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Small Writing Competition 2019 Page 2

Started by bobandbill August 2nd, 2019 2:26 PM
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  • 32 replies

bobandbill

This is fine.

Male
A cape
Seen 12 Hours Ago
Posted 19 Hours Ago
15,027 posts
11.6 Years
RESULTS ARE IN

4th place: Sheep
Total points: 61/90
Individual scoring/comments:
Spoiler:
Bay:
Spelling and Grammar: 9/10
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 6/10
Relevance to Prompt: 6/10
Total: 21

This is a cute premise you have here, a trainer and her Eevee going to the forest. I see that you have Eevee's evolution the main mystery here. One would think this Eevee would be a Leafeon due to what I assume is a Moss Rock, the Pokemon also has other possibilities heh.

The mystery aspect of the story could be stronger, and I think it has to due with a lack of conflict here. Usually, mysteries tend to have this urgency or obstacle going on. While reading I thought there was someone or something about to ambush the trainer and her Eevee, but that didn't happen. You can also have that someone or something be another mystery focus there.

bobandbill:
Spelling and Grammar: 9
Characterisation, Plot and Description: 7
Relevance to Prompt: 6
Total: 22/30

I quite liked this entry, and it had a good incorporation of a somewhat ignored aspect of the games. The description was nice throughout and set up the atmosphere nicely, and the pacing was fairly steady too. A bit more emphasis on characterisation may help the story stand out more, and have us more invested into why the Eevee is running off, or the Trainer's concern about it.

Spelling and grammar was fairly sound. The prompt was the weak point, in that there was not much build-up to the mystery, nor much done with it. That would have helped the entry some more - maybe replacing the motivation of the character to look for a Shiny to something to do with the stone, for example, or a rumour about the forest unlocking major change for one's Pokemon?

gimmepie:
Spelling and Grammar: 8
Characterisation, Plot and Description: 6
Relevance to Prompt: 4
Total: 18/30

A cool idea for a story. Your spelling throughout was excellent and your grammar was mostly good too. There was one instance of using a period where it should have been a comma however and several places where you should have used a space but didn’t.

The concept of your story was neat and I like that you took inspiration from elsewhere in the GT. The progression of the concept was well paced and smooth. Your description of the scene as the character moved through it was excellent. You did a nice job of painting a scene with words and putting clear imagery into my head as a reader. Your characterization did feel a bit flat to me though and I didn’t really feel like I got more than a hint of the main character’s personality or that of her Eevee’s.

I think that your biggest shortcoming here though was adherence to your prompt. There wasn’t really even a hint of mystery until near the end and that mystery was very quickly solved - and not difficult to solve for those who know the source material. You could have played up the Eevee going missing up to its evolution more and made that the focus of the story over describing the area which would have helped your score here.

Overall, a nice and easy read. I enjoyed it.


3rd place: Janp
Total points: 65/90
Individual scoring/comments:
Spoiler:
Bay:
Spelling and Grammar: 7/10
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 9/10
Relevance to Prompt: 10/10
Total: 26

So while I was reading this, I felt I was reading more of a horror fantasy instead of a mystery story, but after some thinkingI totally see where you're going with this. The house and "Something" is the mystery and does give a bit of that Netflix's Stranger Things vibe going. There are so many questionI have, same ones in the narrative and additional ones like, "Is that Something going to different parallel universes?" and such.

Strongest point of your story is the imagery of this Something just letting lose there haha. I would've liked a bit more plot going on, but considering the contest's time constraints and all it didn't affect my enjoyment overall.

Prose and grammar wise I noticed a few instances of awkward sentences and tense shifting. A couple examples here:

It looked like dancing shadows want to catch Oliver, but each time they got near, they transform into something new.
This sentence sounds awkward when read aloud. Maybe take out the "want to catch Oliver" to make that sentence flow better.

Oliver run to the exit, ignoring them. He run past the writing on the wall in the same language as the one on the note.
The majority of the story was in past tense, but here you have the present tense of run.

bobandbill:
Spelling and Grammar: 5
Characterisation, Plot and Description: 6
Relevance to Prompt: 8
Total: 19/30

It was an interesting concept with the horror take here, and I quite liked the open-ended conclusion to the tale. I wonder what happens next... I think the general idea and the ending was the highlight of this entry. It also fitted the prompt quite well.

