Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Shipwrecked! (FINISHED)  (Read 1759 times)

Mandle

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I just put the story behind spoiler tags to keep the page tidier really. It might be good if it became a common practice so that mostly readers just see titles and click on the one they want to read next, kinda like a Contents page in a book of short stories. Either way though. It's not a huge point.

Also I will be voting soon.

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
  • Wheel of Fate
    • I can help with translating
    • Sinitrena worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
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    • Sinitrena worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I see, that makes sense. I was just a bit confused.
While it might make the thread tidier, I think it also makes it easier to overlook stories. In the past people sometimes put stories in spoiler tags when they were not official entries, too. For me, the length of a story often determines which one I read next, so I'd have to click on each everytime anyway, but I do see your point.

Baron

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    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • Baron worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
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    • Baron worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Voted!  But I'm a bit short of time, so feedback will have to wait.  Great stories all!

Mandle

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Ugh... dammit... Sorry Ejected Star... can you postpone the end of voting for a few hours? I'm halfway through Sinitrena's story but just got a call and have to go out and do something in a hurry. Sorry.

EjectedStar

  • I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother?
Anyone bring any timepieces along with them on the three hour tour?

No? Nobody, not even you Mr. Howell?

Ah, fine, it'll take the Professor a few hours to make a watch out of some coconuts and some washed up flotsam.

Alright, Gilligan, little buddy, let's go scrounge up some coconuts. We'll be right back!

Mandle

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    •  
    • Mandle worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I have voted and here is some feedback, for what it is worth:

Sinitrena: I found your story entrancing up until the point where I couldn't figure out what was happening anymore. I know that this is a part of the lore of a much bigger world that you are building, which is awesome! But I couldn't understand the connection with the cave behind the waterfall from just this short piece so my initial excitement over the amazingly vivid imagery of the main character surrounded by the mermaids on the beach lost a bit of its edge when the story back-loaded so much exposition about how he had conned his way through the whole thing. Characters I had forgotten about were brought back in flashbacks when I just wanted to know what the main character was doing the whole time. I think the device of the unreliable narrator might not have been used to its best extent here. Maybe I needed to read more carefully during the parts where I just wanted to get back to the main character, but it was a bit hard to piece all his lies together in a satisfying way for me, so that I felt I understood the entire process of his con from start to finish. BUT! It was such a well-written piece for the parts that I understood that I gave a vote of 7 points. (Who's is "Whose" by the way when meaning the possessive form, but I know you didn't proofread and I also make such mistakes often of the first draft)

Baron: For one of the first times ever you almost completely lost me with this story. The purple style of writing was so confusing for me in a story where several characters are in play. The purple-writing works for me when there is a single character or two describing their experiences but when the narrator is using it constantly I just get lost. The introductions of the characters was rushed into a single paragraph that I read thinking "I hope I don't have to remember all this info from just this. Surely, Baron will reinforce the characters along the way so that I know who is who.". But that didn't really happen for me. I had no idea who was who through most of the story. It did deliver enough of a mysterious world that I would like to understand better that I gave it 3 points.
« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2021, 06:36 by Mandle »

Baron

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    • Best Innovation Award Winner 2011, for the concept and management of SWARMAGS
    • Baron worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Baron worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Phew!  I'm at a family reunion this week, so it's been hard to carve out much time between the night owls and the early risers.  But here are my quick thoughts:

@Sinitrena:: I'm a big fan of Lomin as a character.  He's a thief, yes, but a mostly honourable one.  Which makes me wonder a bit at his selfishness in putting the Wavedancer's crew in such peril: maybe he thought dangerous waters were just part of their job description?  Which leads me to the weakest part of the piece: what exactly happened to the Wavedancer?  The storm and wrecking were so vividly described, but in the end Lomin just rows back to the ship and sails off?  Were the mermaids correct that he just rowed up in the first place (and I suppose was just sunbathing in the shallows when he woke up)?  But then what about the tattered clothes?  Or was there an actual storm (which he remembered - and one of the mermaids verified through her own recollection of the ship disappearing beneath the water), and everything was just restored by the Blowing One?  Very confusing.  Like Mandle I wasn't sure exactly why the submerged temple and the renewed alliance was so important (as Lomin's larger scheme is, characteristically, a secret), but I can suspend my curiosity in this case as the story is clearly a smaller piece in a larger work.  On the upside, I thought the storm was well-described and the description of the mermaids was awesome (especially how they spoke)! 

