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Creative Production => Competitions & Activities => Topic started by: WHAM on 12 May 2019, 10:07

Title: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 12 May 2019, 10:07
You can get this crisp, clean, pristine THING, all just for nine-ninety-nine, which INCLUDES six thingiebobs and nine, count 'em, NINE dinglehoppers!
(https://minnysports.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/a78ae76da19c1a0f9e0e9b2f7e6229e70bd36cf7bc5b2f29b5f8900face502345b15d-thumb-autox384-6965.jpg)

Since I feel the Fortnightly Writing competition needs more competitors and voters, I think we need to appoint someone to run an ad campaign for the competition to boost its image. But how to determine the best advertiser?
Well, by writing a story about advertisements, of course!

Rules

Your story must depict the design of, creation of, production of, delivery of or the reaction to and ADVERTISEMENT.
Is it a TV spot? A newspaper ad? A wandering snake-oil salesman with an operatic bend? A giant blimp? An otter with a tiny little sign? Something else entirely?

You decide!

Deadline
26th of May 2019 - 23:59 UTC
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Baron on 12 May 2019, 14:17
Are there any 2-for-1 deals allowed?  ;)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 12 May 2019, 14:59
Are there any 2-for-1 deals allowed?  ;)

Absolutely! Any and all discounting mechanisms are welcome here, for we SURE DO love to provide the BEST* and CHEAPEST** goods and services to our CLIENTS***!

* Not actually always the best, but somewhere in top 1000 in most quality ratings, out of a sample group of one thousand.
** Not including taxes, shipping and other extraneous costs.
*** "Client" in this instance refers to a person or group of which our organization can gather data, to be sold to unlicensed and unknown 3rd parties.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Mandle on 15 May 2019, 12:35
An Out-Of-This-World Deal

I'll just show you around then will I? Or is there anything in particular you would like to... No, then? Okay, let's just mind that first step there, it's a doozy...

Right then, now for the guided tour of your new dream home:

As you can see, your potential new abode has ample lighting provided by clean solar energy on this side and also a nice quiet retreat on the other for all your "nocturnal needs".. Know wha' I mean? Ummm, guess not right now in front of the kiddies an' all, but, ahem, moving on then...

Ample water supply of both the salinated and fresh varieties with both shower and bath facilities available. Sometimes you might have to wait a bit for the showers to come online but that's just par for the course really with this kind of property.

Now, here's a nice little feature: Over here and there are your deep freeze units... Any and all produce, be they vegetable or meat, harvested on your property can just be stuck in one of these, conveniently located at either end of the property, and kept fresh and edible for practically forever.

For the family on the run there is also a smorgasbord of renewable fresh foods here, here, and ummm, yes, over here which can just be scooped up and taken with you out the door to work or for impromptu picnics.

And... picture this: Over here is the perfect placement for your entertainment center. All your power needs are provided by those outlets you can see positioned in an attractive ring formation. Direct access to all the geothermic energy you will ever need.

However, as an honest real estate agent, I must warn you that there is currently a bit of an infestation of pests which is why the asking price is what it is. In my experience these matters are usually dealt with within a few weeks if the proper professional services are enlisted. Here's a card for my brother-in-law's extermination service. Mention my name for a twenty percent cut!

Now, I do have another client who is very interested in making a deal on this property this aftern...

Oh, you've decided then? Excellent!

Well, here's the contract. If you can provide your payment details and then just jot down your signature on the bottom line there then we can finalize the deal.

For ease of signing, I'll just put the contract down over here on this nice dry hard area...

Spoiler: ShowHide
I believe it was called "Australia" or some such...
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 19 May 2019, 07:48
Just a single week left. That's half a fortnight! 50% off!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 19 May 2019, 15:43
Ok, here is my own:


The ever after

I saw the ad, though I suspect it will be more than just an ad by the end; I hear the company already has lines of people waiting outside its local warehouse for a chance to use its services. It is, of course, a foreign company, conveniently having its local branch assume a name in our language so as to make their services seem more legitimate and - most of all - noble. I knew from the moment I saw the opening line of the advertisement how things would play out; in fact I almost fainted, and have avoided watching the rest ever since.
"Up to now", the words on the black screen read, with no sound or other distraction - as if this vortex just had to suck you in from the first moment your eyes fell on the screen and ensure your demise - "humans simply didn't live long enough so as to outlive ideas". It took incredible resolve to turn off the accursed screen and read or see no more.
Some remain skeptical, but I am confident that those haven't even watched the opening of the advertisement and just scoff at the service promised; not due to logic but out of habit. I am wary of their particular brand of wariness. I do think this is not a scam and that it actually spells the end of our "up to now" miserable civilization, all done through a free-fall to the mouth of the bleakest abyss and all done with the joy of a toddler unaware of the meaning of walking past the safety-rail. 
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Baron on 25 May 2019, 05:38
Blue Spectrum Blues

   The two brothers sat sullenly on the tiny bridge of the Nantucket, feeling more blue than the muted glow of the dozen monitors.  Danyu, the elder, busied himself with forging the past week's course logs.  Cojang, the younger, idly scanned the sub-spectrum waves for a job.  The rest of the small crew was busy mucking out their latest misadventure down in the mizzen bay. 

   Suddenly the radio buzzed to life: “-only twenty-nine ninety-nine!  Yes, this brand new TransCo Eclair can be yours at 18% OAC.  C'mon down to Nifty-Nola's, Sector 1873, New Saturn...”

   “Skippit,” Danyu muttered.  Technically they were both co-captains of the ship, but Danyu often couldn't help taking charge.

   “Been a while since we hit New Saturn, Bro,” Cojang suggested, letting the channel natter on a while longer.

   “Nifty-Nola's that six-hundred pound Ukranian blob, remember?” Danyu reminded his brother.  “He might advertise only an 18% cut, but he'll tack bitch-wise once we're hip deep in the shit-juice.  Goddam Eclair ain't worth it, no matter how pimped.”

   Cojang licked his teeth but held his tongue, instead continuing his scan.

   The radio crackled to life again.  ”-suffer from painful anal-parasites?  Struggle to contain the BRRZZZKKKK NRBials boring into your nipple tissue?  Then try new Poritron Nova-Cream!  It's smooth, medicated cleansing action prevSHHHHH VVRRRRK DUHMN-”

   “Don't need no hitman, either,” Danyu spat.

   “Don't I know that?” Cojang slipped in, tossing his brother some stink-eye.  He knew Danyu was just nursing his wounded pride after that vacuum worm gave them the slip that morning, but he resented being big-brothered all the time.  “Wait...  Nova-Cream?  That's not old One-Eyed Sue, is it?”

