September - October SS Voting Thread

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Caedus, Oct 24, 2012.

?

Your favorite?

  1. The Final Solution

    20.0%
  2. The Walls of Grummidge Hall

    20.0%
  3. The Ruuvian Text

    40.0%
  4. A Company in Red: A Tale from the Empyrean Chronicles

    20.0%
  1. Caedus

    Caedus Registered User

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  2. Caedus

    Caedus Registered User

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    PS the poll is public
     
  3. zachariah

    zachariah Speaks fluent Bawehrf

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    All four have excellent parts, but only one consistently hit the mark for me and that was The Ruuvian Text.

    The Final Solution should have been the winner. It has everything:Time travel, a nice middle-class family in peril, Nazis, the works. I got confused near the start with the description of the home invaders, which made me think I had completely misread the opening paragraphs. They told me we were in modern-day suburban USA, while the description of the home invaders initially made me think they had turned up in full SS gear, and Patrick's almost matter-of-fact acceptance of the situation made me think he was a Jew of that period. The Big Idea of Hitler being played by a Mossad agent is interesting, though not much of a surprise by the time we get to the reveal, and the justification of being forced to play the part to the end, not worth spending so much word-count on. Saving the family with another time-traveller was an easy get-out, and made no sense with the rest of the story or Claire's character.

    The Walls of Grummidge Hall was so close, so close! Sorry DR - nothing to fault it, just not quite my cup of tea this month. Maybe the thought of skeletons getting their freak on was too much.

    A Company in Red: A Tale from the Empyrean Chronicles. Absolutely excellent, from start to about 500 words from the end, which just did not work for me. I felt like the capable adults had been transformed into simulacrums of standard teen protagonists, because only children would think the best way to expose the evil baddie is to smash your way into his bedroom in the certainty you will find the evidence you need. And then, you deny us seeing him getting the thrashing he so richly deserves. NO!

    The Ruuvian Text was, in a way, lucky I'm on a Lovecraft kick at the moment, because that's exactly what this is. Gentleman scholar seeks forbidden texts from ancient beings beyond the galaxy, discovers awful evil, goes mad - it even has clawed creatures lurking in the cold, dark depths. Classic Lovecraft mythos story, with a straightforward but nicely underplayed sci-fi turn. Could have done without the feelgood ending.
     
  4. R.J.

    R.J. Is Winter Coming?

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    Thank you for the kind words, Zachariah! "Absolutely excellent" kind of made my day :) I struggled so much with this tale and as you correctly spotted, the last parts aren't good at all. I spent so much time working on the first half, and the last half I rushed through to get it done before the deadline. To hear (read) that you liked the first half made it worth the struggle.
     
  5. norm

    norm We parley for nobody

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    This was a tough choice. Each entry had things I liked, and disliked.

    The Final Solution - I voted for this because I most enjoyed the concept and its intricacy. I could see how someone could argue that Claire coming back as an old woman came about too suddenly. I could see how one could argue that certain parts felt unrealistic ( some of the dialogue exchange between the captor and his hostages seemed odd). But the story and the idea had me entranced to the point that none of that really mattered. There are hints of genius here.

    Time travel; it always ends in disaster doesn't it?


    The Walls of Grummidge Hall – Good concept, the important details were revealed at a good pace, which hooked me in and had me wanting to know more. The story didn’t really “wow” me though, it felt like it needed. . . Something. Not sure what. I think what it came down to, was that the skeletons’ existence felt somewhat pointless. I’m not sure I really cared all that much whether or not they all disappeared.

    A cute concept, but it needed a bit more life to it- No wit intended.


    A Company In Red - I was almost ready to vote for this, but you picked a bad point in the story to leave your readers hanging. The entire story built up to a conflict and then stopped right as the conflict was ready to take place. The twists and turns were well hinted, they were subtle enough to make me feel clever when I clued in to what was probably going on, and a bit excited in anticipating that potential reveal.

    The important details of your world were shown with just the right amount of subtlety, everything was disclosed without bashing the reader over the head, and at the same time everything was revealed with clarity, I wasn’t in the dark at any point. Not quite G.R.R.M level storytelling, but perhaps not all that far from the mark either.


