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Small Writing Contest Page 4

Started by Bay September 15th, 2017 8:00 PM
  • 3480 views
  • 95 replies

Venia Silente

Inspectious. Good for napping.

Male
on the second floor's nest
Seen 9 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Days Ago
865 posts
11.1 Years
A frequent pastime in previous years of the SWC has been posting occasionally during the days of waiting, for the purpose of giving fellow contestants heart-palpitations when they see a new post and think the results might be in. :D
I can totally get into this game :p


Plot twist: I am your boss
Well, you are the one who brings me to these contests, so... I guess that kinda sorta counts as something? Does that mean I can ask for a raise?


There are a lot of different ways to interpret "magic," which is part of why it's such a nice prompt. My story takes place hundreds of years ago, and in it "magic" is an emerging human tool as they slowly gain the upper-hand over Pokemon.
Lets talk about the prompt then! I looked up the definition of the word "magic" and found that the supernatural qualifies as magic, so I have a lot of supernatural elements in my story. Well, its the main focus, so its the entire theme lol

There's a lot that can be done with magic. The idea of what counts as magic and what counts not, by itself, is tremendously abstract and relies heavily in the cultural weight of the difference between the mundane and the supernatural. It also relies somewhat in how loose the word has become, for example, we usually speak of magic not only for refering to particular skills or intrinsic properties fo the world, but also we have things like "the magic of the moment", or "one's magic touch".

For my entry I ended up going with the idea that it's easy to sell things as magic, regardless of whether they are or they are not the genuine article. "Magic" is as much in the eye of the beholder, themself beholden to their beliefs and expectations, as it is in in the hands of the performer of whether be an ancient craft or a sleigh-of-hand.
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


Bay

Darkinium Z

Female
Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,749 posts
13.4 Years
To BadSheep, yeah the names I mentioned earlier are those that turned/resubmitted in their stories after the extension. Your name is on the list, so you're good.

To LilithSilver, don't worry it happens. I'm nice enough to include you on the list already haha.

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]

Salzorrah

grassium Z

Age 21
Female
Floaroma Town, Sinnoh
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted July 15th, 2019
6,372 posts
8.8 Years
I interpreted magic in both concrete and abstract situations imo. Honestly, I'm kinda excited about this ngl. I've never joined a small writing competition before so this is a new experience for me. Would've written more if time constraints weren't a thing, but then again, I wouldn't have written anything if there wasn't a deadline so :P

Ho-Oh

used Sacred Fire!

Age 27
Female
Seen August 22nd, 2019
Posted July 26th, 2019
35,958 posts
13.9 Years
Mine was based around a dream I had initially then I ended with something else magical/suspicious. There's an underlying tone of magic but it isn't revealed until the end and then the reader decides whether it was real/whether the character is crazy etc

LillithSilver

Tooth & Eye

Non-binary
USA
Seen October 15th, 2018
Posted October 20th, 2017
94 posts
8.1 Years
Mine was kind of a vent piece, and loosely (very, very loosely) based on events that happened to me a couple years ago. The magic kind of took a back stage to the story as it wasn't really the central theme but i didn't really join this competition to win it in the first place, mostly just 'cause I could.
perhaps I'll fly yet...

Venia Silente

Inspectious. Good for napping.

Male
on the second floor's nest
Seen 9 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Days Ago
865 posts
11.1 Years
Whichever way we come, the important thing is we all have reasons to write.

I have been considering the idea, given how much good reception my three concepts for stories to submit to this contest had among my usual followers and beta readers, that I might be picking one of those two wannabe-entries and publish them as a companion story after I publish the SWC entry. That means more work for me, of course, but at least I won't be fighting a deadline :p

Anyone else of you had more than one candidate concept to go with for this contest? Would be nice to hear of the general ideas. If that's allowed.
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


Bay

Darkinium Z

Female
Dani California
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,749 posts
13.4 Years
Hey everybody, so all four judges have finished scoring the entries and give their feedback! Now, before we begin, a couple announcements:

-countryemo’s entry is accepted, but because they turned in their entry several hours late after the extended deadline, each judge deducted 3 points each, making it a total deduction of 12 points.
-We have a tie for Twelfth Place!

Ok, now to the placings!

Untitled, Nothing, but maybe a Rom Hacker [Fourteenth Place]- 29 points

Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-5
Characterization, Plot, and Description-4
Relevance to Prompt-4
Total- 13

So, at its core you have an interesting concept going on. I like some of the description concerning the comet and Aaron's powers, and the ending is sweet. However, I really feel you can expand on this story more, like how Aaron's powers actually works and how he gets used to them and how does his birth tie to with the comet incident. There's also me thinking you could do more with Aaron's feelings towards not knowing much about his family and if he felt all this is his fault. You have the basis of an idea that you should probably take a bit more time to flesh out more on some points there.
Grammar wise, there are some instances of awkward sentences here and there and the instance of some words on your last sentence that shouldn't be capitalized.
Family, Friends, Love, Hope, and the normal Magic you expect, a real special power to understand....
(Love, hope, and magic probably doesn't need to be capitalized).

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 4
Characterization,Plot, and Description: 2
Relevance to Prompt: 3
Total: 9
The story felt rather rushed, especially given it fit into a single paragraph in the
entry. Much more could have been made of it. There's some decent snippets that
show you can write (namely the description), but overall the story could have
used a lot more planning and time put in, especially as you submitted within a
day.

