March 2015 - LM - Re-imagined Fairy Tale SCORES


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    March 2015 - LM - Re-imagined Fairy Tale SCORES

    LITERARY MANEUVERS
    Reimagined Fairy Tale

    REVISED scores -- It's late here, so forgive my earlier mistake. My spreadsheet was not factoring in a whole judge's scores, so we did receive a false outcome. Here's the corrected scores:

    Folcro Guy Faukes Amsawtell Bruno Spatola Average
    W. Goepner 5 12 11.5 15 10.88
    NathanBrazil 13 16 14 17.5 15.13
    inkwellness 11 13 12 18 13.5
    Riptide 10 13 13 16 13
    Joshybo 14 15 18 15.5 15.63
    rcallaci 13 16 14 15 14.5
    Bazz Cargo 14 14 15 15.5 14.63
    InnerFlame00 12 14 16 15 14.25
    godofwine 14 14.5 17 15 15.13
    Pluralized 12 14 11 17 13.5
    Tkent 13 14.5 15 17.5 15
    Burntmason84 12 14.5 16 16 14.63
    Meteli 9 12 9 15 11.25
    Astroannie 14 15.5 16 16 15.38
    Charlaux 15 13.5 13 16.5 14.5
    Zeynith 11 13 11 13 12
    midnightpoet 15 15 16 14 15
    Shinyford 16 13.5 14 14 14.38
    JJ Maxx 12 15.5 18 16.5 15.5
    M Cull 17 13 16 18 16
    Kilroy214 14 13.5 14 17 14.63
    Jorm Arcturus 11 13 14 18 14




    Our winner is M Cull, with his tale Allerednic!
    Our runner up, Joshybo with his tale, Well Past Midnight.
    And rounding out the top three is JJ Maxx, with his tale Skytop Terrace, a Subsidiary of Jack & Giant Companies, LLC.


    I want to apologize for the grievous error that caused the scores to be incorrect at original time of posting, especially to those whose position was changed as a result. But, as the math and scores dictate, that is our top three. Now, I need to get some sleep before, I say, do this with someone's computer at work tomorrow and cause a stock market crash.


    SCORES:


    Folcro's Scores:

    Golden Fur
    W. Goepner

    Grammar: 1
    Voice: 2
    Effect: 2
    Total: 5

    You have to watch those typos, Goepner; no excuse to botch the second word.

    she was of average for her age: And then we have that in the very next sentence.

    looks going from cub to adult: ?

    muscle tone beginning to show before her winter layer of fat covered them: Are you predicting the future? Usually "would" belongs in such a sentence: "before her winter layer of fat would cover them."

    Golden Fur came upon the first building she has seen: Why the tense switch?

    Golden Fer: Typos is one thing, but forgetting your own main character's name starts to show lack of passion, and judging this contest is very time-consuming.

    ...staying quiet so as not to alert man and his wolfs to her presents: I'm trying very hard to convince myself that this was for some reason done on purpose... I'm failing.

    The few times she had come close to them they either reacted in fear or anger: Wasn't she just running around a city?

    This read like a synopsis instead of a clear and fluid narrative. Just the same, you could have salvaged an average score out of this if you took a little time to edit. The lack of care with which this was written is truly a slight to those who devote so much time and effort into judging.

    Wooden Boy
    NathanBrazil

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 4
    Effect: 4
    Total: 13

    conducting his demonic chorus: You provide some good visuals in the first paragraph, but this bit of "tell" bothered me. Nothing about your description of the man's dance produced anything "demonic" to me at all, and the word threw me off. It seems to me you threw the word in to save the additional description and extra words. The result felt disjointed.

    A tall, thin man with a razor thin mustache came forward: This scene opens up from the perspective of the outside of the shop, looking in at the old man. This is where the reader is located. So when you say "came forward", it can be confusing when what you meant is came forward to the old man.

    He doesn't want to let the puppet go but he displays it in front on the window? I guess he just wants to show it off, but not the best business practice, is it?

    The wooden boy proved to be a talented thief: Well that came out of nowhere.

    The boy skewered Giuseppe with the poker: That's a sharp fire poker.

    None openly questioned the young man who had successfully taken over Giuseppe’s shop: Why not?

    There are some spontaneous moments that come without development or build up; It's obvious that this is because the story hinges on our predisposition of the innocence of Pinocchio, which I don't think is the strongest basis on which to set a story. In fact, I found many moments in the source material to be at least as dark, and those moments did have build up. There's some great description, and fluid prose (which was chopped a bit more than I would have liked by the story's structure) I just didn't find the story to be a memorable reimagining.

    All Beast, No Beauty
    Inkwellness

    Grammar: 4
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 4
    Total: 11

    Good opening line; paragraph, actually: you show an understanding of the application of short and long sentences to establish an effect and it works very well. Good balance, good flow, good job.

    Upon awakening, the dawn revealed her absence: Upon the dawn's awakening?

    You could have taken at least a handful of words out of the second paragraph, maybe a sentence. Rambled a bit, almost whiney.

    when care for the thought of the beholder was removed: A bit too flowery for my taste, especially when we're just coming off of a "if I don't see her again soon I'm gonna die" tangent.

    Therefore, there was no need for keeping up appearances: Usually when "therefore" starts a sentence in the narrative, it's a red flag. If the reader can't put it together themselves, maybe you should make it clearer instead of explaining why the previous sentences existed. This should not feel like I'm reading a text book.

    had so cruelly labelled him: the beast: I think "beast" without the article would have been more effective (not to mention accurate): they called him "beast." Also, it's "labeled."

    Grievous thoughts enveloped him: This line defines the main problem with your story here: you don't seem as interested in retelling a classic tale as you are in being as flowery and eloquent in your writing as you can. Of course, the source material comes from an eloquent and classy story, but this is distracting.

    Blood-shot eyes squinted with justifiable anger: I guess the narrator has a dog in this? It's risky to make the narrator give their opinion, and usually serves to dilute any opinion that the reader might be drawing. It's an example of "tell" when there should be "show." Besides, you don't want to give your reader any opportunity to disagree with the narrator, unless this is an opinion piece and designed for controversy.

    watching the wind push them in back and forth movements: Watching the wind push them back and forth.

    So the story seems to hinge on explanation: as you spend most of the story explaining how your story differs from the original work, opening the gate for your desire to use long sentences and big words. You write well, but I found a lack of balance that I was so looking forward to based on your opening paragraph.

    In a word: less tell, more show.

    The First Little Red Riding Hood
    Riptide

    Grammar: 4
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 3
    Total: 10

    with a chin or three: Cutesy, but... which is it? One and three's a big difference.

    getting from his spot: Getting... up from his spot?

    So what's his name: The Big Bad or Dray Gone? Why name the same character two things? It's clutter. I see you're trying to keep up the reference, so why not just keep the name The Big Bad?

    But Red wasn't taking no for an answer and he snatched Leppy up: Red snatched Leppy up.

    it curved around it like it was a prized possession of coins: But it is a prized possession of coins, isn't it?

    Red was the diversion: Normally I discourage explanations when you can show me what's happening instead, but even with this explanation, I don't know what's going on; sounds more like a synopsis than a narrative.

    … And his life: What does that mean?

    The story is dotted with clichés, which I suppose I can look past given the nature of the prompt, but on that note this doesn't strike me as a reimagining of a fairy story in as much as your own story with a few names loosely connecting to the source material. In all, it didn't have a very big impact on me.

    Well Past Midnight
    joshybo

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 6
    Total: 14

    She danced to the rhythm of their laughter: Really? As in, their laughter is forming a coherent rhythm and she's actually dancing to it? I would love to see that.

    each time a piece of glass embedded itself into the soles of her feet: Well, the glass isn't embedding itself, she's applying the force. I think you could have saved some words by just saying some form of "entered".

    as she spun and curtsied in the flicker of the firelight: that was a good line (though "disheveled" was overkill--- it's every writer's go-to word to show they know big words).

    With each new bottle or insult hurled: I would have preferred "and", but I really would have preferred your just picking one (between "bottle" and "insult"). I think it would give more impact to the description. Try to capture every detail and you'll lose them all.

    The stepsister's dialogue is getting under my skin a bit: Their words seem designed to provide irony, which of course they are, but they shouldn't seem that way. They should seem natural. These are two crazy envious drunk chicks--- there's so much you can do with this without focusing so intently on where you want to go later. Have some fun and just write about two drunk girls being assholes.

    The bruises on her face reminded her of the importance of doing so: How could she see them to remind her? Is there a mirror around?

    The stepsisters howled in response. “Haha! Lookit! She's got the grace God gave a piglet!” one said: Ask yourself, from a reader's perspective, was anything aside from what is in quotes really necessary? Consider from whose perspective you are telling this: I assume it's in Cinderella's head you're trying to place us. She would not be taking in every detail of her surroundings under this distress, only key moments, which is all we need as we experience a distressing situation. When scenes of distress are captured in short sentences with minimal (but precise) physical detail, it's often found to be far more effective.

    The instructions delivered, her stepmother tromped back up the stairs: Underlined is unnecessary.

    She began picking bits of glass out of the bottoms of her feet, shuddering each time she plucked another from her flesh: The words might be different, but this is actually redundant.

    Now, even though I had a few things to say about the prose, I actually liked the story--- it somehow reached me in spite of my disagreement with the prose and I was curious to see where you were going with it. Alas, the prose did bother me and I felt this could have been a lot more sad, and even sickly funny, with simpler description and shorter, faster dialogue.

    I would like to have seen a resolution: I'm assuming your intent was that this was an interpretation of the darker events in Cinderella's life, taking place within the frame of the story more or less exactly as it was, beginning to end. I personally would have preferred to know if perhaps "there would be no happily ever after" was in fact your Cinderella's fate. I'm not going to tell you how to write your story, but if the whole "running away with the prince" was something she just dreamt as a way to keep herself sane, for example, that would have been so awesome.

    In the Heavens Above
    rcallaci

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 5
    Total: 13

    (a re-imagined fairy tale concerning creation): ((Just in case you didn't get that I'm cleverly taking a stab at religion wink wink))

    IT IT IT IT IT IT: I can't help but feel you just might by some possibility be trying to make a point here...

    God was stunned: sad, distressed and overjoyed: I'm not sure, should that be a colon, or a comma?

    He called Her Lucy, short for Lucifer-and they did not live happily ever after…: Ahhh I see what you did there. That was actually funny.

    There was some interesting description here and thought-tickling ideas. The capital words were a little annoying, I instinctively wanted to shout them in my head each time I passed them. I was expecting to see more ham-fisted social commentary based on the forced title extension but not really (I guess the story's existence served well enough for that). The story itself did seem like it existed for a little more than to serve a punch line, so kudos for that. And thank you for proofreading: it's a favor to us both.

    Family Feud
    Bazz Cargo

    Grammar: 4
    Voice: 4
    Effect: 6
    Total: 14

    There was clunk: I Tarzan, king of jungle.

    said her werewolf general: Is he her general of the werewolves, or a general who happens to be a werewolf? I'm of the impression it's the latter, but the mentioning that he's a werewolf seemed forced. If you made it "said the werewolf general" (thereby changing the meaning which you might not want), I feel it would have went smoother down my gullet (Or, now having read ahead, "said General Wolfy").

    She brushed some invisible soot off her jet black cat suit: I like this line--- it gets me to thinking how she saw it if it blends in so well and why she would dust it if there's only going to be more. It's character development done competently: with nuance.

    The trees hid the activity: Oh I've been there.

    Each time you throw the word "complicated" in this piece, I feel you could have described the complication instead (a howl with many notes or warrens with many halls and chambers).

    piercing rockets set to enter the softer rears: ...I've been there too.

    “Only to be expected, she will be hunted down”: This is grammatically correct, so no points deducted for it, but I if I'm interpreting her correctly, that should have been a period instead of a comma.

    Good writing, but I think you had more going here than service to a punch line. I think, with a little more description (which you were well within the boundaries of accomplishing) and perhaps an alternate conclusion (to the punch line) this could have been more than a cool little story. But it was a cool little story.

    Fate
    InnerFlame00

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 4
    Total: 12

    Though he was only a lowly knight...: Um... I guess this isn't a traditional medieval setting?

    The dragon hesitated, and that was all the opening Phillip needed: Not a very good dragon, was it?

    She had taken on the form of a dragon but could not keep that visage in death: Yeah, I figured... Figured both those things actually.

    Wow, and nobody could have just told him all this? Oh, that's right they were "ensorcelled". How inconvenient.

    The story was synopsis-ish, especially in the beginning.

    For a twist ending to work, it needs to have some buildup, but your buildup was retroactive ("he remembered something one of the townspeople said"... though I'm not sure what the significance of red hair is). I think this particular project needed more than 650 words. Not a novel, but more than this.

