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Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Contest. THEME: Local Legend. CLOSED.  (Read 2023 times)

Sinitrena

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I did think of the "bad faith" angle but I doubt it will be a problem in this community and if I received any votes like that that are obviously taking the piss I would disregard.

Disregarding the votes of someone voting in bad faith (assuming it's an entrant) would actually make the bad faith effect stronger (because no other story would have received any points)
But I also said already that I don't think it's a problem in this community anyway, I just wanted to point it out.

My main point is the general problem of Writers Cannot do Math  ;)
Again, it's probably not really a problem, but if it turns out do be one, then I get to say: I told you so.  :P

(And I'm a bit annoyed with changing voting systems every couple of months. I like stability.)

WHAM

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I know I'll be voting my own story at a 0/10 for sake of fairness. Feels wrong to give any points to myself, but if others do differently then I might be about to shoot myself in the foot. Not really an issue, though, I'm more interested in hearing any open comments after the voting than in the actual score. It's nice to have some critique and feedback.
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Mandle

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I know I'll be voting my own story at a 0/10 for sake of fairness. Feels wrong to give any points to myself, but if others do differently then I might be about to shoot myself in the foot. Not really an issue, though, I'm more interested in hearing any open comments after the voting than in the actual score. It's nice to have some critique and feedback.

Yeah, even under the old system people didn't award points to their own stories so I'm sure nobody will under this one.

Baron

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Ooo!  After we're done voting on the stories we can have all kinds of fun voting on voting systems!   ;-D

Mandle

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Ooo!  After we're done voting on the stories we can have all kinds of fun voting on voting systems!   ;-D

Maybe... or we could let the host decide on how the votes will be decided each time. And see, over time, what works best.

I suggest voting on voting systems a new monthly activity! That's bound to bring the participants in in droves!  (laugh)

Baron

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It sounds like we're going to need to vote on whether to vote on voting systems....   Yay!   ;-D

Sinitrena

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Votes are sent. No comments from me this round, I don't have time, sorry.
(If I do find time, I'll post them later.)

I guess i did find time, though i won't post all comments at once. I' m on my phone, so expect even more typos than usual.

Mandle: I got a clear and quite enjoyable impression of the bar but not of the greater world. I couldn't tell until the end what the logistics of the world are (real monsters? movies? Realistic world; fantastical?) I enjoyed the characters and the twist was unexpected but maybe also a bit meaningless. Yes, there was an interesting spin to the horror show but I was still left wondering what the point was (yes, fun, but somehow I was looking for more) You're not part of the competition, but I would have given you - generally speaking - a good grade (though, to be honest, I enjoyed all stories this round to no small amount and it was difficult not just giving all the same amount of points.)
« Last Edit: 30 Jan 2022, 12:41 by Sinitrena »

Mandle

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Thanks, Sinitrena, for that feedback... Yeah, it wasn't a story with much substance except for the fun element.

Also a reminder in here for people to vote.

Sinitrena

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WHAM's entry left me with the same feeling of 'this is all' as Mandle's did. The beginning came across to me as if something awfule has happened there, which is not the case and this might not be the intended feeling for the reader (thoughI think it is). The descriptions of the stunts are good, but the whole time reading, I got a much more malevolent feel of the place than it actually has. I was waiting for something to happen and than it all turned out rather mundane. This is a well written story, but I'm missing the kick, the impact.

Baron

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Voted!  Feedback hidden below:

Spoiler: ShowHide

@Mandle: It was hilarious how many horror movie inferences you were able to cram into your teaser piece: telegrams become hellegrams, click-bait becomes crypt-bait, the off-colour aristocrats joke becomes the aristosplats….  It was a fun if short journey, but I was left high-and-dry at the last moment raking my brains for who the “Me-ow Man” referred to, which somewhat spoiled the big reveal for me. 

