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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 16th February 2012, 04:32 PM   #316 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

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Originally Posted by Vertigo View Post
Brilliant Mosaix, I loved it. Though I'm not sure someone with such a condition would've been alllowed on the crew but that's only a very minor niggle.
Yes, that was a weakness that I should have put right before posting. Also, I should have made the story more ambiguous, along the lines of is Fernando paranoid or is something really happening?

Maybe I'll post something in the 'Improving our stories' thread in a day or two.
In the rush at the end there were one or two people I didn't thank for votes - thanks TJ and Cul and anyone else I missed.
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Old 16th February 2012, 05:11 PM   #317 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

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Yes, that was a weakness that I should have put right before posting. Also, I should have made the story more ambiguous, along the lines of is Fernando paranoid or is something really happening?
There's always something that could have been polished. I would have removed the "Public Office for Planetary Environments" (which I wasn't really comfortable with) and replaced it with some sort of reference to their boss JC. Also at the end of the story I would have put in full names - Baal and Mephistopheles - after all I'm no longer trying to hide stuff at the end. I really must discipline myself not to post entries too quickly
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Old 16th February 2012, 05:13 PM   #318 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

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I really must discipline myself not to post entries too quickly
If you ever find out how, let us know.
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Old 16th February 2012, 05:51 PM   #319 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

I wondered if I should have made the reference to Simonov's poem ('Zhdi Menya') more obvious... I couldn't decide, and in the end I didn't.

In 1941 the Nazis broke the Nazi-Soviet Pact and invaded the Soviet Union. They got a long way in and wiped out most of the air force on the ground. Stalin collapsed because he reckoned the USSR was doomed.

And Simonov wrote this wonderful poem about how by waiting really hard for someone you could bring them back from war and death and fire.


Wait for me and I'll come back,
But wait with might and main,
Wait throughout the gloom and rack
Of autumn's yellow rain.
Wait when snowstorms fill the way,
Wait in summer's heat,
Wait when, false to yesterday,
Others do not wait.

Wait though from that far off place
No letters come to you.
Wait when all the others cease
To wait, who waited too.
Wait from me and I'll come back.
Do not lightly let
Those who know so well the knack
Teach you to forget.

Let my mother and my son
Believe that I have died;
Let my friends, their waiting done,
At the fireside,
Lift the wine of grief and clink
To my departed soul.
Wait, and make no haste to drink
Alone amongst them all.

Wait for me and I'll come back,
Defying death. When he
Who could not wait shall call it luck
Only, let it be.
They cannot know, who did not wait,
How in the midst of fire
Your waiting saved me from my fate.
Your waiting and desire.
Why I still am living, we
Shall know, just I and you:
You knew how to wait for me
As no other knew
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Old 16th February 2012, 05:52 PM   #320 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

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There's always something that could have been polished. I would have removed the "Public Office for Planetary Environments" (which I wasn't really comfortable with) and replaced it with some sort of reference to their boss JC. Also at the end of the story I would have put in full names - Baal and Mephistopheles - after all I'm no longer trying to hide stuff at the end. I really must discipline myself not to post entries too quickly
I did get the POPE reference and the names, Vertigo but still couldn't get the story to hang together somehow. Put me out of my misery and give a bit of an explanation?
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Old 16th February 2012, 06:14 PM   #321 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

Not sure I managed to get it put together quite right either

Basically just playing with the idea of our arcangels and devils just being aliens going round trying to protect other races' planetary environments before they trash them.

It was two aliens/arcangels, Michael and Gabriel, who have been dropped off on Earth to try and guide us into sorting out our environment. The drive needed to get them home is too big to have hidden on a technological world so they had to wait for the humans to develop the "Quantum drive" so they can now "go off shift". At the end their replacements are Baal and Mephistopheles hence the comments on "they're in for it now" and "Well they do get results". Needed a bit more polishing really.
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Old 16th February 2012, 06:36 PM   #322 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

That's what I thought it was about, Vertigo.





