View Full Version : [wRHG Tournament] The Valley of Dreams R1: Past Projection

07-04-2014, 11:00 PM
“But what were all these charms to me,
When one sweet breath of memory
Came wafting softly by?”


You wake to the sound of leaves rustling and birds chirping in the distance. The air smells sweet and it passes over your skin with a gentle touch. It takes you some time to become fully lucid, and just a little bit more to realize where you are.


Somewhere in the back of your mind you realize that that can’t possibly be the case. Things have changed. You’ve changed.

But there’s no denying it as you stand and look around; it’s just as you remember it. You don’t understand how, but you’re slowly coming to think it doesn’t matter.

A person calls your name and you turn to respond. The words catch in your throat.

They don’t belong here. You met them years after you left.

The person sweeps up beside you and pulls you close. The wind whips at your clothes as if trying to tear the two of you apart and the world starts to disintegrate, the buildings crumbling into dust and smoke.

“Come on,” they murmur in your ear. You hear the words clearly in spite of the howling wind. “We have to go.”

But where to?

The First Dream: Past Projection
The first dream has begun. Time is strange and subjective and it has pulled your past into a place where it doesn’t belong. Maybe you’re in a place from long ago, maybe there’s a person from years ago, or maybe you’re replaying some event in your life. Either way, the fact of the matter is that it’s here now and you need to get through it.

So what do you do?

Round Prompt
This round you must write a story that takes place in the present but is about the past. There are many ways of doing this: the conflict of your story can originate from something that occurred a long time ago, the events of your story can shed light on something that happened in the past, you can “replay” a scene from the past that is now going differently, among other things. The important thing is that the source of the conflict is something that happened long before the events of your story and is never explicitly shown.

Note that when I say “present”, I mean in the context of your story. If you want to set the “present” in your character’s past, go ahead and do so. It’s just that your “past” has to be before the “present” (y’know, how you would expect it to).

In case it’s still not clear, you’re not allowed to actually show the past events that cause the conflict in the present story. You have to write your story to show what happened in the past based on the effects it has in the present.

Remember that you’re writing with the assumption that people haven’t read your backstory or character page or supplemental stories. This means that a) you shouldn’t assume people will know characters, and b) you can (and in some cases may have to) completely rewrite events of your character’s past to include characters or events. I can’t stress enough that we’re throwing all plot continuity (though emphatically not character continuity) out the window in this tournament. The sooner you get into that mindset, the better your stories will be.

We are writing short stories, so there is a 4000 word limit unless otherwise specified by a prompt. Longer stories will not get you a better score and you'll be penalized for fluff, so don't write a lot just because you can.

Betting Phase
The betting phase lasts six days and ends at midnight CST on the tenth of July. This is the time to declare whether you want to bet one or two tokens. Remember, if you take too long, your opponent might make the declaration before you, so if you want to go high risk you might want to declare fast.

Once your bet has been set, I will PM both of you your individual prompts and you can start writing.

If neither of you declare a bet by the end of the betting phase, I will set your bet to the minimum.

Deal with the Devil
You may request a Deal at any point during this round by either putting it in your bet declaration post or sending me a PM. I will issue the Deal 24-48 hours later (if I don’t, then PM me again). You may cancel your request at any point before it’s actually issued without penalty, but you may not re-request the Deal if you do so.

The Deal gives you one extra token at the end of the round, but you must hold up your end of the Deal for every round it is in effect or you will be penalized a token.

If you wish to use your shuffle on the Deal you get, just PM me saying so. Remember, you may only shuffle one Deal in the entire tournament and you are not allowed to return to your old Deal. You are also only allowed to shuffle the Deal you get the same round.

The writing phase ends at midnight CST on July thirty-first (7/31/14). Remember, you will be eliminated from the tournament if you submit late, so aim for a couple of days early if you’re bad at time zones. PM me BEFORE the due date about extenuating circumstances, but I will not be generous with extensions/passes. Three to four weeks is pretty generous as it is.

Here are all of the matchups. I will update this with individual prompts and bets as they are declared. Remember, you get your prompt once you declare your bet, so if you want more time to write, then declare your bet sooner rather than later.

Just as a note about prompts, if I say “your character(s)”, that means it must be one of the wRHG characters. If it does not say “your character(s)” (and instead says something like “one or more characters”), then any character may fill that role.

