Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

9-26-06 | Scores (1 Viewer)

Chris Miller

WF Veterans
First, all the judges, Hawke, Wyndstar, eggo and I, would like to thank those who entered. I think it safe to say it was a learning experience for us. I decided not to go with an “averaging of scores” system. This is arbitrary to some extent and gives the judge with the widest scoring ranges the most sway. Instead I’ve gone with a sort of consensus of comment w/ internal ranking system to select the “winners.” Needless to say we were not all always in full, or even close, agreement, and in some cases I chose to “ignore” the odd man out (including myself), my reasoning being that sometimes the best writing results in the most diverse reactions.

Here are our heavily opinionated results.

First place tie: Foxee’s Perfect & Jiieden’s: Sanctuary

Second place: Krim’s Homo Promo

Third place: huitzil’s With Liberty and Justice for All


Congratulations, well done!

Again, Thanks for entering everyone, for letting us read your work. It was an interesting and diverse group of stories, and judging, as you’ll see from our remarks was kind of a crapshoot. (Surprised that not one scenario had us making contact with extraterrestrial life.)

Judges’ comments grouped by entry follow:

linimis: Bluemen

Chris Miller: Well-written, solid voice, but reads a little like a prologue. Fairly standard negative utopian, secular, totalitarian society, the "Bluemen" obviously symbolizing the police. Wants for a few more specifics or details or something.

eggo: "Should I write this or shouldn't I write this" usually isn't written , but something you say before you write something. We never really know that there are people living down below until the last bit, which made a lot of the other facts written previously a little off base. Why did he return? Very good thought, very tough to pull off in five hundred words. Well done. I could not get the image of the Blueman group out of my head, lol.

Wyndstar: This is a really interesting ‘aliens take over the world’ story. Mass drugging and disinformation in order to take over the planet are a less than used medium and its nice to read something different. I would have liked to know how they pulled this off, and who the ‘she’ is, what significance she had, if her actions spread beyond the narrator. Again, this is one that leaves me with questions that can’t be answered in the contest limitation. It felt a little ragged – nice touch of the narrator who is supposed to be.


***


murdershewrote2005: Of Life and Time

Chris Miller: The future of motherhood. Like the specifics in the opening and throughout. Found it emotionally engaging and that the character came through, even in such few words. Nice imagery too.

Pete: Nice sequence, well thought out and executed. I liked this. Could have really used that extra sixty words to flesh out your brave new world a bit, but otherwise well-done.

Hawke: A very nice, touching, reflective piece. A “going back to the old ways” mood, as it were. Sad, yes, but still hopeful. I liked this very much, murder. Well done.

Wyndstar: The story is an interesting fable about the future of motherhood going full circle. The point is well illustrated, and the chars are focused and easy to relate to. For the subject, both the story and the ending lacks emotional umph.


***


cacafire: Drop

Chris Miller: Your waiver kills you. Why announce you didn't try? It's hard to be unbiased by it. The seas having evaporated and the son having been snuffed out made me wonder how anyone still lived, and aside from which the story could have been set at any time in history. There are a few typos but not many. The prose is kind of careless and reflects the lack of polish you warn about. It reads like an excerpt of something larger.

eggo: Tar sticky, fall bad, Excerpt from something bigger. At 324 words, you left 180 words on the table. Not sure how this figures into five hundred years from now.

Hawke: I’m gonna be honest here and say that this felt like a small excerpt of a whole, which made it hard for the reader (me) to get into. It also made it hard to feel for the main character.

Wyndstar: This one—while the writing itself wasn't a total loss, the premise doesn't work. No sun, no oceans, no life, at least, any intelligent life. I have no specifics on what future this is. It could be tomorrow. Creates too many unsatisfying questions.

***

FantasyOfYou: (untitled)

Chris Miller: Interesting that you chose not to give it a title. A few typos (e.g with in = within), but nothing that hurts. Though cleanly written, the bulk of the story is neither very interesting, character oriented nor descript, and contains no futuristic elements. So when your narrator finally bites it, even though the flip to 3rd person is a little abrupt, he's not really missed. The Einstein quote is interesting, but not enough to salvage. And the summary is interesting too, although a little contrived and preachy, and doesn't really tie into the story.

eggo: Excellent plot. Had a few kinks in how it all fit together, but you brought it off pretty well. I would like to see this in a larger piece. Had a few kinks in how it all fit together, but you brought it off pretty well. I would like to see this in a larger piece. I put on a hat and start hearing voices, I rip that thing off and throw it.

