Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition: EYE WITNESS! BREAKING NEWS! (VOTING Sept 29th)  (Read 901 times)

A breaking news story is happening RIGHT NOW! Somebody has to be there to follow the story as it unfolds. Has there been a major shakeup in an ongoing trial? Is there a giant monster attacking the city? Are you first to broadcast from Mars? Are you or your character a feisty reporter? Or just someone with a cellphone trying to document the event? Are you a war correspondent?



Requirements: Write a narrative from the perspective of someone covering a fictional, major news event. The story could be a play-by-play of on-going events, or a reflective piece by someone who was an eye witness of a major event. It's up to you how you approach the topic. 

Stories will be due end of day on September 19th

Voting categories:

Best Writing: Technical Prowess and Storytelling
Best Character: Do I care about those involved in the story
Best News Event: Is the event compelling and engaging?
Best News Coverage: Was the event covered well? Were questions left unanswered?
« Last Edit: 23 Sep 2019, 22:53 by Durinde »

Mandle

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Reserving my title ahead of time:

THE DEAD WALK!

(I do have an idea for the story as well. Not just stealing a title. But it will probably come to me in small sections so I will write off-site and paste here when it's done.)
« Last Edit: 09 Sep 2019, 01:20 by Mandle »

WHAM

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Oooh! Starship Troopers reference!

"IT'S AN UGLY PLANET! A BUG PLANET! A PLANET HOSTILE TO ALL LIFE AS WE KN-"

I'll be moving house in the coming weeks, but I'll try to squeeze in some time to write a proper entry!
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
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Mandle

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Sorry, RL emergency came up. I'm out.

WHAM

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    •  
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Livestreaming

Matt stretched out his arm and saw his face on the screen. He wasn’t all that happy with what he saw: a pasty, pale man with a coarse beard that had slowly gotten out of control during his vacation. The kind of cheap straw-hat that marked him out as a tourist no matter where he went. A pair of fake Air Pods that nobody would ever notice, or care for, but Matt was endlessly cosncious about. And he was wearing one of those dumb floral-pattern shirts, because his mother had given it to him and expected to see it in his vacation photos.

I don’t even like taking selfies -he thought to himself as he grimaced for the camera. Holding his phone out like this was already uncomfortable, and moving his face around made the burned skin on his forehead hurt. He pulled the phone closer to inspect the tiny icons that lined the outer edge of its screen, verified that the connection looked fine, then pushed it out again and tried to smile.

Just think of the payout. They promised ten thousand bucks for a special report, live on the scene. Just act natural!

A woman gasped nearby, and somewhere off in the distance a child was crying. Matt looked up, over his phone, and saw the same sight that had elicited such reactions. He knew the sound would follow soon enough.

A distant female voice said a few reassuring words, her voice tinny in Matts fake Air Pods, and began to count down from ten.

“Thanks, uhh- Linda, right?” No, stupid, don’t ask questions, just say the lines. “...and, uhh, yeah, um- we’re live out here on the, uh- Grand Bahamas. My name is Matt Westerlund, reporting for UK-Dubya-News live as we-”

The image on the phone screen had frozen. Matt could see himself, mouth open, tongue prominently visible in a way that made him feem distinctly uncomfortable, as the idea of his face being plastered like that over millions of TV screens crept into his head. He shook the phone, realised how dumb that was, then moved it closer to his face to see if the icons showed some kind of issue he could fix.

Shaking his head as he stared down at the device he began to mutter: “Oh fuck. Come on! What the f-”

The female voice shouted at him, audibly shocked at the language he’d spewn forth in a live broadcast. The feed was live and people could hear him, he just couldn’t see himself because of the glitch in the streaming app. The image flickered back to life, updating in segments. Matt could see inside his nostrils, and thanks to the wonders of modern camera technology, he could even count his nostril hairs. Again he thrust out the phone to restore the view of his face to something more normal, even as the redness on his face glowed brighter by the second, compounding the sunburn.

“Anyway guys, we’ve got a special report here, as we are looking at what might b-”

The ground shook beneath his feet, and the air was filled first with the sounds of shrieking birds, then people shouting again, and finally the loud, distant rumble as a vast soundwave finally reached the island. Matt scrunched his eyes shut and put his free hand over his head, his knees buckling as he instinctively tried to become smaller, less significant before the enprmous force of the sound washing over him.

