WritingForums.com - 21/3/2011 - LM Six Pictures found on a camera.... - SCORES

  • 21/3/2011 - LM Six Pictures found on a camera.... - SCORES

    Okay kids, my time is limited, so I’m going to dive right into this.

    Want to thank Leyline, Anna Buttons, Caelum, and Dreamworx for judging this round. A special thanks to DW for stepping in for me.

    Here is the fun maths bit that helps us uncover the winner.
    It was a close race this round.

    18 + 16 + 19 + 16 = 69 / 4 = 17.25
    Karl R 16.5 + 17 + 19 + 19 = 71.5 / 4 = 17.875
    TheFuhrer 2.0 15 + 18 + 17.5 + 18 = 68.5 / 4 = 17.125
    InsanityStrickenWriter 15 + 17 + 16 + 20 = 68 / 4 = 17
    The Jaded 14.5 + 16 + 16 + 20 = 66.5 / 4 = 16.625
    Spider8 16 + 19 + 18.5 + 20 = 73.5 / 4 = 18.375
    Bazz Cargo 17.5 + 15 + 15.5 + 18 = 66 / 4 = 16.5
    13.5 + 15 + 15 + 17 = 60.5 / 4 = 15.125
    15 + 16 + 16 + 19 = 66 / 4 = 16.5
    Foxee 16 + 18 + 19.5 + 17 = 70.5 / 4 = 17.625
    17 + 16 + 18 + 18 = 69 / 4 = 17.25

    So Congratulations are in order.

    First place goes to,
    Spider8 for his story Six Steps to Heaven.
    In second we have
    Karl R, for Six Pictures
    And in third place, the second coolest fox on this site (),
    Foxee for Capture.

    Here are the words from the judges.
    Thanks to all of you for entering, and we’ll see you next round.

    Anna Buttons’ Scores

    Sick’s Pix – ppsage
    18 / 20You know it’s a good story when you still think of it a few days later. I loved this. The voice is beautiful; it really transports the reader into a snapshot of the character’s life. I appreciate the way you don’t tell the reader what to think but allow them to draw their own conclusions, make their own judgements. My favourite lines are Gotta love calls that wait on breakfast and I shot them there, when cameras took film and Later I'm going to find out it says Goose Haven Loop, but for now it's a bad picture and there's frost on the sign. Your visual descriptions are superb; I would like to see you delve into sensory descriptions beyond the visual too.

    Karl R – Six Pictures
    16.5 / 20I think you have handled the dynamic of relationships well. I think you tried to fit a lot of story into a little word count and that this could really flourish if you decide to flesh it out. I would love the reader to have more of a glimpse into the character’s lives – possibly through the guy’s speculations. Just a suggestion. I loved patented tolerant face and the permission of the line “Keep it if you like,”.

    The Fuhrer02 - Lost Then Found
    15 / 20
    I think your piece is a very interesting use of the prompt. I didn’t see the ending coming so it was a nice surprise. I think you would benefit from reading your work aloud and reworking the parts that sound a bit awkward.

    InsanityStrickenWriter - A Life in Six Pictures
    15 / 20I adored the whole first paragraph, especially the second and last sentences. Your use of vocal verbs in genreal could be addressed, for example in the line - “Why must you always flash so brightly!?” he moaned. I can’t imagine someone moaning anything said with an exclamation mark. I loved the line “I hate that incompetent camera and i thought you could probably lose the next line It did take all of the important events though... which sounded a bit stilted to me. One suggestion could be to give the character a bit more depth, he came across as just grumpy to me, i would have liked to see a different side to him. I think your visual descriptions were excellent, I especially like a small, bulky television.

    The Jaded -Unknown, but Never Forgotten
    14.5 / 20
    Interesting story idea. I think the tourists were a bit generic – I would have liked some more human tidbits. That said i particularly liked the excited beaming description. I also think the last line could be deleted as you have already obtained the emotional response from the reader and it (the last line) came across as superfluous to me. I was momentarily confused by the you saying The first picture right after a television reference. I loved Lady Liberty stood proud and thought you could probably do without though diminutive.

    Spider8 - Six Steps to Heaven (under 650 words)
    16 / 20
    I loved your opening paragraph, especially Or rather, staring at Katie. I would delete the word then from the line Then she looked at the next picture. I enjoyed the lines At twelve years old, she could pass for ten and Her hands had spelled paranoid to her daughter yesterday and Stanley pressed send and Dealing with adults was always uncomfortable (though i would delete he hated adults).I found the text I’ve nowhere to run – help a bit unfeasible in a text message from a twelve year old. Overall, I liked the idea though I found the concept of the daughter sending photos that she missed a bit of a reach. I liked the timing of the deaf reveal and thought the last two lines were fantastic.