   “Yeah.  Last I heard she was working out of Centaurius, but that signal's pretty weak.”

   Cojang checked the spectrum wavelength.  “Eighty sixty-two on the blue band.  Whazzat, Feng Shui?”

   “Nah, you're thinking eighty sixty-nine with Marvin Glow in the D.M.”

   “Shit, yeah!  ♪If you shit your pants than you better call Lance!♪”

   “♪...then you better call Lance!♪” Danyu sang along, chuckling.  “That line's a classic.”  He hacked at his controls for a few moments.  “Fuck me,” he said, the smile fading from his lips again.  “It's butt-fuck Quorrantoria.”

   Cojang shook his head in disbelief.  “It's like the Kahn-Zoe Circuit Champ spinning out on the milk run.  How the mighty have fallen....”

   “Yeah, well...  that ain't gonna be us, see?”

   “Hell's no, Bro!  We'll score that green!”

   “Damn straight.”

   Cojang fiddled with the spectrum filter, bringing in the range.  He glanced at the fuel gauge and shook his head, bringing in the range further.  “Whatever we find, we got exactly one more shot at it,” he mumbled despite himself.

   “I know it,” Danyu sighed, checking their course before turning back to the logs.

   There was a long silence as the two brothers contemplated the corner they were slowly painting themselves into.  Then, “-of children go to bed hungry every night.  I'm Dr. Henry Wise, and I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to rid the world of this grave injustice.  For just ninety-nine cents a day you can feed a starving child.  But that's not all!  Your generous donations will also subsidize school fees, vaccination clinics, parasite nets, and clean water projects throughout the lower-”

   “Goddam government contract,” Cojang groaned, re-initiating the scan.

   “Wait, go back for a sec,” Danyu said.

   Cojang pulled a sour face, but dialled back to the old frequency. 

    “-in need.  One need only to look for a moment into their innocent eyes to know with certainty that we need to act now.  Don't delay!  As an added bonus the first ten callers will receive correspondence directly from the child your donation has helped to save.  Imagine, for just pennies a day you could know first-hand how your generosity has made a real difference in the world.  For less then the price of a cup of coffee you could....”

   “I don't get it,” Cojang shrugged.  “What is it, like a blockade run or something?  There ain't no green in food jumps.  We might as well put a sticker upside the old Nanny and start delivering cryo-pizzas.”

   “It's a goddam famine,” Danyu cursed, rubbing his temples. 

   “We can't even fill the tank at ninety-nine a day!” Cojang said incredulously.  “To say nuffin 'bout paying the crew.  Where's your head at, man?”

   “Are you proud of what we do out here?” Danyu asked his brother.

   “Hell's yes, man.  Hell's yes!  We are SURVIVORS, and proud of it.  There ain't no green in do-goodery.  Whatcha gonna fill your bucket on an empty stomach?”

   They sat another minute, letting the radio drone on.  “-in a war torn countryside beset by drought and pestilence.  Can we just sit by while millions of innocents are held hostage to the conflicts of the greedy?  In a single week the highland militias spend twice as much on arms as it would take to feed the entire civilian population.  Profiteers patrol the only undamaged port and bootleggers flood the local markets with dangerous pseudo-foods at incredible markups.  The situation is dire beyond words.  If you could only know the anguish of having a child die in your-”

   “I'm not gonna let you do this, Bro,” Cojang said defiantly.

   “You gotta parse the message,” Danyu replied, checking the signal source and doing some rough calculations.

   “What?!?”

   “We're not gonna take the G-man contract, fuck!  We're gonna hit the militia supply chain and make some real green.  Think about it: fat profiteers gouging millions to support a two-bit local insurgency with no intergalactic presence to back them up?  The best the government can throw at the problem is any small-time penny-mercs stupid enough to answer their ad to run cal-powder for peanuts?  Chaos and confusion drawing in every tea-biscuit grade barge and dhow for some easy cash-runs for the warlords?  The Nantucket can flip three of their dawdle-ducks before Johnny Goon-Squad knows bum, and then we're out of the local before the wasps even have a chance to swarm.  And who knows, maybe hitting the baddies in the pockets might even help the gov gain an advantage to improve the situation....”

   Cojang just sat there, gob-smacked.  “That's... that's beautiful, man.”

   “Don't get all sentimental on me,” Danyu chided.  “Set six-five on the navi-quad and tell the crew to get some down time.  We're going to work first thing in the morning.”

   “Aye-aye, Cap'n.”
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Sinitrena on 25 May 2019, 19:19
I was just about to ask for an extansion (again - I seem to do this a lot in the last couple of FWC's) but then I saw that I misremembered the deadline. I have a day left, don't I? I should be good, but just in case I don't manage to post in time, I guarantee I won't be more than a few hours late.  ;)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 25 May 2019, 23:38
I was just about to ask for an extansion (again - I seem to do this a lot in the last couple of FWC's) but then I saw that I misremembered the deadline. I have a day left, don't I? I should be good, but just in case I don't manage to post in time, I guarantee I won't be more than a few hours late.  ;)

You can do it! I, and my team of crack marketing specialists, believe in you 110%!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Mandle on 26 May 2019, 10:47
Baron's story sounds like a piece from a larger novel that I would read the shit out of.

That's some hot writing, Baron!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Sinitrena on 26 May 2019, 16:56
Done  (nod)

To Shoot at Sparrows with Cannons


The man looked around furtively, subconsciously trying to hide the colourful uniform that hung loosely from his too lean body. The marketplace was filled with people taking care of their daily routine. The market criers loudly advertised their wares to the women carefully making their way through the crowded streets, in one hand a basket and in the other the hemlines of their skirts. Their wooden shoes sank deep into the still muddy ground from the rain the day before. At the outskirts of the market, where artisans had permanent stalls or even actual shops, they sometimes stopped to marvel at their craftsmanship, often not only displayed through finished works but through working on them. Here and there a carpenter polished a piece of wood or a baker kneaded the dough for the customers later in the day. It was likely that among all the hustle and bustle of a typical market-day, thieves also made their way through the crowed, but the flashily dressed man noticed none. Neither did he see his friend, Peter, who walked somewhere among the buyers and sellers, waiting for Harold to step forward.

He felt as if he were being noticed by everyone. A shudder ran down his spine when he reminded himself that that was exactly the purpose of the uniform's showy colours. Bright red and  dark black stripes alternated on his doublet, which he wore over tight yellow leggings. At the end of the long liripipe of his yellow gugel a silver bell seemed to jingle with every move of his head and even the tiniest gust of wind.