Hawke: I enjoyed this very much. A couple of tiny glitches (prise = pry; begins to read to = begins to read the), but overall a good read. Action equals reaction via necessity, and nothing extra to clutter it up (which was both good and bad - bad in that I would have liked to have felt for the character). Nice use of the Einstein quote. Good job.

Wyndstar: No title—nothing to initially draw me in to read it. The writing itself is good. I like that you tried to use Einstein's statement to illustrate the time line. My problem with this is that it tries to pull off a lesson at the end, but there's nothing throughout the body of the story to back that up. It hurts the story's flow and credibility.

***

MiloDaePesdan: Viviandetta

Chris Miller: Written w/ care it seems. And even a little poignant at the end. It reads very much like a scene from a present day video game. There's really not time in flash to develop and satisfy a revenge theme maybe, so it seems like just a pretext for a lot of not-to-shabby battle description. It's interesting that women have become the fighters of your future.

eggo: Nice! It has a beginning, a middle and an end. It hangs together very well and the descriptions didn't overpower the story. Nice post-apocalyptic fight scene. Not easily done in five hundred words. The chorography was just a little out of synch with the prose at the end.

Hawke: Sadly, it seems this is a case of the small word count having a huge impact on the story, making it hard to have both a battle and give the reader (me) enough to feel for the character. Good job, regardless.

Wyndstar: Very clever title. I like that. Nicely descriptive, too. The pity here is that, while I'm not into the Amazonian violence, I'd really like to see more of this world, but there just isn't enough time/words given to do that. I think I would have liked to see a bit more emotion in the moment where she achieves her goal. And again, I wish I knew how humanity got to this point.

***

Jiieden: Sanctuary

Chris Miller: Short, but I loved it. More of a poem in prose format. Maybe could've given the girl a few memories w/ all the words you didn't use… but then she might not symbolize humanity as a whole as I believe she's meant to. Beautiful description of the "world" unraveling, beautiful theme, sad, but for me very believable, ending. Lovely ending. Still, could’ve been longer.

eggo: You only really have the middle here. This is a great idea that deserves more explanation. I was instantly drawn in. Only 217 words. Editors will give you word count boundaries to stay within, so its up to you as a writer to use this as a tool and squeeze as much out of it as you can. You had an opportunity to color in your world a bit more and didn't use it. That's where you fell a little short.

Hawke: his. Short, sweet, emotional, and to the point. So much in so few words. Well done.

Wyndstar: This was my favorite. It was solidly written, and very poignant. The little girl being the last human was made very clear, and a computer advanced enough for sentience and sadness, feeling hurt, was a nice way of illustrating advancement. I enjoyed the emotion in this piece the most.

***

Syren: Reflections of an Independent Nomenclature

Chris Miller: Interesting opening remarks. Strikes me as more of an essay than a story. And this is okay, but as an essay it falls short on credibility. E.g., if what is known to one is known to all, how are our children our betters? In what way are they child-like? How are they conceived? Why? What makes us individuals? The narrator speaks as both "I" and "we." How does his scenario preclude god? Could one die if one wished? It strikes me as more wishful than believable. Like the way Jehovah Witnesses describe heaven. Still, thought provoking.

eggo: A descriptive narrative. I loved how it belittled the fact that we lose our humanity like it was the most natural thing in the world. I was looking for this to be part of a theme. I was looking for a bit more tension or resolution. Very well written Although you describe what this world would look like, I was left wanting to know what it would be like to live there.

Hawke: A thought provoking work to be sure; I read it and had to let sit for a while, stewing on the unsaid progression from now (we have come so far so quickly - from taboo to commonplace botox injections, facelifts, and billion dollar companies trying to keep up with the quest/demand for eternal youth) to the events in your story. It makes sense. It also makes sense that humanity has never been better, especially when it is no longer humanity.

Wyndstar: I really like where this goes, it makes one think, it has a very philosophical bent to it. I understand the contradiction of where it goes, but my problem with it is that it reads like a report summary. It creates more questions, for me, than it answers, and without having a good basis on the 'how' its possible, I have a problem with its credibility. Nice touch though on conveying sterility.

***

ButteredKazoo: Milking the Vultures

Chris Miller: Not sure how this fits the theme of the competition. It wouldn't even surprise me if it were written prior to it. Yes, it could be taking place 500 years in the future, but it could also be taking place a thousand years ago. I like the imagery and the symbolism, even though I don't understand it. I mean, what are the vultures supposed to symbolize? The milk? Still, that's just my opinion. Yes, it could be a scene from humanity's future, and it's poetic and written well.

eggo: Reversion to sacrifice culture. Good plot . By adopting a biblical name here , the MC picked up some pre-conceived character traits, good job. Good beginning and middle, but the end left me wanting a bit. Could have used the left over two hundred to show us around a bit more.

