WritingForums.com - 3/10/2011 - LM - It happened in a moment - SCORES

  • 3/10/2011 - LM - It happened in a moment - SCORES

    Oooookaaaaay. Finally done!
    So, a really interesting round this time. Lots of excellent entries, and well-deserving winners. So without further ado, extend your congratulations to.....

    Insanity StrickenWriter! First place for The Moment of Everything.
    In second place we have Moderan for his entry Watch the Birdie.
    And third goes to Philosophocles.

    So here’s how the judges got to those results, and below are all the comments.
    Great round, guys. See you all next time!

    The Moments that Made us – Baba Yaga
    16 + 18 + 15 +13.5 = Average of 15.625

    Die Oldhaetunde – Wo Kammen
    13 + 14 + 13.5 + 13 = Average of 13.375

    Caprice – Tiamat10
    16 + 16 + 18.5 + 17 = Average of 16.875

    The Last Pause – Kat
    20 + 15 + 17 + 16 = Average of 17

    I thought I heard a noise – Nacian
    12 + 16.5 + 14 + 12 = Average of 13.625

    Flash – TheFuhrer2.0
    18 + 20 + 15 + 14.5 = Average of 16.875

    The Visit – Bluesman
    14 + 17 + 14 + 14 = Average of 14.75

    The Eternal Instant – Gamer_2k4
    17 + 17 + 18 + 19 = Average of 17.75

    Virtually You! = Maggie Moo
    17 + 16 + 14 + 15 = Average of 15.5

    Only a Moment – ChicaogHeart
    17 + 15 + 15.5 + 17.5 = Average of 16.25

    That Moment – DuKane
    17 + 18 + 14 + 16.5 = Average of 16.375

    The Moment of Everything – InsanityStrickenWriter
    18 + 18.5 + 19 + 20 = Average of 18.875

    Watch the Birdie – Moderan
    19 + 17.5 + 18 + 18 = Average of 18.125

    Untitled - Philosophocles
    18 + 17 + 18 + 18.5 = Average of 17.875

    Bazz Cargo’s Scores

    Moments That Make Us.

    Spag. 3/5
    Tone & voice 4/5
    Effect 9/10
    Overall 16/20
    There are many accounts of how relationships founder, but only a few with such sad regret. Your story was well thought through, and could be part of a novel. Powerful, striking, and connected with me strongly. A real emotional tug. Nice. This theme was going to be a struggle to come up with something out of the 'box.' The telescoping effect was remarkable, especially with so few words.

    the 5 years five (This is my own preference, others may disagree, but I think it looks tidier).

    Ok.” Okay (I also got caught by the change from slang to a real word).

    slide altogether like together.

    I did a first read through to find out if it worked as a story. It does. You have used good imagery, and a strong voice. Although I am no punctuation expert, I found you had put it together well enough for me to catch the emotional nuances. I then had a good look for any errors. Very few.

    I liked the perseverance of the slightly obsessed
    and but enough to keep us in ice-lollies and box-wine through that long, sad summer.
    And other bits that would only mean I would end up copying the whole thing.

    You managed to cram the beginning, and the end of a relationship into less than 600 words, impressive. I liked the last line, it is never easy to start, or finish a story, especially when you have so few words to play with. The shards at the start, and the end also rounded it up nicely. The score I gave you, doesn't do your story justice, but the guidelines are stringent.

    Thank you for a good read.

    If This Were a Movie
    Anna Buttons

    Spag. 5/5
    Tone & voice 5/5
    Effect 9/10
    Overall Nil

    Unrequited love, in second pov. Mmmm. (This is the noise I make when coming face to tub of chocolate Ice cream). As a concept, your story was interesting. Actually it was brilliant. Your imagery was not only very effective, but very clever. Rather cool, playful in places. Reserved. Darkly humorous. Suited the subject in an understated way. A light touch and clever twist on a well worn relationship theme; given a contemporary feel.

    I did a first read through to find out if it worked as a story. I found the first three paragraphs a bit disjointed, but as I got further in, it all made sense. You have used enviable imagery, and a strong voice. I am still getting my head round punctuation, and find your style seductive. I then had a good look for any errors. Unsurprisingly I could see none.

    I liked all your story, but I turned the only magic fairytale thing I ever had into something mundane with one too many trips to buy groceries stood out.

    The use of second person pov is tough. The last time you did it I was ready to go and sort myself out for being so cruel to you. This time I'm feeling I'm a louse who has missed out on the best thing in life. It is strange how someone can feel so involved.

    The musing on the pretentiousness of jam jars as vases made me smile, it also made a good opener.

    Thank you for a good read.

    Wo kammen
    Die Oldhaetunde
    Spag 2/5
    Tone & voice 5/5Effect 6/10
    Total 13/20

    I think you needed a little more editing before posting.

    My German being non existent, means I am probably the least qualified person you could find to sit in judgement on your story. But what the hell, here I go.

    Terraforming! You sneaked that one up on me; in fact I had to read it twice to be sure. Another tasty sci fi tidbit.

    it's warm rays its. It's, is a contraction of 'it is'.

    Anya, new nothing Knew.

    creases on her school uniform. in.

    He was loyal to her, and was her faithful servant. I would swap the 'and' for a 'he'.

    But all this attention still, startled I would drop the still

    the utmost of protection, I know you have used a style that borders on dialect, but I stumbled over this.

    she trembled underneath the man's large form.

