WritingForums.com - 27/09/2012 - LM - Sex Tape - Scores!


  • 27/09/2012 - LM - Sex Tape - Scores!

    Well we got through this prompt in one piece, admittedly I've lost a little more hair in the process! I want to thank everyone for playing by the rules on this one, you all wrote really good stories without taking the prompt too far. A really good turn out again this month, thank you all for taking part and a big thank you to the judges! Anyone who offers up their time to help with the judging is a gorgeous person!

    Please let me know if I've got the scores wrong.

    Gargh – 12, 17.75 , 15 , 15 = 14.94
    JimJanuary – 13, 17.5, 13, 11 = 13.63
    Garza – 17, 16.25, 17, 15 = 16.31
    FleshEater – 15.5, 16.25, 19, 13 = 15.94
    Bazz – 18.5, 16.25, 16, 15 = 16.44
    Artanyis – 13.5, 17.25, 17, 12.5 = 15.06
    Sunny – 17.5, 17.25, 15, 13 = 15.69
    Jon M – 15.5, 19, 18, 18.5 = 17.75
    MisterTribute – 10, 16.5, 15, 10 = 12.88
    Kyle – N/A
    KarlR – 16.5, 17.25, 13, 14 = 15.19
    Jack Knife – 16, 18, 14, 16.5 = 16.13
    Acropitcairn – 15, 17.75, 12, 10 = 13.69
    Chris Miller – 18, 19, 16, 18.5 = 17.88
    Terry D – 17, 17.25, 15, 13 = 15.56
    Iasm – 19, 19.25, 16, 14.5 = 17.19
    DaveWatson – 14, 16.25, 16, 13 = 14.81

    So please congratulate this months winners!

    In first place; Chris miller
    In second place; Jon M
    In third place; Iasm

    Judges Scores!

    Noxicity's scores

    Gargh
    Title: The Sex Tape
    Spelling/Grammar: 3/5
    Some minor errors. Nothing so major as to distract me from the piece.
    Tone/Voice: 3/5
    Effect: 6/10
    Overall: 12/20

    I was a little amused in the beginning, kind of hoping she would look. However, in the final paragraph where she is thinking about having been a dancer you lost me. It felt forced, and unneeded. If you were going to introduce her as having been a dancer and tie it to him secretly learning to dance you should have introduced it earlier in the piece. As it stands it was an ok read, but not something that stuck with me.

    * * *

    JimJanuary
    Title: Content
    Spelling/Grammar: 3/5
    I wish you would have gone back to space it out for an easier read =P
    Tone/Voice: 4/5
    Effect: 6/10
    Overall: 13/20
    I started off feeling for Evie; thought it was kind of cute. The poor tape, doesn’t even know what is on itself. I felt that going more in depth with what was on the tape was unnecessary though, and the tapes untimely demise didn’t strike as strong a chord with me as it could have.

    * * *

    Garza
    Title: Sex 1979
    Spelling/Grammar: 4/5
    Tone/Voice: 4/5
    Effect: 9/10
    Overall: 17/20
    This gave me a good chuckle right off the bat, “Did they even know about sex back then?” was my favorite line from this piece because it says a lot about kids that age think. Then introduce the awkward scene with dad and him picking the tape back out after they manage to hide it, priceless. Thanks for the good read, the only thing that I thought would make it better was if their dad protested them leaving and made them watch the game with him.

    * * *

    FleshEater
    Title: Finding Happiness
    Spelling/Grammar: 4/5
    Tone/Voice: 3/5
    Effect: 8.5/10
    Overall: 15.5/20
    I feel like this could have been an amazing piece if not for the confusing emotions the kid was feeling. I would have understood if he was all angry and I would have understood if he was all sad and just wanted his parents love, killing them to get it. For some reason though the two just didn’t mix right for me. The ending was still very powerful though, gave me chills. Good job!

    * * *

    Bazz Cargo
    Title: It had been a long day.
    Spelling/Grammar: 3.5/5
    Tone/Voice: 5/5
    Effect: 10/10
    Overall: 18.5/20
    It was so close to a perfect score. I was laughing as I read this, the only thing I would have changed is instead of “Ree po duck ton” I would have written it as “Ree-po-duck-ton” When I first read it I hadn’t sounded it out to myself so I had no idea what he was saying. Loved it though ^^

    * * *

    Artanyis
    Title: An Envelope in the Morning
    Spelling/Grammar: 3/5
    Tone/Voice: 3.5/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 13.5/20
    I have to admit I was a little bored reading this. It started with an interesting premise, but quickly lost me when you started to tell me all about the technology. I was hoping for a big ending, maybe some kind of aha! moment, but I’m not even certain what happened to him.

    * * *

    Sunny
    Title: Sex Tape
    Spelling/Grammar: 4/5
    Tone/Voice: 5/5
    Effect: 8.5/10
    Overall: 17.5/20
    A touching piece, very sweet. The emotions came across very well, but I still don’t know why the tape was labeled with sex. I feel like I missed something. Otherwise spectacular.

    * * *

    Jon M
    Title: Kids
    Spelling/Grammar: 3/5
    Tone/Voice: 4/5
    Effect: 8.5/10
    Overall: 15.5/20
    Great train of thought. Felt very real to me, I kind of got in the moment. I did find myself wondering at the end why the party took that turn, whether it was premeditated or a spur of the moment type deal.