    The Three Pigs
    godofwine

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 6
    Total: 14

    I'm seeing two dimensions of portrayal here, and I'm not sure if you did it on purpose. On one hand, you portray him as tough and monstrous, using words like "hulking" and "howled" and how the winds were "intimidated." On the other hand, you use words like "traipsed" and "announced his presence" and "beautiful sonata" and I see the wolf dancing in 16th century garbs quoting Shakespeare. Again, not sure if this was intended to make the villain classier and dynamic, but I personally preferred the first dimension of description a lot more.

    the mere scent of the animals within caused him to salivate: Why "mere"? It's such a cumbersome word, bogs the sentence down. In fact, why have this part of the sentence at all when you have the superior the delicious fragrance played across his taste buds like a beautiful sonata ? You could simply change "the" to "their".

    “I know you’re in there. Let me come in or I’ll tear through this shack just as easily as I did the other two”: I would have had a tag preceding this line.

    The wolf is menacing; I wanted to hear his claws on the roof as he crawls over it to assert his dominance and try to intimidate the pigs.

    his arms stretched out nearly wide enough to carry the world: with or without the word "nearly", nobody is taking this sentence literally, so don't worry.

    His brothers had told him how their places were destroyed, but he had no idea that they were telling the truth: Well... it sure sounded like he believed them earlier (“Porky, your house was made of kindling..."). Maybe what you meant was that the details of the wolf's physical strength was unbelievable? I'm a bit confused.

    ...and ballooned just as the Wolf was doing outside his door: Eh.

    This place better hold, he thought: I didn't really find this line necessary. Pumbaa's state of mind was already defined before and after it. In fact, this line strikes a different tone than the desperation that is "ballooning" in him, threw the narrative flow off a notch.

    For everyone’s sake, he prayed that the walls would hold: I knew what he was praying for already. We all did. It wasn't hard to guess.

    hurricane-force winds... with the power of stampeding wild horses: I'm no expert, but I'm almost certain hurricane-force winds are a lot more powerful per square foot than stampeding horses. I could be wrong though.

    Grasses tore from the earth: Grass tore from the earth. Maybe you were trying to capture the image of chunks of sod being torn up?

    What he had expected to see was a near empty meadow: You like that word a lot more than I do.

    but what lay before him rocked him to the core: A guitar solo by Ozzy Osbourne??

    his belly full of only disappointment: Can't speak for the audience entire, but I would have liked this sentence a lot better without "only."

    Though much of the grasses, leaves, and flowers were gone, the red brick cottage with the green shutters still stood defiantly in the clearing: I would have structured this sentence to put just a tiny bit more emphasis on the fact that even the shutters were not damaged.

    There was potential here for a heart-warming story of defying the odds and standing up to the most powerful embodiment of horror and oppression. There was something missing that would have made it a true tear-jerker. Can't quite put my finger on it, but showing Pumbaa's bravery when all he could feel was fear, his confidence in himself, in his ability to construct a solid home to protect what family he still had left, to atone for not being able to protect mom and dad, flashbacks of how hard he worked to structure the house against anything, providing the story a theme of preparation. But these are just thoughts passing through my head. What I have is a piece with some good visuals. I wanted more emotion.

    Hansel and Gretel FTW
    Anonymous

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 4
    Total: 12

    picking up small bits of tiny lint and dirt from the carpet until her fingers bled: Some sharp lint on that floor.

    The story is very wordy, which is fitting for a fairy tale, even if it's not to my taste, but the floweriness should not carry into an action scene.

    The pool of witch’s blood mixed purple with the red of their father’s: So, is her blood purple, or is it just reacting to his and turning purple?

    She bucked and screamed like an impotent dragon whose fire had run out: Does that happen often in this world?

    So... that was unpleasant. I think it would have had some more emotional impact if I understood what was going on: it all seemed so sporadic. I would have liked some things to connect these crazy events and people.

    The Curious Companionship of Carla and Balo
    TKent

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 4
    Effect: 4
    Total: 13

    Now, what exactly is Carla's problem? The dude needs blood, and it's not as if she knows what it's like to crave it. Sounds like a selfish twat.
    She was especially loving that night to make up for it: How do you expect me to masturbate to this?

    Finally. Why didn't he just do that sooner?

    There would have been more effect if I understood what was going on: does he need blood or only crave it? Why did the country run out of blood? Why didn't he kill her sooner? Why was he acquiescing to her at all?

    Guy Who Cried Wolfe
    BurntMason84

    Grammar: 4 (you missed one typo toward the end)
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 5
    Total: 12

    Excellent first sentence.

    He took a moment, dusted the remaining cocaine from his red, puffy nose, and straightened his leather jacket, flipping (flipped) up his collar, finally striking (struck) a pose: There's nothing wrong with long sentences, but take care to ensure that they are not cluttered with words unneeded.

    To them, he was the richest man this side of the train tracks: Is he not literally the richest man on this side of the tracks?

    He sipped on the cheap beer the bartender reverently brought over to him: Show me the reverence--- there's room for good imagery here, whether or not you choose to be humorous about it, for which there is also ample room.

    Maybe he could afford the good beer after this deal: This is either an oversight, or very good character development: isn't he the richest guy on this side of the tracks? Maybe that still doesn't amount to much. Doesn't he buy drinks for everybody in the bar? Maybe he only did that once. You weren't clear. Maybe he just gives what little he has to be liked by the people around him. Just a sentence or two on your part could have removed my question marks.

    He whipped out his cell and frantically called the number assigned to him: I get that he's nervous, but frantic? Usually something has to happen at once to become frantic instead of a rising nervousness. Does he know that Wolfe knows about his betrayal?

    came the voice who answered: came the answer.

    The stragglers in the bar looked over their shoulders at his commotion: The stragglers in the bar looked over their shoulders.

    Guy now shouted, not caring about making a scene: Guy shouted.

    And with that, the line went dead: And the line went dead.

    with his goatee ending in a point at the end of chin: "coming" would have helped with the redundancy. And you use "bore" in some form three times in this paragraph; twice was too many.

    A brass knuckle? I was expecting a bullet.

    There might be some nuance I'm missing here, but how did Wolfe find out about what Guy was doing? I would have liked to see some connection between Guy's failure to put the deal through and Wolfe's finding out about him. Though there was good writing here, if a smidgeon of overwriting here and there, I would like to have seen things connect a little better.

    Get Rich Wish
    Meteli

    Grammar: 2
    Voice: 2
    Effect: 5
    Total: 9

    Nothing I can do will make you a star, all of the entertainment industries have already been taken over by angels and vampires: This was a fascinating line.

    There seemed to be a lot of brainstorming in this piece, where you could have saved a lot of words to get to the point, or perhaps developing the story or characters, providing further social commentary on the state of the economy, for which you had plenty of space.

    Keep working on your voice and language, and your prose will become clearer.

    All Sales are Final
    astroannie

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 4
    Effect: 5
    Total: 14

    Maybe it had some good porn: That was funny.

    When I tried to plug it in, it didn't fit: Could have been shortened to something like: "It didn't fit the port." "When I tried to plug it in" seems cumbersome to me.

    The voice reminded me of Darth Vader without the respirator effect: So just James Earl Jones?

    Not the most epic consequence to stupidity, is it? The "be careful what you wish for" stories are entertaining because the wisher ends up with less, or even more miserable, than they started out. Shit, I could use another hundred right now.



    Big Teeth
    Charlaux

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 4
    Effect: 6
    Total: 15

    Since she’d become the princess of the land, Snowdaughter had become a real bitch: That was great timing--- after explaining Wilma's attempt to excuse Snowdaughter's remarks. I think it would have been funnier, though, if this were explained in narration instead of in thought, and perhaps had gone a bit into why her title had made her a bitch (just a sentence or two).

    “Your cakes are disgusting”: Another well-timed line.

    Funny little ending. I think there was room for even more comedy though, and smoother dialogue: sometimes the meanness seemed forced, even for a comedic piece.

    The Fifth Wife
    Zeynith

    Grammar: 4
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 4
    Total: 11

    The writing was smooth to open the story and easy to follow, but at times your language resembled the back of a movie box: lines like "it was time to see it to its conclusion." I can forgive an info-dump in a fairy tale, but there were little things that made the opening paragraphs feel like an advertisement to a story instead of a story.

    The wife's sister has a name but the wife is going to be "she" for the whole story?

    Seems she could have had her brothers pummel him earlier and save her the time and trouble.

    The story was not quite as easy to follow as its opening, and seemed clearly belonging to a longer work than 600 words. I would also have liked a stronger ending.

    Goldilocks and the Three Baers
    midnightpoet

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 4
    Effect: 6
    Total: 15

    This was very well structured.

    Of course, I knew who the perpetrator was going to be, but you let on at first only to the fact that she was female, building up slowly. Then you start to develop her in your own way. When I read that one of the bears suffered a burn I was like "Yes!" It was coming together very nice and I liked the closing line very much. Could there have been more? I think so. But what you had was solid.

    The Tower
    Anonymous

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 5
    Effect: 6
    Total: 16

    Silence. A chilled, terrified stillness. Everyone looked at he, the supervisor. The man in the tower. The boss: A great line.

    You capture atmosphere very well in this piece. All the details come together to show that you have experience in this type of setting, and the imagination to morph it into entertaining fiction. I have a feeling this style of prose is not your own, at least certain aspects of it, used only to breathe a voice into Unzl. It worked.

    Skytop Terrace, A subsidiary of Jack & Giant Companies, LLC
    J.J. Maxx

    Grammar: 4
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 5
    Total: 12

    “Down, mostly”: I think just "down" would have been funnier.

    The "where's my money" conversation, we've all seen before and I wasn't expecting to be as long as it was, even though it did tie in with the ending. With that in mind, I would have liked more background into what was going on between Jack and the giant: this seemed like the last scene to a good story. Maybe cut the conversation short, or work in more of the details between them. Most of the story was that one conversation which, as I've said, I've seen before.

    Allerednic
    M. Cull

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 5
    Effect: 7
    Total: 17

    lightless emptiness: Sometimes effect is in simplicity.

    Around the throne room stand my attendants, stiff and still as trees stripped by winter’s blasts, all staring at the ground: This is not simple, but still sounds a lot smoother than "lightless emptiness" and makes you look like a good writer, instead of one whose trying to look like a good writer.

    I like how you tie in an intriguing exposition with dialogue--- it's very well done.

    “Be silent.” I seethe, unsheathing my sword: "Be silent," I unsheathed my sword.

    “You are a headsman now, nothing more. Your days as ‘fairy godmother’ have ended.”: "Your days as fairy godmother have ended." This way, it sounds like he's talking to her and not to me. Maybe you could even leave out the "fairy" and just say "godmother." We'll find out all the details soon enough.

    the woman for whom I will break my son’s heart: the woman by whose death. "For" makes it sound like he's doing her a favor.

    Oh, but was this a good one.

    Powerful exposition and effective dialogue. A little overwriting here and there, and I'm not a fan of present tense narration, but I was loving this even before the clever application to Cinderella. I wanted to read more about Cinderella and why she was doing this, how the fairy godmother had gotten involved and who she was exactly, how Cinderella's stepfamily was involved. Of course, there is no room for all of that, but I would love for there to have been.

    This was brilliantly and powerfully told.

    The Big Good Wolf

    Anonymous

    Grammar: 4
    Voice: 4
    Effect: 6
    Total: 14

    Very well structured. I was sure they were going to end up in the pig's mansion, but wondered how if it wasn't built yet. The dialogue was excellent. This is something almost ready to become a children's book (I could almost see the pictures as we proceeded).

    My big problem... I would have liked more conflict at the end. It seemed too easy. I wanted to wolf to solve this problem.

    But it was a brick house of a story: solid and smooth, less the typo.

    The Legend of the moon
    Jorm Arcturus

    Grammar: 5
    Voice: 3
    Effect: 3
    Total: 11

    and yet also courteous and thoughtful: How bout just "yet"?

    The story was very synopsis-ish; I feel it was deserving of a smoother, more coherent and flowing narrative, which probably would have demanded a longer story. As it was, it felt empty: I couldn't hold on to anything, it was like an article explaining to me what happened just to inform me, not to make me feel any emotion.


    Guy's Scores:

    W. Goepner
    “Golden Fur “
    SPaG 3/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 12

    Ergh… I like the premise and love a good animal story, but this could use some polish.
    First off, the formatting was off with the inconsistent lines.

    I saw your post in the Coffee Shop regarding spelling and grammar. It does get a bit choppy and could use some proofreading. The voice tried to be fable-like but ended up becoming clunky at parts, which made getting into the story difficult.

