Interview: InkwellMachine (2016 Grand Fiction Challenge Winner)

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  1. #1

    Interview: InkwellMachine (2016 Grand Fiction Challenge Winner)

    February 1st, kicked off with Writing Forums' 2017 Annual Grand Fiction Challenge, sponsored by Writing Forums and Meerkat Press. To celebrate the opening of the submission period (1st-14th February 2017, midnight GMT), we're getting the party started with an interview from last year's winner: InkwellMachine (Benjamin), and also taking another look at his stunning winning entry: Like Snuffing Out a Candle.

    Benjamin, Thank you for joining us!

    Heyo! Thanks for having me. I've been a ghost around here lately, but I'm always amazed by the warmth with which the forum welcomes me back. I'm like... your collective prodigal child.

    You were the winner of the 2016 Grand Fiction Challenge. Can you tell us a little about your entry for the challenge?

    Like, a little synopsis? Sure I can do that. It's set on a frontier where gods are as ordinary as wild cattle, and where folk obsess over besting them. God hunters and field researchers who try to kill or quanitfy the divine. There's a lot to the world I couldn't fit into 1,000 words, so I may pour these ideas into something larger at some point. Who knows?

    The prompt for last year's challenge was Dead by Dawn. How did you come up with the idea for your winning entry, Like Snuffing Out a Candle?

    It was a weird one, actually. An ex-girlfriend of mine has this really interesting character she created, but never the time to write it into a story. She didn't want me to take it stock and all, but she gave me the okay to adapt it, and thus the goddess was born. The most interesting part of her character was always the wonder with which people revered it, so I decided to zero in on that aspect and make the story about misplaced wonder in the world.

    It seemed appropriate to have the competing characters of the godhunter and the infatuated field researcher to illustrate the ideological schism on the frontier.
    How did you feel when you were informed yours was the winning entry?

    Mostly surprised that Terry D. didn't take the win with his story, "The Place." It was real, and well-written. He always helps me to remember that fiction can be flighty, and that it doesn't hurt to let gravity do its thing sometimes.

    This year's prompt is Ordinary Chaos and members are free to run with the prompt any way they choose. If you were a judge, what genre would you like to see more of this year?

    Ohhhh, some nice occult stuff would be lovely. Weird fiction, you know? Forbidden knowledge, dark places hidden right under your nose, transgressions of realityóyou know? Not even necessarily horror. You could totally write a story where you find something hidden and it turns out to be a great thing.
    If you've had further writing success during 2016 - please share!

    Everything you need to see, you can see by clicking on this text. I'm writer, artist, and almost everything else for this show. Been a pretty wild project. Never had "fans" until now. What a strange and chuffy thing.

    Thank you once again for joining us, Benjamin, and congratulations on last year's win!

    Hey, thanks for having me! And thanks for hosting this challenge. I might not have had the guts to do what I'm doing now if I hadn't done so well last year. Really helped my sense of self worth. This forum is an important thing. You guys volunteer so much for your community. I'll definitely be sending more greenies this way in the futureóI know you'll give each of them as much as you gave me.

    Like Snuffing Out a Candle
    by InkwellMachine

    Eight days Iíve been travelling with the Pasawíri, now. Eight days. Iíve given them everything they asked for and more. Rifles. Ammunition. Whiskey. Hiring the caravan to haul it all out to this god-forsaken place was no small expense either. And still, after all this time, I have yet to see a single trace of the prize Iím after. I worry these people may have gotten the best of me.
    Nevertheless, they maintain that there are gods in this wasteland yet. They say Iíll meet one, if I donít turn tail and run before the raid. As much as I hate to admit it, that is a distinct possibility. Iíve never felt so anxious in my life. I suppose itís a reasonable enough feeling, though; Iíve never seen a man kill before. Never even seen a man die.
    However, for this most singular of opportunities, I do believe Iím willing.

    Read in full >here<

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Great interview. And as one of the judges for last year's challenge, I can say that your story was superb!

  3. #3
    a revealing read - and an inspiration to us challengers...
    Last edited by ned; February 12th, 2017 at 11:11 AM.

  4. #4
    The only one who can heal you is you.


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