@WHAM: This story had a very slow-burn build-up, contrasting the normalcy of Hank with the fantasticness of the Black Blaze.  Your local legend oozed charisma and excitement, despite her performance magic being revealed.  The love affair of the two protagonists was a surprise, but then who could help loving the passionate Blaze?  While the story itself is sound (and the technical skill displayed in the writing is excellent), it falls a bit short in terms of the rules of the contest, in that there are all kinds of loose threads when it comes to Hank’s family and what becomes of them.  I’m not sure how much this detracts, since Hank is not himself a part of the local legend, although he probably will be in short order when it is discovered that he has run away with her…. 

@Sinitrena: Yours was a tale thick with ghostly atmosphere.  I particularly liked the vines creeping back into place in the graveyard, and the description of how Atalante uses her powers to sense echoes of the past.  The hazard of a longer story is that there is so much more to edit, and there are sadly many typos to break the reader out of the atmosphere you worked so hard to build up (“went their for service”, “old believes demanded”, “the two man”, “its patter not visible”, “we’re save here”....).  I don’t think the length of the story itself is an issue, and indeed it is necessary to establish atmosphere and give Atalante’s thought processes their proper due, but I did find the dialog drag on a bit (there is rather too much “diplomacy” for my tastes).  So, my final assessment is that proofreading and a bit of editing would bring the best parts of this story to the fore.

@ Stupot: This was a gripping tale with great pace and build-up.  Top marks on the best first line (“Blackbridge was a shithole.”) and best last line, heavy as it is with double meaning (“I thought we could both use the change”).  The way you build the legend through hearsay and unreliable narrators was fantastic, and the twist at the end caught me entirely by surprise.  The drug trip itself I think could use a bit of work, as its over-the-top gore contrasts strangely with the rest of the story’s tone.  Other than that, and a few minor editing issues, this was an extremely well-written story!


Sinitrena

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Stupot's story sets up its mysterie very well, maybe a tiny bit too well. The suspense is there with  first walking past the shop, then them talking about it but giving the impression they don't really want to talk about it. And know the too well from above sets in: Its somewhere during this talk i figured out the first reveal, including the drugs and that the two 'friends' had put them in the tea. As for the second great reveal as to who the baggerman is, I knew at this point that there would be a reveal and that it would include a character we are already somewhat familiar with (firtst idea i had was the brother, but comming up with the dad took only a few sentences more)
In short, I basically knew everything that was going to happen before it did. Good foreshadowing on the one hand, but probably not the best for a genre-savvy reader. (I guess what I'm saying is that this makes for a great beginners story (beginner reader that is) who wants to start reading urban legends.


Normally i review in the order posted, this time it's the order i read them in, so this has nothing to do with the points i gave.

WHAM

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FWC votes

Interview With A Horror Icon / Mandle
"Too a few too many puns and jokes and... okay, that reveal was pretty good, anyway, and I got a solid chuckle out of it! I know it's not really an entry, but I gave it a score it anyway."


Quoth the Raven / Baron
"Well that was an exciting and hearwarming tale all in all. A fine setup, a solid conflict and while the resolution of said conflict was perhaps a bit too swift for my tastes, and seemed a tad too easy, that might have well been the point now that I look back at it all. Good show!"


The Arbitrator - The Ghost of Wiltly Hall - / Sinitrena
"As often seems to be the caes, Sinitrena treats us to the longest tale of the bunch. I've never been a fan of the first person perspective, though. It can be fun to experiment with, but something about it always ends up feeling off to me. In addition to some stiff sentences that feel awkward to read ("..that there once was one already.."), a handful of those annoying typos that the spell checker won't catch here and there, I guess I'm not the only one haunted by those! :) While this was definitely the most nuanced of the stories, I feel it also goes too far in explaining the supernatural and seems to unravel its mystery far too soon, with far too much story left after that point. Still, who doesn't love a happy ending?"


