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Writing Challenges Chronicles Writing Challenges including the popular '75 word challenge' and the new '300 word challenge'.

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Old 1st October 2011, 02:50 AM   #181 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Mosaix, of course you know I thought it was brilliant! I would have had about three more commas than you had there, and a "said confidently" together instead of separated, but it was terrific even so.

I had it pegged as a winner from the first time (ok, second read-through, but still at the first time) I read it, which just goes to show what I know.

Bookstop, I'm sorry, but not realizing that you were American, I thought it must be something British that I wasn't getting. I guess I don't know the story, or it's been too many years, and the whole Baker's Grove thing went right over my head. Sorry!

Quokka, usually I can puzzle out mythological references, but this one went over my head as well. I confess to being lost.
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Old 1st October 2011, 04:58 AM   #182 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quokka,

I was lost in your story. In some way it seemed to dropping gods' names all over the place but to no point I could discern. I thought it might be about the supremacy of the Greek Parthenon, but that idea fizzled and I had nothing to replace it. I could not psych out what free dress days had to do with the gods getting together. --- Some sort of party? an off day? They didn't recognize each other otherwise?

I needed some hooks into the story and for a non-mythical person like me, they were definitely not there.
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Old 1st October 2011, 05:02 AM   #183 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Parson: Up early?

By the way, thanks for the mention.

I take it you had no similar problems getting your head round my tale?
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Old 1st October 2011, 05:13 AM   #184 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

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Originally Posted by TheEndIsNigh View Post
Parson: Up early?
Up a little bit late, since it's around 11 pm in Iowa. And for me (a couple of time zones to the West) the night is young.

Quokka, I caught all of the mythological references, and I think I got the joke, too. Really, the only reason I have doubts on that last point is because nobody else seemed to get it, so perhaps I'm reading more into it than I should.
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Old 1st October 2011, 05:17 AM   #185 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

You've seriously misjudged the time differential it is 11:10 pm here. I often peruse chrons before I head for parsonic bed.

Yes, I was lost with yours as well. I could not figure out who was speaking, and what the bit about through another's eyes meant. I never had a sniff of a soul stealer or something of that ilk.
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Old 1st October 2011, 05:25 AM   #186 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

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before I head for parsonic bed
I think the classic term for that would be "seek my virtuous couch."
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Old 1st October 2011, 05:32 AM   #187 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quokka: For me, the first lines didn't build into a whole. They seemed detached from the punch line. Plus, I couldn't make a 'behind the scenes' connection.

Teresa: Yes, I realised you were some distance away although I've noticed you do span the time zones quite a bit in your post times. However...

Parson: For some reason - despite it being there, plain as day, in your location info, I always picture you in some quiet village in a south country shire, like deepest Kent, in the UK.
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Old 1st October 2011, 05:43 AM   #188 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quote:
Yes, I realised you were some distance away although I've noticed you do span the time zones quite a bit in your post times.
That's because I do not sleep or rise according to the dictates of any clock known to mankind.
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Old 1st October 2011, 10:32 AM   #189 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Hey guys. While we're at it, would some care to give some feedback on my September entry? Here it is:

-------------
[This Title is a Placeholder]


“Simple,” the old wizard replied, inhaling tabac through his pipe. His exhaled smoke took on the shape of a war galleon. “At the Council tomorrow, I will convince all that the little one, alone, can bear this burden. Instead, he will only bring to Him that which He most desires.”

“Little one?” asked the ranger. “Who --” His eyes widened, and a slow smile formed on his lips as understanding dawned.

“The hobbit…”
-------------

I suppose the premise doesn't need explaining on a forum of Fantasy buffs. How could I have improved this entry? Was it the way it was written? Or is the premise itself not enticing?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 1st October 2011, 05:54 PM   #190 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

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Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton View Post
I think the classic term for that would be "seek my virtuous couch."
That is a classic term, but judging from my all to realistic dreams I'm not sure it could in any way I understand be called a "virtuous couch" unless it might be that I share it with my wife and all too often a grand child or occasionally two.
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Old 2nd October 2011, 05:10 AM   #191 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

DA, I liked the writing and thought it sounded all in character for Gandalf and Aragorn but I have to admit I didn't really get the line "Instead, he will only bring to Him that which He most desires." and how that would have changed the events from the books.

Reading again just now and Him and He from that sentance is Sauron right? Sorry I missed that comepletely before, I thought the scene was meant to set up Gandalf as playing both sides but I knew I was missing something and I couldn't think what Frodo would bring to him

The only thing I didn't like was the title.



Thanks for the feedback on my entry, the intent was to write a scene from an afterlife where the souls were dressed up (or had created images of themselves) as dieties from their time on Earth. My main concern was trying to make it clear that there were no gods in the story just individuals using their images. Something I fell well short of .

In cutting it back to 75 words I also lost references to them being aware of the world continuing which might have created a clearer tie in to behind the scenes.
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Old 2nd October 2011, 07:41 AM   #192 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quokka: It certainly would have made a difference. Although that first line would still misdirect your intention. Had you left that one out and used the words as you describe, I think it would have been better.

