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Fantasy Faction Writers => Monthly Writing Contest => [FEB 2018] WASIASGYNDL => Topic started by: ScarletBea on March 03, 2018, 11:04:42 AM

Title: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on March 03, 2018, 11:04:42 AM
It's time to vote on the February Writing Contest: "Write a story in a subgenre you normally don't like!"

We got 11 entries this month - almost all at the end, you never let me down, thanks to all who participated.

Please read through all of the entries in the submission thread and place your votes for your three favourite entries in this thread. You won't be able to see the vote breakdown until the vote closes, so spread the word for others to come and vote! We do ask that if you entered, to vote for someone else.

The key for the numbers of votes is this: 1-5 entries: 1 vote, 5-10 entries: 2 votes, 11-15 entries: 3 votes, 16-19: 4 votes, 20-25: 5 votes, 26+: 6 votes

Remember that the winning entry will be posted on the main Fantasy-Faction site in a few months.

Good luck to all our entrants and thank you for taking the time to read the stories and vote! :)



You're probably wondering where the poll is... but there's a problem currently with all polls (and profiles) :(
So please send your votes via Personal Message to me and I will consolidate them all manually.
And don't worry, your secret is safe ;)

Here's the list of all stories:

DEADLINE = 1 APRIL --> it's no joke, hehe (it's also Easter)
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on March 12, 2018, 06:33:27 PM
People have started voting (funnily enough, the australians ;))
I haven't even started reading :-[

I'm not opening the messages yet, to avoid being influenced, hehe
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: D_Bates on March 13, 2018, 01:20:42 PM
Voted!

An interesting month. A caboodle of varying styles and unique ideas. Will do the positives post once the voting's closed so as not to inadvertently influence people beforehand.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: MrTea on March 14, 2018, 10:58:48 AM
I've voted too. Changed my mind 3 times during the process. It was a really interesting (and varied) set of stories.

Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on March 24, 2018, 03:56:41 PM
One week to go!!!
Reminder to read and vote (self... ::) )
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: JMack on March 25, 2018, 11:07:40 PM
@ScarletBea, just confirming you got my vote. Did I send?
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on March 26, 2018, 08:20:10 AM
@ScarletBea, just confirming you got my vote. Did I send?
Yep :)

I haven't finished reading the stories yet, so I haven't looked at people's votes, but the message is there in my inbox.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on March 28, 2018, 01:09:26 PM
Without a specific theme this month, one of the usual criteria to check the stories has gone - I can't say "this one doesn't really fit the theme".
Totally going with my instinct and immediate reaction to the stories, at least for the first 2 votes.

4 DAYS LEFT TO VOTE, GUYS!
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Nora on March 30, 2018, 05:21:13 PM
I will be voting tonight so please wait for my pm!
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on March 30, 2018, 05:22:18 PM
Oh no worries, I'm only going to read my last story now :-[

I'll be waiting for votes until Sunday, hehe

Edit: just voted, and started organising the votes spreadsheet - 7 people voted so far and it's very evenly distributed :)
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Carter on March 31, 2018, 02:47:00 PM
Voted earlier this morning.  As ever, not an easy choice, especially with such a varied and potentially difficult topic. 
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: JMack on March 31, 2018, 03:21:24 PM
Oh no worries, I'm only going to read my last story now :-[

I'll be waiting for votes until Sunday, hehe

Edit: just voted, and started organising the votes spreadsheet - 7 people voted so far and it's very evenly distributed :)

Cripes!
Only 7?  :'(
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Nora on March 31, 2018, 03:22:07 PM
Well I voted since and carter as well, so that's 9.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on March 31, 2018, 03:49:32 PM
Plus Alex, 10.
Not that many people vote, I think...
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: The Gem Cutter on March 31, 2018, 03:55:41 PM
I always get confused between voting on last months and submitting on this month's. Need more sleep.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Nora on March 31, 2018, 03:59:55 PM
Plus Alex, 10.
Not that many people vote, I think...

