Science Fiction Fantasy  
Go Back   Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums > Books and Writing > Aspiring Writers > Writing Challenges

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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 19th March 2012, 10:49 PM   #271 (permalink)
This world is not my home
 
Parson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 4,036
Blog Entries: 5
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonbat View Post
Parson, I don't get it. Sorry, but it is as simple as that. From what I can tell:

Rachel is running from something
she has a claim of universal truth (from what I know of you Parson I can only assume this is related to Him)
She goes into a secret basement
? I don't know what the Gloria Patri is, when I first read it I though it was a woman's name.
Then she feels ok.

I think I'm missing the main part, in what a Gloria Patri is, I could have gone and looked it up, but I didn't (apathy.) I think sometimes my lack of knowledge means some of the deeper stories go over my head.


I also thought my entry last month was particularly good, but I didn't get any votes, and very few mentions. I wrote a poem, it was the devotion to the spoken word that I was showing (poetry should be orated) all tied up in a SF story of people communicating by thought which was the end of speaking. Also I thought the rhythm and rhyme would add to the devotion of how words are spoken. I think I didn't get the theme across well enough.
Thanks for your comments! I worried a bit using the name Gloria Patri, but I thought that it was quite well known, and that those who didn't would go look it up like I've had to innumerable times with mythology references.

Making it into a hymn is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure I could have pulled it off. I thought the dystopian nature of the piece was more than sufficient to fit the genre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosaix View Post
I suppose, Moonbat that Parson was trying to get across Rachel's devotion to God? For me, the 'devotion' theme didn't come across strongly enough.

As for your own entry, Moonbat I have to say that poetry just doesn't appeal to me - sorry . It never has. I always read the poems hoping that something will click, but it just never does.
Thanks for your comments! I'm sorry that you did not feel the devotion. I thought it was the strongest point of the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crystal haven View Post
Parson - The overall quality of the challenges was very high, making it difficult to choose, but I felt a bit like Mosaix, the devotion and the consequences didn't come across strongly enough for me.

Moonbat - I really liked your entry. I thought it was clever, and liked the rhythm and rhyme. It was on my shortlist.
Thanks for your comments! I agree the standard was very high. I did think that the devotion and the consequences were clear, probably showing my own prejudice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abernovo View Post
Parson, I got it, including the Patria Gloria (et Filio et Spiritui Sancto).

I should say that I thought the second paragraph was beautiful, reminding me of the feelings I experienced when I sang in a choir. However the issue for me was in the first paragraph. With the title referencing catacombs and the mention of 'Radical Secularists', with the inherent threat to Rachel's life and job, the last sentence in that first paragraph didn't add anything new.

Please understand this is purely a personal opinion, which others may disagree with. And, if it's any consolation, I thought 'Divine Intervention' from January to be a superb entry. This probably shows how subjective reading can be. That story connected with me much more than the February one did, whereas, I suspect, the opposite was true of you. Hope this helps.
Thanks for comments! I am so glad that you connected with Rachel's feelings. I was very happy with the thought of the last paragraph. I too have felt the presence of the numinous in choral singing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hex View Post
I couldn't get my head round 'militant toleration'! I thought the idea was clever, though, and it was very well-written.

The association with ancient persecution of Christianity made me uncomfortable for some reason -- I didn't analyse why at the time, and I'm not sure where it came from even now I think about it. Sorry. I don't think that's very helpful.
Thanks for your comments! I guess part of my problem was that I too thought the idea of "militant toleration" was very clever, and perhaps a little prescient seeing the state of the Western Democracies. But that view is likely not shared outside the Christian faith.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDustyZebra View Post
Parson, I understood yours fine, and, at least for me, the devotion part was clear. I think there were just so many stellar entries that it kind of slid down the list and fell off. The only other thing that comes to mind is that it didn't strike a serious chord as far as being speculative -- which could be very alarming to you, I'm sure! More truth than poetry, eh?

I loved the "militant toleration" line -- that was my favorite!
Thanks for your comments! If it wasn't speculative, I'm a very worried Parson indeed!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alchemist View Post
I mentioned both so, phew, I can comment freely.

