April 26, 2018, 02:21:11 PM

Poll

Please vote

The Keeper of the Queen Key - The Gem Cutter
2 (13.3%)
The Curious Case of the Lacertus Estate - D_Bates
2 (13.3%)
Creature - Alex Hormann
0 (0%)
Renewal - idledragon27
1 (6.7%)
Scholar and Cat - Jmack
3 (20%)
A Clockwork Conspiracy - Norman Gray
0 (0%)
The Butcher of Salt Town - tebakutis
2 (13.3%)
Last Rites - Carter
0 (0%)
Rebirth Centre - ryanmcgowan
0 (0%)
The Brass Machine - dinogenetics
0 (0%)
Öcalan - MattWillis
2 (13.3%)
The Witch's Son - Nora
3 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 5

Voting closed: March 01, 2018, 09:54:28 AM

Author Topic: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread  (Read 2589 times)

Offline tebakutis

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #75 on: March 01, 2018, 11:03:15 PM »
Congrats @D_Bates! Remind me, do you have a Twitter?

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #76 on: March 02, 2018, 04:21:06 AM »
Congrats on the win @D_Bates !  Yours was the first one I read!  While I haven't finished them all yet, yours was chillingly excellent with a rich voice and a well deserved win!

Offline xiagan

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #77 on: March 02, 2018, 08:40:58 AM »
Congrats, @D_Bates! It's so cool to see old hands like you or @Alex Hormann finally "break the glass ceiling" as you put it. Well deserved win!

@all the others, love the last posts since Bea's announcement. This community is the best! <3
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline D_Bates

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #78 on: March 02, 2018, 08:48:52 AM »
Congrats @D_Bates! Remind me, do you have a Twitter?

No, I don't do twitter I'm afraid. If I did, I'd probably lose most of my days tweeting rage at Trump!
David Bates
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Offline idledragon27

Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #79 on: March 02, 2018, 09:17:51 AM »
Can I say congratulations to everyone who entered this. All your stories were amazing, and I felt I learnt alot from your different writing styles and different takes on what the theme meant to you.
I did vote, but I struggled to pick as they were all good.
Thank you for spending the time to read mine.
I've missed February but will be back with something for March.
Short stories are sooooooo hard! ;D
A wanderer of words, and I like to ramble.

Offline MattWillis

Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #80 on: March 02, 2018, 10:33:10 AM »
Funnily enough, we were very, very close to have three second places.

Till the end I struggled with whether I should vote for Ocalan, as it does not really comply with my rules for short story. At the end, the character doesn't experience the renewal, the destruction and resurrection. But he also doesn't have a sense of finality. If the woman told him something ominous, like "welcome to the town!" so long as you're here you will not die, you're part of the cycle now! And then a bomb drops... Even ending on a blackout... It would have given a stronger sense of an ending to the story. As it is it felt like a chapter in a wider story, and he was rushing toward an experience/adventure I couldn't read, and usually that's a no-vote deal for me.

But I read the story early on and it really stuck with me, I liked the concept, even if I wasn't too happy with the ending. So I pardoned it.


Thanks @Nora I really appreciate that. I feel the same way about the ending, to be honest, and am going to keep working on it.

I read and voted early, so will need to reread before giving any feedback, but it definitely felt like a strong field

Offline JMack

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #81 on: March 02, 2018, 10:48:27 AM »
Short stories are sooooooo hard! ;D

They absolutely are. This was a month that even after cutting, I couldn’t get the story to fit in the limit, as Nora unfailingly sniffed out.

She and I have a similar view, which is that stories need to stand on their own and not basically be a stub of a much larger story or the first chapter of a book. D_Bates story was a perfect example of one that stands on its own. Mine was not  ;D.

But this is hard, and we all learn by doing it.
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You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline D_Bates

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #82 on: March 02, 2018, 02:04:00 PM »
She and I have a similar view, which is that stories need to stand on their own and not basically be a stub of a much larger story or the first chapter of a book. D_Bates story was a perfect example of one that stands on its own. Mine was not  ;D.

That's interesting, because I considered your story stood on its own fair enough.