Yes well, again, as I was saying before, one wishes all writers would vote. It's only fair. =_=
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: NightWrite on March 31, 2018, 04:06:01 PM
I just voted. I admit I got a bit distracted this month, so I forgot to vote until last night.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on March 31, 2018, 08:16:37 PM
I always get confused between voting on last months and submitting on this month's. Need more sleep.
You're not the only one, @tebakutis just sent me the votes for the March stories ::) ;D

11 votes so far, plus hopefully teba will get the right month soon 8)
There are 2 stories with the top vote, and then another 2 stories just 1 point behind, so everything is still very open!!!
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: tebakutis on March 31, 2018, 08:26:28 PM
I've voted for both months now, so consider that extra credit :)
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on April 01, 2018, 10:55:36 AM
Anyone still finishing reading the stories to vote?
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on April 01, 2018, 06:09:10 PM
HERE ARE THE RESULTS:

And @D_Bates does it again!!! :D

Donkey's Destiny  -  D_Bates --> 6
Mount of Eagles  -  Jmack --> 5
The Mummy  -  Nora --> 5
Ripples in the Waters  -  Carter --> 5
Squirrel!  -  Elfy --> 3
On Opening a Gate at Terras  -  tebakutis --> 3
Blade Therapy, A Choose Your Own Adventure Story  -  NightWrite --> 2
Journal of the Keeper of the Queen’s Key  -  The Gem Cutter --> 1
Fury  -  MrTea --> 1
Combat Encounter: A LitRPG Tale  -  Alex Hormann --> 1
RED DEATH UNDER RED SKIES  -  Jonathan Ryan --> 0
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on April 01, 2018, 06:10:12 PM
Congratulations, I voted for the top 3 :P ;D
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: xiagan on April 01, 2018, 07:17:20 PM
Wow! Congrats, @D_Bates!  :D
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on April 01, 2018, 08:51:50 PM
@Nora, you have found your niche writing ;D
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Nora on April 01, 2018, 09:44:21 PM
@Nora, you have found your niche writing ;D

What do you mean Bea?! You liked it that much?
I'm not sure you'll vote for me in the letters one, sorry!
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: tebakutis on April 01, 2018, 09:52:28 PM
Woot! Another one to @D_Bates ! Nicely written!
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: JMack on April 01, 2018, 11:51:36 PM
I loved Donkey, @D_Bates! It was one of my three votes, which included “Ripples...” and “Squirrels!”
I could have easily voted for Nora’s story, which would have been a deserved tie for first place.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Elfy on April 02, 2018, 12:39:27 AM
Donkey by @D_Bates was one of  my votes, too. Had I only had 1 vote available that would have been what I would have used it on. It was a near perfect version of a fable.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: JMack on April 02, 2018, 12:50:16 AM
Donkey by @D_Bates was one of  my votes, too. Had I only had 1 vote available that would have been what I would have used it on. It was a near perfect version of a fable.

I second this. If I’d had only one vote, it would have been for Donkey.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Lady Ty on April 02, 2018, 01:58:31 AM
 Congratulations @D_Bates, now you’ve caught ‘winning’ there’s no stopping you. ;D

@Elfy, @MrTea and @Carter got votes from me this time, but all stories were entertaining.

Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: The Gem Cutter on April 02, 2018, 02:56:28 AM
Congrats @D_Bates !
I voted for Tebakutis, Carter, and JMack.
I was extremely flattered that anyone would remember an old story of mine, let alone use it as source material.
If I may say, I thought Mount of Eagles was very entertaining and amazingly compliant with my story, even the small details, like the magic system and the character's outlook, while sticking with the overall mood. It was fun to read and, again, very flattering.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: D_Bates on April 02, 2018, 08:18:40 AM
Lol, what is this? :p. Just loaded up my email and saw the 7 mentions on FF.

Thank you all once again! I'm quite  surprised this time, because this was probably the hardest story I've written for this contest. having cut out all sorts of characters, including Duck, Fox, Owl, and Bunny, and then Pig turning from a joker into a poor man's Mr T, it was all over the place!

