Writing Contest Proposals/Ideas


New Member
Jan 9, 2006
The Void
So last year’s contest did not work out, but maybe one with a different creative approach could work out a little better. I thought the picture to inspire a story basis with the picture being part of the story was a great idea, but maybe we can come up with something that gets more people to participate. So here is my proposal for a writing contest.

Masters of Tropes Writing Contest
An integral of storytelling is the use of tropes, commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés, that are recognizable for readers and can thus be related to as a story device. And thanks to the great people of TVtropes, it is easy to read about and find examples of what all these devices are and how they can be used. So for the point of this contest, we will focus on two types of tropes and several examples that can be used for the sake of the contest.

Characters as Devices: – These are tropes that describe a character’s role which serves the plot of the story. Some of the best characters are combinations of at least two of these, but a character’s role is not the sole factor that makes one the greatest or worst.

1. Diabolus Ex Nihilo – “Devil from Nothing.” A villain appears with no warning or reason, he’s bad and he needs to be stopped by the hero.
2. Ignorant of the Call – The hero has no idea that he is in fact “The Hero” and acts as he does because it is just part of his nature.
3. Mooching Master – The hero has a great teacher he is indebted to and that teacher uses that to the fullest capacity they can.
4. Shrouded in Myth – There are tales of a famous character out there, most always outlandish but everyone swears by them as the truth, and when the character catches wind of these tales he is the first to correct them about what is what.

Characterization: - Tropes about setting up, fleshing out, and tearing down characters. These are the things that define the characters, and truly prove they are just not a plot device given lines.

1. Admiring the Abomination – He’s the guy who nerds out about weapons, monsters, the villains themselves or that really old copy of the Necronomicon that’s in the corner of the room...
2. Resentful Guardian – The guy whose charge you are under was the most epic guy there was and had everything he could dream of in front of him, until you came alone and made him change priorities.
3. The Sacred Darkness – The pure darkness that is equal with the light, the opposite of the corrupted darkness the villains might be using.
4. Villain Has a Point – The villain had a valid reason for what they did and the hero realizes it after the fact of their defeat. Oops...

Now, for the proposed contest, participates need to use at least one of each of the two types listed above. This however does not bar them from using more than that, if someone can come up with a story utilizing all of them, all the power to them. Also, a minimum word count of 2,000 words for the creative work.

Prizes can be determined by the admins, if this proposed contest is found acceptable and enough people show an interest. Comments, concerns, maybe a better idea for a writing contest?


The Angry One
Staff member
Jun 29, 2008
The Great Pond in the Sky
It's not terribly appropriate to force the admins to choose prizes when the selected one for the last contest involved them paying out of their own pockets.

I have no real opinion on the contest itself, though I question why you'd attempt to force tropes upon a writer when the mark of distinction is in subverting or otherwise using the tropes as a marker for a reader's expectations to later break them.

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