A lot of you are probably aware of National Novel Writing Month, and the attempts here to write daily updates for the month of November. However, stories on THP have changed over the years in ways that make daily updates almost impossible: many of us have moved away from silly VN-inspired stories towards more serious stories with long-term arcs and goals, complicated relationships, and altogether higher-effort plots and characterizations.
This is good! Good stories are good, and having written a few well-received stories here myself I appreciate the push towards quality. But shitty, dashed-out, in-jokey stories are the glue that holds us together as we wait for those long-term stories to update. They are the bread and turnips that sustain us until the Sunday poule au pot.
Therefore, I propose a Carnival for the month of November. In its original meaning, Carnival is a Christian holiday before the fasting and self-denial of Lent. It is a day where social order is upended: behind festive masks to hide one's identity, priests and holy men are publicly mocked, wives give orders to their husbands, and everybody gets absolutely shitfaced.
For the month of November, I propose to you a chance to indulge yourselves. I wish to see us don our masks, hide our identity, and become fools. We will intoxicate ourselves on the soma of obscure references, joke updates, and bad ends. Our standards, our pride, our interpretations, we must cast these mortal things aside for the betterment of both the site and ourselves.
The rules are simple. On November 1st*, start a new story on whichever board you please. Use a new name, preferably something with 'mask' in the title, and include a link to the carnival thread somewhere in your first couple posts. But most of all, enjoy it! Be wild and do something you've always wanted to do! Write inanity, write insanity, write profanity, you can even write Sean Hannity.
All stories that managed daily updates throughout the month of November will be qualified to be crowned the King or Queen of Carnival, which will be decided by a week-long voting period held in this thread starting December 1st.
*I understand that a lot of people here are in the middle college exams or have jobs that start to peak around the Christmas season. There'll be some flexibility for the starting time, but November 1st is the first day you can start and November 3rd is the deadline for starting.
What the hell, I might try this. I've even been wanting to write a Kokoro story, so that's kind of appropriate, and doing some type of writing even if it's rushed could be a nice change. Interesting idea, OP.
I really, really like this idea. The only problem for me is that I already have one story I'm not updating like I should, and taking part in this would mean setting that completely aside. On top of that, if I were unable to complete this project on top of not updating my other one, I will feel I've failed on two fronts, and find myself in a spiraling nosedive of shame from which there is little hope of pulling out from.
>>14001 I'm on the same boat here, brother. I already have a story to tend to and a tight schedule as it is. Besides, my sense of perfectionism wouldn't allow me to publish anything that isn't well thought out, so this whole joke update thing wouldn't sit well with me. What we can do is cheer on the participants from the sidelines, show them our support by voting and commenting on their entries, and keep updating our stories as normal to, in OP's word, be THP's poule au pot.
You'd be surprised. Writing's like exercising a muscle, the more you do it the easier it is to do. Lord knows I've been in the same boat, especially with feeling like a shit when I can't maintain steady updates. Doing something low-pressure might be good for ya.
I like the idea, but if it's a contest, that discourages creativity because some people will be more concerned about winning the audience's vote... I'd prefer if the "winners" were everyone who updated daily.
But, eh. I'll try to participate if I can think of something sufficient.
I know you said to link to this thread from participating stories threads, but will we be linking to those stories from this thread too? Might make it easier for people wanting to quickly find all the qualifying stories.
Ladies, gentlemen, and genderless entities, give yourselves a round of applause. Six new stories on the first day and it sounds like there may be even more to come. Not only that, but each story is full of votes, jokes, compliments and discussion from the readers. This contest is off to a fantastic start and it's thanks to my brilliance the reasons we came to this site to begin with: a sense of community and a passion for writing. I'm proud of you guys. I'm having a blast reading each and every one of your stories and I hope you are too.
THP I have never been more proud of you insane fuckers than I am with this shit right here. This is a great idea! It reminds me of the old days, it reminds me of the fun we had doing that - but it's more than just nostalgia, it's new life!
I'm gonna be reading every one of these stories and cheering you all on.
I have a question. Is it possible for me to write a day in advance? I may be busy tomorrow and I'd like to throw out a second update so I don't have to worry about meeting the time limit. Is that okay?
Hey folks! The contest is still rolling along nicely, and I'm not the only one pleased with the burst of activity on the site.
A couple people have dropped out of the contest, and I'd like to say two things to them: good hustle, and you do you. I don't want anyone to stress themselves sick trying to make updates for a silly psuedo-anonymous contest. However, I'd also like to say that if you're enjoying writing and enjoying your story but just can't make daily updates, I'd encourage you to keep writing at your own pace.
I started this contest because of a quote by veteran fiction editor Ken Rand: "Anyone can say that you can't write. Let no one say you don't." The hardest part of writing and especially sharing writing is wondering if you're good enough, and I wanted to give people a chance to say "screw 'good enough,' I'm going to have fun."