I thought it might snag a Lady Ty and Bea vote for the happy ending (I don't know why, but I picture both you ladies as the big smile positive end loving readers!--and it didn't even get Lady Ty's vote! Clearly she's a far darker horse than I envisioned :<). But yeah, I honestly thought my entry was weaker than others here and would fall in the bottom half. But I'll take the win nonetheless! Go positivity, yeah!

I've got notes to write up on all, but I've just come off a 10 hour night shift and am about to crash and burn, and  and I'm working through to Wednesday so probably won't get time till then. For now though, I voted for Elfy, Nora, and Nightwrite in that order.

I thought Elfy captured JMack's writing style and personality so perfectly. I read it back at the beginning of the month, but I recall there being a few continuity blips such as positioning when they were on the ladder and him going all fur one instant and her doting on his muscles the next, but beyond that it genuinely made me laugh out loud on a number of occasions--and in the good way, which is most refreshing I must say.

Nora won my stylistic vote since her story was so well crafted it left me in awe. Writing a 1500 word non-stop conversation between two people with no prose is ridiculously hard, and yet the only place I slightly stumbled and lost who was talking was when they both said "What", which is crazy. And it actually had a genuinely decent twist to boot. My only niggle is that I thought the reveal of one speaker being an actual mummy should have been the climax at the end, but otherwise this was near perfect craftsmanship and execution.

And Night_write won the rumble for the final vote. I used to read a lot of those Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston Fighting Fantasy books as a kid, so it sort of had a soft spot in my heart and was an honestly ambitious play on style. I thought the endings were a bit weak, mind, where the setup for Zarn's personality sort of points to the 'It's not my problem' choice A and instant end (which made me laugh profusely I might add), but then I vaguely recall this plot being fleshed out in a brainstorming laugh in the discussion thread. But otherwise, yeah, I meticulously followed all paths, and for the final story to capture my attention through and through was pretty impressive.

That's it for now, but stay tuned, and thank you all for humbling me once again.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Carter on April 02, 2018, 10:39:47 PM
Congratulations D_Bates a well-deserved win. 

I must admit my first thought when reading pretty much all the stories, was why does [insert author here] not write in this subgenre?  Or in this style?  [Insert author here] can clearly turn their hand to anything if they write like this. 

Don't worry though.  I'm not about to extol the virtues of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, to experience all that speculative fiction has to offer as an author etc, etc.  After all, I know what my own experience was trying to write my submission (and thanks to everyone who thought enough of it to vote for it).  All I really need to say, is well done to everyone who entered. 
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Nora on April 03, 2018, 12:29:49 AM
Nora won my stylistic vote since her story was so well crafted it left me in awe. Writing a 1500 word non-stop conversation between two people with no prose is ridiculously hard, and yet the only place I slightly stumbled and lost who was talking was when they both said "What", which is crazy. And it actually had a genuinely decent twist to boot. My only niggle is that I thought the reveal of one speaker being an actual mummy should have been the climax at the end, but otherwise this was near perfect craftsmanship and execution.

I'm very pleased by your vote, but feel like I failed you as a writer: indeed the "mummy" is no mummy. He says he was taken away from a tomb like any mummy would, but the other speaker waves the BS away as she points out that his dried flesh is regenerating ("I don't think you ever died") thanks to the Magic they are both privy to. He acts up in a way, certainly to prod at what the lass tending to him knows, and she keeps mocking and teasing him, and the conversation goes full circle at the end: she refers to her first line, how they'll make it look like they escaped and the two bozos who found him will think "their mummy is on the lose", but we're meant to know better. He was never mummified but was "napping" to let centuries pass by, since he's immortal.
Of course, without third party descriptions, I couldn't include how his flesh is wriggling, bubbling back into shape, pulled around by the lines tattooed on his skin. That would have helped with the idea. Ah well, still snagged your vote.  :P
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: D_Bates on April 03, 2018, 09:41:36 AM
I did get that he was regenerating, I just thought he'd died and then was sitting in a Borg sarcophagus until he was picked up :p.