Still, for now, he was mistaken. At the moment he still waited in the shadows of two houses that stood close to each other and whose jetties nearly touched about half a meter over his head. He leaned against the cold wall of one of them, taking deep breathes and surveying the scene in front of him one last time.

…and another time...

…and the last time now...

...really...

He felt the looks of everyone on his shoulders. They prickled like fleas and no rubbing of his back against the stones could get rid of them. A few times he pressed his cold hands against the wall to push himself off, but the rest of his body didn't want to follow his orders. The piece of paper in his cramped hand had been crumpled so much by now that it would be impossible to read any words from it or salvage the wax seal at its bottom and his sweat had smeared the ink beyond recognition. Luckily, there were no useful words written down and the seal was nothing but a glob of cheap tallow. To some degree, he hoped that people really stared at him, that one of the king's guards was among the people on the town square and was already on his way towards him, that last day's rain would return with thunder and hail, that the nearby river would burst it banks, that an avalanche would come down from the mountains or that the earth would open up and swallow him – and when the earth was that hungry it could have the whole town and the whole country right with him! In short, every excuse not to step out of the shadows and find his way to the wooden platform in the middle of the market square was more than welcome.

A last time he pressed his hands against the dirty wall, using more force than before. He made himself stumble away from the house and out of the alleyway. With shaking hands that still crumpled an old and tattered piece of paper and shuffling steps he found his way through the crowd, who backed off and made room for him as soon as they noticed his uniform. It was too late to stop now and the eyes of the people really followed him now, followed him past stalls of apples and meat and left a trail of attention and silence behind.

It was not an absolute silence. Whispers and the rustle of clothes and the flopping of shoes in the mud still came with it and only gradually it extended to the outer corners of the market place. When he stood in front of the steps to the platform, he took a deep breath. And another one, and another. Like before, he had to steel himself for the task at hand.

It was not his idea. It was not his plan as well. Peter had scribbled random signs on the only piece of paper he could find, he had added the bit of tallow to the bottom, he had slipped into the herald's garden and grabbed the uniform from the washing line in a fit of unwelcome genius. Peter had done all this, not Harold, but Harold was the one to wear the uniform now and who stood in front of the crowd. And all because he had lost a bet. All because they were drunk. All because they were stupid. Harold certainly felt stupid. He wasn't so sure about Peter.

He really wished he could go back but now people had seen him and now they really stared at him and the longer he stood there, the more they stared.

His foot had sunk deep into the mud and his leg, already slightly stiff from an old injury, did not want to bend the knee enough to set the foot on the first of the three steps. Shaking, it hit their edge a couple of times before he looked down and forced it up. Rain and mud had made the steps slippery and so he reached the top of the platform even more shaking than before.

He looked down on his paper and when he noticed its devastating state, he straightened it against the legs of his pants. He looked down once again, searching for words he knew weren't there.

Finally, maybe after a couple of seconds, maybe after several minutes, the eyes that prickled on his back forced him to speak.

“Ye hear, ye hear...” His voice was too silent and rasping, hardly more than a frog's croaking, and people strained their ears to hear him.

He had to start again. “Ye hear, ye hear!” he called, looking up at the sky in an attempt to pretend he was alone. “In the name of his eternal majesty, Ethelred the third, lord of the South, the East and the West, master of...”

He faltered. There was at least one mistake in there already and how did the rest go again? A coughing fit, not entirely due to the machinations of higher powers, saved him from coming up with about a hundred titles that made no sense to him anyway.

“Anyway... Hereby..., his majesty..., the king, announces... the... the inan... No... augna... the inaga...” His face had turned an interesting shade of crimson that he could only hope people attributed to his coughing. “Well, I mean, the..., he announces the find... fund... fountain – shen...” The word was wrong. Both of them. He knew it and only a new coughing fit allowed him to order all the words in his head that made no sense at all. If only Peter had written down what he was supposed to say. But Peter could not write. Then again, Harold couldn't read either. “...the creation. He, that is, the king announces the creation of...”

The market place wasn't silent any longer. Whispers and confused looks wafted through the crowd like ripples in an ocean before a storm. Soon, the wind would start to blow harder, the clouds would darken the sky and send down rain and hail and the ripples of confusion would turn into waves of anger.

“...of the first kingly, ahm, hm, no, ahm, royal, that's it, royal shooting range for cannons... If you are interested to join...” He took a deep breath and called the next words out as if they were all one: “Bring your own cannons to the charcoal burner's hut tomorrow at noon!”

Then he fled. There was no other word for it. He stumbled down the wooden steps of the platform, moving his legs faster than his feet could react. He came down on his knees and plunged head first onto the ground, smudging the colourful uniform with a mixture of manure, mud and rainwater. Even while he was still getting back up, he pushed people out of his way. They asked questions, they discussed among themselves, they maybe even tried to stop him but somehow he managed to get past them all and back into the alleyway at one end of the market place where he was greeted by the pockmarked laughing face of Peter, who dragged him further away from the crowd.

He laughed about Harold, the fake herald's look of utter humiliation and fear the whole way to the hut in the nearby forest.

Harold was not as amused. “And what if someone does show up?” he asked and rubbed his cheek where it had landed painfully on a stone in the mud.

“Oh, come on. As if someone has a cannon just lying around. Or would think this was real. Honestly, you should have seen your face...”

*

On the market place, most people were just confused. They knew the town's herald, and this was not him. And usually the herald was accompanied by a couple of guards. On the other hand, he did wear the uniform and the paper looked official enough. After all, who but the herald or some of the other royal officers and clerks had paper?

Looks became whispers and whispers discussions. The main question wasn't if the herald was real or not, though. How could you dare to question a royal clerk? But what exactly was a shooting range? And should it matter to them?

Where most people were confused, Gerald was interested. He had always advocated that everyone should own all the weapons he felt like. Besides, if ever someone attacked the town, he wanted to be ready to defend it. And so he had dragged one of the cannons home after the last war. So if the king suddenly started to agree with him, why should he doubt it? For him, a world that had been in pieces that made no sense, finally puzzled itself together.

The whetstone stayed untouched for the rest of the afternoon. Gerald closed the latch of his door and went into the back room where he stored what little material he always kept at hand. Behind an old table, under an even older blanket, Gerald stored a cannon that was once the hight of technology and that probably still was.

