5 Helpful Hints For Bardic Entries

Iron Realms Entertainment not only offers a variety of RPG games, but it also provides opportunities for players to win game credits that can be used to boost a character’s stats or buy coveted artefacts that do everything from give instant travel abilities to hide a character’s name and location from most of the other players.
 
Use Notepad
Sure, it lacks ways to spellcheck and count how many words your entry has, but it’s free! And it’s one of the only way to successfully transfer anything you write into the editors built into Iron Realms role playing games -- as well as the website version that accepts Bardic entries. Use any other program at your own risk. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
 
Double-check Your Spelling
“But wait!” You’re thinking, “You just told me notepad doesn’t have spellcheck!” While this is true, you can copy and paste your entry into an empty Google Docs or Microsoft Word page to see glaring spelling errors. Don’t worry so much about grammar. Fortunately the judges are real people like you and me playing the part of a Divine character in a role play game setting, and not your high school grammar teacher!*
 
Use Proper Grammar
I know, I know. I just said don’t worry so much about grammar, right? That’s not entirely true. Do you like communicating with people who use shoddy speech? I sure don’t! Whether in real life or in a role playing game, they’re just difficult to understand. The same bears true for literature. While it’s unnecessary to apply every last rule on the Wikipedia article titled English grammar to your entry, try to avoid glaring errors.
 
Add a Clever Literary Twist
If you’ve ever come to the end of a story or poem and thought, “Wow, I never saw that coming!” then you aren’t alone. Use the events preceding the end to build up to a heart-wrenching climax and then BAM! For instance, have a thief slip away unnoticed, pockets filled with spoils. Perhaps the assassin finds himself blending in with a throng of onlookers gaping at the hero’s mutilated form and pretending to be ignorant of what just happened. Maybe the princess, instead of running off with the handsome knight, finds her happily-ever-after in the arms of ... his sister? And if it looks like people might be on to you, surprise them by going with the original ending or better yet, leave the piece open for a sequel.
 
Flatter a Divine (or Several Divine)
Sometimes, being distinctly Achaean isn’t enough on its own for being noticed in the Bardics. Flattering the upper echelon isn’t exactly a new tactic. Writers have been doing this since before Shakespeare flattered King James I in his play, The Tragedy of Macbeth. But who doesn’t like having their ego stroked, even in a role playing game? Now I can’t speak for the officials, but I were judging the contest, I’d vote for something that flattered me!
 
There’s no guarantee that your literary talents for writing RPG game based content will get noticed in the Achaean Bardic competition, even if you follow every one of the above tips to the letter. If your entries aren’t winning and you haven’t been trying any of the above, what have you got to lose? If you try and aren’t noticed, try re-reading and see where you can improve. Have a friend (or a few friends) read over it and consider their suggestions. No matter what tips and tricks you apply to an edited draft of a losing entry remember -- there’s nothing saying you can’t enter a losing entry multiple times until it gets a prize!
 
*Any similarity between the Divine character(Drunk in your role play game setting of choice and your high school grammar teacher is merely coincidental.
 
Penelope Swain is a text game enthusiast who enjoys the best role playing games from Iron Realms!

Comments

Selira's picture
09/2/2011
6:26 PM

An easy way to make things more Achaean seems to be to draw from the Mythos - many of the Bardic winners do just that.

Or you can just add totems and tattoos.

Tintar's picture
10/10/2011
2:18 AM

I think the Mythos make a good topic simply because everyone knows them and can easily identify them from the artwork or story.

Sryn's picture
10/28/2011
4:59 PM

The mythos is a good subject, but more for the Artisanal I would believe.

Fluid's picture
09/2/2011
9:32 PM

Pick a subject of the world. Flesh it out. Envision how you want your story, or poem, or picture to be perceived. Decide if you want your poem to rhyme. Decide which style of rhyme you desire. Make sure your prose can flow from one plot marker to the next. Use names, and situations relevant only to Achaea. While the Mythos is a great springboard, it shouldn't be the end-all of end-alls, either. You can make something entirely up if you want. Like Emmett Bowing, the technical genius of Ashtan. He has no literal background information available, but that's the beauty of it - you can use other references to tie in to a grand soiree of his adventures. Perhaps to showcase how he became known as a technical genius in the first place. Pick your favorite area, and describe it to the fullest extent of your abilities, and then reduce the words by half, while retaining the original depth and scope. That is what writing is all about. To make it strictly Achaean, why, that is not hard in the least. It just requires a bit of research, some wit, and patience for poetry and prose.

Madelyne's picture
09/2/2011
11:08 PM

Taking a snippet of an event and putting dialogue to it is one of my favorite ways to write a Bardic. Three Moons, The Garden of Whispers, basic historical facts from small villages or about notable denizens... give the characters some personality, add some dialogue, and you're on your way.

Ariafel's picture
11/18/2011
12:54 AM

Wow! This is extremely helpful!