The context is the same though, that he was found in a mummy's tomb. It was a clever play on the trope, and even if my imagination took it in a different direction to your intention, it takes nothing away from my vote, because I'm still astounded that you pulled off a one to one conversation near flawlessly for 1500 words.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: ScarletBea on April 03, 2018, 09:46:51 AM
I did get that he was regenerating, I just thought he'd died and then was sitting in a Borg sarcophagus until he was picked up :p.

The context is the same though, that he was found in a mummy's tomb. It was a clever play on the trope, and even if my imagination took it in a different direction to your intention, it takes nothing away from my vote, because I'm still astounded that you pulled off a one to one conversation near flawlessly for 1500 words.
Same opinion :)
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: NightWrite on April 03, 2018, 09:53:25 PM
Congratulations D_Bates!

This month I voted for Nora, Tebakutis, and JMack.

And Night_write won the rumble for the final vote. I used to read a lot of those Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston Fighting Fantasy books as a kid, so it sort of had a soft spot in my heart and was an honestly ambitious play on style. I thought the endings were a bit weak, mind, where the setup for Zarn's personality sort of points to the 'It's not my problem' choice A and instant end (which made me laugh profusely I might add), but then I vaguely recall this plot being fleshed out in a brainstorming laugh in the discussion thread. But otherwise, yeah, I meticulously followed all paths, and for the final story to capture my attention through and through was pretty impressive.
Thanks for your vote and I'm glad you like it even if the endings weren't the greatest. They weren't as polished as I'd hoped as I'd finished them in the last few hours of the contest. I remember worrying Bea was gonna close the submission thread as I was formatting the post to submit it. Thankfully, she didn't ;D.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Lady Ty on April 04, 2018, 02:03:12 AM

I thought it might snag a Lady Ty and Bea vote for the happy ending (I don't know why, but I picture both you ladies as the big smile positive end loving readers!--and it didn't even get Lady Ty's vote! Clearly she's a far darker horse than I envisioned :<). But yeah, I honestly thought my entry was weaker than others here and would fall in the bottom half. But I'll take the win nonetheless! Go positivity, yeah!

You came very close, @D_Bates, I certainly enjoyed Donkey very much and it certainly is not your usual style, but had to narrow down to three at the end, when I was left with five YES written next to them. However please note, I am very fickle, and often evil, so do not assume happy endings will sway me. ;) ;D

I found this a very hard theme to vote on, as although a few were clearly a fan-fic or a deviation from style, it wasn't always clear with new writers. I often make a final choice on imagination or originality.

@Elfy, you hit both straight away, that was sooo JMack, in style, and the best fun to read, thank you. I kept thinking of  J chuckling as he read it too. :D

@MrTea, you wrote in the Discussion Thread

Quote
I've never written in the first person because it's my least favourite thing to read. I also never set anything in the modern day, so my first ever attempt in the contest will be a mix of them.

I think you achieved both and truly worked at the theme. I was right inside that angry mind and lived all the everyday life around him.  Also liked the way you turned wanton anger on it's head at the end, to achieve a better purpose. Depending on whether you are Earth or people of course.  ;D.  Thanks for coming to play here, hope you will keep joining in each month.

@Carter, I couldn't find anywhere what you aimed at doing differently and did not recognise fanfic, so don't know how you fulfilled the theme, but your sea creatures made me want to play with them until the end, which was so perfect. I couldn't resist that story, and it deserved a vote from me, so thanks for the final big grin. ;D
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: D_Bates on April 04, 2018, 11:41:32 AM
Right, my time is my own once more so here we go.

@Carter
This story so nearly claimed one of my votes that I'm disappointed I didn't choose it. Weirdly enough, had I done so, it would have tied with my own! So maybe I cheated you there >_>.

In any case, I can't praise enough how beautiful and image provoking the descriptions were in this. I've been dabbling with wanting to write an underwater story for a while, so this really nailed my excitement button, and the concept was wholly unique and interesting.

