Welcome to the January World-Building Alliance prompt!
For our first prompt here at the World-Building Alliance, we’ll be asking you to pick a race (other than ponies, obviously) and write up an origin story for that race. If you’re a little confused as to what that means, take a look at the tale of Hearth’s Warming Eve for a basic example.
Any other questions on the prompt? PM an Admin and we’ll be back to you within the next day or so.
Now, we are a world-building group, so many of the ideas sprung by these prompts can easily turn into quite the long story. However, that said, for the purposes of judging, we’ll only be looking at the chapter(s) that total up to 5000 words. But, if enough of you write those long stories, and then finish them, we just might be willing to look over those finished products and come up with a new results post.
So how does one enter their story for this contest? It’s quite simple, really. Once you’ve finished your story and submitted it to FimFic, post here in this thread the following information:
Please provide links where necessary.
Now here are the rest of the guidelines and restrictions:
- Deadline is the last day of the month. That will be the final day for submissions. For those of you in different timezones, if it’s the final day, make sure to also post what time it is in your time zone.
- Only stories submitted to the site during this month will be accepted. That means your story from August of 2012 won’t be accepted.
- Judging will be finished by the end of the first week of the next month. So on the 7th, the judging thread will be up, complete with the final scores for each story. It will also have a description of how the judging works and how the winner is selected. Important stuff for you to know beforehand is that we look at five categories: Plot, Characterization, Mechanics, World-Building and how well it fits with the FiM universe.
- And finally, all site rules are in effect. If you’re not quite sure what they are, see link.
Now for the part you’re all here for: the prizes.
- The winner gets bragging rights, of course. Additionally, the winner will be placed in a “Prompt Winners” folder. Finally, until the next prompt winner is selected, the current winner will have his/her story as the only story on the group’s front page. Plus Wanderer D might randomly promote the story on his blog.
- Second and third place get bragging rights as honorable mentions. Have a nice pat on the back, too!
- Everyone else gets a general, “Thanks for participating!” thingy in the final judging post.
Cheers and happy writing!
~ The World-Building Alliance Admin Team
That's unfortunate. I'd like to participate, but I'll be far too busy with working on my first story to make something...
Interesting challenge... not sure if I could get to 5000 words but I wonder if I could still pull it off. *looks through notes* Here Be Dragons...
How much does 'origin story' entail? Should the story be mainly about the race itself, or can it be a story about the events that actually lead to the existence of the race? (compare: A story where we see the first changelings surfacing vs. a story where a mad doctor creates life, with the changeling only actually appearing during the last few sentences)
No problem, we're planning to make these a regular thing, so just join in when you're ready
Just remember that 5000 is the upper limit. Doesn't matter how much under that it is, so long as it passes moderation
That's entirely up to you!
As much as this looks interesting, I have to decline joining this challenge. I already have one challenge fic I am working on (a Cadence x Big Mac ship) as well as three other stories, and a 4th that I have outlined but not started.
Still, I shall be following this to see what the participants come up with. This could be both interesting and a valuable source of information.
Between 1000 and 5000 words... ok I think I can work with that.
Hmm...capping myself to 5000 words might be tricky if I get on a roll, but I'm going to give it a shot. Whether or not I actually get my arse up and write the damn thing is a whoooole nother story. If I do, it'll be Sphinxes, for certain.
5000 words? That's my average chapter length...
So what's the catch? Does it have to be a race already seen in the show? Or do we have free reign? When it comes to making shit up, I'm like German industry. You cannot stop me, I can only be contained!
No problem, feel free to join in one of the future prompts when you've got some more spare time
And yes, this should be quite enlightening for those who don't participate as well
Good to know
Feel free to write as much as you want! Just be aware that we'll only be using the first 5k for the purpose of judging
I shall check with my fellow admins at the earliest convenience, and get back to you asap
What a minute...origin story? My story might just qualify But there's no way I can finish the whole thing by January. (I'm not even sure if I can finish it at all )
Dang, I'm planning to work on the world building of a race (they're related to the Windigoes) in the fic I'm currently working after I finish it but I can't make it before the end of the month as my fic is not even halfway through yet. =(
Think I could try my hand at this...
Well, considering that I already have 1000 words detailing reindeer culture around her somewhere, I am fairly sure I can pull something out of my hat.
Oooh, I could do mine on my Japanese Changelings. Yep, I make the Changelings Japanese. Pattoned!
