• Member Since 23rd Dec, 2013
  • offline last seen 40 minutes ago

Oroboro


Employed layabout with not enough free time to write about horses.

More Blog Posts79

  • 37 weeks
    Sunset Shipping Contest: Endings Results

    Sunset Shipping Contest - Endings Results!

    Sorry for taking so long! Life gets in the way sometimes, and this particular batch of stories was rather heavy.

    Read More

    18 comments · 1,649 views
  • 47 weeks
    Endings is closed.

    The story submission folder has been closed.

    If you submitted the story to the site and forgot to add it to the folder, pm me.

    If you're one of the new authors who's stories still need manual approval, don't worry, we'll get it taken care of in the morning.

    Go read my vanity entry to the contest.

    Read More

    17 comments · 708 views
  • 47 weeks
    Less than 24 hours remain

    I'm in a hotel room and up too late. Lots of late entries are pouring in, and I'm sure there's plenty more to come.

    Read More

    13 comments · 391 views
  • 49 weeks
    It's September.

    Two weeks remain for the deadline to the Sunset Shipping Contest. We're at 13 entries so far, and I know a lot of people are still hard at work.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone has to offer, and wish you all the best of luck on getting your entry in.

    Also, I've been working on a vanity entry to the contest myself, which should be ready shortly for your reading perusal.

    7 comments · 296 views
  • 51 weeks
    Good article on relationships

    https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/

    This is an excellent article on the things it takes to make a successful relationship work.

    Read More

    3 comments · 223 views
Aug
1st
2019

Sunset Shipping Contests: Endings · 5:11am Aug 1st, 2019

Heya folks! Remember that time, two years ago, when I ran a Sunset Shipping Contest that received about 54 entries?

Remember that time last year, when I did another Sunset Shipping Contest that received a whopping 66 entries, and was one of the biggest contests in the sites history? (At the time, anyway.)

It was fun, and we got a lot of great stories out of it. But I’ve got to be honest, it’s a lot of work. And as the show wanes, my life moves in other directions, my interest fades as well.

So let’s give it one last hurrah.

Introducing…

Sunset Shipping Contest: Endings



Or as it’s colloquially known: Sunset Shipping 3: Revenge of the Relationship

We’ve had stories about starting relationships, and stories about ongoing relationships. In the interest of thematic appropriateness, I feel we must now tackle that ultimate conclusion, the outcome that romance novels usually try to pretend doesn’t exist. 

The story must be about Sunset Shimmer being in a romantic relationship that ends, in one way or another.

Death counts as an ending, mind you.

So whether its a screaming, drama filled breakup, an amicable separation, a tragic accident, a quiet deathbed, or anything in between, I want to read about it.

All relationships end eventually. But that ending is a story in and of itself, and one not often told. It’s not the easiest topic to write about. And it might be a little less appealing than your standard happy ever after. But I’m sure you can all pull it off anyway.

If you wrote a story for either Changing Seasons or Journeys and want to write a sequel for it, you’re welcome to as well. (Sequels to non-contest entries will not be accepted.)


Start Date: August 1, 2019
Due Date: September 15th, 11:59 PM CST, 2019

Word Minimum: 1,000
Word Maximum: 15,000
Rating: E or T

Stories must be complete by the end of the contest, and must not have been published prior to the start of the contest.

Stories must be published on Fimfiction.

Stories must be submitted to the contest group, found here.

Prompt: Endings
Since this is a difficult subject to write about already, I’m not being extra with a thematic prompt. As stated above, the story must be about Sunset Shimmer being in a romantic relationship that ends, in one way or another.

Judges

  • Oroboro
  • R5h
  • Majin Syeekoh
  • Heartshine
  • Ebon Quill

The story criteria we will be judging on are:

  • Creativity - How inspired, interesting, and unique is the story?
  • Technicals - How professional is the quality of the story?
  • Theme - How well does this story fit the theme of the prompt?
  • Characterization - How much do the characters feel like themselves?
  • Impact - How powerful is the story on an emotional level?
  • Chemistry - How well do the characters work together, romantically? In this case, negative chemistry counts as well. Showcase how bad the characters are for each other, in a believable way.

