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Contest! Imposing Sovereigns III: SOUL of Equestria · 2:56pm Sep 26th, 2021

I haven’t exactly kept careful track of my Fimficaversary. But this is the tenth. As of today, I’ve been on this site for a solid decade. If that’s not worthy of something special, I don’t know what is. And if you’ve looked at the blog title, you can probably guess what.

That’s right, it’s time for the third generation of Imposing Sovereigns! (And yes, I did consider calling it Imposinus Sovereignton III, Esq. but decided that was a bit too silly.) If you missed the previous rounds, this contest is all about a ruler facing the challenges of rule, and a signature multidimensional prompt matrix.

Okay, that last part is really just a matter of picking on option from Column A and one from Column B, but still, it makes for a fun degree of customizability. Column A is, as always a character from the show. The contest has a very flexible definition of “ruler.” It can be a princess, a mayor, a CEO, a principal… So long as they’re in a position of power over others, they count.

Column B is where it gets interesting. In the first one, it was a matter of the nature of the ruler. In the second, it was challenges to their reign. In both cases, there were seven options. I wanted to continue that theme, and some recent media releases helped me settle on precisely what to use. With the recent release of both MLP: A New Generation and Deltarune Chapter 2, it’s rather fitting to bring together their predecessors.

Yes, we’re dusting off some of the more obscure lore from Undertale. Don’t worry, you’re not required to make your story a crossover with the residents of Mt. Ebott. But you do need to focus on one of the virtues of the human SOULs. (It’s Undertale. IMPORTANT CAPITALIZATION comes up rather frequently.) There is admittedly some overlap, so use your best judgement, and remember that any virtue taken to excess becomes a vice. Said virtues are, in order of increasing wavelength of their associated colors:

• Perseverance: Enduring the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. (Even if the better option is to ask for help, or just getting out of the way.)
• Integrity: Treating one’s principles more as immutable laws of nature than moral choices. (Even if that puts honor over reason.)
• Patience: Waiting and seeing, knowing that sometimes the only winning move is to do nothing. (Even if that leads to missing opportunities.)
• Kindness Nurturing, forgiving, and generally channeling Fluttershy at her softest. (Even if the situation calls for a harder stance.)
• Justice: Meting out rewards and punishment fitting of each deed. (Even if blind justice strikes down a friend.)
• Bravery: Rushing ahead, daring to meet problems head-on. (Even if that’s not the best approach for a head of state.)
• DETERMINATION: Driving forward with a will stronger than death itself. The unstoppable force to Perserverance’s immovable object (Even if stopping is the one thing that could prevent going off a cliff.)

Unlike previous generations of the contest, I am not asking people to reserve a character-virtue combination in advance. I’d still like to see some creative choices rather than, say, forty Celestia-Perserverance stories about her toughing out an obnoxious day on the throne while looking forward to a slice of cake. That said, I won’t punish people who happened to be in the wrong part of the world as I made the announcement.

Aside from the prompt, the rules, restrictions, and ret cetera are as follow:

Rating: Everyone or Teen

Word Count: Hard cap of 15,000. Bear in mind that Fimfic’s word counter doesn’t always synch up with, say, GDocs’s.

Publication Date: Between the moment this blog went up and October 31st, 11:59 EST (though you do technically have a bit of wiggle room on November 1st before I wake up and close submissions.)

Multiple Submissions: Permitted, but you can’t win more than one prize.

Prizes: On that note:
1st Place: $100
2nd Place: $75
3rd Place: $50
Honorable Mentions: $20, one per judge
PayPal will be the default payment method. We can discuss alternate methods or charitable donations when I PM you with the happy news.

Judges: Myself, Kris Overstreet, and SirNotAppearingInThisFic. Naturally, judges are not eligible for prizes.

AU Policy: The AU tag is practically expected in an Imposing Sovereigns fic. However, if you set your story in a pre-established setting, the story must stand on its own. No required reading allowed; you’ll need to cram the background info in along with the story itself. (Writing something in the Oversaturated World is appreciated, but will not grant any bonus points for pandering to the panel. :derpytongue2:) Sequels are technically permitted, though they also need to stand on their own. Likewise crossovers; you can do them, but you need to introduce the nonpony concepts in the story in addition to the narrative.

OC Policy: You’re welcome to use OCs in the story, but the focus has to be on a canon character. Note that this character can be from Friendship is Magic, Equestria Girls, A New Generation… Heck, if you want to write about Megan’s bloody-minded crusade against the enemies of ponykind in the era of Dream Valley, go for it.

Anthology Policy: You can submit a single chapter of an anthology to the contest provided that chapter meets all of the requirements (15k words or fewer, T or E, etc.) Be sure to indicate which chapter is the entry (e.g. "(IS3 Entry)" in the chapter title.)