    She trembled, delicately speaking
    , This is clunky writing

    took out his book, upon which swap 'upon' for 'in'.

    , did come, and did sit there by him. Clunky.

    nurtured by colonists, such as he could bring, I would drop 'bring'.

    This rates high on the originality scale. I don't know why, the interaction of the old man and the young school girl gave me a moment of unease. The dual language was good as an effect, but for me it was overdone. There are a few spag nits, and I felt the tone was at odds with the subject. Overall an excellent piece of work. Kept me entertained.

    Thank you for a good read.


    Spag 3/5
    Tone & voice 4/5
    Effect 9/10
    Total 16/20

    Different and intriguing. A slice of a moment split over seven individuals, and you gave enough of each to picture them perfectly. Not a strongly emotional piece, but engaging, nicely pitched.
    I think the punctuation let you down, one of my many flaws.

    I liked He would’ve brought her the heating pad and rubbed her back until she dozed off. The empty side of the bed did neither of these.

    The opening promised, and the story delivered.

    Thank you for a lovely read.

    The Last Pause

    Spag. 5/5
    Tone & voice 5/5
    Effect! 10/10
    Overall 20/20

    Death bed scene; been there, done that, but not with the poetic style you have. It is an old concept, which you have renewed. The imagery was evocative and powerful. Strangely matter of fact, rather than heart wrenchingly written. The last moment on Earth; fits very well with the theme. I failed to find anything to nit pick.

    I did a first read through to find out if it worked as a story. The images you used hooked into me. The Viking blood in me responded to the poetic feel, and the fires; and the vigil.

    I was looking for a special bit to list as a like, but I like it all.

    Thank you for a good read.

    I Thought I heard a Noise

    Spag. 2/5
    Tone & voice 3/5
    Effect! 7/10
    Overall 12/20

    This one stands out in the crowd; in a good way. I like the idea of something as mundane as reading the paper can actually make a good read itself. I could picture this easily. I could feel the mix of startlement, puzzlement and humour. Nicely done.

    Thank goodness for this story, something cheerful for a change. I liked the way you made something so everyday, into a moment to remember.

    Some of the bits I liked:
    like chimes whistling to be noticed. An oxymoron that actually conveys the oddity of the moment.
    I wondered whether Autumn was playing hide and seek amongst its nature and fields. Rather poetic, but still in keeping.From the odd words and phrasing I suspect English is not your first language. It can be a tough job to learn it well. I am still learning after fifty years, and it is my first language.

    You can be proud of this work. It has its flaws, but at heart it is a solid piece of writers craft.

    Thank you for a good read.


    Spag. 3/5
    Tone & voice 5/5
    Effect 10/10
    Overall 18/20

    Life FLASHING before your eyes, as the bullet sends you off, on the last great adventure. Cool use of anatomical terms. Almost conversational in tone, very readable, no overt emotion. Very tight writing; no similes. Clever and engaging.

    Why do these people from the old times spoke and wrote so weirdly? Did you miss this in the edit? Or was it deliberate? It jars with me, which is unusual with your writing. It is the only reason you got marked down.

    Thank you for a good and surprising story.

    The Visit

    Spag 2/5
    Tone & voice 4/5
    Effect 8/10
    Total 14/20

    A bold try at something different; family across the great divide. Nicely done in a tender but not slushy style. A good stab at the theme.

    I think I can see quite a few spag nits: Mostly punctuation. My own Achilles heel. You might consider a change in how you present your stuff, in its raw form I was unable to read it. Us old uns have failing eyesight you know.

    well I was I was flying down missed this in the edit.

    I liked My heart caught in my throat and my eyes filled again with tears of such burning joy. Just the right side of corn, a difficult act to manage.

    I loved the opening.

    Thank you for a good read.

    The Eternal Instant

    Spag 5/5
    Tone and voice 4/5
    Effect 8/10
    Total 17/20

    Your opening line to this cautionary tale doesn't do justice to this sci fi treat; a whiskery old plot given a shot of adrenalin. If only I could believe in the rat's behavior. Still, suspending my credulity was worth it for the ending. The slightly stilted style you have used suited the story very well. And you hit the theme right on the button.
    Hugh, mortal as any human, could do nothing to avoid the unstoppable torrent of entropy Great line!The score doesn't reflect how much I enjoyed reading it.

    Thank you.


    Spag 2/5
    Tone & voice 4/5
    Effect 8/10
    Nil – Judge’s entry

    I have spent a lifetime trying to think up something new in Sci fi. What you have here is a tried and tested scenario. I like the nature of grounding the story in hard Sci fi, rather that the popular blending with fantasy. I was given enough detail to picture the scene. The cool and detached, documentary like style was as anyone reading this genre would expect.

    One man's introspection in the most spectacular and lonely place you could imagine.

    He was blinded by the burning sunlight This is a bit clunky
    explosion likely made I would drop likely
    for it was all he remembered. I would drop all of this
    being pushed out Sucked
    why did this happen? Tense trouble,'why had this happened?'
    The space suit he wore had long since begun to tear apart; it was a sign of to what extent it had gone to keep him alive More clunky writing.
    all just like Drop just.
    make up something: Out
    one that had nor horizon nor frontier. No horizon, no frontier.
    Wow, great stuff. Awash with well described pictures. Loved the happy ending. Good opening line as well.
    There are some nice lines, but With it, space would become another destination, just another long ride where the kids would fall asleep halfway through stood out.
    This deserves a place in a larger story.
    I enjoyed reading it, thank you.