And of course, what you’re probably all really here for:

Prizes

1st place: $500 and first pick at an art commission from either Overkenzie, Sam Rose, or VerumTee
2nd place: $300 and second pick at an art commission.
3rd place: $200 and a third pick at an art commission.
4th place: $150
5th place: $100

There will also be five honorable mentions, judge's pick, that will receive $30 each.

I will be compiling the winners of all three contests, into a print copy / short story collection, to be made available for purchase on Lulu*. (At cost, no profit to me.) This was supposed to happen last year, but there were some issues getting all the formatting right, and it got delayed to the point where, why not just do a three contest omnibus instead? Previous winners will also receive a free copy if they want one. I’ll reach out.
*With permission from the authors in question

But wait, there’s still more!

For EVERY SINGLE qualifying story submitted to this contest, $10 will be donated to fimfiction. As a result of this, every entrant will also receive 2 months of fimfiction bronze.(No ads, and a shiny badge under your name.) If you’re already a patreon supporter, then rejoice in the fact that by the mere act of writing about Sunset’s relationships, you get to support the site that has been a home for all of us for so many years.

A big thanks to my mysterious benefactor, who chooses to remain anonymous, and has bankrolled the majority of the last three contests. His gift is your reward.

Go forth, and write!

FAQ:

  • Will there be a deadline extension? No. I have already pre-extended the deadline. Use your time wisely.
  • If the story is about a relationship ending via death, can Sunset be the one who dies?You monster. But yes. The story should still be focused around the relationship.
  • If Sunset ends one relationship, can she get into another relationship in the story?Yes, but the story must still in some way be focused on that first, ended relationship. It can’t just be 200 words where Sunset dumps Flash and then 14k of unrelated SunLight fluff.
  • Can I ship Sunset with an OC? - No. Sunset’s potential romantic partner must be a known character from the main show, Equestria Girls or the official IDW MLP Comics. EQG versions of canon characters who have yet to make an appearance are also allowed.
  • Can I do a sequel to an existing story? - Yes, but only if it was previously entered in the Changing Seasons or Journey's contest. For anything else, we won’t read the prequels, and your story should ideally stand on its own either way.
  • Can I write in an Alternate Universe? - Yes, but the story needs to be readable completely on its own. You can’t require another story being read to read yours. (Above sequel rule still applies.)
  • Can I just do friendshipping? - Nope! Romantic relationships are a requirement!
  • Can I submit multiple entries? - Nope! One entry per contestant. Though we wholeheartedly support writing more Sunset Shimmer shipping stories.
  • Can I write a sequel to a previous contest entry that someone else wrote? - Yes, but only if you get the original author’s permission first.
  • Can it be part of a larger anthology of stories? -  Nope! Needs to be uploaded as its own individual story.
  • Does the story have to start with Sunset in a romantic relationship? - Not necessarily. She can enter the romance at any point during the story, just has to be out of it by the end of it. Romance should still be a major focus of the story, however.
  • Is poetry allowed? - Nope! Prose only, sorry!
  • Can I write a story using the events of the Anon-A-Miss comic? - Yes, but I’ll hate you.
  • Can my story be a part of the Beanis Cinematic Universe? - No, because Sunset being in a relationship with someone is against the fundamental tenets of the BCU.

Tips and Tricks

Writing is tricky even for the best of us, so here’s some snippets of advice to keep in mind, whether this is your first story or you’re a seasoned veteran.