    Anything underlined should be removed while brackets denote awkward wording, and anything within [] are corrections
    “Once the[re] was a young bear. As bears go[,] she was of average for her age, [her?] looks going from cub to adult...”
    “The one thing (which shown out) [stuck out?] as unusual was her fur…”
    “Golden Fur chose to not eat of the (grasses bounty) [bounty] and trekked around the field’s edge.”
    “Rounding a corner of the field, Golden Fur came upon the first building she (has seen) [saw before?]. It was surrounded by a barrier of the likes she (has never seen before) [never saw before?].” – there was a change in tense here
    “Her nose tol[d] her man and wolf's cousins came here often” – does it really matter that is a cousin of a wolf? Why not just wolf?
    “She kept herself hidden in the brush, staying quiet so as not to alert man and his wolfs to her presen[ce]”
    “She traveled further into the city, hiding now from the metal beast [that] man seemed to travel in”
    “she has ever seen” was used repetitively and is a bit awkward. There was a sense of the story being a fairy tale. However, it’s a tricky tone of voice to use, as it borders on either being fable-like (“she traveled on”) or amateurish (“she has ever seen”).

    Overall, it’s not a bad entry. It does have a fable-like feel to it. But be careful, approach this as you would for a submission to a publisher, and try having someone else proofread if you can.

    NathanBrazil
    “Wooden Boy “
    SPaG 4/5
    Tone 4/5
    Effect: 8
    Overall: 16

    This was a great entry with lush writing, good imagery, clean prose and smooth flow. Well done!
    I enjoy works regarding demons and loved the departure, but there barely enough “demon” to satiate my tastes.

    There were a small few nits:
    “The sawdust had taken the shape of a small wooden boy.” –sudden tense change. It may have been stronger to have linked it with the sentence prior with “as”, even if the sentence becomes lengthy.
    “but made a sound that granite rocks might make when rubbed together,” – might?

    There were a few grammar issues
    I’m [I] loathe to let it go.”
    “What were you thinking?[”] Giuseppe roared.
    “The blood [that] spil[t] to the floor was soaked up by the boy, who began to ripple and morph.” – tense change without the corrections

    I would’ve liked more hints towards the nature/background of the now demonologist Giuseppe and the boy made of sawdust. What made Giuseppe evil now, or at least, what life has he lead differently? A few more references and tie-ins to the classic wouldn’t hurt either.

    Overall, it was a strong entry and well-rounded story.

    inkwellness
    “All Beast, No Beauty“
    SPaG 4/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 13


    And here we have a strong, first entry from an up-and-comer. Nice to have you join us, inkwellness.

    There was some strong imagery and writing in here, though there were also bits of weaker prose.
    “He crept through the forest, popping twigs and leaving deep impressions.” – “impressions” sort of lingers… perhaps “impressions in the soft forest floor”?
    “A bloody snout no longer had need for a washing when care for the thought of the beholder was removed.” – bit wordy and clunky, perhaps something along the lines of, “His snout was bloody. What did he care what the others thought?”
    “She left without a word, and with her, she had taken hope and their love. With vital parts of him displaced, he was lost. Thus, he could not remember his name,” – the exposition sort of bottoms out here. Conceptually, it rings well, but it doesn’t flow off the page
    “Kettles and tea cups no longer danced around the halls; instead, they lay broken in dark, forgotten corners. He conceded to be what thetownsfolk had so cruelly labelled him: the beast.” – good solid prose and tie ins to the original

    “He stayed there, watching the wind push them in back and forth movements.” -clunky prose, perhaps “He stayed there, watching them sway back and forth in the wind”?
    “He remembered the mirror.” Did something prompt the mirror or was it spontaneous?
    The black sheep was kind of trite, but I did like the analogy of them dancing that calmed him down.

    Grammatically, there were a few issues:
    “They will be frozen in a last moment of muddled horror”, he whispered
    Thetownsfolk -> the townsfolk

    I’d be careful with overwriting, where one tries to be hyper-specific but ends up just cluttering the prose. Overall, however, it was a good tale. It had a strong ending and a consistent tone. Well done.

    Riptide
    “The First Little Red Riding Hood “
    SPaG 3/5
    Tone 4/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 13

    Hmm, the first Little Red Riding Hood, eh? Interesting, let’s see how it goes.

    “There's a river where a sour little man pouted on the shore. He was clad in green, with a chin or three, wondering [how] to jump and end it there.” –tense change
    “I'm damn Little Red Riding Hood!” – awkward phrasing
    “Leppy Chan” – who?
    “The fierce Dray Gone?” *slow clap*
    “I guess I have no choice.” Leppy followed, taking clumps of Red's fur as he stood so close.” – he didn’t put up much resistance… also… how is he taking clumps of the fox’s fur and why?
    “The scenery changed.” “Red was the diversion.” –that’s pretty rough story telling
    “Whoohaa!” he shouted before realizing his mistake.” – what mistake?

    Also, Red didn’t count the coins and confront Leppy before they parted?

    There were a few grammatical issues:
    “Leppy said, getting [up?] from his spot.”
    “Now[,] I'm nothing but old.”

    This feels like a rough draft. It also seems like you tried to cram a lot in your story and emphasized details that weren’t entirely necessary. You sort of skim through a lot without embellishing, giving the reader the sense of just being dragged along for the story. By cutting out unnecessary bits and focusing on key parts of the story, you can strengthen it significantly.

    joshybo
    SPaG 5/5
    Tone 4/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 15

    Here we have another fine entry from our beloved scribe of morbidity.

    I was enticed, expecting a trailer park remake given the opening dialogue. Ahh well… perhaps another day…

    The writing is clean and vivid and there’s not much I can point out to improve or strengthen prose-wise.

    Plot-wise, besides being antagonised by her stepsisters and stepmother, not a whole lot happens. I don’t know. There wasn’t a lot of “umph” here. I felt distant from her suffering and was waiting for insight, characterization or significance. I didn’t even get much of a sense of how cruel and indifferent her stepmother would be to her alienated stepchild.

    However, the tale encapsulates Cinderella’s sad state before the ball, and does so well.

    rcallaci
    “In the Heavens Above”
    SPaG 4/5
    Tone 4/5
    Effect: 8
    Overall: 16

    And here we have a short from our beloved rcallaci, beloved Patron to all. What is this? A short with Judeo-Christian themes? Count me in!

    Definitely has a reverential Biblical tone and is an interesting prologue/remake of the Christian Creator story. It gives a sense of depth behind the opening lines of Genesis. I particularly liked how you used the theme of a greater GOD creating a lesser one.

    There were some small, grammatical errors that were easy to miss:
    Once upon a time, when Time was still young [no comma] and the universe was not yet fully formed[,] a great kingdom called [“]Heaven[”] came into being.

    And a few nits:
    I’m not sure why you didn’t start off by describing the vast array of planets, stars and galaxies at the beginning and immediately went straight to Earth, where you describe the flora and landscape. If you kept the former and left out the latter, this short would’ve been a perfect prologue to Genesis.
    “It was as big or if not bigger than the universe itself, which is quite a paradox: if one was to think about such things in a metaphysical way.” – not to get into the nitty gritty, but I think if someone were to think of it with physics strictly, it would be a paradox. Metaphysical would allot for such discrepancies.

    Personally, it was very enjoyable. It reminds me of how sentient beings try to find connections to the inert world, like how we obsess over dolls or AI, and perhaps how we inherit such. Well done, sir.

    bazz cargo
    “Family Feud”
    SPaG 3.5/5
    Tone 4/5
    Effect: 6.5
    Overall: 14

    A high octane entry where Snow White is going on the offensive by kicking [email protected]# and taking names? Sweet…

    A few nits/thoughts:
    “wave of armour piercing rockets set to enter the softer rears.” – could use stronger terms here, like penetrating, exploded upon, etc… I guess it can all be taken lewdly, however…
    “A thousand of the best warriors the land could provide were trained specially for the assault.” – for which side?
    “Until then I will see what else I can get off Ebay.”- So it was all a video game? Or all of this war equipment was available on a bidding site?

    There were some grammar issues:
    “then sharpened the the other end” - repetition
    “The trees hid the[ir?] activity[.]”
    “Dwarf miners dug complicated underground warrens[.] [T]his was where they were putting down the line.”

    There was quite a bit more room, and I would’ve loved more characterization of the castle they attacked, the enemies themselves, a sense of overall plot cohesion and urgency in the battles they engaged in. I wanted to give this a higher score, but it all just happens so fast. It wetted the appetite and almost did not appease. Finally, there were a few chances that were missed to use references to the original work (e.g. directly using the Dwarves from the original), unfortunately.

    Still, it was an enjoyable ride. Thank you.

    Innerflame00
    “Fate”
    SPaG 4/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 7
    Overall: 14

    “Though he was only a lowly knight he knew it was his fate to rule at the side of the most beautiful woman in all the lands.”- Nobody settles for the girl-next-door anymore *shakes head*. Though I’m glad he comes to his senses later on.

    This was a well rounded piece that definitely has the hallmarks of a fairy tale. I had a few problems with it, however.


    “The elderly king, who was the only one Phillip trusted enough to show the sword, had seemed bolstered by the sight of it. That alone demonstrated that the sword would be advantage enough.” – This sticks out as trying to justify to the reader that he is worthy and was permitted to go on the quest. I don’t think it’s entirely necessary.

    Another problem is that it feels like I’m being jerked around. The second paragraph tells of a monster, then of his sword that specifically kills sorcerers. At that point, I’m wondering if he’s going to confront a sorcerer or if this to demonstrate how powerful the sword is? Later, we find out it’s a dragon, hence the monster references, to find out that it’s actually the sorcerer. Finally, it’s revealed that he killed the princess rather than the sorcerer. The reveals themselves are not bad, but it feels artificial, like you’re actively trying conceal, rather than unravel the onion to the reader. To make it stronger, perhaps you could remove the references to the sorcerer-killing sword, it all goes a lot smoother.

    There were a few grammar issues and a nit:
    “Despite the fact that the city was terribly lost without their princess[,] some even begged him not to go.”
    “… I have come to free you from this tower[,]” [h]e declared.
    “That the princess had red hair.” – he didn’t realize this when he saw the “sorcerer’s” body? Although, I like how you pointed out how we attribute evil with ugly.

    There were moments when the prose could have been concentrated:
    “He cautiously approached, but was relieved to find that the sorceress was dead. She had taken on the form of a dragon but could not keep that visage in death.”
    Could be changed to…
    “He cautiously approached, but was relieved to found that she was unable to keep her dragon visage in death.”
    Giving too much length to one section of the plot slows down the pace, halts immersion and just wastes space.

    Overall, not a bad story at all. Again, I didn’t mind the reveals and liked how you mixed up the classic “knight saved the princess” tale. I see much promise in your writing given that it is honed with practice and persistence.

    godofwine
    “The Three Pigs”
    SPaG 5/5
    Tone 3.5/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 14.5

    This short uses the prompt very well. Here you have a fairy tale in its native environment that is simply another variation of the original. Well done.

    “Porky, your house was made of kindling, and Wilbur, yours was made of straw. What the heck is wrong with you two? Do you remember how we lost mom and dad?” – nice bit of dialogue here. Really, who makes houses out of such shoddy materials?

    “My brothers may be, but I’m not afraid of you. Let me assure you of one thing: I am not my brothers.” – awkward phrasing that’s somewhat emotionally disjointed. Perhaps,
    “My brothers may have been afraid, but I’m not. I will not run like they did,”

    “His barrel chest expanded to a frighteningly immense girth that defied logic… Grasses tore from the earth. Flowers were uprooted from their beds. Leaves were ripped from the trees. Bushes were torn up and rolled away like giant tumbleweeds.” – these descriptions give off a sort of Bugs Bunny, cartoonish feel. Not sure if I agree with that choice or not.

    It’s a nice rendition of what the three pigs would have been like when the wolf finally approached the brick house. A few elements didn’t sit well with me, but overall, it was a good entry.

    Anonymous
    “Hansel and Gretel FTW”
    SPaG 4/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 7
    Overall: 14

    A sordid remake of H&G, well done. I especially liked the parallels between candy and drug use (troubling that there were a lot of cocaine references in this competition).

    “She rattled off a few meager curses, but couldn’t sufficiently focus through the pain to bring them down on Hansel.” – could you think of another term instead of sufficiently focus? It seems tonally inconsistent.
    “He tied her up and gagged her with her underwear. “ – now we enter a weird fetish land, whoopee
    “The pool of witch’s blood mixed purple with the red of their father’s.” – if I remember my high school art class, her blood is blue?
    “She bucked and screamed like an impotent dragon whose fire had run out” – not bad imagery

    There was one grammar nit:
    “What are you doing[?]” she shouted.

