[Phase 3]: Sundered Wings Vignettes
The word vignette in a literary sense refers to a concise, evocative piece of writing that captures a short moment in time, as a written sketch or photograph. A vignette is often part of a larger work and may capture an important point in a plot or a moment in which a character has a revelatory experience, but its focus should be an appeal to the senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, taste. This term is related to the Greek term ekphrasis (ἔκφρασις), which is a literary technique for the ornate written or verbal depiction of an actual work of art, or such a description of a scene or object that itself functions as a work of art. There is an overlap between these terms, as vignettes often use ekphrastic writing techniques, and instances of ekphrasis can often be characterized as vignettes, but in some formal categorizations, vignettes are generally ornate prose descriptions, while ekphrasis is a poetic technique. (Vignette is also a film and photography term, referring to soft edges around the edge of the frame, to evoke a sense of nostalgia or mystery, but that’s not the meaning you should be thinking about for this competition.)
I provide the above context, to encourage you to look up these terms and look for examples on your own, but here’s one that you are probably already familiar with:
An excellent example of a Star Trek vignette is the famous scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture in which Admiral Kirk is transported via travel pod from the orbital office complex to the newly-refit Enterprise. He and the audience both experience the new shape, lines, color, silhouette, and scale of the ship at the same time. While the scene does nothing to advance the plot, it is evocative and caters to our sense of sight, while Jerry Goldsmith’s score rises and builds as we get closer and closer to the reveal to further point the audience towards the desired emotional response: awe and wonder.
Creating a moment like that—an evocative, descriptive scene that appeals to the senses—is your task here. In less than five hundred words, you should describe any moment, object, scene, tableau, or other similar thing related to the Sundered Wings plot. This could be a moment excerpted from a story you post as part of your fleet action writing or a stand-alone piece. You should accompany your vignette with a rationale of no more than 250 words explaining what feelings you were trying to evoke and why you chose that scene to describe. Remember: a vignette does not have a plot because that is not the point.
Follow these steps to submit your entry:
- Post the vignette itself, either as part of a larger story or as its own story on the BFMS.
- Create a document with your vignette, your rationale, your BFMS ID, and a link to the posted BFMS story. Do not include the full text of the story, just the vignette.
- Save that document as a PDF and upload it to the competition submission.
- In the entry information box, link to the posted BFMS story. Do not paste the full text of your vignette here.
I strongly encourage you to read around for examples (of which there are many on the Wikipedia link above) and spend a lot of time revising and crafting your submission, rather than submitting the first draft, if you intend to place.
- Your vignette must be no more than 500 words and must include up to an additional 250 words explaining why you selected this scene and what emotions you were hoping to evoke.
- Your vignette must be posted on the BFMS, either within a larger story or as a stand-alone entry, on your own command, or on Starbase Bravo in a mission associated with the Sundered Wings fleet mission.
- Your vignette must be part of a single-author post; multi-author posts are not eligible for consideration.
- Your submission must be a PDF containing your vignette, your rationale, your BFMS ID, and a link to the posted BFMS story. Other file formats or links to live documents will not be considered.
- Vignettes will be graded in accordance with the Bravo Fleet Fiction Rubric, which marks on the following criteria: Language, Style, & Mechanics; Adherence to Canon; Perspective; Characterization; Originality; Use of the Prompt. NB: a successful application of this prompt would attempt to caplialize on as many of the senses as possible.
- You may not submit a vignette from a story written or posted before this competition started, e.g. a story used in Phase 1 or Phase 2 of Sundered Wings.