Astinus
Grammar: 3
Plot/Description: 1
Prompt: 2
Total: 6

There was a lot missing from this story. Like...a lot. The relevancy of the meteor hitting the earth at the same time that Aaron was born. What made Aaron so special. What happened at the end there and why. Did Aaron die to be with his parents? It reads more like he just floated up high enough to get to heaven. There was a lot of questions left after I finished reading your entry. Because it reads like what you have here is just a basic plot outline for a story that should have been much longer.

Bardothern
Rom-Hacker's nameless story: doesn't meet 1000 word count requirement, messy to read, and not engaging.

Grammar: 0 - messy, numerous mistakes, and way too many ellipses.

Plot: 0 - stuff happens and a kid lost his parents. That's all there is to it.

Prompt: 1 - magic is there, albeit in a random and narratively useless form.


Untitled, BadSheep [Thirteenth Place]- 46 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-7
Characterization, Plot, and Description-6
Relevance to Prompt-5
Total- 18

Well, that's probably the most gruesome entry we have so far haha. I do think John's thoughts of how much he cares about his wife is cute and I think the supernatural element you have going here has potential.

There are a few issues I would like to address. While you did mention in your notes the supernatural stuff relates to magic later on, I don't see it yet though you probably plan that to be obvious later on. The way you have the ending feels the story somewhat unresolved as you have John go get flowers but then him and his wife gets killed. You also mentioned that this is a second chapter of a book, but since this is a story contest I'll be treating this as a standalone story and this is my thoughts here atm.

Another issue is how the beginning seems to slog a bit and it took several paragraphs until the real action begins.

One grammar issue I want to mention is in dialogue whenever someone new speaks it's a separate paragraph.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 7
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 6
Relevance to Prompt: 4
Total: 17
There's a good solid base here, and some neat description as well. The set-up was enjoyable, and the first half was mostly solid. I didn't follow why the creature was attacking them like that however, and the magic prompt felt somewhat lost and confused during it all (maybe more fitting for a 'supernatural' theme). The incidents at the mall also felt odd to me and reactions from the mother and daughter were confusing (running away and then back to normal – as if they forgot?).

Astinus
Grammar: 3
Plot/Description: 3
Prompt: 2
Total: 8

Okay. So you said that this was the second chapter of your book, so I'm going to give you some advice in case you're planning on getting published. Because right now, your story was really confusing to read, even on a basic level.

When you're writing dialogue, each line that a different character says needs to go into a different paragraph. So when John finishes his story, you start a new paragraph when Julia reacts to it. Same thing with the teenage girl's argument with her mother. Teenage girl asks why she can't go on a date in one paragraph. The mother's response goes in a new paragraph.

You also spend too much time focusing on the wrong thing. Maybe we're missing something because we don't have the first chapter, but I didn't know who John and Julia were and why their relationship was so great. Instead, John just comes off as some sort of food lover, with his detailed descriptions of how great the pork chops and lasagna taste/smell. There was also no description about the monsters and if they were actually real or not. But John's hatred of the mall (and the people that shop in them) got talked about twice. When you edit this chapter, you should tighten the focus of what you're writing about. Make sure that your readers aren't getting drowned in food descriptions while getting lost in monsters appearing out of nowhere.

Just as a side note: I would have appreciated some note that the end of the story would get that graphic. You say that there's gore, but I'm fine with gore. Something to maybe keep in mind is that gore shouldn't be specific, but left a little to the reader's imagination.

Bardothern
BadSheep's Story: a garbled mess, trying to be exciting and entertaining and instead becoming a frustrating read through it's over-the-top vocabulary, clunky dialogue, poor pacing, and a conflict that comes out of nowhere.

Grammar - 1. There's a few grammar mistakes, but more importantly, the story does not read cleanly. Too much attention is on using bombastic language and not enough is paid to how it sounds. Dialogue is bland and unrealistically wordy.

Plot - 1 The conflict comes completely out of left field halfway through the story, and buold-up is rushed to it's climax. Character is smothered beneath the excessive word choice and attention to meaningless detail.

Prompt - 1 Random monster put of nowhere makes for a poor use of the prompt. Magic vs Supernatural aside, the magic feels rammed into a cliche make-up story.


Untitled, RedBallon [Twelfth Place Tie]- 47 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-6
Characterization, Plot, and Description-6
Relevance to Prompt-6
Total- 18

What you have here is a pretty good start. You have a girl that seems to not care about what she wants to do, but then stumbles upon someone else using magic. The description in the beginning with the beach is relaxing, heh. I feel though you can expand a bit more on the concept of "the magic one" as that meeting between Linda and the mysterious is kinda rushed. There's also the ending where you mentioned Linda learns the hard way how using magic won't have her breeze through Pokemon training. I think you could easily maybe do a scene or two to illustrate that if you're worried you're cutting short for this contest.
Stuff concerning grammar, I saw one type where you have "bread" instead of "breed" and some instances where you got dialogue punctuation wrong. For instance:
“Linda…the girl...you are the only human here. You must be the magic one.” The figure replied hopefully.
The period should be replaced with the comma and the "t" in "The" uncapitalized, like this:
“Linda…the girl...you are the only human here. You must be the magic one," the figure replied hopefully.
bobandbill
Redballoon:
Spelling and Grammar: 5
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 5
Relevance to Prompt: 5
Total: 15
The story felt like an introductory chapter or scene to a longer story. Not a bad base, but it felt like it could have used more. I was unsure why the main character was selected to be the 'magic one'. The set-up of her and her mother's Pokemon (unevolved form, etc) was a neat touch.