Alrighty, original species seem to be good to go!
Don't worry, we'll judge the incomplete stories too
They'll be judged by the state they're in at the deadline, and we might even go over them again once they're completed
Nothing can stop it now. Nothing but college work.
This sounds fun, but I have a question. It might sound like I'm nitpicking, but I actually want to know because I have some origin ideas in mind that might not qualify for the contest.
When you say "other than ponies," how expansive is the category "pony"? Could I write about the origin of the sea ponies (featured in an upcoming picture book but not yet present in the show)? How about the crystal ponies (no explanation for their existence has been given)? How about the Arabians?
They should all be fine
I'd be particularly interested in the Saddle Arabians, for example. I don't think I've ever heard of an explanation for them.
All I have to say is, keep your hooves off mah Cervidae!
Well, the problem is that it'll be a side story/sequel prequel to my current fic so I'm not working on it until the current story is done. So I can't enter for this month.
Hm... Someone likes Rarity.
Maybe on another month.
Hope to see you there
I could give it a try ... maybe expand on my Minotaur origin theory, or I could open one of my fantasy books to a random page ... Long chapter writing's never been my forte (as much as I wish it was!).
Oooo! IDEEEAAAAA! (leaves)
Yes! I get to introduce my zombie pony race!
Sorry dude, but zombie ponies don't really count as a unique species.
>>583152583152 Not exactly, but what about sub-species to a generic zombie pony species? You know, sort of how like an army has the infantry, and within the infantry, there are different types of soldiers?
I've been working on this species for a while, that's all. If not, however, I DO happen to have a backup plan.
Wait, living ponies bite. THAT ARGUMENT IS INVALID, I DECLARE A MISTRIAL!
The subject's ability to bite was never called into question! Merely that a change in behaviour does not denote a change in species!
>>583193583193 HOLD IT!
The coral snake and the milk snake are almost EXACTLY alike. However, only the coral snake is poisonous and will bite its enemies! That one single action, along with a slight change in the order of the colored bands on its skin are the only things that can tell them apart! This proves that one single behavior can mean a difference in species!
The Coral snake and the Milk Snake are from completely separate families of snake! The Milk snake has merely adapted to capitalise on the Coral snake's infamy!
>>583225583225 Ponies do not capitalize on zombie ponies' infamy
>>583232583232 People say I should be a lawyer, this is normal for me.
>>583232583232 Also, you don't know me, so how can you worry about me?
This is getting out of hand and off topic...
(Side-note: I had to make that image just for you, y'know. Couldn't find one anywhere)
>>583251583251 Basically, it's like that audience voice that Jim Gaffigan does.
Can we use characters from Crossovers? If so, I have an origin story for the deliciously evil Venom symbiote.
If not, can we use inanimate objects brought to life? I do have a story using a living horde of ponyquinns.
Also, Rarity is best pony. /)
That's a flat No on the inanimate objects being brought to life.
As for crossover species...
We have no major problems with them being present, but the story must feature the origin story of a species that fits in the Ponyverse. Add Venom if you want, but the origin of the symbiote is not what we're after.
Also, Rarity is best pony
Not quite true, but still...
Ah, well he is in Equestria and I do have a story of how he got here, so it all works out. But you make me sad about no ponyquins.
spe·ciesnoun /ˈspēsēz/ /-SHēz/ species, pluralA group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. The species is the principal natural taxonomic unit, ranking below a genus and denoted by a Latin binomial, e.g., Homo sapiens
noun /ˈspēsēz/ /-SHēz/
A group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. The species is the principal natural taxonomic unit, ranking below a genus and denoted by a Latin binomial, e.g., Homo sapiens
Same reason for the lack of Zombie Ponies.
Also, to re-iterate, the origin of Venom is not what we're after.
If your story features Venom, so be it. BUT the story must explain the origin of a believable MLP species (e.g. Changelings)
Can I use the origin story as subtly dropped background material that is interwoven with various other headcannon stuff (Cadance origin story which makes sense! yay!) as a part of world building for an adventure fic involving Twilight amongst Reindeer society, or do you want a story whos main focus is the origin of the species, much like the Hearths Warming Eve episode?
>>582202582202 Now Rarity, just because they never wear clothes, don't be hating on them.
Either should be fine
Oh good, because I have already churned out 2000 words for the former, and I didn't want to have to start from scratch.