    * * *

    Mister Tribute
    Title: Fall
    Spelling/Grammar: 2/5
    Tone/Voice: 3/5
    Effect: 5/10
    Overall: 10/20
    This piece had promise, but it was littered with grammar errors and unrealistic dialogue. I don’t buy that a video of two teens doing it, taken just the night before was already all over the school and the internet and making the guy money. It’s just as unbelievable to me that her parents would have already seen it. If it was the school that told them they would have called them in for a conference and talked about it there. This reads more like a teenage girl’s worst nightmare, nonsensical and panicked throughout. Then to end it with her suicide left me feeling cheated.

    * * *

    KyleColorado
    Title: Spin-Cycle (Judge Entry)

    Great piece! I love how you waited to reveal her gender in the very end and the desperate way she dotes on Elene. I don’t really have any complaints and enjoyed it a lot.

    * * *

    KarlR
    Title: Sex Tape
    Spelling/Grammar: 3/5
    Tone/Voice: 4/5
    Effect: 9.5/10
    Overall: 16.5/20
    I adored this piece, but you threw me off with the format. I had to mark you down for some minor errors that I’m fairly certain happened when you transferred it onto the site. It all worked really well for me otherwise =)

    * * *

    JackKnife
    Title: Sex Tape
    Spelling/Grammar: 4/5
    Tone/Voice: 4/5
    Effect: 8/10
    Overall: 16/20
    A good read, I liked that the father labeled it “sex tape” so that no one would touch it, but I wasn’t sure why he didn’t want the kids to see any of the videos or pictures he’d taken over the years. I was also uncertain of what the opening sentence means in relation to the rest of the story. The first half was my favorite part of the story. The pacing was really good and I felt swept up by it.

    * * *

    Arcopitcairn
    Title: Prince Dreamshine and Flufflemuff at Mount Starstuff
    Spelling/Grammar: 3/5
    Tone/Voice: 5/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 15/20
    It was a strange piece, but generally amusing. I was hoping for some sort of catch, though him throwing it at the nymphs made me smile. All in all, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it and it didn’t really leave a lasting impact.

    * * *

    Chris Miller
    Title: Panorama
    Spelling/Grammar: 4/5
    Tone/Voice: 5/5
    Effect: 8/10
    Overall: 18/20
    A nice piece, good mood, and an interesting take on pornography. I was wondering how he knew it was a child taking the picture or if was mere speculation on his part. I also liked the small amount of internal conflict over his desire to see more pictures of her, more flesh, tempered by the presence of the child. I enjoyed reading it.

    * * *

    Terry D
    Title: The Quest
    Spelling/Grammar: 4/5
    Tone/Voice: 5/5
    Effect: 8/10
    Overall: 17/20
    Wonderful piece, a lot of fun to read. You captured the boy’s personalities very well. I was torn at the end why Kevin was asked how fast he could run, was it because they realized the tapes were just educational videos or because they were trying to escape with them?

    * * *

    Iasm
    Title: Ending
    Spelling/Grammar: 4/5
    Tone/Voice: 5/5
    Effect: 10/10
    Overall: 19/20
    This ended up being my favorite piece. I loved how your story played out, the emotion came through strong and clear, and it hurt just a little to read. Excellent job!

    * * *

    Dave Watson
    Title: Sex Tape
    Spelling/Grammar: 3/5
    Tone/Voice: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 14/20
    I liked the idea, but the piece seemed to speed by. I had no time to care about the characters, and the girls monologue sounded kind of fake. In the end it felt a bit rushed, and forced in some places. While I wasn’t expecting the ending it was ineffective, there wasn’t a moral, it didn’t make me think, and it didn’t make me feel anything. I kind of wished you had spent more time on him trying to woo her, us thinking she’s in trouble, and then turning it around so that she’s the one setting a trap, catching us by surprise.



    Kyle's scores

    “Sex Tape” – Dave Watson
    Total: 16.25

    SpaG – 3.75
    Predominantly correct. Minor errors.
    I had to drop your score for a few misspellings, unfortunately.
    “photoofit” - lacking spaces; “smoulder” – misspelled; “thirty three”—missing hyphen. Good tip to remember: hyphenate all written numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine.

    Tone and Voice—4.5
    Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.

    Effect—8
    At first, when I was reading this, I thought the narrative style was a bit limp. I also felt there was a noticeable lack of any POV character—which isn’t necessary, to be fair, but something I look for. But your revealing twist at the end—that this was all being seen on a computer screen by two boys—vindicated your narrative voice in my mind.

    I enjoyed the morbid tale of justice, and the little twist ending that turned the whole thing into a story within a story. I appreciated the screenplay style of narration. It was very visual and easy to imagine. You kept things sterile and clinical, and let the story itself run the show. I thought your language could have benefited from little more creative spark, but overall I felt this was solid writing, and you juggled away any necessary exposition by sneaking it into the dialogue. Nicely done.

    * * *

    “Ending” – Lasm
    Total: 19.25

    SpaG – 5
    Competant manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.

    Tone and Voice—5
    Perfectly fitting, unique style and technique.