Astinus
Grammar: 4
Plot/Description: 4
Prompt: 4
Total: 12

Just for future reference, hit the Enter button twice when making a new paragraph for posting your story online. It was hard to keep track of what line I was on when reading your story. Having a break between paragraphs would have been easier to read.

More attention should have been given to setting up Linda's character. The story moved too quickly from a girl enjoying her summer break to a sudden destructive force that gives the power of magic tricks to random person. The ending was quick too. This seems like more of a set-up to what should be a longer fic that covers Linda's journey. Plus I'm just confused by where she gets her powers from and why, especially when it seems like all that Linda is doing is basic slight-of-hand magic tricks? It seems strange that a powerful being that flings its abilities around would need to give the skill to do that to someone random.

Actually, now that I think about it, the story might have worked better if you just skipped the strange figure and used the time more to set Linda up as some kid who thinks that she'll make a living performing magic tricks on the road with Azurill. That could be why she's not interested in school/almost failed fifth grade.

Bardothern
Painful to read due to its monotonous sentence structure, lack of paragraphs, and jarring plot.

Grammar: 0 - almost every single sentence is short, making it a monotonous read, and the lack of paragraphs makes it worse.

Plot: 1 - events unfold out of left field, and stuff just happens. The characters don't do much at all.

Prompt: 1 - the magic appears out of nowhere, just like the plot.

Untitled,, Countryemo [Twelfth Place Tie]- 47 points
(12 point deduction for late submission)

Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-8
Characterization, Plot, and Description-8
Relevance to Prompt-6
Total- 20 (-3 late penalty)

While the "non magic" vs "magic" users have been used a lot already, it's the execution that counts. However, you ended at a cliffhanger where I'm unable to judge how well you'll handle that scenario and you weren't able to showcase much how the magic in your story works.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 6
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 5
Relevance to Prompt: 5
Total: 16
A somewhat dark ending there, but too abrupt to really take much for it. The idea of magic could have been substituted for other attributes with no substantial change to the story, so I feel the prompt could have been better integrated. It was a decent springboard, just clacking a rounded ending and more use of the prompt.

Astinus
Grammar: 4
Plot/Description: 4
Prompt: 5
Deduction: 3
Total: 9

Make sure to read over your story before submitting it. There were quite a few errors that would have been caught by doing that, such as some missing words. Or even the wrong word like here: “Shimmering purple rings clamped around my write and legs.” I don't know what word “write” was supposed to be. Perhaps wrists? And check out the grammar rules for writing dialogue. You lost points for that.

There some beginning to a story here, but it's too short. There's not enough about the differences between magic users and non-magic users. There's also not much about this Uncle Jack, because who is he and why can he control so much in the town? Why would he turn against his nephew like that, seeing that it's okay to use relatives for an experiment? If there's going to be some prejudice thing between magic users and non-magic users, there needs to be a lot more set-up so it doesn't come off as pointless conflict.

Bardothern
Addresses the prompt, but doesn't do anything interesting with it. Very little character, lackluster word choice and imagery, and no sense of conflict.

Grammar: 5 - somewhat subpar writing, but it is correct grammar. Semicolons should not be used in fiction, and there's a few fragmented sentences. It is also inefficient, using some long and superfluous sentences, which is death to the short story format. Details rarely get to speak for themselves.

Plot: 3 - there is no sense of character to provide motivation or investment in on the story, and conflict is very vague.

Prompt: 5 - has magic in the world, but does very little with it.

Untitled, Abby [Tenth Place]- 55 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-8
Characterization, Plot, and Description-6
Relevance to Prompt-5
Total- 19

Well, that scene ended with a bang, and the news report there makes for an interesting twist. I feel though you could expand this scenario much more. I want to know more of Karen's motivation in getting back with Cooper and how Cooper interacts with the other clients. I think you have a cool scene here, but maybe a bit more set up there.

Grammar wise, I noticed some minor problems with dialogue punctuation, otherwise nothing else stuck out for me.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 7
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 5
Relevance to Prompt: 5
Total: 17
It ended rather abruptly, which was a shame, as I liked the set-up and concept. As such it didn't quite allow 'magic' to feature as much as other prompts, and felt unfinished. May be worth extending it given you gave a good atmosphere from the start.

Astinus
Grammar: 5
Plot/Description: 4
Prompt: 3
Total: 12

I hate to ask, but was this the complete story? The beginning part was all right, and had some set-up to it. But the ending paragraph read like a rush of names and places that it seemed like the reader should have already known about, but had never heard before. Who's Cooper and Smith? What household did they need to get access to? The last line of the story just seems to end without even any punctuation, leaving me to wonder if something got missed when it was sent to us.

Bardothern
The title says it all, unfortunately. There is sparse imagery, just enough for a few visual cues, no personality for its sparse and late-introduced cast, and no build-up to the end. Monotony is crippled by excessive and empty narration.

Grammar - 3 I caught a wrong word in there, but aside from that, the basic grammar is good. However, the story suffers from a lack of efficient description.

