Literary Maneuvers Oct '19: Write Using Dialogue Only - OR - Write An Urban Fairytale

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Thread: Literary Maneuvers Oct '19: Write Using Dialogue Only - OR - Write An Urban Fairytale

  1. #1

    Literary Maneuvers Oct '19: Write Using Dialogue Only - OR - Write An Urban Fairytale

    Literary Maneuvers October 2019

    Write a Story Using Dialogue Only*
    ~ or ~
    Write an Urban Fairytale

    650 words, deadline 23:59 GMT, Thursday 17th Oct, 2019


    In response to popular demand, this month you will be writing not to a prompt but to what is in essence a brief: a request for a particular style. You have a choice from the top two selections, both mentioned above in the header. As normal, you are to write a maximum of 650 words of fiction. Pick your own title, write about whatever you want, as long as it fits your chosen brief.

    If you win, you'll get a badge pinned to your profile plus a month’s access to Friends of Writing Forums (FoWF) where you’ll have access to hidden forums. Pretty neat, eh?


    The judges this month are bdcharles, luckyscars, J.J.Maxx and velo. For those interested in judging, or who wish to know more about scoring, take a look at the judging guide


    All entries that wish to retain their first rights should post in the LM Workshop Thread.

    All anonymous entries will be PMed to bdcharles

    Lastly, why not check out this ancient text on how to best approach this task.


    • All forum rules apply. The LM competition is considered a creative area of the forum. If your story contains inappropriate language or content, do not forget add a disclaimer or it could result in disciplinary actions taken. Click here for the full list of rules and guidelines of the forum.
    • No Poetry! Nothing against you poets out there, but this isn’t a place for your poems. Head on over to the poetry challenges for good competition over there. Some of us fiction people wouldn’t be able to understand your work! Click here for the poetry challenges. Play the prose-poem game at your own risk.
    • No posts that are not entries into the competition are allowed. If you have any questions, concerns, or wish to take part in discussion please head over to the LM Coffee Shop. We’ll be glad to take care of your needs over there.
    • Editing your entry after posting isn’t allowed. You’ll be given a ten minute grace period, but after that your story may not be scored.
    • Only one entry per member.
    • The word limit is 650 words not including the title. If you go over - Your story will not be counted. Microsoft Word is the standard for checking this. If you are unsure of the word count and don't have Word, please send your story to me and I'll check it for you.

    There are a few ways to post your entry:

    1. If you aren't too concerned about your first rights, then you can simply post your entry here in this thread.
    2. You can opt to have your entry posted in the Workshop which is a special thread just for LM entries. You would put your story there if you wish to protect your first rights, in case you wish to have the story published one day. Note: If you do post it in the workshop thread, you must post a link to it here in this thread otherwise your story may not be counted.
    3. You may post your story anonymously. To do so, send your story to the host of the competition. If you wish to have us post it in the workshop thread then say so. Your name will be revealed upon the release of the score.

    Everyone is welcome to participate, including judges. A judge's entry will receive a review by their fellow judges, but it will not receive a score, though some judges are happy to let you know their score for you privately. Please refrain from 'like'-ing or 'lol'-ing an entry until the scores are posted.

    Judges: In the tradition of LM competitions of yore, if you could send the scores no later than three days after the closing date it will ensure a timely release of results. Much later than that and I will have to post with what I have. Again, please see the Judging Guidelines if you have questions. Following the suggested formatting will be much appreciated, too.

    This competition will close on:
    Thursday night 17th of October at 11:59:59 PM, GMT (not BST), on the dot. Please note any time differences where you are and be mindful of daylight savings time.

    * Dialogue tags are acceptable
    Last edited by bdcharles; October 2nd, 2019 at 10:20 PM.

    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!

  2. #2
    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" - W.B. Yeats
    Stories: Hidden Content l Hidden Content Hidden Content

    Hidden Content

  3. #3

    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!

  4. #4
    The Queue
    (650 wds)

    "Next? Who's next? Hello, Michael. Come in and sit down. Would you like something to drink?"

    "No," said the boy.