Well, this looks like it might be fun! With such an interesting prompt, I think I might give this contest a spin, but first I'd like to ask some questions, just to make sure I understand the rules..
My first question is: What's the limit for submissions? More specifically, is it against the rules to submit multiple stories, even if each story is about a different race or species? If so, would a participant get disqualified for trying to submit two or more, or would the second submission be ignored?
to pick a race (other than ponies, obviously)
This is the subject of my second set of questions: How broad is this exclusion? Are the following kinds acceptable:
Donkeys, zebras, horses, and other equines?
Golem ponies (i.e. pony equivalents of golems) or other artificial beings?
Pony hybrids or chimeras (e.g. a creature half-pony, half-lion)?
and write up an origin story for that race.
Next, what counts as an "origin" story? For instance, could the story be about how changelings arrived in Equestria, or about how they acquired their features in a just-so story, or about how they conquered a territory and founded a hive, as opposed to describing how their kind arose in the first place? Also, can a story include multiple origin stories - say, one for minotaurs, one for buffalo - so long as the narrative connects them? DrunkFilisoph asked a question like this earlier, but I want to be clearer about what the parameters are.
If you’re a little confused as to what that means, take a look at the tale of Hearth’s Warming Eve for a basic example.
This does partially answer my question earlier, but taking that as an example, can the origin story be staged as a story-within-a-story as well? To what extent can it be the focus of the story? Could a participant, for instance, write a Daring Do short in which an artefact is given a backstory that coincides with the origin of a species?
Now, we are a world-building group, so many of the ideas sprung by these prompts can easily turn into quite the long story. However, that said, for the purposes of judging, we’ll only be looking at the chapter(s) that total up to 5000 words.
Since I've read the other posts, I guess that means that, regardless of length, the maximum any judge will read is the first 5000 words of a long story, and that a submitted story will be judged whether it's incomplete or not. However, this leads into my next point.
But, if enough of you write those long stories, and then finish them, we just might be willing to look over those finished products and come up with a new results post.
I'm not saying this will be done by me, but if a contestant does produce such a story, will it be judged in an independent contest for writers of long stories or not?
Important stuff for you to know beforehand is that we look at five categories: Plot, Characterization, Mechanics, World-Building and how well it fits with the FiM universe.
I get four out of the five categories, supposing that World-Building is about how well you depict the setting and background or develop a feature of the fictional world, but I'm uncertain about Mechanics. I'm guessing it's similar to style and grammar, but just to be sure, I'll ask anyway. What exactly is covered by that category?
Now for the part you’re all here for: the prizes.
I'll just be happy to participate. That said, are we required to register for the contest, or do we simply submit?
For now, I think that's all the questions that occur to me. Apologies for bombarding you with so many, but it's just that I like to be clear about what I'm doing, and if others are thinking the same things, it may be for their benefit too.
Thanks in advance!
Submit as many as you want!
If you think you could knock out a half dozen 5k fics in a month, more power to ya!
Alicorns? NopeDonkeys, zebras, horses, and other equines? YepCrystal ponies? See: >>582121582121Golem ponies (i.e. pony equivalents of golems) or other artificial beings? Yes to Golems, no to living mannequinsPony hybrids or chimeras (e.g. a creature half-pony, half-lion)? Yep
Donkeys, zebras, horses, and other equines? Yep
Crystal ponies? See: >>582121582121
Golem ponies (i.e. pony equivalents of golems) or other artificial beings? Yes to Golems, no to living mannequins
Pony hybrids or chimeras (e.g. a creature half-pony, half-lion)? Yep
Yes to all of those origin ideas. It can be the physical origin of the species itself, or the origin of their current government/country/hive/whatever.
Yes to idea of it being Storyception. Feel free to make a Zebra retell the founding of their nation in a fireside story or something similar.
All stories submitted will be judged by their state at the end of the month, up to the aforementioned 5k word limit.
Larger stories, however, will also be entered into a Longfic-specific competition as well. Once they're finished, we'll go over them again. They'll then be judged against other Longfics, regardless of the initial score of the first judging
Mechanics is indeed your ability to dot your eyes and cross your tees. Don't worry, you've only got to impress three highly successful authors and two well-known critics with your writing
And thanks for the questions! We'll be sure to try and address some of these points the next time we put up a prompt.