Story Description: Be sure to include something along these lines in the long description, replacing fields as appropriate:

An entry in Imposing Sovereigns III, using the prompt (character)/(virtue).

If the chosen prompt would spoil the story, you’re welcome to put it in the author’s note, but please do include it somewhere. You’re not required to use the associated color for the virtue, but hey, style points. :raritywink:

Story Submission: Be sure to submit your story to the appropriate folder of the contest group! Note that you may need to do so from the story page if there aren’t any entries in that folder yet. Let me know if you have any difficulties; I may need to tweak some permissions.

Feel free to ask about anything I’ve left unclear. And most importantly, have fun!

Comments ( 68 )

I cannot possibly hammer the New Story button fast enough to get on board with this.

I feel like I've definitely missed the last two versions of this contest and I typically have about a 1/3 success rate and actually finishing stories before the contest ends but f*** it I'll throw in my hat I don't know for who or what but I hope iszzy moonbow is involved because she is precious

I may or may not attempt to crowbar the story I never got around to for the last on into this one's prompt. Probably not, it is still part of one of my copypastas.

damn this is exciting!

New contest! Writing for these tends to give me the most passion and energy, so hopefully I can put something out for it.

I’m gonna do something with young adult Flurry Heart again, and so help me God, you all will appreciate her this time.

I'm going to pass on this one, but I look forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with. Oh, and please don't spoil Deltarune in your short descriptions, I'm waiting to play it until all the chapters are out.

You specifically forbade sequels in previous rounds, but nothing about it here. Are they forbidden again, or do they have the same requirements as crossovers, i.e., the story should stand alone well?

I'm going to say yes. Though really, a sequel that stands enough on its own to qualify is more a story set in the same continuity.

Well, I can swing being a judge more easily than I can fathom getting a submission together in time (but this a good-looking contest prompt for my purposes, so maybe someday...).

(I am throwing my hat in as a volunteer for judging, to be clear.)

It can be a princess, a mayor, a CEO, a principal… So long as they’re in a position of power over others, they count.

So in other words Hitch definitely counts. :moustache:

Hello. I would like to invite you to repost the contest in the Hall of Contests group. This is a group for spreading news about contests and for archiving.

Thank you very much and hope the contest will be successful.

Congrats on the decade of Ponefic!

Congratulations on a decade of horsewords. Here's to a decade more :moustache:

I will wait to throw my hat in the ring to see if I get a good idea. But it's always good to see Imposing Sovereigns come back for another round.

I'll definitely be throwing my hat in the ring!!!

Congrats on the decade of association with horsewords and horseword accessories, and for running a hat-trick of these. :twilightsmile:

Count me interested. I'll see if inspiration strikes.

Congrats on your decaversary!

Author Interviewer

Congratulations on your poniversary! Here's to another ten years.

I assume Gen 5 is fair game? Because I watched the movie yesterday and if there's anything I'll be writing in the short term it's going to be Pipp and Zipp.

Gen 5 is absolutely on the table. As noted in the OC policy, even Gen 1 is on the table if you're so inclined.

Comment posted by Runic Script deleted Sep 27th, 2021

I know we don't have to claim our combos this time around, but I'm posting this comment to hold myself accountable. I'm going to put together a story for Queen Chrysalis and DETERMINATION.

Happy Fimficaversary! :D

And I hope that the contest goes well for everyone.

Happy Anniversary, FoME.

Welp, less than twelve hours of percolating ideas and I suddenly have an entirely new favorite Gen 5 character completely out of nowhere.

(On an unrelated note, did you know that apparently nobody knows what exactly Alphabittle's cutie mark is or what it's supposed to look like, to the point that every piece of art I've found of him just didn't even try to put on in? Even someone who went through the effort of drawing a reference sheet of him left his flank blank. If anyone knows what it is or has a clearer picture of it I'd appreciate it (I've heard people say it's a teapot but I haven't yet had anyone able to explain to me how it is a teapot without lots of squinting))

For your bookeeping, I volunteer as a judging tribute :p

Funnier story: with G5 ponies only having their cutie marks on one side, you can actually get away with that if you're careful!

I haven’t exactly kept careful track of my Fimficaversary. But this is the tenth. As of today, I’ve been on this site for a solid decade.

Congratulations, amigo! :twilightsmile: The last ten years have been a hell of a ride, eh?

Re: the contest, I'm guessing it's one submission per user?

As many as you can cram into the submission period, but you can't win more than one prize.

Sigh. I’m really interested. However, my last few attempts to do a story for a contest were more ambitious than I had available time to deliver, so this time I’ll try to keep it short!

Best of luck to the participants (and judges)!

The last contest produced some absolutely excellent stories. I'm sure that this one will keep that trend going.