Kyra (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?77742-wRHG-Profile-Rykosar) (2) vs. 6Asmo6deus6 (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85608-L-L-Bust-the-Bounty-Hunter) (2)
Kyra vs Aquila (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86573-VoD-R1-Kyra-vs-Aquila)
Wager: 1 tokenSpectercle Debacle
It’s been a long day. You never knew where you would eventually end up in life, but the most you can say is that you never expected this. It wasn’t the lack of glory or satisfaction. It wasn’t even the memories and regrets. It was just...you didn’t expect to be so dead.

Setting: Anywhere in a city/town.
Scenario: One of your characters is dead and a ghost. Your characters encounter each other somehow and must investigate the circumstances of the dead party’s death.
Prompt: The ghost character is dead from the beginning of the story. The main point of the story is the relationship between your two characters and the circumstances or consequences of the ghost’s death. The ghost may have died in any way. You may use any rules you want for ghosts. Possession, intangibility, telekinesis, I don’t care. However, I will nail the hell out of you for inconsistency.Depression
A story is built on your ability to convincingly build characters and emotions. For this narrative challenge, you will be judged on your ability to convey appropriate despair and depression. This means that the circumstances for the angst must be justified and the emotion itself presented in a way that actually moves the reader.

BoomerangReturns (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85261-Sirius-Nightshade-The-Lord-of-The-Night) (2) vs. Tantalum (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?73961-Karal) (2)
BoomerangReturns vs Tantalum (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86618-VoD-R1-BoomerangReturns-vs-Tantalum)
Wager: 1 tokenConcrete Jungle Gym
The city has a hell of a night life. The lights and people and noises and smells--it’s all a bit too much sometimes. Much better to take a break from all of that with a friend. Yeah, maybe that will do.

Setting: A city park and surrounding areas.
Scenario: One of your characters is betrayed.
Prompt: The person who does the betraying does not have to be one of your characters, though it certainly can be. The betrayal should be the climax of the story, not the cause. The events leading up to the betrayal and the actual nature of the betrayal are up to you. Do remember that for a betrayal to really work out, the reader shouldn’t expect it to happen. But don’t pull the betrayal out of your ass, either.Anagnorisis
Anagnorisis was described in Aristotle’s Poetics as a critical moment in a play in which a character gains new knowledge about the situation, often creating a turn in fortune (peripeteia). More specifically, the knowledge is generally related to the character’s situation, role, or relationship with other characters (frequently the antagonist). Your job is to make this pivot point as powerful as possible. You will be judged on your execution of anagnorisis and its impact on the plot.

The Strongest (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85793-Deul-Bul-Wildfire) (2) vs. ErrorBlender (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?58743-Cooper-Price-Bl-An-C-Blast-Android-Class) (2)
The Strongest vs ErrorBlender (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86575-VoD-R1-The-Strongest-vs-ErrorBlender)
Wager: 1 tokenJambalaya is delicious. Sorry, no title joke.
So a "culinary scientist" is a thing that actually exists. That shouldn't be surprising, but what kind of classes does a food science major take? A lot of chemistry, I imagine. And maybe some MCB.

Setting: In and around a kitchen.
Scenario: One of your characters is preparing a meal for the other character but it turns out there's a poltergeist haunting the kitchen because your luck is terrible.
Prompt: The poltergeist is taken care of by the end of the story. I imagine that your characters would collaborate, but that's up to you.Hourglass Plot
An hourglass plot is characterized by two main characters involuntarily switching positions, whether in status, morals, or economic position. It is generally used to show how neither character learns anything through the switch (like a henchman rising up through the ranks to become the big bad and being just as terrible as the last big bad), though you are not required to do so. You will be judged on how strong your hourglass plot is (what is switched and how it affects the situation) and how well it’s presented (it should be evident that there actually was a switch and said switch must make sense in context).

Xate (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?55157-Lucario-quot-The-Blue-Brawler-quot) (2) vs. Tremorfist (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?77796-wRHG-Character-Torvin) (2)
Xate vs Tremorfist (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86577-VoD-R1-Xate-vs-Tremorfist)
Wager: 1 tokenWhy do all fictional pubs have really shady names?
Have a drink.

