January - 2016 - LM - Choose a Song - Scores


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: January - 2016 - LM - Choose a Song - Scores

  1. #1

    January - 2016 - LM - Choose a Song - Scores

    HarperCole amsawtell bazz cargo hairball total
    joshybo 16 18 19 16 17.25
    jenthepen 15.5 17 17 18 16.875
    astroannie 14 16 18 18 16.5
    godofwine 12.5 15 19 19 16.375
    Sed 16 15.5 17 16 16.125
    smith 14.5 15 18 16 15.875
    rcallaci 13 14 19 17 15.75
    inkwellness 12 17 17.5 14 15.125
    Teb 11 15 17 17 15
    Christola 12 14 17 16 14.75
    tjc5172 12.5 15 17 14 14.625
    bdcharles 13 13 16.5 15 14.375
    PrinzeCharming 13 12 15 17 14.25
    W.Goepner 11 14 16.5 15 14.125
    Ephemeral_One 10.5 13 12.5 16 13
    captflash76 - - - - DQ*




    In 1st place we have The Oracle by joshybo
    2nd place goes to Obsession by jenthepen
    and 3rd place belongs to Extra Credit by astronannie

    Congratulations to Josh, Jen and Jmac! And congratulations to you all.
    A special thank you to our Secret panel of Judges this month!
    Looking forward to see what you come up with for March!

    If there are any discrepancies, I would be grateful if you would bring them to my attention,
    and I will attempt to rectify them in any way possible.

    Members may now 'like' stories in the LM thread if they so choose.
    And now, what you've all been waiting for, the scores!
    *-disqualified


    HarperCole's Scores:

    All,

    Here are my comments and scores. Thanks to all of you who entered; you've introduced me to some fine pieces of music, as well as reminding me of some that I haven't heard for a while. Oh, and your stories weren't bad either!

    Feel free to let me know if I've made any mistakes ...

    Author: bdcharles
    Title: Three Days: A Literal Triptych, Based On A Song
    Spelling/Grammar: 5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 4 / 5
    Effect: 4 / 10
    Overall: 13 / 20

    Comments:

    This may be my failing, but I can't really work out what this is about. I enjoyed the first section, with the Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens, and would have liked to learn more about Beb's world.

    The second part didn't really seem to have much to do with the first one, though, except that evolution is mentioned at the end. I don't understand why Cree calls his song that, or how he survives his back being broken, or how a bus can run over him when he's surrounded by a crowd of people.

    As you mentioned, there's no third part, so "Triptych" doesn't quite seem appropriate.

    Plenty of positives, though. Other than a confusing switch from past tense to present tense near the end, the tone is strong, and I couldn't see any SPaG errors at all. It's good writing, particularly the first section, I just couldn't understand the story as a whole.

    Author: Ephemeral_One
    Title: The Birth of a Champion
    Spelling/Grammar: 2.5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 2.5 / 5
    Effect: 5.5 / 10
    Overall: 10.5 / 20

    Comments:

    This is a fun story, though somewhat let down by SPaG errors. I would have liked to learn a little more about this world and why these people are fighting, but you're obviously constrained by the word limit, and you managed to give us the general idea.


    On a moonlit rooftop overlooking the city are two shadowed figures.


    This should be "were", as you are writing your story in the past tense.


    Both wore dark grey shirts with white pants but the left one wore hood and was crouched down.


    Missing "a".


    “Skip phase two, lieutenant. We shall play their cunning game of switch and bait. So shall we announce the end of this land of the lost and sedated,” Ordered the figure with a rasp.


    Here "ordered" isn't capitalised, as it is a word which describes what is inside the quotation marks, and thus part of the same sentence as them.


    Dressed in solid white with a bandanna of a wide smile did nothing to conceal their identity.


    Missing "that", I think.


    “Complaint?” snarled Timothy burying his fingertips into his palms.


    A comma after "Timothy" seems natural.


    “They're! Still! People!” Shouted Timothy with every savage swing of his double edged blade.


    As above, no capitalisation for "shouted".


    Raising a single finger, a beam of red light lanced out.


    It's not entirely clear who is raising their finger here, based on the previous sentence.


    Sage launched another beam that his enemy caught on the blade this time. This time the attack dispersed at once.


    It's best to avoid repetitions, except for effect.


    And I guess it's no surprise that one among my own number chooses to, if you'll forgive the pun, take up the blade.


    I can't see a pun here.


    As the night air whistled past his ears Sage smiled to himself.


    Just "he" is sufficient here, as you've established that you're talking about Sage in the previous sentence.

    There were good turns of phrase as well, of course: I particularly liked "this land of the lost and sedated". The idea of a villain who welcomes a challenge is also different and interesting.

    Author: captflash76
    Title: Available
    Spelling/Grammar:
    Tone/Voice:
    Effect:
    Overall: d/q

    Comments:

    An interesting tale; not too much happens, but you nail the character's voice and the seedy ambiance nicely. There's a nice twist that I didn't see coming. Can she really arrest him, though? He hasn't given her any money, nor has she unequivocally stated that she's a prostitute.

    A few little nits ...


    “Yeah,” I mumbled fingering the bill.


    I feel a comma after this word would be natural.


    Money asshole,” Paul squeaked.


    Again, I'd suggest a comma.


    I dug in my pocket and threw the ten on the bar.


    I think this should be "a ten", as you haven't established previously that he is in possession of a ten.


    Paul took the empty and my money.


    Missing "glass".


    “Hey,” Paul choked ... none a ….


    Not sure what's happened here ... a typo or missing word most likely.


    She wiggled her gorgeous bottom on the stool next to mine.


    I'd expect this character to use a cruder word, such as "butt" or "ass".

    Giving the barman a squeaky voice was a nice little character touch. There's a lot to enjoy here, thanks for entering!

    Author: PrinzeCharming
    Title: Sealed Acquaintance
    Spelling/Grammar: 4 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3.5 / 5
    Effect: 5.5 / 10
    Overall: 13 / 20

    Comments:

    This story has some lovely usage of language in it, with strong metaphors to depict student life (leeches, bass and cannibals). I think a problem is that you're sometimes a trifle over-elaborate, and pile the metaphors on too quickly. It can make it tricky to follow the story; there's something to be said for the occasional mundane, easy-to-read sentence! There's also a switch from 3rd person to 1st late on in the story, which feels rather sudden.

    A few specific nits ...


    The struggle to get laid with someone new was as real as the desperate attempt behind cannibalism.


    Perhaps this should be "at"?


    The nerds were the parasitic leaches attached to the sidelines waiting for their share. On a good day, it was someone’s hair follicle placed on a microscope slide.


    I don't quite understand these too sentences taken together; we were talking about relationships, then there's a switch to hair follicles.


    Jessica nods.


    This is present tense, while the rest of the story is past tense.


    It was difficult to release Jessica’s soft hands pressed against mine.


    In a handshake, surely you'd only be holding one of her hands?

    I particularly liked the final two lines. You've got a lot of talent as a writer, I think it's just a question of honing that ability.

    Author: rcallaci
    Title: White Sails
    Spelling/Grammar: 2.5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 4 / 5
    Effect: 6.5 / 10
    Overall: 13 / 20

    Comments:

    Trippy! Never having used such substances, I can't say how accurately the experience is reflected here, but there's some nice imagery, with recurrences of the colour white. I do think you need to watch the SPag errors; an extra read through could catch some of these ...


    I was a body wreck in distress. I haven’t had a fix in five days.


    Here you switch from past tense to present tense between sentences.


    My head and body was screaming for the White.