Hawke: That was wild. Kind of had that Quest For Fire feeling. Creepy and very bleak, too. Very much a humanity-will-take-a-hard-step-backward scene. Unfortunately I didn’t feel for the characters when they died. Also, a few sentences could be restructured to avoid repetition (“He”), which made the read jerk a bit. Good job though.

Wyndstar: This was a bit too vague for me. There was no device specifying that this was the future. It had more of a past, 'barbarian' feel to it. Why were humans sacrificing themselves to vultures? How did the future come to this? While the scene itself was richly detailed, I didn't quite understand the significance to it.

***

Journyman161: A New Start

Chris Miller: Okay, I don't get it. The last paragraph is clearly futuristic. Is the rest a virtual simulation of some sort? How does it relate to the first part? (Geez. it's been explained to me and now I feel retarded. But I'm leaving my original remarks just to show how judges can sometimes choke.)

eggo: A bit of misdirection that works very well. I had a though very similar to this and tucked it away in my "to be written later" files. Cupboards in the corner held spare linen so he took a sheet and ripped it into strips, preparing for the birth= I have delivered a couple of my kids and torn sheets do useless. I would lose all reference to race here and let readers make their own assumptions. Good read.

Hawke: This was cute. Liked the ending as well. With apes painting and learning sign language, etc., I can almost see this happening before the five hundred year mark. Then again, we humans are such a egotistical lot that we’d still believe ourselves superior, as was hinted by the little girl‘s remark. Good job.

Wyndstar: I liked this. Very clear without getting into an 'evolution for dummies' deal. Chimps gaining human like intellect via genetic manipulation is a bit cliche, but the personal view on this redeems hat fault somewhat. I loved the ending where the girl reacts as if they're roaches or rats--that trivialization--nice touch. My only problem is that I'm not sure I'd buy off on this being 500 years away, when they're doing genetic experimentation like that now.

***

huitzil: With Liberty and Justice for All

Chris Miller: Nicely written. Aside from the suicide fee, didn't seem different than lots of places today. Again, the story struck me as something coerced into rather than written for the theme. But I liked the character and her voice. And it's possible nothing ever really changes much.

eggo: Good prose, just not sharp. Although you didn't need to tell us what happened I think to round this out we needed to visit the scene of the bombing that killed Eddy. You should have had (Compare and contrast) what happiness meant to her I think. How could this world become better for her, even if it's just reminiscing about Eddy?

Hawke: I liked this. Just to say that the format needed to be adjusted, and there were a few sentence structure glitches (nothing that can’t be easily fixed, of course) and punctuation mistakes. Still, you made the reader (me) see through the character’s eyes--not an easy feat. Touching in its sad acceptance.

Wyndstar: I really like this one. It’s well written, personal, and the voice does not sound contrived. It flows well, very believable. It feels like a parable for today—and I think that’s what gets me. It reads too much like a contemporary thing, rather than something happening 500 years in the future. Will we still have Starbuck’s in the future? Yellow Bulldozers?

***

Krim: Homo Promo

Chris Miller: Like the opening. An interesting, kind of depressing, little social snapshot w/ some nice specifics and descriptive detail. Nice voice: preachy, and yet detached. Like the way it panned back at the end. I enjoyed it.

eggo: Not much of a plot here, as with what the evangelist did, a chance to pull up the soap box and pound away at a point of view. Might have been better with two characters arguing or in a debate. Cryptic , good idea , the pieces don't seem to fit well in this complicated style . Not easily written.

Hawke: I liked this very much. A nice twist on human “advancement” due to necessity (overpopulation) and a super twist at the end---he being the very one he is preaching against, the one who “doth protest too much.” Well done.

Wyndstar: The preachy style makes it a little on the stodgy side—I don’t ordinarily read this sort of story, but it was an intriguing take on the future. I found the beginning enticing enough that I would have read the story regardless of my normal preferences.

***

Cearo: Gladiators

Chris Miller: I have to confess a certain bias against this genre. I generally dislike videogame inspired stories. But… I think I enjoyed this more than I ever have any "gladiator" tale. The characters are developed just enough to make me actually care who wins. The Rollerball-ish political scenario is feasible and gives some context to the slightly gratuitous and long fight scene. The ending was nice, unexpected, non-cliché.

eggo: Too many characters in too short a piece. It muddled it and made it a bit hard to follow. The choreography was ill-defined. Sorry to hear about your other piece. This seemed like you had to crank it out.

