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Challenge Dear Diary Challenge 2016|December discussion and mini-challenge now up

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Diary_Challenge_Sock, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Why did your character decide to keep a diary? Have they always kept one (is there embarrassing old evidence? :p ), or is it a new development? Is some event or problem driving their choice to journal their daily life?
    They started writing a diary because I wanted to do the diary challenge. lol! For Mark Tantiss he said his psychiatrist told him journaling could help him with his anxiety. This was right after he discovered he was a clone and all his background was just flash memories inserted into his brain. His son Talon was told my a journalist that he should record his adventures because somebody might want to read them sometime. Of course the journalist thought Talon was Luke's love child at the time.

    How are they keeping this diary? Are they going archaic with pen and whatever one uses for paper, typing into a device, recording their voice, using video-like technology, or something else? Do they stick to words or use other media as well?

    No it is on datapad.

    What's their writing style like? Do they go into cinematic detail, describing everything and recording full conversations? Do they prefer to go the other way and stick to summarizing the facts as briefly as possible? Just to be clear, I personally think both of these are fine ways to keep a diary. But each says something different about the character keeping the diary. What personality, professional, cultural, or other factors are influencing your character's way of recording events?
    They describe everything like they recorded the full conversations. It is the way I write letters to people in real life. I use less descriptions of the environment and facial expressions, but I will quote conversations. Of course it is a conversation as I remember it, so I can't vouch for its accuracy.

    What do they choose to talk about in their diary? Is writing a way to remember, or is it also about understanding the present? Or even making decisions about the future? Are some topics easier than others or do they tend to spill all once they get started? Is there any case where they are hiding something that they don't reveal in their diary, and if so then why? Are there important things that the author and/or audience know that the character does not?

    Having the character hide something is difficult. Once I had one of my characters say something like, "I can't write what happened. I know I have this datapad secured and encrypted, but I just can't take the chance." The bad thing about the diary is there is only one viewpoint. What the character knows, the audience usually knows. If there is a secret in the story then my character has to be in the dark also so to surprise the audience.

    Mini Challenge: Hobbies

    Show or mention something that your character does for entertainment in their spare time. Do they have an artistic side? Are they into sports? Outdoor hiking and climbing? Music? Technological gadgets and games? Knitting? Collecting things? Reading/watching/telling stories of some kind? Cheating at sabacc? :p (Bad Jedi, no cookie! Everyone who isn't a Jedi... okay, they're probably also not getting a cookie.)

    Talon likes working out and getting into trouble. Talon also likes pittins and he got attached to a baby vornskr. Mark likes working out and eating delicious meals made by his chef wife. It is also heavily implied that Mark likes playing bedroom dress-up with his wife. He is a little on the kinky side. Supposedly he has an exotic wardrobe in his closet to include Mandalorian armor, a stormtrooper outfit, an Imperial Knight uniform, an Imperial officer uniform and some other miscellaneous stuff.
     
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  2. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    I am woefully behind in my diary, does this mean I'm out of challenge? If not, how long do I have to catch up?

    Why did your character decide to keep a diary?

    My diary is primarily a form of meditation and reflection for Obi-Wan. It is addressed to Qui-Gon as if Obi-Wan is keeping him informed of his life watching over Luke on Tatooine, but it is really for Obi-Wan himself to consider and reflect on various matters, his past mistakes and his future actions and hope that clarity comes from that

    How are they keeping this diary?

    Handwritten in a succession of journals, as Obi-Wan is living quite the ascetic lifestyle with a minimum of technology and luxury. The physical action of writing, he thinks, helps him focus and give him perspective to be truly in tune with the words.

    What's their writing style like?

    It's half a record of events, half reflection and examination. There is a bit of suspension of disbelief required of the reader in that Obi-Wan is able to recall and record his conversations with people so vividly, but I handwave that by his excellent memory and that Obi-Wan is almost in a meditative state as he writes, almost reliving the events which accounts for his ability to write down how everything looked, the way people spoke, their actions and words.