There were some passages that would have benefitted from a bit more time spent on proof-reading; sometimes for instance there would be a missing word or two, and tenses were often swapped mid-sentence. It was sometimes a bit hard as a result to quite follow what was happening - things like notes allowing for (temporary) protection seemed to crop up suddenly when convenient for the main character, as if they had been come up right then to keep the plot moving and keep the main character alive. The personality of the lead character could have been a bit fleshed out too, to give us a better feel for how the character reacts and feels during his ordeal.

gimmepie:
Spelling and Grammar: 5/10
Characterisation, Plot and Description: 7/10
Relevance to Prompt: 8/10
Total: 20/30

Interesting, we have a more horror-based take of the prompt here. Mysteries lend themselves well to horror because they naturally produce a degree of uncertainty and suspense.

Reading through, I did not notice any spelling errors but there were some problems that fall more towards the grammar side of things. There were several places where you seem to have missed out words - in particular this happens with conjunctions. You also have some occasional problems with tense consistency.

The story itself I really liked. It was a fun take on an older idea and you did a good job of maintaining a steadily growing tension throughout. You also did a nice job of painting a scene in my head. I had a very vivid image of the house and of the horrors contained within. I think however, you could have done a bit more to show us the personality of your protagonist.

Throughout the story you did a good job of maintaining a mysterious atmosphere, and it was curiosity towards a mystery that kicked everything off to begin with. I think that you could have strengthened that without the exposition on the note, which would have aided in building the tension further too. It was a bold move ending the way you did, raising more questions instead of giving answers but I think it certainly fit the prompt.


2nd place: Venia Silente
Total points: 66/90
Individual scoring/comments:
Spoiler:
Bay:
Spelling and Grammar: 8/10
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 7/10
Relevance to Prompt 7/10
Total: 22

A Fearrow detective is perhaps one of the most interesting takes on this prompt. It's a nice insight into how Kalas does his investigations and his interactions with his Spearrow student is cute. I liked the beginning and endings of this where there was some action between Kalas and the Pignite and then the statekout wrapping things up.

While I like the premise, I feel the execution didn't tie in with the mystery aspect well enough. Kalas seems to watch and observed more than questioning and interviewing there, and the two scenes after the Kalas and Pignite fight have Kalas in some shenanigans than actively finding out clues and such. In your summary, you have the female Honchkrow be interested in Kalas's investigations, but in the narrative, there are only mentions of what she was singing instead of interacting with him there. Overall this feels more kinda slice of life instead of a hardboiled mystery.

As for grammar and such, I noticed some instances of awkward and run-on sentences that could be polished. One example I'll pull out:

Interested in the new development, the bravest among the Murkrows took wing and neared the building, looking for places where they could land and idle about looking innocent until they could chase after the Spearow who was at a corner still dragging the crystal discs.
I feel this sentence has a lot going on and probably could benefit with a slight rewrite.

bobandbill:
Spelling and Grammar: 7
Characterisation, Plot and Description: 8
Relevance to Prompt: 8
Total: 23/30

The characters shone the most here, and like with CId's story it did feel like part of a larger universe or world, and if anything part of a larger story. That in itself is commendable. I quite enjoyed reading about them, including how the Murkrow interacted in the opening scene, and the presistent Spearow working for its Fearow teacher.

That said, the story felt... unfinished to me. I was getting drawn into the mystery with what the Fearow was investigating, but then the tale ended with no obvious conclusion. That is my main critiscm with the tale. Description was fairly solid throughout.

There were some run-on sentences showing up here and there, and that'd be the main thing to fix beyond the odd typo. Also note that canonically it is one Pokemon, two Pokemon; so Murkrow, not Murkrows.

gimmepie:
Spelling and Grammar: 7
Characterisation, Plot and Description: 8
Relevance to Prompt: 6
Total: 21/30

First off, I want to say that I actually really liked the story and this concept of a Pokemon society living in mirror or tandem to the humans around them is a really cool idea.

Your spelling and grammar throughout the story was by-and-large fine. I didn’t notice any spelling mistakes, and grammar errors were largely confined to the odd missed comma. There was also a few places where you seemed to have used the wrong word, but it wasn’t a common problem.