    Virtually You!
    By MaggieMoo

    Spag 3/5
    Tone & voice 5/5Effect 9/10
    Total 17/20

    You are one seriously good cyber stalker, I didn't even know you knew me. Creepy and chilling. I had toyed with a similar idea, but gave up on it in case I was taken for real, and thrown off this forum.
    Now all their ogling eyes on me, Could do with an are.
    I think I spot a missing comma in the third sentence.
    I can only imagine you right now. At your desk in your office downstairs; your head cupped in your hands, dreading her footsteps as she stomps around the house like an elephant. She’d be nagging and whinging, as though you owe her your life. But does she know that I am the woman you love. That I fill the void you’ve been yearning for, all your life… Seriously creepy, this is the point where I got the urge to look over my shoulder. This kind of writing beats any amount of slashing and screaming. I am not going to thank you for a good read, or the dreams over the next few nights.

    Only a Moment

    Spag 4/5
    Tone & voice 4/5
    Effect 9/10
    Total 17/20

    A very clever piece; from what I can remember a story as seen from three characters has been done very rarely in the LM comp. It held my attention, but held no surprises. It had a rather low emotional feel, but somehow felt real. A balancing act I'm rather jealous of.
    Suddenly she just felt lonely. I would lose the just
    Gradually, her self- pity turned to blame and everything became David’s fault. Two years and still no commitment. Still no partner to see her through the rough patches.
    A good demonstration of the everyday story telling we do to ourselves. The ending, although expected, was bang on.
    Thank you for a nice read.

    That Moment

    Spag 3/5
    Tone & voice 5/5
    Effect 9/10
    Total 17/20

    Rebel without a clue; in fact the whole theme seemed to be about rebellion. Solid and engaging. A little choppy in the first three paragraphs, no doubt caused by the lack of word allowance. I liked the picture you painted, family rituals and tribal behaviour. Punctuation was excellent.
    Reveled revelled
    This was all I could find to fault; so close to perfection.
    Me, I was happy, we lost 3-0, ‘we’ I said to myself with a faint smile. The moment of truth.
    Thanks for a good read.

    The Moment Of Everything

    Spag 5/5
    Tone & voice 5/5
    Effect 8/10
    Total 18/20

    Conflict of interest; ISW is on my friends list.

    Let's see: A committee of seven incompetent and argumentative Gods, a universe that lasts only an instant, over and over again, plus the end of all time, and all this taking place in an impossible place. Thinking big eh?

    I don't know if it is intentional, but I see metaphors all over the place.

    But it hasn’t even started yet, you twit,” said the second. A pleasure.
    Possibly giving the Gods names instead of numbers would add something.Thanks for the laugh.

    Watch The Birdie.

    Spag 5/5
    Tone & voice 5/5
    Effect 9/10
    Total 19/20

    I am stuck with an image of James Brown in a canary costume, and it is your fault.

    Funny and dense; so dense I had to read it several times to get all the sides of what was going on. Usually this is not a good thing, but somehow in this case it works. I'm puzzled by what seems to be no stand out moment; unless it all about the moment they moved house.

    Huey is percussion, rhythm, and he brings a little extra swing to his beats. I am now picturing a canary beatboxer .

    Much better that your previous effort of six asterisks in a row.

    Thank you for a musical read.


    Spag 5/5
    Voice & tone 4/5
    Effect 9/10
    total 18/20

    A sad piece, written so matter-of-factly. A well drawn character, displayed almost clinically. No dialogue.

    Liked the opening line. Punctuation seemed perfect. Some good descriptions.

    He wanted a big watch with diamonds, a big house and a big car. There wouldn’t be any more dirty gym shoes and ratty clothes. He could afford all the fashionable clothes, just like the clothes he had seen in music videos and the clothes that Big Chris wore. Reinforces my own prejudices.

    Thank you for a good read.


    Elite’s Scores

    "The Moments that Made Us" by BabaYaga

    Great piece, BabaYaga. I liked how you used very precise delineations of those "moments" to make them stand out, and every one of them felt very meaningful. I also liked how you cleverly explained the story of a divorce --or should I say marriage-- within the 650 word constraint. Very well done.

    Score - 18

    "If This Were a Movie" by Anna Buttons

    As always, fantastic display of writing skill. The words flowed and created a nice environment where I could just let myself go into the story. I could almost feel the vicious, aggressive sexuality of your heroine. I think my biggest gripe with this piece is that the story doesn't do your writing justice; a lot of the word budget was put into descriptions of what she felt in the past, but there was not enough substance to the present moment you were trying to convey. A lot can happen in a few seconds: twitches, noises, bystanders giving looks, heels breaking as she clumsily escapes to the restroom, etc. I think it was starved of detail in that regard.

    No Score (16 if not a judge entry)

    "Wo Kammen" Die Oldhaetunde

    I had a hard time scoring this story. I am a big fan of fantasy, but I'm not even sure why I'm saying this. I'm not sure if it was fantasy or foreign fiction; the foreign language added flavor but made things more difficult, as you didn't explain what was being said. The short 650 word format seemed to hurt you a lot because a lot was happening and it seemed like we had to connect the pieces together ourselves.

