Suggestion for Next Story Contest

So I had a suggestion for the next story contest. Rather than imposing a set theme or plot structure, which can sometimes make authors feel limited, why not try a different approach?

I think it would be cool to have a contest where each story had to start with the same first sentence, but then authors could take it from there. More specifically, I’d love to see a contest where each story started with the sentence, “James stared at his cock in the mirror.”

There are so many ways an author could take this–Is James being hypnotized by the sight of his own cock, perhaps by a hypnotist standing behind him? Is James in the middle of a reality change story, discovering that his cock looks different in some way he can’t quite place? Is James a nerd who’s ashamed of his small cock, but finds a magic spell that can change his situation? Is James a horny hypnotist whose hard cock leads him to amass a small harem?

Anyway, that’s my suggestion. Make of it what you will!

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I think that’s a great idea. I know some of the themes of the last few contests didn’t really inspire me to write; if you start with a sentence or a starting prompt it opens things up to allow the authors to make it their own. So I’m definitely for that. I would also like to see some pairs or team contests where authors work together to craft stories. But definitely, we should think about some variety in the contest not only in themes but also in formats.

We did an exercise like this in an undergraduate writing class I took. (Funny how well I remember this…) My group got “The horse was good.”

I love this idea.

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I joned a short film competition were we make a story from a set of compulsory elements.

Like a particular object, dialogue/audio, an action and camera shot,

Ex: wind, laughter, a double take and an overhead shot.

Each group are given their own film genre too on top of those. But I guess we can leave that as hypno, romance, bdsm genre.

I like this approach actually. It does feel much less restrictive than some of the other story themes. In grad school we would sometimes get a title and write a poem or story to the title as a prompt: (ex. Birthday) and other times we’d have to use three assigned words or something like that. I find these much more generative than “write a story where x happens”

Just to give a short comment:

I’m very grateful to any kind of suggestion like this and I’m more than willing to test it out.

Having said that:

I would really like to delegate the whole challenge thing to someone else. Like this (amazing) story linked further down has made perfectly clear, there are people who have different understandings about good challenge themes than I had so far and I’m in no way trying to force my ideas onto anyone:

‘Naughty German Twinks vs. You’ by ??? - Gay Kinky Stories

So if the author of that story or anyone else feels like they have good ideas and want to manage this, please tell me.

There’s not much work involved actually. It’s like 4-6 challenges per year, for which you’d have to come up with the themes (or make a poll for them), organize them (which is very easy, basically filling a form with some proper dates, the theme text and the rule text) and maybe write a Newsflash on the site’s main page every now and then.

Write me, if you think you’re the right person for that!

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I do like looser themes. For example last year when you were soliciting ideas I suggested the theme of vacation. I thought that was plenty for a theme, and a lot of people in the discord channel agreed that it sounded fun. But when it came time to put up a list to vote on you changed it to “odyssey” and added a whole bunch more that really pretty much changed it into a completely different theme. That didn’t seem as popular when it came to voting. I like the idea of these challenges but they usually don’t happen when I have time to focus something to them. It was kind of a fluke that I had time to do this one and I actually did like how open it was. But then I had a particular interpretation to it that worked for me. Regardless, we still appreciate how much you’re doing to try and drive interest in the site and make it fun for everyone.

Maybe a photo challenge? Post a photo and write a story based on it?

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I love using photos to generate my own stories. The one problem I see with using a single photo as a prompt for a story contest is that the authors on GSS are each attracted to very different body types, styles, and ethnic backgrounds. It would be hard to find a single photo that would work as erotic inspiration for all of us.

A couple of thoughts on that: maybe there could be a series of suggested photos and you have to pick one and/or perhaps the person can use their own choice of photo which has to be presented along with the story.

Personally, I’m okay starting from the same sentence but I wouldn’t want it to define a character name or anything about the characters.

Striking a balance for themes is difficult but I don’t think the theme style of “word” is necessarily the problem. As an example, I do a lot of game jams and the themes are usually not explained or contextualized – that helps people take it in any direction they want. They also usually don’t define anything specific about the games that are going to be made.

Here are some example themes from Global Game Jam’s past jams, for example: Global Game Jam Press Kit | Global Game Jam

“Waves”, “Transmission”, “Ritual”, “What do we do now?”

Anyway, I’d be down to have a sentence that must be included or that is used as inspiration, but I’d be cautious about how much it defines for the authors.

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