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Creative Production => Competitions & Activities => Topic started by: Baron on 22 Nov 2018, 04:48

Title: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Results Again!)
Post by: Baron on 22 Nov 2018, 04:48
What do Bridget Jones, Krusty the Clown, and Neville Chamberlain all have in common?  A façade of competence and the sword of Damocles dangling just above their heads.  A player's gonna play, and a hater's gonna hate.  So what's a poor faker to do?
 
Faker's Gonna Fake
(http://www.vanwijst.com/games/Published/fake_it.jpg)

Nobody likes a phoney in real life, but god they get into such great predicaments for story telling!  Teenagers trying on new personas like they're clothes-shopping at the mall, corporate yuckity-yucks throwing around buzzwords like they somehow make sense, politicians lying through their teeth just to disprove the rumours that someone just shaved a monkey and put a tie on him: it's a faker's paradise out there!  Your mission in this competition is to create a character self-delusional enough to believe that, despite a lack of genuine skill and experience, they can do it just like the pros!  It'd be great if there was some sort of reckoning at the end, actual or implied, but that's just for bonus points.

Deadline: All entries are to be submitted by Friday December 7.

Word Limit:  It's gotta fit all in one post.  Faker's not gonna put in extra work, why should you? ;)

Possible Voting Categories: I might change my mind over the next two weeks, but right now I'm thinking:

Best Character: A really genuine faker of the fakiest kind.
Best Fake: Which character was able to pull off the most audacious fraud?
Best Plot: The most suspense created as the fake is about to be uncovered.
Best Writing: Which writer can best fake grammar competence, spelling proficiency, and word-choice prowess?
The Fake Vote: This one is a bluffer's dream come true.  Is if for best overall, or fakest entry?  Hmmmmm....  A wild card indeed! :=

Good luck to all entrants!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Deadline Dec 7)
Post by: Baron on 04 Dec 2018, 00:43
I'd like to thank you all for feigning faking interest in this topic. ;)

Just a reminder: you've got about 4 days left to fake up an entry!
Title: Who was that unmasked man?
Post by: jahnocli on 04 Dec 2018, 09:54
Who ya gonna fake?

It had to be the right kind of corpse. No mutilated bodies - jumpers or victims of violence - just a reasonably fit, (intact!), middle-aged caucasian male that had recently died of drowning. You wouldn't have thought it would be this difficult in a large city with a fair-sized river, but it had been weeks now. Then the call came.

He was perfect. The police and the coroner had done all the 'due diligence'. Unmarried, no record of a family, no dependants, not on anybody's watch lists, no large amounts of money owed or due. A vagrant Welshman, James O'Rourke('Shams' in the local dialect). Looking at him now in the medical examiner's cold room, this poor man had wasted his life. But he would be reborn.

While a tailor made his suit, a whole government department worked on his wallet. His papers had to look real, but worn. A photo of his non-existent wife and daughter had to look awkwardly posed, and the daughter had to look the part. There were a couple of tickets to a (real!) West End show. But most effort went into the unposted letter that he never wrote to his non-existent family in their non-existent home.

The letter needed to be re-written a number of times. There had to be hints of rumours, disguised with a clumsy code -- something that would be enough to arouse curiosity but not suspicion. The spelling and grammar had to be literate, but short of perfect. The letter had to be written in pencil, as though hurriedly jotted in a cramped cabin, but a kind of pencil that would not be washed away after prolonged exposure to seawater. Similarly, the paper had to be resilient enough to resist a good soaking. There were many tests carried out.

Bill Worthing, the chief counterfeiter, gave a wry smile. "Well, mate, you are now Lieutenant Arnold Pilkington of the Royal Navy," he mumbled under his breath, "but 'Shams' is a better name for what you're about to do. Good luck."

Deadline day finally came. Shams looked every inch the naval Lieutenant. The top brass were here. Captain Harrison and a small group of men stood awkwardly around the corpse, steam issuing from their mouths and noses in the sub-zero air. The Captain reached for the inside pocket of Shams' neat jacket, and examined the wallet carefully. "Like you know anything about forgery," thought Bill Worthing.

"Let's hope we've done enough." Harrison was a man of few words, and none of them were compliments. He saluted briskly, and was gone. After a decent interval one or two people laughed nervously, then everyone started talking about the work they'd just completed. The compliments came from the project leader, who knew what a great job his team had just completed..."But we'd better get out of here soon before we all freeze to death."