New cannons were always minted but their design never really changed. They were made to shoot things, not to look nice. Gerald's cannon was not new, but it certainly looked it. The bronze of the bore was polished to near perfection and glinted in the little sunlight that shone through the open shutters in the other corner of the room. The wheels were strong and always freshly oiled and the three cannonballs Gerald had brought along were much rounder and smoother than when they were made because he constantly polished them and cared for them. A small keg of gunpowder sat not too far away.

Gerald had not much practice since the war ended. As a matter of fact, he had none at all. Until now, he always believed that the king would not take kindly to people owning artillery, but apparently that was not the case.

Now, he just wanted to make sure his cannon was in perfect condition. Lovingly, he stroked the long pipe and nuzzled the slightly wider muzzle at the end of the bore. He caressed the hard shaft with a soft cloth, polished it with steady movements of his rough hands. Up and down and around he went with the tender rag and here and there a drip of oil. When he was finished with the outside, he carefully poured some into the bore to polish it deep inside. Afterwards, when the the shaft glistened with oil, he turned his attention to his balls. He took them into his hands and weighted them. His fingers slid over their surface, testing their smoothness and oiling them too.

That night, he Gerald hardly slept. Excitement kept him awake a long time. The thought of the imminent pleasure would not leave his mind, and so he got up more than once and followed the moonlight to his cannon. If only he could fill it right now with its powder, if only he could give it its release, so long awaited...

The next morning, he dragged the cannon out of the back room of his house and let it sit in the morning sun to warm up a little bit while he tried to convince his donkey that it was time to start the day.

The ass did not agree with him.

He also did not agree with the harness Gerald put on him or the weight of his burden, but nobody ever asked him and so all he could do was put up as much of a fight as possible.

The sun warmed the market place that morning and dried the muddy street into a dirty track. Few people were up at this hour of the day, or at least there were few on the market place. While it tended to be busy and chaotic the one day of the week where the small town held its market day, all other days were rather quiet. Here and there, a few artisans already set up their shops and one or two costumers already ambled over the square, but the only busy corner was where the old well stood and where housewives and servants met and gossiped about cabbage and kings. It wasn't a crowd, but it was a sizeable group of people, that could not ignore Gerald having a heated argument with his donkey, nor the apparent reason for the argument.

Some called out to him and asked him what he was doing.

“I'm going to the shooting range,” he answered impatiently, as if it were obvious.

But it wasn't. While news often travels fast, and news that makes no sense often even faster, it seldom keeps its information straight. And few of the early morning patrons of the well where there the afternoon before.

“What's a shooting range?” someone asked.

“And what's this on your ass?” another added with a certain amount of mirth about his witty question.

Gerald forced patience into his voice. “The king has finally decided to support the idea of the armed citizen and as a loyal subject it is my duty – and everyone else's – to arm myself and prepare myself to conquer all threats against the enemies of the kingdom, the town and everyone personally.” He puffed out his chest as far as possible.

Not surprisingly, the explanation went right over the heads of the people gathered around the well. They had never thought about weapons or the protection of the kingdom, really. When the king called to arms, they had to follow, if they wanted to or not. There wasn't more to it.

Gerald's self-importance at least allowed him to see their lack of understanding and so he got ready to offer another explanation, but luckily to about everyone involved, the donkey finally decided to move. He pranced a bit, then he jerked forward, dragging the heavy cannon along the dirty road and leaving deep tracks behind.

Gerald, who still held the reins in his hands, was dragged along and stumbled into the dirt. Laughter and jeers followed him as he picked himself up again and jogged after the surprisingly fast donkey with curses and a rather red face.

*

Otto shook his head. The last two days were weird. First, the town's herald shows up and complains about missing clothes. What self-respecting – or trying to be inconspicuous – thief would want to run around in bright colours? And then the thief went up onto the speaker's platform on the market place to make some kind of announcement that made little sense. At least, what people told Otto made little sense.

The guard set on one of the rickety desks in the barracks and mulled it all over. But most of all, he tried to make sense of what he had seen himself. Just a few hours ago, he had seen someone whipping a donkey through the town's streets. So far, that was normal. Otto had to think this through in small steps. People often said he was slow, but he just wanted to make sure he got all the details – and that he could trust his own eyes. If he was not mistaken, and he was fairly sure he wasn't, then the man dragged a large artillery cannon behind the donkey. He was pretty sure civilians were not supposed to own cannons.

After a while, when the tight belt around his impressive belly pressed to much into his stomach, he decided to get up. He shuffled over to the captain's room and entered without knocking. It would have been a waste of time anyway, the captain was asleep in his far more comfortable chair and didn't take kindly to being woken in the middle of the day. Otto, who very much preferred shuffling steps to actually doing the work of lifting his legs up all the way, was extra careful to do just that now. His leather boots were far quieter on the clay floor than the wooden shoes of peasants and artisans, and considering his rotund statue, Otto moved impressively silent. On the other hand, the captain had a fairly deep sleep.

The book Otto was after was the only one in the room. It was an old tome of rules and laws that often got pages ripped out and other just put into it in no particular order. As with all things Otto did, he had taken his time with learning to read but in the end, he had managed it by looking at all things that had words on them, the old tome of laws among them.

His lips formed the words as he read them slowly, searching for a paragraph he had read a long time ago. In the end, he found it, grunted contentedly and ripped the page out of the book. Then he slammed it shut.

The captain woke with a start. “What the...?” He looked around, blinking sleep out of the corners of his eyes but all he saw was the door close behind a shadow. The captain closed his eyes again with a grunt.

If he wanted to, Otto could move fast.

Usually, he didn't want to. He eyed the uncomfortable chair longingly and the sword standing against the wall wearily and scratched his head a couple of times. With a sigh, he finally decided to grab the sword and shuffle out of the barracks and towards the town gate.

The dirt road led past fields that stood golden in the autumn sun. People mainly took the street with purpose, seldom strolling or even hesitating to take in a deep breath and even less often to look at the landscape. In general, few people were on this particular road that day, or any day for that matter. The sun had dried all remnants of the rain of the last couple of days and warmed the worker's back as well as the corn on the fields.

Otto wished for the rain back, though. For him, even a little sun always felt too hot, even in the middle of winter when snow crunched under his feet, but on a beautiful autumn day it was just exhausting for him. He looked the fairly straight street along, hoping to still see the man and his cannon there somewhere, but he must have disappeared behind the shallow top of the surrounding hills. Otto pulled up his pants and tightened his belt, then he started his track towards the nearby forest.

