Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle (Voting till the 25th)  (Read 3169 times)

Sane Co.

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It has been said that in order to write a good story, one must introduce conflict; that if something can go wrong it should go wrong. This is the sad fact of fiction, that the focus, The One, the protagonist shall face many trails, many placing him/her at an unfair disadvantage. A life of misfortune within the story, the everlasting struggle to beat the authors road blocks. But what if the character is tired, tired of all the misfortunes that plague their life. They shall fight one more battle to end it all... to defeat the author, their oppressor, the divine God that controls their world. Although he loves his creation, he has the best interest of himself, to sell books, not make his creation happy. Can the protagonist gain his freedom? If he does, is it the end?
Find out in this two weeks' Fortnightly Writing Competition!!

Contestants shall be judged on the following topics:
Best Interpretation of Theme:
Best Relationship Between Character and Author:
Best Dialogue:
Best Overall:
For extra credit, but no extra points
Best Twist Ending:
Scariest Implications:

And remember:
Uncle Sane is watching.
Submissions accepted until the 13 17th of February just kidding... March
« Last Edit: 23 Mar 2015, 02:00 by Sane Co. »

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #1 on: 27 Feb 2015, 05:06 »
Submissions accepted until the 13th of February
Damn it! I've already missed the deadline! :=
*

Sane Co.

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #2 on: 27 Feb 2015, 05:10 »
Oh, you're right. What do we do if no one wins, due to lack of submissions?:wink:

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #3 on: 28 Feb 2015, 03:32 »
What if the quasi-fictional author was a fellow contestant with a dancing cow avatar?  Would that be too far-fetched?

monkey424

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #4 on: 06 Mar 2015, 10:36 »
Interesting topic. But still not sure what I'm going to write about. I'll give it some more thought. ;)
    

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #5 on: 11 Mar 2015, 00:39 »
I finally - finally - came up with an idea for this topic but I'm not sure I'll finish it in time for the deadline. So can I preemptively ask for an extenson of 2 to 3 days? That would be great.

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #6 on: 11 Mar 2015, 10:53 »
Yeah, a bit of weekend would be helpful before the deadline.  +1

Sane Co.

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #7 on: 11 Mar 2015, 22:28 »
Quote
So can I preemptively ask for an extenson of 2 to 3 days?
Request granted.
2+3=5
5-1=4
run[change.type(4)]
running...
4+13=17
run[edit(17)]
running...
Quote
Submissions accepted until the 13th of February just kidding... March
13=17 false
Quote
Submissions accepted until the 17th of February just kidding... March
17=17 true
stop

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #8 on: 15 Mar 2015, 21:52 »
Thanks for the extension, I needed it.

The Void

... and the blood splashed onto the white linen of his robes. He swung his quarterstaff to defend himself against the sword of his opponent and pushed him back. Behind him, he heard Urla hurl spells into the crowd of enemies and before him Astron was protecting a fallen priest from harm. But all of this was nothing but a blur to him. He needed to get through, he had to reach the palace and destroy the crystal. He had trained for this - for the fight, for the spell - for nearly a decade, had spent years upon years in seclusion. He was the only one who had survived all the tests the gods had given the candidates and now he was nearly there. Only a last contingent stood between him and the saving of the world.

His foe safely knocked-out on the ground, Tevenon stepped forward and then felt a sharp pain on his hip. He struggled and stumbled and swung his staff to get rid of the hand holding a dagger but most of all he kept walking. There was no time to dwell on a injury, no time to lose. The others were there to protect him, even to die for him - his friends and a whole army.

His leg became numb. He hobbled, he fell. He got up again. The world circled around his head. Hot and cold. Light-headed. Difficult to breathe. In a second he categorized the symptoms. Poison. But it was already too late. He fell. The antidote. It was in his satchel. He reached for it. His hands didn't move. Where were the others? Where were Astron and Urla? He needed them, needed them now.

Red dots appeared in front of his eyes. The blurred. Everything blurred. He coughed. Sweat dropped onto the bloodstained ground. And then all was black.

Astron saw the priest fall and jumped over his fallen body. He was their hope, their only hope. Without him, the world would be lost. He had All was black. to The prrootomect hiwams, protectdark him no matter behind what... his eyelids. The pain was gone. He lay on the cold, hard ground - not earth, probably glazed tiles. Slowly, Tevenon opened his eyes and was momentarily blinded by a bright white light. He blinked a few times and the light dimmed itself to a more bearable brightness.

Strange, he thought, where am I?