The female voice in his ear was insistent, demanding he stand up and finish the introduction.

Shaky on his feet, Matt did as he was told, wondering if he could negotiate even more money out of this deal considering how much of a pain it was.

“Yeah, um- A special report indeed, as another shockwave washed over us just now! And oh boy, this one was even bigger than the last two! They’re coming in every five or six minutes now, or maybe, like, ten? Huge explosions! Bigger than any I’ve ever s-”

Matt’s idea of adding a bit of flair to the description stumbled and fell as it passed his lips. The female voice sounded desperate as it pointed out he was facing toward the spectacle, which meant the camera, pointed at his face, was not.

Matt cursed under his breath and turned on the spot. Behind his head, at an awkward angle, the camera panned over a crowd of people gathered on the beach, then a shot of the open blue sky, until finally the black pillar of smoke, rising from the sea in the distance, came into view.

The female voice delivered more instructions, trying to keep this broadcast from falling apart. She fed Matt his lines, and he did his best to follow along despite the time delay.

“I am standing just off Bayshore road, and what you are seeing in the distance is apparently the birth of a new, unknown, volcanic island! Fire, smoke and ash have been spilling up into the air all morning, or some time after eleven when I woke up to the first- oh, yeah- yeah, neverm- erhm- and, uh, it was just half an hour ago when we had the first explosion!”

Matt brough his free hand into the view and enthusiastically mimicked an explosion by wigglign his fingers in an expanding pattern.

The female voice ordered him to stop that immediately.

Matt gestured off into the distance, where the base of that black pillar had begun to glow and flicker in bright hues of ominous red and orange.

“The island, just recovering from hurricane Dorian last year... wait, that was in 2019, right? Oh, y- yeah, yeah, sorry!”

The frustration in the female voice, as Matt became confused again, was palpable. It turned into another angry shout as Matt went to wipe sweat off his brow with the same hand he was using to hold his phone, which caused the image being broadcast out to the world to tumble and turn, and briefly display a closeup of his straw hat.

A man on the nearby beach was pointing and shouting something, but Matt didn’t catch most of it due to the thick islander accent. The water, far off in the distance, seemed to be bubbling white, as if boiling. Large pillars of water shot up into the air, only to collapse again in a spectacular fashion.

Matt turned his head to look, as the female voice asked about the phenomenon, and instructed him to focus the camera on it.

“Yeah, um- it looks like the water’s going crazy out there.”

The female voice delivered a sarcastic remark at Matt’s observational abilities.

“Sorry, but it’s, like... it’s coming closer, though.”

The roiling whiteness of the water expanded like a wave, turning from a distant blurring of the water into a more prominent and noisy phenomenon as it came nearer. People closest to the water were running away from it. A woman hauled two small children in her arms while shouting in spanish. Two burly men struggled to shift a wheelchairbould old man from the sand. A dog barked at the water.

“The people seem to be, uh- I’m not really sure what’s going on now. It’s like rain or something, but it’s just over the water, so-”

The sand on the beach exploded upward, loose grains shooting up into the sky as if struck by an artillery shell, leaving behind a shallow impact crater. The dog howled as it turned and ran to shelter beneath a van parked on the street.

“Oh shit!” Matt stumbled sideways, away from the impact. Someone was shouting at people to find shelter. Sirens were blaring in the distance.

“Sorry Laura...” That wasn’t her name. It wasn’t Linda, either. “...it, uh- it’s raining goddamn rocks in here! Like big-ass rocks from the sky, and-”

Another impact, then another. The water was being peppered by small rocks, the edge of the rain rapidly approaching the beach, while individual larger lumps of hardened volcanic rock crashed into the water, and sometimes on land. An emergency vehicle was struck, and the electrical short-out caused it to emit a mournful wail as its sirens tried to fire up, but failed. Shattered glass spilled forth from its red-and-white corpse.

Matt ran, despite the female voice in his ear demanding a more steady shot of something, anything! The pillar of smoke, or the crater, or the sea, or the people, or the crushed car. Matt could barely hear her over the commotion and panic that surrounded him. People fled for their lives, stumbling and slamming into one another in aimless panic. A large man in a striped shirt bumped into Matt, and the phone flew from his hand, landing face-up so that it only showed the rapidly darkening sky.

