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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 30th July 2011, 02:44 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Ah thanks.

The format was me just trying something new.

The teddy bear thing was actually further homage to 80's scifi cartoons and shows. Sort of a reference to the Robears in Thundercats and Muffet in the original Battlestar Galactica, though he was more of a dog/monkey. Originally my inspiration for the teddy bear was from both the toy Teddy Ruxpin (Anyone remember Teddy Ruxpin?) and the thought "what would be the most stinging way to defeat "Defender of the Universe?"

Thanks for the input.
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Old 30th July 2011, 08:36 PM   #122 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

I think, MstrTal, that stories in the Challenges have to cross both cultural and generational divides if they're going to garner enough votes to win. That's difficult enough in any story but to do that in 75 words is very hard.

I, for one, didn't and still don't understand some of your references - that's probably due to my age.
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Old 30th July 2011, 11:37 PM   #123 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

I looked and looked for this thread, and didn't find it -- I'm glad someone knew where it was!

Mosaix, I didn't get C3PO out of yours, although now that I know that, I can see his tone and it should have been obvious.

MstrTal, I didn't get the cartoon references because I never saw any of those, but I read it as being a child's toys, like Toy Story.

I'm curious if mine was clear -- by the time I distilled it down to the essence, I was afraid I might have lost the explanation.

*******************
Deus ex Machina


She cries quietly, as always, and addresses me politely, as always.

“Jesus, please turn on my nightlight.”

Wiping her tears, she prays, “Thank you, Jesus, for making our lights and doors
and heat and water work, and please make me safe. Amen.”

In his room, he orders me: “Computer, all lights out. Lock Ruthie's door.”

Instead, I lock his door, switch off communication lines, heat the room to 400 degrees.

Soon she will be safe.

**************

Is it clear that the "robot" is a house system that runs security, lights, water, heat and everything? I had intended to explain that the little girl calls it Jesus because she was told that it runs everything and Jesus is the biggest thing she can think of, so they have become muddled together in her thinking. She talks to Jesus, and she talks to the house computer, so they're all the same to her. But that had to get cut to fit in any story. I wonder if this is one of those stories that only makes sense to the person who wrote it along with several hundred other words that nobody else can see.
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Old 31st July 2011, 12:25 AM   #124 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

TDZ, it became clear to me after a couple of readings. The problem for me, if I understand it correctly, is it was just a bit too dark for my liking.
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Old 31st July 2011, 01:04 AM   #125 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

You know, that seems to be a trend for me lately, and I don't really know why! It's either dark or ridiculously silly, with nothing in between.

What really puzzles me is that this is the second Challenge story I've written that involves child abuse, and I have no experience whatsoever with it -- not myself, not even anyone I know, to the best of my knowledge, although people keep that stuff to themselves. Ah well, strange inspirations.
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Old 31st July 2011, 04:28 AM   #126 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

This thread makes me feel like an ignoramus.

I love star wars but did not get that C3P0 was the narrator and thought Darth was a way to be talking about death. I did not understand the story at all.


I do not even know those cartoons? Is that what they are? That you were alluding to.

I believe that for me if you are trying to hint at something you are going to be out of luck. I am a male, and like I tell my wife. If you want me to know something, or do something, just tell me. I won't be offended and I will do what I can. But if you hint at something it's more than likely I will not figure it out.

But if I had remembered to vote DZ was a contender. I thought it was a positive view of a killer robot when we had so many really dark views of robots.
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Old 31st July 2011, 05:06 AM   #127 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Its ok Parson sadly I am not surprised that you and others do not know or do not remember the cartoons I aluded to. My wife picks on me all the time for the odd and random things I remember. I oddly enough have an associative memory and my brain connects the wierdist things together, usually visual to sound.

TDZ: I liked your story and I did make the connection between the girls schema associations. I found it interesting and quite satisfying in a somewhat Old Testament kind of way.

Mosaix: I will try to keep in mind your advice about cross culture and generation divides. Funnily enough that was one of the 1st rules a professor of mine drilled into us when I took some standard writing courses a few years back. "Always keep in mind your target audience."
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Old 31st July 2011, 06:08 AM   #128 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Aww, thanks, Parson! I coulda been a contendah, eh?

