LM September Scores - Page 2


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Thread: LM September Scores

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by BornForBurning View Post
    Congrats to the winners. I'm glad Tim won, it's cool to see something so bizarrely anti-flash win a flash competition. But I'm sticking to my guns that the ending needs to be fixed.
    And so you should. Thank you.

    The first draft was 1600 words. The story's readability and creditability suffered from all the editing and changes I had to make. I was unhappy with the safety-net and the ending and almost put it in the bin. Then I thought, Why not enter it anyway? The more entries the more interesting the competition.

  2. #12
    Thx judges, well done. Sorry my link wasn't stronger, I think it just wasn't a natural 'fit'. I knew the boy Hansel was fattened up but I needed Gretel to spawn, etc.

    I can't remember who wrote what but I'll read them again - I distinctly remember I liked most of 'em.

  3. #13
    Thanks to the judges, very useful feedback. Congrats to the winners.

  4. #14
    Congratulations!
    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" - W.B. Yeats
    Stories: Hidden Content l Hidden Content Hidden Content

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  5. #15
    Offline: Depressed Trollheart's Avatar
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    Can I just ask, are we allowed to respond to questions put forth by the judges in their evaluation? There are some which I think were asked and I would like to explain them if that's possible. If not I guess it doesn't matter, but I think it might help. Thanks.
    Come away, human child to the waters and the wild
    With a faery hand in hand.
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. - WB Yeats "The Stolen Child"

    I drink to forget, but I never forget to drink.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  6. #16
    Wɾ°ʇ°∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
    Can I just ask, are we allowed to respond to questions put forth by the judges in their evaluation? There are some which I think were asked and I would like to explain them if that's possible. If not I guess it doesn't matter, but I think it might help. Thanks.
    Of course, please do


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

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

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  7. #17
    Offline: Depressed Trollheart's Avatar
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    Thanks Charles.
    Is the best form to do it by PM or here in the thread?
    TH
    Come away, human child to the waters and the wild
    With a faery hand in hand.
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. - WB Yeats "The Stolen Child"

    I drink to forget, but I never forget to drink.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  8. #18
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    Let's all get the wisdom of the judges.
    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  9. #19
    Wɾ°ʇ°∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
    Thanks Charles.
    Is the best form to do it by PM or here in the thread?
    TH
    Quote Originally Posted by velo View Post
    Let's all get the wisdom of the judges.
    What velo said here is fine, that way we all get the benefit.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

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

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  10. #20
    Offline: Depressed Trollheart's Avatar
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    One very important point before I start: I would not want anyone, especially the judges, to think I am ungrateful to you for taking the time to read and evaluate my story, and I would hope this would not be seen as a surly, sulky ďbut you didnít get itĒ sort of response, because thatís not the spirit in which itís written. I merely wish to clarify some points that were brought up during the evaluations, and respond to some criticisms, while not in any way contesting those views. So at the outset, let me begin by thanking you all for your comments, and hope you got at least something out of my story.

    Before I make my comments, respond to or, if you prefer, defend my work, two caveats: one, most importantly, I understand that anything - anything - that was misunderstood or misinterpreted or not understood is my fault, and mine alone. As the writer, itís up to me to make things clear so that the reader does not have to guess at things. But against that, the second caveat, which is kind of split into two parts: (1) this is the first time I have ever attempted to write a story of such short length and (2) the very brevity of the story restricts me from doing what I had really wanted to do. So much had to be sacrificed in the name of word count that the main meat of the story did suffer somewhat, but I think, or thought, it still stood on its own tolerably well.

    Iíd like to address Bornforburningís comments first, as they were, shall I say, the most critical, almost, to me, to the point of harshness.

    I take your point about the shoulders thing. I didnít realise I had done that, so thank you. However when I read it back I see it as the father taking his son by the shoulders to turn him towards the action, and then after that putting his hand on the boyís shoulder, almost in anticipation. Yes, in the interim his hands would have been removed from his sonís shoulders, but is it really necessary to write in every piece of minutiae? Do we say he opened his eyes and then closed them again, or he ran to catch the bus, and later talk of him walking along the street? Is it not taken as read (literally) that these things have happened without them having been written?

    But thatís a small point, and not one I will argue. Others, however, I very much will.

    I will, if youíll indulge me, challenge your logic with regard to the human ďdisappearingĒ. I find it odd that this was not self-explanatory, especially given Plykorís explanation to his son about the humans and the risks involved. Also, if the human had just ďrun awayĒ (apart from that being silly in the extreme to write: this isnít Monty Python) where did the bloodcurdling scream come from? I wrote in the scream so it would, or should, have been obvious that he had fallen (been dragged down) into the flowers. I foreshadowed this, I thought, by intimating that the flowers were watching him, moving like hunters before they pulled him down.

    And yes, in case thereís still some abiguity, thatís what happened. The flowers are sentient, carnivorous ones and as a pack they pulled the human down into their midst, tore him apart and it was his blood that then created the chemical reaction that turned them from white to red.