“Where do you think you are?“ someone asked. “You died. So what do you think this place is?“

Tevenon shook his head, trying to clear it. “The realm of the dead? The realm of the gods?“

“Gods?“ The other laughed. “We can never reach the world of our goddess. Actually, this is the place she sends us when we are no longer needed.“

“No longer needed?!?“ Tevenon cried out. He wanted to find his bearing and think but some uncontrollable force made him engage in this conversation instead. “The gods told me I am the chosen one, the one to save the world. I am still needed. I am the only one...“

“No,“ he was interrupted. “Your gods? They told you what the goddess made them tell you. Your gods, you, me - we are figments of her imagination and actors in her stories. Don't worry. You'll remember all of this in a short time. You are gone from your story now, so you are no longer limited to the story's knowledge.“

“I... What? - Who are you?“

“I? I never received a name. I'm only known as the scribe. I am also one of her most self-aware characters, so I am the one to welcome newbies to the void.“(1)

“The void?“

“Here. Where no stories are told, where those of her characters go who died in their stories or whose stories have ended. - When she doesn't intend to write about someone again or when she just doesn't concentrate on a character's world. A place where we go to be forgotten. The void.“

“There are others here?“

“Look around.“

Tevenon did. Around the white walls of the room - though there were no walls as soon as he tried to concentrate on them - sat or stood a strange assembly of even stranger people:

On a garden-wall sat a teenaged girl and smiled down at a scrawny girl in her arms and an older gray-haired man. While all three of them watched the whole room, they never stopped looking at each other when he tried to make eye contact with them. Nonetheless, he noticed that their eyes shone in a silvery light completely alien to him.(2)

Not too far from them, a small pond contained a bare-chested man with a fish-tail instead of legs. He alternated between looking over the surface of the water and diving down to an invisible ground far below.(3)

A nearly naked woman knelt next to the pond. The few clothes she wore were obviously styled to reveal or accentuate as much of her body as possible. Tevenon thought he heard a clicking or snapping sound from between her legs from time to time and he was absolutely sure that he never wanted to investigate the source of this sound. The woman seemed to talk to the merman every once in a while but Tevenon couldn’t quite make out the words.(4)

Somewhat further away stood a man who looked with trepidation at the other people and often licked his lips. He was unremarkable in nearly every aspect. Only the book he read and annotated when he concentrated on it and the bloodstained shirt he wore made him noteworthy to Tevenon. That, and the aura of hunger and danger he seemed to emit.(5)

Only one other man associated himself with him. This one sat on the ground and seemed outwardly relaxed but he had put a circle of black candles around himself and was constantly staring at them.(6)

The last visitor of the void – except for Tevenon and the scribe – was an old mercenary who lay on the cold hard stone with his face down and murmured a single name over and over again. Lily. Lily. Lily.(7)

As for the scribe himself... Tevenon found it difficult to focus on him. His facial features seemed to circle through an uncountable number of faces, some of them male, some female, some human, some not, and even when they stopped on a face for a while, the lines were blurred.

“Who are you? Who are these people?” Tevenon asked.

“Creations – of our goddess,” the scribe answered.

“Or people who came to her and begged her to write about us, Scribe,” the man in the circle of black candles said. “You should know this part better than anyone. It is, after all, what your story was about.”

“What the story was about, yes, but not what I did. You know this, Telron, I am her creation. She did not look into my world and describe it but created me.”

“Same difference, Scribe. No matter how we came to be, the only access anyone else has to our worlds is through her writing,” the gray-haired man with two daughters said.

“Writing?” Tevenon asked. “As in story-telling? A bard?”

“Something like that, yes,” said the scribe.

“But my world is real!” Tevenon jumped up from the ground, angry. „My friends are real, my people! - And they die because I am not there to save them. What is happening? What is going on there? I need to know what...“

Tevenon had stormed up to the scribe and shook him violently.

„Calm down, calm down, Tevenon,“ he said. „I can try to have a look. After all, this is one of the powers she gave to me. But I can‘t interfere – and I can‘t promise anything.“

The scribe hadn‘t quite finished speaking when he was already gone.

The battlefield lay cold and dark before them four days later. It was eerily quiet. Not even vultures and wolves dared go near this place of death. Urla called his name over and over again – but of course there was no answer.

They hadn‘t found the body. They never would, Urla was sure of it. When the power was released, limbs were melted together and boiling blood cooked the flesh and skin into...

The scribe shook his head. He narrowed his eyes, even shut them for a moment, but when he opened them again, he didn‘t see more than before. That was all. There was nothing more to this story. The story ended in the middle of a sentence. Nothing else was described, nothing else was there.

