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SCORES: March 2021 LM Comp - A Holy Place (1 Viewer)

SueC

Staff member
Senior Mentor
THERE BE WINNERS!

FIRST PLACE: BULLFROGS NEVER DIE
AUTHOR: Arrowinthebowofthelord

SECOND PLACE: HISATSINOM
AUTHOR: vranger

THIRD PLACE: AUTUMN WALTZ
AUTHOR: JBF

Good job all
and thanks
to our awesome judges!

Scores
AuthorTitleFoxeeBdcharlesBazz CargoThe
Pancreas11
totals
1JBFAutum Waltz1916.5151315.87 #3
2TheMightyAZGoodbye My Loves1814141114.25
3Lady Silence
Anonymous 1
Memory1410.5121011.63
4Theglasshouse
Anonymous 2
I Used to Live with
Death’s Secret Henchmen
1313111011.75
5IrwinFrom Behind the Hedges1415161615.25
6vrangerHisatsinom1915.5151816.87#2
7AcatchynickFire1510141714
8Bazz Cargo
Anonymous 3
Hallowed GroundJudge Submission
9Arrowinthe
BowoftheLord
Anonymous 5
Bullfrogs
Never Die
2016201818.5#1
10Velo
Anonymous 4
The Sixth Commandment1313181514.75
11Terra
Anonymous 7
En Womb Q & A1814141515.25
12B4B
Anonymous 6
Emperor1613.5161515.12
13RcallaciLifting the Veil1510161614.25

[spoiler2="bdcharles"]Scores
My LM Scores - Mar 2021
"Autum Waltz"
JBF
T&V: 4.5/5
SpaG: 4.5/5
Eval: 3.5/5
React: 4/5
Total: 16.5/20


Review:
Good opening line. Im intrigued - it's simple, yet suggestive. And there's evident command of language in the opening para - aliterative device, use of repetition, good phrases throughout. I'm liking the kind of old-timey voice - often, it's a choice that gets overused and doesn't really stand out, but here it works because it's not super-obtrusive or cliched. The essence of the story seems to be, at the outset, that John is about to get 'saved' but he doesn't want to; I'm intrigued about that too.

There's an 'n' missing off the title, and you could have probably lost the 'and' on the following: "and before he’d finished shrugging" and made two sentences. Same thing elsewhere; similarly, I wanted "The payoff for a week of dust and curses and busted knuckles and sweat for a poor man’s wages" to be "The payoff for a week of dust and curses and busted knuckles, sweat for a poor man’s wages". It just gave it the tiniest knocking noise. There wasn't the hugest plot event, but you know what? It reads beautifully, so I barely care. Nice job:smile:

---

"Goodbye My Loves"
TheMightyAz
T&V: 3.5/5
SpaG: 4.5/5
Eval: 3/5
React: 3/5
Total: 14/20

Review:
Excellent quality writing, as always. There were a couple of grammar blips ("A machine for monitoring heartbeats,[<- no comma needed] blipped"). I really liked this line: "silent in a gentle hum of the soft indistinct light, the three freeze-framed in an undiluted moment." - it has a very Edward Hopper quality. And it'a very tender tale. For me, it doesn't have the hugest story arc - it's a snapshot more than anything. Stylewise it reads a little like an inspirational story; if that's what you were going for it could possibly use a couple more pithy expressions (though "Nobody should be condemned for that, just understood." absolutely fits that bill). So - decent, nice, sensitive, and quality writing, though didn't fully wow me or reach the emotional wallop the subject deserves.

---

"MEMORY"
anonymous
T&V: 3/5
SpaG: 3/5
Eval: 2.5/5
React: 2/5
Total: 10.5/20

Review:
Interesting style choice. I'll go with it for the moment. A little overwriting and filler; see what happens if you remove the "even just" from this: "I felt even just for the butter cookie baked by grandma". And I think there is a word missing here: "when I became a [???]". Several SPaG issues and ... it's just a bit too confessional for me, rather than an actual story, too maudlin - though if that is the intent it does work. But in the end, that plus the filler made it a harder read than I wanted.

---

"I Used to Live With Death's Secret Henchmen"
anonymous
T&V: 4/5
SpaG: 4/5
Eval: 2.5/5
React: 2.5/5
Total: 13/20

Review:
Great title, for starters. Titles are so important. And the opener is intriguing. The style is quite childlike, but if that voice supports the story it could work. And it does work - sort of. There are a few elements that are confusing; the fact of him living in the Syndicate and how that stops someone dying and why this is a felony. I guess associations with the syndicate are the thing, so I can go with that. But then this student that he gets in danger, and this woman he tries to find to 'redeem himself'. Who are they? Are they the same person? What's the point of the yearbook? Who's Violetta? Where does her brother fit in? What's going on? Who's the homeless man?

