Literary Manoeuvers May 2018 "Upset The Apple Cart" Scores

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Thread: Literary Manoeuvers May 2018 "Upset The Apple Cart" Scores

  1. #1

    Literary Manoeuvers May 2018 "Upset The Apple Cart" Scores

    I told you they were coming. Didn't I tell you they were coming? The scores, that is. But please accept my apologies for the lateness. Life tends to get in the way. Well, no longer!

    Over to the judges:


    The same task, different mission

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone and Voice: 5/5
    Effect: 9/10
    Overall: 19/20

    Love the motivating articulation of the doorman's
    curiosities. As a reader I am left curious about
    the closing sentence effect upon subsequent doorman days.
    Kudos on the successful juxtapositioning of two
    splendid, seemingly common characters.

    Cheer Klutz

    SPaG: 4/5
    Tone and Voice: 5/5
    Effect: 8/10
    Overall: 18/20

    Kudos for the successful use of reader engagement/
    narrative enhancements: backstory, dialogue, sound effects.
    As a reader, verb tense shifts mid story felt awkward,
    like a much-too-common-for-many-high-school-experience.
    The walk from intimidation to humiliation left this
    reader looking for a shuffling of expectation
    and redirection of energy in conclusion. The internal
    strength of the main character humpty-dumpty-ed.


    Author: Plasticweld
    The Same Task, Different Mission "
    Spelling/Grammar: 5
    Tone/Voice: 4
    Effect: 9
    Overall: 18

    I'm including the Cambridge English Dictionary definition of "upset the apple cart," in all of my reviews this time around: cause trouble, especially by spoiling someone's plans.

    Enjoyed this work, Bob. You set everything up from the very beginning, and within the limited word-count were able to identify your main character, his feelings about his job, and what he sees every day. This is the type of story I love; an average Joe, doing what he can to get by. Your description of time and place worked well and I loved your description of the interactions with the man on the bench across the street. This, in my opinion, is an excellent example of show, don't tell. ("What is remarkable is how those people react. Some lean in to hear more. Some pretend to not hear him or smile at him with that same fake smile that I see on my side of the street. ")

    However, I felt the beginning could have had more impact if done just a little differently, maybe injecting a smidge of optimism, maybe upsetting the apple cart by your MC appearing, at least, to be good at a job that seemed to have no future, that he really didn't like.

    Overall, the MC seems too morose, using terms like "fake friends," and "blank eyes . . . blank expression," and seems overly pathetic. There is no joy in just being able to work; instead the focus is on the negatives of that particular work. He talks about the people he meets in his job, and is often hurt when they don't acknowledge him, even though he has no positive thoughts about them either. Shifting away from himself in the middle of the story, we then meet the man on the bench across the street, and the message he gives your MC. I think the ending needed a little punch; it felt somewhat flat to me, while the MC mused at the comparison between his job and what the stranger on the bench told him he did every day.

    The prompt of "upsetting apple cart" did not seem fully developed within this story, unless you were thinking the cart had already been upset before we even met your MC (taking a job that he felt did not suit him, upsetting future plans).

    I think this has a really good potential to be an awesome slice-of-life tale. It's true, some people never seem grateful for what they have. That is why I enjoyed this story, for the possibilities that are here. Thanks, Bob.

    Author: Addie
    “Cheer Klutz "
    Spelling/Grammar: 5
    Tone/Voice: 4
    Effect: 8
    Overall: 17

    I'm including the Cambridge English Dictionary definition of "upset the apple cart," in all of my reviews: cause trouble, especially by spoiling someone's plans.

    Hi Addie. I see you are a new member at WF and am excited that you have posted in the May LM comp. This was an easy read. I saw no SPaG problems and your story was entertaining. Really liked your MC and her courageous efforts to TRY. I guess we all have had moments in middle school that seem the end-all; important and nerve wracking. Your portrayal of this young girl, with her anxieties, was probably very true to life and hit a note with many of us. I liked her. Your sentences were short and to the point, with little superfluous information.

    It took me awhile, however, but I felt there was just something missing in the MC. I have had three daughters and of my five granddaughters, two are in 8th grade, so I was thinking of them as I read your submission. What was missing was emotion. Your MC has gone through some major disappointments (crutches, black eye) that kept her from her dreams, and unless this story was meant as a look-back from several years in the future, there would be EMOTION on that girl! She is the narrator, so I would suggest some simple sentences that capture that early teen angst when things go wrong.

    The ending felt like this was part of a bigger project ("It was bad enough humiliating myself and ruining our cheer, but ruining the spirit of the homecoming game for the football team? Jason wouldn't bother with me after this experience."). I want to know! - ha ha. Did Jason bother with her again? Did the other girls ever forgive her? Always nice to leave your readers wanting more.