    Although I really liked the twist that the witch was their mother, why did Gretel help him drag the witch into the oven if she had any qualms about it? Also, it was over the top with violence towards the mother which bordered on torture. That space could’ve been used to remaking other details of the classic. I would’ve loved more references to and more bastardization of the original.

    TKent
    “The Curious Companionship of Carlo and Balo”
    SPaG 5/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 14.5

    And here we have our content media manager with her rendition of woman and vampire.
    Oh, right… before we start… *does secret team handshake and elbow bump*

    The writing is clean and the prose is smooth. It flows well and sequentially. Normally, the hook is the drama of the conflicting drives of love and visceral aggression of a vampire restraining himself from draining his woman. You appear to have gone down a different route, removing the borderline abusiveness out of the relationship that Twilight embellished. I must give you props for that. However, it still slows the pace quite a bit, which may or may not bode well with the readership. How would you replace it? I’m not entirely sure. There were not enough comedic or parody elements (though Rihanna and Eninem reference had me smirking) here to allow me to label this as satire-driven.

    Finally, there’s little characterization of the trio and falls into the trope of innocent woman ultimately falling prey to the ravenous vampire she’s in a relationship with.

    A few places where the prose could be tightened up;
    “He ordered several cases and offered to store it in the spare freezer at his sister Lucinda’s house. She wasn’t a vamp so it would be safe there.” - the last sentence sticks out a bit as overly explain-y. Perhaps,
    “He ordered several cases and offered to store it in the spare freezer at his sister Lucinda’s house. She was human and didn’t share in her brother’s tastes.
    “Carla soon noticed that Balo had a tendency to overindulge on blood sometimes and was pleased when he cut back to two cups a night at her urging. He was obviously committed to making the relationship work.” - the final sentence pokes out, perhaps;
    “Carla soon noticed that Balo had a tendency to overindulge on blood sometimes but was pleased when he cut back to two cups a night to show her how committed he was to making the relationship work.”

    It’s an interesting rendition of the modern classic that has its own merits. I’m very interested to see if it would catch on with the modern vampire readership after all these years.

    BurntMason84
    “Guy Who Cried Wolfe”
    SPaG 4/5

    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 7.5
    Overall: 14.5

    Drugs, deals and prostitutes? I’m not a fan of biographical work without my permission, Mr Mason.
    I jest. It was a quick, well presented, scuzzy remake of the original. Well done.

    There were a few nits:
    “they might have thought he was the human equivalent of the common weasel” – would’ve liked this analogy if my name wasn’t in the prior sentence
    “Still, he was the only person to have bought drinks for all the patrons in a number of years, and that made him something worthwhile.” – being a cesspool of scumbags, I’m surprised they didn’t try to take advantage of his generosity
    “Maybe he could afford the good beer after this deal, the pick of the litter of all the imports.” – Cuban cigars, women, stacks of money, the finest cut of cocaine, but all he thinks about is a good import? Yesh…
    “Guy wondered how everyone left so quickly, not catching the flash before Wolfe’s brass knuckles caught Guy’s temple.” – would be cleaner if it were just “caught his temple”

    It was a fun, slick story about some hapless lowlife. The bar scene was a bit too chummy, and I would’ve liked to see conflict and muscling. Also, having him share a name with one of the judges is not a good way of trying to gain favour. It would’ve been better if you named him “Mann”.

    Meteli
    “Get Rich Wish”
    SPaG 3/5

    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 12

    Not to be rude, but I suspect that English is not your first language?

    The prose could be awkward at times:
    “He kept being young because he held a demon in a little wooden box, and as long as he held the box with him all times, he did not age.” – bit too explain-y and wordy. Perhaps,
    “He did not age as long as he held a small wooden box containing a demon at all times.”
    “The demon was all business” – “the demon went down to business”

    “But one day he rode a biker over, and because he did not wear seatbelt he flew out of the window.”
    “One is not enough, but you only need maybe 120 and it will work for you.” – 120 wives? How many rich women like marrying money-sucking men, even if they are attractive?

    There were some spelling and grammar issues:
    ”Just tell me the numbers for this week[‘]s lotto.”
    “That would not make you permanently rich with your habits[.] [Y]ou’ll need a[n] [i]nexhaustible supply of monetary gain”
    “The demon sighted [sighed] [.] [H]e was getting bored with the game.”

    There were some good elements here, like a demon in a box, how the demon was like a businessman. It was difficult to figure out what exactly the ending was getting at. The demon sent out clones to do jobs for the man in order to give the man money?

    Another language, especially English, is difficult to master. While you have good spelling and reasonable grammar, the phrasing was awkward at times. If you need help, feel free to post works on the forum, and the mentors will be sure to help you in detail. Elvenswordsmith is our resident ESL mentor. Please message him if you have any specific issues.

    astroannie
    “All Sale are Final”
    SPaG 4/5

    Tone 4/5
    Effect: 7.5
    Overall: 15.5

    A nice, clean remake of the genie-in-a-bottle classic. Well done.

    “Maybe it had some good porn.” – great one liner
    “What the FUCK!?!” - modern techie, meet supernatural wish maker. Techie. Genie.

    I loved the urban fantasy sort of what the heck is happening atmosphere, but the ending threw me off. It was mildly anticlimactic (“oh well, that’s life!”). Given how reactive he was when he met the Genie, it may have been stronger to have had him (or her) exclaim as the Powerball numbers rolled in, throwing something, hitting something, before finally being grateful that at least it was 100 bucks.

    You may have wished to cut out certain explanations, like how he’s receiving the numbers of what technical details of the jackpot since the reader could probably fill that in e.g.,
    “The site with the ticket image also had the URL where the live drawing was Webcast”
    “the current annuitized jackpot…”
    Also, why would he or she ask for a Powerball, specifically, if he had no idea about the prizes or what a ticket looked like, as opposed to another lottery?

    There was one grammar error:
    “I don’t need a day,” I said, suddenly certain [of] what I would wish for.”

    It was a nice revision of the bad-wish-Genie in a modern setting. The ending didn’t sit well with me, but I liked how it didn’t completely fall into the trope of a bad wish. The piece was well written, overall, and had a good flow and set up.

    Charlaux
    “Big Teeth”
    SPaG 4/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6.5
    Overall: 13.5

    Hmm… this piece felt like it drew inspiration from a few different fairy tales.

    “Since she’d become the princess of the land, Snowdaughter had become a real bitch,” – putting it lightly, I see

    “Wilma decided to try to forget it. Snowdaughter was young.” – nooooo! You gotta correct poor behaviour early or else it gets worse

    “As she'd licked her teeth again she cut her tongue. The blood tasted like the honey Snowdaughter hadn’t brought. Sweet.” –that’s a strange masochistic tendency to suddenly put in here

    “So Wilma pounced and locked Snowdaughter in a cupboard until she was sufficiently sorry and vowed to be more polite in the future.” – about time. I was waiting for Wilma to find her inner fire and discipline the brat

    There was one grammar issue:
    “Finally[,] Wilma decided that she’d had enough.”

    As much as it had elements of a fairy tale, it also felt a bit too… real… at times. Snowdaughter sounds like a composite of a little bratty kid and a prissy teen/young adult while Wilma seems like the type of parent who’s far too unwilling to face her own offspring. The ending just seems like an ideal that is hoped for but hasn’t been met.

    Besides the ending, the tone was strong in this piece. It went for a fairy tale-esque voice and succeeded, for the most part. Well done.

    Zeynith
    “The Fifth Wife”
    SPaG 4/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 13

    “…there lived a powerful lord called Bluebeard” – Bluebeard, eh? ARRRGGHH… Argh?
    Little did Bluebeard know, his new wife wasn’t what she seemed.” – “telling” us a bit too much. Better to have cut this out and let her actions speak for her.

    …spent large quantities of money on clothes and jewels” – “spent much money on clothes and jewellery”

    “As Bluebeard raised his blade to strike two men burst in[.] [S]he smiled recognizing her brothers” – bit wordy, perhaps
    “As Bluebeard raised his blade she smiled as her two brothers burst in.”

    Seeing their sister in peril they attacked, running Bluebeard through.” – this is a disjointed sentence. Also, it might have been stronger that it would be part of the plan that they would have dispatched Bluebeard.

    There were a few grammar errors:
    “But [her] gluttony and debauchery paled in comparison to her true crimes…”
    “All [that] your greed has gained you is death!”

    There’s a lot of tension around a key that leaves a few questions. Why would he need the key back immediately? Was it that important? What exactly was it for? Why didn’t he just demand that she give it back immediately since (to him) it would be such a small issue?

    There were a few key elements that were hastily introduced such as the closet with skeletons or even the brothers (who are not full described despite playing a large role at the end).

    I’m not sure about the tone. At first, it comes off as fairy tale-like, but then the prose has a few clunky moments, which really weakens the strength of the voice. Overall, however, it has some good elements, a decent spin at the end. Good work.

    midnightpoet
    “Goldilocks and the Three Baers”
    SPaG 5/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 7
    Overall: 15

    Hehehehe… superimposing a fairy tale onto a cop drama… well done. Very tongue in cheek.
    The voice was clean and there was enough cop jargon to make it seem like a true detective story.

    There were a few nits, however:
    “crawled under the plastic tape” – crawled?

    Papa Baer’s questioning just seemed like a long blurb, rather than the utterings of a man concerned for his family. Injecting a few pauses or motions would help his pacing.

    Frank? Where are you Frank? He’s not really utilized in the story. Neither is Charlene for that matter. If she weren’t talkative after taking one in the shoulder, that would be understandable, but it needs to be explicitly mentioned.

    I liked the ending, though would’ve liked to have gotten more from Goldilocks. Was there bad blood between her and the Baers? Did it revolve somewhat around porridge? Introducing this sort of layer would really have tied it all up.

    Overall, it was a good twist to an original. Very enjoyable.

    Anonymous
    “The Tower”
    SPaG 4.5/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 13.5

    Hmm…

    It’s a light rendition of Rapunzel, should she actually be a middle aged man assigned to be a supervisor in a modern office.

    A few nits:
    “He’d never actually learned her name, so [he was] never actually been able to tell her that was wrong.”
    “screwed it into a ball…” – crinkled?
    “Which – wrongly in so many ways – it hit.” – yeah, my supervisor doesn’t let me throw things at his head either.

    It’s like this piece is catered to an English office audience who would really grasp/relate to the nuances presented here. I can recognize that it probably has themes that hold significance and meaning to that audience, but I just can’t tune in. Without the Rapunzel tie in, the story itself is just about a man who’s unwilling to uphold his responsibilities or let himself be accessible to those below. While that’s somewhat appealing, for some reason, I don’t think those elements are really emphasized here. It doesn’t feel like a whole lot has happened.
    Overall, the voice is accessible and it’s well crafted. I can see what it’s going for, but it’s also just a tone out of tastes (don’t fret, I marked as if it were).

    J.J. Maxx
    “Skytop Terrace, a Subsidiary of Jack and the Giant Companies”
    SPaG 4/5

    Tone 4/5
    Effect: 7.5
    Overall: 15.5

    It was a nice clean entry that did an excellent job in fusing business lingo (which was somewhat stereotypical) and the classic tale. Enjoyable, very enjoyable.

    The writing is clean with small references to a larger world, though there were a few questions left unanswered, like how he managed to bed Lydia, especially if Giant and his wife were really giants.

    There was one grammar nit;
    “Hey[,] the construction guys weren’t up here this morning.”

    There’s not much more to state. I think a few more references to the original would’ve made this shine, perhaps the goose with the golden eggs, how exactly the beanstalk was cut down (perhaps ironically with Giant’s machinery).

    M. Cull
    “Allerednic”
    SPaG 4/5
    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 13

    It was an imaginative fantasy remake of Cinderella. There were a lot of good themes, but it feels like they weren’t given enough room to breathe.

    There were some nits:
    “I say, then open my eyes, bloodshot and rimmed by hard lines.” – this is a bit awkward… like he’s able to see and comment about his own appearance

    “I won’t be satisfied, headsman, until you’ve beheaded every last accomplice in your plot to destroy my kingdom.” – but not her? She’s the one who orchestrated the entire thing.

    “No one ever wins, though. In this game we play, there are only losers and the dead. Nothing more.” – very Martin-esque

    “It flashes like a magician’s trick, then is obliterated as iron-fisted resolve crashes down.” – he’s giving an analogy to the emotions within his own head. I’m not sure if I agree with this notion.

    “and the fire so obviously burning within her heightens the effect.” – description sort of breaks down here. You’re telling the reader how to interpret it rather than let it play out in their own mind.