The only complaint I can make is that the ending let it down, which I think may have been why I eventually cut it. It wasn't that it felt incomplete and felt like a preview of a bigger story as is often the case when I make that criticism, but more that it felt like it fell into the generic alien/mythological beast = monster that wants to eat you territory, possibly because you were looking for a twist, or that you just fell into cliche territory. Needless to say, it was a twist, because you built this underwater species up so beautifully that I pictured them as far more noble than mere hunters seeking new cuisines, but at the same time it left be feeling slightly disappointed because I felt it could have been so much more.

Just looking over what I just wrote, that criticism is a long paragraph for an issue that on the whole was very minor for me, but that's only because the story affected me so much to care about it in such a detail, and had this story drawn or beaten mine, I'd have been totally okay with that and even have thought it justified because it was that damn good.

@The Gem Cutter
This hasn't had a lot of mention to date, but I really enjoyed this, even moreso than the one in the previous month. It could be because I read the previous month that I'm more invested in the story, but it felt a lot more contained as a story for me, where my criticism of the previous story was that I sort of needed the context of the earlier entry to get a full understanding.

I thought the narrative was really strong, and I found the diary style fresh and interesting. You also had a lot more character development, whereby previously I felt the knight protagonist was just there to walk us through the keep, while this time I really felt his anxiety and frustration over the situation he finds himself in. Likewise, there was clear evolution by the end where he resolves his fears and moves on.

Which leads into my main criticism and the reason I cut it...

The story enticed me throughout with the buildup of him using the key to awaken the new clockwork queen, but that never happened! Instead he ends up in a big battle with demons (which I never knew existed and didn't understand why it was happening--again, possibly an issue with missing the previous entry), and a blood frenzy of slaying acts as a catalyst for his maturity. While this on the whole is fine--why wouldn't slaying mass demons fix all problems?--I would have much preferred to have seen him use the key on the clockwork princess, and in the days of her birth, seen some maternal instincts kicking in that gives him new purpose to 'raise' this child of the world. Had that happened, this would have been a strong contender for my vote, but instead I went away feeling cheated, as though I was just being teased with a taster for the next entry when that key will, presumably, be used.

@MrTea
LadyTy gave a good response to this, and I'll echo her sentiment that for a first entry this was really really good and (imho) deserving of more than just 1 vote. You had a strong narrative and--especially rare for new entrants--really strong characterisation.

I can't compliment enough how much I liked the twist played on the superhero trope, where your protagonist is pushed to the brink of discovering that he's a ticking time-bomb with elemental powers, and rather than go on a supervillain crime spree or else devote himself to the pursuit of justice, he instead just carries on being trapped in the mundane frustrations of his day to day existence like this massive revelation is just another thing fate's thrown upon him to make his life miserable. That was super interesting to me, and in any other contest where the theme wasn't so broad and was focused on, say, superpowers, this could well have been my main pick for the play on the concept alone.

Where it let itself down was the usual writer's pit trap where there's an unspoken urge to want to make a story more epic than it needs to be. As such, the very thing that endeared it to me was then entirely undone by the introduction of this 'voice' calling the protagonist to some greater purpose, and the story became a prologue or first chapter to some larger novel rather than a self-contained short with its own satisfying conclusion. And that was a real shame, because that initial idea which you probably passed off as foundation building was the core concept that made the story stand out as something special to me.

@JMack
I think this story may have fallen prey to the theme on my part, because while I'm super familiar with your own work to the point where Elfy's entry stood out as totally adopting your style, I'm not so familiar with Gem's short works on this forum over the past year, even though I have read his first novel.

That aside, I thought the story had some really nice metaphors and the world was certainly intriguing, so for an effort focused on world details and magic systems it totally worked. Where I had issues was possibly due to not having read the previous entry(ies?), and while you did indeed post a link to that, I have to confess that I never read it so shame on me there.

@tebakutis
So this was a blast from the past!