Moonbat, I loved the rhythm of yours. Add the content and rhyming and it was brilliant. Unfoetunately I think the amount of work you put into a poem is never reflected in tje votes. Hence I only entered one once, when desperate (thanks, chrispy )

Parson, I looked up Gloria Patri and then kicked myself when I saw what it was. It helped me fully understand what was going on. I wonder if some folks thought it didnt fit the genre well; it's a future dystopia but were people expecting more SFF? Spec fiction is probably broader but that may not have been taken into account.
Thanks for your comments! I'm so glad that you did look up Gloria Patri. If I failed the genre test very often than I'm going to have to have a new definition of speculative fiction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyaKimlin View Post
I think it must've been because of the standard as I don't remember it clearly, but here alone I get it.

The first bit did bring to mind a Dr Who baddy called the Happiness Patrol from the 1980s. (People in pink hair being intolerant in their fight for everyone to be happy)

The second paragraph is beautiful. The phrases the Gloria Patri rose from her heart to her lips and her heart provided all the harmony she needed are really great depictions of the feelings involved in religious worship. I'm not sure if changing it to the hymn or something more obvious would've helped, but I've included references not everyone will get in this month's. Gloria Patri flows better.
Thanks for your comments! I've never seen a Dr. Who episode so I wouldn't have known about that, but I can see the similarities clearly. I most pleased that you enjoyed the second paragraph. When I wrote it the first paragraph was to set the stage for the flowering of devotion in the second. It sounds from these replies that I was more effective in stating the devotion, than setting the stage.

I'm indebted to you all. This is a great site because of the people who populate it.

Parson
Parson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th March 2012, 11:05 PM   #272 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
AnyaKimlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Moray
Posts: 3,042
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

It's probably not the best one to start with as much as I love that particular story and it remains my favourite ever Dr Who the fact I like it makes me odd.
AnyaKimlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 12:56 PM   #273 (permalink)
rookish and ravin'
 
stormcrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 537
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

As threatened, I'm re-posting my March entry below, and would welcome any comment or feedback from any redaing this thread (many thanks!!):

Das Unheimliche


August 16th: summer hangs heavy in the air. Olive skinned, she lies facing seaward in the afternoon sun; belly-down against the chalky soil, amongst the downland scrub. Wounded by exalted angels, proud wings broken; blood and fire in her belly.

As beetles might, they gather cautiously around her in the grim glamour of such occasions: she is dying, and soon they shall dismember her.

Stricken griffin. Heinkel 111P. GI+FR. Kampfgeschwader 55; “Greif”. Sussex, 1940.


Thanks again - SC.
stormcrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 01:50 PM   #274 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shropshire
Posts: 4,706
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Hi, stormcrow. Although I appreciated the piece I just couldn't connect it to either the theme or the genre and, I have to say, for me that was true of a lot of the entries in March.
mosaix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 02:44 PM   #275 (permalink)
Truth. Order. Moderation.
 
The Judge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 5,576
Blog Entries: 7
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

First of all, I loved the writing. I like the description and the whole feel of it.

My German is non-existent so the final sentence meant nothing to me, save that I knew the Heinkel was a German bomber in WWII, and I assumed this was the kind of notation used by the Germans when one of their aircraft was destroyed. So that was a little distancing, and unless it has some great relevance which escaped me (very possibly) it seemed to me a waste of the few words available.

However, although you mention griffin and angels, the way it was written, to me this felt more like metaphor for the planes rather than actual creatures, so I simply saw it as a bomber which had been shot down over Sussex in the war. A nice piece, well written, but I couldn't see how it fitted with the genre. Even if she were a real griffin, I still don't know that I'd count that as magic realism, either. Nor was there anything uncanny about the story for me -- though checking now I see that's how the title translates.
The Judge is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 04:00 PM   #276 (permalink)
Lagomorphing
 
HareBrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 5,359
Blog Entries: 8
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Stormcrow, I liked it, as I said before, but it seemed to me an extended metaphor rather than a story as such. Having said that, "they gather round her" and "she is dying" take it beyond metaphor, since an aircraft that has crashed is already about as dead as it can be. So I wasn't sure how to read these bits, and though there was a suggestion of something actually supernatural going on, it wasn't quite clear enough for me to make it magic realism (which as I understand it is the everyday occurrence and acceptance of magical happenings in a mundane setting).

As a piece of imaginative imagery, I'm not sure how it could be improved, and I don't think you could have overcome my reservations about it without making it something very different.

It was one of my favourite reads of the challenge, anyway.
HareBrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 05:31 PM   #277 (permalink)
This world is not my home
 
Parson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 4,036
Blog Entries: 5
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Stormcrow

I was confused from the beginning to the end. It didn't seem like a story to me either. But it was obviously well researched on the human side of things. I keep thinking that there is some missing information that would turn the light on for me about the story, but I've not found it yet.
Parson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 05:41 PM   #278 (permalink)
Ninja agent
 
TheDustyZebra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,368
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Yes, what they said.