    A lot of things are referenced, but not really expounded upon, like the fairy god mother who becomes death, then his personal executioner sort. What sort of plot did she seed? How did it fail? Why is he letting her off the hook like this?

    There’s a lot going on, but it seems crammed in together with a lot of things introduced with each paragraph. Not everything is tied together and it feels like it could use more space. The prose had some great, good and bad moments, and I could also see the influence of George R.R. Martin in your work a bit too clearly.

    Anonymous
    “The Big Good Wolf”
    SPaG 4/5

    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6.5
    Overall: 13.5

    This is a neat little entry.
    Though it has a child’s story like tone, it does have a few elements that are stretched a bit too far. Talking, sentient animals, a wolf that can swing axes and climb/perch on trees, a squirrel that can kick away logs. One’s disbelief can only be suspended so much, Mr. Anonymous.

    Characterization was minimal, with each animal putting a sudden trust that the Wolf would be able to find them homes/passively accepting the ones he found.
    It was interesting that the eagle and squirrel knew scientific terminologies for one another. However, are squirrels murine? I don’t think there are, though they are rodents.

    There were a few grammar issues:
    “Oh? I’m sorry,” ,the Wolf said…” –errant comma before the Wolf
    “your new home. Let’s got check it out.” – let’s go check it out
    “There; your new home.” – colon instead of semicolon

    The ending just sort of happens suddenly, to a mixed effect.

    Still, it was a neat story. With some work, perhaps it could become a child’s book.

    Jorm Arcturus
    “The legend of the moon”
    SPaG 4/5

    Tone 3/5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 13

    This piece has flowery prose of a fairy tale inspired from a good deal of imagination. However, the prose occasionally misses. Some of the paragraphs were winding and jumbled. My suggestion would be to try to aim for flow and clarity before trying to go for conciseness.

    “Long before our time, in the days before the sun followed the moon in their endless dance,” – good imagery here
    “in an age where magic and wonder and evil in equal measures filled the land” – “equal measures” sort of juts out
    “… twins were given to a lowly woman, [the] wife of a woodcutter…” – this sentence alone is mildly confusing. Were all twins given to a woman of low rank, or are you bringing up a specific pair of twins here?
    “The land itself murmured quietly, whispering of their future greatness, for of all the spirits, the earth is the wisest. (And) the sun [itself?] said nothing…” – might want to remove the “and” in there, and to differentiate the sun and the land, you might want to throw an “itself” on there
    “Mera, whose hair was pure onyx,” - literally or figuratively?
    “And when the midwife delivered them to her, their mother wept, for she felt a shadow would seek to divide them,” -no need to start with “and”
    “As they grew, their mother could be seen watching them play” – winded way of saying “the mother watched them play”
    “and her features would bear sadness,” – but always appeared sad
    “but none who saw this could say why.” – to the wonderment of the others

    “Mera was stalwart and reserved, kind and strong, but her ire was great when roused.” – not bad characterization here
    “In the same token,” – rough transition
    “And the shadows deepened.” – awkward phrasing and sentence structure

    “…and wept as she had on their birth day” – yesh, she cries a lot in this, doesn’t she?
    “… they had for each other in coils of shadow.” – mild repetition

    There were interesting elements like consulting the spirits and the elements. However, the ending is sudden and sort of just banishes Gerra. I wonder what he thought becoming a celestial body all of a sudden. As for the mother, she’s very much a weeping maiden in all of this and doesn’t get as much characterization as the other characters.


    Amsawtell's Scores:

    Golden Fur
    W. Goepner
    SPaG: 2.5/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 5/10
    Overall: 11.5/20

    “Once the was a young bear . . .”
    Once there was a young bear.

    “Her fur was so unusual that she could not find a mate, none of the great bears in her woods would acknowledge her for her fur . . .”
    This can be reworded to flow better and save on word count. It’s redundant and a comma splice.

    “Golden Fer remembered seeing some of the metal birds flying above her woods . . .”
    Golden Fur

    “She traveled further into the city, hiding now from the metal beast man seemed to travel in . . .”
    Another comma splice. A semi-colon would hold these together better.

    “Her nose tole her man and wolf's cousins came here often . . .”
    Her nose told . . .

    “She kept herself hidden in the brush, staying quiet so as not to alert man and his wolfs to her presents . . .”
    . . . and his wolves to her presence.

    The story is concise, follows a recognizable plotline, and has the right tone for the story being told. I do not recognize the fairy tale this is based on and personally have some issue with the poor bear being happy in captivity. This is a good story and kept my interest. With a bit of polish this could be even better.

    Wooden Boy
    NathanBrazil
    SPaG: 3/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 14/20

    This has a nice creepy feel to it. The pacing is a little off in the dialogue in places—the most obvious is below.

    But rumors spread throughout the small villa . . .”
    A villa is a singular dwelling, not a collection of dwellings.

    “You’ve never been anything but a dabbler, old man but you’re right . . .”
    . . . but a dabbler, old man, but you’re right. . .”
    There needs to be a comma at the end of “old man” as it’s an insertion into the sentence.

    All Beast, No Beauty
    inkwellness
    SPaG: 3/5
    Tone: 3/5
    Effect: 6/10
    Overall: 12/20

    “He crept through the forest, popping twigs and leaving deep impressions.The night was his . . .”
    There’s a space missing between these sentences.

    “He conceded to be what thetownsfolk had so cruelly labelled him: the beast . . .”
    There are spaces missing here. I also think that we can actually drop this whole line and actually show that he’s become a beast.

    “One whose taste mattered less than the satisfaction of its taking . . .”
    This is a sentence fragment. I think this could be re-worded and changed to make it more coherent.

    I have issue with the one-word sentence fragments sprinkled through the story. They slow the pace down instead of serving their intended purpose of emphasis. They also give the story a redundancy that doesn’t particularly suit my tastes. This isn’t a bad version of this story and I think it’s suitable for what would actually have happened had Belle left Beast.

    The First Little Red Riding Hood
    Riptide
    SPaG: 3/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 5/10
    Overall: 13/20

    “Leppy held a thumbs up and tiptoed around back . . .”
    Leppy held a thumb up . . .

    “He grasped the handle of the basket , a grin playing on his lips . . .”
    He grasped the handle of the basket, a grin . . .
    There’s an odd space between “basket” and the comma.

    The dialogue is well done, the pacing is quick, and overall the story is fun to read. I’m just confused over the ending and, sometimes, who is speaking. Otherwise I think this was fun and interesting.

    Well Past Midnight
    Joshybo
    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 8/10
    Overall: 18/20

    Out of all the entries this one made me the saddest and this is probably the most honest. The writing is tight, the characterization is tight, and the tone is perfect for the story.

    Fate
    Innerflame00
    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 16/20

    Poor dragon-princess. I like this twist on “princess trapped in the tower.” I think that there could have been a more terrifying moment of reveal for the monster but I’m not sure how you could achieve that. There’s a distance in the tone of the story that made it difficult to empathize with any of the characters.

    The Three Pigs
    Godofwine
    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 17/20

    I’m not so sure about reusing these names for the three pigs. I get what you were doing I just don’t know enough about copyright and names. Otherwise, I think this was fairly funny (the mental image of the wolf expanding like a balloon was particularly funny).

    The Curious Companionship of Carla and Balo
    TKent
    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 5/10
    Overall: 15/20

    I can’t place the specific fairy tale this is based upon but as a story warning that a monster will always be a monster—well, this works. As a relationship story I’m not sure this works—there’s just not enough characterization of any of the three involved. I think this would work much better as a longer story.

    Get Rich Wish
    Meteli
    SPaG: 2/5
    Tone: 3/5
    Effect: 4/10
    Overall: 9/20

    I’m not sure that ending works for me—it’s not as humorous as it should be and it’s too sudden to work. The tone for this is good but it’s not original. I wish the humor was more prevalent. The spelling and grammar is the weak point for this story and pulls the whole thing down with it. On the good side, I love the demon. He has great personification and is a great character.

    ”I want to be get rich!”
    I want to get rich OR I want to be rich.

    ”Just tell me the numbers for this weeks lotto.”
    . . . week’s lotto.
    Possessives almost always get an apostrophe.

    “ . . . you’ll need a unexhaustible . . .”
    “ . . . you’ll need an inexhaustible . . .”
    I could have let this pass if the biker had been speaking but not the demon. He strikes me as being very meticulous.

    “The demon sighted, he was getting bored with the game.”
    The demon sighed . . .

    “ . . . successfull field and live through your patents licenses.”
    “. . . successful field and live through your patents licenses.”
    There are two instances of the word successful being misspelled; at least you’re consistent. Also, there should be an apostrophe at the end of patents as it is plural and possessive.

    “ . . . some well paid job?”
    . . . some well-paid job . . .
    Well-paid is usually hyphenated.

    “So that is why the jobmarket is so screwed up right now.”
    Job market is two words and needs a space between them.

    Big Teeth
    Charlaux

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 5/10
    Overall: 13/20

    It eats up your word count and ruins the effect of the ending to end this with “The End.” This also reads as though you were pulling your punches. I think if you’d have let go and let Wilma eat Snowdaughter this would have had a stronger impact and the storyline would have been less confusing. There are also tense issues that further muddle the story.

    I like what is implied between Wilma and Snowdaughter. I think it could be a really creepy (and funny) story with some re-wording.

    “Next time, I’ll bring a basket of mum’s specialapples.”
    There needs to be a space between special and apples.

    The Fifth Wife
    Zeynith
    SPaG: 2.5/5
    Tone: 3/5
    Effect: 5/10
    Overall: 11/20

    I like the twist you’ve given Bluebeard and his fifth wife. There were some issues with the tone in that I think it could have been more consistent. I felt that the language was too modern for the apparent setting. I don’t have the time to dig through and find all of the weird comma errors and offer solutions but below are some of the larger grammatical errors I noticed. Cleaning up the commas will help improve the tone and flow of the story as well. I also think that dropping “She’d won” from the ending would have strengthened the story. We know from her smile at the end that she’d won.

    “He’d married many times, each wife young pretty and noble . . .”
    He’d married many times, each wife young, pretty, and noble . . .
    There needs to be commas in these lists. In fact, the entirety of your story needs combed through for extraneous commas and missing commas. Earlier in the same paragraph while listing Bluebeard’s attributes you’ve used the Oxford comma but then in this list the commas are missing entirely. There are so many commas in this one paragraph that my eyes are aching.

    ““Just surprised, Darling, I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow,” she smiled, giving Bluebeard a kiss.”
    End the spoken sentence with a period instead of a comma when you’re giving an action instead of a dialogue tag.

    “ . . . finally learning his wives true fate . . .”
    . . . finally learning his wives true fate . . .”
    While wives is plural it isn’t possessive—there needs to be an apostrophe at the end of wives.

    The Tower
    By Anonymous

    SPaG: 3/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 14/20

    I had to read this one a couple of times to really get the humor in it. The more I read it the more I found to enjoy so well done. I did have trouble reconciling Mr. Unzl’s change in heart with his character but in the end, with the word limit I think you did it very well.

    “. . . then conspicuously focussed back on his work.”
    Focused

    “Everyone looked at he, the supervisor.”
    Everyone looked at him . . .

    “. . . covered in scrumpled sheets of A4 on the floor.”
    I almost didn’t point this one out because, while it isn’t a word, I like it. Should it be crumpled instead—I’ll leave that up to you.

    Skytop Terrace, a Subsidiary of Jack & Giant Companies, LLC
    by J. J. Maxx
    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 8/10
    Overall: 18/20

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who identified with the poor giant in this story—I always felt he got screwed over by Jack. What grammatical errors exist are purposeful and dialectic, the tone is top-notch for this story, and I was quite amused overall. Great job.

    The Big Good Wolf 646 words
    By Anonymous
    SPaG: 3/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 14/20

    There are a few places where the language level suddenly elevates (sciurus scather, murine friend)which threw me. Overall I like this story but would have preferred seeing something with more character development in the wolf.

    ““I’m cutting up this tree,” said the Wolf to the sciurus scather”
    There’s a period missing at the end of this sentence.

    ““Oh? I’m sorry,” ,the Wolf said, “I can find you a new one in no time.””
    There’s an extra comma.

    In the Heavens Above
    RCallaci
    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 6/10
    Overall: 14/20

    I’m not particularly sure that I like the idea of the feminine divine being turned into Lucifer. This became an interesting discussion of metaphysics with a cheap laugh at the end. Not the best work I’ve seen you produce.

    “ . . . unformed and forever growing.”God was stunned . . .”
    There’s a space missing between growing and God.

    Family Feud
    Bazz Cargo
    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 15/20

    I like how light and flippant Snow comes across. This is a girl who knows what she wants and feels she deserves it. The characters are strongly depicted and are interesting. I enjoyed how you played with common fairy-tales to give us something new.