I just don't know. Tied together, it could be a really good, quirky, fascinatingly odd little tale but the desire for wacky randomness overboils everything else and the writer loses control of the text, which is a big shame actually. I did like the style though.

---

"From Behind the Hedges"
Irwin
T&V: 3/5
SpaG: 4.5/5
Eval: 3.5/5
React: 4/5
Total: 15/20

Review:
A reasoable start and a pretty gripping scenario. I want more of this story. I'm not sure we need the details like the length of the truck and the exact make of the rifle, or "some ten feet" and "some 50 feet". Also not sure why we have to go into a flashback so soon. Why not open with "They lined us up inside the nave for processing" and then load them into the truck. But I let the "None of the police were / was" slip because I prefer it with the "were". In fact I would go as far to suggest that "were" is correct and will fight for this belief :wink: Yeah, all in all a good tense story. Not the most challenging writing or unique voice but compelling all the same. This has a "it stuck with me" quality.

---

"Hisatsinom"
vranger
T&V: 5/5
SpaG: 4.5/5
Eval: 3/5
React: 3/5
Total: 15.5/20

Review:
Lovely voice and style - great speculative fiction feel to it. The story was decent enough, though not hugely unusual or unique. A couple of SPaG things I would have changed (ellipsis, comma splice), but they work well enough here. This has the sense of being a prologue for a long SFF epic. If there was more I would definitely plow on.

---

"fire"
acatchynick
T&V: 3/5
SpaG: 3/5
Eval: 2/5
React: 2/5
Total: 10/20

Review:
The voice is interesting and definitely quite unique. No SPaG issues though the writing style is not overly demanding. The repeated short sentences and words ("fire") partially feeds into the voice but also threatens to overwhelm the piece, for me. Storywise it's more of a cataloguing of some entity's thoughts than an actual noteworthy event, so I didnt feel it took me too many places.

---

"The Sixth Commandment"
anonymous
T&V: 3.5/5
SpaG: 4/5
Eval: 3/5
React: 2.5/5
Total: 13/20

Review:
An atmospheric start that really sets me in the scene. And it is quite a dark tale, of murder and betrayal. The voice isn't super-engaging for me (at the start it is), and the ending seems a little tacked on, a lttle undramatic and flat for the actual events. Often difficult to do otherwise in 650 words. An original twist on the prompt though. Couple of comma splices lost you a SPaG. Stronger prose would have picked you up a bit of T&V.

---

"Bullfrogs Never Die"
anonymous
T&V: 4.5/5
SpaG: 4.5/5
Eval: 3/5
React: 4/5
Total: 16/20

Review:
LOVE that opener! And it's sci-fi too! It does drop like a bullet into backstory fairly soon after the opener though - see if you can keep the story continuing apace ~whilst~ creating the history of the characters and scenario, rather than ~pausing~ to do so. Great voice though - I love a bit of religious fervour, the more irreligious the setting the better. In terms of the story it seems like a fairly straightforward face-off situation, but it's executed very well, so it works. SPaG solid, and excellent word command throughout.

---

"Lifting the Veil"
rcallaci
T&V: 3.5/5
SpaG: 2.5/5
Eval: 2/5
React: 2/5
Total: 10/20

Review:
Mmm, a bit tell-heavy for me. I don't know, it just seemed a bit ... rushed. What was the noteworthy event? A wedding, but ... but what? Quite a few spaggies too.

---

"en Womb Q & A"
anonymous
T&V: 4/5
SpaG: 4.5/5
Eval: 2.5/5
React: 3/5
Total: 14/20

Review:
An interesting premise. It's a bit short though, and doesn't revally develop into too much. You could have explored the notion of: what happens if a new born baby has the presence of mind to remember the womb, previous lives, everything. Some nice - if a little unchallenging - writing though, and a decent control of words.

---

"EMPEROR"
anonymous
T&V: 3.5/5
SpaG: 3.5/5
Eval: 3/5
React: 3.5/5
Total: 13.5/20

Review:
Great, strong opening paragraph. Couple of minor SPaGs - is "abysm" a word? It totally should be:smile: - and oversights like "Her blue wizard's cap was bright and blue" cost you a little. It's pretty intense though. Sometimes the purplosity of the text threatened to get in the way of the story, though, and I think by the end it kind of had done, to the point where the actual event seemed dimmed by the generat reaction to it. But some cracking phrases throughout.​



Scores[/spoiler2]

[spoiler2="Foxee"]
JBF, Autumn Waltz
SPaG: 5
T&V: 5
Eval: 5
Reac: 4
Overall: 19

Your knack for description and your voice are so consistent that I have a feeling you’re past successfully hiding your writing as an anonymous entry. The narrative flow is easy to fall in with and I can see the scene like I’m there.