@Mandle: Very interesting personality at play here.  Kenneth is both dreamer and doer, at least until practical schemes for escape are on the menu.  One can admire him but it's hard to actually like him, as he is something of a stubborn loner.  The concept of falling in love with a game character was a bit of a stretch for me, but I recognise that games can become more real than reality for certain personalities.  But then it's Kenneth's controlling personality that allows him to justify a re-roll near the very end of the story, even though in his heart of hearts he knows he's playing Frankenstein.  It's just interesting that this particular instance of self-loathing is the straw that breaks the camel's back, when surely he has come to regret other stubborn, loneliness-inducing decisions that he has made throughout his life....

@EjectedStar: Centipede whales in the purple goo of the timestream?  Oh my!  This was a fun little tale full of excellent writing and plausible AGSer backstories.  Sadly it has almost become a trope of time-travel that someone wants to stay in the past where they fit in better, but at least Wiggin had the decency to slum it in the 21st century instead of one of those more romantic time periods.   ;)

@Baron: Yeah, well, I never watched Lost except for maybe bits of the first episode, but I concede that my story jumped around too much.  I think, in the end, I was trying to cram too much (characters, complex plot, action, geography, lots and lots of walking....) into the short story format.  Maybe EjectedStar is onto something with this fun and silly story thing....

Sinitrena

  • Mittens Serf
  • Wheel of Fate
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    • 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!
I really should have proofread, shouldn't I?

Quote
Which leads me to the weakest part of the piece: what exactly happened to the Wavedancer?  The storm and wrecking were so vividly described, but in the end Lomin just rows back to the ship and sails off?  Were the mermaids correct that he just rowed up in the first place (and I suppose was just sunbathing in the shallows when he woke up)?  But then what about the tattered clothes?  Or was there an actual storm (which he remembered - and one of the mermaids verified through her own recollection of the ship disappearing beneath the water), and everything was just restored by the Blowing One?

The mermaid sees the figurehead of the Wavedancer disappear into the waves, not the ship itself. I don't think that part is really that confusing. But to explain what did happen: The storm was real; the mast broke and the figurehead fell from the ship - but then the ship was fine and the plan was carried out as planned. Lomin rowed to the Islands. And to make his story believeable, he put on the clothes that were indeed tattered due to the storm. No intervention of gods involved here, unless you count a disaproving look of a ship's figurehead, but that can just as easily be an optical illusion.

Quote
Which makes me wonder a bit at his selfishness in putting the Wavedancer's crew in such peril: maybe he thought dangerous waters were just part of their job description?
Did he, though? Storms are just part of the ocean and he did ask the supposed expert (the captain) if the storm was on their course. She either was mistaken or lied when she said no. Not his fault. As to sailing close to the Islands, he accepted her assesment that she couldn't sail too close and he had to take a boat for part of the journey, which he did (and which suited his plans, because he wouldn't want the ship's crew to see the mermaids.) So, I'd say he didn't endanger anyone, the captain might have, though.

The cave behind the waterfall is a bit complicated, because it is actually an explanation for something in a different (chronologically later) story. Why does a priest of the god of thieves reside and use the temple of the god of storms? So, yes, that's just part of the greater lore.

EjectedStar

  • I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother?
The votes are in!  This volleyball and I pored over the votes all night long to get an accurate count, and this is what we came up with:

Mandle - 17

Sinitrena - 14

Baron - 9

Making our new Fortnightly Writing Champion: Mandle!  Congratulations my friend, c'mon over to the Mayor's shack and accept your slightly-larger-than-normal coconut as your prize.

Hm, where did Mandle get off to?  Anybody see him around lately?

...

Wait a a minute, we did see him milling around the raft construction that we've been working on for ages.  Oh gods no!

...

Welp, there he goes, off through the roiling waves and across the razor sharp coral reef that surrounds our tomb.  And wait... what is he doing?  Oh, that's a rude gesture, real mature, buddy.

Alright everyone else, start collecting palm trunks and fronds again.  At this rate, we'll never get off this dang ol' island!

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - Shipwrecked! (FINISHED)
« Reply #29 on: 07 Aug 2021, 14:56 »
Hahaha! Well captained, Ejected Star!!! You brought a lot of fun to the thread and I've only read the first paragraph of your story but I suspect that you might be one of the most talented writers among us.

I'm off to bed now in a very happy mood! I will sleep on the next theme (no, Baron, it won't be mattresses... I don't particularly like the swamps of Sqornshellous Zeta or beings named Zem)

See you all soon in the next outing!

Wait.... WIIIILLLSOOOON!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!