    This should be either "are" or "were", depending on which tense you're going for.


    I float towards it, hoping it would accept me as one of its passengers or crew.


    You're using present tense now, so this should be "will".


    Soon iTs embrace will release me from this world of pain.


    Typo.


    The things he could of told us.


    This should be "could've" or "could have".


    “The son of a bitch is unresponsive”, said the male cop.


    Commas are always inside quotes, if you're writing in American English.


    The Caption barks out orders to set sail.


    "Captain". I also don't think it should be capitalized, though I'm not sure about that.


    There whiteness momentarily hurts my eyes.


    Should be "Their".

    I must say, I enjoyed the idea of a loyal servant being allowed to drug himself to death, and the different perspectives, internal and external, on how he met his death were a clever note to finish on.

    Author: astroannie
    Title: Extra Credit
    Spelling/Grammar: 5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3 / 5
    Effect: 6 / 10
    Overall: 14 / 20

    Comments:

    This is a quiet story, but interesting. I know next to nothing about music, but you explained the intricacies well. The moral about the value of doing unglamorous but necessary work is a valid one. Of course, the downside of writing a quiet story is that it's harder to make a big impact on the reader. Perhaps you could have finished with Rob performing at the conference, as the end of the story feels abrupt as it is.

    Other than that, I can't suggest too many changes. SPaG looks perfect to me.

    Author: jenthepen
    Title: Obsession
    Spelling/Grammar: 4.5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3.5 / 5
    Effect: 7.5 / 10
    Overall: 15.5 / 20

    Comments:

    A well-observed study of a stalker; characters like these do exist in real life, alas. The reader can feel a degree of sympathy for the pitiful central character, but the object of his affections is ultimately the one who will suffer the most. The routine and mannerisms of Rupert are realised in fine detail, as are the reactions of Alison.

    There was only one SPaG error - you missed the full stop at the end of the third to last paragraph. In terms of possible improvements, there isn't too much to say, although ...


    His creepiness had bothered her ever since she moved into the apartment above his and he had tried to force his way into her life. She had even moved to avoid his attention but now he was appearing here at the library where she worked more and more often.


    This bit of exposition felt slightly forced. Perhaps you could have taken us inside her thoughts to give us this background information in a more natural way.

    It's a minor point though. Excellent work!

    Author: godofwine
    Title: Zoom
    Spelling/Grammar: 3.5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3 / 5
    Effect: 6 / 10
    Overall: 12.5 / 20

    Comments:

    A moving true-life story; you expanded on the account in the book you linked to nicely. A shame that it couldn't have had a happier ending, but that's obviously not your fault.

    One thing I would say is that you don't travel inside the character's heads much, apart from the opening paragraph. We see the tears that show their emotions, but not their thoughts or the emotions themselves.

    A few small SPaG points ...


    “Cathy? Cathy, baby, I’m here,” he said almost yanking the screen door off the hinges.


    A comma after "said" appears natural.


    At the sound of her husband’s voice, Cathy LaPread leaped out bed, past a wide-eyed nurse, ran into Ronald’s arms and kissed him happily.


    Missing "of".


    I maybe just a foolish dreamer, but I don’t care.


    This should be "may be". The single word "maybe" is equivalent to "possibly".


    Streams of tears flowed as he pulled his wife’s body close absorbing the last of her warmth.


    Again, there's a natural pause after "close", so I'd recommend a comma.

    Thanks for introducing me to a story I hadn't heard before.

    Author: W.Goepner
    Title: Deuce Coup
    Spelling/Grammar: 2 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3 / 5
    Effect: 6 / 10
    Overall: 11 / 20

    Comments:

    A sweet story that recalls a bygone age; your choice of song was a good one. You evidently know your cars! I'm no expert myself, but your descriptions painted quite the picture, and showed your young lead's affection for his vehicle. The finish with his grandmother provides a nice extra touch of sentimentality.

    Unfortunately, there are SPaG issues, which undermine your story. Let's go through them.


    Deuce Coup


    This seems to be spelled "Deuce Coupe", based on the link you gave.


    Jerry pulled out of his driveway, the 75 horsepower flat head engine purred like new.


    Should be "purring", or alternatively you could put "As" at the start of the sentence.


    He was right proud of the two door coup he restored. By some miracle he found it in the vine covered shed behind his grandmother's house eight years ago.


    It's a small point, but these should be "he had restored" and "he had found". This is because, while the story itself is already told in the past tense, you are referring back to actions that were taken before the time frame of your story.


    He was on his way there, to give his best girl, the ride he promised her.


    The 2nd comma should be removed; commas represent pauses, but if you speak this sentence aloud it's not really natural to pause there.


    The color, the deep forest green of its day the contours highlighted in black giving the car the subtle look of being bigger than it actually was.


    Something's going a bit wrong with the start of this sentence. I'd suggest replacing the comma with "was", and instead putting a comma after "day".


    The old spoke wheels were chromed, sporting the large white walled tires. The bumpers, grill, headlights, and the tiny taillights all flashed of chrome, every exterior trim and handle was chromed. The high polish of the paint and the chrome reflected the sun, like a mirrored ball on the houses and trees, as he drove down the street.


    It's best to avoid using the same word too many times in quick succession, unless for deliberate effect.


    In his desire to make the car a little more than when it was his Grandfather's, was put into the drive train and exhaust.


    There seems to be a word missing before "was".


    Jerry's grandmother lived on the seaside, driving the road to her house was a blast for him.


    I'd suggest a semi-colon or hyphen here, rather than a comma, as this represents a slightly longer pause when reading aloud.


    The last two stoplights on the road threw town, were close to the beaches where the surfers and swimmers hangout.


    Easy mistake to make - it's "through" you want here.


    His desire to hear the sound of the car, over road his caution of the police.


    Similarly, this should be "overrode".


    "Yes sir, Just taking her to grandma's, as I promised her the first ride."


    Small j here.


    "I am disappointed in you Jerry," Jerry's stomach turned.


    You need a period instead of a comma, otherwise it seems like Jerry is the speaker.


    "Hank you finely came! The car looks lovely." She said as Jerry helped her to get in.


    This should be "finally", and then you need a comma and small s, as the words immediately after the quotes describes the speaking of the words inside the quotes.

    I'd recommend reading it through once more before you post, aloud, to spot most of these errors. It's important to catch these in order to let people fully enjoy your story, which is very good.

    Author: Teb
    Title: Lost for Words
    Spelling/Grammar: 2.5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 2.5 / 5
    Effect: 6 / 10
    Overall: 11 / 20

    Comments:

    A moving story, particularly the very finish. I think the main problem is that a lot of the sentences are very long, and lacking in punctuation; this can ruin the flow. This is very noticeable in the first paragraph, which has only four full stops and five commas to break it up. If you use shorter sentences it will make a big difference.

    There weren't too many SPaG issues ...


    The cold tap produces a torrent of water that hammers against the bottom of the kettle, the sound covers the constant buzzing from the strip light that fills the small kitchen with a harsh white light.


    Either 'covers' should be 'covering', or else there should be either a full stop or a semi-colon instead of a comma.


    As I leave the kitchen I switch off the light, silence returns except the sound of water slowly dripping from the tap.


    As above, use 'returning' or different punctuation. As things stand, these are two linked but separate statements, which need more than a comma between them.


    I place the kettle on it's base, flick the switch to set it going and find myself staring at my reflection in the small window over the sink.


    Should be 'its'. This is a very common mistake, as it looks at first glance as though a possessive apostrophe is appropriate. However, 'its' is equivalent to 'his' and 'hers', which also do not take possessive apostrophes.