Plot - 1 No character development, no motivation. No motivation, no conflict. No conflict, no plot. Characters are introduced way too late and almost nothing is done with them.

Prompt - 3 The magic mostly exists through exposition, and nothing interesting is done with it.


Untitled, Chr Draco [Ninth Place]- 60 points
Spoiler:
Bay
CharDarco's entry
Spelling and Grammar-7
Characterization, Plot, and Description-7
Relevance to Prompt-10
Total- 24

I see you're doing a more humorous take on a Pokemonized version of the Harry Potter magical school, and what you have here is cute. While the stuff that has been written down is vague, I think it works for a diary entry. With only a few paragraphs you managed to put in a bit of worldbuilding like feathers, Pokemon teeth/claws, and how wands are made. I am left wanting to know a bit more if those magic duels will be similar like in Harry Potter or moreso Pokemon battles.

bobandbill
Chr Draco:
Spelling and Grammar: 6
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 5
Relevance to Prompt: 6
Total: 17
There were some neat ideas within, such as the mixing of Pokemon attributes into wands, and that is something that I feel would be interesting to explore further. The story felt like it depended on more to happen to be truly complete.

Astinus
Grammar: 4
Plot/Description: 5
Prompt: 6
Total: 15

Aw, you could have at least written about the duel.

In a way, I do want to read more about this world. It's a cute idea, and you do have some interesting set-up for it. I think that's what hurt this entry the most. That there was so much that could have been covered, but wasn't.

Also, I'd suggest just running your story through a spell-checker, or reading it out loud to catch grammar mistakes. You typed “thought” wrong, and there were a lot of run-on sentences that were connected with only commas.

Bardothern
cliched to the max, too stuck in exposition to advance a plot, using caps, and rife with petty detail, the story fails to get any traction.

Grammar: 1 - Please don't use caps. Nobody likes reading them. There's a few mistakes, and the sentences don't read cleanly.

Plot: 1 - it's all in narration to take place in the future. Nothing actually happens.

Prompt: 2 - it is very in your face about magic being there, but the story does nothing with it bit describe wands.


Recknoning, LilithSilver[Eight Place]-63 points
Spoiler:
Bay
LilthSilver
Spelling and Grammar-8
Characterization, Plot, and Description-7
Relevance to Prompt-10
Total- 25

Ok, I really dig this take here. The majority of the entries I've read either have magic being used as good or vague. Here though you have Eonalith used it in an antagonistic way, and I love it.

One thing I would like to see expanded more is the first dialogue scene with Eonalith and her companions. While I can tell by the dialogue things got intense, I think you could put more description of their surroundings and their body language/reactions. Besides that, even though I thought the description of the destruction she left was cool, I thought they could be more set up with her mind slowly being twisted after that incident with her friends.

bobandbill
LilithSilver:
Spelling and Grammar: 7
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 6
Relevance to Prompt: 5
Total: 21
Some nice description, and you did make me sympathise with the main character. That said, her reaction to killing everyone did seem rather OTT. Magic also didn't seem to feature that strongly to the story as other entries – the events could have happened without magic with little change.

Astinus
Grammar: 6
Plot/Description: 5
Prompt: 5
Total: 16

The whole story just read “sudden,” if you get my meaning. There wasn't much build-up to Eonalith's sudden outburst against her arranged marriage, and there wasn't much explanation as to why she murdered an entire town. I can see that she said that they didn't help her out, but just having her say that without showing us how they didn't help her—and what Ulysses did to her—doesn't fully explain things. Giving us the details of why Eonalith is killing everyone could help give her more sympathy, since right now I'm wondering if she escalated the outcome.

The blood magic came out suddenly as well. Did she always have this power? Is it just because she's angry? I don't know a thing about blood magic, and your story would have been helped if there was some explanation for this.

It was also difficult to read your story because the dialogue was all grouped together. You spaced out the narration well, but any conversation was grouped together. I don't know if you meant that as a stylistic choice for some reason, but it was difficult to read.

Bardothern
Extremely confusing due to constant shifts in setting/perspective, opaque character, clunky imagery, and poor structure, the story doesn't accomplish anything but some light murder that lacks emotion and force readers to re-read dialogue to understand what the heck is going on.

Grammar - 1 Quotes all in a row are annoying as he'll, the opening lines fail to engage the reader, and it's pacing is all over the place.

Plot - 1 I have no idea what the heck is happening, and that is not from a lack of effort. Even a re-read fails to clarify anything.

Prompt - 2 Magic is there, but that's about it. Nothing is done with it, primarily because there is no plot.


Our Bond, Cyaloom [Seventh Place]- 70 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-7
Characterization, Plot, and Description-7
Relevance to Prompt-5
Total- 19

The interaction between the main character and Akira is cute. Sounds like the two had a relaxing time touring Italy together (until the end that is lol). Despite that, I do think the two having a telepathic bond in a course of a few days seems a bit rushed. I think like the main character still feeling Akira's presence after she leaves Italy and Akira keep coming back to Italy every few weeks might work better.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 8
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 7
Relevance to Prompt: 8
Total: 23
I quite enjoyed your entry. It used the prompt in a gentler manner than others but it pervaded throughout. Description of Venice was also nice and you did well to make it feel like they were tourists exploring the town. Curious ending too. Overall well done!

