Fall Writing Competition 2017

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#61 Post by wolf_Appledore999 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:43 pm

JediGuy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:37 pm
Good morning / afternoon / evening, forum-writers, and Happy New Year!

Quick update for everyone: The holidays bogged down speed a bit on grading, but I'm happy to report that all the judges are working through grading as we speak. One is out of the country at the moment, but otherwise, progress is good.

Thank you for your continued patience!

-Jedi
That's good.

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#62 Post by wolf_Appledore999 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:32 am

wolf_Appledore999 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:43 pm
JediGuy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:37 pm
Good morning / afternoon / evening, forum-writers, and Happy New Year!

Quick update for everyone: The holidays bogged down speed a bit on grading, but I'm happy to report that all the judges are working through grading as we speak. One is out of the country at the moment, but otherwise, progress is good.

Thank you for your continued patience!

-Jedi
That's good.

How goes the Progress?

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#63 Post by FiendishlyAdorable » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:53 pm

Definitely a little curious, yes.
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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#64 Post by Jam » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:11 am

Since the judges haven't posted their thoughts yet, I decided to set aside a part of my day today and read all of the entries, these are my opinions on each one. Keep in mind, these are all just my personal thoughts, so they WILL vary from what others think, don't take my word as gospel, also as my time was limited, I read them, and wrote out my thoughts as quickly as I could, so I might of missed some things, feel free to correct me if I got anything wrong.

Leaving Old Grounds by Warrl
Interesting mystery, with some nice descriptions in places, and I really enjoyed all of the background detail, like Little Fred being a rookie, it really added to the world. It was also great how you weren't afraid to tackle such a subject matter, and for the most part it was handled pretty respectfully. On the other hand the action scenes and ending felt a little rushed,
Spoiler!
also the supernatural element was a little underdeveloped
. Overall it was an enjoyable read, and developed further, with more backstory, it would make an excellent little novella.

The Whitefield Report by NuclearBird
The story certainly has forward momentum, avoiding dragging on when it doesn't need to, while also managing mostly to hold back just enough information to make me want to read on, though sometimes it went a bit far in this regard, especially in chapter 2. I also like how flawed the main character appears to be, there's no fun in a perfect person doing everything right. As for his biggest flaw though, the angst, whilst I've always been a fan of the anti-hero, here it is laid on a bit strong sometimes especially in chapter 1, leading me to questions his motives, why is he even doing what he's told? The writing is a little confused, with the first person perspective being a trade off, it can make it hard to read sometimes, and spoils events instead of letting the reader find out about them naturally, e.g I would've liked to see Charlie's friendship with Mercer grow, instead of just being told about it in a paragraph before mercer even says a word. On the other hand the first person perspective does give insight into the main character's mind, which sometimes helps with the aforementioned lack of motive, and makes Charlie anything but a bland main character. The story also seems to switch between past tense and present tense with no warning, which is a little uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the third chapter,
Spoiler!
the moment in which the giant spiders show up is truly thrilling, though it's a little unfortunate that their weakness is found so fast. Also the ending was heart pounding, and I think it was believable for Charlie to accept his fate in the dungeon
. Overall The Whitefield Report feels is a diamond in the rough, honestly I had fun with it, but it may of needed a few more drafts. I think NuclearBird has quite a bit of potential in fanfiction if they are willing to practice a bit more, they have some good story ideas. Speaking directly to Nuclearburd now, "Don't let any of this discourage you, I'm only being so critical so you can learn from it.".

The Wings of Giants by ClockWorkPanda
First of all the prose in this one is simply gorgeous, painting truly vivid pictures in my mind, it helps that it's set in what seems to be such a beautiful location. I really don't have any gripes with this one, besides the fact that it's so short, I know it's supposed to be a short story, but it really struck a chord with me. I'd love to read more stories about Juno and Dave. I wish I could say more on this one, but honestly there’s not much to say. Good Job ClockWorkPanda.

The True Writer's Block by ThunderVolt
This one was interesting I wasn't really sure where the story was going, but I was heavily engaged. I did read this story when it was first posted, so I'm just basing this one off what I remember, with that in mind, it was a relatable story, that I feel almost everyone could identify with at some point in their lives, whether literally or not. The ending was clearly the main selling point, and I enjoyed it, though I do have to admit I did have to re-read it the first time, since I somehow didn't get it right away, but that's my own fault.
Spoiler!
I'm a sucker for good Meta.