                                                     . . . . . . . . .

It was a quiet, moonless night off the coast of Portugal. The Meteorological Office had made some calculated guesses about winds and tides, but of course there were no guarantees when it came to the weather. On the deck of the sub, the inflatable containing Lieutenant Pilkington and the two SOE operatives was ready to launch.
The sub slid beneath the surface and the men started paddling towards the dim lights on the horizon. About a mile from shore they tipped Pilkington into the water, and paddled back the way they'd come. They had been told nothing -- for them, it was just another weird operation.

The great thing about chains of command is that you can pass any major problems upstairs. From the fisherman who discovered the body, to the local policeman, then the medical examiner, followed by the District Commissioner, to the local Oberleutnant, and on up to Berlin, the contents of that wallet were examined minutely. There were high-level meetings. Based on the merest hints "deciphered" in the letter, decisions were made to switch regiments further up the coastline.

Erwin Rommel was not happy. The great General had been called up to northern France to oversee coastal defences against the forthcoming Allied invasion. All he could see with this decision was problems, not solutions. Recently, all military decisions were subject to political interference, and this was merely the most recent example. It had all been different in the beginning...

When the Allied invasion came, the Normandy beaches were less well defended than they should have been. 'Arnold Pilkington' played a part in the torrent of disinformation presented by the Allies. So a Welshman with an Irish name helped the English espionage community hoodwink the Germans in Portugal. Ironically enough, this vagrant's post-mortem 'existence' would be worth more than most soldiers in the Allied landings. Here's to you, Shams - The Man Who Never Was.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Deadline Dec 7)
Post by: Sinitrena on 06 Dec 2018, 01:10
The Music of Grace


The sound faded to a silent ring and then a mere echo and the smile on her face seemed to spread through the whole room. A breathless silence kept the audience in its grip for several seconds while she stood with her arms stretched far to the side, seemingly encompassing the whole world. The cameras stopped flashing for just this moment and then the chaos of cheering and applauding filled the hall.

As if a spell was broken, she finally moved more than just her eyes and let the microphone sink down from in front of her mouth. One step forward, another brilliant smile for all of them and each one individually and then she bowed, first just her head in silent acknowledgment, then her upper body in an elegant and deep curtsey. Again and again she bowed and curtseyed and threw kisses into the audience that just wouldn’t stop celebrating her beauty and melodious voice.

The cheers followed her backstage where the atmosphere was less wild but not less euphoric. A stagehand passed her a bottle of water, another put a robe around her in the air-conditioned halls too scantily-clad body, while yet another scrambled after her to pick up the high-heeled shoes she kicked off unceremoniously. She honored their services with her brilliant smile and their compliments with absent-minded nods, rushing towards her dressing room.

“Perfect! It was perfect, darling, just marvelous! There’s no-one better than you, Gracie!” she was greeted as soon as she opened the door.

“Don’t call me that, Mom,” she said with the whiniest voice she could produce and an impressive pout and then, allowing her brilliant smile to return, she added, “And I know that it was perfect, because I am perfect.”

“You are, darling, absolutely. And the comments on social media,” she said while looking down on her phone, “are already spectacular. You are a sensation, Gracie.”

“What else could I be? There’s no better singer, no one who has sold more albums, no one who filled larger stadiums, no one who could grip the audience like I can. Mom, you don’t doubt that, do you?”

“Of course not! You’re the absolute best!”

The usual compliments out of the way, Grace turned her attention to the make-up table and allowed the hairdresser she didn’t really notice anymore to remove the clips and clasps that held her hair in perfect position.

For a while only the sound of the people leaving the concert hall and her mother relaxing on a couch and scrolling through her phone reached her ears. After a while, it was interrupted by the voices of her head technician and her manager arguing in front of her door. They were still in the middle of their conversation when they knocked and then entered without acknowledgment.

“...serious problem. If they follow up on their threat -”

The manager interrupted him: “We can’t cancel the show because some stupid hacker’s claiming -”

“We can’t let her go on stage!” said the technician.

“Is there a problem?” Grace’s mother had gotten up and was facing the two man with a mixture of annoyance and fear on her face.

“Nothing serious, we can handle it,” the manager assured her right away.

“Good. Because that’s your job.” Grace looked hardly up from her fingers where the assistant cleaned the last remnants of nail polish away.

Her mother was not so easily satisfied. “What is the problem?”