  • Romance lives and dies by its characters. If the audience isn’t falling in love with them, how are we supposed to buy that the characters are? While we have this easier as fanfic authors, since we’re working with characters everyone knows and already loves, you still have to put in the legwork to make them lovable and showcase what makes them shine.
  • Let your romantic leads interact with each other, and sell us on their chemistry. They should be able to get along, banter with each other, have conversations about things that have nothing to do with how much they love each other or how pretty their eyes are. (Or not, if you’re aiming for a relationship that doesn’t work.)
  • Romance is all well and good, but remember that you need to tell an actual story. Something with a beginning, a middle and an end. A conflict, something that the characters must overcome, or fail. Something that changes, and the people who are affected by that change. Fluff can be nice, and a story about say, Sunset and Rarity snuggling up under the covers and simply talking about their day can be nice, and full of a warm fuzzy feeling. But at the end of the day, a story like that is forgettable, and we’re looking for more than that.
  • The first idea you think of for any given story is the first idea everyone else thought of too. Dig deeper, figure what it is about the idea that appeals to you, find other things to add to it that have a similar appeal, combine it with other ideas, mix in other genres, and build something stale into something that feels fresh and original.
  • Read these two blogposts about alien shipping syndrome, because they’re fantastic and have other fantastic advice in them. https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/366440/alien-shipping-syndrome-is-a-terrible-thing https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/596665/5-tips-for-avoiding-alien-shipping-syndrome

I think that about covers anything. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.


Now then, get writing!
 
Special thanks to Sam Rose for doing such a wonderful banner for the contest! Again! Check out their work!

Final note: At the time of this posting, I’m in Baltimore for Bronycon! I’ll be pretty busy while that’s going on, so while I’ll try to pay attention, it might be a bit before I can answer any questions you have about the contest.

Unless you’re at Bronycon and come up and ask them in person. Or just say hi. Whatever works, really.

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Comments ( 45 )

Great... something else to suck up my time...

Oh well, *rubs hands* let's get started!

I wrote my story for the first contest in three days so I can do this.

A big thanks to my mysterious benefactor, who chooses to remain anonymous, and has bankrolled the majority of the last three contests. His gift is your reward.

it's the deep state

I am quite terrible (I think) at writing romance, and while break-ups and deep feels are my least favourite parts of them, I'll still try to write them, because maybe I'll not want to do it and procrastinate with the shipfic in order to refocus on some of my other stories that definitely need updating (although if I do start writing a story for this contest, I'll see it through to the end!)
Either way, Sunset is best hooman and may we all break our hearts over these stories!

Will there be a deadline extension? No.

:yay:

Having just finished watching Blue Valentine, I think I'm well-prepared :P

All good things have an ending. I look forward to having my heart broken several dozen times over.

Oh shit, you have my attention. It’s been a while since I’ve written a serious drama. Looks like it’s time to change that. :rainbowdetermined2:

Oh. Hmm. I may not actually enter this one, though I may be able to swing something. We'll see.

Darn you, Oroboro! I just wrote a story with this theme. How am I supposed to squeeze any more creative juices in this genre-al direction when I already squished myself to near-dry on something else? Your timing is terrible.

I'll enter this if I get an idea for it, but I'm not crossing my fingers. Granted, I said that last time too.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

oh shit

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator

What about Journeys? Can I murder a relationship I started in the Journeys contest?

Great, on the one hand I'm one of the few that could complete a Sunset Shipping Trilogy, on the other I don't want to tear them apart:raritydespair:

5097613
You might get away with them breaking up for now and have them reunite sometime in the future.

idk...

Hm, I’m so in!

Can’t wait to start.

<3

Will there be a deadline extension? No. I have already pre-extended the deadline.

Look, I just came here to read the blog post, I don’t have to sit here and take being singled-out like this. :derpytongue2:

Naw, we’ll see if I can actually do this properly this time. I failX0r3d to get anything in the first time; I slid one in over the finish line at literally the last possible second last time; if this trend continues, maybe I’ll pull off an honorable mention?!

Kind of funny that my first story would've fit this prompt very well. :twilightsheepish: Anyways, I'd better start thinking. If this is gonna be the last contest, I'm gonna try to put as much effort in as I can!

I've been looking forward to throwing my hat in the ring once last time. Here's hoping I can pull off my idea for once.

5097862
Whoops, forgot to edit that bit. Yeah, journeys counts as well

Really odd question but can the story's plot be based around another TV show episode that already exists? You know, obviously as long as it involves the EG characters and Sunset instead of the original cast and made to make sense in the EG universe?

