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Mischief and Malice One-Shot Contest

Negrek

Whole of the Moon
Staff
One-Shot Contest: Mischief and Malice

The Pokémon World is a world of heroes, whether they be new trainers setting out to upend the status quo, trusty partners driving back the tide of darkness, or wise mentors helping the next generation along its path. But wherever there are heroes, there must be villains to oppose them--and the Pokémon World has those in spades, too! Whether they're trying to fling the planet into the sun (again) or merely thwarting some meddling kids, Pokémon's antagonists shape its world at least as much as its exemplars. In this year's one-shot contest, evil prevails--it's time to let the bad guys have their say!

Story Guidelines

Your story should shed light on the perspective of a villain(s) or antagonistic character(s) in the Pokémon World. Which world that is is up to you: animeverse, gameverse, PMD world--whatever version you please! While the Pokémon franchise has plenty of great villains to use for your story, this contest also welcomes original characters. And while larger-than-life villains with world-ending plots can be a lot of fun, this contest also welcomes more low-level or mundane ne'er-do-wells, too: a bully who picks on newbie trainers or a crooked orb salesmon always looking to unload faulty goods on the unwary would both make fine characters to focus on for this contest, for example. If you're not sure whether the story idea you have in mind fits what we're looking for, feel free to ask!

Entries should be no more than 10,000 words long. Different writing programs will give different word counts, so if you're worried about your entry going over the limit, check it using this online calculator, which is the one the judges will use to determine eligibility. There is no minimum word requirement.

The story you submit should be a new one written for this contest, not one you'd written previously that happens to fit the contest theme, and it should adhere to Thousand Roads' story guidelines. Please refrain from publishing your work online until the final results of the contest have been posted.

All entries are due by Midnight UTC on July 1, 2022. Not sure when that is in your timezone? You can keep track of the deadline with this handy online countdown. To enter, send your story to Negrek via PM or DM, or e-mail it to fyeahpokefic@gmail.com. One entry per person, please.

Judging and Prizes

Everyone who enters will receive in-depth feedback from our three judges: bluesidra, SparklingEspeon, and windskull. In addition to writing reviews, each judge will rank the entries from what they consider to be the best to the worst. The judges' scores will then be combined to determine overall first-, second-, and third-place winners.

The top three stories will receive an individual promo and author interview to be posted on the Thousand Roads forums, as well as a free art commission. Throughout the writing period, we'll be featuring interviews with last year's top-placing writers to give you some insight into their process, inspiration, and encouragement while you work on your own entry! (For real this time!)

Stories will be judged on overall writing quality as well as on their use of the theme. You are welcome to have your story looked over by one or more beta readers before submission, and it's okay if those beta readers are participants themselves--just as long as none of them are judges! We encourage you to spell-check and do your best job of proofreading, as technical errors are likely to impact your final ranking.

That's it! Have fun writing, and I look forward to your entries. If you have any questions, feel free to post in this thread or ask Negrek via PM/DM. You can also check out last year's contest and results to get an idea of how these contests tend to go.
 

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
Pronouns
Them
Partners
  1. shaymin
The perspective of? So it has to be told through them, or can it be about them through a general perspective or that of another character?
 

K_S

Pokémon Trainer
would it also work if the character isn't aware of their status as being on an evil team? I was planning on swinging a tale through the eyes of a trainer's mon and the 'mon has no clue. It's not denial, it's 100 percent oblivious/carefree character type (like think Naive nature with bells and whistles). While the trainer is 100 percent aware that they're in the wrong and being a problem their 'mon the perspective has no clue or compulsions about what's being done.
 

Negrek

Whole of the Moon
Staff
The perspective of? So it has to be told through them, or can it be about them through a general perspective or that of another character?
The story should center the villain's perspective, but the villain doesn't need to literally be the POV character. The villain viewed through a perspective that understands them to some extent and can give some insight into what makes them tick would work better for this contest rather than a POV which is just going to talk about how terrible the villain is and how they hate them, etc.

would it also work if the character isn't aware of their status as being on an evil team? I was planning on swinging a tale through the eyes of a trainer's mon and the 'mon has no clue. It's not denial, it's 100 percent oblivious/carefree character type (like think Naive nature with bells and whistles). While the trainer is 100 percent aware that they're in the wrong and being a problem their 'mon the perspective has no clue or compulsions about what's being done.
Villains who don't realize they're villains are fine, so long as it's clear to the reader that they're antagonists!
 