    Today at some point someone will no doubt open them to allow the sun in, however it's rays will never chase away the gloom that now inhabits this house.


    Same problem as above.


    The doctors has said she had not suffered, it had been quick.


    Should be 'had', or perhaps you could simply remove this word.


    Tears slide down my face, How am I meant to put into words a speech for her funeral?


    Full stop needed here.

    It's a good idea for a story. I was expecting him to be trying to write a letter to a woman who has walked out on him, begging her to come back. As such, the ending was a surprise, so nice work there.

    Author: sed
    Title: Through the snow
    Spelling/Grammar: 3.5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3.5 / 5
    Effect: 9 / 10
    Overall: 16 / 20

    Comments:

    Very nice; I like a good mythological yarn. I was going to criticise you for not explaining clearly enough what was going on, but the clues are there, and I saw them on my 2nd reading. I just had to google "Undine" to get my answers. I like how the reference to him being an archaeologist shows us how he might have met this creature, without having to spell it out.

    The choice of music was also excellent - playing it in the background while reading really enhanced my perceptions of the snowy setting. I was a little surprised by the informal speech of the undine, as I would have thought she'd be an ancient creature and speak more formally, but perhaps she's a younger, more modern version.

    There's just a few points of possible improvement ...


    Trevor stiffened as his nervous eyes glanced around the tiny room before coming to rest on the tattered book of arcane mythology that must have fallen from his coat pocket.


    You've a slight tendency towards long sentences without much punctuation. A comma here would make it flow better, perhaps after "room".


    His Bluetick Coonhound, Radar, lifted his furry head behind him groggily before plopping back down next to the woodstove.


    Here "turned" may be more appropriate.


    "No need to get up," Trevor muttered as he picked up the book and pulled on his heavy jacket before stepping out into the night.


    Again, more punctuation need, I think. Perhaps a comma after "muttered". After "jacket", you might put a period and rearrange the fragment about stepping outside into a new sentence.


    He could feel her now that he'd stopped running.


    To me, this phrase suggests that he's stopped running only very recently, but as we learn later, it's been a few months.


    It was cold, easily the coldest he'd seen it in the few months he'd lived here, probably colder than he'd seen it anywhere in his thirty some-odd years.


    A slightly odd word to describe the perception of temperature - "felt" would be more normal.


    He pulled it out momentarily, his weary eyes studying it's leather-bound cover and Latin title, I guess archaeologist isn't exactly a job you can just quit after all.


    No possessive apostrophe for "it's": think of it as equivalent to "his" and "hers", which also do not take apostrophes.


    It was a few hours later before the dark-haired, twenty-something emerged from the burning cabin beneath a purple morning sky.


    You've used "twenty-something" as a noun, so shouldn't use a comma.

    As you can probably tell, I enjoyed your story! I hope that we see your entries more frequently in the future.

    Author: joshybo
    Title: The Oracle
    Spelling/Grammar: 5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3.5 / 5
    Effect: 7.5 / 10
    Overall: 16 / 20

    Comments:

    A very well written mythological tale. The original Cassandra was spelled with a C, but I dare say you knew that and are writing about a different character. Indeed, Kassandra represents a reversal, as her prophecies are believed by everyone except herself. It's an original take on the concept, with this seer not being a respected figure, but rather a slave, her gift exploited against her will.


    Kassandra hung limp against her chains, arms pulled taut in a V above her head.


    Slightly unsure about this opening line, as these two words are contradictory. I understand, of course: her body is limp while her arms are taut, but it makes for slightly awkward reading.

    Still, I saw no SPaG errors, and the use of language was good on the whole; there was just the odd phrase, such as "the hideous smirk behind his words", which I found a trifle over-elaborate. The ending is a little vague, but lets the reader imagine what has occurred. All in all, strong work!

    Author: inkwellness
    Title: It's My Party!
    Spelling/Grammar: 3 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3.5 / 5
    Effect: 5.5 / 10
    Overall: 12 / 20

    Comments:

    A fun little story. The main character is silly in a likable way - I particularly like that he feels the need to state that his birthday party occurs annually. I don't really understand why he doesn't either cover himself or run off at the end, though. Still, the story has a light tone, and maybe I shouldn't get too hung up on that point.

    A few things that I noticed ...


    "It's Lana. And relax it’s only been a few minutes"


    I'd suggest a comma after "relax".


    Linda was pouring punch and sherbet ice cream into the punch bowl when the first guests arrived.


    You're using past tense, so the narrator should correctly use the name "Lana". He evidently knows now that that is her name, as he relates her calling herself that.


    "Linda, get the door." I commanded.


    This period should be a comma, as the following verb ("commanded") relates to the vocalisation of the text within the quotation marks.


    "Ok it's time." I told myself gleefully.


    Again, the period should be a comma. Also, "Ok" should be either "Okay" or "OK", and following it with a comma appears natural.


    It was a strange feeling; when was I never not the life of the party?


    I think this should be "ever".


    After a few more awkward seconds, one of the guests asked, "Oh my goodness. Are you selling hot dogs?" he chuckled and covered his mouth.


    You can't describe the guest's speech as both "asked" and "chuckled", so you should drop one of these. Alternatively, "He chuckled and covered his mouth" could be a separate sentence.

    Mostly these are small points of punctuation, easily fixable. Thanks for the enjoyable entry!

    Author: tjc5172
    Title: Another Again
    Spelling/Grammar: 3.5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 3 / 5
    Effect: 6 / 10
    Overall: 12.5 / 20

    Comments:

    A well-observed character piece; a relationship neither player is happy with, yet neither can give up is shown realistically. I think that you handled the dialogue well, my only complaint being that I wasn't always clear who was speaking in the first half of the story.

    A few minor points ...


    The tattooed man absently mindedly runs his calloused hand up the round of her “other” cheek to the small of her back and back down again.


    This should be "absent-mindedly" (hyphenated).


    “That lackluster huh?”


    A comma after "lackluster" would fit better with standard patterns of speech.


    Angela drops her phone and winces at the blow. Michael stiffens and sits himself upright against the headboard of his bed, readying himself for the fallout.


    It's a bit unusual to be introducing the character's names this far into the story.


    If you feel so jealous about me, why is this our first time seeing each other in a year.


    This period should be a question mark.


    I’m safe enough to fuck in between girlfriends though right?


    I'd suggest a comma after "though".


    The man she will probably ever love more than herself simply because of the undeniable connection of their beings.


    This is a modern story, so "always" seems more natural than the more archaic "ever".


    I’m engaged Mikey.


    Again, I'd suggest a comma after this word.

    I hope you enjoyed your first WF challenge!

    Author: Smith
    Title: Night Drive
    Spelling/Grammar: 4.5 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 4 / 5
    Effect: 6 / 10
    Overall: 14.5 / 20

    Comments:

    A simple but effective tale of young romance. Your language is flowery, but that seems appropriate to the mood of the piece, and doesn't compromise realism. SPaG looks pretty much flawless, so there's not too many nits to pick.


    That was the time her parents had told her to be home by. This was our first night out, and they’re aware I’m a few years older.


    I'll be honest: I find writing stories in 1st person present tense difficult. But after reading this section back a few times, I think you need to need to drop the "had" and replace "was" with "is" to be consistent.


    I hit resume on the music as she comes on top of me.


    This has a double meaning. Given that sexual longing is very much an undercurrent throughout this story, a less ambiguous wording may be better.

    You're a very strong writer; thanks for sharing this one with us.

