Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Beautiful Brevity (Results)  (Read 2046 times)

Baron

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Beautiful Brevity



Brevity is beautiful in writing.  Every word is carefully chosen and curated to have the maximum impact.  There's no beating around the bush, no redundancy, and certainly no eight-paragraph descriptions of the furnishings (back in the grave with you, zombie Charlotte Bronte!).

This fortnight we are writing shorter than usual stories.  Well, in most cases anyway.....(roll)  You are free to write about any topic or genre that you want, but your submission must meet the following criteria:

Be exactly 144 words. This includes titles. Hyphenated or contracted words only count as one.  Be creative to meet the limit!
Be submitted by Sunday August 5, 2018.  No exceptions: it's only 144 words!

We will be voting in the following categories:

Best character: Quite a challenge, given there's not much room for actions or descriptions.  See what you can do!
Best word choice: getting the most mileage out of each individual word is the hallmark of a successful short story.
Best overall: Which story combined the above categories but also had great atmosphere, entertainment value, heart-string tuggery, etc?

Remember that deadline is August 5.  Don't forget.  August 5. (nod) 

August 5th.

August 5th....

August 5th...........

« Last Edit: 11 Aug 2018, 22:35 by Baron »

Wiggy

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Please clarify
« Reply #1 on: 23 Jul 2018, 11:36 »
If I write a year, e.g. 2018, is that considered one word "2018", two words "Twenty-Eighteen", or many words "In the year of our Lord, Two thousand and Eighteen"? Some people may be looking to economize on words, but some may be needing to use them up. Shakespeare wrote some beautiful sonnets (14 lines), and also wrote plays of many acts. I look forward to the challenge, but this has to be clarified please.

Mandle

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The Ball...

...I was chasing bounces on down the sloping road past the point I am able to follow it beyond, and yet, somehow, I do follow it.

The bounces grow lower until it is rolling faster and faster. At the bottom of the hill it strikes the gutter on the opposite side and, again, bounces briefly on the grass beyond before settling back into a roll.

I can still see the bright yellow ball clearly as it reaches the edge of the cliff and plunges off towards the crashing ocean below. I see it clearly though I am far above it now and still climbing.

Farther away, at the intersection at the top of the hill, I see flashing red lights and something tiny being loaded into a white van.

I drift higher. I think it has little to do with me anymore.
« Last Edit: 23 Jul 2018, 16:34 by Mandle »

Baron

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I will count a consecutive series of digits and symbols as one word.  So 2018 and 3.14159265359 would be counted as one word.  Even the words, if hyphenated, would count as only one word (i.e. nineteen-fifteen).  Lets think of it this way: you only get 143 spaces. ;)

Wiggy

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Oh Mandle, I loved that story - you have "set the bar" very high, rather high indeed. Thanks Baron for the clarification, 143 spaces you will get. Methinks this will be a great competition! (I saved a few words there!)

Mandle

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Oh Mandle, I loved that story - you have "set the bar" very high, rather high indeed.

Wow, thanks so much for the good word! It means a lot and put a smile on my face at a time when I really need that!

Feetshot

010JCDanton101:"nice headshot! Yer on fire, girl."

StellaSaurus:"thanks!"

010JCDanton101:"Your skill is getting me hard."

StellSaurus:"hehe..."

JuggernautsFist(MOD):"Woah. Take a chill redpill, my dude."

xMemeykitsune88x:"Nice cat-ears. do u have kitty-feet? cn I see ur feet?"

StellaSaurus:"what? no"

JuggernautsFist(MOD):"foot-clan creepers in stream early, today!"

aLpHaBruh:"STFU memeFAG you fucking limpdick"

aLpHaBruh:"this is what a real woman wants"

aLpHaBruh:(pic of shirtless fitness-instructor guy with 8-pack abs)

StellaSaurus:"ooookkkk....  no."