    Effect – 9.25
    I liked everything about this entry. It was expertly done. Emma’s both emotionally vulnerable and engaging. You hit the reader with a one-two combination of insight—first in Emma’s then-boyfriend’s self-absorption with sex, virtually to the mental exclusion of Emma herself; then with Emma’s own insight that she was treating him in a similar way throughout their relationship.

    You sneak in a moment of their breakup, a little vignette of a scene, and then return to Emma watching the video, searching for signs of love that may or may not have been. Poignant and bittersweet. Great writing and with depth. Bravo.

    * * *

    The Quest, 1989 – Terry D
    Total: 17.25

    SpaG- 4.25
    Nearly flawless writing.
    “Buddinton”—missing the “g”. “Wussey”—mispelled.
    This would have bumped you down lower, but I had you originally scored at higher than a four for your elaborate, rich sentences.

    Tone and Voice – 4.75
    Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.

    Effect: 8.25
    I liked the movement of this story: down the dark corridors of the after-hour school grounds. The setting was vivid and you captured it well. It functioned like a separate character, changing and evolving along with the story. Well done. I also liked the little running character gags you had going, especially with Randy always asking the tough questions. The ending was a fun reveal, and you wrapped up the story in a pitch-perfect moment. The only thing I felt a little uncertain about was the different boys in the group. Distinguishing them through dialogue and names alone worked, but just barely. A brief line of description for each of the boys as they moved through the school would have helped me visualize things much more. Otherwise, I enjoyed this one. Nice writing.

    * * *

    “Panorama” – Chris Miller
    Total: 19

    SpaG – 5
    Competant manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    My only flinching came from the way you chose not to spell out numbers (“10”; “17”), though I chalked it up to a style choice of yours.

    Tone and Voice – 5
    Perfectly fitting, unique style and technique.

    Effect – 9
    I love the way you toss so many adjectives into each sentence—and bizarre ones, too—like a flamboyantly-clad street performer juggling chainsaws and fruits and large reptiles all at once. Everything is a little slanted away from the norm. Even the imagined photographer is shown not as a person, but as a collection of near-deformities, blown up in a narrative zoom. And then you handle the photograph of the woman with respect and gentleness. It adds depth to the moment. The wildness drops away like a veil and things become reflective and soft for a few poignant seconds. Then, of course, you swing back into the humorous and bizarre with the woman on the lake and her coke-sniffing boyfriend and we’re back in Chris Miller World--slightly strange, wacky, and surrealistically real. Well done.

    * * *

    “Prince Dreamshine and Fufflemuff at Mount Starstuff” - Arcopitcairn
    Total: 17.75

    SpaG – 4.25
    Nearly flawless writing.
    “dreams clung to his flowing blond as the” – missing a noun

    Tone and Voice – 5
    Perfectly fitting, unique style and technique.

    Effect – 8.5
    This was so absurd and silly, and yet, very well-written. I loved the whimsy-overload, and the world you created. Now I know the answer to the proverbial question that has haunted mankind since the time of the saber tooth: What would happen if one of humanity’s perversions landed in a children’s cartoon show (Carebears, My Little Pony)?

    I like how intentionally-purple the prose is; how the unicorn not only flies on a rainbow Jetstream but also talks and attempts to shrug; and how Prince Dreamshine’s favorite pastime is to pester the nymphs like a six year old boy. Despite all the goofiness, it was solidly written. Thanks for the fun.

    * * *

    “Sex Tape” – JackKnife
    Total – 18

    SpaG – 4.75
    Competant manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.

    Tone and Voice – 4.75
    Perfectly fitting, unique style and technique.

    Effect – 8.5
    I like the narrative style here—the sweeping passage of time, the subdued voice. You created realistic characters here and walked the reader through their lives in such a small space of words. Very impressive. The ending was a knockout, too. Your style is consistent and strong. Great writing.

    * * *

    “Sex Tape” – KarlR
    Total – 17.25

    SpaG – 4.25
    Nearly flawless writing.
    “Michel’s” -- *Michael’s
    Your score would otherwise be a four here but your elaborate sentences elevated it a bit.

    Tone and Voice – 4.75
    Perfectly fitting, unique style and technique.

    Effect – 8.25
    I love the mysterious environment Carley is in, and the way you depict her as being suspended between the sea and the star-filled sky. The setting is vivid and lushly described, with a magical quality to it. Then you dip us in and out of Carley’s consciousness, and the people arriving to try to save her. Very well-crafted and poignantly written. Nice job!

    * * *

    “Fall” – MisterTribute
    Total: 16.5

    SpaG – 3.75
    Predominantly correct. Minor errors.
    There were a few grammatical slips but overall it was written well.

    Tone and Voice – 4.75
    Engaging use of a particular tone.

    Effect – 8
    Heavy, sad, just a tad bit little melodramatic, but understandably so, given the situation. I could picture everything clearly and it was emotional, though I would have appreciated a little more attention to the high school setting. The image of Anna standing with her dresses scattering around her, and her cliff top ending, are both beautifully written. Thanks for the read.

    * * *

    “KIDS” – Jon M
    Total: 19

    SpaG – 4.75
    Competant manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Would have been a straight five but you ended on a misspelled word (never-ending). *slaps forehead*

    Tone and Voice – 5
    Perfectly fitting; unique style and technique.