    Score - 14

    "Caprice" by Tiamat10

    This one left a pretty good impression on me. I enjoy humor on healthy doses and this one had plenty of it on its main dish. I liked your unique approach: showing what everyone was thinking, doing and feeling at the time. The scenes although separate had cohesion; the transitions were smooth and clever. What I didn't like was the fact that the end felt like "hey, I ran out of words; the end." I was pretty hyped about the magic theme --I love magic-- and I felt betrayed, as if Harry Potter's scar never had much meaning in the first place. Had the magic theme been actually exploited, I think this one would have been a winner.

    Score - 16

    "The Last Pause" by Kat

    A family holding onto a dying man right as chaos, flames and havoc reigns just out the door. The theme you choose is quite gripping and rich in potential. Your writing was also pretty slick and you had some good pacing there, but I think you could have gone further; you had 350 extra words to play with, you could have given some more background, described things more, and give it more richness.

    Score - 15

    "I Thought I heard A Noise" by Nacian

    I was a little surprised to see your entry, Nacian. I wasn't sure what I would be getting really. I was slightly uncertain of what you would come up with, even a little nervous. Once I gathered the courage to read I was met with a childish, dreamy story that kept me smiling my way through. The sense of paranoia that I felt on every sentence and the sudden ending really fit the mood you set at the beginning. If you can make something so trivial this interesting, you might really scare my guts when you put your pen into mystery. My only problem with your entry is your punctuation; you still have a little more to go on that department. You don't need to put so many comas and there were parts where you put dots when semi-colons would have been better. Other than that, very nice entry!

    Score - 16.5

    "Flash" by TheFuhrer02

    I wasn't quite sure of what was going on at first. There was this sensation that you were keeping the most important bits of the story from me; as if I had these bunch of pieces and none of them actually matched the other. As I read on I got more pieces, and I still didn't know what to do with them. The scarily accurate descriptions of... organs gave me a little foreshadowing: "something is not quite right." I was beginning to identify with this boy, who had finally accomplished something he felt proud of. It was then that I finally understood why everything was so disconnected: it was a flashback, the kinds we get during our last moments. The satisfaction of seeing the boy succeed was taken away from me, and instead I am given the cruel despair of death. You nearly shattered me to pieces there.

    Score - 20

    "The Visit" by Bluesman.

    The word sugarplum left me frowning a bit --I like my stories with no sugar and lots of milk-- but once I got past that I found that this wasn't exactly the happy ever after story. The death of someone else is often one of the most traumatic events in our lives, and reading this tragic story from the perspective of the dead himself was a very interesting twist. What caught my attention was that the way he died was slightly underwhelming. I think you could have come up with a sadder way to die (if there is such a thing), but that's just my drama-junkie self doing the talking. Good work overall.

    Score - 17

    "The Eternal Instant" by Gamer_2k4

    Damn it. I wish I hadn't held my entry for so long, you beat me to the sci-fi theme. Anyway, there is something about time travel that is always polemic; altering the foundations of our reality can be dangerous, and the consequences can be pretty dire. I liked how you portrayed this in such an unique way; it was not clichéd, and it was hilariously fitting to the theme. The narration was slightly off tone, like one of those scary piano songs that purposely play keys off the scale. There was a sense of horror mixed with a touch of comedy and suspense, and it really weirded me out.

    Score - 17

    "SKYLINE" by elite

    Such a magnificent work of art! This proves how the judge is always better than everyone else!

    Score - 21

    "Virtually You!" by MaggieMoo

    Funny, the first think that came to my mind when I read the first sentence was "Oh my god, second person!" It was probably because of the title; the feeling I got was that you were narrating my actions. The way you put the theme of virtual love into words was funny and engaging, and I kept wanting more. You lost me at the end, though, I couldn't figure out what happened or what you meant by it --probably something sad. I wish you could have fleshed out the ending a little more.

    Score - 16

    "Only A Moment" by ChicagoHeart

    I read this one several times; something felt off but I couldn't pin-point what it was. The writing was fine, there were no jarring details that made me frown, and there were no inconsistencies with the characters as far as I could see. After I began busting my head thinking what score to put, my first thought was that Jade wasn't a very likeable person, not exactly the kind that I'd be madly in love with. This in turn made me not care much about David, who for some reason --you could have gone more in-depth with this-- was madly in love with Jade. Scott appeared to me as a disposable MrNiceGuy that was just there --conveniently in love with her and conveniently there to kiss her in front of her boyfriend. It felt very forced. What settled me on not giving you a high score was the last sentence; you had 26 words to make a more interesting ending, and yet the end is rather anticlimactic, for all the build-up you put into it.

    Score - 15

    "That moment" by DuKane

    Whenever a friend or family member assisted a game on tv I always cheered on the opposing team; my family was never hardcore about sports so that's probably why I could. This story strikes me as the path of what looks like a 10-14 year old kid to his own individuality, and it tells that really well. I was a bit hesitant at first --I'm not into sports at all-- but there was a lot of skill and good pacing. You had a good balance between description and progress. The only thing I think would have done well would have been some exclamation points; this feels like the kind of story you tell while half-shouting at the audience!

    Score - 18

    "The Moment of Everything" by InsanityStrickenWriter

    I didn't laugh my lungs off because I'm writing this in a classroom, but this is absolutely hilarious! This is meme material indeed. It was totally unexpected, clever, nuts, and very funny. I found myself wanted to hear "Is it eternally over?" and the following replies one more time, great piece!

    Score - 18.5

    "***" by moderan

    I was puzzled at this one-(word?) entry and what meaning it entailed. It took me over seven hours to understand what moderan meant. Yes... just as it started, it was over... just a single moment. Brilliant.