    One thing I noticed - and I don't know if this was intentional or not - was the "tripping" on a banana peel. ("In seventh grade during lunch one day, I tripped on a banana peel. I was on crutches for weeks.") We usually slip or slide on such a peel, not trip, but again, it could just be my perception. The resulting "on crutches for weeks" might require some small explanation, like she broke her ankle, or some such thing, because it seems a little extreme.

    I see that you employed the prompt - upset the applecart. I had to read it a couple of times to be sure and I could imagine that the topple on the pyramid at the very end, upset the cheerleading team's applecart, so it was there, plus that danged banana peel.

    I hope you continue to submit to the comps here. This was a nice, sweet story and I'd like to read more.


    LM “Upset The Apple Cart” evaluations

    Thanks to those of you who participated. I enjoyed reading your stories.

    Bob Brown
    The same task, different mission

    Spelling/Grammar: 5
    Tone/Voice: 5
    Effect: 9
    Overall: 19

    I really liked this. It has a beginning and a voice like a spare Collier tale, or the opening of Roger Zelazny’s The Doors of his Face, the Lamps of his Mouth, where he starts with that bi about us all being bait.
    Singular and effective. No spagnits that I saw. I would see this expanded.

    Cheer Klutz

    Spelling/Grammar: 3
    Tone/Voice: 4
    Effect: 7
    Overall: 14

    That dash needs to become an em-dash. The sentences are a little clunky, lots of stops and starts. The adolescent drama is okay but there’s nothing really original or compelling about it.


    Hi guys both entries were great in this month's Lm fiction challenge. You each chose a different way to interperate the prompt and this showed in your writing. I enjoyed reading and judging both, thank you.

    Plasticweld-The same task, different mission.

    Spag 5/5
    Tone + Voice 5/5
    Effect 9/10
    Overall 19/20.

    Review: Plasticweld I enjoyed reading your entry, you had no spag issues that I picked up on when reading and your tone changed through out the piece to fit with the action being portrayed allowing the reader to gain a feeling of atmosphere within the writing. It begins dull/boring at the beginning symbolising the monotomous day to day job, then becomes amused and intrigued when the man shows up and finally wistfull at the end. The first person voice enhances this and allows the reader to fel like they are living the story reather than reading it. The overall effect is one of a great story, highlighting your skills as a story teller, well done.

    Addie- Cheer Klutz.

    Spag 4/5
    Tone + Voice 3/5
    Effect 9/10
    Overall 16/20

    Review: Addie I enjoyed reading your entry, it was an itriguing way to interperate the prompt and I liked the image you portray of the girl being like the apple falling from the top of the cart, it made me flinch as I read it. There were a couple of spag issues that jumped out at me as I read one was that your sentence structure seems a little stunted, bvy this I mean that you break up what would have been a longer sentence into shorter sentences, which interrupts the flow of your voice for example:

    "In seventh grade during lunch one day, I tripped on a banana peel. I was on crutches for weeks." This could have been one whole sentence:

    In seventh grade I tripped on a banana peel at lunch one day, and was on crutches for weeks.

    Another spag issues that I found was in your opening paragraph...cheering on the sidelines- it's what I loved... I think this reads better as what I ... it keeps the flow of the narrative voice from being interrupted and stops the writing from becoming list like. For the most part your tone is fluid aand you capture the anst of the protagonist well and this does come across in the writing. The overall effect of the writing was great and you left me wanting to know what happens after the last line, which is good. A good piece of writing that with a little more tweaking could become a fantastic piece of short prose.

    And here are the datas:

    SueC moderan -xXx- H.Brown Total
    Plasticweld "The Same Task, Different Mission" 18 19 19 19 18.75
    addie - "Cheer Klutz" 17 14 18 16 16.25

    Meaning that May's winner is ...


    ... followed closely by our runner up ...


    Good stories guys. The winner shall receive a receive a badge pinned to their profile and given a month’s access to FoWF where they’ll have access to hidden forums and use of the chat room. And I can only apologies again about the lateness. Let's work to get a good bumper crop of fiction for June Over and out.

    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge

    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    - Propaganda, "Duel"


    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

  2. #2
    I looked at the scores this morning when I got up and had some time to reflect on what the judges said, and the contest in general.

    First, it is an honor to have judges whom I respect, read and critique my work. The format of the contest really tests your skills to be able to tell a succinct story that will hold a readerís attention. The word count makes each sentence something that must be crafted to have the most impact. These Contests are in my mind one of the best tools that this site has to offer to improve yourself as a writer.

    Addie, I would be lying if I did not tell you that I am envious of you to be so young and show such promise as a writer. I am sure there will come a day when I can brag about beating you, because you would have just signed a big book deal and are well known. You got some great advice from these judges and with a little fine tuning you are going to be a remarkable writer.

    Thanks for the time and energy you guys took to judge. I can only hope that the next one has more participation.

    With respect to all here


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