    Bazz Cargo - Yesterday.
    17.5 / 20
    Great intro, great dialogue and i loved the moments of reality interspersed throughout such as “So much has happened recently, it's a bit hard to put in proper order. Could I have some more water?” “Sure.” I helped him sip a bit more, and he relaxed back on the pillow. For some reason that I can’t explain I wanted the dialogue to be in present tense and pared down a bit. For example I would change He was maybe seventeen, skinny, and had too much hair to He’s maybe seventeen, skinny, too much hair. I think you nailed it with 'Sure' I tell him, 'you bring us some work, and I'll give you a job.'” I really liked this piece; I liked the ambiguity around what the pictures are of. You deal well with what not to say.

    Custard –Allergies
    13.5 / 20
    I thought the name Flap was very cool. I liked the line one of the houses even had peacocks. It creates an extraordinary visual. I think the message was interesting and ambitious.

    Chaeronia -Road to knowhere
    15 / 20
    I think this was one of the best uses of the prompt however I found myself drowning in vocabulary. There were a few parts I really loved –
    a digger gouges the earth and The Word spreads on the wind but it takes root on the roads and glued crudely to my bloodied stump in a night of agony and But it was worthy. This is worthy, and that is all anyone can wish their lives to be. We circle the freshly dug pit. Our grave and of course Please don’t let us become just six pictures found on a camera by the side of the road. My favourite lines were where you used the simplest language.

    Foxee - Capture
    V.G. Kemerer
    16 / 20
    I thought the first half of this was awesome, especially the intro but I got a bit lost around the middle. I reread it all and got lost again. It could just be me. I think the fatherly voice is amazing in this. I especially liked the line She wanted a 'fast lens' for her seventeenth birthday, it wasn't drugs or boys so I got her one. I also really liked my hands, touched by superstition.

    Fearsatan -The Five That Followed
    17 / 20
    This is very well written. It is shrouded in mystery and poses a thousand questions. I loved Behind his nervous, twitching eyes his mind somersaulted. Memories of every person he ever knew, every place he'd ever visited, every relationship, every trivial matter bubbled to the surface and also And whoever it was that had thought to come out here, to this featureless, flat land so far from the Sprawl. My only suggestion is perhaps to change the first part of the second last line, He felt physically ill, to something more visual or an action.

    Caelum’s Scores

    ppsage – Sick’s Pix
    I found this a vivid look at a crash scene, though it was sometimes hard to follow. There were too many commas for me, especially in the first paragraph, giving it a halting flow. I wasn’t feeling some of the word choice, especially “taint” at the beginning. I found the voice of the character very consistent.

    KarlR - Six Pictures
    Love the dialogue, felt very real. Making the reader one of the characters jarred me at first but I gradually got used to it. I found the closing a little run of the mill, but on the whole enjoyed the piece. Didn’t spot anything off grammar-wise.

    TheFuhrer02 - Lost Then Found
    A very readable, very complete scene. I noticed a few grammar things I would change but nothing major. I liked that it was all the MC taking the shots, and I liked the way his thought-process followed.

    InsanityStrickenWriter - A Life in Six Pictures
    I really liked the flow of this and the note it ended on. There were a few hitches with grammar, especially the dialogue. Dialogue always has to end with a punctuation mark: a full-stop if it’s the end, a comma if it's followed by a “he said”. I’ve re-done a sentence to show what I mean, and to show an alternative place for an adverb.
    “Silent menace, that’s what you are” bitterly said the man.
    “Silent menace, that’s what you are,” said the man bitterly. (could even do “he said bitterly")

    The Jaded - Unknown, But Never Forgotten
    The grammar was solid. The tone carried well, but I found the story uneventful and a little cliched. Reminds me of a recent movie which built up the MC’s life and then at the end, surprise, he died in 9/11. For the same reason this fell flat for me, because there’s no moral or reason to the story other than killing the characters in a famous tragedy. Felt gimmicky.

    spider8 - Six Steps to Heaven
    Very creepy scene. Vivid and poignant. Creepy bastard. Kept me gripped as the tension mounted. Left me hoping he got caught and the girl was okay. Noticed one or two comma uses I would change, but grammar was pretty solid.
    “Then she looked at the next picture.” Ninety percent of the time I find the use of “then” superfluous, except when used as a conjunction.

