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Tall Tales, Fish Stories, and Whoppers: a One-Shot Contest!

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by Ysavvryl, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Tall Tales, Fish Stories, and Whoppers: a Pokémon One-Shot contest

    Start Date: 3/1/12
    Deadline: 6/1/12

    Hello, and welcome to another Serebii Fanfiction contest! Have you ever been playing a Pokémon game and experienced something that was exciting, funny, or nerve-wracking? The kind of thing that had you on the edge of your seat or laughing straight out of it? It’s a great thing when that happens. But when you get online and post about this awesome experience, other posters ignore you, roll their eyes, say ‘learn to play better’, or claim their experience was better/worse/funnier. Well maybe you could fib a little and exaggerate the circumstances to make them more exciting.

    Or, since most people around here would call you on it and I shouldn’t be supporting the art of lying, maybe you can write a story about it instead.

    A tall tale, a fish story, and a whopper are all various names for an interesting little genre of storytelling that we’ll be exploring this time. This is when a story starts with a piece of the truth. The storyteller exaggerates the points, makes the circumstances wilder than they really were, and outright fabricates bits to make a plot, all in order to make a much more interesting story.

    So that is what you’ll be doing. Take an instance that can happen within the game; it should be something that is reproducible without cheating, even if it is unlikely. Your source can be a personal experience, a game mechanic, a Pokedex entry, and/or even NPC chatter. Then turn it into an exciting and thrilling story that will make everyone’s jaw drop in awe. Exaggerations, hyperboles, and explosions are all very welcome.

    Not only that, but this contest has something else different to it. One thing that can happen with online contests is that potential entrants see who’s entering and think, “That person is entering? There’s no way I could win! *gives up*”. Or they think “Geez, there’s so many new usernames here; better give them a chance *declines*”.

    I don’t want that to happen here. So, there will be two different tiers to this contest. If you’re relatively new to the fanfic writing scene or don't have a lot of writing experience, you’ll want to enter the Larvesta tier. On the other hand, if you’ve been posting stories for a while, you’ll want to enter the Volcarona tier. There will be winners in both tiers and for winning you get, erm, internet boasting rights and the ability to post ‘this won an awesome contest’ when you post your story for the whole internet to see. And that is awesome.

    Rules of the fan fiction forum apply, plus these contest specific ones.

    1. A contest entry will have two parts. The first part shall be the tall tale itself. The second part shall be an explanation of the true circumstances and what mechanics make it possible.

    2. The second part can include personal experiences in a game, as long as the important parts of what makes the truth work are there. The second part cannot include use of a cheat device; use of a cheat within an unmodified game is fine.

    3. Any Pokémon game, main or spin-off, may be used for this contest as long as it has been released for sale as of March 1st 2012. This is so judges can do fact checking. Be sure to mention which game(s) is being used in the second part.

    4. The entry’s first part must be original to this contest and cannot be posted on this site or others until judging results are released.

    5. Entries must be sent to Ysavvryl by PM by the deadline of midnight CST on June 1st. One entry per person. Label the PM ‘Tall Tale Contest Entry’ and place your desired tier in the message before the story itself.

    6. There is no minimum or maximum limit, but this is meant to be a one-shot short story contest. If it's more than one post or PM, you may want to consider if it needs all that length (and if it does, that's fine). However, the second part should not be longer than the first.

    Also looking for a couple other willing judges; please only apply if you think you will have good free time in June to judge.

    Some things that the judges will be looking for:

    Entertainment: This is a huge factor for tall tales. They need to be exciting to read. Obviously this is subjective, but this will also count writing style as a major factor.

    Correlation: How well the truth matches up with the whopper. Is the truth a core part of how the story works, or is it a mere decoration? The latter will get points deducted.

    Probability: As mentioned earlier, the circumstances of the second part should be reproducible, even if unlikely. Use of a cheat device is not allowed, but use of a cheat within an unmodified game is. This will be an all or nothing score.

    Grammar: How well the story is written and constructed. The genre is more forgiving of informal styles, but the errors and inconsistency should not distract the reader. Getting a proofreader would be helpful.

    If you’d like a physical example of a Pokémon tall tale and how entries should be set up, check out this story, one of my older ones. It’s not the most exciting tall tale, but it demonstrates what I’m asking for. Except the 'dex entries at top; they should be in the bottom, the second part.

    Questions, comments, feedback, and conversation in this thread are welcome! I hope y'all have fun with this.
  2. Griff4815

    Griff4815 No. 1 Grovyle Fan

    Hm, this sounds interesting. I have a question though. Hypothetically, what happens with a user who's straddling between the two tiers? Is there a way to determine if a user should or shouldn't be allowed to enter the Larvesta Tier?
  3. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    You really might have wanted to quickly run this by a mod to get it approved, which is the general procedure for this sort of thing. It is the general procedure because one of the purposes of mods is to keep tabs on these kinds of forum-wide events and be able to tell aspiring contest-runners things like, "Actually the next contest is kind of already in the works. Maybe you could have the one after that?"