    “ . . . then sharpened the the other end, stacks and stacks they made. Dwarf miners dug complicated underground warrens, this was where they were putting down the line. . .”
    There’s an extra “the” in the first sentence here. I also believe that the comma can be replaced by a colon.


    Hansel and Gretel FTW
    By Anonymous
    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 5/10
    Overall: 11/20

    Um, eww. This doesn’t really sit well with me but that’s a personal thing. This is certainly unique and hard-driving. However, I can’t personally identify with the characters and the plot leaves me cold.

    There are a lot of ”then”s to deal with. Most can be cut to heighten the action. (For some reason I’m always reminded of that scene in “Dude, Where’s My Car?”—“And then?” “No and then!”)

    Guy Who Cried Wolfe
    BurntMason84
    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 8/10
    Overall: 16/20

    Surprising turn on this story. I wouldn’t have thought to turn it into a gangster story. I like how you were able to retain the morality of the story as well.

    I’m not counting off for the missing space between paragraphs at the beginning as that is a common mistake on the forums and if this weren’t on the forums I’m sure it would be indented . . .right?

    “Another 10 minutes . . .”
    This is a personal thing but I’ve always preferred seeing numbers from one to twenty spelled out. I’m not counting you down for this but I wanted to point it out. If you follow the Chicago Style then this isn’t wrong.

    ““The deals off, Guy.” Manning replied without hesitation.”
    Deals in this instance is a contraction of “deal is” which means there needs to be an apostrophe.

    All Sales are Final
    AstroAnnie
    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 16/20

    The IT detail is staggering, Annie. I’m just a little disappointed in how dry the narrative is.

    Goldilocks and the Three Baers
    MidnightPoet
    SPaG: 3/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 8/10
    Overall: 16/20

    Baby’s right—that is a strange thing to say.

    “ . . . known for it’s hearty breakfasts.”
    “It’s” in this instance is possessive—not a contraction. There is no need for an apostrophe.

    “ . . . one or our most popular dishes.”
    . . . one of our most popular dishes.

    Allerednic
    M. Cull
    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10
    Overall: 16/20

    I like the characterization given of these typically one-dimensional characters. The story told here is different and I’m not sure that the narrator is a trustworthy narrator which actually gave this a higher tone rating than I would have given this normally. The major issue I have with this story is that (understandably) it’s too short of the world built here. There’s more of a story here that I really wish I’d been able to read.

    The legend of the moon
    Jorm Arcturus
    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 6/10
    Overall: 14/20

    I liked the general atmosphere of this story. It felt ethereal and (the beginning especially) felt like the start of an epic fantasy.

    While this feels like a legend and has the basic ideas of one this is missing something. It’s lacking any real character development. If the beginning had been shorter and the setting condensed there would have been more room for developing the twin girls (who are the real focus of the story). I’m also disappointed in how these two characters are reduced to fighting over a man. This could have been an interesting story about sibling rivalry if there had been something other than a romantic interest coming between them.

    There’s an awful lot of commas in the opening paragraph.


    Bruno's Scores:

    Golden Fur
    by W.Goepner

    SPaG: 3
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 7
    Overall: 15

    Not bad. I love the interpretation of Goldilocks from a blonde, ditsy girl into a graceful specimen of ursine beauty. It's a clever twist on the classic tale.

    There's some interesting stuff going on, conceptually. The fact Golden Fur is not accepted among her brethren for having a different coloured pelt inspires thoughts of prejudice in our own kingdom, and the difficulties that come with that. It wasn't a serious social study of course, but I appreciated that sub-layer, and Golden's journey to find this connection with her kindred spirit. Simple, yet sweet – I was cheering for her!

    I also like the way the narration shifts from general fairytale style, to Golden's not-quite-right descriptions regarding the human way of life, e.g: "In one she saw the biggest metal bird she has ever seen. Golden Fer remembered seeing some of the metal birds flying above her woods." It changed things up, although I had some trouble picturing these 'barriers' that are mentioned. That's a relatively vague word, to me, so the imagination was taxed in different ways, good and bad.

    I agree this is your best work. The same SPaG issues are present – perhaps less so than usual, here – but I didn't find them too bothersome, and the story found its natural pace fairly early, making those little errors easier to overlook. The more simplistic style you went for eased things even further, and I'd encourage you to stick with that.

    Thanks for the read, and good luck.

    *

    Wooden Boy
    by NathanBrazil

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 7.5
    Overall: 17.5

    Oh, how I love dark twists on classic tales. I simply couldn't get enough of the evil incantations, baroque imagery (gargoyles), and the demonic traits our dear Pinocchio possessed in this. The way he spins his head 'round, Exorcist style, and absorbs Guiseppe's blood . . . super creepy, yet so awesome. This would make a great short film, truly.

    I love your descriptions. They're concise and evocative – I had no trouble picturing anything at any point, whether Guiseppe's hair, his furniture, etc. It's all simple and effective.

    It was a touch short, for me. The premise is great, and the story beats also, but some of it poked its head out, then faded instantly, such as the Stromboli-esque character wishing to obtain the wooden boy. You covered a lot of ground in 650 words, which – depending on content – can have one of two effects: make the reader yearn for something more, and feel unsatiated; or form a quickly-paced, easy-to-read story that jumps nicely from point to point. I feel this was somewhere between, if that makes sense. I wished for more in some spots, but felt very satisfied in others, and overall.

    I would have loved a darker scene involving the classic nose-growing. He could've lied on purpose as a weapon!

    In short: very cool story. Nice to have you back, too – I remember liking your work, way back when.

    Thanks for the read!

    *

    All Beast, No Beauty
    by Inkwellness

    SPaG: 4.5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 8.5
    Overall: 18

    Wow. Very good indeed. I think you captured the Beast perfectly – his animalistic and human tendencies, mixed together in a realistic way. The primal sniffing of flesh, and circling of prey, jumbled with the emotional swells that we all suffer, and the longing of love. In 650 words, that's impressive. Excellent stuff.

    I've always been a huge fan of the original story, being a bit of a beast myself, so I was more than ready to rip into this with my critical eye on full alert. Outside of some purple-tinged wording and minor SPaG errors, that was an unnecessary precaution! I found the pacing to be spot on, and the alternative playing out of the story an intriguing and plausible one.

    I truly sympathized with Beast, reduced to the husk of himself he always feared so much – loveless, and without reason. 'Tis a tragedy, to imagine him wandering the woods of his kingdom, searching for his one and only love.

    I enjoy your style very much. Mild purpleness aside, it's simple, descriptive, well-rounded, and a worthy exploration of the already classic tale. Well done, sir.

    *

    The First Little Red Riding Hood
    by Riptide

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 16

    I enjoyed the little relationship between Leppy and Red. It has all the pinnings of a memorable one: humour, harshness, and reluctance. I laughed at how quickly things got underway, and how Leppy's cowardice/stupidity never faltered.

    Dray Gone (awesome name) had no real presence for me, sadly. The wolf is, and always will be, the most interesting element of this classic, and I fear his intimidating aspects weren't as prominent as one would like. Being the main villain, and everything else in the story leading up to that one altercation, it failed to gain its footing, and sort of fizzled out in a disappointing way. Disappointing not because it's bad, but because of how much I was enjoying it until that scene. We have yellow eyes and hot breath, and a couple lines of dialogue; it was key to make the most of them, or perhaps pull away from our main characters a little and give Dray some real fire.

    An expansion of this would certainly negate that one niggle, I'm sure. I'd love to see you extend your ideas into a larger piece, with more rounded edges and fuller faces, so to speak.

    The fact is, I enjoyed it. You write well, no doubt – the fairytale vibe came through, with its own modern twist in there. The characters' names were a bit mad, too, which I liked.

    Yes, I guess there's not much more to say. The journey is short, and needs bolstering, but what is there I enjoyed, and the good overpowers the not-so-good with ease. I foresee many adventures with Leppy and Red, somehow... I hope!

    Thanks for the read.

    *

    Well Past Midnight
    by Joshybo

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 4
    Effect: 6.5
    Overall: 15.5

    Nicely written. No embellishment or fancified nonsense; just brutal simplicity, and shameless torture of a classic character. I both giggled and cringed at this display of evil.

    Older versions of Cinderella are dark enough on their own – I recall one where the sisters cut off their toes to fit into the slipper – but I enjoyed your more modern version of that darkness. It certainly was ruthless, and potentially shocking to more innocent readers. Nothing incredibly thought-provoking, but evocative in its own way.

    The scene reminded me most of a variant of Snow White, where the Queen is forced to dance to death wearing white-hot iron boots. So, while I 'enjoyed' the scene, I kept thinking of that story, and comparing them to one another. That's not your fault, but it didn't pack as much punch as it may have otherwise, which is a shame.

    Outside of the main scene, Cinderella is basically the same innocent person she always is. I found that somewhat tiresome, having seen so many versions and interpretations. On top of that, what's happening to her almost came across like torture porn in response, with no fight or vigour or reason, just . . . hate. That's not necessarily a negative, but I like multiple edges to such horror, otherwise it feels pointless. Not every cloud has a silver lining, of course; I'm not blind to coldness being simply cold. I know I don't like it, though.

    The writing is the best thing about it, and outside of some overly long dialogue tags, it served the content very well.

    So, nothing barn-stormingly original or taxing, but competent, and definitely worth a read. I both wanted and expected more from it, certainly, however – on its own merits – it's more than decent.

    Thanks for the read, sir.

    *

    In the Heavens Above
    by Rcallaci

    SPaG: 3.5
    Tone and Voice: 4
    Effect: 7.5
    Overall: 15

    There's a wild, liquidy looseness to your writing that I find infectiously likable. It seems to follow no traditional path and yet holds the eye easily. You certainly have a unique approach, and I always appreciate that.

    I like how you referred to God as 'It' and not 'He'. That's a nice change. It amends an issue I've always had with certain texts. The capitalization was a bit strong, mind. I get the intention, but it's lost after so much hammering.

    In short: I like the cut of your jib. Perhaps you should rewrite the whole bible? I'd read it! It's a more reasoned view of the creation story, in a way – more modern – such as your accurate dates about the universe's origin, for example. Nice touches.

    Regarding Revelations as a fairytale made me chuckle, I must say. (Am I a bad person?) You transposed the text into that style quite well. I enjoyed your retelling of the ultimate intro more, because of that. I prefer your version, no doubt; cuts a lot of the outdated information, and treats it more artistically.

    The ending's bonkers. God falling in love with Lucifer (Lucy) is an idea which should not be placed into an innocent mind such as my own, and yet it made me giggle. You're a colourful character, you know that? Never change. Only you could have thought of that twist – I'm convinced of it.

    It did fizzle somewhat, though. I felt a much larger idea looming behind the words which never came into being. The word count strangled it a little, I fear; an expansion would amend that.

    -

    Technically speaking, your use of punctuation is unusual. Not quite 'wrong', per se, but it does the pacing no favours. I stopped and stalled often, which is a strong pet peeve of mine with fiction. A simpler approach is preferable to me.

    Rounding things off: I always enjoy your work. Ambiguous as it can be in terms of ideas and their intonation, I love digging into it. It's like delicious homework.

    Thanks for the read, sir. I hope you enter many more competitions to come! You're a breath of fresh air.

    *

    Family Feud
    by Bazz Cargo

    SPaG: 3.5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 7
    Overall: 15.5

    A smile-worthy mish-mash of nonsense. I could leave it at that, I'm sure – it's an apt description – but I must elaborate.

    Quirkiness aside, that middle scene with the witches whizzing around was actually very well done. Energetic, and a delight to imagine. There could be something more hidden beneath the humour – I see it. If Bill Willingham's Fables series is the dark, serious alternative to our beloved fairytales, then I could see you penning the light-hearted, "What on Earth?" parallel to that. More in the vein of Shrek, I guess, but Englishy.

    Donning my critical monocle: it's too short. There's a lot of character and ideas here, but none are fleshy enough to get a decent bite out of. Snow White, the leader of this movement – whatever it is – isn't really dimensional enough to have her own mass. She's there, yet has little effect on the words, much like the other characters. What's happening is the focus, and it's fun, but the faces behind them don't matter. Various creatures and figures of folklore pop out and say, "peek-a-boo," but these come across as fleeting cameos, without the meat and potatoes to back them up, if that makes sense.

    "Thin" is how best to describe it, though I won't deny my enjoyment outweighed all of that.

    That final line made me laugh, I must admit. I've heard a hundred Ebay jokes, but yours caught my funny bone off guard, making me groan, giggle, and lean back with shame all at once. Quite a reaction, I'm sure you'll agree. It rounded off the ridiculousness nicely.

    Thanks for the read!