    Author: Chrisatola
    Title: Pitch
    Spelling/Grammar: 4 / 5
    Tone/Voice: 2.5 / 5
    Effect: 5.5 / 10
    Overall: 12 / 20

    Comments:

    An interesting journey inside the story of your chosen song. You seem to capture the Western lingo pretty nicely to me, although the narrator's voice when he's narrating seems much more formal than when he's speaking to the lawman, which is a slight inconsistency. Consider giving your characters names, as you have a lot of sentences beginning with "The" at the moment ("The gambler ...", "The dead man ...", "The group ...", "The lawman ...", "The ranger"). A more dramatic finish, perhaps with a twist of some kind, would also add a little bite.

    I only saw a couple of SPaG problems ...


    He sat at the bar, and waved at the bartender. Then pulled a leather pouch of gold coins from his vest, and set it on the bar.


    I'd suggest joining these two sentences together with a comma; they're too closely related to be using a period.


    Well, if you met one barman you met ‘em all, and Red’s cut straight from the mole.


    Should be "mold", I think.

    You created a nice ambiance here; good work!

    HC



    amsawtell's scores:
    Title: Three Days: A Literal Triptych, Based on a Song
    Author: bdcharles

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 5/10

    Overall: 13/20

    I really liked the second part of this and how the character evolved. I had a feeling like something was being forgotten and it was—there is no third part of this triptych. There's no reason for Beb and the marauders in the first part if they never make their way back. The tenuous connection of evolution and change as people isn't enough to justify Beb's part.

    There's a very heavy shift in tense in the first paragraph. It starts in present tense and shifts to past. I would suggest picking a tense for this part (since it's in the past why not use past tense) and perhaps using a different tense for each part of the triptych—if you ever have the third part of the triptych.

    There are some parts that have odd phrasing--”Hey, man, sorry to bother you but did I just die and was born again?”--is the best example I have for this odd phrasing. “just die and was born again” sounds, to my ear, just slightly off.

    Title: The Birth of a Champion
    Author: Ephemeral_One

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 5/10

    Overall: 13/20

    There's too much going on here for the word count. There's back story and there's future story that this just isn't long enough to cover. It took me a while to even figure out what was going on with the “mysterious figures” to even get into the story. Then, once I figured out who was who I was lost with keeping up with the action. This is not a trap you want to fall into with a short-story contest like this.

    I thought, from the first paragraph that this would be about a high-tech museum robbery. I was hoping for a high-tech museum robbery. Then, they were wearing white pants and everything became confusing.

    “So shall we announce the end of this land of the lost and sedated?”
    This is a question, not an order. Don't call it an order. The phrase directly before the question is an order but this entire piece of dialogue is not an order.

    “Ordered the figure with a rasp.”
    He's holding a rasp? I'm being sarcastic here but it should be that his voice is raspy. Further, I thought that it was a third person talking to Sage and the lieutenant. Name Sage as the speaking figure instead of saying “ordered the figure.”
    I'm not sure bandanna is a good indication of a smile. It's different, it's interesting but as a description of a smile I don't think it really works.

    “Timothy, be a good mage and back to work . . .”
    Should that be “go back to work” or, perhaps, “get back to work?” Also, who is speaking here?

    “Sage stilled him with a shake of his head.”
    Sage is wearing a hood and he can be seen shaking his head?

    After this I'm really confused. Is this a race of beings who are mages and who train humans to be mages? What is this work they're doing? I don't know who has done what so I don't care enough to cheer for Timothy (who, judging by his smile, seems a bit unhinged). And, while I'm thinking they're magic-users, at the end there's something about superheros? What?

    Overall, I would love to see more just so I can understand what was supposed to be going on in this but mostly I'm just confused as to what is going on and who is who.

    Title: Untitled “Available” Margie Rayburn--1957
    Author: Captflash76

    SPaG:
    Tone:
    Effect:

    Overall: d/q

    The voice is realistic and suits the story well.

    There are just a few problems with the story-telling. One, the narrator never offered her money for sex. He never said he would pay her. He may have thought of doing so even to the point of counting the serendipitous cash but he never told her he'd pay her and she never brought it up. This leads to the second issue—entrapment. According to Wikipedia entrapment is defined as “a practice whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit.”

    I'm not saying that the narrator wouldn't commit this offense but she was definitely pushing something at him he didn't think he could have normally had, correct? Would he have approached her? I don't think he would have. Expressing interest by ogling a person is not the same as approaching a person.

    As I walked, I checked my pocket making sure my ten was there.”
    There needs to be a dash between pocket and making. Without “as I walked” it would be a comma like so: “I checked my pocket, making sure my ten was there.” Since “I checked my pocket” is not an aside but rather a concurrent action with walking the comma is replaced by a dash.

    “By the time he had it flatten out . . .”
    Flatten doesn't agree with the tense and there needs to be an “ed” at the end of it.

    “She wriggled her gorgeous bottom on the stool next to mine.”
    She transported onto the stool? Or did she wriggle her bottom on to it?

    “'Hey,' Paul choked . . . none a . . . .”
    Paul said “none a,” correct? Then it needs to be within quotations. Further, an ellipses only has three periods.

    “Paul brought the girl a beer, doily and the rest of my change.”
    I'm a fan of the oxford comma. I wouldn't count you off for it because I know it depends on your school of style but I prefer to see it. Especially since, to me, a doily seems rather fancy for Casey's Pub. I thought, upon first reading it that it meant that Paul had wrapped the change in the doily and handed it to the lady.

    Her last sentence struck me more as something a politician would say and not something a cop would say. It was off for the reveal of her as a cop.

    Title: Sealed Acquaintance
    Author: PrinzeCharming

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 3/5
    Effect: 5/10

    Overall: 12/20

    This story came off as a typical high-school new kid story. I'm not sure that there's so much a twist as there is a casual winding down of the story. There’s a lot of information involved that don’t really add anything to the story—for example, what does the first paragraph do but set the location? What does the science class have to do with the drama club or the new girl, who seems to be the real focus of the story.

    Further, why aren’t we introduced to Alex before he’s shaking the hand of the new girl? I didn’t realize this was from a character’s point of view until that line.

    Why would the drama club not have try-outs?

    “The nerds were the parasitic leaches . . .”
    Leach is defined as the process by which a soluble mineral or chemical drains through soil or similar material. I think you mean leech which is the parasite. If that’s the case then “parasitic leeches” is redundant. Drop one or the other.

    Overall I think you can drop the first third of the story to get right to the meat of it. Then you can flesh out the characters a bit more so that the climax of the story doesn’t come off as a weird fantasy-fulfillment.

    Title: White Sails
    Author: rcallaci

    SPaG: 3/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 6/10

    Overall: 14/20

    You do surreal and strange so well and David Bowie’s Space Oddity was the right song for odd and surreal.

    I had just one real question as to the story logic. How did Roberto get his fix while in jail or was that another delusion? I’ve never had to visit anyone in county but from my understanding of jails, security is still pretty high.

    “I live in a cardboard box for Christ sake; I’m not going to pee and shit where I sleep.”
    Christ sake should be “Christ’s sake.” If you’re going to use shit it seems odd to use pee instead of piss—especially from a hardened criminal.

    “Soon iTs embrace will release me from this world of pain.”
    I know that you have a penchant for odd capitalization when personifying certain concepts so I wanted to ask if this capitalization of “its” is intentional.

    “What a missed opportunity, if we only knew that this low-level junkie was in reality Roberto Chavis . . .”
    This seems a little too formal for a cop.

    “The things he could of told us.”
    “Of” should be “have.”

    “There whiteness momentarily hurts my eyes.”
    “There” should be “their.”

    The last two lines, is that two speakers or one?