„No,“ he said. „No! Tevenon, I am so sorry.“

He wasn‘t sure if he wanted to tell Tevenon what he had just discovered but the moment he thought this, he also knew that he had no choice, that it wasn‘t his choice to make.

„Please don‘t, please,“ he begged. „Please don‘t do this.“

But it was too late and he found himself back in the void.

„There is nothing,“ he said, fighting every word, fighting against the compulsion. „There never was. Your world – it was never a story. It never was...“

All the other characters gasped in horror but Tevenon only looked confused. „What do you mean, it never was? I just came from there. I...“

„It never was a story,“ Telron explained calmly He had obviously overcome his shock pretty quickly. „It never had a beginning. It never had an end. She never intended to write your story.“

„Or, to be more precise,“ added the scribe, „the story of your world is not the one she‘s telling – though she is telling your story.“

„I hate her!“ the merman spat. „The same thing happened to me. She didn‘t tell the story she promised me. There were supposed to be sexy mermaids and me saving the world. And what actually happens? The transformation is faulty and I literally lose my mind. I forget who I am! She didn‘t even bother with a name for me.“(3)

„Well, sometimes no name is better than a name. She called me Ystichor,“ the man with a bloodstained shirt said. „How are you supposed to pronounce that?“

„You can talk!“ the half-naked woman next to the merman said. „At least your stories were told. Mine? Mine was never more than an idea. And now I‘m here in the void with a vagina dentata, my best friend is dead, while my pimp and the john can keep killing. And when you consider that she wrote your story instead, merman...“(4)

„Oh, come on,“ Ystichor said. „Some of her decisions are great. She originally meant to write how I got myself caught. One of the oldest, most powerful vampires and I voluntarily get myself imprisoned. She wrote how I got myself free instead. That‘s great! I got to threaten a stupid child in the process, nearly drank his blood... Granted, it would have been better to really drink it and she killed-off Nesch but I understand why. She was human and old and all people die. I accept this.“(5)

„In out world, magic returned and Nibalu was saved,“ the older of the two girly said, stroking the hair of the younger one. „Now there‘s chaos in this world. But it had to happen. It had to.“

„It had to. It was the only way,“ her father agreed.(2)

„I loved Lily!“ The man on the ground suddenly sprang up. „And Lily condemned me to death. I did everything for her, everything!“(7)

Telron shook his head and said calmly: „You gave her to her father‘s enemies and she was raped. Our creator never explicitly said so but she implied it and you should know it, Valerian. You deserved to die.“ He snorted. „Besides, be thankful that your death was so easy. My life was too long, just too long. I‘m just glad she finally allowed me to die. There is no greater mercy than death.“

They talked like that for a while, all of them at the same time, getting louder and louder. Tevenon couldn‘t stand it any longer.

„Stop it!“ he cried. „Stop it. Stop your babbling! You squabble about mermaids and stories and...and...and...and... My world is at stake! My world dies while you argue here about...about... Stop it, just stop it!“

“Tevenon,” the scribe said gently, “your world can’t die because your world never was. The goddess only imagined it. It’s only in her head.”

“In her head? Just because it’s in her head, doesn’t mean it’s not real!”

“But your world was never her story. This is. This is the story she’s telling,” the scribe reasoned, “Case in point: She has you quoting Harry Potter.”

“Harry who?”

“Harry Potter,” Telron answered. “And actually, she has him misquoting Dumbledore...”(8)

“Well yes, but no need to confuse him even more.”

“I am not a story!”

“Well, we all are!” all of the characters said together suddenly, “The story of Tevenon’s struggle with his author.”

“I won’t accept this! No-one decides my fate! I spent decades studying in a temple and if I have to challenge a god to save my world, I will do so! I will fight her, I will kill her, I will...”

The scribe walked up to Telron, who still was in his circle of burning candles, and  sat down next to him. “He doesn’t understand that she is writing all of this, does he?”

“She created him. He knows what she wants him to know,” Telron answered.

“He can’t fight her. She’s writing this. It’s a paradox...”

“It’s not especially nice to use our void for this story, though,” Ystichor, the vampire, added.

The scribe shook his head. “We are not the characters she wrote about in our stories and this is not the void we inhabit while she doesn’t think about us. No, we were created for this story, at most echos and shadows of our former personalities...”

“You know, that’s a bit confusing...”

While the scribe discussed such existential questions with his fellow fictional characters, Tevenon raged against his creator and tried to raise the others for a final battle against her. The whore, the merman and Valerian were more than willing to help but all the others just shook their heads when he tried to talk to them.

“We’re in her head. We can at least try to give her a headache!” Tevenon cried.