    bazz cargo - Yesterday
    Interesting scene, though I would have liked to have known what was on the pictures. Appealing to the unknown, while it can be effective, is lazy. Grammar wise, there need to be more full stops. Here are commas I would change to periods or semi-colons: “RTA,” “talking to God,” “Trenchard Industrial estate,”

    Custard - Allergies
    Great story, a moment between two friends. Loved the ending. Grammar needs a bit of improvement. Dialogue needs to end with punctuation, and there were a few places where full stops would have been better than commas. A few nits:
    “they barely met each other”—I’d use “saw” instead of “met”
    “Adam asked, his house”—needs full stop

    Chaeronia - Road to knowhere
    Interesting look at these people, who I take are road makers. I would have liked to have known more about their function, how they made the roads and how it cost them their limbs. I found the tone wordy and a little hard to follow. I liked the moral, which seemed to be that blind faith is not a good thing. Grammar was pretty solid.
    “faith.).” you don’t need the period inside the bracket

    Foxee - Capture
    Cool look at a dad investigating his daughter’s disappearance. The ending confused me at first and I had to re-read the story. It became more clear on the second go that there was some fantasy-type stuff going on, and that the camera took him and his daughter somewhere. Grammar was solid though there’s two places I recommend a full-stop:
    “her seventeenth birthday,”
    “didn’t say anything,”

    fearsatan - The Five That Followed
    I would have liked more detail on the initial accident. Who, what, where and how. Simply loved the ending! Very stylistic choice. Tone carried well and kept me interested. The grammar was alright but there were minor things I would change, one or two commas I didn’t feel.

    Leyline’s Scores

    Sick's Pics
    Author: ppsage


    I'll just say: when I see 'sages name on an entry, I have expectations. I expect to be challenged and asked to pay attention. While this was a fine, amusing little take on the prompt, it simply isn't up there with what I expect from this author. I mean, I didn't have to re-read a single sentence multiple times in order to check for alternative meanings. And there were no little flashes of insight to be gained by comparing character names to place names and descriptions. I didn't even bother to look for hidden riddles with cryptic answers. Sorry, brother. I just demand more! :p

    Six Pictures
    Author: KarlR
    Excellent entry, and nicely direct use of prompt. Two distinct and realistic characters created in such a short space, with sympathetic personalities and hints to a real emotional life. Enjoyable, light voice and terrific flow throughout. Would really bloom, I think, if expanded and those characters explored a bit more.

    Lost Then Found
    Author: TheFuhrer2
    An enjoyable and imaginative entry, and a very clever use of the prompt. My main problem is that you tend to be redundant in your line by line prose, often telling the reader the same thing you've already shown them, as if you weren't sure your intent had come across properly. You write a ver clean, sensible and readable style -- your message comes through clearly. You can safely lose the redundancies. [IMG]file:///C:/Users/KATHLE~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif[/IMG]

    A Life In Six Pictures
    Author: InsanityStrickenWriter
    This was interestingly surreal to start with, and i found the rather ghastly old man to be an interesting and lively MC. I felt the structure was a bit random and somewhat choppy, though, and the ending left me non-plussed. I'm not sure if, when using a mysterious device such as a seemingly sentient, floating camera, that your best bet is to point out how strange it was in the final lines. Still, I enjoyed this a lot -- the oddness of it gave it a real charm.

    Unknown, But Never Forgotten
    Author: The Jaded

    Well written, and moving in a low key way. The thing is, I figured out your final revelation from the first paragraph, so it was a bit of an anti-climax when I reached the finale. I'm very interested to see if I was alone in this or if other people guessed. Good structure, and the pictures are described with deft skill and an admirable brevity. Revelatory endings, I find, don't often work well in flash-format: in order to foreshadow enough so that it doesn't feel like 'coming out of nowhere', a writer often telegraphs their surprise.

    Six Steps To Heaven
    Author: spider8
    A suspenseful and effective little thriller, using text and image messaging to create and maintain suspense. An entertaining and fast paced read. My only real problem was that it confused me talking about 'Like mother, like daughter' when revealing that Katie couldn't scream. Were they mute? I didn't quite get it.