Setting: A pub.
Scenario: You're in a building and there are drinks to drink. Make something up.
Prompt: Don't move the story out of the pub. Other than that, go nuts.Extended Metaphor
Symbolism is a staple of literature--it’s a more abstract way of showing, not telling. This narrative challenge will have you utilize an extended metaphor, whether explicit or implicit. This means that you will take a metaphor and explore its different facets. Some famous examples would be Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”, in which a woman is compared to summer or Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”, in which life is compared to a journey. You will be judged on how well the metaphor is executed (remember, analogies only work if you’re not wrong about how your compared objects work) and how it adds value to the story (so don’t bang on about your metaphor just to have it in there, because that detracts from the actual story).

Nikx232 (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?74661-wRHG-Haku-%28Updated%29) (2) vs. WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?78734-Handyman) (2)
Nikx232 vs WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86574-VoD-R1-Nikx232-vs-WafflesMgee)
Wager: 1 tokenUshering in the Fall
Mansions are neato. They’re big and expensive and presumably you don’t have to clean them up because if you have enough money to buy a mansion, you probably have enough money to pay someone to clean it for you. So of all the mansions you could have gotten to stay in, why did you have to get the creepy one?

Setting: Creepy old mansion.
Scenario: Both of your characters are staying together in the mansion for a certain period of time and are not allowed to leave. The mansion may or may not be haunted, but it definitely isn’t what it seems to be.
Prompt: Your characters may not leave the mansion at any time for any reason during the story. Other than that, go nuts.Posthumous Character
A posthumous character is a character that has been dead from the beginning of the story and never actually shows up, but has an important role in the story regardless. Importantly, the posthumous cannot have any active role in the current events (e.g., being a ghost or coming back to life). The posthumous character is usually developed through flashbacks, though they certainly don’t have to be. You will be judged on your ability to make this character’s presence known and integral to the events of the story (whether as the catalyst or the cause of the plot) as well as developing this character even though they get no real screen time.

Submitting Stories:
You will submit your story for judging by PMing it to me directly. This means that you will not be able to change your story after it is submitted. This is what you must do before the deadline (July 31st, midnight CST). There is no explicit bonus for submitting early, but it does give the judges more time to go over your story, which helps to keep the judging phase down to one week.

In addition, you will create a thread like you normally would. If you don't post a thread, I'll do it for you.

When you post your thread, please use the following format:Topic Title: wRHG R1: [Username] vs [Username]
(Do not use character names, because that's misleading, considering that most of these prompts don't actually have character vs character)

Poll: Create a poll like you normally would (public, one week). Again, use usernames, not character names.

Character blurbs: Take the character blurbs from the general page (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85572-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-General-Info) and paste them here using the following format: [Character name] ([Username]): [Abilities]

Sirius Nightshade (BoomerangReturns): Sociopathic, shadow manipulation, magically enhanced knife, half-demon.

Do NOT link the character pages.

Stories: Post both stories in spoilers. If you have author's notes, put them outside the spoilers. You're not allowed to explain anything about your story in your author's note if you have one (I will penalize you five points if you do).

Do NOT post any of your prompts.

Ask any questions pertaining specifically to this round in this thread or by PM and I’ll pop them here as soon as I’m able. If your question is about mechanics, please check the full rules and guidelines (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85710-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-Rules-and-Guidelines) to see if it is answered there, first.

Q: Because this is a dream, do we have to end our stories with our character blacking out like in the entry post?
A: No, you may start and end your story in any way you want, as long as you fulfill your prompts. I'd personally recommend not playing up the dream factor or bringing it up at all, but you certainly can if you want to build your story that way (that said, dream stories are not generally easy to write well, so go forth with caution if that's what you choose to do).

Full tournament rules and guidelines (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85710-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-Rules-and-Guidelines)
General tournament discussion and due dates (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?85572-wRHG-Tournament-The-Valley-of-Dreams-General-Info)
The Valley of Dreams R2: Reviled Reflection (forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86759-wRHG-Tournament-The-Second-Dream-Reviled-Reflection-Place-Your-Wagers)
The Valley of Dreams R3: Corrupt Connection (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?87771-wRHG-Tournament-The-Third-Dream-Corrupt-Connection-Betting-Phase)
The Valley of Dreams R4: Timed Transgression (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?88820-wRHG-Tournament-The-Final-Dream-Timed-Transgression)
The Valley of Dreams Concluded (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?90089-wRHG-Tournament-The-Dream-Concluded)

07-04-2014, 11:34 PM
So basically, the round is like cause and effect? The characters are explaining the cause and around them is the effect in present time?