He reached the forest panting, even through he had not walked particularly fast. His bald head already felt like it burned and he was glad to enter the shadows of the trees. He blinked a few times to accustom his eyes to the comparable darkness and then again to accustom his mind to the different silence of a forest from the one in the fields.

Birds chirped in the treetops and small animals rustled in the brushwood. Under his feet, still wet leaves crunched and creaked and made his steps a bit faster than before.

Further into the forest, the loud silence of nature was interrupted by loud voices arguing. Otto could not tell about what. The sound of the voices carried, but not their meaning.

But when he reached the charcoal burner's hut, he was greeted by silence. The argument had turned into a more friendly discussion and a few laughs a couple of minutes ago. Three man stood around a cannon, their looks jumping from the weapon to the approaching man.

When Otto had reached a conclusion, he did not like to drag things out unnecessarily and so he straightened himself to his full form. He cleared his throat as audibly as possible.

“For the purpose,” Otto's finger followed the words as he slowly read them from the old piece of paper, over-pronouncing every one of them, “of their work, the hunting of small animals for personal consumption and the protection of house and farm, every citizen may own the necessary weapons.” He cleared his throat again and folded the law into a neat little package that he then stuffed between the seam of his pants and his belly.

Gerald, Peter and Harold looked at each other, waiting for the guard to say more, but Otto kept quiet. He stared at them with an expression of stupid ignorance, as if he wanted them to explain what he had just said.

“Yes?” Harold finally said, minutes later, when the silence made him too uncomfortable. And probably the position he stood in too. Like the other two, his back was crooked as he was interrupted in the middle of looking at an old cannon and hadn't really moved since he noticed the old portly guard.

Otto's stare was unnerving and the three man began to squirm, even though they didn't feel like they had done anything wrong. Harold put his hand on the cannon's bore to keep himself from falling over, Gerald, who half knelt behind the weapon because he had just added the gunpowder, tried to change the knee he sat on while a frown formed on his forehead and Peter looked everywhere but the guard, but mainly into the trees surrounding his hut.

Otto didn't even seem to blink and with every minute that passed, Gerald felt the need more and more to defend himself: “”It's for my protection!”

“Ahmhm.” Otto grunted. Painfully slowly, he reached into his pants, deeper than he put the paper originally and searched deep down for it, never breaking eye contact with Gerald. Even slower, he unfolded the paper again. His lips silently formed the words of the sentence as he read them again, and then he said: “...necessary weapons. All who keep weapons not necessary shall be suspected as being traitors.” Again, he folded the paper to put it in his pants. “A cannon is not necessary to protect yourself. The kingdom needs them, an artisan does not.” Otto almost smiled.

Gerald jumped to his feet, already disappointed from learning that the whole announcement was just a stupid prank but temporarily soothed by the idea to at least test the cannon in front of an appreciating audience. Now he got angry. “But they could have one and I -”

“It's for hunting!” Peter interrupted.

“Hunting?” Three pairs of eyes turned to the charcoal burner, though who had spoken was difficult to tell. “What?”

Peter still looked mainly into the trees and at the on the branches. He focused on a small brown and grey one that observed the scene below with the greatest form of disinterest, chirping contentedly.   “Sparrows,” Peter said, first absent-mindedly, then, as if he had come to a conclusion, more forcefully, “Sparrows!”

“You hunt sparrows? With cannons?” Now Otto's stupefied, incredulous look was not his way to get people to react.

“Of course! Why else would we have a cannon? Sparrows are so small and fast, what else would you use? You never get them otherwise!”

That was something Otto wanted to see. As a matter of fact, all of them wanted to see this, and even Gerald agreed in the end, so Peter had to shush him before he said something else they all would regret.

With a ringing thud the cannonball slid into the bore and as if in answer to the sound, the little bird in the tree began to chirp louder. It leaned its head from one side to the other as Gerald turned the cannon a bit towards the tree and then louder as he put a little piece of burning wood against the fuse. The flame danced a bit at the end of the fuse, then it slowly climbed up towards the metal. It seemed to hesitate at its end for a moment before it decided to enter and then...

A loud, resounding bang filled the silence of the forest. The branches of the tree shook and rustled from the sound, but the cannonball did not fly there. Fairly limply, it rolled onto the grass and dark thick smoke filled the air.

Up in the tree, a little sparrow chirped angrily. For a second, it moved its head from side to side as if it were shaking it, then the bird spread its wings and flew away.

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

Notes:

To shoot at sparrows with cannons is a German idiom (mit Kanonen auf Spatzen schieàŸen If you want to pronounce it: àŸ is an s  ;)). Unfortunately, idioms can't be translated literally. The English equivalent would be to crack a nut with a sledgehammer, which is the same kind of idea, but would have no connection to the story. So, in the hopes that the title makes, well, “enough” sense, I did use a literal translation.

Inspiration for this came from a newspaper article about the recent vote about a weapons' ban in Switzerland. This article mentioned that the first shooting club in Switzerland was already established in the 14th century. I assume they meant for bows and crossbows (handguns existed but the arquebus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arquebus), the first kind to be really kind of useful, appeared in Europe in the beginning of the 15th century) though they did not elaborate, but I just ended up with this image in my mind of a couple people meeting in the forest with their own personal artillery cannons...

A gugel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gugel) is a specific kind of hood from the middle ages and a liripipe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liripipe) is the tail end of such a hood, just in case you're not familiar with them
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 27 May 2019, 07:55
The time is up, the offer is no longer applicable. But if you missed out on our wonderful offer, fear not, for there is more!
Now, for the low price of 0,00 you can cast a vote for one of these fine entries:

An Out-Of-This-World Deal by Mandle
The ever after by KyriakosCH
Blue Spectrum Blues by Baron
To Shoot at Sparrows with Cannons by Sinitrena


And the voting categories are:

Best Character: the most interesting and credible character in the story.
Best Story: the best journey from A to B, told in a gripping way.
Best Writing: the category for fancy wordsmithing?
Best Use of Theme: who was best able to craft an attention-capturing and purchase-encouraging advert?

Cast thine votes, ladies and gentlemen!
Voting ends on Friday 31st of May 2019, at 23:59 UTC.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Sinitrena on 27 May 2019, 08:01
Now, for the low price of 0,00 you can cast a vote for one of these fine entries:

An Out-Of-This-World Deal by Mandle
Blue Spectrum Blues by Baron
To Shoot at Sparrows with Cannons by Sinitrena

Did you miss Kyriakos' entry? It's behind spoiler tags (for some reason) but it's still valid, isn't it?
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Mandle on 27 May 2019, 08:01
You missed KyriakosCH's entry, probably because he hid it with spoiler tags, which is considerate but makes it easy to miss at the same time.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Sinitrena on 27 May 2019, 08:03
Great minds... (nod)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 27 May 2019, 09:51
Yup, completely missed it as I scrolled through the thread. I could make an excuse about doing that post while at work, but...