Somehow you’ve created a bloodless showdown that is nonetheless nearly as contentious as a High Noon gunslinging. John and the preacher are both clear in their dislike for each other and the bad blood seems like a holdover from earlier events.

And there’s possibly the only real problem with this entry. It reads more as a scene from a larger work rather than as a flash fiction on its own. While there is a beginning, middle, and end, I have a problem with the questions that are posed but not answered, as though there will be other chapters or I’ve already missed some chapters.

For instance, the initial thoughts about the hat, clothes, and horse not belonging to John initially made me wonder if he had killed the man who originally owned them. Then it seemed that he was just working for the man who furnished them. And then with the preacher’s suspicions and John’s extreme dislike and dismay of being seen by these people (who appeared to have nothing to do with him) that made me think murder again.

The same thing is there with John’s dislike of Baptists, dislike of this particular preacher (seems personal maybe but then again maybe not?), and even with his extreme dismay at being seen and confronted rather than just riding by or heading off in a different direction.


He stopped an arm’s length from the interlopers, fixing narrowed eyes on the rider.


I almost took a point off for this confusing line but, technically, I can’t see anything wrong with it. The problem is that “He” was confusing because I was connecting “he” to “interlopers” (as though this was the opinion of the ‘he’) and kept seeing this as being John approaching the congregants and then the second part of the sentence makes it clear it was the preacher who approached John. This happened in subsequent re-reads as well so I’m going to suggest it’s a stumble that needs clarification if nothing else.

Cleanly written otherwise, signature style.

The Mighty Az, Goodbye My Loves
SPaG: 4
T&V: 5
Eval: 5
Reac: 4
Overall: 18

Tip of the hat for having a fully fleshed flash fiction story. Great job with that.

The ending on this goes on past the end. If you imagine your story as a short film, the reveal that the two children are really nurses is the moment that makes the point and has you saying “Oh my!” and all the emotions you’re striving for show up right there. Too many words about it is too much like explaining a joke, sapping the story of its power. In my opinion, you’d do well to simply end on this sentence:

They represented an unspoken love, the heart of a lonely soul lost in the tangle of life that, for whatever reason, didn’t have the strength to find his way back.


The last line of the paragraph comes across as moralizing and the current final paragraph adds nothing new.
The idea of the nurses carrying a ‘stolen’ burden is good and I’d suggest rewriting the lines right before my suggested last line to include it.

“Reverently” is not necessary. The nurses are obviously doing things that are reverent.

“Quietness” would be better as “quiet”


I ran … empty headed, I ran.


I know you’re doing a halting-speech thing here but it’s written awkwardly which gets in the way of the reading. I would suggest a simple:
“I ran. Empty-headed, I ran.”


My duty was to believe your mother … that’s what I thought.


While I understand you’re trying to explain his halting speech it’s actually unnecessary to keep hammering that once his voice is speaking in my mind. I can hear the halting just fine. So in this case once you’ve lost that last paragraph you’d have plenty of words in the budget for replacing the ellipses with “at least”.

Overall, a really good story that evokes emotion.

Anonymous, Memory
SPaG: 4
T&V: 3
Eval: 3
Reac: 4
Overall: 14

This feels like a confession and it is a pretty easy read the way the story moves from thought to thought. I have sympathy for the narrator at what appears to be the end of his life and contemplating what he’s made of it. The connection to the prompt felt natural.

Awareness that his daughter had the same ‘monster’ inside is really incisive and good as it’s so often true that our children carry on our monsters into the next generation and how few people are willing to see that.

The list format feels like it should be poetry though it would need revision to restructure it.

Commas seem to be tossed in sort of willy-nilly in places. A few examples:

I close my eyes, and think about when I was little, my life was so different.


The first comma is unnecessary.


I wonder sometimes when my life fell apart, how much did I throw away?


With the comma where it is the sentence is saying that when your life fell apart is when you wonder. Try moving the comma to after “sometimes” and let the rest be unbroken.


It's not fate's fault that I slept with the sister, of the woman I loved.


That comma is not only unnecessary but on the first read through I saw the comma, missed the ‘of’ and thought he’d committed incest.