Matt could be heard shouting, cursing and fumbling around, finally getting his hands on the device.

“I think I need to stop now, Laura, we’ve got a bit of a situation here. I need to get off this island! This is MattGamer signing off now, uhh-” Matt looked deeply confused. His straw hat was gone and something had left a small cut on his brow. Up above the sky was turning black. A lump of volcanic rock the size of a van hurtled down toward the camera.

The female voice shouted at Matt to look out.

“Don’t forget to like and subsc-”
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

Sinitrena

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In Hot Pursuit

… and here they come!

They are running, running as fast as they can. Oh, I can tell you, a few thousand people running all at once is one mesmerizing experience. They are like a stampede, thundering. The dust and sand bellows behind them in a large cloud. It is obscuring their hunters, but we know of course that they are there.

And now I can see them, stepping out of the cloud. They have horses and wagons. Chariots as fast as the wind. It looks like they are gaining on their prey.

… Yes, I’m pretty sure they do. And the fugitives...

Oh no, they do not notice it. But they run right in the direction of the sea. There’s water to the left, to the right, and to the middle! They need to make a sharp turn but they don’t. Their leader, he’s running right towards the water.

What’s he planning to do? Is a death in the floods really preferable to fighting their enemies?

He comes to an abrupt stop, slithering in the sand of the dunes. The stopping motion flows through the mass of people like a wave. They bend over like one, panting and coughing. The dust settles slowly. A much needed rest!

But their enemies’ cloud of sand and sweat doesn’t settle down. They do not stop.

I see the fugitives throw fearful looks back. They must be aware of the swords and spears so close behind them. Some sink to the ground. Resignation? Utter exhaustion? I cannot tell, but I do feel a sense of hopelessness coursing through them. The sea in front of them, their pursuers behind – there is little hope of escape.

What was that? Heads turn towards the leader. He’s standing in an elated position. His arms seem to grasp for the sky. A thunderous noise has caught everyone’s attention. They sky is as blue as they come, but for a second it sounded like the atmosphere itself would fall down.

Lightning twitches in the bright sunlight. It’s focused on the leader. A moment before, it were just his hands reaching for the sky, now his old wooden staff, the walking stick of many years, helps him reach further. He speaks words I cannot hear.

I don’t notice it at first and neither do any of the onlooker. Those not paying attention to their leader glance fearfully back to the host of enemies. Slowly, in the greater scheme of things, but, in their current state of mind, alarmingly fast they come nearer and nearer. After a while, the gentle waves in the water become more pronounced, their swelling and shrinking loses its balance. More and more water retreats and returns only to be stopped by a wall I cannot see.

This leader is one hell of a spellcaster!

A murmur runs through the exhausted files of fugitives, disbelieving looks spread over their faces. It slowly turns to hope and breathless, painful coughing turns to strength. They get back up on their feet. First just some of them, then more and more. For the briefest of seconds, their fears seem to be forgotten.

They do not run. Too destroyed are their bodies from the flight. But they move swiftly, as fast as they can. Scrambling to get away, they follow one another into the dark gorge between two imposing walls of murky water. Fish and algae swim close to the walls, tentacles of unknown and unspeakable creatures swipe at the fleeing people.

The distance is shorter now, between the fugitives and the pursuers. The short rest has given the men, women and children new strength, but it also allowed their enemies to gain on them.

And they do not stop!

Confronted with the divided waters, they hesitate a moment, but they do not stop. Cries for revenge, for justice for their murdered children rings out from among them. And they charged into the depths of the ocean.

The last of the fugitives, those closest to the enemies never stopped looking back. Now they urge their comrades forward, pressing into their backs. Faster and faster their run, but the distance is close to nothing now.

Something cuts through the mass of people like a knife. They split around an unmovable obstacle. It is their leader. He stands in the middle of two kinds of seas, a sea of water and one of people, the only one standing and staring back instead of just turning around in fearful expectation. As the last of his charges passes him, he holds up his staff again.