    Effect – 9.25
    I’m a fan of your aggressive, unique prose-styling (trucks tearing down the highway; spine twisted into a question mark; head as an escaped balloon) and the rushing, gritty Sex-Drugs-Rock’n’Roll atmosphere that seems to be your preferred canvas to splash your characters upon. I’d give you 6/5 for Tone and Voice if I could, but that’s like dividing by zero—I don’t want to be responsible for the universe imploding. Love the ending, too. Pitch perfect all around; Drunken Kung Fu mastery.

    * * *

    “Sex Tape” – Sunny
    Total – 17.25

    SPaG – 3.75
    Predominantly correct. Minor errors.
    Doh! I had to dock you a bit for misspellings.
    “labelled” - labeled
    “kissing it's tiny nose” - kissing its tiny nose

    Tone and Voice – 4.75
    Fitting and unique style and voice.

    Effect – 8.75
    I thought the first scene was very well-written. Your descriptions were sensitive and vivid—I could see it all happening clearly in my mind. I liked how you handled the flashback, and many of your similes were great (her heart thrumming like a hummingbird; his face blank like an empty book). I was confused a bit the first time I read the ending, but it made sense on the next few readings. What I liked most about this was the visual style of your writing, and how you portray everything with an emotional impact on the main character. Nice writing, SnooSnoo!

    * * *

    “An Envelope in the Morning” – Artanyis
    Total – 17.25

    SpaG – 4.5
    Grammatically flawless writing.

    Tone and Voice – 4.5
    Perfectly fitting style.

    Effect – 8.25
    You’re very skilled at dangling a hook and pulling the reader along. I enjoyed the mystery and suspense of it all, and the futuristic SciFi components were creative and fascinating. You write with a smooth, polished, natural voice. I thought the reveal at the end was a little rushed, though I believe, judging from your paragraph patterns, it is likely because you simply ran out of room. I still liked it, though! Overall a good piece. Nice writing.

    * * *

    “It Had Been a Long Day” – Bazz Cargo
    Total: 16.25

    SpaG – 4
    Nearly flawless writing.
    “so so” should be hyphenated. I assume “squink” is a hybrid word that Ed made up, right?

    Tone and Voice – 4.25
    Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.

    Effect – 8
    This was short and sweet. I like the brief description of the setting in the beginning, the television murmuring to itself and the sleeping kitten. You paint a real setting quickly and effortlessly. I enjoyed the parental wisdom of recognizing each child’s personality traits—great writing with those parts, by the way—and the conversation itself was cute and unintentionally freaky at the same time. Just where the heck do you hide your tentacle, Bazz? Wait, don’t tell me, I’m not sure I want to know. Thanks for the fun read. Good writing. I wanted to read more. Cheers!

    * * *

    “Finding Happiness” – FleshEater
    16.25

    SpaG – 4.25
    Gramatically flawless writing.

    Tone and Voice – 4.25
    Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.

    Effect – 7.75
    Gruesome, sad, and a bit disturbing. What’s not to love? Hehe. You had a consistent, somber narrative going through here. The character’s motivation was clear and he stayed true to form. I thought the ending was a little predictable but at the same time, fitting, and you handled it well, especially considering such a delicate and traumatic subject as child sex abuse. Revenge was almost required. The fact that he found the warm blood comforting was definitely creepy. The main character clearly got messed up in the head. Good writing, nice job.

    * * *

    “Sex 1979” – Garza
    Total – 16.25

    SpaG – 3.75
    Predominantly correct. Minor errors.
    “pencilled” – penciled
    “thought this was you golf morning” – your golf morning

    Tone and Voice – 4.25
    Clean, interesting tone.

    Effect – 8.25
    I enjoyed this one. The boys seemed real and you painted the scene with minimal effort, allowing your narration to disappear so the characters and their dialogue would stand front and center. I was curious what the punch line would be—surely Roddy’s father wouldn’t be showing the boys an actual sex tape!—and you didn’t disappoint. I chuckled at the reaction of the boys: creating an excuse to leave. Ironic that the conversation begins with the technology of the olden days and the boys end up using new technology to escape, while the father embraces nostalgia from an old video cassette. Nice writing, Garza. Thanks for the read.

    * * *

    “Content” – JimJanuary
    Total – 17.5

    SpaG – 4.5
    Grammatically flawless writing.

    Tone and Voice – 4.5
    Perfectly fitting style.

    Effect – 8.5
    I liked this. The unique perspective of a video tape wondering what her content is. This was cute and simultaneously sad, though written with a professional detachment that dismisses flash and glamour in favor of straightforward storytelling with a smooth, natural voice. You personify Evie very well and the ending was both unexpected and fitting. Great writing.

    * * *

    “The Sex Tape” – Gargh
    Total - 17.75
    SpaG – 4.5
    Competant manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.

    Tone and Voice – 4.75
    Interesting tone and unique technique.

    Effect – 8.5
    Nice use of dual protagonists. You give both Marge and Kevin their own weight and substance. I like both characters equally. Written with a professional polish and some nice irony at the end—Marge feels like her son is pulling away when really they have more in common than either of them realize. Great interpretation of the theme and very good, creative writing. Nice job!