From somewhere, Tevenon took weapons, some swords, some daggers, and even a pistol, and hammered on the...

I WIN. MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Author‘s Notes:

All characters mentioned in this story, except for Urla, Astron and Tevenon, are from stories I wrote some time ago or planned to write. Most of these stories were posted in these forums but not all. I don‘t want to force you to read all these old stories, so have some summaries instead:

1) The scribe comes from a story called „The Scribe“. In this story a writer is constantly accosted by people from other dimensions who beg him to write about him. In the end, he learns to wander through the dimensions and visit all these worlds.

2) Flamza, Nibalu and Xolon/Gebren from „A Sorcerer‘s Eyes“. Xolon had banished all magic ten years ago, but magic returns to the world. Nibalu, a little girl, accidentally calls skeletons into the world. Chaos follows.

3) This guy, from „Drowned Park“, never received a name and lost his memories when some wizards transformed him into a merman. I originally meant for him to swim into the ocean and meet some mermaids but this story was going nowhere, so I changed it to him losing his mind instead.

4) I never wrote this story. It was my first idea for the mutation topic where I ended up writing Drowned Park instead. It was supposed to be about a prostitute whose friend gets killed by her pimp. She goes to a witch and receives a vagina dentata through a spell to avenge her friend.

5) The vampire Ystichor comes from the story „Prisoner‘s Dilemma“. He is a vampire who decided to live in a prison because he didn‘t want to kill anymore. But the way he is treated makes him leave this prison in the end. I had an idea to write about how he got caught some time ago but I somehow didn‘t manage to make a story out of it. So I wrote about the end of his imprisonment instead.

6) „Light is Darkness of a Different Kind“ is the only play I ever wrote. Telron, one of only two characters, is possessed by a demon a believes that he can never die because the demon doesn‘t allow it. In the end, he does find a way to die.

7) Valerian of „The Wilting Flower“ was a mercenary and bodyguard who thought he loved his charge, Lily, and did everything to save her and protect himself at the same time. But he actually gave Lily to her kidnappers, where she was raped. Valerian was executed at the end.

8) Harry Potter is, obviously, not one of my stories. The actual quote is: <[Dumbledore said:]“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that meant that it is not real?”> (J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, Great Britain 2007; p. 579; Chapter 35: King’s Cross)

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #9 on: 17 Mar 2015, 04:38 »
Submission pending.  I've got it mostly written, but it really needs some cleaning up.  Stand by.

monkey424

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #10 on: 17 Mar 2015, 11:31 »
Sorry guys and gals. I've failed to come up with a writing piece. I was tempted with the idea that 'history is written by the winners' as a premise and thought I'd write about a high profile figure in society being controlled by some hidden ruling elite. But the creative juices unfortunately stopped flowing beyond that. Oh well. Fact is stranger than fiction, so the real story of whatever is actually happening behind the scenes in this world would undoubtedly prove to be a better read than any tripe I'd eventually produce. ;)
    

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #11 on: 17 Mar 2015, 20:04 »
Baby Strikes Back

   Sheeba Dass cracked an eyelid and groaned at the clock alarm resonating inside her skull.  She fumbled blindly in the sheets for her gold plated 9mm to pop a snooze hole in its face, but found nothing but handcuffs and an empty bottle of bourbon.  Now where the hell....

   The bottle of bourbon shattered as it put the alarm clock out of its misery.  Sheeba slid into a sitting position on the bed, eyes still closed, and reached down into the space between her ample cleavage to retrieve her pistol.  It was heavier than it looked, and it looked like a golden hand cannon with a massive laser sight attachment.  She rested the arm that held it on her knee, and she rested her head on the arm.  She breathed deeply, her breath straining against the tight plastic halter top she had no recollection of putting on.  And how would her gun even fit down there, anyway?  It was him again.  The Author of her misfortune.

   She could tell by the tone of the alarm and the distant drumming of boots on stairs that it was going to be one of those days again.  Why couldn't he just leave her alone?  Let her eat greasy chicken and ice cream in front of a movie with some girlfriends wearing nothing but a track suit?  Maybe have her join a book club or brush abandoned ponies down at the shelter?  And why with all his powers did he have her living in this ghetto apartment with nothing for company but a family of feral raccoons and an emotionally clingy pet python?  She stubbed a toe on a loose floorboard as she got up to brush her teeth and cursed him under her breath.