Astinus
Grammar: 3
Plot/Description: 5
Prompt: 4
Total: 12

A little after the beginning of your story, I had to pause in the middle of it and see if you had your location listed. Just as I thought, you live in Italy. That came through clear in your writing, with the specific names and terms for places and other things.

Which is what helped when it came to the description scoring. It felt like I was in Italy, but...I didn't feel much for the characters. Why did Akira pick Main Character to share her telepathy with? What about her made Main Character fall in love with her, aside from her telepathy powers? And what was with the end there? You'll have to forgive me, but between her name and where she was from, I thought Akira ran into a Digimon.

For future reference, make sure that there's a space between each paragraph. Reading everything clustered together like that was very difficult to get through, and I kept losing my place.

Bardothern
a very interesting piece that makes decent use of its Venetian setting, but is held back by a slow beginning. The nod to the Japanese film Akira is a nice touch.

Grammar: 7 - very few mistakes, and the sprinkling of Italian is a very nice touch, but it's prose, especially at the beginning, is a bit lacking. The first sentence is extremely underwhelming. However, it still contains decent imagery during the tour of Venice. If Cyabloom hasn't been there, he definitely fooled me.

Plot: 5 - Akira's presence is intriguing, but there's little conflict due to unclear character motivation and a lack of opposition.

Prompt: 4 - the telekinesis and mental bond is the only magic involved, and while it is interesting, it doesn't feel magical. It is the driving force of the plot, but it itself doesn't provide any conflict. The protagonist chafing under the bond, for example, would be conflict material. Instead, he is perfectly fine with it.


Extraordinary, Forever [Sixth Place]- 73 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-7
Characterization, Plot, and Description-7
Relevance to Prompt-8
Total- 22

The concept where you have athletic ability and magical ability different I would like to know more, but it's certainly interesting. The stuff dealing with the cube and what happened to Stacey with Anna there makes for cool conflict between the two. While it ended on a vague cliffhanger, there's potential over what different directions it can happen next.

There are some stuff I want to point out though that I think could use work. First off, Stacey's voice there. I noticed she wasn't using contractions ("do not" instead of "don't"), and I feel that makes her voice somewhat flat. Second thing is I think Blake is flat compare to Anna. I don't know what sort of personality he has and all we know of him is his somewhat mysterious past. Anna on the other hand we have a better idea that she's most likely an antagonist there. Speaking of Anna, I do feel the execution of that reveal was rushed. I think you could have mentioned like Stacey being invited by Anna to meet her somewhere and started to feel odd as she's going to the location.

Grammar wise, I noticed some typos and weird phrasing here and there (like one phrase "I was just wanting attention" when it should be "I just wanted attention"), but otherwise it's readable.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 7
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 6
Relevance to Prompt: 7
Total: 20
Quite the mysterious entry. Good build up and an open-ended conclusion also worked fine imo. I feel that there were some moments where you rambled too much, e.g. saying the narrator were ordinary, then maybe she wasn't ordinary because she could throw so well and went to a gifted school – a bit like facts were introduced as you wrote rather than being planned out first.

Astinus
Grammar: 7
Plot/Description: 7
Prompt: 9
Total: 23

To be honest with you, I hope that you develop this idea a little more. At the end of the story, I was cheering Stacy on, wanting to know what the cube was about, and wanting to know who Anna and Blake were. While your story isn't perfect, it's got a good beginning with some decent set-up. If you're not working under a deadline, I would love to see you revisit this and see where it goes.
Bardothern
Misses the mark as a short story by spending far too much time on exposition. Almost no imagery, conflict is scattered and ill-defined, and most of the magic is crammed in as a surprise reveal at the end. In a short , the exposition has to be clear on every sense of the word (easy to understand and invisible) or the story won't go anywhere.

Grammar - 3 Nothing wrong with the grammar itself, but every sentence is dull and listless. There's little action or imagery and a boatload of exposition.

Plot - 2 It gets the conflict of "stuck in a weird cube" conflict out right away and does almost nothing with it. Conflict is drowned out by endless exposition.

Prompt - 3 It is just barely there. The story spends too much time on ordinary exposition. Only comes out in force at the end as a surprise reveal that is built on shaky exposition and nothing else.


Flowers in Bloom, Salazorrah [Fifth Place]-75 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-7
Characterization, Plot, and Description-8
Relevance to Prompt-10
Total- 25

This is a simple but very cute scenario you have here. I thought it was sweet of Seraphine to comfort Amaranth and then his magic revealed at the end there.

One thing I want you to be aware of is your grammar. I noticed some instances where you got the dialogue punctuation wrong and also at the beginning you have the dialogue (whenever two people speaking) in one paragraph instead of separating them, so it took me a bit to figure out who's talking who.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 7
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 7
Relevance to Prompt: 8
Total: 22
A cute entry. Description was nice without being overwrought and the prompt decently used. Amaranth overcoming his inability to use magic after the kiss was a touch predictable but otherwise the character interactions were solid. The sister did seem to only hold relevance to the first half of the tale.

Astinus
Grammar: 5
Plot/Description: 4
Prompt: 8
Total: 17

Very...rushed. Not only in the problem arising, but also in how it's resolved. More time spent setting up the world and how Amaranth feels not being a part of it would help. Also, some history on where these powers are coming from, why Amaranth's haven't appeared yet, and why they appeared when they did would help.