This is such a quiet piece that other than being a little sad it kind of misses having much tone or voice. I know the narrator’s story is one of highs and lows and terrible mistakes but it’s a little hard to connect with. Some of the elements come as too much of a surprise and don’t feel like they fit (the part about the shadow and the sharp teeth, I wasn’t sure if that referred to Debby the little sister or someone else or no one in particular)

The structure is easy to fit in the word count, being pretty modular in construction. Overall nice flow.

Anonymous, I Used to Live with Death’s Secret Henchmen
SPaG: 3
T&V: 3
Eval: 3
Reac: 4
Overall: 13

The overall story has some interesting elements: a chase, refuge in a beautiful church, a mysterious syndicate, a reunion of siblings. It does succeed in being very action-filled which I appreciate.

Tension is lost, though, because the story is written in a choppy and often confusing way. This resulted in a somewhat robotic tone to the story and it can be difficult to discern which character is speaking and moving.

One example:

The police chased a man. Ludwig's boots made footprints on the floor of the alley.


These sentences seem to have nothing to do with each other. It appears that the police are chasing a random man and, elsewhere, Ludwig is making footprints with his boots in an alley. The reader has to force these two sentences together which is distracting.
Don’t try to be mysterious in such a short span as these two sentences. Rewrite for clarity.
Ludwig’s boots left prints as the police chased him through the alley.

It’s common to try to jam too much story into too short a word count. This story would benefit from losing one or more of its scenes. Maybe the one where the pastor doesn’t want Ludwig in the church and leaves. It wouldn’t change the rest of the story. Also, make sure you’re calling the right things by the right names. I don’t know if Catholic churches have ‘pastors’ . I would think they would be ‘priests’ but you’d have to ask someone who knows the Catholic church better than I do.

I have an issue with the nun instantly asking Ludwig to convert. Even the devout would most likely take care of the immediate needs first. I can’t imagine such an invitation/demand being quite so point-blank as “we want you to convert” so this is an example of where the story suddenly speeds up too much story-wise.

The title interested me. The connection to the prompt is good.

Irwin, From Behind the Hedges
SPaG: 4
T&V: 3
Eval: 4
Reac: 3
Overall: 14

Great job getting a complete beginning, middle, end into the word count. The connection to the prompt is good.

The main character’s flight from the situation was wise and also awkward. I appreciated that you didn’t give in to the temptation to give him a perfect plan and clear thinking. The fact that he acted at all was more than what many would do.

I’m knocking a SPaG point off for the hyphens that want to be em-dashes. I don’t have an issue with your usage of em-dashes but these do need to be converted correctly for whatever software you’re using. That’s the only SPaG issue that jumped out at me.

Tone and voice are somewhat flat possibly caused by your character ‘hiding’ more than just from the police. Furtive or secretive characters can affect how the writer writes because they don’t want to reveal themselves. While this is reasonable it’s also a hurdle. If I can suggest it, do some experiments, maybe take this guy out of this particular story and drop him into a bar where he’s telling this as an ‘I survived’ story with all the emotion and all the flourishes and drama. Then come back to this and see where the same guy who thinks the same things is hiding, trying to get away, and is practically exploding with everything he thinks about this situation. Just touching on the fact that the group was in trouble for talking about human rights and calling the police ‘imbeciles’ a few times are all places where this new information could show up.

Action within the setting sounded like the casement window led to the nursery, not the outside so the escape was confusing for me. Glaring mid-morning sun would make seeing any movement inside impossible, not just difficult.

I didn’t score for this but I wanted to mention swearing and the differentiation of characters. In a story this short there aren’t a ton of opportunities to contrast one side and another in a conflict or reveal who your characters are or what their viewpoint is. It must be done with every word. With your character’s thoughts and speech he doesn’t stand out from the cops at all. His opinion of them is bad but that’s about it. Unless you’re specifically making that point you may want to find a way to differentiate the character in viewpoint and expression.

vranger, Hisatsinom
SPaG: 4
T&V: 5
Eval: 5
Reac: 5
Overall: 19

I had to look up “Hisatsinom” and said “aha!” and was immediately intrigued. So little seems to be known about the people who lived in these stone villages, even what to call them. I ended up reading a whole article about the name so now I’m a little better educated!

A little quibble with the ellipses, they’ve got a lot of uses in fiction writing but in the case of the “without end” line I’m going to make a stand that should be a comma instead. I don’t think that they support the narrative voice enough to be considered a device so they come across as simply misused.

The story is beautifully realized beginning to end, very solid. Enfolding the story of killing and eating the turkey then feeling sorrowful for that understandable greed was a powerful movement within the main story. Both the tone and the voice were gentle but present and the ending was wonderful, revealing the narrator was speaking to a raider. Nice bit of surprise to end on.