StellaSaurus:"over-inflated 'roid-bois with over-inflated egos? Hard pass."

aLpHaBruh:"all female streamers r sluts taking money form beta cuck orbiter loosers jerking to them."

StellaSaurus:"ummmm, I cross-referenced your registration with your Facebook, and your timeline is filled with muscle guys."

aLpHaBruh:"fuck u lying feminist-cancer whore. ur face is barely a 6/10 plus crap tits."

StellaSaurus:"aaaand your avatar is an Instagram fitness guru named Brad2049. Go cry to sleep in your anime catgirl bodypillow thinking of Brad's biceps."

*aLpHaBruh was perma-banned*

xMemeykitsune88x:"...so... feet pics?"
« Last Edit: 29 Jul 2018, 22:04 by SilverSpook »

Mandle

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Nice slice of reality there Silver Spook!

I can't stand watching the chat on streams. I wish I could even say it makes my brain-cells die because then maybe I wouldn't lose so much faith in mankind each time.

Haha, right!?!?

If you still have faith in humanity, remember Pewdiepie and a bunch of other streamers made tens of millions of dollars having other people watch them play video games and scream.

Also, great job on the yellow ball story, Mandle! Quite fascinating, although I may not have 100% understood it. (I blame that on the dying brain-cells.)

Mandle

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although I may not have 100% understood it.

I was wondering how understandable it was. Could you post your theory on what happened in the story?

Stupot

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SilverSpook. Are you allowed to cut and paste? This is too realistic. I don’t know how people think it’s okay to talk to strangers like that on the internet (coming from someone who frequently calls the president of the United States things like “fucking moron” on Twitter).

Mandle. I liked yours too. I think I understood it:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
The character is a child who was chasing a ball down the road but has actually been hit my a car at the intersection. The child’s spirit keeps following the ball until it falls off the cliff and then the child starts to ascend to heaven.
correct me if I got it wrong.



As for my entry:

Something
Dark


Three months ago, en route to a nearby hardware store, I noticed an SD card on the track of a level-crossing. I hesitated at first but then took a step back and picked it up.

Not wanting to contaminate my laptop (after all, it could contain all sorts of nasty stuff; someone probably threw it on the track for a reason), I slid the SD card into my old digicam.

It contained just one file, a photograph of the same crossing where I’d found the card. In the faint moonlight there appeared to be something dark lying on the track. It was hard to tell but it looked like a body. I checked the time stamp. It was dated July 25th 2018. That’s today.

Tonight I’m going back to that crossing to see what I can find. And I’m taking my camera.

Mandle

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Stu, amazing story, mate!!!

Nice creepypasta/J-horror thing going on. Also creepy that you used the real date.

Wonderful stuff!

Stu?

You there, Stu?!

Uh-oh... 8-0
« Last Edit: 26 Jul 2018, 08:54 by Mandle »

Stupot

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Hehe. Thanks man. I actually did find an SD card at a level-crossing more like 8 months ago and I still haven’t checked it in case something dodgy ends up on my laptop. It only occurred to me a little while ago that I could put it in my old camera. Probably just some salaryman’s spreadsheets, but what a strange place to leave it.

Mandle

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Probably just some salaryman’s spreadsheets, but what a strange place to leave it.

Or it could be thousands of bitcoin?!

By the way, concerning your analysis of my story:

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
100% correct kinda. I didn't really want to confirm in the story if the child was headed to heaven in particular, more that he or she was just letting go of their life at its end. Kind of a Jacob's Ladder thing.

I actually had a different ending in mind where someone approaches the child and hands them a bright yellow ball to play with but decided against it for that reason and also because it seemed a bit too sappy an end for a story about a dead child.

Wiggy

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Here is my effort, against great competition I must say. The effort starts... wait for it... wait for it... Now!

Is the glass half full, or half empty?