    Score - 22

    "Watch the Birdie" by moderan

    I'm not sure if it's allowed to post two entries, but I'll review it either way. It took me a while to get it (not as much as your brilliant previous entry); nothing made sense until I realized "I" was a bird and the featherless were humans. The slightly skewed and witty personality and speech of the birds was quite funny and entertaining, and reading several times trying to get all the jokes was more fun than it was tedious. Good stuff.

    Score - 17.5

    "Untitled" by Philosophodes

    The messy narration, the overall tone of dissonance, the rap-culture manner of speech... you really set the stage quite well. I felt slightly desperate because I knew this was going downhill, I knew something bad would happen and you delivered with a tragic ending that portraits the foolishness of a boy that was twisted by his environment. There is one critique I have for you, though: don't use italics as quotes. Italics are used for emphasis and it was quite confusing to see it being used to mark dialogue.

    Score - 17

    Now it's time for some statistics:

    Couples made: 2
    Hearts broken: 5
    Deaths: 6
    Survivors: 1
    Times the word "moment" was used: 30!

    That's it folks!


    Anna Buttons’s Scores

    The Moments That Made Us
    By Baba Yaga

    I like the concept and I think your time lapses are very well handled.
    I think this story is promising but it needs editing. I assume you meant lose all definition in the first line, not loose. Two similes and two metaphors in the first paragraph is a bit overwhelming. I found a fair few superfluous words, such as but, always, that and actually and I think the piece would be punchier without them. I only realised the narrator was probably female at the end of the third paragraph.
    Loved the angry birds reference. Loved the lines –
    I stalked down from my office, annoyed at the intrusion.
    You always knew how to stroke my ego and get it purring again.
    We were making war, not love.

    Wo Kammen
    By Die Oldhaetunde

    I liked the narrator’s lack of judgement. I also liked that Olstavo’s age was ambiguous. I also quite liked the dialogue being in what I am guessing is German.
    You have used too many commas, and some of the phrases read quite awkwardly. I suggest reading it aloud and only putting commas where you naturally pause, and rewording any parts that don’t flow easily. I thought beyond despair in the first paragraph was overly dramatic. You wrote the word trembled twice close to each other, which seemed unnecessary. Around the middle you spelt Olstavo wrong – Ostavo. I found the ending not entirely believable.
    My favourite line was He became quiet after saying this... as if his dream was something long and far away.

    By Tiamit10

    I loved this; loved the premise, your writing style and the ending. I especially loved the last line of almost every paragraph. I think if you reworded the last line of the forth paragraph to the following it will be more palatable to the reader –
    ..slept on, the only witness to her slumber the open bottle of Oxycodone on her nightstand with Florence Wright’s name on it.
    One other tiny suggestion – He wondered why his parents... i don’t think wonder is a strong enough reaction. He was annoyed maybe?
    Overall I thought your hybrid of magic and banality was divine. I think the premise and the fact that the reader knew about the magic added depth and purpose. Your brief snippets alluded to bigger stories, whole lives.

    The Last Pause
    By Kat

    Beautifully written, you dance the line between prose and poetry - I wish it were longer. I think present tense was a good choice. I loved that no one addressed whether the characters were in danger from the fire. Great imagery – you are exceptionally good at transporting the reader.
    I found the phrase staining the carpet with maple syrup a bit flowery.
    I particularly enjoyed The air smells like grass smoke and the stubble of the neighbouring field and trying not to cry, soft hitching breaths.

    I Thought I Heard a Noise
    By Necian

    You create some great images in this piece but I think you need to be more selective. For example the image of trees mellowing in the sun is lovely but would it make noise? I absolutely loved fidgeting in the wind (though you spelt fidgeting wrong) and think if you had limited this sentence to this being the main idea it would be very poignant. In my opinion you use the word then too many times in the second paragraph. I didn’t understand the stylistic change towards the end of the story. In the first paragraph did you mean wake up call I seemed to return? Also it should be whether autumn, not wether and tiny hint not tuny.
    I loved the lines –
    This time it was swift then quirky, like chimes whistling to be noticed.
    ..polished floor that is my pride and joy.

    By The Fuhrer02

    I thought your ending was great and your use of the prompt very original.
    I found some of your wording awkward, for example, Upon hearing the “come in!” from the inside, he entered. I don’t think you need to say laptop computer, laptop would suffice.
    I loved the line Nathan remained silent, engrossed on a small black spot on the floor. Though I think he would be engrossed in it instead of on it.


    Nice use of the prompt but I think you could have done more with your execution. I thought your analogy it’s like learning to walk again was an interesting concept. I loved morning suits and top hats. I find specific imagery like this a lot more effective than general statements like the sun shone. Bridesmaids is one word. Bit of a typo as well with well I was I was flying. I found the style a bit flowery and I think maybe you gravitated that way because of the subject matter.
    I loved the line Tell your father to cheer up he’s being far too glum so much I think it should be the last line. It made me smile and that’s always a great way to go out.

    The Eternal Instant

    Awesome opening line. I also loved Still, premature ceremony was pointless.
    Good, natural dialogue. Fantastic premise, you dealt with the subject well. I thought you presented a logical progression of events – it all flowed very well. Small point - I would delete the word had from A broad grin had appeared on Winston’s face.
    I also loved –
    “To obstruct the march of progress is to be trampled! Punch in 15:22” Winston hesitated. “Do it!”
    Ten seconds remained until the future became the past.
    The tiny feet ran over the activation button. The machine hummed. Hugh disappeared.