Really good read.

acatchynick, Fire
SPaG: 4
T&V: 4
Eval: 3
Reac: 4
Overall: 15

Nice little horror short. Nothing is scarier than when a person about to do something truly horrifying thinks that it’s the right and good thing to do. The monologue works for this idea.

The choppiness of the sentences almost works because it created a pained speech pattern that a burn victim might have and that someone who is short of breath or clipped in speech might sound like.

However, an overuse of passive voice is robbing the speech and the story of power. Contrast these two sentences:

Everyone thinks I'm a murderer.


Active voice, “everyone thinks”. This is powerful.

Now look at passive voice:

Then I suddenly realized it was these bad feelings that burned me.


“Then I ADVERB realized PASSIVE VOICE these bad feelings PASSIVE VOICE burned me.”
“Then I realized these bad feelings burned me.” Or “I realized the bad feelings continued to burn me from the inside”

Work on using the right mixture of passive and active voice and you can create more powerful writing.

There are so many repetitions of the word ‘bad’ that even if that were a powerful word choice that would rob it of its power. Change up your words a little more, use synonyms and perhaps a metaphor or simile to bring out the idea as a picture in the mind.

The ending was chilling, I give you lots of credit for that!



Anonymous, Bullfrogs Never Die
SPaG: 5
T&V: 5
Eval: 5
Reac: 5
Overall: 20

What a blast. Clear as a bell, full of energy, good cheer, and fierce determination. I would love to read more stories about the Bullfrogs and other stories in this universe in general. It requires some creativity to take hair-on-fire Baptists and toss them into a Lovcraftian sci-fi story and not only have it make sense but also have it shine.

That’s probably the secret. The more inky the dark, the brighter the valiant shine, death or no. That’s the truth of it and truth is a good thing to write.

Looking forward to more stories!

Anonymous, The Sixth Commandment
SPaG: 4
T&V: 3
Eval: 4
Reac: 2
Overall: 13

There is a definite beginning, middle, and end so good job getting a whole story written into the word count. The connection to the prompt is easy to discern.

Ellipses are fine in fiction for where words are omitted or trail off. They’re also easily overused where a sentence structure without them would work better. For instance, in Mary’s hesitation the ellipses work...okaay...but also consider putting a nervous tell in the center of that little speech instead. The glance at each man might work or something else.
“"Father, I am,” her voice wobbled, “with child."
Just another way to create the pause you’re seeking.

The drama of the story wavers over into melodrama and there wasn’t much surprise or mystery to it. I think no matter if you have a bad opinion of priests (“They’re all no good and commit all the sins while speaking against them”) or a good one (“Oh no, priests are good so this obviously is going to surprise me by the priest being a bad guy”) you’re going to see the ending of this story coming from a mile away. Especially when the whiskey is brought in separate glasses as opposed to being poured in front of the couple, the ending wasn’t surprising.

The interactions of the characters were over-the-top in the pursuit of emotion and drama which didn’t evoke emotion from me as the reader. It was difficult to sympathize with any of them enough to get into the story.

Other than that the writing is clear and the story does stay together consistently.

Anonymous, En Womb Q & A
SPaG: 5
T&V: 4
Eval: 5
Reac: 4
Overall: 18

This story really messes with me because I’m so glad that I don’t know or remember being born or being in utero. I’m also thankful that my kids don’t. And here this whole story focuses on that space and time which is wildly creative and mind-twisty not to mention a little risky. Reincarnation sounds like a pleasant enough concept in general but in an instance like this the idea verges on the disturbing. However, you pulled it off, somehow saved the piece from being disturbing even if you’ve walked us along the brink.

Tone and voice are consistent though in a case like this, without much to interact with the tonal quality of the piece can be a little flatter than otherwise.

The tension, though, of waiting for approval to be born worked well and the ending was a surprise.

Perhaps because of the surreal nature of the story I had difficulty getting into it deeply enough to feel very much about events that were legitimately emotional.

Otherwise, a really singular creative piece.

Anonymous, Emperor
SPaG: 3
T&V: 5
Eval: 5
Reac: 3
Overall: 16

I had to look up “fel-electric” and it’s an acronym for “Flexible Electric Load” and also appears as a business name and as parts of business names. Capitalize as “FEL electric” or “FEL Electric”.

Same with “converse”, the word may be casually considered to be a generic term but it is a brand name and so should be capitalized, “Converse”. I know what these are but there is a chance that some readers might not so maybe also add what the item is, “Converse sneakers”.

It is a grammatical convention but not a rule to put “I” last in an instance like “I and Eleanor”. Though it sounds awkward because of that convention I’m not taking a point off because it is still grammatically correct.

Left an extra “blue” in this line: “Her blue wizard's cap was bright and blue,...”