    Title: Extra Credit
    Author: astroannie

    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10

    Overall: 16/20

    I learned something new. I’d seen the comedy skit about Pachalbel’s Canon in D and thought it was amusing that a musician could be so annoyed by his part. I like that you’ve captured that in a story and further resolved the part for non-musicians in such an interesting way. I had no idea that part was meant to be the bass.

    Title: Obsession
    Author: JenthePen

    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 7/10

    Overall: 17/20

    This is the most truly horrifying thing I’ve read in the competitions in a while and you’ve captured the obsessiveness of Rupert with so few words. It’s creepier every time I read it.

    Title: Zoom
    Author: GodofWine

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10

    Overall: 15/20

    This is one of the sweetest stories I’ve read in the competitions. I’m not sure about the legalities of using real, living famous people in a story like this but I liked how you portrayed them. Is this based on something that you researched?

    “Shoes . . . shoes,” Cathy said looking down at his feet.
    There should be a comma after “said.”

    Title: Deuce Coup
    Author: W. Goepner

    SPaG: 3/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 7/10

    Overall: 14/20

    This was really sweet too. I like the old-fashioned and well-mannered young man the story centers around. I like that he just seems like an honest and hard-working person.

    “By some miracle he found it . . .”
    There should be a “had” after “he.”

    “He was on his way there, to give his best girl, the ride he promised her.”
    Drop the commas. The way they’re positioned they imply that “to give his best girl” is an aside—however, that’s not the case because if we take out that part and turn the sentence into “He was on his way there the ride he promised her” isn’t a complete sentence. Neither comma is needed so I’d just take both out.

    “ . . . like his grandfather parked it . . .”
    There needs to be a “had” after “grandfather.

    “The color, the deep forest green of its day the contours highlighted in black giving the car the subtle look of being bigger than it actually was.”
    I’d rewrite this sentence thus: “The color, deep forest green with the contours highlighted in black, gave the car the subtle illusion of being bigger than it actually was.”

    “The old spoke wheels were chromed, sporting the large white walled tires.”
    The old spoke wheels were chromed and sported large white-walled tires.

    “The bumpers, grill, headlights, and the tiny taillights all flashed of chrome, every exterior trim and handle was chromed.”
    The bumpers, grill, headlights, and tiny taillights all flashed chrome and every exterior trim and handle was chromed.

    “In his desire to make the car a little more than when it was his Grandfather’s . . .”
    I have no idea what this means.

    “ . . . which flowed back into a split exhaust, with a special designed to be quiet . . .”
    Designed doesn’t need the “ed” at the end.

    “ . . . were close to the beaches where the surfers and swimmers hangout.”
    “Hangout” should be “hung out.”

    “His desire to hear the sound of the car over road his caution of the police.”
    It should be “overrode.”

    “Yes sir, Just taking her to grandma’s, as I promised her the first ride.”
    “Yes sir. Just taking her to grandma’s. I promised her the first ride.”

    “Hank you finely came!”
    “Hank, you finally came!”

    It’s sweet that he wants his grandma to relive her glory days but it’s kind of creepy at the same time, if that makes any sense.


    Title: Lost for Words
    Author: Teb

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 6/10

    Overall: 15/20

    This is so easy to identify with and the ending is rather poignant. I think it’s appropriate to the sense of loss this character feels.

    Other than some archaic phrases (“amidst” instead of “amid”) or redundant phrases “with the walk of a defeated man I trudge into the kitchen” the largest grammatical mistake that I see is using it’s for its. I know I’ve explained the difference a couple of times in the last few competitions. Here it is again:

    It’s = it is
    Its = possessive form of it. That means that whatever follows belongs to it.

    So, for example, in the story there’s the sentence: “Today at some point someone will no doubt open them to allow the sun in, however it’s rays will never chase away the gloom that now inhabits this house.”

    If I were to write out the contraction form of “it’s” the sentence would read: “ . . . open them to allow the sun in, however it is rays . . . “
    That just doesn’t make sense, does it?

    Title: Through the snow
    Author: Sed

    SPaG: 4.5/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 6/10

    Overall: 15.5/20

    I have no idea if Undine is supposed to be something supernatural but she’s creepy.

    My only large issue is that archaeologists don’t have that much adventure in their lives and they typically don’t take artifacts.

    Title: The Oracle
    Author: Joshybo

    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 8/10

    Overall: 18/20

    Your writing is always so good I think you could write whatever you wanted and be published. This is all-over creepy and strange. I think this could be either a fantasy or a delusion which is nice.

    Title: It's My Party
    Author: inkwellness

    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 7/10

    Overall: 17/20

    I can’t stand the narrator which suits the song, I think. You wrote this well and I was very irritated by the narrator.

    Title: Another Again
    Author: tjc5172

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone: 5/5
    Effect: 6/10

    Overall: 15/20

    This is realistic and sad. There’s a few times that I got a little confused about who was speaking because there are few dialogue tags. Further, I think they need to be named at the start.

    “The tattooed man absently mindedly runs . . .”
    “Absent-mindedly”

    “Angela stares at the only man she has ever loved and who’s child she once had removed . . .”
    This line is like a punch but “who’s” should be “whose.”

    “The man she will probably ever love more . . .”
    This is oddly worded and would work better if “ever” is “always.”

    Title: Night Drive
    Author: Smith

    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 6/10

    Overall: 15/20

    This is really well-written. I think I’m getting too old for teenage “romance” stories. This reminded me of when I was that age but irritated me at the same time.

    Title: Pitch
    Author: Chrisatola

    SPaG: 5/5
    Tone: 4/5
    Effect: 5/10

    Overall: 14/20

    I enjoyed this rough Western. I grew up playing pitch and I don’t remember it ever being that intense (even when we were throwing things at each other). I had one question: the narrator joined the lawmen in the man-hunt?



    bazz cargo's scores:

    Three Days: A Literal Triptych, Based On A Song
    by
    bdcharles
    SpaG 3.5 /5 – Predominantly correct. Minor errors.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 8-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 16.5 /20
    'Clay clumps together to form shelters, and under such a hut a flame crackled' (A bit clunky)
    With the exception of a little clunkiness this is very cool. Lovely image sketching, nice word choice. Basing a story on a song has a few inherent faults, one being there is rarely any internal logic, you managed to find some. Kudos. I would be proud to write something this good.



    The Birth of a Champion.
    by
    The Ephemeral One
    SpaG 2.5 /5 – Consistent grammatical and spelling related errors.
    Tone and voice 3/5 – Effective yet inconsistent vocabulary and phrasing.
    Effect 7-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 12.5/20
    First of all your spelling is excellent, the grammar is a little wobbly. I don't know if it is just me, but I got lost. I didn't understand the reason why the 'two shadowed figures' were on the roof. Or why a 'Mage' was fighting a Sage?' It seemed to me either the word count caused an edit too far or you needed to concentrate on a smaller scene.
    There are some very good bits, nice touches of dialogue and the battle is suitably epic. I love the last line, a decent twist, with depth of character and a promise of more to come. Very cool.



    Available
    by
    Captflash76
    SpaG – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = d/q
    I could easily read more of this. The heavy hand of Noir with a strong hint of contemporary Western. Nice little sketches and the narrator is a dream for radio adaptation. It is very hard to crit something this good.

