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Contest Results | Fiction | Unspecified (March 2008)

 
 
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:39 AM
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Default Contest Results | Fiction | Unspecified (March 2008)


We had a good round of entries this month and the competition was very close. However, only one person did win, after a near photo finish. I'm pleased to announce that March's winner is Devon, who beat starrwriter by 1/10th of a point. Congratulations, Devon! Your entry will be featured in the April issue of In Pencil, and if you so wish, you may join us in judging next month's Fiction contest.

Here are the individual scores and averages:
Devon: 18.1 (18, 17.5, 19, 18)
Starrwriter: 18 (17.5, 18.5, 19, 19)
Cuchulain: 15 (15.5, 15, 15.5, 14)
Danster: 12.9 (14, 12.5, 13, 12)
CanadianIdiot: 11.1 (12, 11.5, 11, 10)
_zeb_: 10.4 (12, 9, 10, 10.5)

Starr, as your entry was 198 words over the word limit, we subtracted 1/2 a point from your score (0.5 points for every 100 words over the limit).

Originally Posted by Queen of Wands
Member Name: Devon
Title: My Jack!

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 4/5
Overall Impression: 9/10

Comments: This reads very much as a children’s story, but I have no problem with that. In fact, I was caught up from the first. Even now, I am concerned whether Jack will recover from his injuries! A well written story and a pleasure to read.

Score: 18/20

****************************************
Member Name: Cuchulain
Title: Red Raindrops and Rape Fantasy

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 3.5/5
Overall Impression: 7/10

Comments: Somehow, this didn’t really feel like a story to me, more like an exercise in a particular type of writing. Technically competent, I’m afraid the narrative lost me, and the title was somewhat offensive.

Score: 15.5/20

****************************************
Member Name: Starrwriter
Title: The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Mechanics: 4/5
Intangibles: 4/5
Overall Impression: 9/10

Comments: A well written story, as we would expect. A few details didn’t sit right with me, such as Jim’s need for food, drink, and sleep, bearing in mind he is dead; but these are minor niggles in an otherwise faultless piece. My only other quibble: the capitalisation of all words in the title. Generally, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs and first words are capitalised, and nothing else. Hence this should be: The Light at the End of the Tunnel.

Score: 17.5/20
****************************************
Member Name: CanadianIdiot
Title: Under the Bed

Mechanics: 3/5
Intangibles: 3/5
Overall Impression: 6/10

Comments: There were mistakes that a simple spell-check would have detected, and that let you down. Also, the premise was far from new, so you really needed something special to make this work. Without a unique angle, this was rather pedestrian for my taste. Sorry.

Score: 12/20

****************************************
Member Name: _zeb_
Title: Red Satin, Blue Silk

Mechanics: 3/5
Intangibles: 3/5
Overall Impression: 6/10

Comments: The prompt was for a short story, but you have given us a Prologue (!) and the beginning of a much larger piece. Also what is here is too busy with descriptions of the various characters, while completely neglecting to tell us what is happening and why. I’m afraid I did not enjoy this at all.

Score: 12/20

****************************************
Member Name: Danster
Title: Missed It!

Mechanics: 3.5/5
Intangibles: 3.5 /5
Overall Impression: 7/10

Comments: Being a rather pedantic person, I was bothered by the fact that health and safety regulations make the premise of the narrator’s accident implausible. Even assuming it did somehow occur, there are plenty of personal injury lawyers out there who would have secured the gentleman a handsome pay-out. So, much was done for dramatic effect, but too overdone for my taste. Still, I loved the coup de grace at the end. Rovers won the FA Cup, indeed!

Score: 14/20

****************************************
Originally Posted by Icarus
Title: My Jack!
Member: Devon

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 4.5/5
Overall Impression: 8/10

You’ve some how managed to make those horrid red squirrels cute. I enjoyed the game and the descriptions of the monsters. Was this based off an event you saw (i.e. squirrels attacking crows)? The creativity of the story allows the moral to slip through, even though obviously stated at the end. Maybe a little to cutesy for my tastes, but nice job.

Score: 17.5/20

*****

Title: Red Raindrops and Rape Fantasy
Member: Cuchulain

Mechanics: 4.5/5
Intangibles: 3.5/5
Overall Impression: 7/10

Interesting, very interesting. You lost me in the first half a little; I understand what you were doing with it, but you still lost me. Smart choice to keep this short and I think the “bullshit” interrupts everything very nicely. I think I would have preferred this to be a little less abstract, but that’s purely a stylistic choice, of course.

