I want you." (Made A Mistake)
    6. I can't think of any others at the moment, but they'll come - This prompt was randomly decided upon. It is not on the Lights Out album.
    7. You may use either one part of this section of song or the whole thing. It's entirely up to you. Just be sure to post which section in the Promt section of the form.
      We walk alone like broken lovers
      Behind the bars and discotheques
      Love is a product and sex is the currency
      We all cheat if we can't win
      Blood, liquor, and the Holy Bible paint a picture of a
      Kinder gentler war
      An art that seems to have no ending
      One that leaves us standing at the gates with broken wings
      While our heart scan reports: Access denied, access denied
      We have arrived
      (Out of Phase)
    8. This must end. (Dead Living)
    9. I can't save us from the outside. (Dead Living)
    10. Beauty lies in the ignorant, with the sound of selling out to the innocent. (Dead Living)
    11. Love is wasted on the young. (Hiatus)
    12. Dancing lonely. (Hiatus)
    13. I predict the worst. (Hiatus)
    14. You're gonna hate me. (Hiatus)
    15. The sun is burning down Los Angeles. - Any city may be used in place of Los Angeles. (Los Angeles)
    16. Come on, come on; it's alive and breathing. (Los Angeles)
    17. Come on, come on; come alive today. (Los Angeles)
    18. Come on, come on; it's a heartless beating. (Los Angeles)
    19. Silent in the crowd. (Made A Mistake)
    20. This is the last goodbye. (Majoring In Minors)
    21. Vacant like an empty statement. (Out of Phase)
    22. We're starting something beautiful. (Riot)
    23. Down down, to the lovers and thieves. (Riot)
    24. Outloud, we're telling your secrets. (Riot)
    25. Tell me how it all works out. (Shaking)


    Character Contest
    Yes, there will also be a character contest. I'd like you to use the following form and answer it as if you were your character. This means first-person POV. You may exclude, rearrange, or combine and of these questions, but you must include at least 45 questions out of the list below. There are around 55 (I just counted, but lost track in the course of typing this paragraph...).

    I recieved these questions from a Gaia user named AstraKiseki.

    Be sure to keep the questions in your entry. Do not just put answers without the question to accompany them.

    [b]What is your real, birth name? What name do you use? [/b]

    [b]Do you have a nickname? What is it, and where did you get it? [/b]

    [b]What do you look like? [/b]

    [b]How do you dress most of the time? [/b]

    [b]How do you "dress up?"[/b]

    [b]How do you "dress down?" [/b]

    [b]What do you wear when you go to sleep? [/b]

    [b]Do you wear any jewelry?[/b]

    [b]What's your real birth date?[/b]

    [b]Where do you live? Describe it: [/b]

    [b]Do you own a car? Describe it. [/b]

    [b]What is your most prized mundane possession? Why do you value it so much? [/b]

    [b]Who was your father, and what was he like? [/b]

    [b]Who was your mother, and what was she like? [/b]

    [b]What was your parents marriage like? Were they married? Did they remain married?[/b]

    [b]What were your siblings names? What were they like?[/b]

    [b]When's the last time you saw any member of your family? Where are they now? [/b]

    [b]What is your first memory?[/b]

    [b]What was your favorite toy? [/b]

    [b]What was your favorite game?[/b]

    [b]How old were you when you went on your first date? [/b]

    [b]What were you like in high school? What "clique" did you best fit in with? [/b]

    [b]Do you have a job? What is it? Do you like it? If no job, where does your money come from?[/b]

    [b]What is something you had to learn that you hated?[/b]

    [b]Do you tend to save or spend your money? Why?[/b]

    [b]What hobbies do you have? [/b]

    [b]What bands do you like?[/b]

    [b]What's been your favorite movie of all time? [/b]

    [b]What type of places do you hang out in with your normal friends?[/b]

    [b]What would be the perfect gift for you?[/b]

    [b]What kind of weather is your favorite? [/b]

    [b]What is your favorite food? What is your least favorite food? [/b]

    [b]What is your favorite drink?[/b]

    [b]Do you have any pets? Do you want any pets? What kind?[/b]

    [b]What do you find most relaxing? [/b]

    [b]Do you currently have a lover? What is their name, and what is your relationship like? What are they like? Why are you attracted to them?[/b]

    [b]What is the perfect romantic date?[/b]

    [b]How old were you when you first got drunk? What was the experience like? Did anything good come out of it? Did anything bad come out of it?[/b]

    [b]Do you drink on any kind of regular basis?[/b]