5098090
Sure, though the more you can make it your own the better.

If you directly take the script and just replace all the names, though, it would fall under the site's plagiarism rule.

Oh. Um. Hmm.

Yeah, I don't think I'll be entering this either, given that the "relationship ending" fics were generally my least favourite of the entrants to the last two contests (apart from a small number of just badly written fics).

I write what I want to read, and ships ending is rarely what I want to read. I can think of some ways to fit these terms while still being uplifting and heartwarming, but it'd be hard to do without being bittersweet, and I don't think I do bittersweet.

Even though this story is older than the contest (and doesn't have to be part of it), I think it would have made a nice entry.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/419604/worrywart

Are crossover stories allowed? I’m guessing yes, under the same constraints as alternate universe stories, but it seems worth confirming explicitly before I do too much brainstorming in that area.

5098553
Keep in mind Sunset can't be shipped with a character from a crossover, since it's Canon only.

But otherwise yes. Crossovers are incredibly difficult to do well, and you can't count on the judges to be familiar with the other source material and it will probably be judged more harshly. But technically allowed.

I wouldn't recommend it though.

Well dang, this might be just the motivation I've been looking for!!

5098997
You're an incredibly talented author and I love a lot of your work! I just don't like downer stories. I come to MLP and EqG because they're upbeat, optimistic, realistic yet heartwarming. Downers aren't what I want from MLP, or from MLP fanfic. I'm happy to respect those who do, and I'm sure this contest will lead to a lot of talented people creating a lot of excellent fics. Just I personally won't want to read them. Effectively I'm not in the target audience like I was for the first two contests. And that is fine.

It's not an entry to the contest, but it inspired me to write a story.

I don't think I'll enter this contest. I don't really like that prompt. I prefer: Beginnings.

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator

5100968
Every ending is a new beginning.

Can I submit multiple entries? - Nope! One entry per contestant. Though we wholeheartedly support writing more Sunset Shimmer shipping stories...

...about Sunset's relationship ending in a likely messy and tearful way.
Now who's the monster here?

I already have like half a dozen ideas to turn this into a comedy. I even have a possible title for one already.
Herdbreak Hotel

I have an idea, and it might even work. Okay, to the writing mobile!

Hmmmm:

Does the end of the relationship have to actually happen during the course of the story? Or can the break-up have happened before the story starts?

Mike

5102877
I'll say the breakup can have happened prior to the start story, as long as the story is still about said breakup.

5102879
Good. Then i'm safe.

  • If Sunset ends one relationship, can she get into another relationship in the story?Yes, but the story must still in some way be focused on that first, ended relationship. It can’t just be 200 words where Sunset dumps Flash and then 14k of unrelated SunLight fluff.

Kinda strange to ask, but can the second relationship be with the same person the first one had? Like, a romance falling apart because of whatever reasons, but after they take the time to introspect and to better themselves, they give it another shot and begin anew?

5111720
Gonna have to say no* on this one, since it kind of just makes it a story about a rough patch and not an ending.



*(Some weird, extenuating circumstances would be okay, such as getting together with the Pony/EQG AU counterpart instead, one or more parties literally losing their memories so they have to start over, etc. Something that makes it an actually new relationship.)

I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull off a story about endings for a contest, but man this was great inspiration! And we've still got plenty of time to get our stories done.

5111897
Duly noted. This doesn't change the premise of my idea at least, just how it finishes off.

So, for clarification, Sunset has to be in the relationship that ends at the beginning of the story?

5114854
This is worded poorly, but assuming you mean what I think you mean:

Sunset has to be in a relationship ends at some point during the story.

Whether she was already in a relationship at the start of the story, or starts the relationship during the story doesn't matter. Both are okay, as long as it ends, in one way or another.

5114913
Sorry, I'm at work and can't brain well, so let me clarify.

Can Sunset be in a relationship with one person and be dealing with the aftermath of a previous (already ended but heavily focused on) relationship with someone else?

Or would that technically not follow the prompt?

5114930
I suppose i'll allow it, if it's still heavily focused on the ended relationship.

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