And now the water comes rushing in. It’s not gentle and slow as before. It twists and turns and hunts them with cold wet fingers. Faster and faster they run. Now, not to catch their prey. Now, they are the prey. Chariots overtake footsoldiers, some overrun them. Like fingers, waves interlace above their heads. Giant waves silence screams and only their rushing is heard for a while.

Drowning is a silent death.

But the fugitives further ahead are not out of the water. Quite literally, I might add. Just freed from the dangers of their enemies, they now have to run from the returning power of the sea.

Their leader holds up his hands, commanding the waves. Is he exhausted too? Is he too weak? They don’t follow his order. They come, closer and closer.

He starts to run too.

Slowly, the people crawl up the shores. Beyond exhaustion, they sink to the ground, most even too tired to look back for friend and foe. They shuffle away as more and more leave the dangers below.

I cannot help myself. As one is saved, really saved, then the next and the next, I sigh with relief. A gentle breeze rustles through the reed.

Now, their voices, silent and raw, can be heard over the wind. “Thank the Lord. Thank the Lord!”

I shudder under their sudden attention. Ah, to bask in glory...


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


Did this story sound familiar to you? At least, in large parts?

Spoiler: ShowHide
It’s from the Bible, Exodus 14 (in some versions 2. Mose 14). I did not try to stay particularly faithful (pun not intended) to the text and added a twist.

Bible versions are easy enough to google and search, so I won’t put a link, mainly because I don’t actually want to promote any one version.


This was obviously not an attempt to write an original story, more of an exercise in trying to tell a known story in an engaging way. This is not intended as religious commentary in any way or form.
« Last Edit: 18 Sep 2019, 17:43 by Sinitrena »

Mandle

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Hahaha... lovely little twist at the end there Sinitrena...

I think in the phrase "their swelling and shrinking looses its balance" it's supposed to be "loses" though...

Sinitrena

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I think in the phrase "their swelling and shrinking looses its balance" it's supposed to be "loses" though...

Of course I did, thanks for spotting it.

Baron

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THIS JUST IN!  Baron needs an extension at least to the weekend!  :P

THIS JUST IN!  Baron needs an extension at least to the weekend!  :P

Can do!

Baron

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    • 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!
The Olds News

Anchor Bob: Heh heh heh.  I guess that's why you always look before you leap. 

Joan: Tell my family I love them!!!!!!

Anchor Bob:  Will do, Joan.  Will do.  And now we end this newscast with a new segment we're calling “Blast From the Past”.  Channel 13 News has embedded our investigative journalists in various time periods throughout history to find out what it was really like.  Tonight we visit with our crack reporter Arnie Connors back in the paleolithic era.  Hello Arnie!

Arnie: Good evening, Bob.

Anchor Bob: Arnie, let's start by explaining to our viewers how this miracle of time-travel has been accomplished.

Arnie: Well, Bob, it's no mean feat.  Using a proprietary process involving advanced weapon's grade Neptunium and an MIT dropout named Maneet, we've managed to actually splice reality into an infinite array of parallel dimensions.  I am literally talking to you from the ancient past that might have been, had I not shown up and altered it by the slightest degree.  We're calling it Chronovision!

Anchor Bob: So let me get this straight.  You're in the past as it actually existed, except it's not actually the past.

Arnie: That's right, Bob.  My very arrival has actually sundered the space-time continuum.  From the moment of my arrival this paleolithic Earth I am visiting has been set on a new course in a parallel dimension.  This allows us to interact with the primitive cultures that live here without any possible repercussion on the Home Dimension, as we call it.

Anchor Bob:  OK.  So explain to our viewers how we are able to converse in real time across different dimensions.

Arnie: I'm glad you asked that, Bob.  The same technology that allows us to cleave reality also allows us to juxtapose the sundered dimensions conveniently.  For the purposes of this broadcast we have brought this new paleolithic iteration up to speed with the Home Dimension.  We are literally cruising right next to each other along the interstate highway of the Paraverse. 

Anchor Bob: Heh, heh, heh.  Well Arnie, just don't cut us off, all right?

Arnie: Will do, Bob.

Anchor Bob: Now Arnie, tell us a bit about the era you've travelled to.