    "How's everything going?" she asked

    "All right, I guess."

    "You look a little tired today. Anything on your mind?"


    "Do you want to just sit together? We don't have to talk, if you don't want to."

    "You say that every time."

    "Do I? Well, it's true. We can just sit together today."


    "I admit I sometimes talk to myself. Sometimes when I have had a really difficult day, I talk as if there is a person right there with me who is interested in everything I have to say. Do you ever do that?"


    "Well, maybe you could try it some time. Just a suggestion. Sometimes it helps."


    "Michael, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be, right now, where would that be?"

    "I don't know. Not here."

    "There must be a place you've always wanted to go."


    "Oh? Why Hell?"

    "Because that's where I would belong, after . . ."


    "I got to school late today because my bike had a flat and Mom was still in bed when it was time to go. So I had to walk; in the rain. On the way, I ran into some older kids and they took my backpack from me. My homework was in it, and they threw the papers all over the street, laughing at me. They ate the peanut butter sandwich I had made myself for lunch right in front of me. If I paid them back, then I'd go to Hell."

    "Do you mean, you'd pay back the boys who bullied you?"

    "I'd kill them, kill them all. What do you think?"

    "Seriously, Michael?"

    "Sure. Why not?"

    "Violence is not the way to fix the problem."

    "I thought you said I didn't have to talk. Talk doesn't fix the problem either."

    "Did you ever make it to school today, Michael? After the boys?"

    "Yes, I ran the rest of the way. When I got there, I was sweaty and everyone was looking at me, adding a few more names to my list."

    "Your list? I'm sorry you had such a tough day, Michael. If you need to cry, just go ahead."

    "I cried then. I felt like a fool, getting to school late, no homework, worked up, wet and smelly. I'm a freak."

    "Oh no, Michael, we are not going backwards. We have come a long way right here in this office, ever since the accident that changed everything for you. Just because you have had one bad day, does not mean we are going back to the beginning. Do you understand me?"


    "Tell me about someone you love, Michael."

    "What do you mean?"

    "Well, is there anyone in your life that you feel strongly about?"

    "Freddie, my brother. He looks like I used to look before the accident, no scars. When he smiles, his mouth is straight, not like mine that's all crooked and kids make fun of."

    "Here's a tissue. Michael, is Freddie your real brother?"

    "No. He's my stepbrother. His father married Mom and they moved in with us."

    "Is he ever mean to you, Michael?"

    "Yes, everyday."

    "But you said you loved him."

    "So? I want to be mean like him, that's all, so I can take care of things."

    "Well, our time is up for now Michael. I'll see you next week, okay? We can talk more about Freddie then."

    "No. No need. I'm going to take care of it before next week. Freddie's not going to be a problem for me anymore. Neither are the others."

    "Good, Michael. You be strong. Find a way to get along with Freddie, keep your chin up and I'll see you next week. Bye."


    "Who's next? Joseph. Come on in and sit down. Anything to drink?"
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.

  5. #5

    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!

  6. #6
    Offline: Depressed Trollheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Where the sour turns to sweet
    I've worked on this for the last two days, and I'm still not happy with it, but hey: you can't edit forever, right? Especially when there's a deadline. Here goes then:

    “Gemma? Is that you?”
    “Yes, darling, it’s me. I’m sorry; I thought you were asleep. I just popped out to talk to the .. it doesn’t matter. How are you?”
    “What did he say? The doctor?”
    “Oh, nothing much. You know how doctors are, Thomas. Won’t tell you anything.”
    “It’s all right, love. You don’t have to wrap me in cotton wool. I know there’s no hope. I may not be able to see, but I can hear, and the whispers... Are you crying? No, don’t cry, love.”
    “Oh, Thomas!”
    “You know, I was just thinking how ironic it is.”
    “Yes. How you’re such a staunch Catholic, and I’m a damned heathen, and yet….”
    “I don’t care that you don’t believe, Thomas, you knew that when I married you.”
    “Yes of course. It’s not that. I was just thinking that I’m going to be the first of us to discover whether all those prayers you say are being heard or not.”
    “Oh, they’re being heard.”
    “But how can you be sure?”
    “It’s called faith, darling. No, don’t snort. I don’t need proof. No Catholic does.”
    “Yeah. Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude. I’m just so tired.”
    “You should rest, love.”
    “I’ll soon have all the rest I need. Hey, if you’re right, maybe I’ll get to see again. Wouldn’t that be something? Can you come closer? I need to tell you something, while there’s still time. I’ve been dreading telling you, and I hope you won’t hate me when you hear it.”
    “Hate you? I could never hate you, darling. I love you. I always will.”
    “Don’t be so sure, Gemma.”
    “I am sure. It’s like my faith, darling. I love you unconditionally, and there’s nothing you could do or say that would change that.”
    “I don’t deserve you. I never did.”
    “Don’t talk like that. Sorry. I don’t mean to get choked up. I want to be strong for you. But how could you even think such a thing? You may not believe in God, but can’t you believe in me? In our love? Thomas? THOMAS! Nurs-”
    “Sorry to panic you, love. I just get so tired. I’m still here. Uh, what was I saying?”
    “You wanted to tell me something, darling.”
    “Yes. Give me your hand, love. Don’t let go, please. Whatever happen, don’t let go. Suppose I should take a deep breath, but I don’t have the energy, ha ha.”
    “Just tell me, Thomas. I’ll understand.”
    “All right. Oh god this is hard. Gemma, I killed Emily.”
    “Emily? My best friend? Thomas, what are you saying?”
    “It was an accident, I swear. She was going to tell you….”
    “Tell me what, Thomas?”
    “It – it was just one time, Gemma, I swear! Gemma? Gemma! Say something please. Anything. Curse me, shout at me. Anything but this silence. Gemma!”
    “I.. I thought you loved me, Thomas.”
    “I did. I do!”
    “I gave up everything for you. And you betrayed me?”
    “I was weak, Gemma. It was at a time when we.. were having difficulties, and, well, she was there...”
    “And then you had to shut her up before she squealed, eh?”
    “It wasn’t like that. She pushed me, I pushed her back. We were at the top of the stairs…. Oh, darling, I’m so sorry! Gemma? Speak to me!”
    “I’ve held your hand all this time, Thomas; as you walked through the darkness I’ve walked right beside you. But I’ll need both of my hands now as I stumble alone through this new darkness you’ve given me, your parting gift.”
    “I never meant to hurt you, Gemma. Please forgive me.”
    “I can’t, Thomas. I’m sorry. I hope God can.”
    “Gemma! Oh god! Please don’t hate me!”
    “I don’t hate you, Thomas. I pity you. In a way, I envy you, too. Your journey will soon be over. Mine is just beginning.”
    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 is the human ego. - Ralph Rotten

  7. #7

    NOW ON LORENZO (A little off color)

    “ Good morning. I’m your host, Lorenzo- please, no applause. I know you love me. Our special guest today is conspiracy theorist Gertrude Strawberry, She has written- “

    “Excuse me, but I am not a conspiracy theorist. I only speak the truth.”

    “ Of course, you do. Like I was saying, she has written books on aliens from Pluto controlling human minds- “

    “They do!”

    “And, of course, the bestseller that claims turkeys invented the wheel.”

    “They did, and how dare you eat them for Thanksgiving!”

    “Now, you have a new book out about music on a writing forum? Now turkeys inventing the wheel are one thing, but writers actually liking music? Well, you certainly have a right to your theories but… ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?”

    “ Well, F Scott Fitzgerald couldn’t have written the Great Gatsby if he hadn’t listened to Scott Joplin first.”


    “Well, no, I made that up… but think what a horrible place the world would be without the tender soft sounds of Guns n Roses or Black Sabbath.”

    “What about Hank Williams?”

    “He counts too. So does Stevie Wonder, Elvis Presley, Elvis Costello, heck, even the Elvis Brothers.”

    “The Elvis Brothers?”

    “Yes, there was a duo known as the Elvis brothers, no relation to Presley, Costello, or even McManus.”