Also, just make sure to give your story a quick read-through for any errors made while writing. You had a paragraph of conversation that should have been three paragraphs, and a few missing words.

Bardothern
A jumbled mess, but at least it gives it's exposition through character action and dialogue instead of narration. However, the dialogue is way too blunt, and the opening is all pointless. Conflict springs up out of nowhere and is resolved just as easily. Characters completely shift with introduction of conflict.

Grammar - 5 No mistakes, and it is using it's imagery to give some exposition about how it's magic works. Nothing too spectacular about it, and it suffers when it all turns into dialogue at the end.

Plot - 2 The story starts with completely irrelevant characters, and though character motivation is clear, it is unimaginative and resolved too quickly because it was introduced halfway into the story.

Prompt - 4 Magic is there and does a few things, but it fails to feel relevant because of how the beginning is casually tossed aside and how it's mixed with a bunch of commonplace grievances at the end.


The Magician’s Daughter, Winter [Fourth Place]- 94 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-9
Characterization, Plot, and Description-8
Relevance to Prompt-10
Total- 27

I love the concept and vivid detail of this. I think you did well displaying how fascinated the daughter is with her father's magic and her doing the same. And the ending with her surprising her father with a magic trick of her own is very sweet.

If there's something I would like to see expanded more, the time between when the character was sixteen and seventeen. You mentioned about her father thinking his daughter might be into the science, and yet you're vague as to what kind of science she's probably looking into. You can perhaps mention like her father often seeing her reading a biology book or something to get that point across better. Another thing is perhaps more detail on the relationship with the characters' parents. It seems like the mother isn't all too pleased with her husband/significant other's magic tricks, so I'm curious if that puts a strain on their relationship and if their daughter notices that.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 8
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 8
Relevance to Prompt: 9
Total: 25
Short but sweet. Story felt complete and had some particularly nice imagery and description. I would watch for repetition, as while I could tell it was deliberate (e.g. giving several examples starting with the same word, e.g. 'But'), it dragged at times, and sometimes sentences felt too long. Not sure if the references to Pokemon, if removed, would affect the story significantly.

Astinus
Grammar: 7
Plot/Description: 5
Prompt: 10
Total: 22

There was a decent little idea here. For me, personally, I think it got lost a little in the flowery language. There were a lot of comparisons to random Pokémon. It makes me wonder if you were trying to make this into a Pokémon story when it didn't need to be. The plot itself had nothing to do with Pokémon. This could have easily taken place in a world where witchcraft is possible, and I think would have been a little more enjoyable to read without phrases such as “origami mantykes gliding towards the sky.“

Let me also point out the run-on sentence you have here: “At sixteen, the magic did not call to me and my father, disappointed, left to tour around the regions, having no protege, perhaps realising somewhat that magic was dying out after all, perhaps heartened somewhat that his daughter could work with science.” There's a lot of information conveyed here, and should be split up more to get it across better.

Bardothern
Definitely an unusual piece with very strong and colorful imagery. However, it is held back by weak plot, repetitive word choice that seems like an attempt to enhance the voice but only ends up intruding on the imagery, and shallow character. The story reads a lot like a poem, and it's the poem's limitations that hinder the storytelling.

Grammar: 8 - lovely imagery suffused this short story, but it's held back by spurts of annoying word choice. In particular, the word "always" dug underneath my skin. Repetition can work in a short poem, but it doesn't sit well in a longer story.

Plot: 4 - the plot is bluntly narrated and doesn't have any room to breathe around the imagery. The only antagonistic forces are the mother, who shows up for two sentences, and narrated social belittlement of magic.

Prompt: 8 - the magic is vibrant and self-described. It's everywhere, but it is less a choice and more a force that exerts itself upon the main character. It drives everything too much.


The Road Never Taken, Aisu [Third Place]- 96 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-8
Characterization, Plot, and Description-8
Relevance to Prompt-10
Total- 26

Some fun banter concerning fortune telling between Sydney and the other character. Then there's the twist there where Sydney was able to see Dana's future there. There is some vagueness if that visitor is the one responsible for Sydney's "magic," but I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case. There are a few sentences I think you can fine tune just a tad, but otherwise this is a cool take on the prompt here.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 8
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 8
Relevance to Prompt: 10
Total: 26
Quite well contained. Good set-up and establishing mystery and interest for the reader, and some nice amusing description scattered throughout. The ending was a touch quick in having the main character change his viewpoint, I felt.

Astinus
Grammar: 8
Plot/Description: 6
Prompt: 9
Total: 20

Why'd you have to end it there? I was interested in seeing how the conversation changed Sydney. I was also wondering what the significance is of him having a twin sister. It could have been someone else connected to Sydney, and not necessarily a twin.

The story might work a little better if there was more backstory given to Sydney. Like why he doesn't believe in magic, and what about the stranger's speech really does turn him around. He seems to just change without much thought given to what the stranger said.

Bardothern
Well written and full of attitude, the story reads well but is held back by three minor flaws: An underusage of concrete image, particularly in the story's middle, slightly unclear character motivation shacking the conflict, and a tone that doesn't quite hold up through the whole story. Aside from this, it was a good read with tone and intrigue.

Grammar: 8 - the grammar is good, and there's metaphor and interesting words sprinkled in to mix things up. The tone is a plus,but it and the imagery get smothered under long dialogue.

Plot: 6 - there is some conflict in their debate, but it doesn't have much room to grow. All it's plot is encapsulated in words rather than action.