   The bathroom mirror was cracked as if there'd been some sort of bar-room brawl last night, and there was a phone-number scrawled on the adjacent wall in purple lipstick.  Ravenna?  Really?  Sheeba cringed as memories of the kinky back-story flooded into her mind.  Who reads this kind of trash anyway?!?  No amount of brushing was going to get the bad taste out of her mouth now.  What she really needed was a long bath with some candles and slow music, but the heavy footfalls in the hallway outside her apartment door indicated that she had only a moment of peace left.  So she did what she always did: popped a shot of mouthwash into a can of cola and started chugging her breakfast.

   CRASH!!!

   Her door flew off the hinges and a gang of uniformed goons barged through the door in SWAT gear.   “Sheeba Sharona Dass, we have a warrant for your arrest!” one shouted.  She cringed at the use of her middle name.  They came to a stop lined up outside her bathroom door, five abreast, all aiming their semi-automatic weapons directly at her, one of them waving a folded paper.

   “You ain't got no warrant!” she lipped back, sticking her hip out indignantly.  “You think I can't tell the difference between a warrant and a parking ticket?!?  And since when do the police issue Nike Flynit Zoomers?  Y'all ain't nothin' but a pimp posse sent out by Boss Hincks!”

   The armed and armoured men looked down at their footwear and then exchanged glances, giving Sheeba the opportunity to sip her mouthwash & cola.  They turned back to look at her, guns cocked, but it was too late.  All the thumping and door-busting had woken up the family of raccoons, who now scurried up the men's pantlegs to attack with cranky savagery.  They screamed in girly agony and began shooting each other in panicked hysteria. 

   Sheeba prudently stepped back from the doorway to take shelter in the cast-iron tub while the stray bullets flew randomly.  When the shooting stopped, and the shouting had faded to emasculated whimpering she reemerged.  Most of her assailants were dead, but one still twitched meekly as a raccoon chewed on his face.  “.....a message for you,” he gasped as he limply tried to swat off his furry attacker.

   “Yeah, yeah,” Sheeba retorted dismissively, looking for her boots in all the mess.  All she could find were her four-inch stilettos.  Grrrrrrrr!

   Just then there was a gentle rapping on the door-frame at the entrance to her apartment.  Sheeba spun around, gilded 9mm in hand, but an expertly flung ninja star knocked it out of her grasp.  A woman laughed playfully in the doorway, scratching at the frame with her two-inch painted fingernails.  She was clad entirely in tight black leather, except for a hole at the base of her spine from which emerged something resembling a lemur’s tail.  She tossed her orange and white striped hair over her shoulder, and smiled sinisterly with slitted green eyes.  “I've been looking forward to this,” she purred.

   “Who the hell are you?!?” Sheeba wondered aloud.

   “I am Pussy Pussy Baudrons.” 

   “Seriously!?  Did yo mama give you that name?”

   The woman-cat thing did not respond, but instead licked the back of her hand and began grooming herself casually.  Sheeba took the opportunity to take another sip of her Scope & Coke.  But before she could lift the bottle to her lips Miss Baudrons hissed and threw another ninja star quick as lightning and split open the bottle, spilling her precious breakfast all over the floor.

   Sheeba glared at the hateful creation of her tormentor's imagination.  “Nobody spills my go-juice and gets away with it,” she said flatly.  The two women both crouched into fighting stances, Sheeba into kung-fu defensive position number one, Pussy Pussy into an arch-backed contortion.  There was a horrible meowling sound and then she struck, claws outstretched like a tiger.

   But Sheeba was ready for her.  She ducked under the flying feline female and rolled off to the side toward her gun.  Pussy Pussy landed on the wall, then retracted her claws sufficiently to throw another ninja star to knock the gun just out of Sheeba's reach.  Sheeba flipped quickly to her feet again as the ninja cat leapt first to the ceiling, then to the far wall, and finally pounced at her again.  Sheeba leapt as well, landing a flying roundhouse kick right in the feline's mid-section and sending her reeling back.  Pussy Pussy hissed again, and drew a katana blade out of god knows where.  She lunged at Sheeba, who ducked, dodged and dove back into her kitchenette, where she grabbed her BFP: her Big Frying Pan.

    The apartment rang with the sing song clanging of a medieval battle.  Sheeba retreated back to the kitchen counter where she blocked, struck, and parried, eventually deflecting Pussy Pussy's sword into the plaster and lathe wall where it stuck fast.  Thinking quickly, she grabbed the extendible faucet from the sink and turned on the water, spraying the cat woman right in the face.  Pussy Pussy shrieked and recoiled, but Sheeba mercilessly changed the faucet setting to high-pressure-burst.