(Also oh geez a decade of small horse words don't remind me)

It's a roundish dark thing with a base, and there are some fringes of white that look like a lid and a spout. I'll buy teapot.

So a bit of a strange question: does the submission have to be a story published on fimfiction?

To clarify, the project I was working on could fit the prompts, but due to the format and the way I structured the story it is not publishable on fimfiction and I would prefer it to stay as a google doc anyways. Would this still be allowed to be submitted to the contest provided it meets all the other requirements?

Hm might end up cutting my teeth on horsewords with something involving Queen Haven.

Upon consideration, I will allow it, but ask that you post a link in the contest group's forum.

How do we access the prompts?

... I don't understand the question. Do you mean the contest groups? You may need to add your story from the story page itself; Fimfic has a weird bug when there are no stories in a group folder. But the prompts themselves are yours to decide. The options are listed above.

Oh, ok, I get it. sorry for the confusion. :derpytongue2:

Oh snap, I just realized an idea I had put on the backburner for a G5 fic would actually work for this well enough. However, I must ask something which should probably be expected from me at this point: what's the contest policy on non-Deltarune crossovers? The story I have in mind would be readable without prior knowledge of the non-equine property.

As with sequels and pre-established AUs, you need to make sure the story establishes the other half of the crossover well enough that those unfamiliar with it can follow what's going on. (Heck, that goes for Toby Fox's work as well. Just because I'm pulling from his stuff for the prompt doesn't mean it gets special treatment.)

:unsuresweetie: I have to admit I'm not entirely clear on the difference between "patience" and "perseverance". They seem interchangeable, but I get the impression in context they're not meant to be.

For instance, you mention "forty Celestia-Perserverance stories about her toughing out an obnoxious day on the throne while looking forward to a slice of cake". But that "Celestia-Perseverance" seems like it could just as readily be "Celestia-Patience".

Could you better clarify what the difference is, preferably with examples like that one?

Not to be mistaken for FoME's actual input, even if I am a judge, but going off of FoME's provided descriptions...

There is some overlap, yes, in much the same way Perseverance and Determination could overlap elsewhere, and we get almost a spectrum of Patience → Perseverance → Determination. To oversimplify, I see this as potentially mapping to Passive → Defensive → Aggressive. Since there aren't claimed prompts this time, I suspect that if you misidentify one for another, at worst you'd have a bit of confusion from the first few readers/judge going in and might get advised to change what prompt you list it under.

I'd say a story about Celestia leading Twilight to ascension as we see in the show likely qualifies as Patience, as while it takes maybe a bit of prodding here and kicking off an adventure there, mostly Celestia just lets things run their course. A political chess game could easily work as a Patience story, too.

Celestia surviving a tedious day of court waiting for her Moment of Cake does seem like a Perseverance story to me; her patience isn't just being tested by time, it's being tested by the ponies (and who knows what else) at court. A sovereign trying to clean up after being caught up in (falsely or otherwise) a scandal could probably be a Perseverance story.

And I'll just go off the top of my head and say if you write about Sombra's picking a fight with Equestria upon his return, you could easily write him with an abundance of DETERMINATION.

Basically what 5595026 said. Patience is sitting there for other reasons and taking any punishment that comes your way incidentally. Perseverance is working through the constraints and hardships standing between you and a goal. DETERMINATION is bulldozing through those impediments because they are as gossamer to the power of your will.

Or, you know, just pressing on with the same indifference as with Patience, only with more forward motion. :twilightblush: There's definitely some conceptual bleed-through with some prompts. I blame Toby Fox for some of it, but I am the one who decided they'd work for the prompt. Hope this helps.


🤔 Ah, now I see. It's a question of how one applies one's energies, then? "Patience" would be the more neutral or passive long game, "Perseverance" would be focusing on shielding and working around obstacles, and "Determination" would be immediate attack. I think the "Passive → Defensive → Aggressive" was where it clicked, but the Celestia compare-and-contrast and the "forward motion" aspect helped: "Patience/Perseverance" definitely make more sense to me now.

(Especially with "Determination" used as a control group! :derpytongue2:)

There's definitely some conceptual bleed-through with some prompts. I blame Toby Fox for some of it, but I am the one who decided they'd work for the prompt. Hope this helps.

Oh, it did, it did! I have a clearer idea of how to use them now. Thank you both for answering my question, and for clarifying the two concepts! :scootangel:

Would Social Attentiveness (paying attention to and meeting the desires of others) count as "Kindness", regardless of the motivation? Or would it fit in better with another category, such as Patience or Determination?

Kindness definitely sounds like the most appropriate virtue there. (Indeed, now we’re getting into the blurred lines between Elements of Harmony. Kindness and Generosity do have a fair amount of overlap.)

I've just now:

Gotten an idea, but can I bounce the story between both Discord and Fluttershy persevering in their efforts to make their marriage work?


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