The Beggarman of Blackbridge / Stupot
"A strong descriptive start to the tale, I have to admit, and a story so British it made me taste tea despite having drank only coffee today. I've always been a fan of urban legends, and this one managed to hit a whole bunch of the right notes for me! It has everything from the unreliable sources for information, the obsessive habits of those influenced, and explanations that make it all work out, including the experiences of the protagonist. Love it! On a serious note, though: don't do drugs, folks!"


EDIT: oh, right, my own story.

Spoiler: ShowHide
I was actually surprised with how positively many of the readers I showed it to read it! In my mind it was a rather grim and dark tale, which tries to suggest how one man's pursuit of personal happiness can doom an entire family to abandonment and confusion, and yet the most common word my test readers described the story with was 'wholesome', with 'romantic' coming in second. Perhaps I failed in setting the scene and suggesting the true nature of what Hank was doing, or perhaps most people just think differently than I do of these matters. I will readily admit that I still feel the story doesn't quite conform to the theme. I just saw the words "Local Legend" and my mind went to some kind of sports start that is, and will be, remembered and known by all in some small community. Someone who did something special. Whether it's Samara or Hank in this story was purposefully left up to the reader. The kick and the impact I tried to convey was the combined effect of the mundane description of the very first part, and the revelation of the finality of what Hank was about to do, and what that meant to those who unconditionally loved him and called him family.
« Last Edit: 31 Jan 2022, 12:13 by WHAM »
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Sinitrena

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I think for my comments, there's just Baron left.

His is a well written tale with some historical inaccuracies (or something along these lines) and a slightly weak characterization for the with hunter - he seems somewht off. He's methodical, but not in a logical way. On the one hand, he almost manipulates the villagers however he wants, but he still doesn't really care not just who to hunt but even if he wants to hunt at all. Is he really a fanatical with hunter or just someone doing his duty? I can't place it. The magic show seems anachronistic. With hunting happend for far longer and started far later than most people think, but the pitchfork, burn at stake, spanish inquisition type was certainly over when traveling shows started (as such, on a smaller scale there might have been something similar). These two points took me a bit out of the story, but otherwise i enjoyed it.

Baron

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His is a well written tale with some historical inaccuracies (or something along these lines) and a slightly weak characterization for the with hunter - he seems somewht off. He's methodical, but not in a logical way. On the one hand, he almost manipulates the villagers however he wants, but he still doesn't really care not just who to hunt but even if he wants to hunt at all. Is he really a fanatical with hunter or just someone doing his duty? I can't place it. The magic show seems anachronistic. With hunting happend for far longer and started far later than most people think, but the pitchfork, burn at stake, spanish inquisition type was certainly over when traveling shows started (as such, on a smaller scale there might have been something similar). These two points took me a bit out of the story, but otherwise i enjoyed it.

Those with hunters are a dubious lot.   ;)

Sinitrena

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They sure are! (I'm still on my fricking phone - you ever tried proofreading and editing on a phone?)

Mandle

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All votes are in and here is the tally:

Stupot: 35
Baron: 31
WHAM: 30
Sinitrena: 27

So we have a legendary winner with Stupot! May he achieve urban mythological status in the next FWC!!!

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest. THEME: Local Legend. CLOSED.
« Reply #37 on: 01 Feb 2022, 10:39 »
Congratulations, Stupot!

I'd like to know how the votes were allocated with this new system. You probably can't post them in an annonymous way if you want to go into detail, but maybe what was the lowest and highest number of points each voter gave?

Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest. THEME: Local Legend. CLOSED.
« Reply #38 on: 01 Feb 2022, 10:57 »
Wow. Thanks guys. I didn’t expect to win. I’m chuffed my story was well-received.

I do plan to post my own bit of feedback soon. I’m just in the process of drafting it up.

WHAM

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Contest. THEME: Local Legend. CLOSED.
« Reply #39 on: 01 Feb 2022, 23:48 »
Congratulations to the winner, a great tale and a well deserved win!
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