So whether you're making the current schedule at a steady pace or trying to find what schedule what works for you, I ask you to keep at it if you enjoy it, an a sincere thanks to all of you for participating!
Let's have a big round of applause to everyone who participated. This has been a fantastic journey, and I hope each and every one of you continues to write, read, vote, and discuss. This doesn't mean your story has to end, of course. If you enjoy writing it and people are happy to read it, then more power to you!
Voting begins now, and will last until December 7th. You can vote for one story from each category.
These fine folks made it through the Carnival, putting out one update each day for the month of November.
First off, thank you for all your hard work authors. This month was a ton of fun for me as a reader but I'm sure it was stressful to keep up with daily updates. I didn't follow all the threads equally as closely, so sorry to those authors if I don't have as much to say for those ones. I'm probably not even coherent enough to say anything useful to the ones I did read closely.
Caps Lock: The Thread This story was silly, but that was pretty obviously the point. I don't really know anything about Warhammer, but Doyou Evenliftimus made it pretty clear what he was about so that didn't really end up mattering. I didn't initially read this one, but ended up catching up with it maybe half way through the month and following it through afterwards. I feel like a lot of the humor was just ridiculousness and yelling, which is a bit easier than other forms of humor but whatever, that's kind of what the contest was meant for.
Inuyasha's quest for the jewel shards: Gensokyo Fairy Edition This and Scarlet Tycoon are probably the only stories that I followed daily all month. I liked this one a lot because the stone collecting made it feel like something was being accomplished, even though we were largely just wandering around talking to whoever was interesting. I do think that things may have wound up being too easy for us though. People seemed generally pretty quick to hand macguffins of questionable value over to an unknown fairy. I'm pretty interested to see where it goes though, we still haven't been made aware of what exactly the stones do, which could kind of end up being make or break for the story. That's assuming that getting all the stones is the endgame, which is I think a reasonable assumption.
Gensokyo's 1% tries to get richer This one felt almost like a not carnival story just with how involved it ended up being. There's still tons of interesting plot threads to be explored. Along with that the main plot also feels fun because it we're able to be proactive and effective in whatever we decide to pursue. This ended up being my favorite.
Maximum Meta This one didn't grab me all that quickly for some reason and I fell out of it fairly quickly. I'll probably go back and check it out when I have time, but I don't have much of anything productive to say.
Kogasa derps around everywhere I like Kogasa a lot, so this for fun slice of life story mostly just ended up being fanservice to me. Nothing much actually happened in this story. This is pretty in spirit with the carnival itself, so I don't have a problem with it being that way. It was fun. Fun things are fun. I like fun things.
Touch Fluffy Get Busy With how little Ran is actually featured in this story despite her being the end goal, it feels like the pace is set for this one to take quite a while. I like how things are going, but we didn't seem to make much progress towards our goal over this month. Will still be happy to continue following this though.
GOOD HUSTLE BRACKET:
Just a Tail or Two This one stopped before it could really get interesting. I would have liked to know where it was going, since it never moved past peaceful slice of life but I was getting vibes that it was going to do so.
Don't Call Me a Glutton What I wrote for Read Between the Lines, Please fits here perfectly actually.
Night Procession of Village Phantoms This story, for as far as it went, felt like it was straight out of Forbidden Scrollery. I can appreciate that, and am pretty sad it didn't get going.
Special Meeting A lot of nonsense and caps-lock. Felt kind of similar to FUCK GENSOKYO but less violent and angry.
You have one move before the ending I forgot this was even a thing until now.
VOTES: [x] Scarlet Tycoon [x] Night Procession of Village Phantoms
[X] - Fox story Since I found the main character to be incredibly amusing. The fact that it seems that every single attractive female in his vicinity except the one he wants seems obtainable makes it all the more entertaining. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story progresses.
[X] - Don't Call Me a Glutton While I was so incredibly tempted to vote for Special Meeting (once again for having an amusing protagonist), I ended up voting for this because I liked the interaction between the characters, especially with Kokoro.
Deciding which ones I liked the most were hard, since they were all pretty good.
I just want to say a big thank you to all of the writers here on THP for their great stories and MASK de Smith for organizing this. I've read all of the stories and it was a fun experience. You're great people.
[X]Read between the lines, please It is a really hard choice to choose between this and Heads up. I love Kogasa and that story was such a joy to read.
I'm not going to be delivering real in-depth thoughts on entries because I'm terrible, but I'm not just gonna let this thread linger without votes either, especially after I competed in the contest and all that.
Winner's Bracket: Scarlet Tycoon
This is quality through and through, and I dig it a whole lot; the writing is witty, the 2hus are excellent, the OCs work nicely, and it's just plain fun.
Good Hustle: Night Procession of Village Phantoms
For such a short and unfinished thing, this felt like it could've really been something great. As it stands, well, I still liked it a whole bunch.