    *

    Fate
    by InnerFlame00

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 4
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 15

    A competent piece of work. It certainly flows easily from start to finish, with little in the way of embellishment. I wasn't distracted by much; I finished it without pause, and questioned nothing. A nice, rounded lump of a story. I always salivate at smooth writing, so kudos!

    It wasn't much of a re-imagining, in my opinion. A slight alteration of the ultimate fantasy trope, perhaps, but I couldn't find much else to see. It's a little too safe to inflame, really. You had a playground full of tales to play with, and seemingly ended up with the last hoop in the shed. I don't mean that cruelly, it's simply that I feel you had ample opportunity to do something a bit different.

    Perhaps my own lust for new things jaded me. No one character pops out, as a result, and that could easily be amended.

    Still, it's perfectly reasonable; not must-read work or anything, but everything in its correct place, and smooth as silk. Some of the descriptions were nice and simple, such as the princess' hair. The skill is there, no doubt about it.

    Thanks for the read!

    *

    The Three Pigs
    by God of Wine

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 5
    Overall: 15

    A few of the entries have come across this way, to me. They're written well; smooth, and rounded; not constricted or overly elaborate, etc., and yet, not much in the way of a re-imagining – more like slight changes to a story that remains heavily similar. I guess that's not wrong, but I always expect people to try and do something really different when such a prime opportunity to do so is presented to them. It's simply too safe, for me; it doesn't feel as if it departs from the source material enough. Anyone can write up an old tale and mess with some details. I prefer to read something I couldn't have thought of, if possible.

    I didn't like any of the similes or metaphors used, few as they were. I much prefer your simpler descriptions. A small thing – over-exaggeration never seems to work for me.

    I don't like how the names of the pigs are a mish-mash of popular swine – Pumbaa, Wilbur, and Porky? Some would think that's funny or charming, I'm sure. It's not bad, but I don't think they're a boon to the story in any way. I'm brutal with things like that. Snip, snip, snip! I prefer something different. It isn't similar to when hip-hop musicians use samples from other tracks to give life to their own music, as they often add something beneficial.

    I've been quite negative, I know. It's my honest reaction, however; I won't try to soften anything, out of respect.

    Structure-wise, it's exceptionally clean, and I always appreciate that as much as possible. I thank you for the smooth reading experience, and hope to see your work again!

    *

    Hansel and Gretel FTW
    by Anonymous

    SPaG: 4.5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 7.5
    Overall: 17

    This was a nice surprise. Crazy, brutal, and humorous from start to finish. Just the fact our heroes are gun-toting druggies was enough to win me over, to be honest, but the way you twisted the story itself is just as interesting to me.

    When the dad is pleasuring the 'witch' in the bedroom, I lost it. Really wasn't expecting that. The brutal descriptions are hilariously blunt, too – Hansel's just kicking the hell out of her without mercy, this old woman. I couldn't help it, it cracked me up. And Gretel with the cocaine... My goodness. It's ridiculous. Thank you!

    I didn't like the similes. Too many, in my opinion – a really good one now and then is perfectly enjoyable, but be careful saturating the story with ones that'll be forgotten two seconds later. They add little, in my opinion.

    The ending line's a bit, "Hmm." It's not always necessary to point out the twist in that way, for me. A small thing, in context. I'm sure a different line could sew things up more efficiently.

    A small aside: I haven't seen that Hansel & Gretel movie, as it looked dreadful, but I'm aware enough to know the titular characters are portrayed as badasses in that. So, this isn't exactly original in one sense; however it's merely an observation, not a criticism. I'll assume it had little influence on your story.

    Thanks for entering, and for the surprising fun I had reading your story!

    *

    The Curious Companionship of Carla and Balo
    by TKent

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 7.5
    Overall: 17.5

    These characters felt real, to me. I believed in their personalities; I believed in their world; and I believed in their relationship. Simple, effective writing has the wonderful ability to make any scenario plausible, and you have a natural gift for it. It's tough not to make eyes roll at the mention of vampires, these days, but you used the creature well. It's different enough to encourage others that there's plenty of room for innovation, even with well-worn clichés. The blood bank angle is cool – reminiscent of a Tales from the Crypt episode called, “The Reluctant Vampire” – and makes the most sense for a modern bloodsucker trying to go straight.

    It has a nice edge of humour to it, also. Balo's slightly dramatic nature, combined with Carla's naive taming of his instincts, made for a delightful – albeit fundamentally hopeless – coupling. This domesticated tale of vampirism is sweet and silly.

    The ending made me laugh. She wasn't even angry, ha. I love when people react to serious things in ridiculous ways. Thanks for the giggle.

    I'd argue it's not strictly the re-imagining of a fairytale, but I enjoyed it too much to care, and deducted no points. That'd be madness!

    Outside of opinion, it's technically perfect in every way. Lovely formatting, and strong display of the English language in general. Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

    Thank you for the read. This was one of my favourites.

    *

    Guy Who Cried Wolfe
    by BurntMason84

    SPaG: 4
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 7
    Overall: 16

    This is more like what I expected from the competition. A true re-imagining – setting, characters, tone, etc. I think you managed to make a fairly boring moral tale into a more gritty and modern one quite well.

    Guy is highly unlikable. I enjoy how you blew up the boy in the story's personality into a realistic – albeit stereotypical – slimeball such as him. You also transposed the wolf well, into this almost '50s era, fur coat-wearing mobster.

    I'd have preferred more of that character, actually; I feel Guy took up too much space. His comeuppance is the kernel, for me, not the build-up (which you handled well). I wanted to see that snake get what was coming to him! A thump in the temple isn't juicy enough for my twisted mind. That scene needs more, simply, and as it's the main scene everything else is leading to, that comes across as weaker than the rest.

    Still, it's written decently. Your descriptions are simple and flow well. The story did, in general; smooth work, indeed. I especially like Guy's weaselly nature, which you fully captured. That's my favourite element of the piece. Nice!

    There were some SPaG issues: a lack of commas in some spots; one uncapitalized name; a period instead of a comma in one dialogue tag; one missing apostrophe; a lack of hyphens in compound words, etc. Not perfect. Mostly correct, though.

    Thanks for the read, sir.

    *

    Get Rich Wish
    by Meteli

    SPaG: 3.5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 6.5
    Overall: 15

    Interesting. Despite frequent issues with spelling and grammar, you managed to craft an entertaining story. I love how this demon is much like an accountant – very controlled and knowledgeable about his line of work. It made me laugh how this mythical being in a tiny box is so . . . normal.

    The prose itself is decent, too. Nothing so groundbreaking, but it serves the story fairly well. The dialogue is probably its best feature. I really love the little demon, and his logical, business-like approach to nefariousness. It made for a nice, light-hearted read. Kudos.

    The biker character is kind of bland. This made the demon stick out even more, sure; however, a decent leading man is always preferable. Not unfixable, but something to prioritize, certainly.

    In terms of storytelling, I found myself confused at times, such as the crash scene near the beginning. I wasn't quite sure who was who, or what was happening – enough to picture it easily, that is. There are moments where clarity is crucial, and I feel the piece falls down in that regard a little too often.

    The ending felt unsatisfying. It didn't sew up the story that well, for me; it merely hinted at something better. Nothing terrible or anything, I simply prefer closure of some kind, as a payoff for sticking with the characters. Otherwise, it comes across as flippant. To me, again.

    Thanks for the funny read. I liked it a lot!

    *

    All Sales are Final
    by AstroAnnie

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 16

    I love your style of writing. The descriptions are never flimsy or too detailed – they sit in a nice middle-ground that conjures the exact amount of information necessary to form a tangible and colourful image. It's slick, and flows naturally, so all the bones were strong on a technical level. Lovely.

    My favourite part is the beginning. You set the scene very well indeed, and it's full of details: the Charles Babbage birthday sale; the name of the store (Uncle Ernie's); the IBM keyboard, etc. Creating a dense setting is difficult in such a short format, yet I feel it's one of your strongest gifts. It felt real!

    This modern twist is clever. From ornate oil lamp to a disposable flash drive; Middle-Eastern magical cave to present-day computer store; impoverished trouble-maker to Jeep-driving, leatherman owner, living in the computer age. I enjoy how those aspects were transposed very much, and questioned nothing.

    The wish itself is a bit boring. I was disappointed when his desire was simply monetary, and moreso when I foresaw the crucial error our greedy not-Aladdin would make. It fizzled, much like the genie of the flash drive.

    The genie has little presence, in my opinion. A lot of the entries have come across this way, to me – of suddenly becoming out of focus when the most memorable scene begins to unfold. I enjoyed how blasé the character was, yet wished for some more. There's more detail about the computer store than the story's most famous (arguably) character. Perhaps a better balance could be found there. 650 words isn't much, however. I understand how tough it is to marry every element of a story neatly, or give enough time to each scene, under such constraints.

    I always love to read your work. There's a bar of quality that I expect from your work which is yet to be missed. Consistency is bliss.

    Thanks for the read!

    *

    Big Teeth
    by Charlaux

    SPaG: 4.5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 7
    Overall: 16.5

    I love how you turned Red Riding Hood from a sweet, devil-may-care girl, into an overly-critical, fake-ass killjoy who doesn't know when to keep her trap shut. It tickled my funny bone, and interested me in the way a good alternate telling should.

    I wanted her to get ripped open and feasted upon so badly. You successfully inspired a deep blood lust within me, anyway, so thanks! Poor grandma...

    You wrote her/it well, also. For a wolf (or wolf in potentia?) to exhibit such self-consciousness about their physique amused me just as much as Red's critiquing of it.

    While I enjoyed most of it, that ending did nothing for me, I have to say. It felt as if all that characterization and tension build-up was suddenly tossed out of the window to make way for the closer. It doesn't read smoothly there . It's tough, I know – 650 words is very little – but it's possible.

    You didn't stray wildly from the base tale, yet I found myself smiling. The changes were enough to warrant it, I feel.

    Couple of punctuation nits: I noticed a period instead of a comma in a dialogue tag – periods precede actions in dialogue, e.g:

    "GET OVER HERE." Scorpion's palm split open, and a spearhead shot out of the wound, piercing Sub-Zero's left lung. Versus, "Get over here," Scorpion bellowed.

    Some odd ellipsis usage was present, also, but that's about it. Very clean, otherwise.

    Nice job, sir! Thanks for the read.

    *

    The Fifth Wife
    by Zeynith

    SPaG: 4
    Tone & Voice: 4
    Effect: 5
    Overall: 13

    The old role-reversal, eh? Interesting. Bequeathing Bluebird's famous sordidness onto the new wife is pretty cool. It worked, in an odd way. Nice.

    The prose is decent. Good descriptions and dialogue. Reads easily, there. Could be richer or edgier, I guess, but it serves its purpose.

    Other than this tweak, I didn't see much in the way of innovation. It's the exact same story, in most ways. There was huge room to do something unexpected with it; take a few risks; move things 'round a bit, you know?

    I felt the flow of the piece was odd, and had trouble keeping a rhythm going. Many of the sentences run on, and I think more commas are needed to give the reader that time to mentally breathe.

    I've not much else to add, I'm afraid. I'd simply be reviewing Bluebeard if I did.

    Thanks for the read!

    *

    Goldilocks and the Three Baers
    by Midnightpoet

    SPaG: 4
    Tone & Voice: 4
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 14

    I love your nightmarish vision of Goldilocks. She's criminally picky, yet humorously so. You warped this classic to the extreme, in that regard, and I enjoy a good expectation explosion!

    I really like the names of the characters. Jack Sprat and Frank Leen – quite memorable indeed. The dialogue matched them, too. It's fitting, and written well.

    Some of that dialogue read overly long, however. There's little in the way of back-and-forth conversation; they're more bursts of information, which became a mouthful to some degree.

    The seriousness of the prose contrasted very well with the ridiculous behaviour of our titular delinquent – the image of her old, innocent self still unshakeable in my mind. I can't disassociate the image of her shooting the place up with the original story, now, so I thank you for that lasting image.

    Your story had the misfortune of being the second entry based on Goldilocks, and it was difficult not to compare them. I found one much more like a true re-imagining, and one more like an exercise. No point deductions occurred, it's just an observation.

    -

    SPaG-wise, I noticed some missing words; an unhyphenated compound word; an "it's" instead of "its"; a run-on sentence, etc. Not perfect.

    Thanks for the read!

    *

    The Tower
    by Anonymous

    SPaG: 4
    Tone & Voice: 4
    Effect: 6
    Overall: 14

    Interesting. I had no idea this was based on Rapunzel until the very end, so you certainly subverted my sentry-like gaze. In fact, outside of three things – the tower, the character's name, and the phrase, "Let down your hair." – this isn't even related to the story that much (from what little memory of it I have, at least).

