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Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Voting Thread Finally read them all and made my 4 votes. I won't say for which, but I'd like to add a positive comment about each story for the authors as I know how rare it is to get feedback in general, let alone nice stuff. Hopefully it won't end up being longer than the stories themselves!

Spoiler for Hiden:
@Jmacyk - This made me smile so much. I thought it was a really fun escapist story with outrageous yet oh so appealling characters. The very idea of a playboy scamp besmirching a bunch of women who then gang up to get revenge on him through a séance just amuses me to no end. I think the larger than life characters really reflect well on the person I imagine is sitting behind the keyboard when I read your posts.

@SJ Budd - This story had a great twist. I've always been a fan of gals getting one up on guys and this was as good as it gets. Scarlett had a really great personality too--confident but with a heart. Really well done.

@Raptori - This one scores the prize for giving me the biggest grin. I'll admit I suspected halfway through that the kid wasn't a human, but the revelation of it being a goat still caught me completely by surprise. I dunno why, but something really tickles me when I imagine a veteran rogue justifying his career choice to an animal for self esteem.

@Giddler - This was a well paced piece with a really nice narrative between Stubb and Bligh. There's always something appealing about the innocent rookie coming in and questioning the morals behind what a vet takes for granted, and Stubb was about as lovable as they come. The interactions between the pair made me smirk pretty much every time.

@Doctor Chill - If I had to sum up a story in one word I think this one would be brave. By the end I was sitting back thinking deeply, which is only ever a good thing in writing. You got across the moral point of what is a serious modern day issue of a kid who carries a knife without ever thinking of the consequences of using it. I thought the end scene was really, really well done. It caught me by surprise, and gave a good dose of reality when it's often too easy to take killing lightly as just a plot point to move a story on.

@TOMunro - I felt the characters here were well developed and delivered nicely in a subtle manner. It's hard to give feedback for full novel characters in short stories, but for Kaylan at least, I got a good feel for a man who seems comfortable with the monster he knows himself to be, but at the same time has that internal struggle for what he knows is right when he sees someone he respects as a good person suffering at the wicked hand of another. You get bonus points for the blood eagle, though I don't think the Vikings ever actually did that :p. Not while the person was still alive at least. Nobody would want to be friends with anyone who could actually pull that off!

@Nora - The atmosphere of this world just blew me away. In fact I'm rather envious of how anybody can stuff so much world detail so naturally into a short story. I got a really vivid image of this ruined city, it's derelict Plant, and those botanical sanctuaries where the survivors of a cataclysm are holding out in. The moral struggle of the protagonist at the end was just icing on the cake to what was a grand piece.

@RussetDivinity - In answer to your concern, I thought this was as roguish as any other and quite beautiful to boot. You really got across Mina's love for Tristan battling against her subconscious knowing that something wasn't quite right. Then when the ruse is exposed the final bond of trust is formed which allows her to find true happiness with the person rather than the body they exist in. I found this to be a rather touching tale of what love is and should be.

@wakarimasen – This was a really interesting world. The idea of forced aging as a form of punishment rather intrigues me. You really delivered on the protagonist's personality of a jaded youth who's come to realise and despise how people look upon him when his 'beauty' has faded. The mushroom tower metaphor was also fantastically done to describe setting while also revealing the character's feelings for the world around him.

@Elfy - The character descriptions in this piece were just so great--especially the horse. I could really picture this noble, his wife, and daughter all sitting together in that carriage. Liam was a likable ruffian in every way, and the very idea of a leprecaun highwayman... how can anybody not grin at that! This was a delight to read.

@Mikaela A. Ingram - This was a really sweet story. When so often boy + girl = love interest, it's refreshing to see a brother sister bond instead. You had a great dynamic between Ashe and Sonata. They truly felt like a team on the same page playing up to each other's strengths and weaknesses. Brother had sister's back, yet she still came across as the one in power calling the shots. I liked this a lot.

@TravisGGAnderson – The opening paragraph in this story was simply amazing! It did a great job at setting the tone of the scenes to come. I loved how dwarfish the dialect felt, and you struck a really nice balance between speech and action. Both scene and characters felt truly alive as they chatted away while playing cards.