Purely my bad. Sorry KyriakosCH!
Added it to the post above now.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Baron on 27 May 2019, 11:43
What about KyriakosCH's ent-?  M'oh.....   (roll)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 27 May 2019, 12:56
It's ok, after all it was behind spoilers as an on-topic marketing trick  :=
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: JudasFm on 28 May 2019, 06:12
The Squid has decided! Our votes are in, along with feedback for everyone else (feedback delivered in order of posting, not preference ;))

Best Character: Sinitrena for Harold.
Mandle, your salesman was pretty convincing, but because the entry was so short and written as a monologue, we didn't get any chance to connect with the character.
Baron, I liked your characters, but felt they were too interchangeable. It was more like one character having an argument with himself than two separate ones.
KyriakosCH, your story was too short to really establish any kind of connection as well. Unlike Mandle's, who was very established as a salesman, we know nothing at all about yours.

Best Story: Sinitrena.
Mandle, short and sweet, but focused purely on the advertisement instead of the story. It's a shame; I'd really love to have heard about the events that led up to this, or who exactly was talking.
Baron, I liked yours too, but it felt very rushed. One character wants to answer the ad, the other one doesn't, the other one tells him to "parse the ad" and then spouts out a long speech peppered with oblique references. End result: I knew what your characters were going to do about the ad, but not why they'd decided to do it or why they felt that it would be more profitable.
KyriakosCH, I felt your story never really got off the ground. It was like you were trying to build dread and suspense, or curiosity, but I'm afraid I just didn't get it.

Best Writing: Sinitrena. There were one or two small typos, such as in this sentence:
Afterwards, when the the shaft glistened with oil, he turned his attention to his balls. He took them into his hands and weighted them. His fingers slid over their surface, testing their smoothness and oiling them too.
There's no such word as "weighted." "Weight" is the noun, but the verb is "weighed." I would also really recommend inserting the word "cannon" before "balls" in that sentence, because if you talk about a guy holding and oiling and stroking his balls, as opposed to the balls, you run the risk of giving your readers a very different image in their mind to the one you may have intended (laugh) Or maybe that kind of double entendre was your plan all along and you were going for sly humor. In which case, I think you pretty much hit it out of the park  (laugh)
Mandle, Very, very clever. I had to read it two or three times to get all the references - at first I thought your comment about Australia referred to the part that was being sold, and I think it would have been better without being hidden in a spoiler tag. Like I said before, I just wish we'd had more backstory.
Baron, great writing :D
KyriakosCH, again, I'm sorry, but I didn't get what was happening besides a guy or girl sees an advertisement and has cynical thoughts about it. I feel like we needed to see the advertisement to really understand the character's reaction.

Best Use of Theme: Mandle. Clear, succinct and just needed to know who was buying/selling to make it perfect for me :)
Baron, I liked the varying ads, but the story and connection to them felt a bit disjointed.
KyriakosCH, while the advertisement was in your story, I had no idea what was being advertised, so it didn't mean a great deal to me.
Sinitrena, I loved your story, but I didn't really see an advertisement ;) Unless you count Harold and Peter's plan, but that came across as more of a prank and announcement than an actual advertisement...
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Sinitrena on 28 May 2019, 08:30

There's no such word as "weighted." "Weight" is the noun, but the verb is "weighed."

Of course there is: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/weight_2 It's the wrong one/not what I meant to say but it does exist.  (nod)


Quote
I would also really recommend inserting the word "cannon" before "balls" in that sentence, because if you talk about a guy holding and oiling and stroking his balls, as opposed to the balls, you run the risk of giving your readers a very different image in their mind to the one you may have intended (laugh) Or maybe that kind of double entendre was your plan all along and you were going for sly humor. In which case, I think you pretty much hit it out of the park  (laugh)
Oh, don't worry, that is exactly the kind of image my readers were supposed to get...  ;) Wasn't that obvious? After all, he also caresses the hard shaft and strokes the long pipe and nuzzles the muzzle... Actually, that's a bit of an overloud of double entandres, isn't it? On a far more subtle note, sparrows are symbolic for lustfullness - and the story ends with the cannon not properly firing... Draw your own conclusions...

Quote
Sinitrena, I loved your story, but I didn't really see an advertisement ;) Unless you count Harold and Peter's plan, but that came across as more of a prank and announcement than an actual advertisement...
Agreed, I am pretty far from the topic. But yes, what is a prank for one is an advertisement for the other and Gerald certainly percieved it as an ad.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 28 May 2019, 12:09

KyriakosCH, while the advertisement was in your story, I had no idea what was being advertised, so it didn't mean a great deal to me.


What was advertised by a shady company was the ability for humans to live for a vast amount of time, eg centuries.  8-)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: JudasFm on 28 May 2019, 15:42
Of course there is: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/weight_2 It's the wrong one/not what I meant to say but it does exist.  (nod)
Ooh, okay then. Fair point (nod) I'm used to hearing it only as "weighted down" or "weighed down" not just "weighted" on its own, which it why it looked a bit odd. Still, The Squid and I stand corrected!

Oh, don't worry, that is exactly the kind of image my readers were supposed to get...  ;) Wasn't that obvious?
Heh. Yeah, I kind of figured that's what you were going for, but it's not always easy to tell. I've edited stuff for people in the past and had more than a few conversations along the lines of, "Hey, did you realize that in this language/country/dialect, X is a lot stronger/X means...?" "WHAT? It DOES? Oh crud!"
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Mandle on 28 May 2019, 16:19
Mandle, Very, very clever. I had to read it two or three times to get all the references - at first I thought your comment about Australia referred to the part that was being sold, and I think it would have been better without being hidden in a spoiler tag. Like I said before, I just wish we'd had more backstory.

Yeah, I tend to use spoiler tags on the last bits of stories when there is an O.Henry ending, which is often the case with very short stories otherwise there is often no substantial satisfaction in having read it.

I see opening the spoiler tag as like turning the page to see the reveal of the twist at the end of the tale. On a forum like this people could be scrolling up and down and have already read the last line in my story before the rest of it.

As for the backstory and the references that were supposed to reveal it upon re-reading(s) (MASSIVE SPOILERS):

Spoiler: ShowHide
The story does require at least one re-reading to get all the references to what is really going on:

The reader is supposed to imagine that this is just a normal human real estate agent showing a married couple around a potential new house.

