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Prose Competition #4: The Paranormal

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    Or, as I half-wanted to call it, "The X-Files."

    Previous prose competitions can be found here: #1, #2,#3.
    Previous poetry competitions can be found here: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.

    An Introduction from your Host

    Hi,

    I'm Luke and I shall be your host for this competition. The subject matter is intended to be broad, but for the sake of expansion of the original scope, I shall not merely be accepting entries revolving around the things psychics pretend to see whirring around their brain such as malevolent spirits and ghosts - I think I would be willing to allow entries that contain mythical beasts presuming they were at least a little bit scary. Ideally, I would hope to see some genuine ghost stories a la 'The Woman in Black' (by Susan Hill, I do believe), but I'm not sure it's necessary that the paranormal be used in a literal sense - something set in a scary place might work every bit as well even if it eventually turns out that . . . well, I'm not here to write a story for you. You can have aliens, a girl called Paranormal - do what you want, I don't care!

    Good luck and Good writing!
    The theme for this competition therefore is "The Paranormal." Personally, I shall accept any definition of this theme that the author of a piece is willing to defend both vehemently and ably. Being the host, I shall act as arbiter in all such situations so please PM me, and also feel free to PM me random abuse if you want to as well - I like it.

    In terms of a word limit, I would suggest a maximum of 1500 words in order to keep your audience interested, but for the sake of creativity I am imposing an absolute maximum of 2500 words. Should you exceed that by a little I will still come down on you like a ton of bricks, then allow your entry through anyway. Unless I don't like you, of course.

    Any style, genre, blah blah, is permitted.

    ~~~COMPETITION CLOSED~~~ - lack of interest.

    The deadline for voting shall therefore be three days afterwards on Wednesday the 3rd of March (yes, the deadline for VOTING).

    Ta-ra.

    The Rules, as laid out originally by a gentleman entitled Goodbloke:

    1). Entries must be submitted by PM to the organiser on or before the deadline specified (normally two weeks from the competition opening).
    2). No participant may submit more than one entry.
    3). Once the entry deadline has passed the organiser shall post all the entries in a manner that avoids giving away the source of each.
    4). Each participant must vote for his/her three favourite entries and must also supply a reserve choice.
    5). If a participant fails to vote by the specified voting deadline (normally three days from the time the entries are published) his or her entry shall be disqualified.
    6). The organiser shall award five points for each 1st place vote, three for each 2nd place vote and one for every 3rd place vote that each entry has received (after taking account of any disqualifications necessary under rules 4, 9, 14, and 15 by using the reserve votes).
    7). The winner of one competition shall be entitled to vote on the next competition (which he/she is not allowed to enter) as if they had participated (unless he/she is the competition organiser, who may not vote).
    8). The winner shall be entitled to choose the theme, or other basis for entries, of the next competition.
    9). No participant shall reveal in any way, directly or indirectly, which of the entries he/she wrote (under penalty of disqualification) and the organiser shall not divulge the identity of any author until after all votes have been cast.
    10). No participant may speculate publicly about the identity of any author, nor seek to identify any author, before the voting deadline has passed.
    11). The organiser shall not give away any information that allows a participant any information about how the voting stands, even indirectly or obliquely, until the full results have been published.
    12). The organiser, once all votes have been received or the voting deadline has passed, shall publish the identities of authors (unless an author has declared to the organiser his/her desire to remain anonymous) and the points received by each entry.
    13). All entries shall clearly address the theme specified or faithfully follow the basis of entry given. Entries that do not do so shall be disallowed by the organiser and not put forward for voting.
    14). The entries of members who are banned from TSR after submission shall be disqualified and dealt with under rule 6 above.
    15). All entries shall follow the general rules of posting on TSR, and those that don't shall be disqualified and voting dealt with under rule 6. Only TSR appointees with the authority to moderate this sub-forum can determine whether a rule has been broken.
    16). No entrant may post a critique of any entry until after the results are announced (under pain of disqualification of his/her own entry).
    17). The organiser may disallow any entries which, in his/her view, are disrespectful to the competition.
    18). All entries must be written predominantly in English for an English-speaking audience.
    19). All entries must be written specifically for this competition; the submission of previously-written work is not allowed.
    20. No participant may vote for their own poem.
    21. Any votes made by the author of a poem which is disqualified shall be disregarded by the organiser.


    end.
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    I'm looking forward to writing ghost stories
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    Everyone start telling me when you're ready for another dose of poetry (as I'll be running the next Poetry Comp). I'll give it at the very least a week - after then I'll see how I and other people feel.
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    How did MSB quote us to the thread when he hasn't even posted? :s:
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    Posted then deleted it I presume. Btw, when I say three days afterwards I mean three days from when I actually post the entries up. Barring something going on late that Wednesday I would imagine I'll put them up that night.
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    This should be fun :teeth:
    • 14 followers
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    Deffo doing this.
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    Definitely in.
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    (Original post by Cannonball)
    How did MSB quote us to the thread when he hasn't even posted? :s:
    This message has been deleted by MSB. Reason: Mass quote.
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    My entering this is entirely dependent on my actually managing to conjure up something decent.
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    Woot I will defo enter this (as long as I don't forget the deadline like I did with the poetry comp *grumble grumble* :rant:) I'm in
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    2500 words? Last time some people couldn't be arsed reading mine and it was only 1400.
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    2500 words seems terribly excessive.

    Anyway, I Will Try to enter this.
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    I agree with the word count seeming excessive, but for the individual, it's probably not that bad to get as much as that down. As I sortofsaid before, I have a feeling that a proportion of the voters are only voting on the basis of the first few paragraphs of each entry - so if anything, that's a hint - make the first paragraphs really count.
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    (Original post by DisgruntledMoth)
    I agree with the word count seeming excessive, but for the individual, it's probably not that bad to get as much as that down. As I sortofsaid before, I have a feeling that a proportion of the voters are only voting on the basis of the first few paragraphs of each entry - so if anything, that's a hint - make the first paragraphs really count.
    I suppose whilst one would hope that a reader who picked up a book would persevere beyond the first paragraph, this is better practice for short stories, and even more so for short stories submitted to magazines, competitions, etc.

    Hopefully, there won't be many entries that take advantage of the longer word limit, though.

    I'm not sure if I will take part in this competition.
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    The word limit is an absolute maximum though, not a TARGET. As you will see I advised folk not to exceed 1500 words in their entry. However, I didn't see the point of violently enforcing 1500 when some people perhaps will find themselves on a roll and end up with 1800/2000/etc. I doubt they would win even if they were the next Dickens/Tolkien/Bronte/Shelley/Shakespeare/Pullman - most people stop reading if the first paragraph doesn't grip them imo.
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    (Original post by LukeatForest)
    The word limit is an absolute maximum though, not a TARGET. As you will see I advised folk not to exceed 1500 words in their entry. However, I didn't see the point of violently enforcing 1500 when some people perhaps will find themselves on a roll and end up with 1800/2000/etc. I doubt they would win even if they were the next Dickens/Tolkien/Bronte/Shelley/Shakespeare/Pullman - most people stop reading if the first paragraph doesn't grip them imo.
    I only really say that because I feel your (winning) entry was one which actually began to worsen as the entry went on, meaning that perhaps people aren't reading past the first few paragraphs even on the entries they enjoy.
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    Spooky.
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    Hopefully, I can finish this one.
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    I have an idea. I will be entering again against my better judgement

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