Were I to put on my writing cap, I'd have probably spent more words building the relationship between the monk and the cat before his ultimate collapse into cat-god madness, whereas your story seemed more focused on madcap cat action before it dies and is abruptly turned back onto the monk for his evolution. But then that's just your style, as I remember from way back you were always about setting up intriguing situations before devolving into crazy frolic-fun.

The only other thing that bugged me was the intro quote, but then I have a general disdain towards such things which are common to the point of being cliche among published short stories from all eras. I tend to find those sort of quotes irrelevant and forgettable, and they always have an aura of pretentiousness about them, as though the author is crying out to be noticed because they were inspired by something famous. You could have saved almost 100 words immediately just by cutting that and it wouldn't have had any impact on my enjoyment of your story, though maybe others get something from those things that I don't.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 12:28:56 AM by D_Bates »
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Offline Norman Gray

Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2018, 07:39:23 PM »
I appreciate all of the kind words and criticisms for my entry. It's a bit odd that secretly I hoped the story would do well in the voting even though I wasn't terribly happy with it myself; even now as I look at it, there's a handful of things I'd fix. And the story is set in the universe of another work-in-progress of mine, which I think shows. I'm hoping I can come up with something a bit more self-contained for the next contest.

Offline D_Bates

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2018, 12:55:09 AM »
I appreciate all of the kind words and criticisms for my entry. It's a bit odd that secretly I hoped the story would do well in the voting even though I wasn't terribly happy with it myself; even now as I look at it, there's a handful of things I'd fix. And the story is set in the universe of another work-in-progress of mine, which I think shows. I'm hoping I can come up with something a bit more self-contained for the next contest.

For what it's worth, I know completely how you feel because the third story I wrote for this contest was based on my personal projects, put my heart and soul for a solid week into it--far more time and effort than any of the others I wrote back then--and it came last with a single solitary vote. I was devastated and said never again -_-.

But you know how I felt about the world detail, so if that's what you're working on in a novel you have something interesting. The main issue I had--and the reason I eventually cut it from my vote list--was that the event felt contrived. While the world details intrigued me, I couldn't wrap my head around why Geralt was interacting with the smith outside of it being an invention to exposition dump before the banker arrives for the real scene. It's possible that's because it was built directly off what you're working on where we're missing the build up and proper introduction to the characters, or that you got so caught up on delivering the details surrounding the mystery of the coins that the characters got left to the side, but I never managed to build a proper connection to anyone because everything that happened was a slave to relaying info on the coins rather than what they meant to Geralt, his fears, and the potential greater struggle he suspects lies ahead because of them.
David Bates
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Offline JMack

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #85 on: March 03, 2018, 04:57:06 AM »
I appreciate all of the kind words and criticisms for my entry. It's a bit odd that secretly I hoped the story would do well in the voting even though I wasn't terribly happy with it myself; even now as I look at it, there's a handful of things I'd fix. And the story is set in the universe of another work-in-progress of mine, which I think shows. I'm hoping I can come up with something a bit more self-contained for the next contest.

I’ll add to D_Bates here. You have a really cool concept, and I agree with his comments. What I want to add is my experience with my 4th story here (March 2015). I thought it was brilliant, funny, smart, original. I loved it. It did bupkus in the voting. D_Bates was kind enough to give me incredibly straight feed back on it and show me where it missed the mark. Learning, learning, learning. And more learning. And sometimes you get a win, or close, and close is good enough.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Nora

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Re: [Jan 2018] - Rebirth/Renewal - Voting Thread
« Reply #86 on: March 03, 2018, 08:26:42 AM »
I think in general that writing a contest entry out of your main body of work is a mistake. Because you're so familiar with the world and characters, that you may skip explaining things because they've grown organically obvious to you, or make a chapter rather than an interesting self contained story. It's doable of course, but I'd say it's not so safe when you're beginning these contests.
It also hurts more if you do poorly as it may reflect on your world in your eyes. I also feel like you learn less, since you're not working your creative muscle nearly as much as when you build a world and it's characters from scratch.
My opinion.
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