Experimental Realism by Jam (Yours truly)
By default I'm not qualified to give unbiased thoughts on my own story, but, it's clearly the best one :wink:

A Moment's Comfort by FriendishlyAdorable
First off, I have to apologise to FiendishlyAdorable, I haven't read the main story of this one, I'm not even aware if it's available yet, so it's a little tricky for me to write too much about this story. With that said, you did a great job of subtly explaining what a new reader needs to know, which is not always easy to do in pre-established settings, especially in such a way that I imagine someone who did know the original source material wouldn't be too offended by. If some characters are born great, and some achieve greatness, and yet more have greatness thrust upon them, then Reinne, at least in the beginning, somehow fits into none of these classic categories, instead she has misfortune thrust upon her. Pushing through the hand she is dealt, to find a new life, despite at first wanting to give up, makes her a highly relatable character. The way characters and landscapes are described is really beautiful, and done in such a way, that I can understand how Reinne feels about the world, and how the world must feel about her, and the juxtaposition between her cerulean-blue eyes, and worn clothing. This one is great, I would really like to read the full story, is it already available somewhere?

Escape by wolf_Appledore999
This one I'm not going to be able to write up an entire opinion piece on, because it was never completed, but I'll just make some observations.The action scenes were well thought out and choreographed, but in the non action moments it can descriptive to a fault. The motivations of Colden is easy enough to understand, but cormella's is a little harder, beyond the wishes of her master it's hard to understand why she would help Colden, at least at first. I'm also not sure that intertwining the story with the main TwoKinds story was necessarily the best idea. All that being said it seems like a solid point to launch a story from, whatever that story would’ve ended up being. Sorry that I can't go into any more detail on story elements, since it wasn't complete.

Sorry if anyone is unsatisfied with what Iv'e written, but as said above, these are just my thoughts, nothing more.

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#65 Post by ClockworkPanda » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:45 am

Oh my gosh, thank you so much! :heart:

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#66 Post by ThunderVolt » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:49 pm

I'm all humor.

The middle part wasn't even my favorite part. The ending was what popped into my mind immediately when writing.

I said to myself, "What's a good pun that I can elongate into a small story?"

And so here we are.

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#67 Post by Warrl » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:19 pm

Thanks for the commentary, Jam. I'm glad you liked the little details and hints of backstory (ironically, one of the critiques I got at critters.org was that I had too much of that). I try to convey that there IS an entire world around my story, and that ALL of my characters have their own stories. The universe keeps happening even when the main characters aren't looking.

I have to agree, I do tend to rush the action scenes. Probably because I don't find them very interesting. The blow-by-blow details of exactly how someone got the crap beat out of them (or, for that matter, exactly how they had sex) usually do not advance the story, build characters, set the scene, or define relationships.

I'm concerned that you say I treated a certain subject respectfully "for the most part". There are characters in the story who wouldn't be respectful - that's kind of the point of their roles - but aside from that, any specifics? (Feel free to PM if you want.)

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#68 Post by FiendishlyAdorable » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:16 pm

Aww, thanks. ^_^

No, the original story isn't published yet. It takes place ten and a half or so years later from the day on which the story starts. I haven't finished writing that one because it's book-length. I'm thinking about trying to get it published.
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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#69 Post by NuclearBird » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:18 pm

I have nothing to say against the critique of my piece, I kind of expected those flaws pointed out. To be fair, it REALLY was a rush job :oops: Still, I feel like I should've fleshed things out a bit more. Good thing the sequel is already in the planning stages. :P
Spoiler!
The giant spider swarm sequence was partially lifted from my arachnophobia-riddled mind and the Metro game series and I'm glad to hear that I managed to convey the sheer primal terror induced by the mere thought of those things.
I have to say that I wasn't very satisfied with the character interactions myself but I WAS on a time limit. I fully intend to fix that when I eventually get around to fixing that in the sequel.

All in all, I'm not at all displeased by the response I've received. It's actually reassuring that people are willing to point me in the right direction.

Thank you.
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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#70 Post by Jam » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:10 am

It's nice to see you all enjoyed my thoughts on your pieces, I'm just curious to see how they line up with the judges (Not that I'm rushing them :P ).

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#71 Post by wolf_Appledore999 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:22 pm

Jam wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:11 am
Escape by wolf_Appledore999
This one I'm not going to be able to write up an entire opinion piece on, because it was never completed, but I'll just make some observations.The action scenes were well thought out and choreographed, but in the non action moments it can descriptive to a fault. The motivations of Colden is easy enough to understand, but cormella's is a little harder, beyond the wishes of her master it's hard to understand why she would help Colden, at least at first. I'm also not sure that intertwining the story with the main TwoKinds story was necessarily the best idea. All that being said it seems like a solid point to launch a story from, whatever that story would’ve ended up being. Sorry that I can't go into any more detail on story elements, since it wasn't complete.
Thank you for the Critique. I had thought about adding more to it, but within the one-month time span and real-life distractions hindered it, but hopefully, by Spring-Summer, I should have a bit more to the story. I shall try to work more on Cornella's backstory and interests. As my first TwoKinds Fanfiction, I knew I might've had some hiccups to fix in the fellow chapters. Colden and Cornella won't ever come across the Main Two Parties, but I can adjust it to that it isn't tied too tightly to the Main story. Well, more looser then I had planned on doing it.