    Fins scores

    Dave Watson
    Sex Tape

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [3/5]
    Effect: [9/10]
    Overall: 16

    I really enjoyed it. At first I thought I was going to dive into a world of one of your fantasies(if that was one of your fantasies, feel free to keep it to yourself). But I ended up diving into something completely unexpected.

    You gave life to the male character from the girl's view of him. Good job with that. You also did well with the female's personality throughout her actions. Not just the side that she was showing at the time, but also a side to her that we didn't see.

    Something I'd like to mention about your writing itself. Now, I'm not one of those people who say to never use an adverb in your writing. However, in some of the places you used them, it wasn't necessary. That's not to say to replace it with another word. I'm saying I feel it would be better dropped altogether. As an example, where you say "then crawls slowly", the word "crawls", in the context of the rest of what you were saying, already gave the imagery of her doing it slowly. It killed a little of the effect when you told me that she did it slowly, because it was already shown to me. That can be seen in a few other places throughout the story.

    Overall, I loved it.

    * * *

    lasm
    Ending

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [4/5]
    Effect: [8/10]
    Overall: 16

    "And he left, taking. . . everything he can’t live without for a night. That didn't include her"

    I really liked that line.

    You caught both of her personalities in this absolutely wonderfully. The one from inside the video, and the other from outside. Not even for just the woman, but for the man too. The way you handled that is what impressed me more than anything in this story. Really great job.

    * * *

    Terry D
    The Quest, 1989

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [4/5]
    Effect: [7/10]
    Overall: 15

    Awe man. You had one mistake in there that totally took me out of the story for a moment! Marty is the one who talks like the tough guy, right? Well you used the wrong name tag one of his dialogue lines, and in one of the worst places you could've have missed it. In any other place, I probably wouldn't have noticed!

    "I don't know..." Kevin's voice was a wheedling whine at the back of their group. "Maybe we should just go?"
    "Go ahead, wussey," Kevin said from the front of their search party.
    That just made me go "Wait, what?" Even if it was intentional, it still took me out of the story.

    Anyway, overall it was a great story. You got the tone down great, and you had each of the boy's personalities so distinct. I enjoyed the characters you had here. A great, great take on the prompt. Much different than expected.

    * * *

    Chris Miller
    Panorama

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [4/5]
    Effect: [8/10]
    Overall: 16

    The imagery of the last four paragraphs is absolutely great. You captured the woman and child in the photo so greatly that I'd felt that I'd seen it myself.

    The pacing of this was also great. It was like it was happening as I read it.

    * * *

    Arcopitcairn
    Prince Dreamshine and Fufflemuff at Mount Starstuff

    Spelling/Grammar: [3/5]
    Tone/Voice: [3/5]
    Effect: [6/10]
    Overall: 12

    Interesting choice of names. I really couldn't get into this though. I assume it was the unicorns. Too fluffy for me.

    You had a good use of words, and the imagery was good.

    * * *

    JackKnife
    Sex Tape

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [3/5]
    Effect: [7/10]
    Overall: 14

    I had just a few problems with this. The timeline was just a bit unclear to me, because I wasn't sure who the narration was following some of the time. Next, there wasn't really anything showing that the kids dislikes their parents, but so soon after the death, no sadness was shown at all. They even seemed eager to get money. A bit heartless is what they seemed, really. None of the characters really stood out as individuals to me.

    I must say though, a quick re-read fixed the timeline confusion.

    I liked this line:
    With all the grace of a man picking up after his dog on the neighbour’s lawn
    Interesting story and the way you decided to expand this over such a long period of time was fun.

    * * *

    KarlR
    Sex Tape

    Spelling/Grammar: [3/5]
    Tone/Voice: [3/5]
    Effect: [7/10]
    Overall: 13

    I wish she was a bit more emotional, but it can't be helped. You captured her delusion-ness well enough. I just couldn't get into this. It feels like you spent a lot more time explaining what was going on outside of her rather than inside. And the inside is what I wanted to know.

    * * *

    KyleColorado
    Spin-Off
    Judges Entry


    Ha! I expected that the narrator was a girl when you said she flipped her hair. Still a fun little twist!

    I dunno about that "literally took my blood away" stuff, but then again, I know nothing about health! So I'll just say that I don't know what was going on with that.

    The only thing I would even suggest changing is maybe the first paragraph a little. I do like how you kept the Steve Steve Steve thing throughout the story.

    You did great with Stacy's personality. So much so that I just might want to watch tha-- Fin! Don't say that! You're supposed to act professional!

    Great take on the prompt.

    * * *

    MisterTribute
    Fall

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [4/5]
    Effect: [7/10]
    Overall: 15

    The death of the primary protagonist already put you up there for a high effect. That's pretty much a given.

    The problems with this, however, started with your dialogue. It was unrealistic for what just happened. I'm going to ignore the fact that this is a high school scene, and there's a pretty good chance that the girl is underaged, so it most likely wouldn't have even gotten that far. Her whole reaction, even to the sex itself stated in the very first line, was unrealistic.

    Work on the realistic aspect of the writing. Suicide as a result of a sex tape is realistic, so don't think I'm critisizing that part. Just mostly the dialogue.