    All that said, I enjoyed each entry, but I think they all could have used a bit more editing. Some sentence restructuring, some clarification of scenes here or there. But overall I enjoyed reading them. I just wish I could have finished the story that I was working on for this round and submitted it on time, I was looking forward to it.
    Oh well, back in the closet it goes. Hopefully I can resurrect it again sometime soon.
     
  6. R.J.

    R.J. Is Winter Coming?

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    And thanks to you as well Norm for the high praise. Even though I screwed up by not getting the story done, your comments tell me that at least for the first part of the story I was onto something.
     
  7. Taramoc

    Taramoc Author and Game Designer

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    It's good to be back in these competitions! As I remembered, the quality of the writing is always excellent.

    Let me start thanking all of you for the great feedback on my piece, as as usual you make some excellent points. I totally see, for example, that I shouldn't have spent so much time on the reading of the letter, I think I got carried away by the amount of research I did on Hitler's life and the Third Reich. I see now I can cut some of it, and make the whole story shorter and more effective. And thanks also for the nice words on what you liked (hints of genius? *blush*).

    As per the other entries:

    The Walls of Grummidge Hall: cute little story, and while I didn't particularly felt the need on knowing more about the humans of Grummidge Halls, I did feel like a more final conclusion was missing. I really want to know what's the end game for those skeletons, be it when they are 500 or 5000. Or if there's not, some kind of revelation in that sense. Very enjoyable, though, and loved the characters and especially the way you tell us with just their names how they died (and hence their initial disposition as they were reborn as skeleton).

    A Company in Red: A Tale from the Empyrean Chronicles: very well written, I really felt like I was in the middle of the story, and didn't get lost in the many characters, quite an accomplishment in a short story. Yes, obviously I was disappointed that I couldn't read the end, and I also would have liked a bit more of the fight of your heroine with the wolves, before she is saved. For those reasons, it does feel unfinished, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. I didn't feel that your characters needed more work, btw, I thought I gave just enough information for them.

    The Ruuvian Text: I remember this puppy from the first time you posted it, and remember liking it back as I liked it now. I do feel that you promised us a huge scope, though, only to show in the end just a small portion of it. For example, I would imagine that such a library would be brimming with different races and creatures at every time of the day, instead we get only humans and those scary creatures that live in the dark (and the librarian of course). The real strength to me is the concept of the Ruuvian text, and what they really are. I would expand on that, and have someone read the third book, instead of just telling what it is at the end, in such a detached way. I'd love to see what happens to your world when someone actually read it.

    Now to vote... I really don't know quite yet. I liked them all for different reason, but none of them jumps at me enough to clearly wrestle my vote off of me. I'll cast it by tomorrow, hopefully a night of sleep will help me decide.

    Taramoc
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  8. Caedus

    Caedus Registered User

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    Interesting, looks like we're tied between three. I will give my vote soon, on the weekend probably, once I've gotten a chance to read all of them. Great work guys.
     
  9. norm

    norm We parley for nobody

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    So when does the voting end? I assumed it would end on the 31st.
     
  10. Taramoc

    Taramoc Author and Game Designer

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    I ended up going for A Company in Red. Even if it wasn't finished, it was the one I felt immersed the most in. Hopefully you'll post a completed version when you are done it, Slynt.
     
  11. Caedus

    Caedus Registered User

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    I'll give it three more days. Voting closes on Saturday. If anybody else has read them all and hasn't voted yet do it now, because there's now a tie across the board.
     
  12. R.J.

    R.J. Is Winter Coming?

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    Thanks for the kind words, Taramoc :)
     
  13. norm

    norm We parley for nobody

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    I was offline for a couple of days, and I kind of forgot about the contest- I pretty much figured I was out of the running. . .

    Well, it would appear that I've won, unless there's something wrong with my monitor. Hmm. Wasn't expecting that. Thanks for voting/reading then. I'll have a new contest up shortly.

    But I won't go easy on you this time, oh no. Prepare for torture. . .
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  14. Caedus

    Caedus Registered User

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    Its all yours norm.