I'd also like to do write ups for everything, but I don't really have the time to make them all that great. Like the other guy, I may give my opinions on the other stories later when I have more time. As for my votes,
[x] Scarlet Tycoon
This one feels pretty obvious. It was one of my favorites this competition, and I'm looking forward to it continuing. Not much to say about it that anyone else hasn't already.
[x] Don't Call Me a Glutton
I wasn't too into it at first, but I gradually started to really enjoy this one. I like Kokoro in this setting, and the MC's lust for food really speaks to me on a deep level.
I really enjoyed reading and writing for this competition, and I hope we can do something similar next year. The burst in activity was a sight for sore eyes, and it's really a lot more fun to follow a story when it updates daily.
Scarlet Tycoon Obvious winner. Best writing, best plot, good amount of humor, on par with some of my favorite stories on the site. I'd bet they wrote at least one of those, too.
FUCK GENSOKYO NO WORDS, ONLY FIST-BUMPS. No wait, one words: drunk Satori is glorious.
Heads Up! Well-structured slice-of-life, with lots of nice scenes weaved through with low-key character-developing plot threads. I want a pet Sekibanki head.
Read between the Lines, Please Good concept, but ended up feeling kinda rushed. Character interactions were all-too-brief. The deus-ex-machina ending was lampshaded just barely enough to work.
Flower in Accidentally Earnest Bloom This seems to be a succeed-or-fail quest type CYOA, which could've been more clear from the start, it's a little jarring now. The whole temple/shrine sequence was pretty much a waste of time, like the readers voted wrong and failed the mission, and now we've just given up on working alone.
Untitled bait-and-switch story This isn't a Ran story at all. Shenanigans!
Don't Call Me a Glutton My second favorite after Scarlet Tycoon. Kokoro as deadpan snarker works almost too well.
Night Procession of Village Phantoms Slow build-up and some mystery and oh it's dead. Who knows what could've been.
Special Meeting A little too silly for me. Really overdoing the all-caps phrase thing.
Just a Tail or Two Depressing story about dying, featuring some of my least favorite characters. Nnnnope.
You have one move before the ending An idea, barely implemented. Too short to even judge.
FUCK GENSOKYO The entire thread was a lot of fun – I enjoyed both the story itself as well as the audience participation. It was a story that didn't take itself seriously and rolled with it. It had my kind of humor too, which is an OUTRAGEOUS amount of yelling for NO REASON IN PARTICULAR.
Flower in Accidentally Earnest Bloom The quest for the shiny stones. Cute and easy to read. While I didn't get a chance to vote for every choice, I was happy whenever it did update. Fairy MCs are always great and this one is no exception. Would hug if I could.
Scarlet Tycoon Never failed to put a smile on my face whenever it updated. It had the right amount of witty and goofy Remilia. The character interactions were hilarious, especially between Remilia and her army of fairy maids. Good story overall.
Heads Up! Being Kogasa was a lot more fun than I expected it to be. Partnering up with Sekibanki and her various other heads (hello, Sleepybanki), Kogasa does Kogasa things. Nice to see a Gensokyo with a little bit of scary things still in it, too. Funnily enough, it's not Kogasa.
Fox Story (untitled) I enjoy watching a train wreck of a (potential) romance and this story is getting there. I was hoping for a quick run-in with Ran again, but instead we got Chen. I am okay with this. I enjoyed the MC a lot and hope this continues at a good pace.
GOOD HUSTLE BRACKET
Just a Tail or Two Now this was an interesting one. I thought it was going to capitalize on cute and focus on slice of life. With the last few updates, I think I was wrong. I still cannot tell, sadly because the writefag stopped updating. I'd like to see more, just to see what will happen.
Don't Call Me a Glutton Hungry wolf tengu. I liked following what Koyomi did. I liked the details that the story painted and how it provided a lot of information about its Gensokyo. That being said, asshole Kokoro was something I never knew I liked but I like it a lot now. Good stuff.
Night Procession of Village Phantoms Died very soon. I wanted to see how this mystery unraveled but too bad.
Special Meeting I can conclude, thus farly and righteously, that Futo is a big dork. The story itself feels like a silly text adventure and I can get behind that.
You have one move before the ending Cool idea! Wish it continued. Other than that, I have no extra comments.
FINAL VOTES [x] Scarlet Tycoon [x] DOn't Call Me a Glutton
[x] Read between the Lines, Please [x] Special Meeting
Took me some time to follow the former, but I ended up liking it more than I thought. A couple other stories might've had better writing, but I enjoyed what this one tried to do. And Special Meeting was amusing as hell, we need more Futo stories.
Filled out the survey. Also, now that the thread is bumped, I encourage any THP reader to go out and read these stories. They were overall very good and would recommend picking up these stories leisurely.
Questionnaire ClosedMASK de Friend2016/07/06 (Wed) 18:27No. 14287▼
And that's a wrap, folks. We really appreciate the feedback we got. Thanks again.