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Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Results)  (Read 1593 times)

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Voting)
« Reply #20 on: 26 Apr 2022, 08:24 »
Cheers for the feedback, Baron! I like the rather fitting radiation form of it, considering my story!

Spoiler: ShowHide
I doubt the protagonist has many plans for the future after he has finished writing his, probably short, book about the war. But wait, isn't he also writing this story that we are reading which ends with him beginning to write the book?! Damn, now even I'm confused!
« Last Edit: 26 Apr 2022, 08:25 by Mandle »

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Voting)
« Reply #21 on: 28 Apr 2022, 06:17 »
A lack of votes makes the competition admin sad  :~(.
Come on, people, the stories are fairly short this round and votes are live. We need more love in this world!

Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Voting)
« Reply #22 on: 28 Apr 2022, 08:38 »
Okay, I voted and will make some comments. I generally stay out of this one because it feels too much like what I do for a living. But when Sinitrena uses that dog whistle of hers, I tend to come yapping.

The Last Library by Mandle
Spoiler: ShowHide
It's a nice way to let us know how the protagonist reaches his quite stupid conclusion. The mention of book titles gives us an inkling of the love he felt for these works, and which we probably should feel, as well. (And we do!) There are lots of stuff unknown to us. Is he telling the truth in the book he's writing? Are there other people out there, or is he the last one? Is he writing the book for himself, for other survivors, or for future alien archeologists? Or is this the planet of the Apes? Note that this is how religions/myths/history is made - by destroying the other sources of information. But it seems unlikely this prepper can know his library is the last in the world, although the unseen narrator may know that. The obvious sibling text would be Fahrenheit 451, but I think this one only vaguely shares some themes. The censorship in this story seems not to be thought through and comes mainly from the protagonist's selfishness. I liked the story, as it gives an opportunity to discuss why people act like they do without regard for the consequences for mankind.


The Wasteland by WHAM
Spoiler: ShowHide
I liked this story, too. This reads to me like a story inspired by Plato's cavern fable, but with a twist - what if the great philosopher is wrong? I expected people to go back to the cave, echoing Plato, but instead, the story ends openly. We don't know what will happen or what the troubles in the new world is like. Fresh start indeed. The descriptions are detailed enough to give us a good picture of the underground world, with focus on small details, letting us fill in the picture with our imaginations. This worked quite well on this reader. This protagonist also turns out to have acted stupidly, but at least he acknowledges it in the end. There are things we don't know here, as well. Were the elders acting out of good intentions, or trying to keep their power? History have seen enough evidence to know that both are possible explanations. (The earth circling the sun? Sacrilege!) The main character believes he's doing the right thing, but doesn't take into consideration that he might be wrong. And why should he, given the message from his brother?


The Unleavened Truth by Baron
Spoiler: ShowHide
A story filled to the brim with food-centered expressions. I feel like that would be an even better fit the story was told in first person, but much of the other storytelling works best like it is. Basically, this tells the story of the gold rushes, where the prospectors generally weren't the ones to get rich, but the ones selling them equipment and entertainment. Swearengen vibes here. So it's a well told version of a familiar story, where the fresh start gets replaced by going back to basics and turning over an old leaf, feeding off other people's fresh' starts. I liked this one, too. Whether or not the reader likes puns with their buns will probably decide if this one is regarded as the crux of the biscuit or just the icing on the cake.

WHAM

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Voting)
« Reply #23 on: 28 Apr 2022, 09:53 »
I aim to send in my votes today. Apologies for being so late, it's been busy at work and elsewhere.
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Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Voting)
« Reply #24 on: 28 Apr 2022, 23:00 »
I aim to send in my votes today. Apologies for being so late, it's been busy at work and elsewhere.

I will also be voting over the next few hours... had a few issues.

EDIT: Voted and here's some brief feedback:

Spoiler: ShowHide

WHAM: Loved the world-building and the vivid scenes of carnage once the plan was underway. The exodus seemed a little rushed, and the ending needed at least a hint of what the danger was, and I didn't think it needed the final sentence. Felt a bit like the tropey question-mark after "The End" in old horror movies. Overall though an excellent little bite-sized tale.

Baron: You managed to pull off all the food metaphors without it getting intrusive or annoying. The story could pretty much be read smoothly whether the references were paused upon and considered, or not. This is quite the feat! The story was nice enough. Felt a bit like a proverb with a lesson to be absorbed, which is not a bad thing but not exactly my cup of soup.

