WOTM #30 Theme Choice
This thread exists so that you, the participants of WOTM, can vote for what theme you'd like us, the WOTM staff, to use next contest. This way, we can only use themes that please as many WOTM participants as possible. The poll is multi-choice, so if you like more than one theme, you're welcome to say so. Also, themes that do not win this vote will likely be given another chance in future polls.
Theme: Detective Story
Explained: A story about a detective solving a crime or mystery.
- The story is told in fully traditional style of a detective searching for clues and using their logic and knowledge to piece them all together to solve a crime/mystery.
- The "detective" is not in fact a professional detective of any kind, but they play the part of one anyway.
- The protagonist of the story is not the detective.
- The story does not involve a crime.
- The story is not set in the modern day.
Explained: A story about an apocalypse.
- The protagonist is or attempts to be a leader of a large group of some kind (ie: survivors, soldiers, refugees, etc).
- The story tells of the aftermath and/or survivors of an apocalypse.
- The story tells of a perceived apocalypse of the past, such as the extinction of the dinosaurs or the near eradication of Native Americans.
- The method of apocalypse is a common media trope such as a zombie outbreak or an alien invasion.
- The apocalypse is somehow averted.
- The entry is written in journal/diary entry format.
Theme: Fairy Tale
Explained: Write a story based on a fairy tale.
- The story takes place in a modern setting.
- The story is told from the perspective of the traditional villain of the fairy tale.
- The story is written as though someone is telling the story to a child.
- The story uses elements from two or more fairy tales.
- The story provides an alternate ending to an existing fairy tale.
This thread will be left open, and for good reason! Please don't hesitate to comment on the themes themselves or general setup of this WOTM feature.
Anyone care to share their thoughts on these themes/components? Feedback is nice for us to have to make good themes in the future. :)
Alright, I can assist. I’ve wanted to enter one of these for a while but the dates always seemed to line up with other things that I need to prioritize. So here is my general opinion.
I think this theme sounds like a lot of fun to write and even more fun to read. I can say that I probably wouldn’t be able to enter this one. It’s the type of thing that I would get too carried away and try to be too smart with it, leaving me not enough time to make the deadline. I could possibly manage something more simple/plainly based, but I don’t think I’d be content. The components appeal to me and I especially like the first two and last one.
To me apocalypses are generally a hit-and-miss type of thing. Occasionally I’m interested in them, in which case I’m really interested, but most the time I possess a neutral opinion. Nonetheless, as a theme I think it works very well and caters to a large crowd with a lot of possibilities. More realistically I could see myself participating in this one. Like the theme the components are hit-and-miss with me. The first, fourth, and last one sound most appealing while the others I likely wouldn’t use. (I do think the third one could be interesting to read though, if it was done accurately.) I’d also be a lot less likely to read these entries. I find apocalypse settings grow similar too quickly.
I’ve always liked Fairy tales. They tend to have a charm all their own as well as a healthy dose of nostalgia value. In addition most of them are easily made (or already were) more mature so that they can appeal to a wider variety. Realistically speaking I am most likely to enter this one, barring schedule issues. I’m a little less likely to read this one than the first, but a lot more likely than the second. Sans the first I liked all of the components and would be tempted to use any of them. Lastly, I think don’t think long when I think of fairy tales, so chances are I could probably finish this one before the deadline.
Although I’m not voting yet, my vote would be/will be either for the Detective Story theme or the Fairy Tale theme.
Oh, here I was expecting my request to go unanswered for a couple days, but it took less than an hour. Lovely.
Thanks for the feedback Fayn, it made me realize that I don't even consider which themes would be fun for just reading rather than writing and entering. I'll have to take that into account for future theme creation.
I am glad to be of assistance. And I am especially delighted to have brought a new point to your attention.
I'd really like to write a fairy ta- *votes and sees results* -le, wait, DANG ALL YOU ADDICTS TO NEGATIVITY AND DOWNER FEELINGS! XD
Detective: My greatest worry is that the full atmosphere of a true detective-story is probably hard to attain in a single entry, but otherwise I'd really look forward to what kind of clever ruses and interesting scenarios that people could possibly throw together~ Though, that is definitely a step-up in the difficulty of the usual themes of the WOTM, but I'd find it amusing to test myself~
Apocalypse: The end of the world. Can't really find something less depressing. Easy to imagine, rather easy to present. All the theme is about is to present the apocalypse, what happened, and possibly have some individuals struggle against it. The entries will probably become kinda similar, and it is by far the easiest and most negatively packed of these options. ... That is, the kind that usually sucks up you guys' votes like a sponge.
Fairy Tale: A cute theme that would inspire people to unleash a bit of the most fantasy-like and classic style of writing which would be absolutely adorable to read~ I find that to be a great theme, with quite the opportunity for imagination to take place. Though, the components seem quite determined to stop us all from writing an original traditional-style fairy-tale with all its might. Except the second to last component, which is so easy to abuse it's hilarious. "The characters are in a forest, which means I took an element from -name of fairy tale in which takes place in a wood-" I voted for it, because it seems so adorable. Heh-heh.