I think that you did a really nice job of characterising Kalas and the young Spearow, and I like that you did this mainly through their actions and interactions than with exposition. Some of the other minor characters like the Kadabra policemon and the Zangoose “informant” also had pretty distinct personalities. You hinted a bit at the lady Honchkrow but I would have liked to see a bit more of her. The descriptive language you used was good for the most part, painting a really clear picture of the setting and society within it, although it sometimes became a little unclear during the earlier action sequence. The plot of your story was engaging, but it lacked direction. While it was cool to explore Kalas’ world, the story itself never really went anywhere and I didn’t get much of a sense of a strong complication or resolution to the story after all the effort you went to in building the world and its characters. I’d be interested in seeing more of Kalas’s story in relation to the ring.

I think the biggest weakness of your entry, as far as the competition goes, is that whilst it clearly takes inspiration from the prompt and mysteries are involved to an extent, the mysteries in the story primarily take a back seat to a more slice-of-life story based around Kalas’ day-to-day. Naturally, “mystery” being the prompt doesn’t require you to right the mystery genre, but I would have liked for the mysteries to be more prominent in your narrative.


1st place: Cid
Total points: 76/90
Individual scoring/comments:
Spoiler:
Bay:
Spelling and Grammar: 9/10
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 7/10
Relevance to Prompt: 8/10
Total: 24

Oh, I like how you have your piece have this 2nd person POV noir style narrative with a dash of urban fantasy going on. While the characters weren't fully developed due to this being a very short piece, I think it's neat those friends go on expeditions and each one having specializations.

Rio's reasoning for murdering Erdick I feel is a bit filmsy. I get him not wanting to join the expedition, but killing him silently was a bit much. That's just my feelings on that, though.

Your prose and description is fine, but I'm gonna nitpick for one second lol.

I guess this means you’ll have to wait for some other group of four to bring that peace. Quentin’s party is going to have to deal with the repercussions of this first.
I feel this is awkward for a 2nd POV story. Probably take the "I guess" out and that paragraph flows much better.

bobandbill:
Spelling and Grammar: 8
Characterisation, Plot and Description: 8
Relevance to Prompt: 10
Total: 26/30

A very relevant entry to the prompt there, so kudos with that aspect.

I liked the use of the same ending and beginning set-up here, and the characterisation was quite solid thoughout, with only a few errors to note. The story was quite good too - pacing was faultless except maybe for the ending reveal, which did seem to come about a touch too quickly. I had been quite drawn in, but in the end the killer was revealed from a single conversation which rendered the set-up beforehand somewhat unnecessary.

I liked that the story seemed to be part of a larger world, given the alusions to the expeditions and use of magic, etc. Description was solid too.

gimmepie:
Spelling and Grammar: 7
Characterisation, Plot and Description: 7
Relevance to Prompt: 10
Total: 24/30

I love a good murder mystery.

Your spelling was very good and your grammar was quite good too. There were a few places where the narration felt off however, because you had either foregone italics or quotation marks where they were required or seem to have randomly shifted perspective for a line. Moments like the “Farewell, dear friend.”

Your characterisation was decent. From the perspective of the audience, we did get a general idea of the personalities of each of your cast members and I noticed you did go to the effort to make sure we did know little bits about all of them. The place where the characterisation fell off was primarily the protagonist. Perhaps this was intentional on the account of the second person perspective, but it was a strong and noticeable contrast. The plot itself was very well conceived and had good pacing with the way you broke it down. It made sense, was a believable and enjoyable story and there was nothing jarring in your execution.The description was similar, while at times the imagery wasn’t perfectly clear I always had at least a general idea of the scenes you were describing so while it didn’t add huge amounts to the experience a lack of descriptive writing didn’t detract from your plot.

The “whodunnit” is one of the oldest and most tried and true mystery stories. Nonetheless, I appreciated your spin on it and I think you did a good job crafting the story and throwing in little bits of misdirection. I’d say that you fit the prompt perfectly, but I will note that the mystery rapidly became less mysterious through the protagonist’s narration at the end which could have been handled a little better.

bobandbill

This is fine.

Male
A cape
Seen 12 Hours Ago
Posted 19 Hours Ago
15,027 posts
11.6 Years
Congrats to everyone who managed to submit an entry, as that's always a tough ask, and congrats in particular to Cid for winning this year's SWC!