    “Um, yeah… okay.”

    “ Anyway, they’re infiltrating a certain writing forum with something called music. Now writers are being exposed to progressive rock journals, metal rock journals, some weird guy named Musty who keeps listing his favorite bands, country music reviews, arguments about whether the Eagles are pure country or not. Did Elvis Costello really eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

    “Elvis Presley, actually.”

    “Presley, Costello, what’s the difference?”

    “Well why don’t you click on ALL THINGS MUSIC at Writing Forums and find out for yourself?”

    “ What? Wait a minute. That was just a shameless plug!”

    “I do a lot of shameless things.”

    “ You mean like the time you went streaking in front of the White House?”

    “That wasn’t me. That was my sister, Banana Strawberry.”

    “ You don’t have a sister named Banana.”

    “ That’s true. But don’t you like Banana Strawberry, though? Yum.”

    “ Okay, well that’s it for Lorenzo, tune in tomorrow when we ask if jugglers really have balls.”

    “And don’t forget to click on ALL THINGS MUSIC.”

    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Look Where Whining Gets You

    “ Dan.”

    “ Hmmm.”

    “ Come here. “

    “ Umm.”

    “Honey, please come here.”

    “In a minute...wanna finish reading this.”



    “Well, don't get mad. I just want to talk to you. I'm lonesome.”

    “Wait a minute. Okay?”

    “How much more before you're finished. Honey, aren't I more important? I mean you know if I feel so strongly about disturbing you that I'm feeling really awful. We never even cuddle anymore. Remember how every Sunday morning we'd sit together on the sofa and cuddle and talk? Those were some of my favorite times. Remember? Dan, how we... damn it. You don't even remember, do you?”

    “Yeess, Annie, I remember.”

    “Don't you speak to me in that condescending way! I'm so sorry I bothered you!”

    “Look, can't I just finish this frigging article? Then we'll reminiscence if that's what you want.”

    “That's not what I want. I want you to want to be with me over that stupid magazine. I want to feel like you love me so much. Am I really so old and worn out to you? I don't even turn you on anymore, do I?”

    “Now you're being silly.”

    “I don't know, it's like our love has grown gray hairs.”

    “Oh my God! Gray hairs! So, what we need to do... give it a dye job?”

    “You're funny! I'm aching inside and you're making jokes!”

    “It follows. If our love has grown gray hairs then let's dye it. Yeah. What color are kisses and candlelight and three times a night between the sheets?”

    You are making fun of me again, and being ridiculous.”

    Are you crapping all over my revelation? This totally provokes my thoughts. Just like somebody else I know. Think about it...what color are cuddles? Hey, come here Annie.”

    “What. What are you doing? Ouch!”

    “I wanna wrestle. Come on, woman, don't be such a baby. Let's wrestle. If I win you have to be Little, pink. Bo Peep tonight, and I'll be a big, handsome, hairy, red-eyed, Centaur.”

    “You are so gross and on top of everything else you...."

    “Wow. Well, well, sweetheart, I didn't know you resented me being on top. I'm willing to switch. Just give me a flip and... there you go.”

    “Forget it! Just go on back and read your magazine, fool.”

    “Nope, don't want to. I wanna wrestle. Come here, I'll even let you tickle me. See,
    I'm all submissive...arms up and everything.”

    “You're a moron. I rather kick you in the balls.”

    “Atta boy girl! Come get me, Just one little flying R-Bar scissor hold.”

    “Okay. You wanna wrestle? Let's wrestle, but if I win you ain't gonna have no Little pink
    Bo Peep in bed with you. In fact, if I win, you better be Hercules Unchained. You think you can handle that, big boy? Huh, huh?”

    “God Almighty woman! Show me that stuff.”


    “Oww. Foul! You fight dirty! You're really gonna get it now! When I pin you down on that floor, you're going to beg for mercy. Then, you wench, I'm gonna kiss you stupid.”

    “Oh sweetie, I know you'll be so happy we will finally achieve parity in the stupid department.”

  9. #9

    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. #10

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