Not really much to say here. I thought the narrative and prose was some of the best I've seen from you to date. The only thing that let it down was that it was essentially a glossary expositional piece of beings I was already familiar with rather than an actual story surrounding them, but you acknowledged that in your introduction paragraph.

It was a fine letter though, and I'd have felt gutted had I written such a thing a month before Letters was the theme :p.

@Alex Hormann
I enjoyed this, having grown up with DnD games. A lot of the tropes made me smile, and I thought it was an interesting take to treat an RPG battle as though it were happening in the real world and the 'player' was unaware of it.

My criticism mainly boils down to it being a scene rather than a story, and I think it probably suffered due to those who aren't familiar with RPG's and the excessive use of consumables and turn based strikes. But it entertained me!

@Jonathan Ryan
Major points for the ambition of free-writing a story on the spot. I assume you just sat down and spit this out after a few hours of mashing the keyboard? If so, that's pretty impressive, because while it obviously suffered from a lack of outlining and direction, and had a few repetitions of the word 'world', this was a solid narrative from start to finish. And that's pretty darn impressive, because I struggle to write 500-1000 words in one go even when I know where the story's going.

Your concern with first person PoV is also unwarranted, because the narrative was absolutely fine in that regard.

The main thing that let it down for me was likely the core result of the challenge you unleashed upon yourself, in that it didn't feel so much of a story as a brainstorming prologue to a greater work. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of interesting ideas here: a decimated world with ancient beings run amok; a fallen hero guilt-ridden from a moment of fear and now consumed by doubt; and a potential redemption opportunity to come. The problem was that all of it was overview, whereas I would have liked to have been reading the actual event when he left the well, why that was, how he felt, and the resulting cataclysm that spawned.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: The Gem Cutter on April 04, 2018, 02:10:49 PM
Right, my time is my own once more so here we go.

@The Gem Cutter
This hasn't had a lot of mention to date, but I really enjoyed this, even moreso than the one in the previous month. It could be because I read the previous month that I'm more invested in the story, but it felt a lot more contained as a story for me, where my criticism of the previous story was that I sort of needed the context of the earlier entry to get a full understanding.

I thought the narrative was really strong, and I found the diary style fresh and interesting. You also had a lot more character development, whereby previously I felt the knight protagonist was just there to walk us through the keep, while this time I really felt his anxiety and frustration over the situation he finds himself in. Likewise, there was clear evolution by the end where he resolves his fears and moves on.

Which leads into my main criticism and the reason I cut it...

The story enticed me throughout with the buildup of him using the key to awaken the new clockwork queen, but that never happened! Instead he ends up in a big battle with demons (which I never knew existed and didn't understand why it was happening--again, possibly an issue with missing the previous entry), and a blood frenzy of slaying acts as a catalyst for his maturity. While this on the whole is fine--why wouldn't slaying mass demons fix all problems?--I would have much preferred to have seen him use the key on the clockwork princess, and in the days of her birth, seen some maternal instincts kicking in that gives him new purpose to 'raise' this child of the world. Had that happened, this would have been a strong contender for my vote, but instead I went away feeling cheated, as though I was just being teased with a taster for the next entry when that key will, presumably, be used.

I appreciate your candor and apologize that you felt cheated. I wanted to show a character progressing through the stages of grief in a believable way. So the grief and the shift in his outlook were the core story, and the battle merely a catalyst, the real world interrupting his grief, as it does. I don't think slaying demons helped him move on. But the exhaustion and distraction from the sense of loss certainly did, along with being concerned for the living. Teasing for subsequent key-turning was not my goal. I certainly do want to write that story, but there was not room to present both in the space available to the desired level of detail. I've got more on my plate than I like, and this was the best I could do.