@Rukaio Alter – This was a really well structured story built around those seven tenets. I suspected early on that there would be betrayal, but I found it particularly well done the way both rogues ended up double-crossing each other. This was as solid and enjoyable short story as you can get, and one I think would make a fine addition to pretty much any media that runs fantasy tales.

@Carter – Sometimes you read a sentence that just sticks out and stays with you. “Curiosity and annoyance scratched at him with questioning claws” was that sentence for me. I thought that was such a great line to sum up Matthao's internal mindset at that point in the story. Overall I found this an intriguing piece, and couldn't help but feel a tad disappointed I didn't get to know more of what had gone on in the brothers' past.

@ArcaneArtsVelho – I was really impressed with the amount of characters in this one. Short stories this length don't favour high character counts, but you managed to stuff at least six in all of which had unique personalities and relevant parts to play in the tale. There was a nice amount of 'will they, won't they' when the wife learnt of the crime... and, crude as it may be, I couldn't help but chuckle at “You put your pick into every lock you see.” That was quite a clever line considering the topic of the tale.

@C R Alexander – I liked how developed every character in this story felt. It seemed each had their own motivations and goals that were unique to themselves. I thought there was a fine rapport between the three bandits in the final scene which gave me a real sense of a greater plot going on in the background.

April 09, 2015, 12:18:55 AM
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Re: How much did you write today? Yeah I think if you've written something, it's a good thing. :D

Written about 1000 words so far today, will probably get another couple of hours in later.  :)

April 09, 2015, 12:54:01 AM
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Re: Peter Jackson to film new Middle Earth film
Totally got me. If no one had said a word about it being a joke, my response was going to be, another one?

Awww.  Looks like the prank would have fooled a few of you.  Just a shame the Elfybot2343a didn't understand the concept of a joke.

Elfybot2343a: New Peter Jackson Hobbit movie?  *initiate google search* *no matches *non logical post* ERROR ERROR Must warn forum or posters will believe FALSE post is TRUE WARNING WARNING

Don't worry Overlord is working on a new humour chip for him, and then next we will try to teach him about the human emotion of love! :P

April 09, 2015, 12:40:36 PM
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Re: Member birthday calendar Happy Birthday, @Nora.
Here is my theory. Collect the hours' difference between there and there, in a jar with a time-tight lid. Then use it strategically in the future, when you need a week when no one else does anything and you have the run of the town.

April 10, 2015, 02:44:11 AM
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Re: Pornokitsch wants your short stories Thank you both - and good luck! Look forward to reading all the stories. It is like having my own secret bookshop filled with stories that no one else has.

Which just makes me sound creepy...

April 10, 2015, 02:33:22 PM
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Re: Real life experiences and non-fiction sources for better worldbuilding Here is a fun little detail that most people don't know, but would be quite important for many fantasy heroes: Gold is incredibly heavy.
It's not only several times as heavy than the brass you usually see in movies (to the point that brass looks more golden than actual gold), but even almost twice the weight of lead. In fact, gold is one of the heaviest substances in the universe. The only things heavier than gold are uranium, platinum, iridium, and osmium, and even those not by much. The weight of a given volume of gold is almost 20 times as height as an equal volume of water. "Your weight in gold" is not a very large pile (though still 2 to 3 million dollars today). With a gold ring (which most probably isn't pure gold anyway), it's not so noticable. But when you have a sack of gold or bars of gold, this will be a major factor. And the classic chest of pirate treasure would require a team of horses to move, which is assuming the handles don't rip off the chest or the bottom breaks out. Even a small to mid-size chest would probably weigh about a ton.

April 14, 2015, 04:05:41 PM
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Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Discussion Thread Writing can be very different, sometimes it flows, sometimes it needs to get wrestled. So yeah, maybe you got the two extremes now and will know that it can be all in between. :)

I'm okay with any content as long as there is a warning for people who have issues with sex, violence, blasphemy or goats.

April 14, 2015, 08:31:30 PM
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Re: [Apr 2015] - Plot Twist! Werewolf, Vampire, Goat - Submission Thread Finally got around to finishing mine off. And, for the first time, I didn't have to try and shave it down to fit the word limit!