    What do they choose to talk about in their diary?

    It's a chronicle of his life on Tatooine, although there is reflection on past events, his guilt over what happened with Anakin and his plans for the future. Each entry or often series of entries deals with the most important events of Obi-Wan's life rather than the day-today, and so entries can often be months apart and the whole thing spans many years.
     
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  3. Carlos Danger

    Carlos Danger Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2013
    I had a question. Do you have to update twice a month or every 15 days? I have done twice a month but when it goes over 15 days between posts I get the orange warning. Is that just a reminder or does that consider not updating on time?
     
  4. Diary_Challenge_Sock

    Diary_Challenge_Sock Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2007
    JadeLotus: I am woefully behind in my diary, does this mean I'm out of challenge? If not, how long do I have to catch up?

    No, you're not out of the challenge--you last updated on September 9th, so you won't receive a warning for over a week yet, around October 9th. Then you will still have another week after that to update.

    Carlos Danger: I had a question. Do you have to update twice a month or every 15 days? I have done twice a month but when it goes over 15 days between posts I get the orange warning. Is that just a reminder or does that consider not updating on time?

    The orange warning (which, I believe, has been part of the challenge rules since the beginning) is just that--a reminder. It does assume that people will have their two monthly posts spaced out neatly on a bi-weekly basis; and that, of course, need not be the case. You don't have to update "on time"--you need only post twice a month.
     
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  5. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Why did your character decide to keep a diary?

    My character has kept a diary of sorts since around her early teens. (So yes, there is embarrassing old evidence out there--she keeps it all, especially when she's tempted to delete it, out of a sense of personal accounting.) But the reason that I am writing this one of her diaries, rather than an earlier or later one, is because it chronicles a large change in her life: she has moved to another planet, and a rather different culture, to start a new job.

    How are they keeping this diary?

    She writes it in a file on her datapad (which I would imagine looks like a cross between a tablet and a laptop computer)--so basically, it probably looks much like the file I have for it on my laptop.

    What's their writing style like?

    She records the events she chooses to include in relentlessly minute detail. And to be honest, that's probably in large part because I'm the author behind her. But staying strictly in-universe, her style is probably influenced by varied things: she is from Naboo, a planet with beautiful ornate clothing, landscapes, and presumably, language as well. She is probably also inspired by the style of different novels she especially imprinted on. She is also a visual artist, so that might explain why she describes colors in such detail.

    And yes, she records different conversations, even though I don't think that really works in diaries--and in fact, in the diary I wrote for the challenge in 2009, there was perhaps one or so lines of written out dialogue. It's harder than it looks at first. But basically: there is really no way any first person narrator is going to remember all that dialogue accurately. The diarist has at least the advantage of writing about current events--most first person narrators are technically writing memoirs, and they are recounting dialogue that was spoken months, and years, before. That's where I usually remember that a first person work, like all fiction, is a work of artifice. That, and all first person narrators are unreliable.

    That said, I have to admit that I don't really think my diary works well as as an actual diary. But then, an actual diary--a work truly written only for its writer--would be filled with unexplained references, and "plot" gaps, and rambling. Those are all things that people tend not to want in their fictional reading.

    What do they choose to talk about in their diary?

    Since my character has been writing about her life for years, she doesn't tend to write about her past much--unless she notes something as being relevant to a current situation, or she has a new insight. As for the things in the present she chooses not to write about--well, I could go on about that here, but it is presently a spoiler.
     
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  6. Diary_Challenge_Sock

    Diary_Challenge_Sock Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2007
    October 2016 – Discussion and Mini-Challenge

    This is Pandora writing with the topics for this month. This particular one was inspired by my little white ghost cat’s two week long sojourn in the woods (which ended with her being caught in a well-done up live trap, and returning home, so). And again, remember to write in if you have any ideas for future discussion topics and challenges.