Please be sure to post your entries in the fic section with the SWC prefix. Also, let me know if it's okay to advertise/feature your entries in a Daily post-GT article, if/when I have time for making such a thing. :B

Cid

from 2013

Age 24
Male
Philippines
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Hours Ago
3,342 posts
11.5 Years
I'm...

Thank you. This means a lot to me. I became really engrossed in the characters as I was writing so I'm just glad that my story was read and received favorably.

I very much appreciate the criticisms because they all give me an idea on where to improve in the future.

Congrats to everyone who participated. I would love to read everyone's stories.

And um re: the Daily post-GT article, sure.

Janp

Age 22
Male
Czech Republic
Online now
Posted 23 Hours Ago
3,431 posts
6.4 Years
Congrats Cid!

Thanks the jury for feedback on my story. It was pretty much exactly what I expected when I was re-reading my story before sending it in.

Daily article: No problem at all.

Venia Silente

Inspectious. Good for napping.

Male
on the second floor's nest
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 1 Hour Ago
850 posts
11 Years
Congratulations to everyone who made the in. Damn the scores after the first place were quite packed.

Admittedly I am unhappy with the results due to having to cut the entire ending of the story for time and adjust accordingly, but I didn't expect it to still score above a 6 in relevance to prompt. "Mystery" is quite the mysterious thing! I expect to be reading everyone's entries when feasible!


Please be sure to post your entries in the fic section with the SWC prefix. Also, let me know if it's okay to advertise/feature your entries in a Daily post-GT article, if/when I have time for making such a thing. :B
I'll post mine most likely during the weekend. I'd like to ask from the judges and the other contestants if they would prefer to have me post the two versions, SWC and Director's Cut, separately (I think that'd require two threads?) or would rather have me skip right away to the Director's Cut.

Also, it is (will?) be okay to feature my entry in any and all relevant Dailys. I'm also open to interviews and DVD commentary over PM / DM if so desired.

One thing I still have to settle on is an actual title for the story, lol.

Once again thanks to everyone, thanks to the judges for managing to host this year, and also thanks to the other contestants for chiming in and providing new content.
Venia Silente - Consulting Worldbuilder
Background... some day.
Fic stuff~

SWC Entries
: Playfield 2009 : Misaimed for Life 2014 : As They Were 2016 : Simpler than Magic 2017 : Beyond Today 2018 :

Other Releases
: Pseudo-Legendary : Silly human, romance is for Nidoran! (Valentine's : Tricks of the Love Fast (Valentine's) : Overlord (meow~) :
»»More in profile link or wiki link««

The Meta Journey!
Nidoran : Carnivine


gimmepie

Age 23
Male
Australia
Seen 26 Minutes Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
20,236 posts
7.4 Years
Snip
What's the difference between the two versions?

Venia Silente

Inspectious. Good for napping.

Male
on the second floor's nest
Seen 1 Hour Ago
Posted 1 Hour Ago
850 posts
11 Years
What's the difference between the two versions?
The SWC version is the exact one that was sent to the judges.

Director's Cut but in meme changelog format I'm not sorry:

  • Story now has a full ending scene.
  • Spearow now has a name.
  • Fixed a bug where the synopsis refers to the Honchkrow singer by name but no one in-story does.
  • Clarified the identity of the "villains" of the story.
  • Added a scene where the activities of the Houndoom are related.
  • Buffed up Spearow's charm and plumage sharpness by 25%.
  • Enhanced notoriety of the second "mystery" aspect of the story (why the Honchkrow singer takes an interest on Kalas).
  • Added romance.
  • Galvantula and Bayleef's attacks are now named.
  • Removed Herobrine.
Venia Silente - Consulting Worldbuilder
Background... some day.
Fic stuff~

SWC Entries
: Playfield 2009 : Misaimed for Life 2014 : As They Were 2016 : Simpler than Magic 2017 : Beyond Today 2018 :

Other Releases
: Pseudo-Legendary : Silly human, romance is for Nidoran! (Valentine's : Tricks of the Love Fast (Valentine's) : Overlord (meow~) :
»»More in profile link or wiki link««

The Meta Journey!
Nidoran : Carnivine


gimmepie

Age 23
Male
Australia
Seen 26 Minutes Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
20,236 posts
7.4 Years
The SWC version is the exact one that was sent to the judges.

Director's Cut but in meme changelog format I'm not sorry:
The second
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