   Then she paused, pensively.  Poor Pussy Pussy was just another pawn in the story, like her.  And like a black pawn and a white pawn, they were still both just cannon fodder for the powerful aristocracy.  Pussy Pussy'd probably prefer to be bird-watching or curled up on a heat register instead of fighting some stranger to the death in a kinky outfit at 5:30 am.  With a bit of perspective, Sheeba could see them uniting against the true enemy: The Author.

   Sheeba shook her head and fixed a bowl of milk to try to coax Pussy Pussy out from under the bed where she had fled to.  “Here Pussy Pussy,” she trilled softly.  She really hoped her pet python wasn't under there....

   “Maybe you need toy lat!” barked a diminutive asian fellow from the doorway.   A waft of cheap tobacco smoke and greasy take-out filled the apartment.  His goateed chin barely came up the scratch marks on the door-frame, putting him at about four feet tall, and he wore funny looking green sunglasses that weren't big enough to cover his eyes.

   Sheeba sighed.  “And who are you?!?”

   The man lit a second cigarette before crushing out the first with his dainty little elf-boots.  “They caw me Dr. Fuse!” he spat in a thick accent.

   “Why, 'cause you're always burning?” she asked, inching backward.

   “No!” the doctor shouted curtly, then lit a short firecracker with his cigarette and tossed it in her direction.  Sheeba dove back into the bathroom before a loud explosion went off, causing plaster dust to start snowing from the ceiling and a wincing howl of shock to come from under the bed.  She slammed the door shut and almost had a heart attack from the half-faceless man who was hiding behind it. 

   “Boss Hincks... says your ....rent is....” the man spluttered.  Sheeba scowled in disgust as the man's eyeball dangled like a pendulum each time he tried to speak.  She quickly grabbed him by the neck, opened the door, and with one fluid motion shoved him out the door.  Only he tripped over the tiny Dr. Fuse, who had bent down on one knee to shove another firecracker into the lock of the door, and they both tumbled to the ground.

   BANG!  A second explosion went off from the door lock, slamming the door shut but for the gaping hole where the knob used to be.  Through it Sheeba could see past the writhing bodies to her gilded 9mm in the middle of the floor.  With practised elegance she shoved the door open and did a flip over her assailants to grab the pistol, coming to a skidding stop by what used to be her window.  Dr. Fuse was now free of the half-faced goon and had another firecracker lit, but Sheeba evaded his range by back-flipping out the shattered window and up the fire escape.  As the cool morning air erected her nipples, she cursed The Author once more.

   Quickly she scaled up the rusted stairway.  On another day she would have busted Dr. Fuse's head, maybe melted his cancer mouth onto an exhaust tailpipe, and finished him off with an ironic drive through a Chinese New Year parade, but today her heart just wasn't in to it.  Dr. F. was just a working stiff like her, trying to impress the readers at the behest of the calloused creator in the sky.  If he'd had his druthers he'd probably be at some origami class or playing fire-bug around a camp-fire out in the woods.  As she ascended the fire escape she could hear the cacophonous hum of the city around her.  Or was that just the cooling fan of an outdated lap-top running an obsolete word-processor?

   Suddenly a freaky skeleton barred her path.  Without thinking she drew her pistol and shot it six times before realizing that her bullets were just going through the spaces between the bones.  “I AM DEATH!!!!” it proclaimed.

   Sheebah turned to go back down, but there was Dr. Fuse with a mischievous grin.  He tossed another explosive stick up at her, cackling maniacally.  Sheeba deftly dodged the bomb, and it stuck instead inside the ribcage of the Skeleton behind her.  The skeleton looked down disdainfully at his sizzling chest, then declared: “NOTHING CAN STOP M-”

   BANG!  Sheeba clung to the balustrade and a shower of bones rained down.  She glanced down to see Dr. Fuse fiddling with his chic micro-glasses, which had sustained some damage from a flying bone shard.  Pussy Pussy Baudrons had now emerged from under the bed and was stealthily scaling the sheer brick wall.  And the half-faced guard was stumbling out of the window opening now with a python locked around his right leg.  Sheeba shook her head and ascended the rest of the fire escape.

   She mounted the roof and saw towering over her a great billboard featuring none other than her personal tormentor, the mighty Author himself.  Anger gripped her then, like a shot of tequila during a table dance, and she began to scale the rigging that supported the great poster.  At the top there was a narrow gangway for working on the billboard, and she heaved herself up to stand upon it.  Above her the Author's self-promotional advertisement loomed, the  bug-like eyes of his giant face seeming to follow her every movement.  Creepy like a bug! Sheeba shuddered.