“Well,” the technician said, “someone’s threatening to turn of the auto-tune software during the concert tomorrow.”

“Which is not a problem. We can just use playback. Nobody will notice.”

“Playback?” That got Grace’s attention. “What are you talking about? I’ve never used playback! And turning off auto-tune? I always told you that I don’t need it. I’m not some pop starlet who got famous on YouTube and who doesn’t know how to perform. And is forgotten after a year or two. I fill stadiums! I’m the best singer who ever lived! That’s what the magazines say about me. Whatever threat you think you got, there’s not a problem and there’s nothing to handle!” With these words, Grace flounced out of the room and towards her waiting limousine.

“Handle it!” She heard her mother say before the door clunked shut behind her. The words echoed through her head like the sound of her music echoed earlier through the concert hall. She was seething. There was nothing to handle.

*

Grace woke to the buzzing of the phone on her nightstand late in the afternoon. The sun, shining through a crack in the heavy curtains, tickled her nose and she slowly stretched and reached for the phone.

“U sick?” the messaged read.

She stared long and hard at it, trying to comprehend it. She rubbed the sleep out of the corners of her eyes and smoothed the satin bedsheets while her mind worked on waking up. After a moment, the phone buzzed again.

“Sore throat?”

Her answer was about as articulate as her thoughts right then: “?”

“Check the news.”

She did and found the usual stuff about her amazing voice and the concert yesterday that was a revelation to everyone who ever thought he knew what music really meant. She yawned. All this was so normal and so true and still her mother and manager insisted on this stupid auto-tune system. With a sigh, she put the thoughts away and scrolled through the rest of the articles about her.

... rumor that a case of influenza might stop her from performing tonight for the twelves night in a row at the...

Her fingers became white around the phone where she gripped it like a lifeline. She stared down on it for several minutes, angry tears welling up in her eyes.

I am the best. And still they talk behind my back. I am amazing. And still they need technology. I am perfect. And still...

Again, the buzzing pulled her back to the present.

“U there?”

Finally, she answered: “Ya”

“U performing?”

“Ya”

“Still want me to do it?”

She did not think long about it. The anger was fresh in her mind.

“K”

After that, her phone was silent and Grace fell back on her bed and put her arm around her tired and puffy eyes.

*

Dodging paparazzi and fans at the backstage door had become second nature in the last couple of years. From time to time she enjoyed the flurry of flashbulbs and arms grabbing for her, hands that just wanted to bask in her glory for a fraction of a second. She considered it her proper dues. She accepted the attention with a benign smile and an indulgent wave for people giving her what she deserved.

This evening, she just waved absent-mindedly at them as she passed through, her bodyguards pushing them aside without all that much regard to whether they stumbled. She rushed into her dressing room, paying little attention to anyone.

“...handle it?” Her mother’s shrill voice greeted her – even though the question wasn’t directed at her – as soon as she opened the door.

“Yeah, we paid him off. It’ll be fine.” said the manager.

Grace had no doubt that she paid better and the thought made her smile. Still, she was more nervous that day than she had been for years, when she floated onto stage to the cheers of her fans. It was not worry that turning off the auto-tune would ruin her voice or her career because she knew she was perfect, but the fear that the hacker she had hired might not go through with it, either because the money from her manager had an effect or because he actually couldn’t do what he had promised to do.

The beginning of the concert was as normal, just like she had planned it. The music soared from her throat and danced through the hall. One by one it caught its listeners in its spell, putting them into a trance of the purest bliss.

Grace herself was caught by her own kind of trance. The music filled her soul as it always did. Every movement of her body was perfect, every gesture, even every thought, guided by a power far stronger that everything else, transcending every barrier between herself and the audience, no matter how far below herself they all were.

She hardly heard herself in the orderly chaos that music had always been to her and when it was time to start the last song, she knew that she was right and her voice did not need any electronic enhancement. Even though she couldn’t hear the difference, she just assumed that the hacker had done his job.

But when the last note of the song faded into the last remnants of its echo, for once the silence that followed was not broken by frenetic cheers but by incredulous looks and nervous laughter. For a while, the audience held onto the hope that this was just a joke – a strange and unexplainable joke but a joke nonetheless. It died slowly as the seconds ticked by.