    Now let me move on to your next point, that of why humans would sacrifice themselves. I liken the human empire (or what is left of it by now) to migrant workers who stand on corners every morning in the hope that the farmer or businessman will want them for work. They wonít be paid much, but itís something and they will often fight each other for the privilege. Humans are not told, of course, that they will or may die, but are told something like this:

    ďWe need humans to come with us to this planet where there are flowers to be harvested. You are the only ones who can breathe the poisonous atmosphere of oxygen and hydrogen on the planet. The work is hard, the day long but we pay well. There is some danger, yes: some of the plants are in very inaccessible places and you may be injured. You should know this before you accept the job. It is dangerous, and we make no guarantees for your safety. But it has to be better than starving, right?Ē

    In this way, the humans are told that the work is dangerous but not lethal (or at least, the actual level of danger is hidden deliberately from them) so why would they not jump at the chance to earn? Iíve explained, through Plykor, that the human race are the beggars of the galaxy; few will hire them and they struggle to maintain any kind of existence. Look at any country with poor workers in it and tell me they wonít take on the most hazardous work for the comparatively lowest pay.

    I would have to take issue with your contention that the plot was illogical, though I respect you have your own opinion. I think I did my best to explain it within the limits in which I was bound. The characters being flat is I think a little unfair; I introduced a wealthy businessman and his son, the latter of whom is to inherit his business but who is about as interested in that as any teenager. I tried to show the fall of the human race and revealed that a harmless plant is a killer predator, and also touched on the idea of commercialism and capitalism being happy, as usual, to sacrifice lives in order to make a profit. All in 650 words. I thought that was pretty okay, for my first attempt.

    Lastly, please donít take this as a personal insult, as I certainly donít know you, but glancing at your comments on the other stories I see that, in the main, you were pretty harshly critical of them too, so maybe youíre just, I donít know, harder to please. Iíll certainly try better next time, and thanks for the time you spent reading and evaluating my story. I just feel that perhaps, as a newcomer to this sort of thing, you might have been a bit more lenient and understanding and, I donít know, helpful? Again, donít take this as criticism but your comments, to me, came off as just dismissive rather than constructive. Nevertheless, Iím sure Iíll improve with time.

    Luckyscars: No problem with your, very succinct, and I should say very welcome, evaluation. Thanks, really. It meant a lot.

    SueC:

    In contrast to Bornforburning, your comments came across as much more nurturing and helpful; in fact, you recognised and pointed out that this was my first attempt, which is really nice and helps.

    With regard to aliens, I couldnít agree more, however (big caveat) I donít think Iím one of those writers who is able to ďgo nativeĒ as it were when writing aliens. I feel that in order to keep some sort of emotional connection to any alien they need to have recognisable human characteristics. An alien in Star Trek: the Next Generation put it very well in the episode Cost of Living: ďYou wonder what we do when weíre alone? Weíre just like you. We laugh, we complain about work, we worry about the future, and we hold each other when we cry.Ē Iíve seen few authors who can totally "alienise" a character and still have me empathise with them. Cyberwar has a gift for this. I donít. So I tend, yes, to apply human characteristics to my aliens.

    I believe that, otherwise, you have two types of aliens: human-like, who can be interacted with and understood, whose motives we can understand and whose emotions we can agree, or not agree, with, and your more monster-type, who has no emotions, no sense of, for want of a better word, humanity, and who isnít capable of the more nuanced thinking and actions the other type is. Yes, without doubt, it takes a far greater writer than I am to be able to meld the two, or even form a third, but not only is that beyond me, I donít think itís how I want to write my aliens. I feel that, throughout the universe, certain, ah, universal concepts prevail, such as love, hate, fear, death, jealousy, prejudice etc, and without these a story can be missing its basic elements, and characters harder to form. Iíve read a lot of science-fiction, and the ones where aliens are truly alien are either boring or make the alien, well, alien: I canít feel for them. Look at Burroughsís Tars Tarkas, or the aliens in Alien Nation. They both retain the family ties, love and hate and all the other characteristics that make up your basic human. I think Iíd find it very hard to write any other way. Even Wellsís aliens cannot be sympathised with, as theyíre just walking heads really.

    As for Plydthís boredom, yes I know. In the original draft I had a lot more to indicate that: he was wishing he was at home with his computer games, thinking about a female who might be impressed if he became head of his old manís company etc, but all that had to be scrubbed in favour of the word count. I tried to make them seem alien by referring to how they considered the beautiful green planet as ugly, and the fact that they had to wear suits to bear the atmosphere of Gentinis VII. You can only do so much with 650 words, as I found out to my considerable shock.

    As for where they were standing, Iím not sure it matters. The flowers are only dangerous until plucked, then theyíre inert and no longer able to attack after the transformation. I guess, think of them in a butterfly analogy, but consider that the caterpillar is carnivorous. Once it becomes a butterfly it is no longer so, and therefore no danger. They were, as it happens, standing a short distance off, having landed in their ship, but again the word count restriction didnít allow me to explain this, and again I didnít think it was hugely important. Technically, they could have teleported in. It really didnít seem to me to matter.

    Again, thanks for the evaluation and the very helpful and encouraging comments, and I hope I managed to clarify any aspect of the story that prevented you from enjoying it as I had hoped.

    If anyone has any other question, comments or wants to respond to anything Iíve said here, Iíd be glad to discuss any aspect of the story, or indeed my writing, with any of you.

    Thanks again.
    Trollheart
    Come away, human child to the waters and the wild
    With a faery hand in hand.
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand. - WB Yeats "The Stolen Child"

    I drink to forget, but I never forget to drink.

    "If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
    He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA" - The The, "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" - Mind Bomb, 1989


    The most destructive force on the planet is not nukes or global warming...it is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

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