Hawke: Nice fight-writing. Not an easy thing to do. Sadly, this is another piece that suffered because of the low word count, making it hard to have both a battle and give the reader (me) enough to feel for the character. Good fight though.

Wyndstar: The aspect of human kind degenerating back to the past where humans killed each other for sport was well written, though a bit of the cliché. Surprisingly, the ending was not. That, along with the detail of the fight scene redeemed this for me.

***

Foxee: Perfect

Chris Miller: "How does your father feel about Seever?" My mom asked.

"All I know is that he's going to ruin your Sweet Sixteen figure." She sniffed.

Seems like these should be one sentence each. No big deal.

I loved the story. Interesting futuristic references and yet still human. You let the story kind of emerge, so you get a lot of mileage from few words: her world and her relationships w/ her father/mother/lover/self, all came through as well as its "sci-fi" elements. Very idea-rich.

eggo: Excellent! You took the future and wove a fine story around it. A solid plot with beginning, middle and end. This was the strongest work I read. You didn't just name the future, but took your characters there to live in it. You didn't tell us about the future, you showed it.

Hawke: Some things never change, do they? I liked it. It’s just that it’s been done (a lot). Caught a few tiny glitches, but nothing that can’t be easily fixed.

Wyndstar: This was excellent. Character well developed, story leaving no questions, complete and neat. Nice flow, very believable and a satisfying end. Have to admit that this was one of my favorites. Excellent.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Thank goodness the fix was in...er...oops. (j/k! Don't hurt me!) Nice job by all involved. :)
 

Fantasy of You

Senior Member
And I think Syren should of won:p I liked his the best! Congrats to everyone, though. I'm just going to say I didn't win because Chris doesn't let people of my sexual persuation, and leave it there... I told him no, damn it...
 

Syren

Senior Member
Congrats winners! A really good time writing for this one, and I appreciate and agree with all the judges comments, very kind, very honest, very fair.

Thanks for the great topic Chris, and for the great reads fellows... a lot of fun this round, see you in the next :)

(and thanks for the kindness FOY, cheers mate ;))

//Sy
 
Last edited:

huitzil

Senior Member
Great job everyone, this was a really fun topic to write for. Thanks for the comments. By the way, as everyone probably knows because it won, Sanctuary was amazing, wonderful, glorious, and many more adjectives. I thought Perfect was also wonderfully written, however I doubt that health food will be the downfall of civilization, although it's something to think about...
 

journyman161

Senior Member
Thanks guys & well done all... I enjoyed this.

Sorry Chris, to make you feel retarded *grins* Maybe we can get the Chimp creators to do some work on you? :lol:
 

eggo

Patron
I want to thank everyone for their entries and say it was an an honor judging such an eclectic and high quality mix.

And a job Well Done to Chris for pulling this all together


Pete
 

Jiieden

Senior Member
Well, I hardly know what to say. I thought my little 217 word piece was a little lightweight doodle...(and you all noticed, with the requests to flesh it out. It was more concept than piece, I think).

The piece was described by Wyndstar as poignant, and that pleases me more than anything, because that was the mood I was trying for. I'm glad it was picked up on.

This is my highest ever result, tied 1st. It's giving me a warm, fuzzy feeling at the moment. I want to thank the judges and Chris Millar for giving me the time of day.

And huitzil, no need to go overboard! But, thanks!
 
Last edited:

Wyndstar

Senior Member
Thank you Jiiedan--the work was all yours, and I enjoyed it.

Yep, FOY, Chris is a great guy. And it was a really good subject. Halloween candy for EVERY one! And my fellow judges, too.
 

cacafire

Senior Member
Congratulations, everyone. I admit, I was a little hurried, but I hope to participate in the next one. Scratch that, I will participate in the next one, whenever that may be. :D

Once again congratulations.
-Cacafire
 

Hawke

Patron
Patron
I’d like to applaud and thank each of the authors for submitting their wonderful works. Also, kudos to Chris for a job well done.

Thanks again,

Hawke
 

Savia

Senior Member
Sad to have missed this iteration of LM; I was busy- but I very much enjoyed reading the stories and the judge's responses. I look forward with anticipation to the next round of the competition.

Congratulations to the well-deserved tied winners.
 
Top