    I enjoyed how, instead of a sheltered damzel, the character is a prim and proper workaholic; someone who fears change and confrontation. It almost had a Gilliam-esque feel to it at times – especially his classic Brazil. That's what my brain conjured, anyway, enlarging the 'tower' upon which Ralph sits to a ridiculous level. Intentional or not, the words you wrote inspired that mental terraforming, which gave everything a quirky edge.

    The prose itself is somewhat disjointed – perhaps because of the blockie formatting; it's hard to pinpoint – but intriguing. The dialogue in particular has a unique flow to it. Very English; even old-fashioned, in its way, much like we often are. As a Londoner, I appreciated that, and liked the people populating your little world.

    I didn't like the name Ralph Unzl. It seems so inputted, to me. Without that, it reads more as just a regular story with a few tweaks than a re-imagining of a fairytale. I prefer more subtle integration than a clever play on names. The 'tower' aspect is much better, in my opinion; I enjoyed that a lot. I'd have focused more on that if I wrote it – it's potentially a rather evocative metaphor in this context – but I didn't, so it means little.

    -

    Technically speaking, there's some things I struggled with, such as the frequently unusual dash and ellipsis usage. I feel it dragged the pacing down to a crawl, at times, and that crushed my rhythm.

    What should have been simple dialogue tags were often actions, e.g: "Of course you can," he scowled, or, "Lovely," he grimaced.

    Actions should be preceded by periods after speech. It's not like, "Lovely," he said. "Lovely." He grimaced, turning his nose up at the duck páté caked under her fingernails.

    In short: the characters made this well worth a read. There's room to expand those personalities into something more massive, I believe. Good dialogue, too. I'd happily keep reading, odd structural methods aside.

    Thanks for the read!

    *

    Skytop Terrace, a Subsidiary of Jack & GiantCompanies, LLC
    by J.J. Maxx

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 6.5
    Overall: 16.5

    Now that's some role reversal. This squirmy, bullshitting facsimile of the Giant is interesting. I mean, that persona itself is hardly unique, but the application of it here is quite clever. Unexpected, for sure, and I like a surprise. For some reason, I imagined Giant as Alec Baldwin's character in Glengarry Glen Ross.

    Jack is such a dick. I love how you went full out to make him so unlikable. I never liked him in the original story, even, but you twisted the dials all the way and screamed, “YEE-HA.”

    Good dialogue all 'round. Clean, smooth, and thought out well. Everyone sounds a little too perfect to my mental ears; that's fairytales for you, though, isn't it? That dream-like fakeness.

    I guess, if I were to criticize, it'd be regarding what actually happened in the story. Not much. We're introduced to Giant's profession; then, Jack calls and says screw you, this business relationship is over; finally, Giant, after discovering a love affair in the most unsatisfying way, is killed. To me, that's not the best pacing. An expansion would let the ideas breathe more, though I didn't feel they were strangled too much.

    Jack and Lydia doing the business made me laugh. It's cool, too, because it reformed Jack's thievery in the original story in an interesting way. Nice.

    The final line is great. So damn cold, ha. I saw it coming, but still: great.

    I noticed a missing apostrophe, but it's clean of errors outside of this.

    Thanks for the read, sir.

    *

    Allerednic
    by M. Cull

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 8
    Overall: 18

    Cinderella backwards, eh? Cool title. Sounds . . . right.

    This is an excellent piece of writing. Strong, evocative imagery; a deep darkness, wriggling between every word; rounded, believable characters; full, flowing dialogue. It had it all, really. I loved it.

    I'm a huge fan of female badasses: Lady Snowblood, Joan of Arc, Beatrix Kiddo, Bodessia, etc. This warped Cinderella jumped off the page and kicked me in the nuts. Although her deeds were not directly described, the aftermath told me everything I needed to know, and made the words ring in my ears. I could see her, slicing though the royal guard like smoke in the dark, without receiving a scratch. She has a supernatural edge about her, almost. So cool.

    As a re-imagining, this is about as different as you could want. The core thread is intact, but it's the way this alternate path played out that made me giggle. This bloody, sexy, loveless horror show. I'll never view Cinderella the same way again, ha.

    I am fond of your writing style. It's highly efficient and rarely bogs down. Even in your more poetic moments, it remains highly readable. The descriptions are so simple, yet say it all, leaving the right bits up to one's imagination. It wasn't just interesting, but plain fun to read.

    Some of the punctuation is off. I won't get into pornographic detail, but some dialogue tags are preceded by periods instead of commas, and some action tags are preceded by commas instead of periods. These are the only errors I could find; everything else is perfect.

    This was my favourite, if you couldn't tell. Thanks!

    *

    The Big Good Wolf
    by Anonymous

    SPaG: 4.5
    Tone and Voice: 5
    Effect: 7.5
    Overall: 17

    I sighed when I saw another entry based on the three pigs, but I shouldn't have. This read more like an Aesop fable than a straight-up fairytale, so the tone was a lot different than I expected. More lyrical, with a bouncy rhythm about it that made me jolly.

    I like how the wolf character is the polar opposite of his usual persona. Instead of raping the land without remorse, he takes responsibility for his actions, and helps out the critters and fauna he disrupts. He's more of a klutz than a menace, this go 'round, and that made me laugh.

    The dialogue is pretty clever. My favourite part:

    A beaver swam from under the dam and popped his head out of the water.

    What are you two doing on my roof?”

    What are you doing in my basement?” said the Squirrel.

    Great!

    I'd happily read this to a child, and they'd enjoy it, I've no doubt. You nailed the tone completely.

    The ending fizzled a smidge. I expected more of a closer – one final line to close the curtains with no cracks of light. Not necessarily a twist, but . . . something more, you know?

    -

    Technically, there were consistent issues with dialogue tags – periods instead of commas, and vice-versa – however, I won't repeatedly deduce points for the same one issue. It was a mild distraction.

    I really enjoyed it. My niece would love it – I may read it to her. Thanks for the read!

    *

    The Legend of the Moon
    by Jorm Arcturus

    SPaG: 5
    Tone & Voice: 5
    Effect: 8
    Overall: 18

    This is beautifully written. I found myself transfixed very early on, and desperate to know the intentions of Gerra and the fates of these sisters.

    There's an ethereal edge to your writing that soothed me deeply. It almost had a biblical voice about it, which I liked.

    I love how the land and the heavens are personified. They all communicate with one another, and have deep links you hinted at. It's all highly interesting, I must say – the way you describe things, and the emotional realism you give your characters. It's lovely. If this is a style you implemented for this piece alone, and not an innate way of writing you exhibit, then I'm impressed. Both would impress me, of course; it's delightful. I suspect you're creatively malleable, however, which is a gift in itself.

    The ending wasn't as explanatory as I'd like. I felt as if much more was going on with Gerra and the mother. Some link – some way she knew of his darkness. More than feminine receptiveness would explain, you know? I'm missing something, definitely. This portent she speaks of. It's more than emotional. I feel intellectually inadequate when some thread doesn't reveal itself to me. It's not satisfying when the credits roll, so to speak.

    That's the only issue I found, and it has a positive aspect to it: the fact I wanted to read more and more. I have no idea which story you based this on, if you did, so cannot draw comparisons to the source. That could be a potential problem, but I find myself not caring, and simply enjoyed the piece a great deal.

    Thanks for the read, sir. It was a pleasure! I look forward to reading more of your work. Lovely.


    Mod note: Thread was accidently locked. Posts have been moved from the Coffee Shop to here.
    Last edited by J Anfinson; April 4th, 2015 at 03:09 AM.
    If you ever need a second set of eyes on your work, PM me for a critique! I'm happy to help Hidden Content

  2. #2
    This field was full of so many quality entries that I'm not even sure how to respond here. I consider it a huge honor to have come away with this one. Thank you to my fellow competitors for their truly wonderful submissions. And a huge thank you to the judges for taking the time to offer such honest, thorough critiques to such a large number of entries. I've judged a competition or two here, myself, and I know it can be time-consuming, but the feedback means much more than you know!

  3. #3
    Yeek. Reminded again how bad I am at short stories (Folcro...wow, so harsh I'm not used to that crit style lol). Ah well, just have to keep working at it :\. Congrats to the winner, it was an interesting group of stories for sure! And thanks to all the judges for putting their time and effort into it

  4. #4
    Wonderful stories, great talent and outstanding judges. Congrats josh you're a great writer... this was loads of fun...


    my warmest
    bob

    ...congrats M Cull- fantastic piece
    bishop- mistakes happen - you did and do an outstanding job - you're a rock star....
    Last edited by rcallaci; April 2nd, 2015 at 02:21 PM.
    Nature weeps, the devil sings
    at mans greed and pride
    and what it brings

    Just lots of useless
    little things

  5. #5
    Wow, I hereby dub April 1st as The Day of Joshybo! Nice job sweeping the challenges! Although I love the feedback, which is more precious than gold!

    Once again my short story was a little too big and didn't quite work in 650 words. Ah well, next time I'll go smaller. Also I relied too much on dialogue. Dag nabbit!

    Great job everybody and a million Internet points to all the judges this month. Talk about a labor of love! Thank you so much! Cookies for everyone!



    Cheers!

    ~ J. J.
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    "He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot." - Douglas Adams


  6. #6
    Congrats Joshybo!

    Mine did about as well as I expected. Word count was way too small for the story I wanted to tell. Had to cut most of the interesting parts just to have the plot make sense. My goal had been to have the actual Bluebeard story fit perfectly with this one, so the story we know is the lie she told to cover up her crime. Maybe I will write it and post the story the way I wanted to tell it without the limitations later.

    Thanks to all the judges for giving up so much of your time.

  7. #7
    The Re-Imagined Fairytale was closed but I must say that I was shocked to get higher than a 10 from Folcro. I'd never done that before, even with stories that scored far better from the other judges. A 14 from him must mean that I am improving. He still at times judges me on how he would have written the story differently, but he constructively pointed out the lines that didn't work and why. I must be improving and that is great. I had a friend come back to town who hadn't read my work in a year and she noticed improvement in my writing skill as well. I still must try and figure out how to increase my voice and effect scores. I enjoyed the more constructive and less subjective criticism. Thank you. I will eliminate "mere" whenever possible. Traipse also means to walk over, or tramp. Funny how the word can both mean walking aimlessly as well as simply walking over the high grasses in a field. I will attempt to select better words in the future.

    Guy, I have to work on removing - actually first "NOTICING" the clunky bits.

    “My brothers may be, but I’m not afraid of you. Let me assure you of one thing: I am not my brothers.” – awkward phrasing that’s somewhat emotionally disjointed. Perhaps,
    “My brothers may have been afraid, but I’m not. I will not run like they did,”

    This type of assist works with me because it says the same thing I said, but constructed in a way that flows better. I would have liked to know the areas that didn't sit well with you. I'm learning here, while writing my own novel separate to all of this. Criticisms applied to these short stories inform me of mistakes I commonly make so that I may limit them in the future.

    Amsawtell & Bruno, I figured someone would have a problem with the names I used for my pigs, Pumbaa from Lion King, Porky from Warner Brothers cartoons, and Wilbur from Charlotte's Web. I thought that it was cute. My friend didn't notice until i pointed it out to her and she laughed, you didn't, Bruno. That's okay.

    Thank you to all of the judges, and congratulations to all of the winners. These contests are not just fun for me, they are also work - the good kind. One of my dreams is to be a published author, and in order to do that I must not only improve my writing style, but also recognize errors in my writing similar to what the judges here have so dutifully pointed out.
    Last edited by godofwine; April 2nd, 2015 at 03:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Member LOLeah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    139
    After reading my first bunch of stories and resulting reviews/scores, I am excited but insanely nervous to participate. Holy ****balls, you guys are clearly here to make people better writers and not coddle. I love it. But it scares me. A little.

    ETA: I could have sworn I posted this comment in the chit chat post. My apologies for not posting an appropriate congratulatory post here, total accident.
    Last edited by LOLeah; April 2nd, 2015 at 11:13 PM.
    "We all die. The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~Chuck Palahniuk

  9. #9
    I didn't get to congratulate the winners before the thread closed so I'll do that here.
    Congrats to M Cull, Joshybo and JJ Maxx!

    Even back in the day, when it was a 500 word max, 20 entries would be unusually high. My heartfelt thanks goes out to each judge for taking the time and effort to critique all of these entries.
    "I think it's blessed are the cheese makers." "...What's so special about the cheese makers?" - Life of Brian

  10. #10
    I just noticed the revised score myself. No worries on the error Bish. M Cull deserved the victory and I am very glad to see the correct person receive the win. Congrats, M! It was a great field of entries this month. Looking forward to many like it in the future!

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