Anyway,coming in at 1333 words is A Twist too Far.

Spoiler for Hiden:
The warehouse was dark. Gloomy. Silent. The only sign of life was the occasional rat or cockroach scattering across the floor, dodging between the many stacked crates littering the room.

A loud clank cut through the silence. The warehouse door creaked open and Welshy Simmons crept in, a flashlight in one hand and a crowbar in the other. He scanned the shadowy room carefully before creeping over to a crate surreptitiously tucked away in a corner. He quietly placed the flashlight down before beginning to pry the crate open.

His heart was beating fast. The detective must’ve been lying. There was no way he could’ve seen Michelle walking around. But if he wasn’t… If that blow to the head hadn’t been fatal…

He finally managed to rip the lid off the crate and peek at the contents. He let out a relieved sigh. She was still there.

“So this is where you hid the body then?”

Welshy spun around at the sound of the voice. Behind him stood Tex Taylor, the private detective who had so rudely stuck his nose into Welshy’s business. The detective had a flashlight of his own and a gun aimed directly at Welshy.

“Put the crowbar down.” Tex said. “It’s all over.”

Welshy did as he was told with a resigned tone.

“This was all a trap wasn’t it?” He said. “You never actually saw Michelle alive.”

Tex nodded. “And I know all about the smuggling operation you ran behind the books. The only thing I needed was for you to expose yourself and show me where you hid her.”

Welshy gave a weary smile. “Looks like you worked it all out then.”

“Almost.” Tex smiled back. “The only thing I couldn’t work out was ‘why?’ What made you decide to kill Michelle? Did she stumble over part of your operation?”

Welshy began to chuckle. “That’s not something I can so easily tell you.” He took a step to the side and gestured to the crate with Michelle’s body in. “Perhaps it would be better to show you instead…”

Suspicious, Tex took a step forward and shined his flashlight into the crate. What he saw shocked him. A mess of slimy purple tentacles. Six black, lifeless eyes. A humanoid form that absolutely could not be human.

"Wha... What is this?"

“I could tell as soon as I saw her.” Welshy slowly let out a low laugh. “That so-called Michelle was none other than a Venusian spy, sent her to foil my dirty deeds! My internal mecha-scanner confirmed she was wearing a fleshsuit!”

Tex could scarcely believe the words coming out his mouth. “She’s an… alien?”

“Not just she…” Welshy reached up to his neck and began to tear away his own skin, revealing a horrific green fleshy substance beneath. “For today, detective, you deal not with a mortal human vagabond.” In a single smooth motion, he ripped off his fleshy outside to reveal a mound of wriggling inhuman tendrils that vaguely consisted a face. “I AM GLARTOK, THE DEVASTATOR!!! VWAHAHAHA!!!!!”

Glartok’s eight glassy eyes focused on the stunned detective as his laugh turned guttural and grating. 

“WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY NOW, TINY HUMAN!!! YOU FACE A BEING FAR BEYOND ANYTHING YOU CAN COMPREHEND!!!”

Tex stared up with his jaw dropped at the humanoid monstrosity, a creature far beyond his own lifespan and comprehending. Then he asked one simple question.

“What the hell do you think you’re playing at?”

Glartok laughed at this. “I AM HERE TO LAY WASTE TO YOUR PALTRY-“

“No, not you.” Tex interrupted. “You. The writer. What do you think you’re playing at?”

Glartok looked confused at the simple human detective. Obviously the shock of meeting a being from another world far beyond his own had-

“Hey, don’t ignore me! I want an answer!”

Wait, are you talking to me?

“Yeah, you.” Tex nodded. He gestured at the confused Glartok. “What the hell is this?”

He’s Glartok the Devastator. A member of an intergalactic race bent on world domination and-

“No, I don’t care about that. What I want to know is what the hell is he doing here?” Tex asked. “This is a detective story, not Battlestar Galactica! Admittedly, it’s not the most original detective story, but at least it was vaguely consistent. Why did you introduce aliens out of nowhere?”

“FOOLISH MORTAL!! GLARTOK COMES WHEREVER HE PLEASES!!”