    By Elite (Judges Entry)

    You have a few brilliant sentences in here. I particularly enjoyed –
    ..a black line that soared its way above the earth.
    ..just another long ride where the kids would fall asleep halfway through.
    His heart had given up on living, and his mind was fine with the outcome.
    I found four times where you wrote the word ‘that’ unnecessarily. A good rule with ‘that’ is to try the sentence without it and if it still works then delete it. I think neither horizon nor frontier reads more correctly than nor horizon nor frontier. Also just a typo - you accidentally capitalised Joy (unless you meant Joy as a name of one of the angels of course). I found the story a little confusing but I did enjoy the vacuum cleaner analogy in the first paragraph.

    Virtually You!
    By Maggie Moo

    I liked your use of the prompt but I think you could have delved deeper into your characters.
    I think you should have question marks instead of a full stops after ..so why aren’t you here right now and But does she know that I am the woman you love.
    I found some of your phrasing awkward to read – for example Messing with my heart; my already lonely heart, just for fun. I think you tell your reader a little too much. For example That’s it! I have to know why... is enough without I’ll ring you.
    I loved the lines-
    It’s not in you to hurt. Though I found the next line – It’s not what you do - superfluous.
    “Three marriages later and you still cannot love!”

    Only A Moment
    By ChicagoHeart

    You fit a lot of plot into this little story. I very much liked the entire middle section.
    I think you need to work on deleting unnecessary words and having your writing flow. Reading it aloud (though it may feel strange) will probably help a lot. I think usually bustling Chicago would read better as normally bustling is something she (your character) could be doing and it took me a second read to understand what you meant. The line She still couldn’t believe she’s lost her job is not a very interesting way of conveying this information to your reader. One of the writing advice catch phrases that has stuck with me is Show, don’t tell.
    I loved the lines –
    She was struck by what a transformation the area must undertake before her normal evening arrival time.
    What’s the point of being in love if it never changes anything?

    That Moment
    By DuKane

    You have an interesting writing style.
    You often use commas where you should use semicolons. If the words on both sides of a comma could be sentences on their own use a semicolon.
    Your main character shows a sudden burst of excitement around the time you say In the back we kids excitedly argued.. I didn’t understand where this came from, why the excitement now? I found it difficult to follow the character’s motives.
    A sporting arena is a very sensory place - there is generally a lot of colour and noise. If you choose this setting I think you need to consciously try to transport your reader there as effectively as you can.

    The Moment of Everything
    By InsanityStrickenWriter

    Part of my judging process involves printing the stories and highlighting my favourite bits in yellow. Your pages look like someone spilt pineapple juice all over them. Your story made me smile - there is so much left to the imagination. You set the scene perfectly and added just the right amount of humanity to your characters. Fantastic use of the prompt. I love the idea that a point of nothingness can be destroyed by an ill timed (or maybe well timed?) act of violence.

    Watch the Birdie
    By Moderan

    Great opening, great body, great ending. Love the use of second person. My favourite line is The chorus chirps- “Ooooooo. A mirror that’s clearer is clearly superior..”
    My second favourite line is Your father Huey is preening, proud, and Lady Bird your mother sits erect beside him.
    I loved the whole paragraph that starts with Your beak digs...
    It took me two reads to follow the story properly - to get the nests and mirrors etc in order.
    Loved the golfer preening. Your song reminds me of the Dufflepuds in The Chronicles of Narnia. It sounds like something they would like singing.

    By Philosophocles

    This is extraordinary. You’ve used the word limit very effectively. It flows really well; there are no glitches that pull the reader out at all. I loved the grown up world from Jermaine’s perspective. One possible change would be to say Puddles soaked his shoes and the lower parts of his legs as it took me a second to figure out where the water could be coming from. Also the second last line – A tear rolled down his face seemed a little expected – maybe it could run from his face into the puddle on the bitumen/concrete to make the reader feel like they are down there with him? Just a thought (obviously I am obsessed with the word puddle tonight for some reason).
    I found your story compelling and surprising. I love that Jermaine’s age is ambiguous – I think the reader imagines him to be the age they were when they felt the way he does. To encourage this further I think you could consider not using his name.
    I loved your dialogue and the lines –
    He might even like it.
    Men weren’t born, they were made.
    He saw the man running down the street and wondered why his own legs weren’t moving.


    Like a Fox’s Scores

    Baba Yaga
    The Moments That Made Us

    The spelling error in the first sentence was a bummer, (loose should be lose), I didn’t see any others throughout though. The opening paragraph also featured two similie/metaphors in quick succession and they weren’t really complementary so it seemed a little overdone. After that, however, the rest of the writing pulled me through to the end. I was confused by the sex of the MC. I think because of my social expectation that the boss would be male, maybe. I liked the intro way more when reading it as a female, the second time. She’s ballsy.
    I think this story would benefit from a scene. Each paragraph about the separate moments focuses on feelings and facts and words, but no image, no visual of this couple. I almost got it with the ice-lollies and box wine being sad.
    A really easy read with a lot of potential.
    Score – 13.5/20

