Writer's Workshop: Brainstorming

Hello, my friend. Stay awhile and listen.
Deckard Cain, Diablo I

hey folks! :smiley:

as was mentioned when the contest went on “hiatus”, and recently in @PDanford’s “creative process” thread, we’re going to be resuming this competition… soon:wink:

before i simply reopen and resume business as usual, i thought we might recap how the previous competition worked, and perhaps revisit the process entirely… what didnt work? what did? what could be improved?

in a nutshell, each competition cycle was broken down into 4 weeks, with the first three being open to any participants, and the final week being reserved for those who “placed” in the preceding weeks…

folks submitted stories, and depending on the number of likes received, moved on to the final week of the competition, where they were lavished with praise and rewards (to include one or more of the following):

  • Stonehearth stickers

  • Steam codes

  • inclusion is the planned Stonehearth Scribes mod

we had a number of submission rules:

  • You can only submit one story per week.

  • The story must tie in with this cycle’s theme “ABC”

  • The theme for this week is “XYZ”

  • The story must include [random requirement here].

  • We’re asking for submissions to be no more than 400 words.

  • Vote for as many stories as you want - simply ‘like’ the associated post by clicking the heart at the bottom of the submission.

  • If you submit a story continuation from a previous week, there will be a varying number of automatic “likes” associated with the submission.

when the competition slowed down, we introduced new elements:

  • an overall theme for the entire cycle

  • weekly story parameters

  • a story continuation “point system”

so here we are now… on the brink of reopening the competition (that was an example of building dramatic tension … skills!)…

with that in mind, please let me know your thoughts… if the entire competition should be reimagined/reworked, etc…

any and all feedback would be appreciated! :+1:


So, my thoughts as someone who got into the forums at the tail end of the previous cycles:
400 words is very…short. I have paragraphs in stories, or even papers, with more words than that. 600 I can understand as a “short story” format, though it’s still rather limiting. I think what needs to be defined is exactly what kind of writing is being done. Are these just excerpts from larger works? really small campfire stories? What is it exactly that we are working towards.
With an “over theme” and a “weekly parameter” and a specific thing the story must include, that is a lot of prompts for such a small story. If the theme is trees, and the parameter is bunnies, and the inclusion is fence-posts, then I’m going to take a good 200-300 words to make it all fit together, before getting to any actual story. I’d suggest broadening the general theme, maybe having a specific target each weak in that theme, and that be all the prompt (this just might be my longwinded preference)

I’ll probably think of some other things, but this was the main thing that jumped to mind.

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I agree that there should be some change in word length for some topics and themes. Considering the previous cycles, talking about a “Fallen God” (Final Cycle, week 3, maybe?) was a bit tricky with 400 words. Perhaps to even it out, there can be “Epic” lore entries and “Common” or “Folktale” ones, which could be substantially less and more generic/humor-driven than the multi-part stories some of us were creating last year.

I could see a funny story about a fence or berry bush fit in about 200 words, if kept simple. Maybe an option for verse and prose diversity.

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thanks for the feedback folks… word length was always something we struggled with (and we can continue to balance going forward)…

but it seems we have a bit of a treat in store for our budding writers… :candy:

Team Radiant’s Journal Entry Competition!

yes folks, it seems that our benevolent overlords Team Radiant has decided to up the ante, as it were… they would like to:

… propose a writing contest whose prompt involves journal entries in the voices of various personas of the settlers in the game.

Team Radiant would take the top-voted fan entry and, if it’s deemed appropriate, include it in the game, providing editorial oversight to keep the final text short, content-appropriate, and in a consistent voice.

yes folks, you read that correctly!! (should the aforementioned criteria be met) the selected winners will see their work featured in-game as part of a unit’s various journal entries! :smile: :+1:

like any good proposal however, it does come with a brief set of rules:

  • the entry has to be appropriate to one of the 6 existing personas
  • Beleaguered Leader **
  • Hopeless Optimist
  • Lovable Rogue
  • Psychopathic Misanthrope
  • Insufferable Academic
  • Diligent Sweetheart
  • the entry has to trigger on a deterministic action already in the game (embarking, chopping trees, picking berries, eating, sleeping, promotion, etc)
  • the entry has to be ~200 characters, to fit in the space provided by the character sheet
  • the entry must be self contained (no referencing other entries, or people)
  • the entry must be equally applicable to either gender

ok ladies, gentlemen and writers of all ages… let’s get to work!

the competition will follow the same basic schedule as before… we’ll kick off the first week (oddly enough) this Friday, January 17th… submissions will end the following Wednesday (22nd) at 12PM CST, with voting to continue through Friday, January 24th, 12:00PM CST… the next round will kick off on the 24th, following the same basic pattern for 4 weeks…

i’ll make a separate thread with the contest details, rules and complete schedule soon (to make it easier to follow)…

well, thats it! :smiley: cant wait to see what our writers come up with, and thanks again to Radiant for suggesting this very clever competition! :+1:

p.s. calling (most of?) of our previous writers!

@Atralane, @PDanford, @Ellogeyen, @Smokestacks, @RoseyNineOneOne, @Geoffers747 @Elven_Hero, @naturalnuke, @Zendo, @voxel_pirate, @Smith, @CableX17, @blackArcher52, @TUGenius, @ManOfRet, @DarkDitto, @Miturion

note to Radiant: beleaguered is spelled incorrectly in personality_types.json


We should call the personality serivce to inform them about the spelling error.

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I do like the direction this is taking - I like it a lot!
Maybe even a SH novel might become a possibility :rabbit:

Or together with the chronicle mod a game could result in a novel that was generically created from the events within the game.

Eh but one step at a time, lets have a great contest :smiley:


Well well well, this may well be the incentive I needed to actually come back and write some more…:slight_smile:

Awesome from Radiant, love how much community stuff’s making Vanilla what with the fan soundtrack and now this, it’s great!

For anyone interested, I’m certainly looking at that Hopeless Optimistic. I hate when things associate Academic with Insufferable (in SH’s defence an awful lot of things do), it really irks me. I’m a definite academic but I manage to be social anyway. The only time my friends are a bit frustrated is when I’ve had my grades back for my GCSEs and been disappointed with an A when most of them were elated with a B, though frankly them telling me I can’t be disappointed annoys me more. :stuck_out_tongue:


Ya know, if you weren’t such an insufferable academic there wouldn’t be an issue here!


sorry folks, the day got away from me… i’ll try and toss up the “official” thread later this evening… :+1:

resumes his academia

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