    Sealed Acquaintance


    by
    PrinzeCharming
    SpaG 4/5 – Grammatically flawless writing.
    Tone and voice 4/5 – Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.
    Effect 7-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 15/20
    Soooo close. Sadly, the sum of its parts don't measure up to the whole. There are some lovely lines:
    'The jocks acted as predators on top of the large food pyramid living in an ecosystem of cliques and territorial instincts'
    The opening didn't grab my attention and the verbosity kinda drags me out of the story. I keep reading a part then having to stop and digest it. This can work when a kind of jazzy, poetry seasoning is added to the mix, somehow my mind goes, 'Oh, this is poetic, different rules apply.'



    White Sails
    by
    Rcallaci
    SpaG 5/5 – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 9-10 points.
    Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 19/20
    Cheesus Bob, like a bullet you find the spot of maximum impact and spread waves of destruction. Even little embellishments. Powerful, thought provoking, rich in texture and an easy read.


    Extra Credit
    by
    Astroannie

    SpaG 5/5 – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 8-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 18/20
    Such a low key piece. Hidden in the very ordinariness is some clever layers of interest. The cellist and his lack of knowledge about the school or college curriculum. The moment he becomes aware of the vital part he plays within the quartet. Subtle. Dealing with the day to day stuff without drama. Kudos for capturing my interest.



    Obsession
    by
    Jenthepen
    SpaG 5/5 – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice 4/5 – Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.
    Effect 8-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 17/20
    Now here's the thing, the start works well but the ending is a bit bland, tonally wise. There is a bit of a documentary feel to what could be a down and dirty psycho moment. The sound of the knife as it grinds its way across the wall. The burning itch of shredded pride fuelling his rage.
    The writing itself is clean, crisp and easy to follow. From my perspective you could do some experimenting with a few of the tools in your writing tool box.

    Zoom –

    By
    Godofwine
    SpaG 5/5 – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 9-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 19/20
    Pow! What a blow to the emotional muscle. To me this was pitched just right. Not sure about the word 'glided,' but hey ho. I loved the way you worked the lyric into the spine of the story. Given a proper work-over without any limits this could be a terrific short, or novella. Kudos.



    Deuce coup
    by
    W. Goepner
    SpaG 3.5/5 – Grammatically flawless writing.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 8-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 16.5/20
    Hi Bill, first off the downside: A bit too much technology detail, and a bit more chrome than is necessary. I think I spot an edit slip as well.
    Now the good: I loved the way you capped the start and finish. There are some very nice touches of dialogue, and the POV is perfect. A very easy and pleasurable read.



    Lost For Words
    by
    Teb
    SpaG 4/5 – Grammatically flawless writing.
    Tone and voice 4/5 – Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.
    Effect 9-10 points.
    Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 17/20
    'even more paper lies on the floor around my feet in various shapes and forms' (Good image but a little clunky in execution).

    The rule of it's v its.

    If you can read within the sentence as 'it is' or 'it has' then 'it's' is a contraction. 'Its' is not, 'its' is the possessive.

    Very nice... Excellent scene setting and description. I was there in the room with him. Smooth, easy to read. Strong character, the emotional journey within the introspection was on the ball. This worked well, I suggest you try something with some dialogue next time.



    Though The Snow
    by
    Sed
    SpaG 4.5/5 – Grammatically flawless writing.
    Tone and voice 4.5/5 – Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.
    Effect 8-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 17/20
    Couple of words you could afford to lose and one typo.
    'From behind a half-frosted window, Trevor watched the large snowflakes continuously fall beyond his cabin's blue porch light outside. The afternoon winds had since died down,'
    'woolen'
    Very strong picture you paint here, along with a hint of menace and a dash of ambiguity. Easy to read. Strong characterisation. I felt like I would like to read on.

    The Oracle

    by
    joshybo
    SpaG 5/5 – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 9-10 points.
    Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 19/20
    Shusterring fermicats! I would buy this novel.


    It's My Party
    by
    Inkwellness
    SpaG 5/5 – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice 4.5/5 – Strong, interesting use of a particular tone.
    Effect 8-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 17.5/20
    Congratulations on making an annoying tit interesting. I particularly liked the party planner who struggled to restrain her 'attitude.' Good use of asides giving me an insight into 'Honey's' life.



    Another Again
    by
    tjc5172
    SpaG 5/5 – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 7-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 17/20
    It took me a while to get my eye in on this. The density of words and the sentence structure is something I rarely come across. That is neither a good or a bad thing but something you might consider, effect wise, when you are working on a larger piece.
    A very strong image burned into my eyes. Easy to read. Emotionally charged and garnished with a hint of ambiguous danger.

    Night Drive

    by
    Smith
    SpaG 5/5 – Competent manipulation of sentence structure, creative use of punctuation and effective paragraph composition.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 8-10 points. Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 18/20
    Wheeeooowee! Lust. You successfully tread a fine line here, between erotica and a maiden Aunt's sensibilities. And it works. Easy read. Neat characterisation.

    Pitch

    by
    Chrisatola
    SpaG 4/5 – Grammatically flawless writing.
    Tone and voice 5/5 – Perfectly fitting or unique style and technique.
    Effect 8-10 points.
    Originality, conceptual interest, effectiveness of imagery, emotional evocativeness and, of course, creative interpretation of the theme.
    Total = 17/20
    'I just sat there lookin’ dumb while the other turned and did the same.”' (Okay, what other?)
    The opening paragraph was a bit out of place to me, I would have worked it into the ending. It does work better on a second reading but initially I found it 'odd.'
    A smooth read with some nice sketches. I have a feeling you could do with a bit more space to flesh out some detail.



    General note.
    At the moment I have no sound available on my computer, so I have had to work on this collection 'blind.' Each story has been read without the song being taken into consideration, sorry.
    16 exceptionally good stories. This is the toughest set of crits I have had to do. If I could squash all of you onto the podium I would.
    If any contestant wants a deeper crit, or some more insight into my opinions, I will willingly help by PM. Please understand, my life is very complicated at the moment so it may take a day or so to answer.
    For those of you who didn't make the podium, don't be downhearted at not being in the top three, you entered, which is more than most have. In a very real way you are all winners. Kudos.



    hairball's scores:
    bdcharles: Three Days: A Literal Triptych, Based On A Song


    SPaG: 4/5 Well done...but just one. Latterly. Did you mean literally or latterally?


    Tone/Voice: 4/5 Again well done. I felt the fear and confusion of the characters.


    Effect: 7/10 A little confusing toward the end but still a wonderful piece. I'm not trying to be a butt, but in your title, you should have warned about language and f-bombs. I'd like to see a little warning before reading your next works, okay? I have no problem with it, but others might. But I liked it!


    Overall: You really have a gift. I loved the descriptions in your piece. Good job! Keep on!




    astroannie: Extra Credit


    SPaG: 5/5 Very well done. Punctuation was especially perfect and it was easy to follow the dialogue.


    Tone/Voice: 5/5 Again, well done. It isn't easy playing second in a concert.


    Effect: 8/10 Very well done. I would have liked to see a tiny bit more of the essay in it, though. But this was very, very good as it is, and I liked this a lot!


    Overall: Very, very good job on this. I liked this so much! Keep on!


    godofwine: Zoom


    SPaG: 5/5 Purrfect!


    Tone/Voice 5/5 Sadness behind a song....wow, just wow.


    Effect: 9/10 This is pretty deep. Ouch.


    Overall: Beautiful, heartbreaking story. Great descriptions of all the love there. Would like to have known Cathy a little more, maybe her love of music and how she felt about her passing. Great job! Very well done!