    Discussion: “Life will sooner or later show its claws.” Anton Chekhov

    While I don’t doubt that the main characters of your diaries would rather not endure any of the many misfortunes that one can encounter in life, Anton Chekhov was right when he wrote the above line in his story “Gooseberries”—sooner, or later, life shows its claws to everyone. And more to the point, if your character didn’t have any difficulties, you (and your character) wouldn’t have the sort of story most people find interesting enough to read.

    So: what sorts of difficulties and pains, however serious—or even, however trivial--has your character encountered thus far in their diary?

    What about the causes—do the sources tend to be eternal, and your character is “put upon by fate,” or do they have a tendency to create their own problems?

    How have they chosen to depict these experiences in their diary? Do they accept them like a stoic, or do they complain at great length? (And well: it is their private diary, after all.) Or have they had some problems they don’t wish to mention at all?

    Finally: how have things sorted out (provided, of course, that they are not still in progress) with these situations. Does your character get a happy ending, a bad one--or a more complicated one?


    *

    Mini-Challenge: “The Ghosts that Haunt Me.”


    Everyone has a few skeletons hidden away in their closet, and your character is likely no exception. And one never knows when one of those skeletons will get loose, if only in one’s thoughts. Or, of course, your character could just be dealing with an actual Force ghost.
     
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  7. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    My OC Mark Tantiss accidentally blew up a planet. That bothered him a lot. His body was temporarily possessed by the Emperor Reborn. Before his body was completely taken over he grabbed his pet Ysalamiri and it forced the Emperor's spirit out. That came with the unfortunately side effect of him retaining much of the Sith's knowledge. So he has a lot of horrible memories and Sith knowledge sitting in his brain. Mark's problems are both fate and manipulation from an unknown force...that hopefully will be exposed at the end of this current DDC. It hasn't been exposed because I am currently writing his son's (Talon) DDC.

    My other OC Talon Tantiss became a father when he was 19 years old. His ex-girlfriend dumped him and didn't tell him about the baby. The boy was a couple years old when he discovered his existence. He was nine years old before he got to see him occasionally. Talon had some legal troubles when he was a teen. He was not guilty of anything he was accused of, but it did screw up his life for a while. Now he is married and doing well...except when he almost got some of his body parts bit off by a baby Vonrskr. Talon sometimes brings on his own grief, but a lot of the time it is just him getting blamed for things he didn't do.
     
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  8. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    As someone who is considering another attempt at the DDC next year, I'm confused (actually, this has always confused me). Why do the rules say that you must update twice per month if you do not receive the warning and potential disqualification until you have gone an entire month without any update? For example, I'm pretty sure I've seen several vote-eligible diaries with fewer than 24 entries in past years.

    So what, really, is the rule?
     
  9. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005

    This was more my concern in terms of being behind, since even if I update twice a month until the end of the year, it won't end up as being 24 entries for the year.
     
  10. Diary_Challenge_Sock

    Diary_Challenge_Sock Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2007
    jcgoble3 and JadeLotus, since the middle of the year was pretty irregular we've decided that everyone who stayed in after that round of "last chance to update" PM's gets a clean slate for earlier in the year. So if you keep up with the two a month until the end of the year, it's all good. :)
     
  11. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    I am going to have to withdraw from the challenge, I don't have the time at the moment to keep with the update schedule.
     
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Aw, that's a bummer, JadeLotus. I was very much enjoying your Obi-Wan diary, but I certainly understand the effects that RL can have. Hang in there. @};-
     
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  13. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    JadeLotus, sorry to hear that. It's hard when sometimes there isn't time for everything. Hope you do one again next year!
     
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  14. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    JadeLotus - You can make the September #2 and October #1 very short and then continue as normal? Just a suggestion.
     
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  15. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Thanks, Findswoman, Kahara and Ewok Poet. I could only post a very short message earlier just before the final deadline to catch up with September's second entry. I had fully intended to write up and post that entry Tuesday night after I got home from netball, however during the game I was knocked over by an opposing player - it was an accident of course, but as he was a 6 ft guy and I'm not, I went down pretty hard and hit my head on the court. Thankfully I didn't have a concussion but my head and neck were very sore and there was no way I was going to be able to write anything that night or even the next day.