Prompt: 7 - magic is definitely there and incorporated into it's plot, but it's use is not that creative.


Simpler Than Magic, Venia Silente [Second Place]- 103 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-8
Characterization, Plot, and Description-9
Relevance to Prompt-10
Total- 27

Okay, there's a lot I like about this entry. The majority of the stories I read so far has a human with magical powers or something similar, and here you have it focus on Ho-Oh's powers for a bit with the real focus being the conversation on magic versus science. I admit to laughing at the Ho-Oh chick and I thought, this might be about how looks can be deceiving. You then brought the father and mother Ho-Oh and well, if the anime can have Lugia have a baby and the Sun/Moon games have Solageo and Lunala have Nebby/Cosmog, I don't mind this scenario lol. The end with the two Ho-Oh finding each other and having Nix is very heartwearming I love it haha.

(I also find it funny that yours and icomeanon6 features Pokemon with their mates, and while his Pokemon couple was more bleak and sad yours is more cute and hopeful lol).

Another interesting thing is you referencing the "Eeveelutions are the Beasts theory. I'm indifferent to fan theories being referenced, but I think it works here.

I do think some of the grammar could use a bit of polish. I noticed some typos, repetitions, and awkward sentencing here and here. There's also a weird shift with having Flygon/Spectrum's thoughts in the first few paragraphs and then Trent's POV the majority of their meeting with Ho-Oh. I feel the head hopping could have been prevented with Trent's POV being at the beginning.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 8
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 9
Relevance to Prompt: 10
Total: 27
A nice tale and a good use of the prompt imo. At times the dialogue between the human and Ho-Oh dragged a touch for my liking, but otherwise the description was on point and the exploration of the canon was well thought out. (Didn't expect something from Rumble to turn up!) Also – I laughed at “New 1DS XL Advance”.

Astinus
Grammar: 8
Plot/Description: 8
Prompt: 8
Total: 24

Interesting idea here, where there's actually a whole family of Ho-Oh living somewhere. And what's also interesting is the idea of Trent and whomever else he works with. A group of people going around proving that Pokémon can be explained with science? Finally!

I also liked the backstory of the Ho-Oh family. The ending with them seemed a little cheesy,
but it was cute.

Bardothern
An entry that, despite its length, remains engaging throughout. Wastes no time with exposition, sprinkles enough imagery in to get the job done and keep a rein on the pacing, and establishes clear conflict that is explored in dialogue. The prompt is explored in an interesting light as well.

Grammar - 8 Imagery is in good enough supply to keep the pacing in check while giving good description of setting and characters. Not too creative, but it does it's job very well. Metaphor and voice would take this story to the next level.

Plot - 9 Clear and consistent conflict drives the story forward. Trent is an interesting character with which you explore magic, skeptical and touting science but too set in his mind to question his own beliefs. It's only setback is the lack of a sense of peril.

Prompt - 9 This is definitely an interesting take on the prompt, putting scientific method in conflict with magic and pointing out the contradictions of faith in science. Though magic itself isn't readily apparent outside reviving the flower, it is an integral part of the story's focus.


The Magician of Ilex Forest, icomeanon6 [First Place]- 117 points
Spoiler:
Bay
Spelling and Grammar-10
Characterization, Plot, and Description-9
Relevance to Prompt-10
Total- 29

I do like the worldbuilding you have with Houndoom's society and the apricorn pokeballs here. I can tell how stubborn and prideful Fang is in dealing with the Magic Man. The battle between them was pretty cool and Fang seeing that image of Celebi must be horrifying for him. I think the downer ending works to show how Fang has changed, even if not for the better.

I do think Fang and the Magic Man's interaction could be expanded a bit more. Fang seems to be willing to stay by the Magic Man's side after that fight, and I thought it would be more interesting to explore more Fang trying to satisfy his master but failing.

bobandbill
Spelling and Grammar: 9
Characterization, Plot, and Description: 9
Relevance to Prompt: 10
Total: 28
Another entry that adds to your worldbuilding, I see! Quite the enjoyable tale. Startling difference between the two halves of the story and how the Houndoom/houndoom acted – quite effective writing there. I'd say in terms of improvement maybe more clarity on the capture scene and a bit more between that and Fang being released would be nice.

Astinus
Grammar: 10
Plot/Description: 10
Prompt: 10
Total: 30

Your story reminds me very much of Jack London's White Fang. That didn't hit me until Kaato named the Houndoom “Fang” and I was hit by memories of White Fang. Not that that's a bad thing!

I like the feel of the story. It's written from a Pokemon's point of view, but it still explains how Apricorns were used as primitive Poké balls. There's some worship of Celebi, and since it's from the point-of-view of a Pokémon, the worship feels more honest.

It's a neat little package, and I really enjoyed myself reading this.

Bardothern
The prose felt clunky at first, bit i grew to like it very quickly. The time and voice of its characters are wonderful, the conflict is gripping, and it makes excellent use of the prompt.

Grammar - 10 The beginning could use a bit of work to make the words flow better, but it's a small complaint against the gruff, smug voice of Houndoom, the cackling sneer of Murkrow, and the callousness of Kaata. Great imagery all around, the grammar is excellent, and the pacing is perfect. The difference in writing from Houndoom and Fang is icing on the cake for showing character change.