MstrTal, don't feel bad -- I know the cartoons you are talking about, but we didn't have a TV when I was growing up, so I never saw them. I'm sure they are on Boomerang now, but since I don't have any childhood attachment to them, I don't pay any attention.

I do find it hard from time to time, having to think about the cultural divide; most of the Challengers are UK, so sometimes I have a really great idea that I have to scrap because I'm afraid nobody will get it. Then a lot of times, I have a really great idea that nobody gets for some other reason entirely!
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Old 31st July 2011, 06:17 AM   #129 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parson View Post
This thread makes me feel like an ignoramus.
I didn't understand TDZ's story either, Parson. Didn't understand Mstr Tal's references to cartoons. We can be ignorant together.

I did get the reference to Darth in mosaix's story, but didn't understand the story was narrated by C3PO. In my defense, I'm not a big Star Wars fan. I don't remember anything about C3PO being scattered in pieces. Was that in Episode III?
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Old 31st July 2011, 09:04 AM   #130 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

TDZ -- I didn't connect that she called the robot Jesus because of the reasons you had -- I thought she'd been told the man was responsible for the house and that he was Jesus. However, that didn't spoil the story for me - it was dark but really effective.

Sorry I didn't vote this month -- I always feel weird voting if I haven't entered.

MsTrTal -- I didn't understand any of your references either (sorry!) -- you've clearly got the same sort of memory for strange cartoons as my husband does. The things he remembers are bizarre.
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Old 31st July 2011, 09:53 AM   #131 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hex View Post
Sorry I didn't vote this month -- I always feel weird voting if I haven't entered.
No excuses, I did it!

And yay! I can feel more intelligent than someone for a change! Got TDZ's as soon as I read it. Thought it was brilliant, hence voting for it. Plus it reminded me of a poem I wrote a while ago which (unintentionally when I wrote it) deals with child abuse.
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Old 31st July 2011, 10:43 AM   #132 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Yep, ignorance for me as far as MstrTal's cartoons were concerned, but I thought they were akin to Transformers which I had heard about so I didn't worry too much about their exact nature. For me the piece lacked narrative drive -- a point to the story, if you will -- though I imagine those who knew the cartoons might have seen something in the final para.

TDZ -- I also got yours straight away, though I saw it more that she was so desperate for help that she'd got them muddled. And for me the title was the key -- brilliant!
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Old 31st July 2011, 12:04 PM   #133 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton View Post
I don't remember anything about C3PO being scattered in pieces. Was that in Episode III?
There was an incident where he had a damaged arm and this was just C3P0 exaggerating.

The problem is I had the 'narrator' in my head recounting this story in C3P0's voice, so it all seemed so obvious to me. I just didn't clarify it for the rest of you.
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Old 31st July 2011, 12:42 PM   #134 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

As far as yours went, mosaix, I got that it was Threepio, got the bits scattered reference, and I got that he was talking about Darth Vader in the end, but as a former Star Wars tragic, it just didn't ring true to me. It didn't put me in mind of Threepio's voice - particularly the last line (even amended with 'to' for 'on'), which just doesn't sound like Threepio, and somehow doesn't flow with what had come before. It just sounded too casual, somehow. I can understand the difficulties you must have faced trying to nail Threepio's verbose voice in only seventy-five words, and still manage to have something of a narrative.
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Old 31st July 2011, 01:17 PM   #135 (permalink)
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Re: Improving our Challenge Stories -- READ FIRST POST

TDZ- While I realized that the little girl was praying to a sentient house computer, I was not able to deduce : "Why she calls it Jesus?". Eventually, I concluded that it was just a name. And I think that's where my view of the rest of the story was slanted on my first read through. I'm a bit dense, so I didn't pick up on the child abuse until many reads later... without that understanding you can see how I was left scratching my head. But I did come to fully understand it before the close of the challenge, I had to look through Ruthie's eyes. T powerful entry.
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