Arnie: It's called the paleolithic, Bob.  That's Latin for the Old Stone Age.  This is a period about forty-thousand years ago when early humans really came into their own by mastering fire, perfecting stone tools, and becoming definitively the apex predator on the planet.

Anchor Bob: Wow, that's a lot for a four minute segment, Arnie.  What have you got to show our viewers?

Arnie:  Well I'm here in what one day will be the Sahara Desert of North Africa, but is at this moment a lush grassland and savanna.  I'm visiting a hunter-gatherer tribe called the Oo-Tug.  This is their shaman-slash-wiseman, Urg.  Hello, Urg!

Urg: Urrg!

Arnie:  Ah.  Well, as you can see language development was in its infancy at this moment in history-

Urg: Er, no, that's incorrect.  I was merely correcting your pronunciation.  My name is “Urrg”, not “Urg”. 

Arnie: My apologies, Urrg.  Uh, now tell me, how is it that you came to speak such fluent English?

Urrg: Well, you see Jim, it all began last Wednesday-

Arnie: Arnie.  My name is Arnie.

Urrg: Yes, I know that.  But in our language “Arnie” is pronounced “Jim”.

Arnie: Oh.  In that case, please carry on.

Urrg:  Very good.  So it was last Wednesday when I had the inspiration of combining primordial ooze of a high Neptunium content with a spirit-walker dropout named Merb to splinter our reality like so many shards of glass.  Glass having been invented the previous Tuesday, also by me.  Since your arrival ten minutes ago, Jim, I postulate that this must be an example of serendipitous synchronicity, whereby partially melded dimensions develop parallel events in proportion to the degree of their interaction.

Arnie: Fascinating.  And who is this woman beside you?”

Urrg:  Woman?  No, sir.  This is a wild hill-savage that has wandered into our camp by accident.  Be gone, wild beast!  Flee, or we will unleash the flames of our knowledge upon thee!

Woman: I'm his wife, actually.

Urrg: The beast speaks!  What vile witchcraft is this!?!

Woman: Ever since we co-discovered the shattering of reality he's been trying to minimize my contribution by degrading me as a simple beast.  Typical chauvinism, if you ask me.  My mother said when I met him, she said “Watch out for the one with the freakishly opposable thumbs!”  And did I listen?  No.  I was too drunk on a cocktail of desperation and low self-esteem.  But I says to myself, I says “If I can just shatter reality into an infinite number of parallel dimensions, why then, it'd be a simple matter of finding the younger version of me and setting her on a better path.”

Urrg: Pay no attention to the talking wilderbeast.  Hunters!  Hunters!  Where are your spears?!

Arnie: And were you successful, Mrs. Urrg?

Woman: I dare say I was.  Look, I documented the whole thing on this new memory-aiding invention I thought up.  I call it Stone-a-vision.  Let's watch.

Urrg: I was the actual sole inventor of Stone-a-vision, for the record!

Woman:  I suppose you also invented this thing right here?

Urrg:  What is it?  A rock?

Woman:  I call it “marriage counselling”.

Urrg:  What does it do?

WHACK!!!!!

Arnie:  And there you have it.  Life in the past was surprisingly similar to life in our own time.  If my wife is watching, I'd like to say I forgot about our daughter's T-ball practice and the milk I said I'd pick up on my way home.  Please don't whip out the marriage counselling on me, as I've already been counselled twice during my preliminary contact with the Oo-Tug.  Back to you, Bob!

Alright entries are closed. Voting is open until Sept 29th

Time to vote on:

Livestreaming - WHAM
In Hot Pursuit - Sinitrena
The Olds News- Baron

Vote On:

Best Writing: Technical Prowess and Storytelling
Best Character: Do I care about those involved in the story
Best News Event: Is the event compelling and engaging?
Best News Coverage: Was the event covered well? Were questions left unanswered?

Good luck to the entries!

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!
WHAM: That's certainly a news-worthy event happening in your story. It's a bit disappointing that your story has, in itself, fairly little to do with it. We learn more about th shanangians of Matt than the creation of the new island. It's an interesting view into a culture that becomes more and more influenced by the fact that just about everyone can stream nowadays and a glimps at how far people might go to get more viewrs (though Matt didn't really do that much ore than be there - - coincidence). But this growing culture of streamers would also mean that there should be several people filming, streaming, live commentating this event, which doesn't seem to be the case, considering the TV station choose someone so ill-equiped personality-wise as Matt. I noticed a couple spelling mistakes that your standard word processor spell-checker would normally catch (e.g. cosncious). Did you turn it off by accident? In general, an enjoyable story, but not your best work.