ETA: I write these Clockwork Keep stories because I enjoy them. They're a sandbox where I can flex my writing muscles and play with my imagination. I do a poor job of encapsulating each in a way that someone who has not read previous stories won't be caught off guard. That's poor work on my part. I write from the heart and don't have the bandwidth to write from the head to get out of the dregs in the voting most of the time.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: D_Bates on April 04, 2018, 03:16:32 PM
No need to apologise Gem. I only used the term cheated in the expressive form, you can't actually be cheated from something you've not paid for :p. The point of my feedback is to show how I saw the story and the sort of things that might have changed my mind to elevate it into a vote. And believe me, yours was very close to taking my vote, but the bit that I found most interesting was the bit that never came through.

It's worth noting that my view may not be--and probably isn't--the case for others, and while I mention the demon battle throwing me out, for all I know it could well be that battle that got you the votes from others. But it gives you an idea of where I come from as a reader, and as a result, perhaps gives you an alternative way of looking at things in the future which hopefully either helps you to develop or else gives you confidence that your taking the right decisions for your target audience.

At the end of the day, the important thing is that I felt your character's pain and liked it a lot, and I absolutely enjoyed the read. But on a contest level of having to narrow down entries to three choices, that slight change of focusing the back half on the awakening of a new queen felt like it would have resolved his primary issue of loneliness and lack of purpose more than getting knocked down by a horde of faceless demons... if that makes any sense?
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: D_Bates on April 04, 2018, 03:18:20 PM
Hmm, I just noticed that for some reason, half my feedback post has vanished :/. I'll have to write some of the entries up again >_>.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Nora on April 04, 2018, 11:10:28 PM
Hmm, I just noticed that for some reason, half my feedback post has vanished :/. I'll have to write some of the entries up again >_>.

Aww. We don't deserve you!
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Alex Hormann on April 04, 2018, 11:13:21 PM
Hmm, I just noticed that for some reason, half my feedback post has vanished :/. I'll have to write some of the entries up again >_>.

I had wondered why I got notified of  a post I wasn't in.

Thanks for the feedback, and I agree 100%. The topic was to write something I don't usually like, and I can safely stay I still don't like it. :)
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Nora on April 04, 2018, 11:16:15 PM
Hmm, I just noticed that for some reason, half my feedback post has vanished :/. I'll have to write some of the entries up again >_>.

I had wondered why I got notified of  a post I wasn't in.

Thanks for the feedback, and I agree 100%. The topic was to write something I don't usually like, and I can safely stay I still don't like it. :)

I voted for you though! I enjoyed it, I visualised it very well. It was my favourite this month hands down too.  :-*
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: D_Bates on April 05, 2018, 09:34:03 AM
Thanks for the feedback, and I agree 100%. The topic was to write something I don't usually like, and I can safely stay I still don't like it. :)

The scene itself was really good! And I liked your take on the silliness of a lot of the RPG world systems :p. It's also refreshing to see a true old school hack and slash fantasy entry too, which seems a lot rarer than it probably should be on a Fantasy/Sci-Fi contest.

Personally, I oft feel guilty of cheating the contest in that regard, as I veer more towards supernatural horror and real world stories with fantastical elements to enable metaphors.
Title: Re: [Feb 2018] - WASIASGYNDL - Voting Thread
Post by: Carter on April 05, 2018, 09:21:46 PM
Thanks for your comments @LadyTy (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=31869) and @D_Bates (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40257). 

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I couldn't find anywhere what you aimed at doing differently and did not recognise fanfic, so don't know how you fulfilled the theme

I meant to put something more up about this.  Basically I neither generally read nor have ever attempted any (even if only suggested, as here) off-world sci-fi, and rarely go for a non-human perspective.  It ended up being light-touch, rushed, and to my eyes there was a lot I wanted to improve.  SO I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

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This story so nearly claimed one of my votes that I'm disappointed I didn't choose it. Weirdly enough, had I done so, it would have tied with my own! So maybe I cheated you there

Don't worry about this.  If I hadn't voted (which I only got round to doing fairly last minute), I would have tied with you as well.  With something that I rushed and was not happy with (yes, the ending in particular I did not feel was particularly strong), and after reading everyone else's, I would have been happy going away just a single vote. 

And can I just add my comments to others that the time you take to provide individual feedback like this is much appreciated.