Also, I bet a token and make a Deal with the Devil.

07-04-2014, 11:47 PM
This round is about telling a story that has its roots in the past. It could be a revenge story, it could be a story about a relationship from the past, or anything else. The idea is to write a story about things that happened before without explicitly showing them. You probably don't want to explicitly explain things; that's bad storytelling form. Importantly, this isn't just jumping into a story halfway through a development.

Using the revenge story example, there was an event where Character A did something bad to Character B, but the story is about the present where Character B is coming back at Character A for his revenge. The event where Character A did something bad is never explicitly shown, but it's mentioned and you can figure out what happened from its effects and how characters talk about it.

Obviously it doesn't have to be revenge, but that's the idea.

07-04-2014, 11:52 PM
Thanks for explaining. I understand it better now. :)

The Strongest
07-05-2014, 03:14 AM
Question, is the "Deal with the Devil" named such for flavor? Is there an actual IC thing occurring in which this token is received? Or is it strictly mechanical?

07-05-2014, 09:17 AM
I wage 1 token.

A past about pain and suffering showing up in a setting of kitchen poltergeist.

This should be interesting.

EDIT: Had the wrong prompts. Thank god. >>

07-05-2014, 09:27 AM
Deal with the Devil is so named because it's an arbitrary challenge you need to work around for every round after you receive it. Most of them are fairly reasonable, but there are definitely a couple of landmines in there. But yes, it's like the tokens and all that--purely mechanical. So don't mention it in your stories because I can guarantee you'll weaken it if you do.

Just a reminder that you don't technically have to do the Narrative Challenge, but it is worth fifteen points (equivalent to three votes) and it all goes to the person who executes it better.

07-05-2014, 09:59 AM
I suppose the round plot is something all related to us, then we have the individual stuff that involves it, I'd be interested in dropping one token though for the first round.

07-05-2014, 10:24 AM
There's no plot linking all of the stories together. The round condition is just a prompt that everyone has to fill.

Anyways, that's all of the wagers set. I'll get the submission details together.

Xate, your inbox is full, so I couldn't send you your prompt details.

07-05-2014, 10:32 PM
There's no plot linking all of the stories together. The round condition is just a prompt that everyone has to fill.

Anyways, that's all of the wagers set. I'll get the submission details together.

Xate, your inbox is full, so I couldn't send you your prompt details.

Done! Sorry for that.

07-06-2014, 01:23 AM
Will it be okay having my character describe what the mansion was like outdoors when she first walked onto estate in the beginning?
Or will that be counted against me?

07-06-2014, 01:51 AM
As long as the main portion of your story takes place within the mansion, you're fine. I'll explicitly say in the prompt if you have to start in a certain setting.

07-06-2014, 11:22 PM
I also make a deal with the devil!
Since Error is trying for it anyway~!

07-30-2014, 11:23 PM
Stories are due in less than twenty-four hours and I've only gotten one entry. Don't wait until the last minute to submit. You can PM your story any way you want (direct, pastebin, google docs, etc.), just so long as I get it. The stories will be judged in the form that I receive them (so if your chosen format messes up your story somehow, it'll be judged like that).

Lovely little edit here: Here are the story links. The stories are semi-anonymous for fairness (titles are random, blurbs are alphabetical, stories are in the order in which I received them) and I would appreciate it if you keep it that way.
Kyra vs Aquila (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86573-VoD-R1-Kyra-vs-Aquila)
Nikx232 vs WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86574-VoD-R1-Nikx232-vs-WafflesMgee)
The Strongest vs ErrorBlender (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86575-VoD-R1-The-Strongest-vs-ErrorBlender)
Xate vs Tremorfist (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86577-VoD-R1-Xate-vs-Tremorfist)
BoomerangReturns vs Tantalum (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86618-VoD-R1-BoomerangReturns-vs-Tantalum)

07-31-2014, 11:12 PM
All right, that's the due date. The thread links are in my previous post.

I am missing a story from Tantalum. Tantalum, you have two days to submit your story before you are considered forfeit. You are eliminated from future rounds, but you can still get points and feedback for this round.

Also, just a friendly reminder, you can get more points from giving good feedback.

