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Figgy Idol

Like American Idol, only our contestants write. We are a multi-round, short story writing competition held annually-ish here on Figment. Anyone with any kind of experience is free to sign-up.

Discussion began on 02/01/2017 Lock This discussion is locked

ROUND ONE: It's About To Be Legendary

  • Untitled Icon-founder Ellie Williams


    Welcome, welcome! Please, take a seat and make yourselves comfortable. This is the start of a journey of epic proportions, and I am so excited to get things started, which I’ll do right… now!

    If this post looks extraordinarily long, that’s because it… is. Bear with me while I go through some of the aspects of this competition so that we are all on the same page. We have a few changes that I do need to reveal even for those of you who have been through this with us in the past. If you have any questions at the end of my giant rant, please feel free to ask us here or on our walls. We will respond as soon as we can.

    First, we have a new aspect of our competition that we are attempting this season, and we’re kind of excited to explore it. Each round pertains to a specific writing topic. (Okay, it’s not very flashy, but just go with it.) While we will still be looking at your overall story when it comes time to judge, we will be sure to pay extra attention to the areas that relate to the topic at hand. This round’s topic is creativity.

    What is creativity, exactly?

    According to Dictionary.com, creativity is “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, et cetera.” Basically, you want to try to twist something that is known and give it a new perspective. There are more than one way to reach your goal, and sometimes it pays to create your own, unique path. Think outside the taco shell, as one of my favorite saying goes.

    Creativity is important in creative writing because, well, it’s in the name. How obvious is that? But without it we would end up reading the same story thirty thousand times. That’s no fun at all. I know I love the feeling that I get when I read something I have never encountered before. It gets me excited! The itch to write is never stronger than at that moment, and it makes me love the art of literature. As writers, we strive to create those very moments with each and every story we write, the moment that makes our readers stop and think, “Wow!” Continue striving; never stop earning for that reaction.

    For a little more information about this topic, let’s hear from my fellow judge, Grant:

    “When I think ‘creater’ I think of somebody who is able to look at different parts or pieces and is able to make something new and exciting. The fact of the matter, everything comes from something. It's hard to be entirely unique because every writer has been inspired by something or someone. Even this prompt is encouraging you to look at Greek, Roman, or Modern heroes and villains and draw some inspiration from that.

    For example; some great recent examples of creativity:

    • The Hero's Journey is a tried and true story arc, but George Lucas looked at it and said ‘Okay, yeah, but what if we put in space?’ And now we have Star Wars
    • The idea of gifted children going to a school to learn more about their magic isn't anything new by any stretch of the imagination, but J.K. Rowling looked at that idea and decided to make all the kids wizards. Now we have Harry Potter.
    • If you're a video game dork like me, you've probably heard of a horror game that makes you hide from evil animatronics. Again, scary robots isn't anything new, but Scott Cawthon saw that idea, plugged himself into it, and gave us Five Nights at Freddy's

    So don't try to reinvent the wheel here, just look at what you're given and figure out how YOU would tell this story. The fact that everybody here is a writer inherently means they have some notion of creativity or know how to brainstorm, so don't worry about if you're the first person ever to be this creative, just tell your best version of this story and don't be afraid to seek inspiration from other material.

    ‘But how do I seek inspiration without blatantly stealing?’

    Well, there is where the ‘creativity’ portion comes in. Let's analyze a character we're all no doubt familiar with: Iron Man

    • Iron Man is a billionaire/owns a company, much like Batman
    • Iron Man is also a tech genius, much like Spiderman or any member of the Fantastic Four
    • Iron Man is bitingly sarcastic, which is obviously not a new trait for a character to have
    • Iron Man fights in a robotic suit, a sci-fi staple for many novels and heroes
    • Iron Man is a team of other super powered friends, like the Justice League or X-Men

    So what makes Iron Man creative and original? The way his story is told. His character arc, the ways he's drawn, the emotions he shows or doesn't show. Iron Man's story is instantly identifiable as his and you likely wouldn't confuse him for anybody else if it was described to you. Focus in on that. The more "you" we find in the story, the better your story will be.”


    ROUND ONE PROMPT: It’s About To Be Legendary


    Legend (n): a collection of stories about an admirable person; a person who is the center of such stories (dictionary.com)

    What is that acronym that has been thrown around since the summer Olympics about a particular United States swimmer? G.O.A.T.? Michael Phelps is truly the greatest of his generation and, wouldn’t you say, a legend? But what makes him so great? What stories do we tell that explore how amazing his feats truly are? We share these tales with the uninformed, exciting them with these stories of triumph, and amazing them with what someone was able to do. That’s what you get to do today.

    For this round, you must create and write a story about a character that is truly legendary. Think of folklore and mythology--tales that have been passed down for generations and tell stories about these incredible beings. In a way, you are creating your own folklore-esque fable. Most of us, if not all of us, are familiar with Greek and Roman mythology. What feats have these characters done that have made them so famous? What has made you sit back and stare in awe? That’s the caliber we are looking for in this story. (You don’t have to be inspired by Greek or Roman mythology; it’s just a familiar example.) The story should be about this character and their actions as opposed to the reactions of other characters to what your main character has accomplished.

    Your story can take place in any realm, place, or time. Your character can be human or not. Your character doesn’t even have to be a good sort. By all means, go all villainous on us. A few of us judges very much enjoy reading about antagonists. The only thing we ask is that you push yourself to come up with something that is truly creative. Try not to use concepts that have previously been done by other authors. Aside from creating a story about a legendary character and their feats, everything else is fair-game.