…is a question that is designed to determine whether you are an optimistic or pessimistic. The optimist says “Half full”, while vice-versa. I say it depends upon who you are.
A theoretical physicist, such as Schroedinger (a cat-lover) would say the glass simultaneously exists in both states.
A God-Botherer would say that the glass has been created to hold fluid, so it fulfills its purpose while containing anything – and will therefore earn its place in “glass heaven”.
An existentialist will say that the glass spends most of its time empty, so its current state is an absurdity.

It’s not about the glass. How much is left in the bottle? Do we have any more bottles, or is anyone right to drive to get more?
If the glass is all I have – it must be bed time!

Baron

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Sweet!  Four entries and we're only half-way to the deadline. ;-D 

A few teensy weensy little issues with the format:

@SilverSpook: Nice twisting of the intent of the rules, you extra-word sneaker-inner you!;)  But even according to your own logic and the strictest interpretation of the rules, you still have only 143 words. :P

@Wiggy: This is trickier....  Do I count the word "Now!"?;)  My word count program tells me you have 146 words even without it, probably due to your isolated dashes (and the 145 spaces that they create :P).  Traditionally they wouldn't be counted as words, true, but the spaces Wiggy!  You were the one who hounded me for specific clarification! ;-D

In all seriousness, I think intent to meet the rules is more important than strictly following them, so I'll allow both entries as they stand.  A few quick space-bar or back-space edits would make them conform anyway.  I had even more deep and insightful things to say, but my son tells me it's time to play lego so I'll have to leave it at that.

One more week! 

Mandle

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BUZZ...

I land on a wall.

Giant creatures are saying stuff:

"I might have..."

"Listen, you should just pay her..."

BUUUUUZZZZZZ...

I land on a tape recorder.

"...cash, but..."

"Could that..."

BUUUUUZZZZZZ...

I land on a shoe tip.

"...she might..."

"Naw, she wouldn't..."

BUUUUUZZZZZZ...

I land on a TV screen.

The giant creature on the TV is saying more stuff:

"..so wish I could have been a fly on the..."

BUZZZZZZZ... BUUUUZZZZZ... BUZZZ... BUUZZZZ... BUZZZ...

BUUUUUZZZZZ.... BUUUUZZZZ...BUUZZZZ... BUZZZ... BUUUUUUUUZZZZZ...

BUUUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZZ.... BUUUUZZZZ... BUUUZZZZ... BUZZ... BUUUUZZZZ...

BUUUUZZZZ... BUZZZ.... BUUUUUZZZZZZ... BUZZZZZ... BUUUUZZZZ...

BUZZZZZZZ... BUUUUZZZZZ... BUZZZ... BUUZZZZ... BUZZZ...

BUUUUUZZZZZ.... BUUUUZZZZ...BUUZZZZ... BUZZZ... BUUUUUUUUZZZZZ...

BUUUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZZ.... BUUUUZZZZ... BUUUZZZZ... BUZZ... BUUUUZZZZ...

BUUUUZZZZ... BUZZZ.... BUUUUUZZZZZZ... BUZZZZZ... BUUUUZZZZ...

BUZZZZZZZ... BUUUUZZZZZ... BUZZZ... BUUZZZZ... BUZZZ...

BUUUUUZZZZZ.... BUUUUZZZZ...BUUZZZZ... BUZZZ... BUUUUUUUUZZZZZ...

BUUUUZZZZ... BUZZZ.... BUUUUUZZZZZZ... BUZZZZZ... BUUUUZZZZ...

BUZZZZZZZ... BUUUUZZZZZ... BUZZZ... BUUZZZZ... BUZZZ...

BUUUUZZZZ... BUZZZZ... BUUUUUUUZZZZZZZ... BUZZZZ...
« Last Edit: 29 Jul 2018, 16:52 by Mandle »

Mandle

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I hope multiple entries are alright.

@Baron: Ok, my entry should be fixed!

Wiggy

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Sorry Baron, but when I wrote it the Microsoft Word "Tools Menu, word count" option came out at 144. Bloody Microsoft's fault I say! Thanks for letting it stand - and no, don't count "now".;-D