    I mean, eh, I guess I don't personally care if you run this contest now if you want and our idea for the next contest comes after that, but for future purposes, please don't just all of a sudden post a contest thread without first checking with a mod that it's a free timeslot, so to speak. For all you knew we could have had a first post all ready and be about to post it tomorrow.
  4. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie "It is my destiny."

    Ooooh, a one-shot contest about tall tales in the Pokémon games! Oh boy, this is going to be great. I have something I've always wanted to write down, and now I get the chance. It's gonna be awe--

    *insert sad, disappointed face here*

    Damn. I don't know the mechanics of the games very well. And what I have thought up isn't in the game itself, like, at all. Well, there is ONE story my brother told me, but I don't know how it's possible in the original games since I don't think happiness was in the original games. It could be something a NPC can just say as a tale from "long ago", but there's no way it would be played in a game. And I honestly think adding a logical explanation ruins the whole thing. It's supposed to be a tall tale or a fish story, why would we need the facts?

    Gah, enough of my bitching, I'm just making this more difficult than it sounds. But if it deals with hacks or glitches in the games that CAN actually happen, then I'm going to pass, I know of nothing I have done or know of.

    Well... actually, something DID happen, but I don't know how to explain it. It wasn't on my game, it was something my brother had that he didn't know about that showed up on my side of the game. So... I GUESS I could do this contest, but the explanation will have to be absent, because I have no idea how it happened.
  5. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    @Dragonfree; Oh, I'm sorry about that! Guess I let my enthusiasm get away with itself. I had written about it in the Fanfiction club and there was no mention of another contest going on, so I thought it'd be okay and fun to do. So would you want me to take it down or leave it up?

    @Griff4815: I didn't really want to put definite limitations on the tiers, just have a way split up experienced and inexperienced writers. I thought two was the simplest way of handling that, because if I made three, then a lot of people would go for the middle tier. Basically, if I saw someone that I've seen their username around Serebii fanfiction and their entry was in Larvesta, I'd prod them and ask if they they want to go in the Volcarona tier instead.

    @Kutie Pie: Sorry! I liked the dichotomy of the fiction and the truth. I did say personal experience was okay, and the mechanics section wouldn't need to be exact numbers. Something like mentioning type advantages, the way moves work, that would be fine; no need to go numbers heavy. I did change up the contest some in editing it, although I didn't change that rule, basically allowing Pokedex entries, NPC chatter, and other 'stuff you could go and read in the game'. Think I should alter those rules?
  6. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie "It is my destiny."

    I know numbers have nothing to do with the mechanics. It's just that I'm not sure HOW to explain it. And your explanation for it still doesn't make sense for me. When you put together "fun" and "logical explanation" in the same place (especially on demand, if I'm doing this on my own, I don't have as much a problem with it), at least for me personally, it makes my brain haywire and I have no clue what to do, or how to process the information for it to make sense for me. I'm not THAT big of a nerd to know about what goes on in the Pokémon games, I'm not a big EV trainer and all that. I play Pokémon to have fun, that's all I know. I may go ahead and do a little research on the moves, but I tend to forget it after I have put down what I wanted, and it then doesn't interest me anymore.

    By the NPC chatter, are you talking about the actual lines from the games, or could the chatter be pure random? With the little ideas I have, I don't know any actual lines that were in the game. One happened to me in a linked battle, the other was a story my brother told me about what happened in his Blue version that sounds fishy (which means I can't prove how it worked or what exactly went on), and I have one I made up on a silly whim years ago that is more anime-based now that I think about it.

    So yeah, the contest is confusing me because of that second part. I don't know if these one-shots are going to be posted all at once for all of us to read or not, but I personally could care less how it can work in the games, I'm just there for the tall tales. I want to read the tall tales, and share my own tall tales, I don't want to ruin the fun of it by inserting real-world logic alongside it.

    There I go complaining again, but I'm disappointed I won't be able to fully participate because of this. I want to write a tall tale (because this may be the only chance I'll put it on "paper" to share with everyone), but the second half screws it up for me. So the chance is very high I won't participate as much as I would love to.
  7. SerenadeSP

    SerenadeSP My Loyal Feraligatr

    I've had an idea like this simmering in the back of my head for almost a year, but never got around to writing it. Now I actually have an excuse to.

    Expect my entry to show up around May. ('cause I'm that lazy)
  8. Crystal

    Crystal The Pokemon Observer

    Based on gaming experience... Hah?