    [b]What kind of alcohol do you prefer?[/b]

    [b]What do you think of drugs and alcohol? Are there any people should not do? Why or why not? [/b]

    [b]Have you ever been in an argument before? Over what, with who, and who won? [/b]

    [b]Have you ever been in a physical fight before? Over what, with who, and who won? [/b]

    [b]What trait do you find most admirable, and how often do you find it?[/b]

    [b]What is your religious view of things? What religion, if any, do you call your own?[/b]

    [b]Do you think the future is hopeful? Why?[/b]

    [b]What's the worst thing that can be done to another person? Why? [/b]

    [b]Is it okay for you to cry? When was the last time you cried? [/b]

    [b]Think of a major event that happened during your training/initiation. What was it? [/b]

    [b]Has anyone or anything you've ever cared about died? How did you feel about it? What happened?[/b]

    [b]What was the worst injury you've ever received? How did it happen?[/b]

    [b]Do you have any bad habits? If so, what are they, and do you plan to get rid of them? [/b]

    [b]What time period do you wish you had lived in? Why? (Looking at this as an attempt to change history doesn't count.) What appeals to you about this era? [/b]

    [b]How private of a person are you? Why?[/b]


    Table of Contents
    Introduction and Basics - Guidelines - Prizes - Entrants - Judging - Links - FAQs - Reserved
  • Prizes
    The part you've all been waiting for.

    Thanks to Mahayr and a grant from the WW&CCF, there is no longer an entry fee, and the prizes have been raised. I will be returning the entry fees of those who have already paid it, and I will be removing the option to submit something not related to a prompt in order to make this a solely prompted contest.

    If you do not receive your entry fee back within the next three days (today is 12/30/06), PM this account and I will send it to you.


    Short stories
    1st place - Thank You Letter for January 2007
    2nd place - 5,000g
    3rd place - 3,000g

    Characters
    1st place - 3,000g
    2nd place - 2,000g
    3rd place - 1,000g

    Total: ~24,000g

    Any donations to this contest will be evenly distributed among the prizes in the category you entered.


    Table of Contents
    Introduction and Basics - Guidelines - Prizes - Entrants - Judging - Links - FAQs - Reserved
    Entrants

    Short Story [ CLOSED ]
    1. Nucleotide - The End of Summer
    2. Nesce - I Bet
    3. Panthino the Moth - Magpies
    4. gloria_wong_91 - Ladybug Earrings
    5. Nerd-of-the-Nation - Living For Dying
    6. moldy_cheese_puff_balls - And the Crowd Goes Silent
    7. Psychotic Maniacal Sanity - Forbidden Fruits
    8. Ellyrianna - Chords (sent via PM)
    9. woopdidoodoo - The Dream Master
    10. SleepingShrew - Bad Day
    11. NinjaKittyMeowMeow - Midnight Soul Song
    12. Magical Cherry - But In Dreams
    13. Wanderlust14 - Four Little Letters
    14. Mister Satire. - The Halcyon Stars
    15. Peaceful Revolution - Who Cares About the Poet?
    16. TaiyoukaiLady - Something Beautiful (sent via PM)
    17. demagoguery - In the Glove Department
    Character [ CLOSED ]
    1. Scribbling Scribe Hawmund Maldathorne Vocean Charlynd III
    2. sango-chan17 - Michael "Marleesha" James Patton
    3. XxFish_Styxx - Jeremy
    4. [.Snow.White.Queen.] - Lex Savage
    5. DruidTigress - Blackbird
    6. demagoguery - Angie Webber
    7. I_am_Shoe - Noir
    8. dreamer_aura_laforest Felix d'Aquitaine
    9. [Zana] - Reneara
    10. water.wizard - Felicity-Lee O'Neill
    More will be added as people join. 10 people must join for each contest before this goes on. Note that that's 10 people, not 10 entires. No more than 25 people will be accepted.

    Donators
    • sango-chan17 - 1,000g
    • XxFish_Styxx - 750g
    • [.Snow.White.Queen.] - 500g
    • Scribbling Scribe - 250g