The two characters interact distinctively in a complete story. The prompt is tied in with creativity and uniqueness. Giving them names that were maybe a little less alike would have helped me in the reading and keeping speakers straight.

The ending didn’t make a ton of sense to me and thus fell flat. It would perhaps make more sense if the deity who had shown up was known for cutting his/her/its followers. Even stretching to a theme of ‘mortification’ didn’t really work and so, for me, the ending continues to be somewhat cryptic as was the idea of ‘divine darkness’ which sounded dramatic but didn’t seem to fit.

Aside from that, good job especially creating imagery.

rcallaci, Lifting the Veil
SPaG: 3
T&V: 4
Eval: 4
Reac: 4
Overall: 15

Apostrophes have gone missing for “the wedding planner’s head” and “step-dad’s jokes”

New speaker - new paragraph.

You’ve got your own brand of irreverence where you’ve taken religious references, mythology, and a sacred cow or two and just kind of shook them up and poured that out into a complete story that fit in the word count. Hats off for that, it’s not easy to do. I do feel like I’m missing a few of the jokes based on some mythology I’m not aware of, not sure. The prompt is tied in all right.

The cast is big for a flash fic and you handled that about as well as is possible. If anything the voices and characteristics were maybe a little flat because of big cast + word budget.

Well done with capturing wedding fracas, I’m pretty sure every wedding has at least some if that.

Punchy last line. I’m curious if you thought of that first and then wrote the piece.


Scores[/spoiler2]

[spoiler2="bazz cargo"]
Rcallaci / Lifting The Veil


SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 4/5
Reac: 3/5
Overall: 16/20



‘“They’re supposed to be Red Roses not Black; this is a wedding not a funeral. Get the florist on the phone and clear this mess up. Who brought the Ice sculptures out? The wedding isn’t for another four hours. The damn things are going to melt before the guests arrive. Stop crying damn it; do the job I hired you for.”’






Hi r,
you are a writer’s writer. The Biblical references are clever. You were either well schooled and then went renegade or you bluff with elan.
I think this suffered from being too big to squeeze into 650 words. It needed a bit more of ‘reaction’ to leaven the dialogue. The humour is there but it didn’t pop. I bet a 1000 words would do it justice.
Respect

BC

JFBell / Autumn Waltz
SPaG:
5/5
T&V:
4/5
Eval:
3/5
Reac:
3/5
Overall:
15/20



John studied the fading yellow dust lying over the road, dissipating remnants of an aborted mission retiring now to the confines of cushioned pews and stained glass where he had gone before and would not go again, wondering how they might find God in a box of their own making.’




Hi J,
You word paint a scene with style. There are moments where I wish I’d written some of these lines. The character of your MC is enticing. I did find your entry a bit cryptic. There is a history here that I am not privy too.
Not a nit as such – line 3autumn arriving gracefully late’ / line 24 ‘Breathed the sharp air of the winter’s promised cold’
Respect
BC


The Mighty AZ / Goodbye my Loves
SPaG:
5/5
T&V:
3/5
Eval:
3/5
Reac:
3/5
Overall:
14/20



His son sat on the right side of the bed and his daughter on the left, both silent in a gentle hum of the soft indistinct light,
[FONT=&Verdana]the three freeze-framed in an undiluted moment.’


[/FONT]



You can really turn a phrase. Hmmm… I am struggling with this. It has merit but I felt my mind wander towards the end. It needed some kind of dramatic / comedic / a n other hook. [/FONT]Just another deathbed scene is damning with feint praise. What you need is [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]a[FONT=&Verdana] wow! That kicked bottom, I never saw it coming deathbed scene.


Flash fiction is the best, if tough, learning ground. It makes you cut right to the action. Makes you a lean, mean, writing machine.
Never give up. Never surrender.
BC


? / Memory
SPaG:
5/5
T&V:
3/5
Eval:
2/5
Reac:
2/5
Overall:
12/20



Like a wind, I used my life without paying attention to where I went, and where I stopped, nor the pain I created, when like a hurricane I passed and destroyed everything and everyone.’





There are lines I like very much. You have a good sense of melodrama. There seems to be an edit nit on line 4. Sadly I found this far too static. I felt like I was reading round in circles.


Flash fiction is tough, once you have mastered your own quirks you will find it a delight and an essential tool.
Thanks for the post
BC


? / [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]I Used to Live With Death's Secret Henchmen[FONT=&Verdana]
SPaG:
[/FONT]3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
T&V:
[/FONT]3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Eval:
[/FONT]3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Reac:
[/FONT]2[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Overall:
[/FONT]1[/FONT]1[FONT=&Verdana]/20



The police chased a man. Ludwig's boots made footprints on the floor of the alley.’