She waited for the applause to break the suspense as it always did, which then would allow her to bow deeply in acceptance of the well-deserved obeisance, gracefully and elegant, but it never came. Shrieks, hisses, cameras that did not capture her beauty but her utter failure, jeers and angry and confused laughter drove her from the stage.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Deadline Dec 7)
Post by: Baron on 07 Dec 2018, 03:46
Two entries doth a competition make, but it would be nice to have a few more.  One more day!!!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Deadline Dec 7)
Post by: Baron on 09 Dec 2018, 03:07
And that's a wrap, folks.  We've got three incredible entries to choose from:

jahnocli with Who Ya Gonna Fake?
Sinitrena with The Music of Grace
Mandle with Fake Invisible Entry

The voting categories are, as promised:

Best Character: A really genuine faker of the fakiest kind.
Best Fake: Which character was able to pull off the most audacious fraud?
Best Plot: The most suspense created as the fake is about to be uncovered.
Best Writing: Which writer can best fake grammar competence, spelling proficiency, and word-choice prowess?
The Fake Vote: This one is a bluffer's dream come true.  Is if for best overall, or fakest entry?  You be the judge!

Voting closes Tuesday December 11, but I won't get to wrapping everything up until the 12th in case you're planning on cutting it close.  Good luck to all participants and may the best writer win. :)

Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Deadline Dec 7)
Post by: jahnocli on 10 Dec 2018, 10:55

Mandle with Fake Invisible Entry


Ha ha! Definitely the best fake.
Plot, writing and character let down this entry though...maybe a more richly evocative title would have helped?
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Deadline Dec 7)
Post by: Sinitrena on 10 Dec 2018, 15:24
Mandle with Fake Invisible Entry

A masterpiece. I couldn't stop reading.



...no wait...




I couldn't even start reading.



Damn fakest entries that ever faked... (wrong)






jahnocli with Who Ya Gonna Fake?

This entry reminded me so much of "It can't always be Caviar" (https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Always-Caviar-Fabulously-Involuntary/dp/B0006BMNU8) by Johannes Mario Simmel (No idea how well known the book is, but if you ever stumble upon a copy, I recomand it.) even though the scene it reminded me of is so minor, most people probably won't even know that it exists. Anyway, I really like the idea and the writing doesn't disappoint either. There are some minor logic things (they wait forever for a suitable body and it still reads like they struggle to get the forgeries done once they do have the body. They could't have worked on it earlier - but thyt might be a wrong expression due to the little detail we get and the style which is far away from the action.) that could do with a bit of work. I'm also missing some details how exactly the operation confused the german war effort. In short, some more details would have been nice.

Best Character: The abtly named Shams by jahnocli
Best Fake: Faking a naval captain with body and forgeries? Someone went all out on that one. jahnocli
Best Plot: It feels a bit like the plot is only hinted at but what it hints at seems interesting. jahnocli
Best Writing: Nothing to complain about. jahnocli
The Fake Vote: Should I give the fake vote to the fake entry? Or the admin for creating the fake? Nah, jahnocli should have this one as well.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Deadline Dec 7)
Post by: Ponch on 13 Dec 2018, 02:06
Best Character: Sinitrena for Grace's mom.
Best Fake: Sinitrena.
Best Plot: jahnocli because you can't be reality.
Best Writing: Sinitrena.
The Fake Vote: Ponch. Mandle. Hands down.  :=
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Deadline Dec 7)
Post by: Baron on 14 Dec 2018, 03:39
Gah, I goofed by not changing the OP title to advertise the voting. :P   I'll extend the voting to Saturday in hopes of garnering more input from the reading community.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting to Dec 15)
Post by: Ponch on 15 Dec 2018, 03:42
I'll extend the voting to Saturday in hopes of garnering more input from the reading community.
Will I be able to vote a second time, presumably under a fake name?  :=
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting to Dec 15)
Post by: Baron on 16 Dec 2018, 03:16
Well, some input is better than none.  :P
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting to Dec 15)
Post by: Sinitrena on 16 Dec 2018, 17:05
Sometimes I wonder what makes people read and vote in this competition. It doesn't seem to be the length or number of entries (with the exception of the fact that people who enter also tend to vote... (wink wink nudge nudge jahnocli  :P )), or the time people actually have to vote.

I think it's time to close this round, don't you agree, Baron?
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting to Dec 15)
Post by: jahnocli on 16 Dec 2018, 21:00
Sometimes I wonder what makes people read and vote in this competition. It doesn't seem to be the length or number of entries (with the exception of the fact that people who enter also tend to vote... (wink wink nudge nudge jahnocli  :P )), or the time people actually have to vote.