Aisling's picture
09/3/2011
12:45 AM

I would be too shy to put any of my stories/artwork in. I just don't think I am good enough >.>

Madelyne's picture
09/3/2011
1:44 AM

Part of the beauty is, if you aren't selected then nobody has to know. Don't give up, and don't be afraid to try. Madelyne tells Ty Beirdd members, every month you do not enter is a guaranteed loss, and you have nothing to lose by entering ... so go for it!

Nona's picture
09/3/2011
7:05 AM

I've been tempted to enter the contest. The problem is my way of time management. I've been writing two works (one theatre play and one epic... thing), but so far i've been stuck and didn't feel any nudge that would push me foreward... I'll have to do something about it one of those days.

Ada's picture
11/17/2011
3:34 PM

*nudge Nona* ^_^

Darroth's picture
10/26/2011
1:21 AM

are good enough.

Boosteya's picture
11/1/2011
9:36 PM

Or I will... think of a better threat. Tongue

Kensei's picture
09/3/2011
3:11 PM

Didn't work well enough for me for writing the texts. Must have been something I wasn't doing right. Notepad++ was great from the start though!

Yilkon's picture
09/4/2011
5:42 AM

Nice selection of tips in both the article and the comments, I may even try my hand at it one day.

I second Kensei's recommendation of Notepad++, I use it for almost all my writing in Achaea. Spell check, word counts and I know of no reason why it wouldn't work for bardics.

Masaryk's picture
09/4/2011
8:50 PM

Did bardic entries from many years ago get lost in the website transfer?

Lodi's picture
09/4/2011
11:14 PM

I didn't use Notepad this time around because I thought the new website submission method could hack word.

Whenever I preview what I have submitted it all reads and looks ok, surly that means that its fine? Or have just epically failed this time around...

Aaric's picture
09/4/2011
11:57 PM

I personally would love to see more portraits of the Divine. I remember browsing them a few months ago on the old site, but they seem to all have vanished?

Athorem's picture
09/5/2011
7:06 AM

These are all helpful tips! Maybe I'll even try one day... heheh

Ariafel's picture
09/16/2011
4:25 AM

I agree. If I have motivation and a good idea, I'll submit something if it's decent.

Rangor's picture
09/5/2011
11:32 AM

I just use word documents and make sure there aren't any line breaks.

how r u?

Ada's picture
09/5/2011
1:18 PM

But I still don't know how to overcome the writer's block I suffer more often than I'd tolerate Sad

Murasaki's picture
09/5/2011
11:24 PM

I can write, but if it's ever for an event of some sort, my brain decides to at that very moment stop working. So I've made it a point not to enter into anything and save myself the trouble.

Jaksim's picture
09/8/2011
10:27 AM

maybe if you write something randomly, you can enter it later, when it'd be appropriate?

Nona's picture
09/11/2011
8:07 AM

Unless there is a themed contest obviously. Then you get to wait some more!

Lisbethae's picture
09/9/2011
7:49 PM

it was still returned

Awan's picture
09/13/2011
10:53 PM

But why exactly is notepad important? I usually use notepad for game stuff anyhow, but is it the smart quotes in Word that would get you rejected, or something else?

Selira's picture
09/14/2011
2:29 AM

It's the smartquotes. They show up as ? within the Achaean editor. I bungled a newspost recently because of it.

Hasar's picture
10/27/2011
9:14 PM

That explains it. I saw a bunch of ?'s in someone's writing, and had no idea why..

The last time I was wrong, was when I thought I made a mistake.

Naheem's picture
01/25/2012
1:08 PM

those always annoyed me anyway. Gotta go look up what they're used for. Nice article, by the way, I'll definitely look back on this if I ever decide to enter a Bardic.

Madelyne's picture
09/14/2011
12:50 PM

Google Docs doesn't fare much better. I have to take stuff from there, copy and paste it into notepad, then copy and paste it into the Nexus editor / bardic submission box / etc. That's more work that writing the Bardic itself sometimes.

Rean's picture
09/14/2011
11:37 PM

Great tips! Bardics are a great way to earn credits.

Oceana's picture
09/15/2011
6:12 AM

Use Notepad but turn Word Wrap off.

Selira's picture
09/15/2011
5:54 PM

The easiest way to check to make sure that your formatting and smartquote problems are fine if you wrote it in something else is to make a journal entry of your Bardic, newspost, or whatever. You'll be able to see any formatting errors or problems in smartquote usage before you submit it in an unchangeable form.

Areth's picture
09/20/2011
6:16 AM

I haven't yet entered a Bardic, but I'm planning on it! Just gotta get something finished...

Ehrlen's picture
10/9/2011
6:09 PM

How many credits do you get if your entry is accepted?

Masaryk's picture
10/9/2011
9:50 PM

It depends on what award your piece gets. I believe it ranges from 50, 100, and 200 credits though.

Archene's picture
10/10/2011
6:45 AM

Perfect, prepare yourselves soon I will have mine.

Ehrlen's picture
10/10/2011
2:39 AM

Nice. I am going to write some things up.

Dommactus's picture
10/11/2011
9:02 PM

I have no idea about the themes. What is this month's theme, and if so, what do you have to write about?