    W. Goepner: Deuce Coup


    SPaG: 3/5 Several. "Threw town" should read "through town." his Grandfather's should read, "his grandfather's..." where the surfers and swimmers hangout. Hang out here would be two words. A hangout is a place; hang out is where folks hang out; a verb in this text. His desire to hear the sound of the car, over road his caution of the police. "Over road" is what some truckers do. This should read, "overrode" and minus the comma in that sentence. And "coup" is a military or otherwise violent takeover of a government or state. "Coupe" is a 2-door car, as in a Cadillac Coupe De Ville.


    Tone/Voice: 4/5 I loved this story of caring for your grandfather's car and the cop and your grandmother. Very well done! I could feel how you made her happy.


    Effect: 8/10 Very well done! I loved reading this.


    Overall: Again, very well done! The SPaGs brought you down a little in this, but this was well-written with a load of feeling and love for your grandfather's car. Niiiiiice!!


    chrisatola - Pitch


    SPaG: 5/5; Minor problems here; Then pulled a leather pouch of gold coins from his vest, and set it on the bar. “Bebidas para todas, por favor. I got a’ inheritance to spend.” Should read, Then he pulled a leather pouch of gold coins from his vest and set it on the bar. “Bebidas para todas, por favor. I got a inheritance to spend.” Also, face down is one word; it describes a posture and not an action. Very good!


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; I would have liked to have seen a little more of the dead guy here, but this was very good!


    Effect: 7/10; I'd like to see more of the gambler's issues but this was interesting.


    Overall: You could make a novel out of this piece. I felt the characters needed some fleshing out, but overall, this is a great piece of work and you did very well!




    Ephemeral_One - The Birth of a Champion


    SPaG: 5/5; Not bad! So shall we announce the end of this land of the lost and sedated,” Ordered the figure with a rasp. His gaze never looking away from the party below. Should read, So shall we announce the end of this land of the lost and sedated,” ordered the figure with a rasp; his gaze never looking away from the party below. Very good!


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; I thought the characters could have been described a little better, but good show!


    Effect: 7/10 I could feel the clashes there. That works for me!


    Overall: I would have liked to see the characters described a little better, but dang, this is very good!




    captflash76 - Available


    SpaG: short-cut is two words, short cut, and deep down in my pocket should read deep down into my pocket. “Call me, Mona.” should read, "Call me Mona." Also the .... in this piece could be replaced by semicolons, but here, this may have been the writer's intent. Very good!


    Tone/Voice: The offhanded way in which the character acted should have reflected more on a bad memory or something. I thought that part needed some depth, but it was good!


    Effect: Whoa! He got arrested! I didn't see that coming! Great twist!


    Overall: I think this needs a little more fleshing out, but as it is, that ending took me by surprise. I was figuring he'd take her to a room and find out she's a cold fish in bed or something. Little do I know here. Well done!




    PrinzeCharming - Sealed Acquaintance


    SpaG: 5/5; Just one little glitch is all. parasitic leaches should read, "parasitic leeches." Leeches are parasites, leaches are leaks as in the river mud leached over onto the field. Perfect!


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; The capture of the whole thing about students was pretty near perfect. I'd like to have seen more about the girl, so I think this could actually be built upon a longer story. Well done!


    Effect: 8/10 Oh my, a kiss between young ones can sure as hell set afire some raging hormones. I could feel the energy there.


    Overall: This is a perfect story about young love; the emotions are right...and it ends with a kiss. I would have liked to see a little more of the awkwardness of the kiss, and how you felt after...but this was very well done as it just IS. Good job!


    rcallaci - White Sails


    SPaG: 5/5; Just a little one, it's so minor it doesn't count.


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; Very painful; yet so realistic. I was left wondering - is this you?


    Effect: 8/10; This was very, very involved. I felt this.


    Overall: the world of pain is horrible and I would have liked to see any hope for you. Very, very good job on this!




    Jenthepen - Obsession


    SPaG: 5/5; No errors; well done!


    Tone/Voice; 5/5; This was creepy. Nice!


    Effect: 8/10 Again, it was written in a way that made my imagination go into overdrive. Well done!


    Overall: this is creepy and all too real! This has happened to ladies before...geez! I would like to say I like it, but...well written and just creepy. I don't like these kind of things because they bother and upset me and you moved me right straight out of my comfort zone. Very good! Well done, Jen!




    sed - Through the Snow


    SPaG: 5/5; Not bad!


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; Very suspenseful and weird. This was good.


    Effect: 8/10 Wanting to talk? This was quite a twist.


    Overall: Holy cow, she burns him down and keeps the dog. This was unexpected; perfect! I would like to have seen a little more build-up between the chararcters, but this was very good!



    tjc - Another Again


    SPaG: 5/5; While there aren't errors here, it is hard to read.


    Tone/Voice: 3/5; I think this should have been broken up with less dialogue and more description, but this is good!


    Effect: 6/10 I think the effect of this piece is lost in the way it's presented. It's one long dialogue and I think this can be a lot better if put into a better, more readable format.


    Overall: Again, one long piece is kind of hard to see, but you sure did put a ton of effort into this! I appreciate you! I think this has a lot of promise, and it was very interesting.


    Teb - Lost For Words


    SPaG: 5/5; Minor error: kettle and rays: The "it's" should be "its." Good show!


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; Some of the sentences were a bit long, but the descriptions were very good.


    Effect: 8/10; The gloominess and sadness in this piece were well done.


    Overall: This was definitely dark and unhappy. I think I would liked to have seen a little more on how she died, though. I liked it; it made me sad. Very good!




    joshybo - The Oracle


    SPaG: 5/5; Good show!


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; Descriptions were really good in transferring her feelings.


    Effect: 7/10; I felt sorry for her.


    Overall: I would like to have known how she got captured...or did she? Good story, though, well done!


    inkwellness - It's My Party

    SPaG: 3/5; Several, but minor: "You're late Linda!" should read, "You're late, Linda!"; And relax it’s only been a few minutes" should read, "And relax, it was only a few minutes," she said, looking for a place to hang her shawl.; I insistently reminded should read, I insistently reminded her. "Linda, get the door." I commanded should read, "Linda, get the door," I commanded.; Can't you see that I'm busy honey?" should read, Can't you see that I'm busy, honey?"; "Well, your barn door is open." He declared, pointing to my crotch should read, "Well, your barn door is open." he declared, pointing to my crotch.


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; A little confusing, is he being a jerk on purpose?


    Effect: 7/10 Confusing; a two-hundred-dollar cake?


    Overall: Fun story, but I think I'd have like to see him go cry quietly and then say that about it's his party. Good job, though! I liked it.




    Smith - Night Drive


    SPaG: 5/5; One minor one: dopplers past, should read Dopplers pass. Very good!


    Tone/Voice: 4/5; the nervousness is good in this.


    Effect: 7/10; Not bad; I was wondering if she was going to be home on time.


    Overall: The end didn't seem to fit too well. I would have liked to see a little more of either the mother brought out or the age difference. Good job, though!

    Last edited by kilroy214; February 5th, 2016 at 04:46 AM. Reason: I Can't Math!
    “On the chest of a barmaid in Sale, were tattooed all the prices of ale. And on her behind, for the sake of the blind, was the same only written in braille"


    "Ambiguity is one of the greatest faults in a craft. It comes from vague ambitions. One may inspired by good ambitions, but the immediate concern of the craftsman is to know what he is capable of doing at present; and to do it."
    - Edward Johnston

  2. #2
    The Fox Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Indefinite Hiatus
    Posts
    1,435
    Blog Entries
    147
    Thank-you Kilroy.

    Harper: Yes, you are right about that grammatical error. This was my first real effort into writing something first-person and in the present, and I agree that it's challenging! But I also had a great time with it.

    amsawtell: I hope the story didn't upset you too much haha!

    bazz: Definitely a fine line, but I had a fun time walking it. Appreciate you recognizing that.