    Author: bazz cargo
    I have to admit, this one disappointed me, not because it was bad, but because it has such potential to be an interesting, though much longer, story. In fact, that's what it most resembles -- the beginning of a far more complex and intricate piece. You do some excellent work introducing and heightening the mystery in such a short space, but that's mostly undone when the final line is reached and we realize that mystery will never be solved for the reader. I suggest you expand this one!

    Author: Custard
    I really appreciate the ambition and attitude of this entry, and it's observations on differing angles of political action: that's a rather large and important topic to take on in a piece of flash-fiction. Unfortunately, that means that such an important and complex a topic will have to be reduced to rather simple critique. I smiled at, and enjoyed, the sort-of-punchline ending. Like TheFuhrer2, you seem to add quite a few redundancies, as if unsure that your initial descriptions are effective. This is something to watch for in the future, since -- like TheFuhrer -- your style is clear and direct enough.

    Road To Knowhere
    Author: Chaeronia
    A very creative and unusual take on the prompt. I quite like that. Extremely stylish, poetic piece that -- IMO -- almost becomes bogged down in its desire to use larger and less-common words. While this can often add spice, it can just as easily tangle and distract the reader if over-done. And, while the atmosphere is excellent and well evoked, I was unclear exactly what the situation was or what the great labor might have been.

    Author: Foxee
    Beautifully structured, deeply felt semi-thriller, that dips towards spec-fic at the very end. I think. In fact, that unsure feeling about the ending is the only reason I deducted a point. In every other aspect, a wonderful story, and the best use of prompt in the competition.

    The Five That Followed
    Author: fearsatan
    Well written and imaginative story, that uses the prompt well. Excellent build up of suspense and a real sense of heightened emotion. The main problem i had was that the character wasn't really introduced to us, and comes across, somewhat, as a cipher. This is probably due to the fact that it's an excerpt from a larger piece?

    Dreamworx’s Scores

    ppsage - Sick’s Pix
    “Murderers have hobbies too.” I like your idea and I think you could definitely use this for a bigger piece. Really nice imagery, good dialogue. I didn’t quite understand what happened to the girl. That was kind of vague. I got lost a couple of times and had to re-read some parts, mostly because of the way your character talks. Other than that, I think this is a good scene.

    KarlR - Six Pictures
    This is awesome. I thought your use of second and first person was a really interesting way to write this. It works very well for the piece. It started out nice and optimistic, then ended on a negative and melancholy note. I could feel my spirits dropping along with the characters’ as they looked through the pictures. The mood shift was very natural and well handled. Great job.

    TheFuhrer02 - Lost Then Found
    Very heart warming. I think a lot of people can easily relate to this. As I read I remembered when I was a kind and my brother and I would run home from school so we wouldn’t miss an episode of Pokemon or whatever. I was expecting the character to get hit by a car or something near the end, but I was glad they didn’t. Nicely written, with few errors.

    InsanityStrickenWriter - A Life in Six Pictures
    You had me hooked from the first sentence. This is really witty, creative, well thought out and just plain cool. I love the quirkiness of it. Awesome job.

    The Jaded - Unknown, but Never Forgotten
    Very powerful, great descriptions, and a haunting last image. Couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Great work.

    spider8 - Six Steps to Heaven
    This is great. Well planned and nicely written. You had me reading with anticipation. I love your last sentence. Nicely done.

    bazz cargo - Yesterday
    Interesting piece. I like that you didn’t state outright what was on the camera. I can’t decide whether the last sentence is foreboding or miraculous, and I like that you left that for the reader to interpret. I enjoyed this.

    Custard - Allergies
    This made me laugh. I wish Adam was right, but I agree with Flap. I couldn’t help but wish there was a little more dialogue. There were some SPAG errors here and there. But I like the mood you set up and the light note you ended on. Good job.

    Chaeronia - Road to Knowhere
    Very beautifully written. The ominous tone makes this very disturbing, but the narrative kept me interested. No errors as far as I could see.

    Foxee - Capture
    I don’t quite understand what happened. I’m guessing there’s some kind of magic element there at the end that made his daughter appear. It was a little too obscure for me to get a clear sense of what happened. It is well written, however.

    fearsatan - The Five That Followed

    I found myself questioning what Henry was doing on the road in the first place. I understand there may not be much room for explanation when you’re limited to 650 words. Either way, I thought this was a good, interesting piece.

    Et, C'est tout!

    Catchy'all next time.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 21/3/2011 - LM Six Pictures found on a camera.... - SCORES started by Like a Fox View original post
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