The best I could figure was that the plane somehow found its way into the magical realm as it crashed, and was mistaken for a griffin there.
TheDustyZebra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 08:43 PM   #279 (permalink)
rookish and ravin'
 
stormcrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 537
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Wow! Thanks to you all for your feedback. Plenty there to be encouraged by, and some incisive comments about where seen as wide of the mark.

Am looking at what I wrote through new eyes.
stormcrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 09:02 PM   #280 (permalink)
rookish and ravin'
 
stormcrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 537
Smile Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Sorry for double post.

... That's incisive in a good way, of course.
stormcrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 09:23 PM   #281 (permalink)
Accident-prone, allegedly
 
Abernovo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Gloucestershire
Posts: 2,339
Blog Entries: 2
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

I got Das Unheimliche is The Uncanny and at the end, is that: Attack squadron 55 "Griffin Suadron"?

My problem was that I didn't get the significance of the 'exalted angels' or the beetles in relation to a downed bomber at the height of the Battle of Britain. It was beautiful, descriptive writing, though.
Abernovo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd April 2012, 10:48 PM   #282 (permalink)
rookish and ravin'
 
stormcrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 537
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Thanks Abernovo. I'm glad you liked it.

You are spot-on. Glad it made some sense to you.

RAF pilots insignia was their 'wings'; hence 'angels'. The beetles are the local trophy-hunters and salvage crews.

I saw griffin - aircraft - and not necessarily of our reality.
stormcrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2012, 06:27 AM   #283 (permalink)
Happily Ever Aftering
 
hopewrites's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA:
Posts: 2,130
Blog Entries: 55
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

wow I missed the metaphor completely! i thought it was a beautiful description of a griffin slain by angels and about to be devoured by bugs. and then entered into an encyclopedia. assumed the entry meant it was the last griffin. and wished it had been a story about how it had been killed in an epic last stand with some angels rather than a cold if eloquent entry in an encyclopedia.
hopewrites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2012, 08:56 AM   #284 (permalink)
Accident-prone, allegedly
 
Abernovo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Gloucestershire
Posts: 2,339
Blog Entries: 2
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormcrow View Post
Thanks Abernovo. I'm glad you liked it.

You are spot-on. Glad it made some sense to you.

RAF pilots insignia was their 'wings'; hence 'angels'. The beetles are the local trophy-hunters and salvage crews.

I saw griffin - aircraft - and not necessarily of our reality.
Ah, pilots' insignia and trophy-hunters. Now it's coming together. A slightly surreal entry, which is never a bad thing. Perhaps even a little nod to Kafka with the beetle reference.

I like it even more now.
Abernovo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th April 2012, 01:52 PM   #285 (permalink)
rookish and ravin'
 
stormcrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 537
Re: Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Hello!

I’ve had time to digest the feedback provided – thanks once again. To have something I’ve written described as ‘beautiful’ in this context is really heart-warming.

Mosaix, The Judge, Parson, TDZ, Hopewrites : I think HareBrain and Abernovo have teased-out the vitals of my idea, and I can’t really offer too much more, but here goes:

I wanted the story to work in either reality (magical/mythical or real) and in parallel. Hopefully, the story was there to be seen – griffin brought to ground by angels, mortally wounded, and yet to be ‘recycled’ – as is nature’s way.

Yes, I am definitely guilty of extending my metaphors!

The title itself translates as ‘The Uncanny’, but for me this goes further and can be read as “things that are out of place; strange yet familiar”

I had tried to create a Marquez-like atmosphere in the first two paragraphs to adhere to the ‘magical realism’ genre, not realising the need to be more literal in the actual interaction between realities; must try harder!

By way of interest, I’d tried the words ‘stricken griffin’ at various paragraph endings and openings, and probably went for the wrong one, striving to avoid revealing that particular image too early.

On reflection, perhaps the final line continuing as prose would have been more satisfying to read than the make, model and registration number of an individual aircraft (although I’m not sure what I’d have written) – it does seem to have been this that caused most comment.

I’ll take Aber’s observation about my ‘beetles’ and Kafka as a massive compliment – an unintentional nod, but a likely influence! I enjoy the surreal and for me it wasn’t out of place in this piece.

Again, Thank You.
stormcrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.