    Hairball: Thanks for judging, and yeah, looking back on it I have an idea for how I could have done something different - something more - with the ending. It would take this piece in a whole new direction. Thinking of giving it a shot and posting it on here for feedback.

    Congratulations top-three! ^_^
    Last edited by Smith; February 5th, 2016 at 02:03 AM.
    Hidden Content

    "Eliminate." - Akame

    Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Thank you Mr Kilroy for a rocking host job. I thank all the judges love the Crits.

    amsawtell- iTs was intentional not a typo in my world. You do understand my writing style. He did not have a fix in jail- I was a body wreak in distress-I haven't had a fix in five days. But it is easy to score drugs in jail. Bowie is my all time favorite artist - It was said this song was about his heroin addiction while he lived in NY, way back when.

    Hairball- No this is not me- I'm quite familiar with the drug world though -thirty-five forty years ago. I do know the pain it causes.

    Bazz thank you kindly- everyone sees a story with different eyes. This is what I was aiming at.

    HarperCole- I always have tense problems. Spag is such a bitch. Thanks for the read and crit.

    Congrats to josh and all the rest - Good stories all- a great competition.

    Happy Writing
    bob
    Nature weeps, the devil sings
    at mans greed and pride
    and what it brings

    Just lots of useless
    little things

  4. #4
    Thank you Harper, Ariel, bazzy, and Joyce! And congrats to Josh!
    Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.
    — Robert G. Allen

  5. #5
    Special thanks to all the judges! Congrats to the top three! This was a big turn out of submissions. Give yourself a lot of credit just for having the time to review everything. It was my first attempt at LM, being here for only a few weeks, and I should have put more thought into it. I had a lot going on at the time, and I believe the scores reflect that well. I'll tell myself to submit to competitions when I am truly comfortable and ready - rather than on whim. For me, it was just trial and error. I submitted to three writing competitions within the first month of being a member here. Call me ambitious, but it wasn't necessary. I wanted to dip my feet into the water, but I also have to allow myself to enjoy the temperature. It wasn't my best effort, but it certainly won't be my last either.

    Here's my individual gratitude:


    HarperCole -

    Thank you for pointing out a few of the common mistakes I make as I write. I have such a bad habit of tense changes and carrying into a new idea without finishing the previously mentioned. I believe it was the word limit that challenged me the most. I was too focused with the balance between limitation and presentation. I appreciate your last comment. That's exactly why I chose to push my novel to the side and refine my skills. Thank you for your time! I greatly appreciate it.

    amsawtell -

    Thanks for the critique! Despite not providing any constructive criticism, a balance between cons and pros, I'll take the criticism as an invaluable lesson of writing short stories. As it was my first attempt on WF, I have a lot of room to grow. The YA theme comes from my YA background between tutoring and writing YA works. I should have written this more seriously and gave it more thought considering of the word restrictions.

    The science class was just a transition from explaining that the nerds were never involved with relationships. Emphasis on the closest thing they had were hair follicles which would then become extra credit in their Trichology lesson. Perhaps, too much on the stereotype? The drama club was just a filler for the dining facility talk. So, having a warm welcoming student activity group introduce themselves to a new student seemed like a cliché play of action. Typical kids at school welcoming the new girl to the group. It's a common theme throughout movies. That's all. I'll work on my transitioning with more concrete information. Thanks again for pointing out the typo. I appreciate your time.

    bazz cargo -

    Thank you for your constructive criticism. Although there was a typo, I admire your feedback on the grammar. I have a habit of throwing words. One of my writing endeavors is to write concise and on point with the setting. I realize I have written the introduction as a newsletter or some school report. It sounds very bland after reading it over. I will try not to let the word count get the best of me next time. I wish I had put more enthusiasm into this as well. I submitted on whim and could have stepped back for a reality check. Thank you so much for your time despite your current situation. I appreciate it. I also admire the extra time you offer to our contestants with more feedback. Members like you make these writing competitions worth the time and review.


    hairball -

    Haha, I caught on to the leeches after I submitted. I think at the time I was writing, I was distracted by thinking about how the nerds were being stripped away from the soil like worms. I had such a mindset at that time. It's also a redundant group of words. Parasitic leeches is almost like saying sugar coated cotton candy. I wasn't sure to call the nerds leeches or worms. I think a leach field was in the way. I believe I was also caught up in the word restrictions. Now, I know I'll focus more on the main characters and get to the point. Thank you for your support and feedback. I appreciate it.


    And lastly,

    Again, thank you everyone for your time and review. This has concluded my first month at WF with a lot of invaluable experience to grow and develop into something more. One month down, and so much more ahead.

  6. #6
    WF Veteran W.Goepner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Auburn, California
    Posts
    1,362
    Blog Entries
    1
    HarperCole, amsawtell, bazz cargo, and hairball, thank you for you time and effort. Judging is tedious and not as fun as one would think. Each of you found and mentioned my errors. The best part is, none were conflicting, each noting the same issues. There were different fixes and that is also to be expected, but for the same errors.

    HarperCole, amsawtell, and bazz cargo. In the nineteen fifties and through to present day, chrome and detail the sought after highlight of the classics. In the fifties the thing was pipes, louder, flashier, and lots of them. Also back in the day chrome to every accessory, was the sign of money, either in the pocket or out of pocket. So yes the chrome, chrome, chrome was for effect. Probably over done, but for effect.

    amsawtell; the glory days was due to her disease. I did not have the word count to make the correlation between grandfather and grandson looking alike or that grandmother was recently diagnosed with the disease. Her reliving the glory days as I said was due to the disease, seeing the short term memory is the first thing to go and reliving the long term is the middle of the disease.

    Not to leave you out hairball; all is fare, your scores, your critique, and your point of view. Can't complain when we see the same picture.

    Bazz cargo, thank you for the ego boost. Technology minded I am, able to give you a view I am not. I would have preferred a bit of tech detail on my SPaG and effect score. Hey I do not mind the pat on the back either.

    All in all, I think I can grow from these scores and the critiques. Thank you.

    Congratulations to joshybo, jenthepen, and astroannie. All fine pieces of work.










    Now if I can only figure out who to bribe.
    Last edited by W.Goepner; February 5th, 2016 at 03:10 AM.
    My friends and family call me Bill, you may also.Hidden Content

    When people meet people,
    Potential Strangers, Acquaintances, Friends.

    When dogs meet people,
    Potential Friends, Acquaintances, Strangers.

    I would rather be the Dog.

    It takes only,
    A second to meet,
    A moment to know,
    A Lifetime to forget.


    A word without thought can destroy.
    Please remember to think before you speak.

  7. #7
    Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    In a far-distant otherworld.
    Posts
    3,231
    Blog Entries
    4
    Thanks to the judges and congrats to the medallists! A great comp

    By the way kilroy my score was 14.375, not 17.375 - unless of course you wish to revise your winner?

  8. #8
    Thank you all for your responses and a fun experience. I am the lowest scoring person for this contest yet I think I might end up keeping the setting on a back burner to make an actual story out of. So, thank you for that.
    The truthful lie and unbelievable are my wings so I walk among the skies.

    Come see a little through my eyes
    Hidden Content

  9. #9
    Thank you to all the judges for your time and effort! I'm glad that you enjoyed my piece, as there were many, many great stories in this competition and it could have easily gone either way. Congrats as well to jen and annie for their excellent submissions, as always.

    The LM is off to a great start in the new year, and I look forward to seeing as many quality pieces submitted in the months ahead of us!

  10. #10

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.