    * * *

    Jon M
    KIDS

    Spelling/Grammar: [3/5]
    Tone/Voice: [5/5]
    Effect: [10/10]
    Overall: 18

    You surprised me, Jon. I've only ever read one other story in second person. It sucked. Badly. Yours is such a big improvement from the other one I'd read that it's insane. I actually liked this. You showed me that not all second person stories are bad. Though, it didn't change the fact that I feel like someone is trying to hypnotize me when I read second person.

    It's a little weird, the format that you're using. The way it's written. But that only adds to the interest in it.

    The story was good, of course. But I'm mostly impressed by how you handled the second person narrative point. Fantastic.

    * * *

    Sunny
    Sex Tape

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [3/5]
    Effect: [8/10]
    Overall: 15

    I'm a bit slow and didn't quite see why it was labled sex.

    I liked how you handled the father's personalities. He remains to be the most interesting character in this for me. Well done.

    All I'd say is to make the flow of this line better. Or even the line before this. I didn't feel I was fading away with the protagonist into her past with her, like I believe I should have:

    My father claps and cheers, “You're doing it. You're doing it.” His voice echoes with admiration when I pedal away on my bicycle for the first time.
    * * *

    Artanyis
    An Envelope in the Morning

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [4/5]
    Effect: [9/10]
    Overall: 17

    Really enjoyed this. I got chills two-thirds of the way through because I realized what was going to happen. Great job with it. You also created a futuristic world in such a short time. Impressive.

    * * *

    bazz cargo
    It had been a long day

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [4/5]
    Effect: [8/10]
    Overall: 16

    Watch out for the 'no editing after 10 minutes rule' bazz!

    I read this wide eyed. What an interesting way of explaining 'ree po duck ton'.

    It was a nice, short read. I enjoyed it. I loved the TV description. I'd never seen anyone explain the TV being on but no one is watching it the way you did. It was a short and sweet explanation and the wording impressed me. I don't have any complaints! The ending was silly and cute.

    * * *

    FleshEater
    Finding Happiness

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [5/5]
    Effect: [10/10]
    Overall: 19

    One word: Cuh-ree-peee.

    I really loved it. Chills on and on. You handled the little boy's emotions perfectly to me.

    I really don't have anything bad to say. This was really, really good. Dark, depressing, scary, chilling.

    * * *

    garza
    Sex 1979

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [5/5]
    Effect: [8/10]
    Overall: 17

    Oh dear, I was terrified as to what was about to happen! Nice twist though! Didn't expect it at all.

    The only thing I feel I can advise is pretty small. I think it would've been a little bit better if you foreshadowed a moment where the children played baseball. So that it would've been more sense for the father to say that they could learn a lot of important lessons from it, in the end. I doubt it would've made a huge difference though.

    I feel I get repititive since I say this every single time, but your dialogue skills have still not failed to impress me.

    * * *

    JimJanuary
    Content

    Spelling/Grammar: [3/5]
    Tone/Voice: [3/5]
    Effect: [7/10]
    Overall: 13

    For future reference, a formatted post is one of the most polite things you can do for a judge.

    Interesting entry. Didn't expect to see an entry from the view of the actual tape itself.

    I enjoyed the way you handled her feelings. It was like she was a character from Toy Story. Only much dirtier, of course.

    Well done.

    * * *

    Gargh
    The Sex Tape

    Spelling/Grammar: [4/5]
    Tone/Voice: [3/5]
    Effect: [8/10]
    Overall: 15

    Cute story. I enjoyed the ending a lot. Got me wondering what'll happen to these people after. Surely the mother will find out eventually! Hopefully they go on to live happy lives, the ones they want to live. Once the dad disappears or something.

    The parent's personalities were a bit strange in the beginning. Though it portrayed what was shown throughout the story nicely.

    * * *

    alanmt
    Losing My Head
    Unscored


    As you wish, it'll remain unscored. However, I see no harm in giving you a review.

    Oh dear. Oh dear dear dear. The level of creepiness of this story is so incredibly high. Fantastic job with that. Chills, chills, and more chills! You left me to think of the ending, and oh the imagery that I got from that.

    What may be the creepiest part of all, is that I did actually Google praying mantis sex and I did indeed click on and watched the first video. . .




    Bilston's scores.

    Name: Dave Watson
    Title: Sex Tape
    Spelling / Grammar: 3
    Tone / Voice: 3
    Effect: 7
    Total: 13

    A nice, neat little thing. Cleanly written and, therefore, a clean read. Secrets should be secretes. Slips briefly into second person, which doesn’t fit.

    I think, Dave, you handicapped yourself by the way in which you chose to tell the story. The story itself I enjoyed, but by limiting the viewpoint to two unseen and unheard characters watching the story unfold on a pc screen meant the characters on screen were two dimensional in every way and the story could only be told as a sequence of events. I felt first person from the girl’s point of view more appropriate, which could have personalised the story rather than leaving the reader feeling a little detached.

    “The man will never rise from it again, except as smoke.” Reads like authorial intrusion.

    * * *

    Name: Iasm
    Title: Ending
    Spelling / Grammar: 3.5
    Tone / Voice: 4
    Effect: 7
    Total: 14.5

    I only stumbled once in this story, here:

    He was mesmerized by these grainy fields of pixelated skin, this moving image in which he was an actor and she was an object, so that when he hooked an arm under her knee, she can see now that it was a prop knee, and a prop leg that he pushed up onto his shoulder.