Baron: Technobabble makes my eyes glaze over... But it's clear why it's there - to draw the parallel between present and past. It's interesting that the news-worthy element here is the news itself - without Arnie travelling to the past, nothing special would have happened in the past. The message that humans were always the same is a bit obvious. The story peters out a bit. It doesn't really seem to go anywhere and leaves me with - how best describe it - a feeling of "Ok, that happened, ... and?" It's not a bad story, but there could be more.


Best Writing: WHAM - It dragged me into the story.
Best Character: Baron's woman, fighting for the recognition she deserves.
Best News Event: Time travel or new island? They are both interesting events and in both stories, they were mere background events. But in the end, I think WHAM's island is more interesting.
Best News Coverage: As I said above, neither event was covered that well, but Baron's characters discussed the actual event more than WHAM's, who were mostly focused on their own problems (even though they were related to the event). So, I'll go with Baron here.

Man, I hate splitting votes and analyzing stories to pick out the most noteworthy components like I'm looking at stuff in a petri dish. I really prefer to go by my gut feeling and vote for the story I simply enjoyed the most, the one that grabbed my attention and didn't let go until the end. However, this time I have two candidates on pretty much equal footing, so I'll just give 2 votes to each, and if they need to be split, let's just say:

- Best character and writing: WHAM.
- Best news event and coverage: Baron.

And if I could give Baron an extra point for actually making me laugh out loud IRL, I would. It doesn't happen often ;)

WHAM

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WHAM: That's certainly a news-worthy event happening in your story. It's a bit disappointing that your story has, in itself, fairly little to do with it. We learn more about th shanangians of Matt than the creation of the new island. It's an interesting view into a culture that becomes more and more influenced by the fact that just about everyone can stream nowadays and a glimps at how far people might go to get more viewrs (though Matt didn't really do that much ore than be there - - coincidence). But this growing culture of streamers would also mean that there should be several people filming, streaming, live commentating this event, which doesn't seem to be the case, considering the TV station choose someone so ill-equiped personality-wise as Matt. I noticed a couple spelling mistakes that your standard word processor spell-checker would normally catch (e.g. cosncious). Did you turn it off by accident? In general, an enjoyable story, but not your best work.

Quick response to Sinitrena. (And if you are just another reader and haven't yet scored the stories, please refrain from reading.)

Spoiler: ShowHide
Google doesn't want to keep spell-checker on for English, since I am located in Finland. It keeps resetting and I keep ignoring it, since it basically highlights all English words as incorrect because it's trying to auto correct into Finnish. A poor excuse, though, combined with the fact that I was just moving house over the past couple weeks, leaving me with less time than I'd like to write and read. I also like to have a friend or two read the story first, but none had time to do so.

I had some loose idea about why Matt was the one picked for the streaming. It had to do with the island still recovering from the 2019 hurricane (which was topical on my mind from recent news, and directed me to write this story), leaving mobile connections spotty and weak. Matt was supposed to be some rich idiot with a fancier phone or connection, but the story was already feeling too long for my tastes, so I decided to omit the technobabble. All around the focus was on the self-centered nature of our society, how Matt focused his camera toward himself rather than the event until being reminded of it, how he fails to ensure his own, or anyone else's, safety as he livestreams, reminds people to like and subscribe out of habit, and generally focuses on himself, his ego and on his fancy phone.


I'll try and take time tonight or tomorrow to properly read the other stories, and cast my own votes into the mix too.
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

WHAM

  • WHAMGAMES
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with play testing
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    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with voice acting
    • WHAM worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • WHAM worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Best Writing: Sinitrena
Best Character: Baron
Best News Event: Baron
Best News Coverage: Baron


Sinitrena: I'm not really feeling the way this one was written. Too many repetitions of certain words and phrases, and considering the scale and form of the event being depicted (in Biblical terms) I'm not really sure who or what the storyteller here is.