    Anna Butons
    If This Were a Movie

    Haha I so love the intro to this story. Especially how she stops a potential rant when she realises she’s just happy. I think kitch is spelled kitsch.
    The whole think kinda breaks my heart. Maybe not for her, or them, but just for the idea of perfection and how it only really exists as an illusion, and as soon as you do see the details of something, the specifics, the stomach bugs and grocery shopping and laundry folding, the image is shattered.
    Because of this, maybe I’m not sure about the ending. But then, the title makes it about right. I feel like she’s still fantasizing, still pedastalising, I don’t think they’re going to be together, love or no love.
    No Score – Judge’s Entry

    Die Oldhaetunde
    Wo Kammen

    The first paragraph features a few errors which can be a bit of a deterrent, and the same sort of thing was repeated throughout. Quite a few too many commas, the second sentence, for example, could simply be – “ In that moment the birds chirped a little louder and Olstalvo walked a little lighter.” Also the possessive form of its has no ‘ which you got wrong in the beginning but right later on in the story.
    I’m a bit torn by this story, what to think about it. As an only-English speaker I feel like I definitely missed something by not understanding lots of the dialogue. I think it could still work as a story if I felt I basically understood what was conveyed, but I guess I didn’t feel that way. I did think there were a few too many exclamation marks in the dialogue, like everyone was yelling, and the scene seemed much softer than that.
    I liked the idea and the characters seemed likeable and believable, but there was sort of a language barrier that kept me from really connecting to what was going on.
    Score - 13/20


    The lead in and out of these little vignettes is really elegant. It ties it all together, when there is no real narrative drive to pull the reader along. Fortunately your prose is tight, your language never clichéd and your characters original enough to entertain, even though they make the briefest of appearances.
    A few things. In the opening paragraph you talk about the loudest thing on the street being the subwoofer car. To my mind, they are pretty bloody loud. So the comparison doesn’t quite work. I think in those situations you’re supposed to compare to something so not-loud it’s funny. I get that you probably wanted to avoid the cliché (because you’re good at that) but it kinda became a bit nonsensical for me in the meantime. The only other thing was the Adam and Steve thing. I thought that would’ve been a bit cleaner/cooler if you went with ‘Laura and Eve’ or whatever, two female names. It’s not like the connection was hard to make, but I remember thinking “Oh that’s clever” when I first heard ‘Adam and Steve’, but it’s sort of well-worn now. The female variation would have that same ‘ooh clever’ affect, I think.
    Anyway, awesome job. Excellent prose, as I would expect.
    Score - 17/20

    The Last Pause

    I thought this was a good flash piece. It struck a chord for me, having watched my mum die three months ago. The MC’s thoughts about his hands that had once swung her into the air, and her pulling the splinters from them. I like those retrospections about the person’s life as you’re about to lose them.
    I thought the maple syrup metaphor should have been a simile. I guess I didn’t think we were far enough into it to set up such out there metaphors, and I don’t really think there were any more like that. Just read a little clumsy. The rest of the poetic, descriptive language was nicely done, mostly. I thought luscious darkness sort of set the wrong tone.
    I think you probably could have done a little more with this with another hundred words or so, added another dimension. As flash I liked it, but as a story I would’ve liked a bit more to hold onto.
    Nice job, and nice to see you back
    Score - 16/20

    Witness for the Prosecution

    Member was banned

    I Thought I Heard a Noise

    I know from reading in the LM Coffee Shop that English is not your first language, and that was kind of obvious in reading this. I tried though, to see it as a stylistic thing for the most part, because there is something nice about sort of broken/slightly misconstrued English.
    That said it got a little convoluted at times, and I find the overall tone got a bit lost in there for me. I couldn’t work out if the noise was sinister, imaginary, good, bad. I really had no idea.
    It’s funny because I sort of wanted this story to move somewhere, and it was so stationary, and while I read it I thought – well that’s the limitation with this prompt. The challenge I guess is to make it feel like a story that moves forward despite the limitation.
    I really liked getting a taste of your writing, and nice to see you enter.
    Score - 12/20


    Man, I wish this hadn’t confused me so much. I feel like, if it was longer it would have had enough room to really be all it could be. But at this length, I’m afraid I just got totally lost. The ending threw me but not in a good surprise ending way (although it’s worth keeping in mind I am not overly partial to those). I just didn’t feel like there was any allusion to it, or set up.
    The italics about the biology of the brain ( I think?) was confusing too. I still don’t really know what that was about.
    The scenes you set up were quite nice and the relationship between your MC and the teacher was good. I felt the absent parent thing was handled a little melodramatically. Sometimes so much of the drama lies in what you don’t say. I’d feel more sorry for the MC if he was a little less aware of how crap it was that his parents suck. It would make the ending line stronger too.
    Cool potential here, I really thing you could expand it out into something powerful at a few hundred more words.
    Score – 14.5/20

    The Visit

    It took me a long time to get that this was the mother talking. I imagine because my mum died this year and I was trying really hard not to let that colour my perception. Haha. Tried too hard, it seems.
    But it might not have just been that, there weren’t any really obvious clues until I realised it wasn’t the groom. I guess ‘sugarplum’ and talking about how beautiful she looked were a bit romantic, in my mind. Anyway, it didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the story.
    I quite liked the voice. I could sort of picture her. A little bit wise, but not totally, still hung up on small details of real life.
    At times it felt a little expository. Like we actually missed the whole story and it’s just being relayed back to us, which can sometimes read a bit more ‘tell’ than actually getting to see the scene, though I think you handled that well when it got to the point that she fell down the stairs.
    Quite a few SPaG errors throughout. Not enough commas in the opening paragraph. Missing words here and there. Photo’s should be photos. Things like that.
    Lovely potential in this, however.
    Score - 14/20