I’m going out on a limb here. Your post reads like you have either a dyslexic or ESL condition. If so, [/FONT]I’[/FONT]m impressed. Your grasp of English is [/FONT]rather eccentric but wayyyyyy better than anything I could do in comparison.[/FONT]The punctuation [FONT=&Verdana]and spelling i[FONT=&Verdana]s spot on. [FONT=&Verdana]The grammar is all over the place. [FONT=&Verdana]I can’t fit a decent, helpful crit here as it would take up too much room. If you are interested I will happily converse by PM.
Thanks for the post
BC


Irwin / [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]From Behind the Hedges[FONT=&Verdana]
SPaG:
[/FONT]5[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
T&V:
[/FONT]3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Eval:
[/FONT]4[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Reac:
[/FONT]4[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Overall:
[/FONT]1[/FONT]6[FONT=&Verdana]/20



But we were doing something wrong. We were talking about democracy and human rights. In other words, we were subversives in the eyes of government, and they were rounding us up for it.’






A [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]neat slice of a dystopian future. You have added a some nice details and I get a fairly strong connection to the story. It does read a bit like an early draft. Kind of PG with swearing.
Respect
BC


acatchynick[/FONT] / [FONT=&Verdana]Fire
S[/FONT]PaG: [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]5[FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
T&V:
[/FONT]
3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Eval:
[/FONT]
3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Reac:
[/FONT]3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5
[FONT=&Verdana]
Overall:
[/FONT]
1[/FONT]4[FONT=&Verdana]/20



Everyone thinks I'm a murderer. Everyone thinks I'm crazy.’






C[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]orking first line. Sorta went down hill afterwards. This has a lot of elements that shows you to be an excellent writer but you seem to have got stuck in a loop. And addressing me directly kept me from getting into the story. Nice try. Always worth trying a bit of experimentation.
Respect
BC


?/ [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]The Sixth Commandment
S[/FONT]PaG: [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]5[FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
T&V:
[/FONT]
4[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Eval:
[/FONT]
4[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Reac:
[/FONT]
5[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Overall:
[/FONT]
1[/FONT]8[FONT=&Verdana]/20



The priest sighed, circling the rim of his glass with a finger. "I wish you had told me, Mary. I had thought Angus merely too busy to attend Mass. Perhaps my eagerness for your body encouraged my oversight...
mea culpa. [FONT=&Verdana]With no possibility of an annulment, he would have killed you and our child to prevent his shame; then perhaps our transgressions would have been revealed. Though I regret this ending I cannot regret knowing you, sinful though it was."’


[/FONT]



T[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]his is so close to a perfect Flash. The opening paragraph is a little clunky. The set up was neatly done, the pay-off wasn’t much of a surprise as my mind works the same way.
Respect
BC


?/ [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]Bullfrogs Never Die
S[/FONT]PaG: [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]5[FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
T&V:
[/FONT]
5[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Eval:
[/FONT]
5[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Reac:
[/FONT]
5[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Overall:
[/FONT]
20[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/20



That was it. We were praising. Sure, there was that terror, that nightmare, Death itself—but we had our guns, we had the anointing, and we had our Jesus. We’d gone forth in joy, like the Good Book says, and we’d go out in joy, and fire.’






I [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]get a strong whiff of the Friendlies in this. Sure it could do with a bit more editing, but it has enough whack to make me want to read on. Take a bow.
Respect
BC


?/ [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]en Womb Q & A
S[/FONT]PaG: [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]4[FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
T&V:
[/FONT]
4[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Eval:
[/FONT]
3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Reac:
[/FONT]
3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Overall:
[/FONT]
1[/FONT]4[FONT=&Verdana]/20



The Masters presented my lesson for this lifetime, to which I once again agreed to the same one endured over thousands of lifetimes.’






This was a worthy experiment. Sadly it didn’t land well for me. I found it clunky in places and somewhat repetitive. Repetition works well when you are after a comedic effect. You have a decent writer’s tool kit, and trying the tools out is partly what the LM is for.
Respect
BC




?/ [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]Emperor
SPaG: [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]5[FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
T&V:
[/FONT]
4[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Eval:
[/FONT]
4[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Reac:
[/FONT]
3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Overall:
[/FONT]
1[/FONT]6[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/20