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#72 Post by JediGuy » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:05 pm

Anyone still here? Yes? Good.


It's time for the moment you've all been waiting for! We've got the grading back from all our judges and some discussion, which I will post below!

But without FURTHER ADO...
LETS PARTY





Our Bronze-medal winner earned some solid scores with their average at 30 points, with judges specifically crediting characterization as a strong point.
Spoiler! And winning third place is...
The Wings of Giants by ClockworkPanda!

Lets hear what the judges said:
I really loved the characterization in this, even more so than the story itself. I could feel Dave’s fear and despair when he loses sight of Juno, as well as Juno’s excitement at having the chance to fly. I would have liked for this to be an original and not a fanfic, but pretty decent job overall.
The story is short and sweet. I like how Juno’s enthusiasm is portrayed, and her relationship with Dave. But I think their relationship can be developed more.
Congratulations! While everyone will get a small forum badge, yours will be extra-spiffy for coming in third.




Now onto our second place finisher, whose average score was 31.5! They'll receive a recorded, audiobook-style version of their story produced by me within the next couple months or so (as my work schedule dictates). Their writing style was highlighted and earned them top marks.

Spoiler! Taking home the silver medal...

The Whitefield Report by NuclearBird!

Lets hear what the judges said:
Good story. I gave a 9 instead of a 10 in originality because I was looking for an original story and not a fanfiction. The story was engaging, however there was a lot of detail that I feel could be pulled out that would actually improve the story.
I really like the idea of it being a recording of an interrogation. I think it’s a really effective way of portraying things from a specific character’s point of view, but I think it went on for too long. The story is well written and fairly engaging, but there are sections that really needed to be streamlined. The tension as Charles is discovering what’s in the tunnels is also set up very well. If the story was reframed to adhere more strictly to the interrogation format and was streamlined a bit, I think that would make Charles comments about him being family to various Templar members to be more impactful, as opposed to merely surprising.
Congratulations!



And without further delay (lets be honest, y'all have suffered enough of that already), lets get to the big honcho, the grand-prize winner! They will receive a personalized sketch-style commission from none other than Tom himself, and all the bragging rights that goes with it.

Spoiler! And the winner, with a resounding 36.5 score...

Leaving Old Grounds by Warrl! Congratulations!

Lets see what the judges said:
Judges Score: 39/40
Wow. This story was amazing. I loved the pacing. The idea to move the days around can be very difficult and can sometimes through an entire story off if not done well. This was done exceptionally well. I could see everything happening, and couldn’t stop reading. The only thing I wished was in here was the scene between the mother and Tanya. It would also be nice to know who the spirit of the willow was, but honestly it’s not necessary. Great job!!!
Judges Score: 34/40
A very excellent zombie story! I really enjoyed how the story jumps around but maintained narrative clarity. The characterization of Tanya and the various law enforcement are really strong, and the ending was very cathartic and wrapped things up very nicely. The start was a little slow, but it picked up shortly after. All the pieces were well woven together.
Congratulations Warrl! Reach out to me and I'll put you in contact with Tom for your prize.

Thank you to -everyone- who participated, and make sure you come back in the fall. After having spoken with the judges (at length), there are going to be some things that change rules-wise to better ensure a quick turnaround and that everyone has a better shot. Until then, toodles, and keep writing!

~Jedi
Magic is merely science that we have yet to understand.

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#73 Post by ThunderVolt » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:08 pm

Ah well. Honestly wasn't expecting who and what I was gonna be up against. /shrug

Either way, good job, ClockWork Panda, NuclearBird, and Warrl!

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#74 Post by Jam » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:52 pm

I'll be interested to read what feedback I got (if any, again I'm sorry about the length, the story really just got away from me.), and congratulations to the winners, of course I enjoyed them all. I can't say the results lined up exactly with who I had pegged for each place in my head, but I suppose that's what makes life interesting.

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Re: Fall Writing Competition 2017

#75 Post by NuclearBird » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:44 am

Woohoo! The response I've received so far has been surprisingly positive considering my admittedly amateurish writing. I would like to thank all of you for enduring my prosaisc ramblings in the last few months.
If the universe is infinite, does that mean that there is a version of me out there who's thinking the exact same thing?

While we're on the topic of alternate universes, is there one where I'm a lawyer? If yes, then I may be more evil than I thought.

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