   And then her heart skipped a beat, for she had missed the slender figure of mystery wearing a fancy hat, oversized sunglasses, and a purple fur-trimmed suit jacket.  In one hand he sported a silver tipped walking cane, and in the other a bottle of what looked to be cheap gin.  Sheeba drew her gilded pistol and aimed it squarely at the stranger, its laser sights reflecting off of the jewels in his jewel-encrusted smile.   “Who the Sweet Buddha are you?” she wondered aloud.

   “I be Pimp Diddy,” he said, shuffling towards her crotch-first like a drunken scarecrow.

   “Is that a prosthetic leg?” Sheeba asked, wrinkling her nose a bit.  Rather than wait for an answer she popped a few bullets into the phantom limb.  The pimp's advance was undeterred.

   “Chew no what a hate?!?” Pimp Diddy asked rhetorically, opening his coat to reveal a pyramid-tomb's worth of jewellery draped around his neck. 

   “Poorly written dialog?” Sheeba asked back, glancing up again at the towering poster.  The Author's face seemed to twist into a distasteful sneer.

   “Dat's funny, dat's what dat is.  I love a girl wit a sense of humor!  What I hate is-”  Sheeba shot the prosthetic leg three more times, all in the knee, and at last the piece gave way under the swaying pimp.  “Ga dang!” he shouted as he dropped his bottle of gin and toppled over the railing.  He would have plunged to his death if it weren't for his excessive bling that somehow got caught in the rigging.  As it was he just choked slowly, flailing helplessly like a fly in a spider's web.  But Sheeba took no joy in his imminent demise: if it weren't for The Author the pimp would have probably slept-in this morning, then maybe worked himself up to taking some of his estranged children to the zoo.  After maybe he would have gone back to his cosmetology program at night-school or taken that nice hooker he'd been seeing out for a romantic dinner....

   A ninja star stuck into the paper wall behind her, and then a bomb landed on the gangway next to her, but she just kicked it off again absent-mindedly.  It was The Author who was her enemy, not the twisted misfits of his deranged imagination.   He leered down at her now, the shadow of his power casting wide in the low light of early morning.  Sheeba could hear distant sirens and what sounded like the murderous whirl of military attack helicopters, but she just shrugged and stared up at her oppressor.  The poster proclaimed the millions of copies sold, but she shouted back defiantly: “Ain't nobody gonna read this tripe!”

   The Author glowered and a now alien space ships began to descend from the heavens.

   “Yeah right!” she shouted, retrieving the half-spilt bottle of pimp gin.  Beneath her Pimp Diddy squirmed thirstily, but she let him dangle.  Below him she could see an army of hooligans and night prowlers pouring onto the roof.  But still she just turned back toward The Author.

   “Fight!” the poster exhorted in a hollow, unworldly voice.

   Sheeba shook her head as well as the contents of the bottle onto the poster.

   “You MUST fight!” The Author boomed.  “I made you!”

   Another firecracker bomb sailed by and Sheeba grabbed it out of mid-air, deftly pulling out the sparkling fuse. 

   “No, I made you!” she shouted back, and lit the gin-soaked paper with the fuse.   The poster erupted into a sheet of purging fire, peeling back the horrified image of The Author to reveal the blackening pages of the manuscript beneath. 

    And though the towering pyre burned violently, the rest of the world was now suddenly at peace.
   
   

Sane Co.

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Time for voting.
remember the categories are:
Best Interpretation of Theme:
Best Relationship Between Character and Author:
Best Dialogue:
Best Overall:
For extra credit, but no extra points
Best Twist Ending:
Scariest Implications:
Voting will run until the 25th of March.
Good luck.
Stay Sane.

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #13 on: 20 Mar 2015, 01:51 »
This is always fun: ;-D

Best Interpretation of Theme: Sinitrena.  I liked that she didn't try to impersonate Ponch, like certain other participants who shall remain nameless. (roll)  I liked that she put a lot of thought into her own role as a creator of worlds, and I personally enjoyed the walk down memory lane with the characters from her previous stories.  But mostly I liked the implied paradox of a character fighting against the author, who nonetheless was scripting the whole saga.  Well done.

Best Relationship Between Character and Author: Sinitrena.  Well, they didn't have a terribly great relationship, but I loved the antagonism.  Also, if you read between the lines, there's something of the enfant terrible in Tevenon, the ne'er-do-well child that still manages to be his mother's favourite.  Why else the indulgence of such candid fury against her but at the same time by her own hand? ;)
   
Best Dialogue: Sinitrena.  Especially when the fourth wall came tumbling down, it made for some insightful quips.