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
Pronouns
Them
Partners
  1. shaymin
The story should center the villain's perspective, but the villain doesn't need to literally be the POV character. The villain viewed through a perspective that understands them to some extent and can give some insight into what makes them tick would work better for this contest rather than a POV which is just going to talk about how terrible the villain is and how they hate them, etc.


Villains who don't realize they're villains are fine, so long as it's clear to the reader that they're antagonists!
Oh goodness I was going for sympathy, not hatred. But I guess the idea I had wouldn't really be a further understanding, especially with the scenario playing out like it would.
 

Venia Silente

For your ills, I prescribe a cat.
Wanted to ask for a more precise rundown of if a story I'm planning would be allowed, but I can't find a PM option in the forum, only public conversations. Just to advance a bit on the subject, I wanted to ask what is the staff's position on stories that strongly lean on IRL events, in particular recent ones.
 

SparklingEspeon

Resident Nosy Person
Location
*teleports behind you*
Pronouns
She/Her
Partners
  1. espurr
  2. fennekin
  3. zoroark
Wanted to ask for a more precise rundown of if a story I'm planning would be allowed, but I can't find a PM option in the forum, only public conversations. Just to advance a bit on the subject, I wanted to ask what is the staff's position on stories that strongly lean on IRL events, in particular recent ones.
The judges see no issue with this! We do advise to tread carefully when leaning on RL allegories and recent events, however, as it becomes easier to hit a sore spot when you're dealing with sensitive matters and events in fiction.
 
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Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
Pronouns
Them
Partners
  1. shaymin
I'm writing something in manga verse. How much do I need to explain about how the relevant villain differs from his game portrayal? I'm worried he may be seen as wildly out of character when he really isn't. Problem is there's almost NO information out there outside "just read the manga" because wikis and such don't go into much detail.
 

K_S

Pokémon Trainer
I'm writing something in manga verse. How much do I need to explain about how the relevant villain differs from his game portrayal? I'm worried he may be seen as wildly out of character when he really isn't. Problem is there's almost NO information out there outside "just read the manga" because wikis and such don't go into much detail.
Oh gaia am I familiar with /that/ problem. If we're doing manga verse pieces should we send along a summary preceeding the fic entry? Will it count against word count?
 

bluesidra

Mood
Pronouns
she/her
Partners
  1. custom/hoppip-bluesidra-reup
  2. custom/hoppip-bluesidra-pink
  3. custom/hoppip-bluesidra3
How much do I need to explain about how the relevant villain differs from his game portrayal? I'm worried he may be seen as wildly out of character when he really isn't. Problem is there's almost NO information out there outside "just read the manga" because wikis and such don't go into much detail.
Don't be too worried about it. Just a little disclaimer "this is manga-verse" will do. Maybe you'll find a little spot for a brief overview of the timeline in the narrative, if it's outrageously different from mainline (eg. "It's now been roughly a year since Cyrus summoned the two deities ...").
Also, we won't put emphasis on whether a character acts ooc to their portrayal in (game-)canon. All that matters is that they are consistent within the story submitted.

If we're doing manga verse pieces should we send along a summary preceeding the fic entry? Will it count against word count?
If the submitted story can't be understood otherwise, then a small summary would be neat. It goes against the wordcount if it outgrows disclaimer-length. (a little "This takes place in the manga-verse and looks at Lance's redemption arc after he nearly destroyed Kanto twice" won't matter, but if it's several paragraphs, it's getting tedious)

Though I would highly recommend conveying these things through the narrative! Remember, one-shots are more or less self-contained standalones, unlike for example a bonus chapter.
 
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K_S

Pokémon Trainer
laughs. I appreciate the Roost/Transversal shout-out and will keep it in mind. Thanks.
 

Blackjack Gabbiani

Merely a collector
Pronouns
Them
Partners
  1. shaymin
I sent it in. There wasn't a format listed so I copied it into the email and included the txt file as an attachment. Judges, please let me know if you have any questions. I know I wrote in a somewhat atypical verse.
 
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