As promised, this is the first Vicious Circle collaborative novel. This is YOUR novel, so the Vicious Circle members will decide on just about everything from beginning to end. This first contest will determine the best plot and character outline for the novel-to-be. Subsequent chapters for the novel will ALL be based in and around the winning entry for this particular contest.
Voting for the contest will take place in just two weeks, so jump on this one and start writing NOW!
No physical prizes (trophies, etc.) will be awarded for this contest, nor the winning entries for subsequent chapters to follow. The Vicious Circle will usually have other contests for those prizes, which will run concurrently with these collaborative novel contests.
Okay, so whats this contest all about?
Write a simple plot outline for everyone to follow. Make it concise enough as to not create a story unto itself, but detailed enough for others to follow along in the ensuing chapters. Same thing goes for the characters.
Okay, so what is the story all about?
This is the one standard that I will impose upon the contest. The working title for the book is Voices and it will be a ghost story. However, you should make every attempt to stay away from the clich ghost story; lets not turn this into the next Amityville Horror or House on Haunted Hill. This does not necessarily mean that it cannot take place in a house, but you should avoid turning it into the typical haunted house story.
Remember that this is to be a novel, and not a short story. So, give some background to develop the story and characters slowly. Dont create a plot outline that will rush the story to an end in one or two chapters. Instead, make it an enjoyable and long-lasting read. Stephen King once equated a short story to a novel by way of comparing them to cars. The short story is a Lamborghini sports car that, although a fun and thrilling ride, takes the reader from the starting gate to the finish line as fast as possible, leaving the reader out of breath and hungering to take the ride again. Conversely a novel is like a ride through the countryside in a stretch limousine; the reader is allowed to sit back and savor the ride as it cruises to its final destination.
For this contest please use the 7-point Plot Outline template (provided below). The best way to do this is simply to copy the 7-point Plot Outline template, and then paste it into your word processing program. This will serve as a guide as you write your outline.
7-point Plot Outline
1. Characters -- this will include the protagonist, the antagonist and supporting characters, as well as BRIEF bios on all of them.
2. Conflict/problem -- present the main problem in the story.
3. Setting -- this should be the main setting for the story, and not necessarily the setting at the beginning of the story. People tend to be active and move around, so theres no reason that your characters should not do the same.
4. Possible Solution -- Character(s) try to solve the problem.
5. Complication -- Character(s) must fail and things must get worse.
6. Climax -- character(s) try to solve the problem again and either fail or succeed; either outcome is valid.
7. Validation (shows that the story is over).
Overview of contest rules:
Only Vicious Circle members may submit.
Submissions must revolve around a ghost story.
Only Stories will be accepted, and under the genre of Supernatural & Occult.