Best Overall: Sinitrena.  It was a novel premise with an uncertain outcome, which always makes for a great story.  I'm not sure it was on purpose, but the bending of reality through the somewhat garbled 5th paragraph actually made the story feel "real" for me.  And finally I was satisfied with the goddess-like whimsy that the author displayed in the end: to paraphrase some Book: "The Lady giveth, and the Lady taketh away."

For extra credit, but no extra points

Best Twist Ending: I'd like to single out Sinitrena for bonus points here, since I genuinely thought the Goddess was tolerating Tevenon's insolence with some greater purpose in mind.  The playful, almost childish twist-ending reminds me of the capriciousness of "actual" historical divine beings.

Scariest Implications: I suppose the scary implication here is that Sinitrena, whom I'm voting for btw just in case, may actually be a divine being in the guise of a mortal AGSer.  Perhaps this explains the paranormal occurrence of ice-cream vending establishments at the top of German mountains?  In any event, it certainly makes you think twice before crossing her. ;) 

kconan

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #14 on: 20 Mar 2015, 14:22 »
VOTES...
Best Interpretation of Theme: Sinitrena by having the author be God and the characters figuratively and possibly literally (headache attack) in his or her head.  I also like that one of the characters admitted to being self aware.

Best Relationship Between Character and Author: Baron - between Sheeba and the author.

Best Dialogue: Baron for gems like "Y'all ain't nothin' but a pimp posse...” and “They caw me Dr. Fuse!”

Best Overall: Despite Baron's being more entertaining, Sinitrena wrote a more interesting story related to the theme.  This was close though.

EXTRA CREDIT...
Best Twist Ending: Baron had me wondering if he was writing a fun B action movie screenplay until the latter part of the story.

Scariest Implications: Sinitrena for Authors being Gods.

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: The Author Strugle
« Reply #15 on: 20 Mar 2015, 21:50 »
Best Interpretation of Theme: Baron - I can imagine a character getting really sick of its author's shenangians and Sheeba Dass has some very understandable concerns: She gets constantly attacked, has to wear clothes just for fan service, and so on. Baron offers some really good reasons why a character wouldn't like it to be dependent on its author.

Best Relationship Between Character and Author: Baron - You really get the impression Baron's author just writes to satisfy some fetishes while Sheeba would love to live a normal life. It's like the author accidentally created more personallity than he intended.

Best Dialogue: Baron - Not between Sheeba and the author but between all the other characters and her. There are some great lines there.

Best Overall: Baron - For a funny, exciting ride through an action packed story, especially for the unwilling main character.

For extra credit, but no extra points

Best Twist Ending: Baron - An intersting idea that the author's presence is not only felt by the characters. No, he also is seen by them on a giant billboard. That illustrates a very big ego of the author. It's surprising that the characters can nonetheless "win" their "freedom" by simply destroying the picture - which leeds to:

Scariest Implications: Baron - The idea that an imagined character, realistically speaking always a creation of its author, manages to escape its creator is certainly a scary one for a writer.

Quote
I'm not sure it was on purpose, but the bending of reality through the somewhat garbled 5th paragraph actually made the story feel "real" for me.
I'm glad it worked like it was meant to. :=

monkey424

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Here we go..

Sinitrena - I like how you've revisited your own creations and brought them all together. I like it when stories mix like this. You must have enjoyed writing it.

Baron - I love this latest batch of crazy characters from a clearly mental author.

Both  stories are well written and explore the theme in a completely different way. Baron gives us the reluctant protagonist all too familiar with the Author's demented fantasies, while Sinitrena, placing herself in the roll of the author, depicts a depressing world where all her forgotten creations dwell. I believe Sinitrena's story is cleverer in this regard and arguably the better interpretation (or best use) of the theme.

I'd say Baron is the winner in the other categories. I think I'm just a sucker for Baron's comedic, cartoon-like writings. I got a bit of a Kill Bill vibe too.
    

Ponch

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Best Interpretation of Theme: Sinitrena
Best Relationship Between Character and Author: Baron
Best Dialogue: Baron
Best Overall: Sinitrena
*

Sane Co.

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The Results Are In
It was a close tie for who won the competition. Here are the results:
Sintrena:9 pts
Baron: 10 pts
Baron, it's your turn for a new theme. Surprise us all.

Baron

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What?  Closure?  Already?!? ;)

Thank you everyone for your well-apportioned votes.  Sometimes the ring feels a bit small when its just me and Sinitrena slugging it out by ourselves, so I'm glad we at least got 5 voters this time.  Let's see if we can't get a few more contributors involved next time around to make things a little more interesting in the next exciting instalment of....

The Fortnightly Writing Competition!