    Your stories can be any length up to 6,000 words. The deadline for this round is Friday, February 10th at 11:59PM MST. All content will be accepted. However, please don’t go too heavy on the gory, violent, or erotic details. Do not submit your links in this discussion until your story is ready to be judged (but be sure to post it before the deadline). No late entries will be accepted, and we do not offer deadline extensions. Any contestant who does not submit an entry by the deadline will be disqualified. Because of the extra initial contestant, three contestants will be eliminated this round.

    Again, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them. One of us judges will respond as soon as we can.

    Before we move on, I just want to put out a quick notice: we were incredible lenient in the audition round in regards to whether or not the prompt was followed. Some of you almost paid the price for that mistake and would not have made it into the competition. To keep everything fair and square, please follow all prompt restrictions and rules laid out henceforth. The world is full of restrictions that we must conform to if we wish to be included, and this is one of them. You are not the only ones who have rules to follow; we judges have plenty of them ourselves, promise. And, frankly, I would hate for you to lose your spot over something so minor and correctable. I’m not saying that it would come down to that (it may if it becomes an ongoing problem), but it would definitely hurt your chances moving on to the next round. Just… pay attention and clarify any detail you’re unsure of. That is all.

    Now, then. another thing I need to introduce to you this season is our concept of Feedback Groups. Grant touched on this over in the Figgy Idol discussion, but I just want to bring it up here. This is a tool we have been playing with for the past two seasons, and it has evolved with each competition. This season is no different. Instead of assigning you which judge you get to work with each round, we are allowing YOU to make that decision.

    For those of you unfamiliar with our Feedback Groups, let me give you a little more information. Each round, we allow our contestants to approach one judge to receive in-depth feedback from on their work-in-progress for that round. The judges will look at overall content, offer their thoughts, and suggest some changes they would make on your story. (For more information on what each judge looks for in a story, be sure to read their bios here.) This will be posted as a review on your submission piece. What you do with that feedback is entirely up to you. You can take their word as gospel and do everything they suggest or absolutely nothing. When asking for feedback, it is imperative that you do not wait until the last-minute to do so. Chances are that if you ask on the day of the deadline you will not receive your feedback in time. So, handle your time wisely.

    How feedback groups will be determined is simple. Each round, you will see the five judges’ names printed below the prompt with a specific number of spaces beneath their names. Those are the available slots for that judge. Only that number of contestants may work with any one judge per round. This number will change as the competition progresses.  Once those slots are full, no other contestants may work with that specific judge. What you must do is, once you’ve read the new prompt, post in the round’s discussion (this discussion, for round one) which judge you would like to work with for that round. These groups are NOT permanent and will be cleared at the end of every round. Selections are first-come, first-serve, so be sure to get here as soon as you possibly can. When you are ready to approach your judge for feedback, please inquire on their wall.

    Please note that you must post your selection HERE first and see your selection reflected below prior to approaching that judge for feedback. Anyone who forgets the first step may not receive the feedback they're requesting.

    You can work the same judge every round or mix it up. You don’t even have to reach out to our judges for feedback if you don’t want to. If you have outside resources that work better for you, by all means. This is just one aspect that we offer here at Figgy Idol.

    If you need further clarification on our Feedback Groups, please ask here or on my wall.

    FEEDBACK GROUPS

    Remember: read about us here.

    Becka
    1. Emma
    2. Zavier
    3. Rachel
    4. Stephanie S.
    5. Abigail June

    Ellie
    1. Hazel Gatoya
    2. Elizabeth
    3. Jane Apricity
    4.
    5. 

    Grant
    1. SS
    2. Twinz
    3. Trin Aster
    4. Ducky
    5. 

    Jo
    1. Mys Marie
    2. Isabel S.
    3. Paris Pearl
    4.
    5.  

    Tilda
    1. Neah Christine
    2. Lois
    3. Adrianne Etheridge
    4. Kiamesha Denise Sims
    5.  

     

    Prompt suggested by Grant.


    CONTESTANTS

  • 13319905_10209614827545102_5681619437566285555_n Icon-member NF Kris

    Can I work with judge Tilda?

  • Untitled Icon-founder Ellie Williams

    Of course! You have been added to her list. =]

  • Lepper Icon-member SStwins

    I think I'll work with Grant for this round!! Thanks for answering my questions, Ellie!

  • Untitled Icon-founder Ellie Williams

    You're very welcome!

  • Trin_aster_pro Icon-member Trin Aster

    I have a question, how many people are going to be cut after this?

     

    And I think I'll work with Grant - I need help with dialogue and such, so I think that would work

  • Lightning bolt icon Icon-member sstwinz

    I'd love to work with Grant! I'm excited for the all of prompts in this season now, I think they're going to be really challenging!

  • Avatar-thumb Icon-non-member Figment User

    I'd like to work with the judge Becka! Oh, and I have one question—the characters are OCs, right?

  • Inktober_day_four_peeved_by_hazelgatoya-dbpgwwt Icon-member Hazel Gatoya

    I'd like to work with Ellie. Thank you! :D

  • Untitled Icon-founder Ellie Williams

    @Emma, correct. Everything for this round should be originally created by you.

    And everyone's selections have been added! =D

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