    Feel it could do with reworking somehow to read cleaner. It slips from past to present and back. I know it should, but it snagged my eye and I re-read it a couple of times. Just a sandpaper job to smooth out.

    Had their attempt at bondage been filmed, now that would have been a fun read. Not that this wasn’t, but didn’t quite grab me as I want to be grabbed.

    * * *

    Name: Terry D
    Title: The Quest, 1989
    Spelling / Grammar: 3
    Tone / Voice: 3
    Effect: 7
    Total: 13

    Had some fun reading this, though I figured the Sex Tapes weren’t going to be what the boys were looking for when Brenda told her colleague where they were.

    My biggest criticism would be the heavy over-use of descriptors; adjectives and turns of phrases that weigh the whole story down. You could lose them without losing the story. An example is the first paragraph.

    There is no sound on Earth so loud as that of a single footfall on the polished linoleum of a school hallway after dark. The wretched squeeeek of Marty’s Nikes against the floor reverberated down the corridor, bounced off steel lockers, and careened from tiled walls to paint the hanging glass light fixtures overhead with shrill sound.

    Other than that, I enjoyed it for its sense of fun. The dialogue works well. Nice piece.

    * * *

    Name: Chris Miller
    Title: Panorama
    Spelling / Grammar: 4.5
    Tone / Voice: 5
    Effect: 9
    Total: 18.5

    Fun little thing, dark, too, in the way the narrator could be any one of several million men across the world.

    I’m not sure about the parenthesis in the final paragraph. I’ve grown used to your use of them and enjoy them for the most part (to the extent I’ve found myself using them more and more in casual communication but not yet in fiction), but here it seems unnecessary, as though the parenthesised sentence would sit just fine at the end of the paragraph in its own right.

    The sundry oblong baubles sentence could easily be just about the best sentence I’ve ever read.

    * * *

    Name: Arcopitcairn
    Title: Prince Dreamshine and Fufflemuff at Mount Starstuff
    Spelling / Grammar: 3.5
    Tone / Voice: 2.5
    Effect: 4
    Total: 10

    I struggled with this. I’m not the intended audience for the story, and that doubtless played a part.

    Half of the available word limit is used to set the scene, which, in such a short piece, kills the story. There’s nothing to hook the reader. Lacking a true hook, there needs to be something to make me want to continue reading, but the style of writing didn’t pull me in either, or the setting or characters.

    Eek, I feel harsh, but it just didn’t work for me.

    * * *

    Name: JackKnife
    Title: Sex Tape
    Spelling / Grammar: 4
    Tone / Voice: 4
    Effect: 8.5
    Total: 16.5

    This story pulled me in. It’s entirely believable. The dialogue is crisp and to the point. But the real achievement, I think, is to get through an almost complete lifespan of a couple in so few words and its quite seamless.

    There’s a story beneath the words, a story inferred, left for us to imagine, told but untold. Yes, I definitely like this.

    Didn’t get the first sentence, though. That’s my only nit with the story. It seemed detached, didn’t get it at all. It didn’t detract too much.

    * * *

    Name: KarlR
    Title: Sex Tape
    Spelling / Grammar: 4
    Tone / Voice: 4
    Effect: 6
    Total: 14

    Being blunt on this point, I didn’t like the centred format. It seemed to take me out of the story before I was in it. I was looking for poetry and was wondering why it was centred, instead of getting the story. I half got it on the second read, and finally got the full picture on the third. Reading it back now, I can’t see any other reason for my stumbling. It’s written tight and with clarity of voice. Maybe it’s a little too purple for something so short, especially at the beginning, but that’s only my preference.

    * * *

    Name: KyleColorado
    Title: Spin-Cycle

    I loved this simple one-scene snippet showing the frustration of unrequited love. The voice was spot on and its uniqueness, I think, comes from things like “Steve-Steve-Steve…” and doughy this and doughy that and doughy t’other. Totally appropriate for the character.

    If there is a gripe, the thing which might have cost you a mark, it’s the title. I love a good title and think this story deserves something which grabs the reader and demands he reads the damn story, whether he likes it or not. Just a thought.

    * * *

    Name: MisterTribute
    Title: Fall
    Spelling / Grammar: 3
    Tone / Voice: 2
    Effect: 5
    Total: 10

    The real weakness in this story lies in its narrative style. At times it reads as a list of things the narrator does:

    I stand up and run away, not even daring to look back. I crawl myself out under the fence of the school. I run my way home.

    I’m unsure whether or not this is a chosen style, but found it didn’t particularly work.

    With reference to the story, I think you’ve tried to squeeze so much in to such a short piece, it does the story an injustice. There isn’t enough room to develop what is quite a packed storyline. The beauty of these LM competitions is you have the chance to keep returning to them each month and developing your skills. Keep at it.

    * * *

    Name: Jon M
    Title: Kids
    Spelling / Grammar: 5
    Tone / Voice: 5
    Effect: 8.5
    Total: 18.5

    Liked this a lot, eventually. In the first instance the lack of punctuation threw me, it always does when I read things which challenge the so-called rules, but I reread and then again and it got better each time. The style is effective in so much as it conveys the atmosphere. The final paragraph does really well with the way it brings the uncertainty through to the reader, and from this passage I get that what follows will be clumsy and probably won’t last too long.