    Table of Contents
    Introduction and Basics - Guidelines - Prizes - Entrants - Judging - Links - FAQs - Reserved
    Judging
    I have my own scale for judging, and it goes as follows.
    • Adherance to the Rules - 10 points - Did you use the correct form? Did you fill in all the fields on the form? All or nothing. See FAQ post for more information regarding this.
    • Punctuation - 5 points - How good was your punctuation? 5 points was perfect punctuation.
    • Capitalization - 5 points - I have noticed that a lot of people in the Writer's Forums have problems with capitalization, especially after dialogue. 5 points was perfect capitolization.
    • Grammar - 5 points - How good was your grammar? 5 points was flawless.
    • Spelling - 5 points - How good was your spelling? Micrsoft Word had spellcheck for a reason, and even if you don't have a spell checker, you should at least have looked over your entry. 5 points was perfect.
    • Plot - 10 points - The plot is what the story builds on. If your story lacked a plot, it lacked an interest factor.
    • Adherance to Theme - 5 points - How well did you stick to your theme? I gave them to you because I wanted to see what you came up with to go along with them. How well did you do?
    • Characters - 10 points - Were your characters interesting? Did you provide a good level of characterization? Were they Mary-Sues or Gary-Stus?
    • Style 5 points - Did you put your own style into your entry? Or did you write it just like everyone else did? Was it bland, or colorful?
    • Interest - 10 points - This was simply a scale of how interested in your story that you had me. Was it interesting, is basically what this is.
    This is the reason I require you to pay twice the entry fee when you enter a story without using a prompt. Your score will be different because you are not graded on adherance to the prompt, so I have to change the formula I will be using in Microsoft Excel to add these up. Your score will be averaged differently than the others.

    I will be the only judge. However, if there is a tie, I will have my friend Scribbling_Scribe help me to judge. Since Scribbling Scribe has entered the contest, I will have my sister help me.


    Table of Contents
    Introduction and Basics - Guidelines - Prizes - Entrants - Judging - Links - FAQs - Reserved
    Links In/Out
    PM me to have your banner or link posted here. I don't care what it's advertising, as long as it stays on Gaia.

    User Image - Blocked by "Display Image" Settings. Click to show.


    Table of Contents
    Introduction and Basics - Guidelines - Prizes - Entrants - Judging - Links - FAQs - Reserved
    FAQs

    Quote:
    You dock people for naming their URLs? Was it stated not to name them? *reviews*

    Shame on me. It was stated. May I please change it? I understand if you say no. It's already been posted, my fault for not paying attention, all that jazz. But I really don't want you to exlude my story simply because I forgot to read a rule.

    All right. Because I'm a nice person, if you go back and edit your form and your form only, I'll give back 6/10 of the points for that section.
    Quote:
    I have an idea for the prompt 'Silence in the Crowd', but I'm not really sure what you mean when you say we need to use them as a prompt. Do we need to look at the actual lyrics to the song and have our story for the same meaning, or can we simply read the prompt and write from it?

    You can read the prompt and write for it. The rest of the song has no relevance to what you choose to do with the line you selected. I have my own idea for what that line should mean, and a different idea for what it means in the context for the song. I you would like to make it more a theme than a prompt, go ahead. Most of the people who have entered so far have had a character say the line, but that doesn't necessarily need to happen.

    Basically, as long as the story in some way relates to the prompt, it's good.

    Quote:
    Days, I gotcha a random question.

    Okay. You said you could enter both contests, and the one that won more would be counted and if your other placed as well, it would be discounted so the next person could win. So I was wondering.

    Say you win second place in the story contest [5,000g] and first place in the character contest [3,000g]. Though you technically placed higher in the character contest, you won more in the story contest. So which would you count?

    Just for curiosity's sake. xD

    You would win the highest placing, not the highest amount.

    Table of Contents
    Introduction and Basics - Guidelines - Prizes - Entrants - Judging - Links - FAQs - Reserved
    Keeskee's avatar

    6,200 Points
    • Tycoon 200
    • Profitable 100
    • Money Never Sleeps 200
    Hmm...

    I think I may enter this, mayhapsly. There's no prompt? It's just straight-forward writing?
    S i l l i B o o 's avatar

    11,000 Points
    • Mark Twain 100
    • Megathread 100
    • Elocutionist 200
    *Subscribes*
    Can you PM me when the prompts are put up? sweatdrop
    I'm not as good at free-form when it comes to contest entrees. xp
    Jak Lanturn
    Hmm...

    I think I may enter this, mayhapsly. There's no prompt? It's just straight-forward writing?

    It tells you in the rules.
    Hello there! Maybe I will enter, maybe not. ninja
    Scribbling Scribe
    Hello there! Maybe I will enter, maybe not. ninja

    If you do, I'll need a back-up back-up judge.
    [ .days. ]
    Scribbling Scribe
    Hello there! Maybe I will enter, maybe not. ninja

    If you do, I'll need a back-up back-up judge.


    Yeah its the character thing that I really want to to do though. I love character things. heart

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