Plot - 10 Absolutely perfect. Interests and character are clear from the first paragraph, and each character has a distinct voice to set them apart. Tension drips from every sentence of the story and reaches a satisfying conclusion.

Prompt - 10 Excellent use of the prompt. Magic adds another layer of mystery and tension to the story.


And that’s all the placings! Now, this is how the points for houses will be disturbed:

-iceomeanon6 wins first place, making it 150 points for House Gloria!
Venia Silente wins second place, making it 100 points for House Vestigo!
-Aisu wins third place, making it 75 points for House Vestigo!
-Everyone else gets 15 points for participating!

Congrats to icomeanon6, Venia Silente, and Aisu for getting placed, and to everyone else that participated! This has been a fun round of stories the judges and I have taken the pleasure to read. See you next year!

Foul Play
[Chapter Nine up!]

icomeanon6

It's "I Come Anon"

Age 26
Male
Northern Virginia
Seen 3 Weeks Ago
Posted May 26th, 2018
1,184 posts
11.7 Years
:D :D :D :D

Huge thanks to the judges for hosting and getting back to us so quickly! Hope everyone here appreciates what a special effort it takes to review so many stories in just one week.

And a big thanks to everyone who wrote this year, too! 14 entries in September is phenomenal, and frankly inspiring. It's such a busy time of year, and to see so many PC-ers somehow find the time to write a story is just awesome.

Congrats to Venia and Aisu for getting 2nd and 3rd! Looking forward to reading your entries. :)

I'm going to go post mine in the Fan Fiction and Writing forum, now, and you should too! Remember to put "[SWC]" in your thread title so we know where to look!
Old, Janky Fics
[url-inline="showthread.php?t=146381"]Gary Stu's Unpredictable Adventure[/url-inline]
Complete and FULL of lame jokes
[url-inline="showthread.php?t=127518"]Kanto: The Disputed Frontier[/url-inline]
Canceled
(Now with MST3K'd chapter 1!)
Chapter Fics
[url-inline="showthread.php?t=406057"]Roving Degenerates with Dangerous Pets[/url-inline]
Canceled
[url-inline="showthread.php?t=387471"]Will Somebody Stop These Kids?[/url-inline]
Complete
[url-inline="showthread.php?p=9293373"]Digimon Campaign[/url-inline]
Complete
One-Shot Fics
[url-inline="showthread.php?t=404864"]Wild Horses in Winter[/url-inline]
2017
[url-inline="showthread.php?t=385011"]Hubris Island[/url-inline]
A&D Collab 2016
[url-inline="showthread.php?p=7449808"]Giovanni Destroys the World and Everything in It[/url-inline]
2012
Small Writing Contest
[url-inline="showthread.php?t=193500"]2009[/url-inline], [url-inline="showthread.php?t=230366"]2010[/url-inline], [url-inline="showthread.php?t=258543"]2011[/url-inline] (1st), [url-inline="showthread.php?t=305055"]2013[/url-inline] (1st), [url-inline="showthread.php?t=332174"]2014[/url-inline] (1st), [url-inline="showthread.php?t=374329"]2016[/url-inline] (2nd), [url-inline="showthread.php?t=400230"]2017[/url-inline] (1st)
Family (kind of?): [url-inline="member.php?u=25615"]Strange person who calls me strange names[/url-inline]

Venia Silente

Inspectious. Good for napping.

Male
on the second floor's nest
Seen 9 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Days Ago
865 posts
11.1 Years
Whoa, second place! That's honestly impressive. Its the highest a rush job has gotten me in life!

I am a bit surprised that the entry was found quite well matching to the prompt, as I had to do some dancing around for things to work. Anyway, congratulations are in order to all contestants, very big ones to icomeanon6 for scoring this contest 1st place as well.

From what I am reading of the judges' impressions, I am interested in reading Winter's, Salazorrah's and LilithSilver's entries in particular once they are published.

As for myself, I am going to carry out some minor edits in the story before publishing, with the adequate [SWC] prefix of course. I expect to have it ready Monday. After that, I'll hopefully work on publishing another of the potential submissions I had that didn't make the cut.

Good work everyone, and thanks to the judges and staff for continuing the contest one more year.
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


LillithSilver

Tooth & Eye

Non-binary
USA
Seen October 15th, 2018
Posted October 20th, 2017
94 posts
8.1 Years
thanks for the critique, i really appreciate it. I initially wanted to expand the story a bit, and the original concept for the story was supposed to be for a multi-chapter thing, but unfortunately I actually started writing it a bit late (and the rules said no multi-chaptered entries, so I converted it to one-shot form instead) and so i wasn't able to put as much detail as I would have wanted. I really appreciate the views that all of the judges have given, though, and I'll make sure to put a few explanations when i post it to the creative writing forum : D
perhaps I'll fly yet...

countryemo

Kicking against the earth!

Age 25
Male
Littleroot Town
Seen June 1st, 2019
Posted September 10th, 2018
2,369 posts
9.9 Years
I didn't mean to be late, so apologies. I read the extension and forgot about time differences. My story was a bit rushed as I was trying to get into the extended deadline, that and I've never been good at a full fledged story. The cliffhanger was intential, reminds me of the show Angel, and so was the family experiement, ala Torchwood. Thank you all for the critiques, hopefully I'll write some short stories throughout the next year so the next entry is a bit better. :)
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