Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition: Papers, Please! (RESULTS!)  (Read 2000 times)

JudasFm

  • Zlang-Zlang Squid Says: All Hail the Squid!
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with proof reading
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with voice acting
And that's it, folks! Results will be up complete with trophies and judge's feedback in the next 24 hours (Really sorry for the delay, but real life kind of got in the way! Please be patient a while longer...)

It's time! First of all, because I love keeping you in suspense, my thoughts! As the judge, my votes don't count toward the total, but in case you're curious as to how I would have voted:

Best Character: Mandle. I found it easy to get inside the character's head and feel what he was feeling.
Best Story: Sinitrena. Maybe because it was based on a true story, but I could feel the tension throughout the whole piece.
Best Setting: I'm going with Sinitrena again here. The little touches, such as the colloquial term VoPo and realism really brought me into the world.
Best Writing: This is really a toss-up between Mandle and Sinitrena, but I'm going with Sinitrena. Mandle's was excellent and I got inside the character's head, but something about Sinitrena's stayed with me and made me want to go back and read it again and again.
Best (or Worst!) Bureaucracy: Sinitrena. From her story, I got a good idea of how the bureaucracy worked and the sense of low fear that was prevalent throughout the story.

And now onto the feedback!

Mandle
This was a well-written piece, and you did a good job of conveying the main character's frustration and emotions. I especially liked this line: "Fucking sue me. I didn't want the book to end." You also did a good job of telling us what was going on without hitting us over the head with it, where you talk about the disease eating away at your mother's mind. I'm also a little unclear why she wanted him to read War and Peace to her. Was it a kind of talismanic thing ("if my son hasn't read it to me yet, I'm not going to die?" "I know I'll definitely meet my son again because I want him to read that book to me before I die?")

Sinitrena
I have to be honest and say that the Berlin Wall never meant much to me except a name and the vague knowledge that it came down at some point (I was born at the end of 1982, so although it happened in my lifetime, I would have still been a little kid in another country and we never learned about it in school). However, reading your story gave me a brand new insight into just how serious things got over there, so thank you for that (and big thanks to your mother for her information too!) I also want to check out that movie you mentioned (hopefully there's a subbed version as my German is at a very basic level and I've forgotten most of what I learned. One day I'll pick it up again. But I digress ;))
Again, being honest, I think this is probably one of the best pieces I've ever read from you. There were just a couple of mistakes:
The girls' feet thumbed - I think you meant thumped ;) Thumbing means, well, to make a gesture with your thumb.
They entered in pairs, one pair from each side of the train car - The 'side' of something usually refers to the horizontal layout (so, for example, two pairs of VoPos entered the rear of the carriage, one from the left and one from the right) I honestly don't know if this was a mistake or not, as I've no idea if the VoPos really did things this way. If you meant that one pair entered at the front of the carriage and the other at the back, and they sort of met in the middle, then it should be each end of the train car. If they entered from the left and the right and both pairs moved down the train car together in a group of four, then your word choice was right :) Um. I hope that makes some kind of sense? :P
I also liked the glossary you included at the end; it was a good way to clear up terms without shoehorning definitions into the text.

Baron
I really got into this story too; I loved the idea of the Sixth Form Resistance (I was a bit of a rebel at school, so it appealed to me!) I agree with Sinitrena that there was a bit of "As-You-Know" thrown in there which weakened it slightly. Whelkins strokes his hall monitor's sash; we get to know from this action that he's the hall monitor, so the characters don't need to spell it out for us earlier :) It's a shame that you weren't able to complete it; you had a great idea and I would have loved to know what happened next.

And now, for the results! As I said before, my votes don't count so it's all down to our voting public!

So...first place with the Golden Key is Sinitrena, with 7 votes!
And, in joint second place with 4 votes and the Silver Key are Baron and Mandle!

So, over to you, Sinitrena! :D
« Last Edit: 03 Feb 2019, 03:13 by JudasFm »

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
    • Mandle worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Mandle worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
A well-deserved win from probably the best entry I have ever read in this contest to date.

I had that rare and very pleasant experience of forgetting that I was reading a story and being actually transported into it for a brief while.

I'll never forget it and will return and read it again I'm sure.

Baron

  • Mittens Serf
  • Not-so-Evil Banana Dictator
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • I can help with voice acting
    • Baron worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Congratulations, Sinitrena.  A well-deserved victory!  ;-D

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
  • Wheel of Fate
    • I can help with translating
    • Sinitrena worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Sinitrena worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Best Setting: I'm going with Sinitrena again here. The little touches, such as the colloquial term VoPo and realism really brought me into the world.

I'm not someone who uses a lot of colloquial terms, and neither is my mother (probably comes with being a teacher for her). The more surprised I was when she suddenly used VoPo while talking about this. This is one of the things I decided to preserve, even though it meant using a word nobody here had ever heard.

I have to be honest and say that the Berlin Wall never meant much to me except a name and the vague knowledge that it came down at some point (I was born at the end of 1982, so although it happened in my lifetime, I would have still been a little kid in another country and we never learned about it in school).

You're a year older than me. I remember seeing the pictures of the wall coming down in the evening news (I remember it as the day it happened, but then it would have been the late night news and I doubt I was awake at that time at that age, so it was probably the next day.) and I remember so many emotions associated with it, the relief, the hope, the knowledge that change was imminent. I'm also accutely aware that nearly nobody my age back then even knew that there were two Germanies (which makes sense, being six). It's really strange how having a mother who was born in the GDR changes such an experience.

I guess it's logical that you never learned about the fall of the Berlin Wall in school. Most countries tend to focus on their own history. Here, have a five minute documentary to close some gaps in your knowledge.  :-D

I also want to check out that movie you mentioned (hopefully there's a subbed version as my German is at a very basic level and I've forgotten most of what I learned. One day I'll pick it up again. But I digress ;))

The Lives of Others won an Oscar, among other awards. A subbed version should be available. And if not, just train your German - Übung macht den Meister!  (laugh)

The girls' feet thumbed - I think you meant thumped ;) Thumbing means, well, to make a gesture with your thumb.
They entered in pairs, one pair from each side of the train car - The 'side' of something usually refers to the horizontal layout (so, for example, two pairs of VoPos entered the rear of the carriage, one from the left and one from the right) I honestly don't know if this was a mistake or not, as I've no idea if the VoPos really did things this way. If you meant that one pair entered at the front of the carriage and the other at the back, and they sort of met in the middle, then it should be each end of the train car. If they entered from the left and the right and both pairs moved down the train car together in a group of four, then your word choice was right :) Um. I hope that makes some kind of sense? :P
I also liked the glossary you included at the end; it was a good way to clear up terms without shoehorning definitions into the text.

Ah, the intricacies of languages! Thumbed is a an obvious mistake, but the end/side thing shows a nice difference between German and English. In German, both words are possible to mean entering from rear and front, but we're more likely to use side because using end might require us to use the plural of end, which is slightly unidiomatic, though not impossible. Opinions might differ.

But yes, I meant they entered from both ends, meeting in the middle, so that people could not skip the car. I do not know if that was an actual tactic used by the VoPos (my mother just said they were controlled, no details)  but it makes sense. It's actually a tactic ticket inspectors use on public transport to catch fare dodgers (then just two people, not two pairs) but it seems plausible enough for a border control.

Thank you all for your votes and kind words. See you next round!