I think it's time to close this round, don't you agree, Baron?
Normally I'm happy to vote, but with just two (real...fake) entries, and not being able to vote for myself (!), I can only vote for Sinitrena. I'm happy to do that, but it can hardly be sincere in these circumstances...!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting to Dec 15)
Post by: Sinitrena on 16 Dec 2018, 22:12
Sometimes I wonder what makes people read and vote in this competition. It doesn't seem to be the length or number of entries (with the exception of the fact that people who enter also tend to vote... (wink wink nudge nudge jahnocli  :P )), or the time people actually have to vote.

I think it's time to close this round, don't you agree, Baron?
Normally I'm happy to vote, but with just two (real...fake) entries, and not being able to vote for myself (!), I can only vote for Sinitrena. I'm happy to do that, but it can hardly be sincere in these circumstances...!

Sinitrena...
...who did vote...
...who you quoted there...
...and who is the one you're talking to right now...

I hope you're not implying that my votes weren't sincere.

Or that my story doesn't deserve any votes at all. (If that is your opinion, that's fine. But in that case I would very much prefer it if you just outright said so.)

Besides, voting is always also an opportunity to look at the categories, independent of the competition, and measure the story against them. Did a story provide interesting characters? A good plot? Was it technically sound? That has, in itself, nothing to do with other entries. Also, comments are actually nice, even negative ones, because they allow a writer (or other kind of artist) to learn what other people think about one's work.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting to Dec 15)
Post by: Baron on 17 Dec 2018, 01:59
....but with just two (real...fake) entries...

I'm pretty sure if you added up all the real and fake entries the total would be three...  ;)

I think it's time to close this round, don't you agree, Baron?

Oh, very well.  Announcing the results of the fake writing competition!  Can we have a synthetic drum roll, please?

Sinitrena with 3 well-earned votes.

jahnocli with 6 well-deserved votes.

Mandle with a record 137 somewhat suspect votes.

So the fake winner is Mandle!!!1!!!  He was a dark horse, yes, but sometimes even in democracies you get some serious flukes.  Some people speak of the wisdom of crowds, but some other people look askance at those first people because, seriously, sometimes you just gotta look at the crowd and wonder wtf??

I made some fake trophies for everyone.  Mandle gets the golden sloar of Uruk.  Jahnocli receives the silver jabberwocky which is quite brillig and slithy in the wabe.  Sinitrena gets this imitation knock-off Lough Ness platypus.  I'm not sure what to tell you about that one.  Congratulations?   (roll)

If I may be permitted to give some feedback?  I thought Sinitrena's entry had a great set-up.  I love how the faker's downfall was the product of her own hubris AND design at the same time.  I hated that Gracie was such a shallow narcissist, but I guess that made her a great character for the purpose of the story.  Jahnocli's story reminded me more of an Ocean's 11 style caper, with everyone doing their small part.  I'd heard of this deception before, but not the details, so top marks for combining a well-researched historical event with the mandatory ruse of the theme.  I'm not sure you achieved the suspense or comeuppance that was recommended, unless you fast-forward 75 years to Britain's xenophobic rejection of the benefits of cooperating with the continent.  :P  Mandle.... well, what can I say?  In terms of the fakiest fakeness, you are the black-belted doctorate-bearing chess-master guru! 

 ;-D
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Results?)
Post by: jahnocli on 17 Dec 2018, 09:12
Sinitrena - no doubts about your sincerity,or the quality of your story, which I thought was a good interpretation of the theme. Just that it's difficult to pick something out when there's only one thing to pick. Didn't mean anything else by it.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Results?)
Post by: Sinitrena on 17 Dec 2018, 15:15
Then pick between your own and mine. That would still be better than nothing at all.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Results?)
Post by: JudasFm on 17 Dec 2018, 15:59
Sometimes I wonder what makes people read and vote in this competition. It doesn't seem to be the length or number of entries (with the exception of the fact that people who enter also tend to vote... (wink wink nudge nudge jahnocli  :P )), or the time people actually have to vote.
WAAH! I'm so sorry; Squid and I really meant to vote, but things have been crazy-busy right now :( (For me, lack of reading and voting is more due to endless procrastination because of work; "It's 1AM, so I'll do it tomorrow. It's 2.30AM, I'll do it tomorrow. I still have 4 days to vote!" etc :) )
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Results?)
Post by: Baron on 18 Dec 2018, 00:30
Huh.  Perhaps I should reconsider my fake results and allow JudasFm to vote....