I ended up voting equally for both stories as both had really strong points as well as slightly weak ones for me.
« Last Edit: 29 Apr 2022, 05:30 by Mandle »

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Voting)
« Reply #25 on: 29 Apr 2022, 16:06 »
I'm still missing WHAM's votes, so I'll wait a few more hours. Everyone else is also still welcome to cast their votes and to comment, if course

Sinitrena

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Results)
« Reply #26 on: 29 Apr 2022, 18:23 »
I received WHAM's votes, so it's time to close this round.

We got an astonishing 5 people voting (not including myself), so a total of fifty points for our three entries. Thank you!

But first, some comments from me:

Mandle: Short but sweet little story, maybe a bit too short. I'd have liked to see more of the consequences of the character's decision, rather than the execution of the decision. While the burning of the books, of history and knowledge and art, is a powerful image, a bit more characterization of the protagonist would have been nice. Does he write to start a new creation mythology for his world, wants to show a better future or is he just really egotistical and doesn't want anybody else's work to survive?

WHAM: Like Mandle's entry, yours rather shows the decision and the process of the decision than the consequences, but considering that the one, final consequence here is death, I'll let it slide  ;). I like how this story shows what not keeping your citizens informed can lead to and that Tikema actually tries to do the right thing but ultimately fails because he lacks knowledge. What I don't get is why they had to burn down their dwelling, why destroy any chance of survival for those who want to stay in the caves? It seems unnecessary and rather drastic - they could have just slipped away in the night.

Baron: This story comes closest to what I had in mind for this topic - we actually get to see what the character's new life is like. The food-stuff is an interesting writing exercise but I don't think it adds anything to the story. I like that Coriander's solution to his lack of money in the new job is falling back onto his old one - cobbler, stick to your last! But don't forget to try something new once in a while.


I had such a clear first, second and third place and then WHAM comes along and casts his votes. Now I still have a clear winner but also need to cast a tie-breaker:

WHAM wins first place with 20 points - Congratulations!
Baron receives 15 + 1 tie-breaking point for his second place.
Mandle gets a good third place with 15 points.

Thank you all for entering and voting and congrats again to WHAM - Over to you!

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Results)
« Reply #27 on: 30 Apr 2022, 03:35 »
Congratulations WHAM!  A well-deserved victory.   (nod)

Mandle

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Results)
« Reply #28 on: 30 Apr 2022, 21:41 »
YAY! Awesome work WHAM! Hope to see more and more of you in future rounds as your stories are always a joy!

Just one question Sini, and this is not a complaint or anything, but why did you feel the need to break the second place tie? I know it wasn't anything against me. I'm not suggesting that, and I would be asking the same question if Baron's and my positions were reversed. I suspect it was just motivated by neatness but, in the future, I think it might be best to just allow ties to stand. I am in no way butthurt about it, but newer and thinner-skinned participants might take offense if the host of the contest bumps them down a notch retroactively. I think it's fine for the host to also secretly vote but when it's done openly with just one point to "change" the results I can see it causing problems for some people.

WHAM

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition: A Fresh Start (Results)
« Reply #29 on: 01 May 2022, 12:18 »
Holy heck, thank you folks! I tried to keep the story short enough to read comfortably in a single go, and wound up with a hasty ending, but apparently that wasn't too bad this time around. I purposefully left a bunch of stuff vague, so the reader had room to inject their own interpretations and ideas, while trying to provide just enough to work with and make things interesting and impactful.

I'll get the next FWC set up later today so you can get to work!  :-D

What I don't get is why they had to burn down their dwelling, why destroy any chance of survival for those who want to stay in the caves? It seems unnecessary and rather drastic - they could have just slipped away in the night.

I tried to convey a character who was so fundamentally sure in their beliefs that they felt it would be nothing less than a crime against all to let anyone stay behind in the caves, if they could be made to leave. The Elders, and their closest followers, were the force keeping the people down in the caves in their "false sense of security", placated and unwilling to work for something greater and grander. I wanted the character to represent that kind of religious fervour that some might mistake for working for a true and just cause, but which might just as easily slip into destructive madness if not checked by facts and wisdom.
« Last Edit: 01 May 2022, 12:22 by WHAM »
Wrongthinker and anticitizen one. Pending removal to memory hole. | WHAMGAMES proudly presents: One More Fathom!