“Shut up, Glartok!” Tex snapped. “I want an answer!”

Um… I thought it would make a neat twist.

“A neat twist?” Tex gestured to the giant alien. “This guy? Really?”

Well, you didn’t see it coming.

“True, but that doesn’t make it a good twist. If everyone in the world suddenly turned into gummy bears, I wouldn’t have seen that coming. And it would’ve been equally stupid.”

Now you’re just exaggerating. It’s not that bad.

“Really?” Tex raised an eyebrow. “Name one piece of adequate foreshadowing you laid for this scene.”

Er… Well, when you investigated Welshy’s room, he did have that space planet mobile hanging from his chandelier.

“So?” Tex said. “My 5-year old nephew has stars painted on the ceiling of his bedroom! That doesn’t mean I’m expecting him to turn into a crazed Martian in Act 3!”

“ACTUALLY, I’M FROM A SMALLISH PLANETOID ROTATING THE LESSER MOON OF-“

“Nobody cares, Glartok!”

All right, look, you may have a point. But what do you want me to do about it? It’s already happened.

“That’s not my problem.” Tex said. “But you need to fix it and fast.”

“IF IT’S ANY CONSOLATION, I THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD TWIST.”

Shut up, Glartok. Okay, how about this? He’s not an alien, he’s a demon king or ghost or something supernatural. We had some weird cult elements in the first third as a red herring remember?

“OOH! A DEMON KING! I LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT!”

“Hmmm.” Tex thought on this. “It’s better, but it’s still a fairly big shift in tone. We didn’t really have any kind of supernatural elements before.”

How about some kind of powerful hallucinogenic gas?

“What would a petty smuggler be doing with powerful hallucinogenic gas?”

He was… smuggling it?

Tex scratched his chin. “I suppose it could work. The whole Glartok thing still seems a little on the nose, though. Even as a hallucination, it’s impossible to take that walking cliché depository seriously.”

“SNIFF. YOU GUYS ARE HURTING MY FEELINGS.”

Maybe if I made him like an internal reflection of your own latent personality traits? If I throw in some psychology-sounding mumbo-jumbo, people will probably praise it as ‘deep’.

“Do you actually know anything about psychology?”

No.

“Are you just going to use the word ‘Freudian’ a bunch of times?”

A little.

“Then I’m going to pass.”

“WHAT ABOUT A COMPLEX ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON OF BOTH THE ENVIROMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL FACTORS THAT LED TEX TO BE THE MAN HE WAS TODAY AS A WAY OF EXPLORING THE IDEA OF NATURE VS NURTURE.”

“…”

...

“WHAT? I TOOK AMATEUR PSYCHOLOGY ON GLOVOK IV.”

Okay, this is all getting to be too much of a pain. I know exactly how to sort this.

“Why do I have a bad feeling about-“



Tex woke with a start. He sat up and looked around. He was on his apartment couch. The entire place was quiet except for the dull chatter of the TV in front of him.

“And that concludes this week’s adventures of Glartok the Galactic Conquerer.” The announcer blared. “Please tune in next week where Glartok will-“

Tex switched the TV off and sighed. Obviously he must’ve accidentally fallen asleep on the couch and accidentally dreamt about that TV show. After all, the idea of aliens existing was just silly. Absolutely ridiculous.

But there was no point dwelling on it. For now he was going to have to put his mind back to solving that important case. He lay back on his couch, deep in thought.

Finally, he spoke.

“You know, this is still a fairly cheap twist.”

Bite me.

April 23, 2015, 07:05:27 PM
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Re: Rating Books Based on Price This happens to everything, not just books. People give one-stars because they couldn't put the BBQ grill together. Or because the pajamas were the wrong color. All sorts of irrelevant things that add up to the same sum: the buyer was unhappy.

It sucks, it's unfair, but it's part of doing business.

April 25, 2015, 08:39:26 PM
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Re: Fantasy Memes and silly stuff about books from the internet
Downton Abbey?
Really?
 ;D
Certainly is a Fantasy of the peaceful and loving cooexistence of the upper and lower classes.  ;D

April 26, 2015, 06:20:18 PM
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