DA: Yes that title clearly didn't help. I would suggest no title would have been better. By that I mean in the future you would be better losing the placeholder reminder.

Personally I usually put the title on last ,because invariably I have no idea what it will be until I finish the tale.

However, I loved the suggestion that the young Strider and old big G were carefully plotting the return of the ring. I particularly liked the image of the snug contemplative reveal to Strider of Gandalf's thinking: carefully done to the image of a pair of full pipes and the belief that all was going to plan. (hence my vote)

I think it could be a winner developed as a book. "Bored of the Rings" was good. This take on the story could be even better. Get it written and make us proud.
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Old 2nd October 2011, 11:09 AM   #193 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quokka View Post
Reading again just now and Him and He from that sentance is Sauron right?
Yup. The 'twist' in the story was that Gandalf and Aragorn were secretly in cahoots with Sauron, and the whole idea of "the Ring can only be unmade in the fires of Mordor" was a deception created by Gandalf as a way to trick Frodo (and the rest of the Council) into taking the Ring within Sauron's grasp.

Quote:
The only thing I didn't like was the title.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEndIsNigh View Post
DA: Yes that title clearly didn't help. I would suggest no title would have been better. By that I mean in the future you would be better losing the placeholder reminder.

Personally I usually put the title on last ,because invariably I have no idea what it will be until I finish the tale.
I usually do that, too. In this case, it was really late when I was submitting it and I couldn't think of a good title, so I just threw that in. To be honest, I regretted it soon after. It was a stupid decision. You're both right to criticise it.

Quote:
However, I loved the suggestion that the young Strider and old big G were carefully plotting the return of the ring. I particularly liked the image of the snug contemplative reveal to Strider of Gandalf's thinking: carefully done to the image of a pair of full pipes and the belief that all was going to plan. (hence my vote)
Thanks! And again, thanks for the vote. I always feel good about an entry after I post, then read it again two days later and think, "Oh my God, that was lame. What the hell was I thinking? No wonder I didn't get any votes..."

Quote:
I think it could be a winner developed as a book. "Bored of the Rings" was good. This take on the story could be even better. Get it written and make us proud.
Ha! I appreciate the thought, but I am afraid you grossly over-estimate my abilities.


Thank you to you both for taking the time to give me feedback.
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Old 2nd October 2011, 01:05 PM   #194 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

If the response for how to improve this is "stop trying to pretend to be a poet", it's too late. My October nightmare is showing strong signs of being in verse, already. If, on the other hand, anyone can indicate how to make the whole more comprehensible, more Mouseproof, I am all ears.

Backstage eminence

Through dust-impregnated darkness far behind the limelit boards,
Tribes entire of grey-skinned goblins add solidity to dreams.
They are shunners of the sunlight and avoiders of awards
Crystallise imagination beyond previous extremes
Long tradition has enhancèd their invisibility
And they hold us all entrancèd; they control reality
Unseen masters of illusion
Making mountebanks immortals
Forcing audience inclusion
Through deforming brazen portals
Of eternity
And we become their fantasy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highlander
Chrispenycate (Great idea of a goblins fantasy being about humans)
Almost. The paradox is the mandarin's butterfly, or in this case perhaps the mandarin is the butterfly's paradox. They imagine us into reality, even as we do the same for them. Mutual creation, Heinleinien fictons, with the décor (the "scenery" we are behind, indicated by the lighted stage) equally mutual.

Admittedly, as a 'beginning, middle and end' it does not achieve storyhood; the beginning is unknowable, the end, should it occur, will involve not merely our (and, by extension, their) extinction but our mutual never having existed.

All the world's a stage, and most of the men and women stagehands, or wardrobe mistresses) rather than players. Possibly "goblins" wasn't the correct word, but I didn't want them to be nice beings (and it scanned).

I must be nuts trying to get that across in seventy-five words, so making it scan and rhyme was almost a trivial extra insanity. Even if it did lose me several of my precious seventy-five.
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Old 2nd October 2011, 04:20 PM   #195 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Well, I'm a moth to the flame of your poetry, Chris, and as far as I'm concerned you can write it forever! I loved the feel and atmosphere of your entry. Yet... I have to confess I didn't understand a blind word of it.

I don't think the mandarin's butterfly would ever have occurred to me, though if that had been the title it might have helped a little -- otherwise I can't see how you could make it more comprehensible without ripping it to pieces, which would be like breaking a certain little winged insect on a wheel.


Quokka, sorry, missed this first time round:
Quote:
You mentioned entries meeting the criteria for story TJ, how about mine? It's a scene but is it a story?
To be honest, I didn't understand yours when I read it. Now you've explained it, this is one of those which for me kind of teeters on the brink -- it's more than simple reflection/reminiscence, but not wholly a story. I probably wouldn't have discounted it for that reason alone, but in my kind of erratic marking system it wouldn't have helped it, either. The real problem, though, was understanding it. Sorry.

Last edited by The Judge; 2nd October 2011 at 04:30 PM.
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