(I'm glad my vote wasn't obtained on a false prospectus. )
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Old 16th February 2012, 06:40 PM   #323 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

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That's what I thought it was about, Vertigo.


(I'm glad my vote wasn't obtained on a false prospectus. )
and thanks again Ursa! I was actually moderately pleased with it, just wished I'd taken the time for more polishing! But I am inordinately pleased by the votes and mentions!

Oh and Hex - I did google the Zhdi Menya title but got rather a lot of links including references to a Russian talk show. So it unfortunately it didn't help me too much!
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Old 16th February 2012, 07:11 PM   #324 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

Vertigo, I got the POPE reference although (as I suspect you knew) it did seem misplaced. And I got the angels and all of that story line, except that I translated Bal as Balthasar and not Baal. I was not sure about that one, but I could make a case for it from the Googled info on Balthasar, however tenuous. I'm glad to see it was Baal instead, because that makes more sense to me.

Hex, that is a fabulous poem, and I'm glad you posted it -- but to me, it wouldn't have made a difference. I didn't even try to look up the title, just assumed it was translated there, and it was still clear in your story. You already know I liked it!
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Old 16th February 2012, 07:22 PM   #325 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

Thanks, TDZ (the translation doesn't do it justice but I don't think I could translate it now(*)).

Vertigo -- I know. Zhdi Menya didn't come up with anything useful on its own. That's why I wondered about adding in Simonov, which would've made it explicit... Blah!

(*) and even when I could, I'd've massacred it...
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Old 16th February 2012, 07:28 PM   #326 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

@Hex, when John Mccarthy was incarcerated somebody gave Jill Morrell a copy of this poem and she treasured it while he was away, and it's lovely.

I did mine in the play format this month really cos I wanted to try writing one again, and it seemed to suit the picture. I have 3 older bro's and my dad, who passed away very suddenly a couple of years ago, always was adamant that sex made no difference to our futures and treated me just the same - indeed I worked with him as a peer for many years. (and his middle name was Herbert), so I'm delighted it was liked as much as it was. Cheers, dad!
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Old 16th February 2012, 07:32 PM   #327 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

@springs -- See, I think it's a bit ambiguous -- does it mean that if your husband (or whoever) gets killed in the war like millions of people did, it's somehow your fault? That you didn't wait hard enough or have enough faith? What are you supposed to sacrifice inn order to bring them back? What if you can't wait any more and you want to get on with your own life?

(I love the poem, it just makes me wonder)

I liked your play a lot, although I haven't yet quite got my head around stage direction.
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Old 16th February 2012, 07:45 PM   #328 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

that's why it's so interesting (and might have been very very good in devotion, dang if only you'd known....)

Stage directions should be reasonably unobtrusive, unfortunately in 300 words there were comparatively more in comparison to the dialogue than there would normally be so they did get in the way a bit here, but they are part of how you tell a dramatical story (arthur miller is obsessed with them, gives producers nowhere to go..., others use hardly any.)
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Old 16th February 2012, 10:30 PM   #329 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

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Originally Posted by TheDustyZebra View Post
Vertigo, I got the POPE reference although (as I suspect you knew) it did seem misplaced. And I got the angels and all of that story line, except that I translated Bal as Balthasar and not Baal. I was not sure about that one, but I could make a case for it from the Googled info on Balthasar, however tenuous. I'm glad to see it was Baal instead, because that makes more sense to me.
Yes you are absolutely right about the POPE bit and as I said above I would/should have changed that. Basically I wanted to put in a clue to the names, but it could have been done much better and not so specifically catholic which of course the names are not. Isn't hindsight great

Hex, as TDZ said it is a great poem but I don't think that not knowing it detracted from your story.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 09:43 PM   #330 (permalink)
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Re: Discussion -- 300 Word Challenge #4

Anya, we have a Improving our 300 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST! which I think is the more appropriate thread for this, so I'll move your post over.
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