But it's actually some kind of vast alien salesman showing a mated couple of similar vast alien beings around the Earth as their new purchase for their future home. It's an alien invasion of the earth from the perspective of humans considering the purchase of a new home, which may have a pest problem. More on that later.

The hidden references that might be noticed upon re-readings:

"Okay, let's just mind that first step there, it's a doozy..."

This is the vast alien beings experiencing what we humans call "re-entry" upon coming out of the huge speed of orbit into our atmosphere and gravity field.

"As you can see, your potential new abode has ample lighting provided by clean solar energy on this side and also a nice quiet retreat on the other for all your "nocturnal needs".."

This is referring to the sun illuminating one side of the globe while the other side is in night.

"Ample water supply of both the salinated and fresh varieties with both shower and bath facilities available. Sometimes you might have to wait a bit for the showers to come online but that's just par for the course really with this kind of property."

The aliens can either bathe in oceans or lakes or, if they wish to wait for the correct conditions, can shower when it rains.

"Now, here's a nice little feature: Over here and there are your deep freeze units... Any and all produce, be they vegetable or meat, harvested on your property can just be stuck in one of these, conveniently located at either end of the property, and kept fresh and edible for practically forever."

The deep freeze units are the north and south poles, at either end of the "property", and the image I was going for here was these vast alien beings scooping up earth animals, vegetation, and yes, maybe even humans, to plop down in their "freezers" for later consumption...

"Over here is the perfect placement for your entertainment center. All your power needs are provided by those outlets you can see positioned in an attractive ring formation. Direct access to all the geothermic energy you will ever need."

This is the "Ring Of Fire" of volcanoes around the Pacific Rim that these aliens might have the technology to just put a big plug into like we would into a wall socket.

"However, as an honest real estate agent, I must warn you that there is currently a bit of an infestation of pests which is why the asking price is what it is. In my experience these matters are usually dealt with within a few weeks if the proper professional services are enlisted. Here's a card for my brother-in-law's extermination service. Mention my name for a twenty percent cut!"

The infestations of "pests" is the human race. The humans are going to "fight back" against this "alien invasion" with little tiny jets and missiles and tiny nuclear explosions which these vast alien home-owners are going to view as what we would an ant or wasp infestation in our home. It's just annoying for them and potentially painful at times. A nuke could cause a nasty welt that might make the kids cry on the way to the interstellar hospital for treatment.

"Well, here's the contract. If you can provide your payment details and then just jot down your signature on the bottom line there then we can finalize the deal.

For ease of signing, I'll just put the contract down over here on this nice dry hard area...

I believe it was called "Australia" or some such..."


The equivalent of the real estate agent putting the contract down on the kitchen counter or such for the clients to sign while, at the same time, revealing the O.Henry twist ending of the story. (I really liked the way I did that double-take of the reader's expectations vs. the twist ending in one sentence to be shamefully honest)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Sinitrena on 28 May 2019, 19:48
Mandle:Very clever indeed, though maybe a bit too obscure. It's clear you want the reader to think that it's just about someone selling a house, and then slowly realize that that's not what's going on. So far, so good. But the next step, realizing what is going on was - for me - a bit too difficult and I didn't get it the first time reading. Like Judas, I first though it was Australia that's being sold, but the descriptions didn't fit. Only atfter Judas' comment I came to the right conclusion. So, clever, very much so, but maybe a bit too clever for it's own good.

KyriakosCH: I assumed what was advertised was eternal life or eternal youth or something similar, but it really could have been clearer. I'm not sure what to think of the character. It's clear the character is sceptical of the offered service and very dismissive of other people's concerns - scoffing at their reasons. But I don't really think we ever learn the main character's reasons. (S)he doesn't like it, (s)he thinks it's stupid, dangerous, money grabbing (maybe), all kinds of things, but because we never really learn what it is about and why exactly (s)he thinks so negative about it, (s)he comes across as a naysayer, instead of someone who warns of potential dangers or something like that. Also, this line: It is, of course, a foreign company, conveniently having its local branch assume a name in our language so as to make their services seem more legitimate and - most of all - noble. might come across as rather xenophobic.

Baron: You rush a bit too much through this story. It feels very fast-paced, missing a couple explanations along the way. Mandle mentions somewhere above that it feels like a piece from a larger novel - I have to agree, but it doesn't make me want to read more, it makes me wonder what explanitions I missed that would make the characters more distinct, their motivations clearer, the scene more lively, etc... I think you capture the general tone of advertisments fairly well, though.



Best Character: Baron
Best Story: Baron
Best Writing: Mandle
Best Use of Theme: Mandle
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 28 May 2019, 21:14


KyriakosCH: I assumed what was advertised was eternal life or eternal youth or something similar, but it really could have been clearer. I'm not sure what to think of the character. It's clear the character is sceptical of the offered service and very dismissive of other people's concerns - scoffing at their reasons. But I don't really think we ever learn the main character's reasons. (S)he doesn't like it, (s)he thinks it's stupid, dangerous, money grabbing (maybe), all kinds of things, but because we never really learn what it is about and why exactly (s)he thinks so negative about it, (s)he comes across as a naysayer, instead of someone who warns of potential dangers or something like that. Also, this line: It is, of course, a foreign company, conveniently having its local branch assume a name in our language so as to make their services seem more legitimate and - most of all - noble. might come across as rather xenophobic.

I must accept that I just wasn't clear enough :) The inferred meaning was that the narrator believes the foreign company actually has a working immortality tech. So the world is to change, with everything up to now set to become in hindsight a lost paradise. The company tried to take a local name so as to make its clients feel more at ease with so radical a change if they buy the product.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 01 Jun 2019, 00:49
So, uhh... the deadline for voting ended just now, and we haven't got a whole lot of votes.