I feel as though the components for Apocalypse are awfully simple. They're practically givens, for most of them anyways.
-The protagonist is or attempts to be a leader of a large group of some kind (ie: survivors, soldiers, refugees, etc).
I feel like this one could be a bit more interesting. Maybe the protagonist is the leader and is taken away from power instead.
-The story tells of the aftermath and/or survivors of an apocalypse.
Pretty much every apocalypse-themed story ever. How about the story of the recovery process instead? One in which humanity (or whatever the group is) is nearing a time of normalcy once again.
-The story tells of a perceived apocalypse of the past, such as the extinction of the dinosaurs or the near eradication of Native Americans.
I actually like this one.
-The method of apocalypse is a common media trope such as a zombie outbreak or an alien invasion.
Now I understand it's hard to stray from this type of thing, but why not a component that asks people for less-considered forms of the apocalypse, like spontaneous worldwide vanishings? Something more real even, like the loss of fossil fuels? Spontaneous worldwide vanishings? Again this is a hard one, so I may just be complaining about cliches here.
-The apocalypse is somehow averted.
How about someone or something attempts to prevent it, but fails?
-The entry is written in journal/diary entry format.
I've always thought of components as being limiters and difficulties that legitimately challenge our writing, and currently the Apocalypse themes seem completely the opposite.
Hah, yes, WOTM participants seem to very much enjoy the dark themes. I almost tossed another dark one up instead of giving Fairy Tale another go, but I felt it would be too much alongside Apocalypse. :ezlol:
Originally Posted by PlatinumSkink
However, I will say that your interpretation of the theme is not entirely accurate. It's not just dark and dreary, it simply lends itself well to such tales. Every component aside from the third one was purposely crafted to allow positive interpretations, especially given that an "apocalypse" doesn't necessarily have to be an extinction event, it could be a more personal, melodramatic end of things that a character sees as an apocalypse. We're lenient on interpretation things for just this kind of reason.
You are completely right, however, that the Fairy Tale components were meant to push people away from that, but it can still be done with the third and fourth components.
Anyway, thanks for the analysis of the themes. You continue to be a strong reminder that not everyone loves grimdark themes and components, which is something we definitely keep in mind while putting themes together.
Components aren't actually meant to force challenges upon participants, as strange as that might sound for a contest. We very intentionally have one or two freebie components with each theme to allow those who wish to play it safe to be able to enter. The intent is to inspire writers to do things outside of their comfort zone with those harder components, to allow them to choose how challenging they want it to be. Honestly, although it's called a contest, it only fits that appellation because we force the format into a voting thing and have a prize. It could just as easily be a writing workshop where each month people are given parameters to write a story and then get feedback on them, and most regular participants would still be getting out of that the same things they seek in WOTM. By the way, that's just my opinion on the matter, not necessarily that of my fellow contest managers, so I'm not speaking for them or the contest as a whole here.
Originally Posted by Asuras
That said, you might have a point that Apocalypse is too easy to use. Only the third component (which was Kagamine's creation and is an awesome idea) poses a strict challenge to writing an apocalyptic story. Everything else does have a very "well yeah, apocalypse, right, that's a normal thing for those stories" feel. It's not quite as stuck to the generic path as you see it though, since "aftermath" could mean any time after an apocalyptic event occurred, thanks to loose interpretations being allowed. Your alternative version suggestions for the leadership and aversion components could still totally be done, albeit with the failed averting thing not qualifying as being a component used. We could've gone with the inverse direction on method of apocalypse, make the component be "it's not a common media thing," but giving any specific types to use would be too limiting; if not for this theme already being out in the open and thus fixed as is, given this point of criticism I would actually opt to just remove it and stick with the standard 5 component thing instead of leaving it in, since it's a total freebie for sure.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this theme, Asuras. I've been under the impression, due to various discussions about WOTM elsewhere, that pretty much everyone took part mainly to get reviews and critiques to improve their writing. Maybe you're not the only one looking for a real challenge to force you outside of your comfort zone, so I'll try to think of something to provide that alongside allowing others to choose their own level of difficulty through interpretation of components.
From my point of view in this forum, putting anything up againt the apocalypse would be wasted keystrokes. Although I would very much enjoy reading/writing a detective or fairy tale over an impending apocalypse story, apocalypse is just too popular of a topic I think for the others to stand a chance. Although, I am pleased to see that Fairy Tale isn't that far behind.
I would like to suggest an unofficial side challenge, just to see what happens... with no rewards other than the fun of it.
I challenge anyone up to the task to include one (or more) component from each of the theme choices, regardless of the theme that wins.
My vote is likely to be for 'Fairy Tale.' I do have a question though: What all counts as a Fairy Tale? Stuff exclusively from settings as written by The Brothers Grimm, or perhaps all tales involving creatures such as 'Fairies?'