    I'm certainly not giving up on the fic though and will still try to keep a challenge-like update schedule, just out of competition :)
     
  16. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    JadeLotus: Wow, hope everything's healing up okay and you feel better soon. @};- That sounds really painful!
     
  17. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I forgot to post here, but my last week's entry is a response to this challenge. A bit...abstract, but yes.
     
  18. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    No one has asked this, but I shall answer anyhow: yes, the title of this month's mini-challenge came from this song.


    *

    In further haunted news, I'm going to put my diary officially in the Out of Competition category. I had expected to feel guilty over this--but I just feel relieved. I still intend to finish it, but right now, I can barely manage one entry a month, let alone two of them, so this is the right choice for me.
     
  19. Diary_Challenge_Sock

    Diary_Challenge_Sock Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2007
    November 2016 – Discussion and Mini-Challenge

    Hi, this is Kahara. Hope you find something inspiring in this month's topics! :)


    Discussion: Career Day

    While many Star Wars characters don't have the sort of job that one punches a time card for, nevertheless most do something or other for a living -- whether that's scavenging for basic survival or working in some very specialized professional field.

    What sort of job (vaguely defined since there are a lot of variations here) does your character have?

    Alternately, if they're still kids, what kind of job do they plan on having -- that is, if they have any clear plans?

    How long have they been working at their current occupation?

    Do they enjoy their job? What parts of their work do they like or dislike?

    How is their relationship to others they work with? Or do they work alone? (Like Batman. :p)

    Did they always want to work in that field? What other ambitions have they had in the past, if not? Have they ever changed jobs, and was that a choice or necessity?

    Is is something that requires an overwhelming commitment, or is their career secondary to other things in life? What would it change if they had gone down a different path?



    Mini-Challenge: Out of Place

    Let's try taking your character out of their comfort zone, whatever that may be. Put them into a situation where they feel out of their depth.

    Some suggestions to spark ideas (you can make up something completely different):

    * Culture shock

    * New job/major life change

    * Undercover/in disguise/on the run/espionage

    * Babysitting or pet-sitting (that old tried and true for terrorizing the unflappable :p )

    * Higher or lower tech environment than usual

    * Unfamiliar social situation

    * Unexpected emergency
     
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  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    My whole DDC is about such challenges and the remaining entries pretty much feature ALL of those prompts. This will be fun. :p

    Lil's original job hints that he was involved with teaching, but ever since he left Sacorria, he had a variety of jobs: a nanny to a toddler, a teacher, a summer lecturer, a "flesh and bones equivalent of a multi-use droid", a glass artist apprentice, a spy, a teacher and a portrait painter on the beach.

    Lil hated the job where he worked for a Drall woman named Halin. He was fine with the co-workers at all of his other jobs, though he was slightly uncomfortable with a fellow glass artist apprentice on Aurea named Damae Hoove.

    Undisclosed. Undisclosed. Heck yes, and an absolute necessity.

    At this point, it's all about survival.
     
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  21. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    So, I have a question - it really doesn't have to be answered right away, but I'm assuming the hosts are thinking about some clarifications/adjustments to the rules in preparation for next year, and I'm here plotting out and researching for my 2017 diary (I'm not usually this prepared, but this has been brewing since September and I'm writing in the context of something I have no idea about). However, I just got the idea to have two people keeping the same "diary"/journal.

    In the past, I know former hosts have been super picky about "one character writing in the diary" (which is understandable). AAAAAAANNNNDDDDD there have been those who have broken that rule :p .

    Basically, my idea is actually two diaries that I could post in two different threads - so each character is going to have 2 entries a month - but for context reasons (plus it's a NSWFF so I don't want my few readers to have to go to two different threads) it just makes sense for them to be posted together.