Do we:
A) Extend voting over the weekend
B) Flip a coin
C) Have the host (me) cast a final set of votes and hope it results in a conclusive winner
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Mandle on 01 Jun 2019, 01:24
Option A please... I haven't had time to finish reading yet
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 01 Jun 2019, 01:42
Me neither. I somehow expected smaller stories :)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 01 Jun 2019, 02:02
That's three for extension (including myself). And hey, now I'LL have more time to read, too! Win-win!
Cast your votes by 23:59 UTC on Sunday, please! May the best ad win!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Baron on 01 Jun 2019, 04:36
What's a 23:59 UTC?  Why don't you people speak American?!????  ;)  It's still May 31 here.  I'm still going to beat that original deadline, time-zones and logic be damned!  :P

@ Mandle: OK, it made sense on the third reading, and I pieced together all the meanings without any spoilers.  Except I pictured more god-like beings than super huge aliens, but whatever.  I appreciated the challenge of trying to figure out what exactly was going on, and I liked the mannerisms of your nervous salesman (whom I read as being just a mortal or at least a subservient super-being).  On the downside, I didn't detect any actual advertisement (although logically the prospective buyer is probably reacting to one).  Also, there wasn't much of a story arc.  I think the piece has a lot of potential if extended a bit so that we could get invested more in the character's stories, and then the pay-off reveal would be the icing on the cake.

@ KyriakosCH: I kind of got this mind-controlling vibe from your advertisement, with hordes of people lining up and the sceptical narrator describing how the ad sucked you in.  I liked the contrarian atmosphere he creates, and you have some good imagery with the toddler blindly waddling into danger, and your piece is very obviously about an advertisement.  But I have to agree with other comments that what was actually going on needed to be fleshed out a bit more to make sense to a casual reader. 

@ Sinitrena: I liked all of your characters, who despite the short length of the piece all stood out as distinct and well-defined.  Except for Peter, I liked how you made them all just dumb enough to make the plot plausible in the context of the story-world.  You had some great turns of phrase as well, from the "loud silence of nature" in the forest to Gerald's love affair with his artillery piece.  For me the sexual imagery fell a bit flat, as I was looking for a bit of a deeper meaning to the ending, but maybe it's just a case of this ageing male not finding misfires amusing any more....  (roll)

And to the votes...

Best Character: I'm going with Sinitrena's gun-nut Gerald who lets his enthusiasm for his own world view blind him to the obvious perils of revealing his pet-project.

Best Story: Despite a bit of anticlimax at the end, I still thought Sinitrena brought us on the best ride.

Best Writing: N'yeah, this one is tough.  I think I have to go with Mandle by the slimmest of whiskers.  He had great pacing (despite the fact that I wanted more), the way his salesman presented the property spoke volumes, and the double-entendres were hugely ambitious.  The piece had it's minor flaws as discussed, but so too did the competition.
 
Best Use of Theme:  I'm sold on Sinitrena for this one.  The whole story revolved around an overt and well-described advertisement to an extent that the others did not.

As for my own piece, I appreciate the kind feedback.  I concede that the piece was rushed due to other deadlines eating up my time, and that I could have described what was happening a bit better.  My premise was that inane radio-ads are actually coded job-offers for space mercenaries, but beyond that I didn't invest a lot of thought in characterization or plot, and it shows.  But don't worry: this kind of deal won't last forever!  ;)

Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 02 Jun 2019, 02:05
I'm afraid I will have to abstain from voting. (i think for the second time, which is certainly very bad...). The reason is that i doubt i can focus on the two larger stories at the moment; i really thought the pieces would be brief :) Thus, having read in full only Mandle's story, it would be entirely unfair of me to cast a vote & all day tomorrow is going to be hard on my end.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Sinitrena on 02 Jun 2019, 03:05
i really thought the pieces would be brief :)

What are you talking about?  8-0 They are brief! I didn't even exceed the character limit for a post this time around!  (roll)
 (laugh) (laugh) (laugh)

Seriously though, Baron's entry really isn't that long (just over 1000 words) and mine is packed into three neatly seperated chapters - easy to step away from and pick up later (about 4500 words all together). I always think stories look longer than they actually are on a computer monitor, but that might just be me.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Baron on 02 Jun 2019, 14:12
I do tend to blather on and on....  90% of my writing is just padding to make the length look respectable.  I advise just reading the first paragraph and basing your votes on that.  :=
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 02 Jun 2019, 15:40
I do tend to blather on and on....  90% of my writing is just padding to make the length look respectable.  I advise just reading the first paragraph and basing your votes on that.  :=

Nice  :=
It does seem that everytime i take part in these contests i am about to relocate to Athens for some time... (although this time it will probably be for less than a month!)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Mandle on 03 Jun 2019, 00:57
Gimme another hour or so to vote please... Fell asleep ridiculously early yesterday.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 03 Jun 2019, 21:43
C'mon, Mandle! You can do it! Energize! I'm headed to bed now, had a busy day. Will close up the competition tomorrow during or after work so we can get a new one rolling along.
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Baron on 04 Jun 2019, 02:33
I AM MANDLE'S KRYPTONITE.  He always goes weak in the knees when I'm around.  :-*
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 04 Jun 2019, 02:44
I AM MANDLE'S KRYPTONITE.  He always goes weak in the knees when I'm around.  :-*

Here's an ad on the results long-term exposure to Kryptonite has:

 
Spoiler: ShowHide
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Baron on 04 Jun 2019, 03:38
I'm pretty sure the old guy in his underpants in that video is Mandle 20 years back.  How the mighty have sagged further....  (roll)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: WHAM on 04 Jun 2019, 10:33
Mandle didn't make it. I think he was eater by a Grue.

I'm throwing in my own votes, though:
Best Character: Sinitrena
Best Story: Mandle
Best Writing: Baron (despite the abundance of crude language)
Best Use of Theme: Mandle

And with that the final scores come to:

Sinitrena with 7 points.
Mandle with 6 points.
Baron with 3 points.

Congratumalations to the winner! I look forward to Sinitrena showing us some grand examples in advertising this competition all around the forums!
(You can always blame me, afterwards.)


Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Baron on 04 Jun 2019, 11:53
Best Writing: Baron (despite the abundance of crude language)

Or maybe because of the abundance of crude language....  :=

Congratulations Sinitrena!   ;-D

And to you too, Mandle.  I hope your chronic fatigue is not caused by the kissing disease, because imma show you some loving.  :-*

And good work KyriakosCH.  If you want to exchange stories well before the deadline via PM for constructive feedback before posting I will happily forward them to Sinitrena for editing.  ;)

And finally, good work WHAM!  It was a great theme idea, even if a few of us ran out of gas at some critical moments.  :)

See y'all next time!
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: KyriakosCH on 04 Jun 2019, 12:30
Congratulations!!!  (nod)
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Mandle on 04 Jun 2019, 14:13
Congratulations and shame on me...  :-[
Title: Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Advertisement
Post by: Sinitrena on 04 Jun 2019, 17:09
Shame! *ding  Shame! *ding  Shame! *ding   (laugh)

Thanks for your votes, guys (at least to those who did vote) and nice words.

See you next round.