ONC (Open Novella Contest) 2022 is officially a go! Pre-game chat

If I finish the novel that grew from last year’s ONC I’ll totally join again but those are very unlikely odds

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I always think about doing it, but then never do, because I know what happens to the quality of my writing when I’m given a prompt for a contest—it goes south fast. Every time I’ve tried to write along a prompt, my story sucks :sweat_smile: I guess I feel the pressure and then do poorly because of it.

How do you guys do it? Have a story to fit a prompt or find a prompt you like or make your story fit into a prompt?

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First, no pressure because living up to a prompt isn’t my baby that I’ve loved on for almost 3 years, worried about sharing. I’m playing around with someone else’s scaffolding, time to monkey around.

Second, the less time spent on it, the less invested I am. Part of why endings are a little harder than starts.

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I did it both ways.

In 2020, I had a story idea that fit the prompt. In 2021, I just went with the prompt. Overall, I find that using one of the ideas from my long, long list of ideas for a prompt is pretty easy. I pretty much always can find multiple ones that could fit.

To me, the best way of doing it, is quickly write the first draft before the first cut off, aiming for 20-25K length, then spend the rest of the competition workshopping and editing the story.

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I think that is great advice! I’m not sure I can have that much written by the first cut-off, but I will definitely try to have a general outline of the whole story and a decent headstart on the word count. Because the word count goals increase so quickly, that writing just enough to hit each deadline will become increasingly difficult (and probably affect the quality of the story). So you need to keep writing, even as you don’t know if you make it to the next round or not.

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I haven’t participated in ONC yet, but I have followed along for the past couple of years, so I’m looking forward to ONC 2022.

I’ve been silent on here and Wattpad for about 9 months now due to a combination of personal and work stuff, but desperately want to get into reading and writing again, so maybe actually participating this year could be the way back…

@domisotto I love what you mentioned you say you do - reading loads of the entries and coming up with your own short-list. How do you determine which of the hundreds of entries you read? Do you critique/comment or are you a silent reader?

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I signed up for 2 or 3 ONC-specific clubs, so I commented through that. The stories that I wanted to finish reading, I finished during the year and left comments and a mini-review on my profile.

Plus, I checked out stories on this forum in hanging-out threads.

Basically, when I do ONC, I am all in.

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Ohh have any ONC clubs started up yet?

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Haven’t seen any :sweat_smile:

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2020 - I had an established universe I wrote a story in. And it ended up being a backstory - how my MC’s parents met.
Besides having head start on the universe, everything else was brand new.

2021 - I had a character and story idea and used a prompt that fit. I ended up changing the character so much it’s unrecognizable and changing the story idea as well. So both are still essentially unused. lol

I think it’s good to use an existing character. That way as you’re reading the prompt, you can imagine how your character would behave in the situation, does it sound like an interesting story.

In general, the best stories are when the character is put in the worst possible situation for them.

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I just had a dumb idea for a story. I may have to write it for ONC, if a prompt fits.

But I can’t have this insanity (it’s about a deranged Wattpad author kidnapping an actor from her story cast list) be my only ONC entry. So in that case, I guess I’m doing two stories :open_mouth:

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Lol :slight_smile:

Basically, I am on thin ice here, because I am becoming really invested in the AU Roman story. If I don’t get a good prompt for it, I hope my brain will switch fast enough to wrote something else. :sweat_smile:

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You kidding, you get enough humor into that and it will be consumed by readers. Lol

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That definitely feels like a risk currently, as I keep coming up with ideas too. I want the prompts now!

I do hope you find something that would fit this idea, because I want to read it :slight_smile: (If I remember right, there was some alternate history prompts last year, but who knows what will come up this year).

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I like to think I can write decent humor…

The story would be told from the poor actor’s POV, who just wants to get free so he can appear at the press release for the new superhero movie he’s been cast in. It might be taking a few too many cues from Misery.

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Plotwise, that works.

You studied any of the crazy writers that we can be for this or are you going to wing it? Lol

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I hope so! I tightened the links between the characters, limited the cast and lore burden, so I think I actually have a shot at the 20K novella with it. Plus, it’s a very high level love-hate drama, so it fits Wattpad.

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I like the deadline there, it really helps. Try to make a connection between the writer and that faceclaim, that makes kidnapping possible. In other words, like a secluded vacation spot, say like the islands of the West Coast on BC/US border, where the writer got a cabin after she found out that her drool-worthy actor used to vacation there…

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This concept gets creepier by the minute.

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