Score: 15/20

*****

Title: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Member: starrwriter

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 4.5/5
Overall Impression: 9/10

I really enjoyed Jim’s mental journey and the kaleidoscopic face was a nice touch. I’m a little torn about the final line—the light at the end of the tunnel is such a cliché, but at the same time I’d probably be hard pressed to come up with something better. Good stuff, as usual.

Score: 18.5/20

*****

Title: Red Satin, Blue Silk
Member: _zeb_

Mechanics: 2.5/5
Intangibles: 3/5
Overall Impression: 6/10

We would prefer to see a completed story for a contest, so keep that in mind for next time (though I’m glad you have written something you plan on continuing). Overall, this was jumpy and lacked flow. I do think it’s an interesting beginning, but you’ve got to write with more clarity. Also, try to describe the slayers without saying “Eve was relatively tall, with dusky skin-some would swear it was a pale blue”—work these details in as opposed to listing them.

Score: 11.5/20

*****

Title: Under The Bed
Member: CanadianIdiot

Mechanics: 2/5
Intangibles: 2/5
Overall Impression: 5/ 10

This mostly reads like an elementary ghost story. There’s no suspense to it, and certainly nothing very horrifying. As for your narrator, he starts of saying he doesn’t belong in the asylum, but then later admits he is insane—this just doesn’t mesh for me. There are also enough errors in grammar and punctuation to be quite distracting.

Score: 9/20

*****

Title: Missed It
Member: Danster

Mechanics: 2/5
Intangibles: 3.5/5
Overall Impression: 7/10

There are a lot of missing periods at the end of your dialog--something that could be easily caught but will cost you dearly. I like the conversation between Jack and Miriam and how she rattles off all the information (neat, also, that you set it in the future), and I really do like the ending. Was a fun story, but would have been more fun if I hadn’t kept noticing the punctuation problems.

Score: 12.5

Originally Posted by Mridula
Member: Devon
Title: My Jack!

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 5/5
Overall Impression: 9/10

Comments: An impressive story. I found myself caught up in it right until the end. This was well-written and definitely one of the better entries in this contest.

Score: 19/20
----------------------

Member: Cuchulain
Title: Red Raindrops and Rape Fantasy

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 3.5/5
Overall Impression: 7/10

Comments: This caught my attention. I did not understand the reference to the red raindrops, but the rest was clear. I like how you switched between the daydream and reality.

Score: 15.5/20
----------------------

Member: starrwriter
Title: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 5/5
Overall Impression: 9/10

Comments: This was an excellent read. Mechanically flawless as usual, and the pace never slackens. The disorientation and dream-like state of James was done very well.

Score: 19/20
----------------------

Member: _zeb_
Title: Red Satin, Blue Silk

Mechanics: 2/5
Intangibles: 3/5
Overall Impression: 6/10

Comments: Though the prompt was unspecified, we would appreciate a complete story, and not the opening of a novel. This requires a sizeable dose of editing. I’m not sure where the story was going, and I found myself largely uninterested by the end of it. However, it is admirable that you’ve started writing a novel. All the best with it!

Score: 11/20
----------------------

Member: CanadianIdiot
Title: Under the Bed

Mechanics: 2/5
Intangibles: 2/5
Overall Impression: 6/10

Comments: There were far too many spelling and grammatical errors for my taste. They detracted greatly from the reading. The story itself was unremarkable and could have done with some more originality.

Score: 10/20
----------------------

Member: Danster
Title: Missed It!

Mechanics: 2/5
Intangibles: 3/5
Overall Impression: 8/10

Comments: Apart from the niggling punctuation errors, this was told well. The shift from morbid to amusing was done well, and the end was perfect. Good try.

Score: 13/20
----------------------
Originally Posted by Cordatus
Member: Devon
Title: My Jack

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 5/5
Overall Impression: 8/10

Comments: An engaging story right from the beginning. Although the ending is a bit effusive, I find this to be a well-written entry with delicate, absorbing details.

