Original Fic 2014


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Alright, November is about a week away, so it seems liek time to bring up Original Fic again this year.

There will only be one "official" deadline, midnight, CST, on November 30th. After that, it will be a 1 point per day penalty to final score, up to December 31st, at which point they will not be accepted.

"Bonus" points are available by submitting something by the benchmarks, every Saturday. Each benchmark gets you one bonus point, plus one additional bonus point for every previous benchmark you hit. So if you hit each one of them, you would get 1+2+3+4=10 bonus points.

If you complete your story, it counts for hitting each of the benchmarks that occur after completion.

For reference, the dates are the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 30th.

These are meant mainly to motivate people to write regularly, instead of procrastinating and leaving it for the last minute and maybe giving up because of that. If you feel the points should be raise,d lowered, or outright eliminated, let me know and we can change it.

Categories: Not everyone wants to write the next American Novel, so I'm creating three categories

Short Stories: Under 7,500 words.
Meant to be the most like Iron Fic, this category is for participants to write a short short that follows the theme.
Up to Four entries per person.

Novelettes: 7,500-15,000
The middle ground, where you can start adding in a subplot or going into deeper detail.
Up to two entries per person.

Novellas: 15,000 to 30,000 words
Long stories. Still short of a full novel, but certainly nothing to sneeze at.
One entry per person.

You can enter all categories if you like. So theoretically, you could have seven stories for the month, but I doubt anyone is going to aim for that.

Currently planning on having a single theme. We had too broad a range last year, so I'm hoping that a single theme will make things simpler for everyone. Unless there is a significant response to this, it's what we'll be using.

After the disaster of last year, plus a lack of excess cash flow on my end, not planning on having prizes this year, at least not tangible ones. I'll PM the Admins about the creation of a "Champion's" Forum, essentially allowing you to do whatever you want with an area of the site.

Aside from that, the only real option is offering to write up a story or two that you would like to see. I'm not the most talented writer, but I'll do what I can.

Currently, I'm the only judge, but I'll be recruiting as long as the competition is going. Final score will be the average of all judges scores, so getting late judges won't affect your standing.

Currently planning on Five 20 point categories, for a total of 100 points.


Still adding on to this, but wanted to get it posted,l so you guys can take a look at it, and ask any question or offer any contributions or suggestions before things get started.


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Alright, one day late, but that seems to be standard for us around here. Still getting it up on the first official day, so I count that as a win. Current rules are posted above, and I'll leave an additional post if they change.

If you're participating, I'd appreciate some form of notification. Preferably a reply here, just so I know that people are participating, and don't have to spend a month agonizing about it.

So, without further delays, here is this year's theme:
Loss and/or Sacrifice

We've all lost something, we've all had to give something up. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere, sometimes it's a conscious choice, sometime you don't even notice you've lost it until someone points it out, and the loss is all the more painful, because maybe you could have done something to prevent it.

Loss and Sacrifice can come in many different forms. Maybe you stopped spending time with your buddies because you need that A in Science if you want to avoid summer school, a temporary sacrifice for . Maybe your girlfriend broke up with you and you're trying to get your life back together, a loss we've all suffered at some point. The only way to free the Sacred Sword and save your kingdom is to sacrifice your true love to it. No one ever said being the hero would be easy.

Funerals are an obvious option. Whether it's a grandmother who has been growing weaker for years, or a spandex wearing hero dying to stop a super villain from destroying the city, you lose something. Maybe you need to pull your family together to deal with the tragedy you all knew was coming, or pull on a cape yourself to stop that asteroid from blowing everything sky high.

Graduation, even though it's often joyful, fits as well. You're friends are either going off to a new school, perhaps far from where you're going, or you all need to get jobs, and won't have time to hang out any more. It's the end of an era of your life, and when something ends, there is always something lost.

Travel, giving up the comforts of familiarity and friendship, can be a form of sacrifice. Maybe you have to miss your daughter's first birthday because of a business trip. Maybe you head to the mountaintop to learn to cast away all earthly desires, maybe your hometown was doomed by some cliche plot, and now you have to find a new place to avenge your home. It can be a small journey

Loss of innocence can be yet another source. Maybe an awkward first sexual encounter makes you view yourself and your partner in a different way. You have to deal with the altered perceptions of everyone around you, real or imaginary. Are you labels a slut? A player? Does the catholic club start to shun you? Is it going to happen again? Another option is seeing a criminal walking free after a trial. The simplistic view that the good guys win and bad guys always lose is shattered. Does learning this make you give up, or motivate you to change it, either by fixing what's broken or tearing the whole system down?

No matter what, it's never easy. It's difficult whether you chose it, or it was thrust upon you. You can learn a lot about yourself when confronted with adversity, and what doesn't kill you (or even if it does,) makes you stronger.

It's November first. National Novel Writing Month has begun, and with it, Original Fic has officially launched. This is the month all us writers sacrifice time and lose sleep as we frantically try to complete our self imposed goal.

Good luck to all of us.


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Depending on how college hits me, I might be able to finish off what I've been working on and use it for this. It'll be in the novelette category as a heads up.


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Going to enter... Not sure what category its going to end up in though.


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Whoo! Three confirmed participants!

Posted this in the other thread, but Watashiwa has agreed to be a second judge. Still hoping to get at least one more, but it's nice to know that scoring isn't subject solely to my whims and preferences.

Let's give the King of Iron Fic a hand!


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I'll probably enter. Nice way to take a break from my real book.


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Well, there is no official deadline until the end of the month. I've got something in the works, but I've also got work, school, and NaNoWriMo to work on.

I've got a test tomorrow, but after that, I'll read over your story and give you some feedback. Sorry about the delay, but ti's kind of a crazy time for me.


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Ah no problem. I've got several papers due in the next couple weeks, so I understand getting bogged down. Thanks though.


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Well, think it's fair to say that this was another failure. An even grander failure than last year. Anyone have ideas on why?

My current theory is two factors:
1: Held during NaNoWriMo: Pretty obvious factor that I thought would actually help, but speaking from personal experience, it's hard to write stuff on the side during National Novel Writing Month because you're writing a god damn novel, and don't have time to screw around. (I did it by the way. Whoo!)

2: No real deadlines: It is really, REALLY easy to fall behind if you don't have deadlines, and once you do fall behind, it's really difficult to work up the desire to catch up, especially if there's no reward for it, and no punishment for continuing what you're doing.

Any other suggestions on potential reasons this failed so hard?


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It wasn't a total failure, I still got stuff in, although the last chapter did get sidelined for my papers and exams, and ended up getting split into two, I'll make my last post in a day or two.

...can I win by default?

Or get some feedback, because I plan to use the short story for a couple of other contests.

Edit: That said, failure wise, for me at least, the problem was that it happened right at the end of my semester of college when all my papers and exams are due. The deadlines were a good incentive to write for me, so no problem there for that, and I produce nowhere near enough to even dare trying NaNoWriMo, so that didn't affect me either. It was mainly the timing coinciding with my college work that was the problem.

Also, congrats on writing your novel.


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Yes, you do win by default, though I'll still try to get the other judges to comment on it as well.

Review will have to wait a bit, because it's finals week for me.


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Got the chance to go to Europe instead of doing this.

The choice, I hope, is obvious.

I still really really love my idea so I'm gonna start an original fic, although not as part of the contest.