08-01-2014, 08:57 PM
..well crap. I had the notion that the due date was on the 5th, no idea where I pulled that number from. Just as well I decided to check into here. Expect it in your Inbox tomorrow, because this thing is far from being proofread tonight.
Edit: Aha. R2 starts on the 5th, that kinda explains the mixup. Sorry to everyone else (Boomerang especially) for the wait!

Edit 2: And complete. Apparently late by an hour, but life happens.

08-03-2014, 09:55 AM
It apparently wasn't completely clear that there was a word cap on these stories. There was, and it was 4000 words unless otherwise stated in a more specific prompt. It's listed along with the round prompt, which I assumed people would read because that's what tells you what you're supposed to write this round.

Future rounds will probably be 4000 word limits (again, unless otherwise stated by a Deal, individual prompt, or narrative challenge), but be aware that there is a word limit and it will be found with the round prompt.

08-04-2014, 05:07 AM
Lol I read that rule near the end of my writing, i had to hack off like 500 words, but Waffles had to hack off more lol, makes me feel like I need more work.

08-04-2014, 05:39 AM
All right, as you guys probably have realized by now, the judging phase is underway. I'd like to take a moment to ask all of you participants (and anyone else who happens to be reading this) to please read and vote on your fellow competitors' stories. Every pair will get at least eight votes if you do so, which is a good number to work with. Remember that you may not vote on your own match.

Please give feedback on other people's stories. A lot of work has gone into writing these stories and it helps the writers immensely to figure out what did and didn't work. You can get up to three extra points for each story you review (up to a total of ten points, or two votes), and you will get full credit for your feedback as long as you say what you thought, why, and present some evidence that shows that you actually read the story. It doesn't have to be critical--if something stood out to you like a certain scene or character, then go ahead and mention that and why you think that is. You do not have to give a solution or an alternative to a problem if you don't know one, but you do have to explain why you think it's a problem, or it's pretty much useless information. Feedback points will be counted at the end of the judging phase, whenever that comes around.

If everything goes smoothly, the judging phase will be over on Thursday. However, I don't know how long it will take to score and give feedback on all of the stories. Due to end of summer/beginning of school year stuff that is coming up for me very soon as well as other personal obligations, I suspect that this round's judging phase will last a few days longer than a week.

Again, here are the match links:
Kyra vs Aquila (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86573-VoD-R1-Kyra-vs-Aquila)
Nikx232 vs WafflesMgee (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86574-VoD-R1-Nikx232-vs-WafflesMgee)
The Strongest vs ErrorBlender (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86575-VoD-R1-The-Strongest-vs-ErrorBlender)
Xate vs Tremorfist (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86577-VoD-R1-Xate-vs-Tremorfist)
BoomerangReturns vs Tantalum (http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?86618-VoD-R1-BoomerangReturns-vs-Tantalum)

Tell your friends to check out your stories, too. You put work into this, so you may as well spread it around.

08-04-2014, 08:11 PM
I'm operating on somewhere between two and zero hours of sleep right now, so bear with me. After working through feedback for a couple of days, it's become abundantly clear that it's physically impossible for me to finish giving full feedback and notes on all nine stories by the end of Thursday; it would not be an exaggeration to say that there just isn't enough time for me to work on more than one story a day. However, the judges and I will probably be able to finish the scoring by the end of Thursday, so the question for you guys is this:

Do you want to wait until I've finished the complete feedback and notes on every story before starting R2, or do you want to just go once the scores are ready and then receive the full notes and feedback at some point in the middle of the round whenever I've finished them? In the latter option, you will receive your subscores and the explanations for why you got each of those subscores, so it's not like you'd be going into the next round with absolutely no feedback from the judges.

08-04-2014, 09:58 PM
I'm fine with the idea if you hold back the feedback and give score first, though it is the important bit we can wait for it. 'Sides, the feedback will still arrive anyway, so nothing wrong with it. :D

08-05-2014, 11:46 AM
Eh, I can wait until feedback's done. This is my first attempt at a full-length story and without any sort of feedback I don't know if I write well or like a monkey at a typewriter. I don't want to end up writing two stories badly before someone tells me.

08-05-2014, 06:06 PM
I'd like somebody to CnC Tantalum and I's bout as well, even though I already won cuz forfeit. I still wanna know what I can do better for the second round.