    Although I play Pokemon games, and I wrote fanfic, but I never had any specific rememberable moment from any Pokemon game.
    I was thought of entering the next contest when I saw the things about the previous contest, guess I'll pass this time...
  9. ChloboShoka

    ChloboShoka Writer

    Gave it a shot. It was actually pretty fun. Looking forward to reading the rest of them.
  10. Crystal

    Crystal The Pokemon Observer

    Want to ask the moderator, is this contest being approved?
  11. GalladeRocks

    GalladeRocks Son of a Beach

    This sounds awesome! I'll definitely take part in this if it is officially approved. I have to agree with Griff, however, that some (myself included) might have a hard time figuring which tier to be in. Perhaps a Lar-carona tier is called for
  12. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    I said I didn't mind but that for future purposes contests should be approved by a moderator before being posted. So yes, as far as I'm concerned this contest is still running.
  13. Gelatino95

    Gelatino95 Not a tool


    How did I not see this thread until now? Honestly, sometimes I worry about myself. I'm definitely going to enter. Volcarona style. I would have postponed the starting of my newest fic if I knew about this earlier, but it's a bit too late for that. At least I have time for my ideas to fester.
  14. AmericanPi

    AmericanPi Write on

    Wow. Just... wow. Just when I decide to retire from Fan Fiction for a few months this contest pops up. Lol, how did I not notice this before? The topic is certainly very interesting, but I'm not sure if I'm up to it. I've never really written a tall tale, but I've seen quite exaggerated fic moments based on memorable game moments/mechanics in Missingno. Master's The Adventure of Adventureness. Hmm, I might give the contest a try - might. I'm a lot more into graphics at this moment than fan fiction, but who knows? I might just end up entering, but if I do, I'll probably enter the Larvesta Tier. I'm honestly not that experienced.

    I'm thinking of basing my one-shot out of Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs. So I can take any memorable game moment/mechanic and stretch it into a story, the way you stretch Pokedex entries into stories? This might be kind of hard, considering that I've lost my charger and haven't played the game for a while. *guilty laugh*. This is not the kind of story I'm used to, but I might give it a shot. Honestly I haven't written for a while, so my entry probably won't be very good... oh well, I'll try my best. ;)

    EDIT: Forgot to mention a concern of mine. Honestly, one of my key flaws is fear of not being perfect. Being a straight-A student at school, I feel very disappointed whenever I don't do as well as I want to. Since I've never received criticism for my fanfics before... I'm wincing now for fear of not placing high. I've read critiques for low-ranking entrants of previous contests, and I must admit, they hurt. Am I ready for such criticism? How am I supposed to respond to it? I'm scared...
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  15. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher

    Yeah, it's still on.. I have one entry so far (Volcarona level). I'm sorry I wasn't around much in March.

    Weird that some people find the prompt tough; I think that kind of thing is fun. And don't worry too much about the critiques. I mean to have things be fun, not stressful. That means praising the good stuff and encouraging ways to improve the weaker portions.

    If you don't remember a specific event, you can always make one up based on what could happen. It is a tall tale, after all. Just don't go stealing someone else's stuff.

    I figured that Larvesta would be for those who hadn't written many fanfics, or who hadn't done much writing in general, and Volcarona would be for those who have written several stories already. I'm not sure about upping it to three, as then a lot of people would go for the middle rank and it wouldn't be much different than if there was only one rank.
  16. Slipomatic

    Slipomatic Eon Collector

    criticism is what helps us improve our writing and like Ysavvryl says, you don't have to be afraid of criticism. I would join the Larvesta tier, but I feel that my writing isn't up to snuff as I feel that my writing quality isn't up to par. I can help with judging the Larvesta entries and Volcarona, although I would feel more comfortable judging the Larvest group as I feel I could relate with new writers better.

    I still feel that 1k words is too short for me, but that's just my opinion against myself. :(
  17. Missingno. Master

    Missingno. Master Poison-type Trainer

    I'm gonna enter this, Volcarona tier. Soon as I saw this topic I knew exactly what I was gonna write about. I'm in the process of writing it up right now.
  18. Phoopes

    Phoopes There it is.

    I'm going to enter. Having only attempted to start two fan fics, (with both falling flat on their faces) I'm going to enter in the Larvesta tier. I already have an idea, so that's a start right there. This is going to be fun!
  19. Ysavvryl

    Ysavvryl Pokedex Researcher


    @Slipomatic: What do you mean by 1K is too short? I didn't put any word count limits up. Also, I am okay with another judge; that'd be nice, as I'm the only one right now. But I'd rather you be able to judge both tiers.

    Although 1K is short (says the person who writes 1-10K a day).
  20. Slipomatic

    Slipomatic Eon Collector

    @Ysavvryl - Shhhhh, they don't need to know that I write 10k chapters. I need to run away!!!
    I'll judge both tiers, I'll just have to set a different bar with the volcarona tier.
    And I'm joking about me writing 10k chapters, I wish I could, but longest chapter I can manage is around 3k words at best, without just dialog being the majority of it.

    Anyways, aside from personal ramblings, I wish all contestants a good luck and I'm looking forward to reading those stories.

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