Very well!  Voting is open for one more day!  :=
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting Again!)
Post by: jahnocli on 18 Dec 2018, 20:02
Then pick between your own and mine. That would still be better than nothing at all.
I.Can't.Pick.Mine. Don't you see?
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting Again!)
Post by: Sinitrena on 18 Dec 2018, 20:56
No. No, I honestly don't. It feels like we're completely missing each other's point.


Let's try this again, from the beginning:

Voting, in these kinds of competitions has two main purposes:
1. Determining a winner.
2. Giving feedback to the artist.


Concerning 1:

That should be pretty clear. You (impersonal you) vote to decide who was best, either in general or in different categories (Which of those doesn't really matter.)

As a courtesy, it is usual to vote when you entered. That's least of all because those people who enter and do vote are in a mathematical disadvantage to those who enter and do not vote (because of the general rule that you do not vote for yourself.) That should be obvious.

You (personal you) say you would be happy to vote, but your votes could not be sincere under these circumstances. But concerning the "Determining a winner" point it is actually irrelevant if votes are completely sincere or not, at least when there are only two entries. In other words, and that might come across as rude: I consider it rather unfair if someone enters and doesn't vote (and therefore, I consider your behaviour unfair and rude), especially when there are only two entries and very few votes in general. Having more entries and more voters offsets this a bit.


Concerning 2:

Voting is never just there to decide on a winner. It's the most simple form of feedback. Comments, as a more eleborate form, are always nicer, of course, but you get what you get.

I completely understand that voting for something when you (impersonal you) don't think it was good feels false, insincere, maybe even fraudulent. But it's not like you have a questionnere here where you can only ever choose between two answers. This is a forum. You can post your opinion. You can say what you feel like saying. Is it more work? Sure. But you're not forced to do it. And really, it only takes a couple of minutes.

That's why I said you (personal you) can measure a story against the categories without comparing it to any other stories, or even compare it to your own. Who cares about unwritten rules of not voting for yourself when it's just about the feedback?

You say you can't pick your own. I assumed - so far in all I've written here - you meant because you're not allowed to vote for your own entry. I realize that there's another possible meaning: You think you don't have the necessery distance to your own work. That is a fairly solid argument if we are talking about actually comparing and deciding who should win. But I'm on my point 2: Feedback. It doesn't work as an argument here because technically, feedback doesn't require votes and decisions, just an opinion. Sure, I said at the beginning that voting is the most simple form of feedback, but it is not the only one.


In short, I really don't see what you're trying to tell me and the fact that you keep your answers fairly short doesn't exactly help.

For the record: I considered sending this as a PM instead of an open post, but it annoys me when people don't vote around here, so this is my manifest of why people should please, pretty please vote.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting Again!)
Post by: jahnocli on 19 Dec 2018, 08:32
Ok, here's a longer answer.
Imagine we're still in the middle of the Cold War. I'm an East German, and I've saved all my marks, or coupons, or chickens, whatever, and I'm ready to buy a car. I visit the nearest car showroom, and the only car I can buy is a Trabant. I sit down in the showroom to fill in my party form. I'm asked for a review of the Trabant. What do I write? What makes the car stand out for me? What special characteristics does the car have that I feel would complement my lifestyle?

This isn't about you, or me. This is a dichotomy when there are only two (genuine(!)) responses to a contest, and one of those people is asked to comment on the other entry. This may be easy for you -- it's not for me. In the previous contest I entered I did indeed take the time to vote and comment. I respect your outlook -- can't you respect mine?
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting Again!)
Post by: JudasFm on 19 Dec 2018, 12:32
Well, for what it's worth, here are my votes and feedback and a HUGE apology for the delay! Blame the time difference. And maybe the Squid...