    The Eternal Instant

    Oh wow, thank you so much for entering this competition. I so loved your entry. Clean prose, nothing tripped me up at all. The idea was sleek and simple. It so easily could have been convoluted and confusing but your smooth writing made it a breeze. Even the machine, I was impressed by the fact I could picture it and you hadn’t gotten bogged down in any unnescessary detail.
    The concept, also, was excellent. Such a great use of the prompt, and kind of tragic and poetic and even with a bit of an action sequence at the end. You really impressed me with this story. Well done!
    Score - 19/20


    This reminded me of that movie Sunshine. (If you haven’t seen it you should )
    It was very intense, lots going on, and in a few places that was a bit overbearing. I felt the ‘warm and loving’ sun was a bit much, for example. With an edit, eradicating some unnecessary words, this would make a really poetic beautiful story.
    The imagery is surreal but you did a really great job of it, I could so picture what your MC was seeing.
    Nice one!
    No Score – Judge’s Entry

    Virtually You!

    Oh this so reminds me of being fifteen when I fell for some boy online I’d never met, and all of the sureness that you know them along with the doubt.
    It was an interesting take on the other woman story. I did find her perspective on the wife a little bit predictable. I think in that situation it’s so easy to demonize the other woman, from either perspective, but it makes for more interesting fiction if there is some empathy there. Also I think it makes it easier to sympathise with the character who is sort of in the wrong, if she gets that she’s a bit in the wrong.
    The language was a bit melodramatic. I felt that it kind of contradicted the modern setting that internet-anything implies. A few ill-used semicolons. Otherwise I liked the character’s voice, I just wanted to like her a bit more.
    I also had a hard time understanding how the prompt led to this story.
    Maybe this story captures the moment where she decides to cut him off? If that’s the case I feel like that part of the story should have been the focus, where at the moment the focus seems to be on justifying the relationship with the decision to end it coming very last minute.
    Score - 15/20

    Only a Moment

    Oh, awesome. That was so nice. I’m so into the drive of that story. I was on the edge the whole thing, couldn’t get to the end fast enough. And man I was so disappointed that things went the way they did. The use of the prompt was really good, because as the reader, you feel like you’ve nailed the moment, and that his realisation is it, and that you’re going to get this beautiful romantic proposal at the end (I’m an optimist haha), and then you pull that right out from under us, and that’s totally awesome. I mean, a little sad, but life is so like that. I could understand it from both people’s perspectives, and even though you had so little time to explore the emotions of the characters I didn’t find their actions forced or anything. Really, this was great. Thanks so much for entering.
    Score – 17.5/20

    That Moment

    Ha, that’s so funny. I get that this wasn’t about Australian Rules Football, but it so reminded me of it. When I was 6 my dad said to me I could follow the same team as the family, or I could leave the family. I think he was mostly joking but unlike your MC, I didn’t test it out.
    I liked the story, it was cute and simple, but the kid’s defiance felt a bit... pointless, like his rebelling against his family’s team almost came out of spite. Or some weird desire just to be different. And whether it’s one of those or something else I don’t think it was explored enough to make the story as punchy as it could be.
    The other downfall was, you had so much opportunity for sensory descriptions here. A sporting event is full of sounds, smells, colours, adrenaline. I really think you could have amped up that a bit more, used the character’s total involvement within that moment to illustrate how the passion came to life.
    Score – 16.5/20

    The Moment of Everything

    Ha! How absolutely weird and awesome. That was totally left field. And the whole time I was picturing a play, I guess because it’s mostly an audio story, in that all of it is dialogue and I can ‘hear’ it more so than ‘see’ it. Though the set up paragraph at the start gave me enough of a visual.
    I’d really love to see this in a community theatre or something. With people wearing silver spandex and probably-toxic silver paint on their faces. Haha. It was really funny and I took it to be our universe, I guess. Whether that’s right or not didn’t really bother me. Loved this. Heaps. Thank you!
    Score - 20/20

    Watch the Birdie

    Haha. This was cute. I struggled a tiny bit to start with, with the music, but then I got a tune in my head and that really carried me through the whole thing. I liked the POV of the birds too, I did think the featherless might be an animal, at first, haha I actually pictured like a bald mole (... I feel like I’m confessing some dark Freudian secret by saying that), but it was fairly clear and I think I’m possibly just a goofball.
    The golf thing was clever and punctuated the story nicely. This was fun and easy, I don’t even need to say anything else! Glad you got an entry in.
    Score - 18/20


    I just watched all of the series The Wire and season four about the kids who do the drug running in the streets was my absolute favourite. Totally heartbreaking. And this reminded me of it a lot. What a crappy situation, and you reveal what’s happening in the story really elegantly. The back story is laced into the moment where he’s standing there holding the gun so smoothly.
    I found it a really easy read, nothing tripped me up. The dialect was nicely done, and the motivations of Jermaine were poetic. The diamond gun was excellent.
    The only thing at all I would suggest would be to lose the last line. Maybe the last two. I think the story would be a lot stronger if it just ended with, you fall hard. The tear rolling down his cheek is a bit unbelievable, and a bit of a cliché.
    I really loved this. You should title it. Something with diamonds maybe. If it were mine I might call it ‘Diamond Jermaine’.
    Score – 18.5/20
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 3/10/2011 - LM - It happened in a moment - SCORES started by Like a Fox View original post
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