I think I'm mostly bothered by how obviously biblical the inspiration here is, and by how inappropriate the format and feeling of the writing seems to me for that setting and period.


Baron: A screenplay of sorts? I always feel odd about these stories that seem to consist of nothing but names and dialogue, so my expectations weren't exactly high when I started this one.
It went a lot better than I expected, though, and I have to admit I laughed out loud a couple times! It manages to drive home its setting and comedy through the clever mimicking of modern TV methods of conveying information to audiences, and the dialogue and characters are clever and funny enough to do it.
Sinitrena still gets the vote on technical writing, though, for having more vivid descriptions on a technical level, but all other categories: you've earned these points!
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

Best Writing: WHAM – all three stories were written competently but I found Livestreaming particularly lively.
Best Character: Baron – Urrg and his beast wife are so improbable   :-D
Best News Event: WHAM.  Cool phenomenon (from afar). I recognized Sinitrena's story early on.
Best News Coverage: Sinitrena . Precise and stylish.
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2019, 22:57 by Creamy »
 

Ponch

  • AGS Baker
  • Moo!
    • Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
    • Ponch worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ponch worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Best Writing: Sinitrena
Best Character: Baron
Best News Event: WHAM
Best News Coverage: WHAM
*

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!
Best Writing: This was tough for me.  Minor typos in both pieces, but also several good turns of phrase.  I think I'm going to give it to Sinitrena for her water hunts with cold, wet fingers line, but it was a near run thing.

Best Character: I'm going with WHAM for Matt.  I mean, he's a terrible character, but that's the whole point.  I really can't stand crummy, blurry, shaky cell-phone footage on the real news, but you captured the essence of the DIY news-streamer to a tee.  I liked that Sinitrena's god (well, not her god, but rather her god-character  (roll)) was just a witness reporting on the event, while the actual power that parted the seas seems to have come from Moses' own wizardry.  But, creative as this was, they are both undeveloped as characters in the story.

Best News Event: Well, both are really cool events.  I'll give this one to Sinitrena by a hair, as it was a pretty thorough (from afar) account of what happened, and I liked the inclusion of some details that aren't available in other accounts (the exhaustion of the fugitives, the magic of their leader...)

Best News Coverage: This vote must go to WHAM.  I mean, yeah, the coverage of the event was terrible, but the entertainment factor of Matt's ineptitude made it the much more interesting of the two pieces.  I was thoroughly entertained, which is basically what news has become in this day and age (entertainment, that is).  Plus, I'm a sucker for a real mushy ending. ;)


WHAM

  • WHAMGAMES
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with voice acting
    • WHAM worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • WHAM worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Plus, I'm a sucker for a real mushy ending. ;)

That's horrible! (And I love it!)
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

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!
Breaking News!
AGSer has gone missing!

Durinde, who is the current admin of the Fortnightly Writing Competition (henceforth FWC) has not been seen in several days. Last active nearly a week ago, he was supposed to close the FWC yesterday (references to days may depend on time zones). Various members of the general AGSer public voiced their concerns to our newspaper in emotional letters over the course of the last few days (see page 19 for details). A large scale search for the missing forum member is under way...


Durinde, where are you?

WHAM

  • WHAMGAMES
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with voice acting
    • WHAM worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • WHAM worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Shall we put up the Durinde signal, Commissioner? Or should we get someone to call the competition so we can get the next theme going?
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

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!
My count says:

WHAM: 10 points
Sinitrena: 5 points
Baron: 9 points

Which means that it's close but doesn't require a tie-breaking vote. Also, the voting period is definitely over, in all time zones.

So, I would be fine with WHAM starting the next round.

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!
I vote WHAM (again).  8-)

WHAM

  • WHAMGAMES
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with voice acting
    • WHAM worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • WHAM worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I didn't want to declare myself a winner, because even after going over the votes three times I was afraid I'd mess it up...

As it seems the other contestants are fine with the idea, I'll start the next contest tonight or tomorrow, as soon as I come up with a solid idea.
Thanks, everyone, for participating and voting!
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

Sorry about that folks, I had a bunch of stuff come up this week that I totally blanked on hosting the contest. Thankfully you folks seemed to have taken care of it yourselves!