Score: 18/20

---

Member: Cuchulain
Title: Red Raindrops and Rape Fantasy

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 3/5
Overall Impression: 6/10

Scores: I didn't get the practical purpose behind this entry. It is quite perfectly written, but the narrative felt a bit confusing. Maybe stretch it out and make it longer?

Score: 14/20

---

Member: starrwriter
Title: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Mechanics: 5/5
Intangibles: 5/5
Overall Impression: 9/10

Comments: Wonderful writing as usual. Thank you for the read.

Score: 19/20

----

Member: _zeb_
Title: Red Satin, Blue Silk

Mechanics: 2/5
Intangibles: 2/5
Overall Impression: 6/10

Comments: Contest entries are usually complete stories when submitted, and the fact your entry is part of a longer (uncompleted) tale did not contribute to its clarity. What I think you need to work on is descriptions, and having a healthy flow in a story.

Score: 10/20

---

Member: CanadianIdiot
Title: Under the Bed

Mechanics: 2/5
Intangibles: 2.5/5
Overall Impression: 6/10

Comments: I found this piece to be rather unstimulating since the content itself is not unique. Correct the mistakes, and re-write this for a better outcome.

Score: 10.5/20

---

Member: Danster
Title: Missed It!

Mechanics: 2/5
Intangibles: 3/5
Overall Impression: 7/10

Comments: I think you should fix the errors in the story, and edit this piece more closely to have a very good story at hand. (Good ending!)

Score: 12/20

---

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Old 03-31-2008, 11:09 AM
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Thank you so much! I knew I had some excellent competition and I never suspected a win. I must say though, great job, everyone.

In answer to Icarus's question: I always wondered what the heck squirrels were thinking when they dashed out in front of cars at the last minute. Were they insane, or what? I knew I'd never know, so I wrote about it instead.

Devon
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Last edited by Devon; 03-31-2008 at 11:13 AM..
  #3  
Old 03-31-2008, 12:29 PM
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A tenth of a vote? I demand a recount!

Just kidding. Congratulations, Devon. Excellent story.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:57 PM
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Umm....I just noticed this. There seems to be a mathematic error, and me being me, I just notice these types of things. Devon's score was 18.125 while when you do the math for Starr's, you get 18.5. Just noticed
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Old 03-31-2008, 02:40 PM
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Thank you, starrwriter! Yours I was really worried about; it was excellent. Thank you for being such a tough competitor.

Oasis, there's a judge's note underneath zeb's score about it.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:01 PM
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lol - That's my problem, I do the math before reading. I'll work on that.
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:56 AM
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Yes, I would like to be a guest judge for April's contest. Who do I contact for that information.
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:09 AM
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Mridula will contact you before the April judging begins. If you have any questions before then, you can PM her, or any of the staff, and we'll happily answer your questions.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:40 AM
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Way to go, Devon.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Queen of Wands View Post
Mridula will contact you before the April judging begins. If you have any questions before then, you can PM her, or any of the staff, and we'll happily answer your questions.
Got it. Thanks.

And thank you, Cuchulain.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:55 AM
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Well done Devon, you are amazing. I hope I can become like you.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Blooming View Post
Well done Devon, you are amazing. I hope I can become like you.
Thank you, Blooming. That's quite flattering.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:03 PM
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No I mean it, become a greater writer like you. Also you might become the new J.K. Rowling.
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:18 PM
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Thanks, Blooming. But just like Tolkien, there can only be one J. K. Rowling.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:54 PM
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Managed to find 5 seconds to get in here and say "Well done Devon!"

I've actually read a short story about talking squirrels running out in front of cars before. Entirely different to Devon's story though, this other one was a cult initiation ritual and had a few squirrel pancakes in it....

There was even a whole website devoted to the issue of squirrels versus cars. They called it 'squirrel hazing'. Amusing site if I recall.

But, I babble. Well done Devon.
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:25 AM
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Lol. Thank you, Jimbo.

Squirrel hazing . . . I'll have to find that website.
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Old 04-02-2008, 04:04 AM
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Well done Devon.

Thanks for the feedback guys. The ending came from nowhere but as soon as I'd written it I knew it had to stay.
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Old 04-02-2008, 04:49 AM
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Thank you very much, Danster! And thanks for being some really good competition.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:54 AM
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You are so popular, Devon. Anyway, this is amazing because you have to take care of your children and you write this. That rocks.
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:31 PM
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Nah. This is just a nice, friendly site, is all.
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