    A pep talk in the mirror is one of the best euphemisms I’ve heard in a good while. And if it wasn’t meant that way, then it should have been.

    * * *

    Name: Sunny
    Title: Sex Tape
    Spelling / Grammar: 3
    Tone / Voice: 3.5
    Effect: 6.5
    Total: 13

    I wanted to enjoy this more than I did. I’m not fully convinced by the ending, not certain why the tape was labelled so, and I feel that if I need an explanation then something’s missing. Maybe it’s me, I’m not sure.

    Other than that, it’s written well with a couple of flaws, missing hyphens and a couple of typos/spelling errors.

    In such a short piece, there are parts that don’t add to the impact of the story which I think could be cut to make room for more depth of character. There’s a glimpse of the relationship between father and daughter, and this is something which might have been explored further.

    * * *

    Name: Artanyis
    Title: An Envelope in the Morning
    Spelling / Grammar: 3
    Tone / Voice: 3.5
    Effect: 6
    Total: 12.5

    Puzzled by the ending here. Not sure if I’m supposed to be left asking and wondering. The voice is confident if lacking a little to aid characterisation, which, in a first person narrative, always helps.

    I got a bit bogged down in the technical jargon which is me, not you; that stuff will frequently go over my head. I feel the story is a vehicle for the setting here, instead of the setting being a place where the story occurs. But, again, I get that a lot with sci-fi or future-fi.

    * * *

    Name: Bazz Cargo
    Title: It Had Been A Long Day
    Spelling / Grammar: 3.5
    Tone / Voice: 4
    Effect: 7.5
    Total: 15

    Sometimes, when writing, the writer needs to know when enough is enough, and, Bazz, you frequently get this just right. Only three hundred words here, yet all there needs to be is here. Reminds me of your Kung-Shoe story in its brevity.

    This is a simple snapshot into the comedic innocence of childhood with a free chuckle on the end. Like it lots. Thank you very much.

    Only stumbled on this: Ree po duck ton. First, I think it needs three hyphens, but I’d have stumbled less with ton replaced by shun/chun. So: ree-po-duck-chun.

    * * *

    Name: FleshEater
    Title: Finding Happiness
    Spelling / Grammar: 3
    Tone / Voice: 3
    Effect: 7
    Total: 13

    First up, all credit for tackling a subject so near to the bone as this.

    Technical errors aside, this tried to grab me but didn’t quite get me as I’d have liked. I think there’s a lack of depth to the character. We don’t see the human, the inside of him, only the vengeful victim. That said, it’s a mighty big task to pull this story off in so few words. That you managed to keep me interested enough to think on how better to characterise the narrator is a great start.

    * * *

    Name: Garza
    Title: Sex 1979
    Spelling / Grammar: 4.5
    Tone / Voice: 4
    Effect: 6.5
    Total: 15

    Tight as ever, Garza, and a neat little scene, but somehow the characters didn’t quite come to life, which I think is unusual for one of yours.

    I think that it reads as a scene not a story requires its characters to carry it a little more than they do. Also thought it might have used a little humour. Just a touch would have suited this. Sorry, I’m rewriting it for you.

    Thanks for sharing.

    * * *

    Name: JimJanuary
    Title: Content
    Spelling / Grammar: 3.5
    Tone / Voice: 2
    Effect: 5.5
    Total: 11

    In terms of the concept, this is a winner, though its execution doesn’t meet the same standard. It screams out for a first person narrative, a sure fire way to inject more character into what turns out to be quite a lifeless character. Things happen to Evie. She sees things, and people, and is taken places and is looked at, but we only have two internal thoughts. She thinks she is a fitness video, and later we find she felt dirty.

    First person is such a great vehicle to characterise via emotions. Was she afraid? What did she think of the other videos when they stared at her? That sort of stuff. And her memories, too, and hopes for the future. I love the idea, really do.

    On another point, put a space between each paragraph when using single spacing. So much friendlier on the eye.

    * * *

    Name: Gargh
    Title: The Sex Tape
    Spelling / Grammar: 3.5
    Tone / Voice: 4
    Effect: 7.5
    Total: 15

    A nice story written well, save for the odd punctuation error, some of which I suspect are typos.

    I like the tug of war: father wants his son to grow into a man’s man, mother wants her son to follow in her own footsteps. It’s good we see that, hopefully, eventually, Kevin’s mum will be so proud. I think she will if the secret is kept for long enough. When he’s old enough he can do as he pleases without his father’s approval. I guess that I’m straying off into the future here means this gets a big thumbs up.

    * * *

    Name: Alanmt
    Title: Losing My Head
    Spelling / Grammar: 3.5
    Tone / Voice: 4.5
    Effect: 9
    Total: 17
    I liked this a lot. The tension and chemistry is there, kind of fizzing just behind the screen of my laptop. Nice voice. The whole is spoiled only, I think, by a couple of minor spag thingies. Like the italicised sections, which should only be part italicised, I think, to distinguish between recalled dialogue and the narrative line.

    Shame you can’t score for this. I scored it anyway. Nice one.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 27/09/2012 - LM - Sex Tape - Scores! started by Potty View original post
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