    I also write my diaries out of competition (I don't need bragging rights when I'm already awesome :p - but seriously, the reason why I do this challenge is actually to force myself to have a fic I can update all year long, so even when life gets hectic, I can still have a fic to work on). So, you guys could force more 'stricter' rules on the diaries competing for best diary and let the heathens destroy the essence of this sacred challenge out of competition (just an idea I randomly had - don't take it if you don't want it).
     
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  22. Diary_Challenge_Sock

    Diary_Challenge_Sock Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Briannakin: We are indeed preparing for next year, and part of that involves going over the rules. We haven't discussed the situation of multiple narrators of yet--though as you say, that rule about the Only One Narrator has been broken in the past, so it's practically more like a guideline at this point.

    And your parting idea leads into the following announcement:

    ----

    This year is approaching the end, and that means it is time to think towards the next year's challenge. It will also be the tenth year that the challenge has run--and that seems a good, if arbitrary, time as any to take stock of things. And while there is no need to break the challenge, there is always room for improvement.

    So: please share any thoughts, or suggestions for changes, that you have. Don't worry if your ideas are too "out there": this is the part where we throw things at the wall and see what sticks. Just throw it out.
     
  23. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Obligatory gif:

    [​IMG]

    Anyways. Just some random suggestions I'm throwing out. (and I hope the narrators vs authors thing is clear)

    Re: multiple narrators: people have interpreted what a "diary" is in so many different ways, I think multiple narrators is fine - as long as it makes sense why they are writing in the same diary/entering their thoughts and comments in the same log (or why the two diaries are posted together). I think that specific rule/description should be kept vague, something like "the objective of this challenge is to keep a diary going for a whole year, it can be a canon character, OC...." (or something to that effect), then people can interpret the number of narrators they way they want to when it comes to both writing and voting. Or just leave it as is and let heathens be heathens :p


    Re: sign-up dead-line: for 2016 it was Jan 15. In past years people just had to post 2 entries by Jan 31st and I think that is more reasonable: it's arguably the most commitment based challenge around here and I think giving people a bit more time to decide is logical.


    Re: Number of authors (users): Co-authored diaries are few and far between, but in the interest of fairness, I think it should be made so that every author should have to do 24 entries (but people can debate this point).


    I also never quite got rule #8, I understood the concept, but a person could technically post an entry ever 29 days, thus their final number of entries being 12, yet still "complete" the challenge even though the challenge is basically writing 24 entries. Perhaps this is too cruel, but I always thought it should be "if you don't post 2 updates in a month, you have to make it up the following month. So if your only post 1 update in March, you have to do 3 in April, or if you do zero in March, you have to do 4 in April. If you don't make up ALL missed entries, plus that month's entries, you are out". Perhaps that is too complicated for the host to keep track of (unless the author keeps track of every month in their OP or something). Just a random idea I'm throwing out.

    Personally, I see two different components to this challenge - the more flexible artistic guidelines (what IS a diary? the length of entries, even the number of narrators), then the more logistical rules (ie 2 entries a month, 24 in total), but different hosts have been more strict about different aspects, so feel free to ignore me.
     
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  24. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    As I mentioned (or think I mentioned) before, I've seen vote-eligible diaries with fewer than 24 entries before. So this "technicality" has actually happened (though perhaps not to that extreme).

    The rule I would propose is that you must post at least one entry per month, but must have a total of at least 24 entries. So the first part of the rule takes care of 12 entries, and then it is the author's choice as to when the other 12 are posted. I think this would be a little more inclusive, reducing the minimum monthly commitment while still maintaining the same overall commitment, allowing those who might know they have less time during certain periods of the year to compete anyway.
     
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  25. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Yeah, I don't think it ever been as extreme as my example, but yes, I have seen 'vote-eligible' diaries with less than 24 entries. Not to rag on anyone or past hosts, but it just never made sense to me to say the challenge is (basically) to update twice a month, but only enforce one update per month. Maybe I'm being to fussy and particular (tell me if I am), but if I were to put the same time and effort into 12 entries as compared to 24, the 12 are going to be a whole lot better.


    That makes sense and would be much easier to keep track of.
     
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