Habi's picture
10/12/2011
7:21 AM

is it ok if i draw my umm what do you call them? character? dezzian? but yeah is it ok if i draw him?

and does it matter how bad i am?

Melodie's picture
10/14/2011
12:12 AM

Whee, these are some useful tips. Maybe I'll finally give this another go for the first time in four years.

Danla's picture
10/16/2011
12:54 PM

I love when it comes round for the new bardic and artisanal submissions to be released. It's always great having a look at them and thanks for the tips! They're great

Friztic's picture
10/17/2011
8:44 AM

I've always found it hard to come up with a fiction within an already established fiction. It's one thing to play a character, but to have complete control of the world and how it operates... Well, it's troublesome.

Kione's picture
10/19/2011
6:24 PM

I've heard that Google Docs translates well into the editor. That's only a rumor though - I'm not a bard.

Balynne's picture
10/22/2011
1:04 AM

someone could give tips for finding the time to be creative! Tongue

Tow's picture
10/22/2011
11:08 AM

My best muses for creativity always seem to come when I lay awake at night in bed

Hhaos's picture
10/23/2011
11:47 PM

While I myself have never seriously looked into a bardic as a way to make the ever important credits, I must admit that it seems to be among one of the most consistant ways for one who is good with words to enter and earn some credits for their creative aspirations and efforts

Nenris's picture
10/24/2011
8:29 AM

Looks like it's time to start writing.

Dommactus's picture
10/24/2011
10:01 PM

How many credits do you get if you win?

Tinta's picture
10/26/2011
3:15 AM

This was answered earlier...

"It depends on what award your piece gets. I believe it ranges from 50, 100, and 200 credits though."

Aliath's picture
10/26/2011
6:43 AM

You also get a bit more as you advance in the ranks

Koltar's picture
10/24/2011
11:30 PM

I'll definitely have to look into this.

Christelle's picture
10/25/2011
9:36 PM

I've had a lot more success with Bardics in Lusternia than Achaea. I don't blame anyone, really; it's to be expected from a game with a larger playerbase. And each failure is simply more motivation!

Kione's picture
10/27/2011
6:09 AM

Can we submit Bardic entries even if we aren't Bards?

Selira's picture
10/27/2011
9:29 PM

Anyone can write and submit them, nothing class-specific here!

Aliath's picture
10/28/2011
7:19 AM

you probably have to be somewhat an artist to submit for the artistic entries Tongue

Kestyn's picture
10/29/2011
9:29 AM

... but never won. I've not got time to write something every month, but I might get writing again now!

Lyris's picture
10/30/2011
11:24 AM

I've written something that mixes the Achaean and the insane. I'm told by the few that have seen it that it is well written. However, I doubt that it is worthy of submission due to the subject matter. I'd like to continue to write of my experiences in Achaea as I continue to slowly expand my understanding of the world. For me, writing has an intrinsic reward regardless of any other reward as a result of any contest. At least my efforts might exist for the enjoyment of my friends.

Lyris's picture
11/5/2011
1:17 PM

The tactic of flattering a divine sounds a bit manipulative. I'd do that carefully. If a god belongs in the story, I might put them there. Yet if I was divine and felt like I was being patronized, the effort might backfire in some small measure. Fortunately for us mortals, the divine tend to overlook our minor transgressions and reward us for our good deeds.

Shirszae's picture
11/11/2011
2:33 AM

I've always wanted to submit a bardic entry... Maybe one of these days...

Sryn's picture
11/18/2011
1:30 AM

Should write one...

Andraste's picture
11/20/2011
9:52 PM

how long do they have to be? I know there's no lower limit, but like.. to be considered

Dortheron's picture
12/2/2011
12:11 AM

Just submitted it, and I'm praying that I get first place with it!

I fell into a burning ring of fire.....

Sryn's picture
12/2/2011
1:24 AM

Should write one.

Juliana's picture
12/11/2011
3:16 AM

Should try it.

Vayne's picture
12/23/2011
1:18 AM

Quantity does not equal quality

Achilles's picture
12/23/2011
2:40 AM

more pretty pictures please

Juliana's picture
01/5/2012
2:34 AM

good tips

Lodi's picture
01/5/2012
8:54 PM

Check to see if there's a theam for the contest that month!

I should have thought about that last month, doh! Smile

Ayo's picture
01/9/2012
9:43 AM

Writing is hard, I like stabbing and shooting arrows instead!

Tamina's picture
01/11/2012
1:14 PM

Writing is hard, but rewarding.

Sryn's picture
01/12/2012
12:01 AM

I need to practice writing, was always bad at it...

Mortagona's picture
01/12/2012
2:53 AM

Maybe avoid poetry if it's not you are not much of a poet

Kass's picture
01/26/2012
10:06 PM

Now I just need to finish to write what I started... but it is difficult to write something IC... and useful

Xinna's picture
01/27/2012
5:38 PM

I wish I had time to try writing for the bardics sometime.

Azrial's picture
06/4/2012
9:58 PM

In my opinion I think it's harder to write when they don't give a subject to write on, I am not very imaginative.