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OC Slamjam


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May
10th
2015

Contest - The OC Slamjam · 5:30pm May 10th, 2015

Hi guys. Contest time. Hopefully you saw this post (or this one) earlier, so this probably won't be too big a surprise.

Incidentally, before I go any further, the official contest account where entries will be hosted is OC Slamjam, so go make sure you're keeping track of that and stuff if you're interested. I've also made a ramshackle group you can use for discussion and asking questions.

The OC Slamjam

What this is

The primary idea behind this contest is to get everyone working their character-making muscles. A lot of people like fanfiction because it allows them to work with pre-established characters and settings, but being able to build and work with your own characters is also a very important skill for writing! Not to mention that sometimes it's just fun to be able to work with pieces of your own design. It's also just a fun opportunity for you to design the best OC you can imagine, and it'll be kind of neat to see how everyone manages to bring their OC of choice through the contest.

Structure

To that end, the basic framework of this contest is as follows:

-Contestants will create an OC of their very own to use for the contest, using the provided character sheet. To enter, send me a PM with all the relevant details for your entering. You'll have three days to enter, so the window closes at 11:59PM CST on Wednesday.

I'll announce further details on the bracket pairings, the submitted OCs, etc. once this is over, but for now, focus on getting your OC to me by Wednesday.

-Contestants will be paired up in a tournament bracket (bear in mind that it's going to be tough to get a round number of contestants, so there'll probably be some first-round bys, which will be awarded randomly). They'll be be given a week to write a short bit (500-2500 words) involving both their own OC and their opponent's. Bits can be of any genre and involve any subject matter... within reasonable limits. No crackfics, please. PG-13 at maximum.

-The entries will be hosted anonymously as part of a compilation story, which will be hosted by the official contest account, OC Slamjam. The winner of each pair will be decided by audience voting between the two entries, based on factors such as overall writing quality, general characterization chops, and how well you worked with what was on the character sheets.

-Winner of the pairing moves on to the next round.

-Repeat until someone comes out on top.

The Character Sheet

Send this in to me via PM:

OC's Name: Obviously.

Pony Species: Pegasi, Unicorns, and Earth Ponies ONLY. I had to think really long and hard about this one, but I think it's ultimately necessary to keep this contest to OCs of the three major pony species. This contest should be more about character-building than world-building for species, and I'd really rather prefer people explore what can be done with OC ponies, rather than expanding on griffon or changeling culture through original characters. No alicorns as a fairness metric to all competitors -- it's going to be really hard to write good scenes involving your opponent's OC without needing to focus on the fact that they're a freakin' alicorn.

Appearance: Yadda yadda yadda. Coat color, cutie mark, scar on their left buttcheek, etc.

History: A short bit about your OC's background, past and present. Were they orphaned at a young age? Do they work as a bodyguard for Canterlot celebrities? Whatever!

Personality: The rough outlay of what your OC thinks and acts like. I personally like the recommendation that you try to address H.A.T.: what makes them Happy, what makes them Angry, and what gets them into Trouble.

Rules

-No joke/parody/crossover/Mary Sue OCs. They'll seem hilarious at first glance, but trust me, it's going to suck for everyone if these are allowed. Try to make an OC in good faith--remember that your opponent will have to write them too, and that this is supposed to be fun for everyone.

-No Pre-existing OCs. Everyone should be inventing a new OC for this one. If you've written your character into a story before, you should leave them at home for this one.

-Entries should be between 500-2500 words. I'll give some leeway for going over the limit, but you should try to stick to ABOUT a 2500 word limit for your entry. It's going to be key to hit the ground running.

-Entries must involve both your OC and your opponent's for the round. Beyond that, you're free to write them in whatever situation you'd like, with any genre/tone. Please no out-and-out crackfics, though.

-Teen ratings, please. For the sake of the audience, It'd probably be best if you don't write your OC mutilating or having sex with someone else's OC, or vice versa.

-Don't break anonymity. It's fine to tell people you're in the contest, and okay if you want to tell your editor or a couple close friends (assuming you can trust them and that they're not entering the contest themselves) which OC is yours, but do try to avoid any sort of public disclosure about who you are in the contest. That kind of ruins the point of the anonymity.

Prizes

So far, we've got a few prizes on-deck:

Courtesy of WIL_I_ZIN:

To First place: a 10,000 word story commission.
To Second place: $30 in Steam Money
To Third place: $10 in Steam Money

Courtesy of nand:

A copy of Star Wars: KOTOR, and Magicka on Steam.

The prizes are obviously a bit Steam-heavy, but it's tough for me to sweeten the pot in other ways at present. If you've got something you'd like to offer to the winners, and are feeling generous it enough to offer it, contact me and we can work things out.

I think that's just about everything for now. I'll field questions in the comments. Have a nice day, guys.

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Comments ( 4 )

Does it matter that I sent the OC sheet to your personal account or should I resend it to this one?

3060714

I've already got it on my main. It should be fine. It's actually easier for me if you send the sheets directly to my main.

In regards to the rules, they state no cross over Original ponies, does that include characters with a background that expands to Earth, outside of show canon?

I like the ponies on Earth stuff so I felt I should ask.

A point on user-friendliness:

If it isn't too much trouble, it would make things somewhat easier for the readers if you put links directly to each character's entry in the document at the beginning of the chapter rather than a general link to the document. It's not a big deal, but near the end when there aren't that many stories to curate it might be a nice touch.

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