Best Character: I'm going with Grace. I felt she was a bit of a caricature, but she was the most interesting, so Sinitrena!
Best Fake: jahnocli. Grace's use of autotune and her bribing a hacker to turn it off remotely doesn't fall into the same level as grabbing a dead man, completely faking his identity and going to a lot of trouble to fool the enemy. And succeeding.
Best Plot: Sinitrena. Jahnocli's was interesting, but it wasn't so much a plot as a condensed history lesson. I enjoyed it - I'm a sucker for history, particularly the narrative sort - but it didn't strike me as a story in its own right so much as 'this is how they did it.'
Best Writing: Both were good, but I'm going to have to go with Sinitrena. The double-fake was a very clever idea and despite Grace being such an unsympathetic character, I really felt for her. I would have liked to see a bit more of the aftermath - maybe with Grace and her mother - but that's a very minor nitpick.
The Fake Vote: I'm taking this to mean best overall, and so it's going to be Sinitrena.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting Again!)
Post by: Sinitrena on 19 Dec 2018, 15:04
Okay, jahnocli, your simile is pretty bad for various reasons that really don't have a place here, but I think I understand what you're saying. Let's agree to completely disagreee on that one. You still ignored my point 1, though.

Well, for what it's worth, here are my votes and feedback and a HUGE apology for the delay! Blame the time difference. And maybe the Squid...

Poor Squid. The Squid always gets blamed.
(https://www.img-load.de/images/2018/12/19/squidblame.png)
And the Squid can't even defend himself.  :~(

Thanks for your votes.

You're right, Grace is very much a caricature. I can't say it was intentional. I didn't want her to be a likable character or even a realistic one, just one whose struggles, while those of someone very privileged, were still recognizable as something understandable. I should have toned down her narcicissm a bit, but I originally didn't have her as the one orchestrating her own downfall just as someone who genuilly believes to be the best at something. In the original idea, the hacker acted completely on his own. I should have toned down her unappealing quilities a bit once I decided to have her aware of the discrepance between what people tell her and what they say behind her back.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting Again!)
Post by: JudasFm on 19 Dec 2018, 15:21
Poor Squid. The Squid always gets blamed.
(https://www.img-load.de/images/2018/12/19/squidblame.png)
And the Squid can't even defend himself.  :~(

Well, if the poem Ode to a Zlang-Zlang Squid is to be believed, the Squid does have one defense mechanism; anyone who kills and eats him dies of spontaneous combustion. Which, now that I think about it, is more of a revenge mechanism than a defense one, but over years it has ensured his species is kept off the menu :P (It's also given him a bit of an attitude problem, but people love him anyway ;) )

I love the graphic by the way; I'm saving it :D
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting Again!)
Post by: jahnocli on 19 Dec 2018, 15:35
I thought my simile was apt, and related to both of your points. But that's just my point of view...
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Voting Again!)
Post by: Baron on 20 Dec 2018, 04:07
By my calculation it's now a tie between the real fake entries of Sinitrena and jahnocli with 7 votes each, so I'm hereby invoking my right as contest administrator to break the tie.

I think in my comments above I indicated a slight preference for Sinitrena's work this round, but even without that being the case I would have to decide in her favour due to jahnocli's choice not to vote.  While I respect jahnocli's analysis that it is somewhat absurd to vote for the only option available, it has been the traditional thing to do in this contest when there have been only two entries.  Call it classy or call it totalitarian doublethink, it's still the way we roll around here.  Sinitrena's point that it places her at a distinct disadvantage, having given jahnocli 5 of his 7 votes herself, has greater weight than any philosophical argument against voting when there's only one choice.

Thus, the final official results for the fake contest are as follows:

Sinitrena wins first place with 7 + 1 votes.

jahnocli wins a close second place with 7 votes.

Mandle slips to third place amidst charges of massive electoral fraud....  :-\

I'd hand out the trophies at this point, but as I said before they were all fake as well.  :P  Actually, this whole contest has just been a massive head in Emerald City.  Actually, this whole contest has just been a wabbit dressed as a busty nurse.  Actually, this whole contest has just been a wow butter and spam sandwich.  I'd like to stay and explain myself, but I'd almost certainly just get tangled in my own web of deceit.  See you all next time in the next exciting instalment of....

...The Fortnightly Writing Competition!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Results Again!)
Post by: jahnocli on 20 Dec 2018, 09:37
In the spirit of dubious logic pervading this competition, I'd like to congratulate Sinitrena, and give thanks for finishing ahead of a serious case of administrative malpractice! Second place is more than I deserve...
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Faker's Gonna Fake (Results Again!)
Post by: Sinitrena on 21 Dec 2018, 01:42
I love the graphic by the way; I'm saving it :D

Have fun with it, just don't lock the poor Squid up too often. (I would offer you the version with seperate layers, but I didn't actually save it. Uuups.)

Thanks for your votes, everyone and see you next round.  :-*