It was, I think, the moment that darkness took on an element of crushing personality that the real terror struck. "What are
[FONT=&Verdana]you?" I heard her gasp, and then came the storm. The stinging ice-pellets, tearing and biting at our flesh, the snow, now careening upwards and around us in a vortex of tornadic fury, the cold, utterly penetrating. I knew Eleanor was at my side then. Silent, mute with terror, shuddering and refusing to scream, her wizard-pride denying her that ecstasy, and yet I embraced it. I let my body shriek with the rapturous terror of submitting in the presence of That Which is Greater, let my begging, pleading worship tumble from my mouth.’
[/FONT]





This has a lot of energy. It is also dense with imagery. It was[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]n’t an easy read. I worked too hard trying to figure out what was going on to involve myself.
Nice try
Respect
BC


vranger [/FONT]/ [FONT=&Verdana]Hisatsinom
SPaG: [/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]5[FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
T&V:
[/FONT]
4[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Eval:
[/FONT]
3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Reac:
[/FONT]
3[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/5[FONT=&Verdana]
Overall:
[/FONT]
1[/FONT]5[/FONT][FONT=&Verdana]/20




Last week, other raiders came. There is less warning each time. Fewer are fit to flee, so we hide in the high dwellings and pull the ladders up. So many empty rooms now, at least it is easy to hide. This week, we had no food, and the water was gone a day before the raiders left. They always leave, for there is nothing left to take.’






Hmmm…. This seems to be two edits short of completion. Some of it is very clunky, some of it is disjointed. The story itself is easy to understand. Unless it is a deliberate attempt at tuning down the MC’s communication skills. If so it works, maybe a little too well.
Sometimes, as a reader, I don’t get what the writer is telling me. This may be one of those occasions.
Respect

[FONT=&Verdana]BC

[/FONT]

A brief note to all entrants


The LM is the best place to learn your craft. It is tough and sometimes unfair. It can be dispiriting. But, it will make you strong and persistent.


This wildly differing cohort has reminded me that there is a tendency to write rather static conversations. The challenge you need to set yourself, like I do to me, is to get some movement, even some action, into the story.


I salute you. Everyone who entered has won something. My respect.
Now get out there and write...
[FONT=&Verdana]
[/FONT]


Scores[/spoiler2]


[spoiler2="thepancreas11"]
Autumn Waltz
SPaG: 3
T&V: 4
Eval: 4
Reac: 2
Overall: 13

Good details make a great MC. I love the hat, the flannel, the way you describe the horse. I can close my eyes and know exactly what this scene looks like, can even see the MC's face--kind of looks like Laszlo Cravensworth from "What We Do in the Shadows". Hell, I'd buy that painting from a flea market and hang it up on my wall.

The downfall here is motivation. I don't quite understand why these two characters react to each other in such an abrasive manner. I feel like there's a paragraph missing that explains their relationship or the MC's relationship to the guy who owns the horse. If anything, a little exposition might go a long way.

The writing is very fluid and prosaic--almost a little too much, given the nature of the characters. There are a couple of run-on sentences and some missing words--as happens with almost every story I write, too. Fun read, could have been just a bit more.
Goodbye My Loves
SPaG: 3
T&V: 3
Eval: 2
Reac: 3
Overall: 11

I appreciate a bold statement. I read recently that writers aren't supposed to be too preachy with their writing, but I say hogwash. I want a story that tells me how to live my life in a better way, and you've delivered on that front. I also want to see a true connection between my characters--to feel what they're feeling for each other, and I applaud you again for delivering on that.

If anything, you almost say too much here. I think you could expand on the interaction between them--make it less of a sermon and more of a conversation. Have them discuss the things that went wrong and why, have them react a little bit more to those events and to the apology. Make the MC earn his forgiveness. If you have to cut something out to accommodate that, try to show your findings in the last paragraph with dialogue and action. It would just hit harder.

You had a couple of grammatical issues, but otherwise, I think it was well written. I'd love to see a longer version of this piece.
Memory
SPaG: 3
T&V: 2
Eval: 2
Reac: 3
Overall: 10

The best parts of this piece are the ones where the details come out. I want to know more about Tom and Debby. I want to know more about the affair. I want to know about this resurrection cycle that the MC is going through. Those are the parts that really shine for me.

The rest feels a little too familiar. This is the danger of being a little vague: you can cross streams with existing works and tropes very easily. If you make the story more about the MC and more about the little things--little things chosen with great care to build on the character's whole deal--then you can create nuance and originality in your work more clearly.
I Used to Live with
Death’s Secret Henchmen
SPaG: 3
T&V: 2
Eval: 2
Reac: 3
Overall: 10

So much happens in this story. It really evokes the love of writing, how you want to get as much down onto the page as possible. This story has the beginnings of some great scenes, some great characters, and even a great theme running through it. I can read this and know where things are headed.

It just feels a little unfinished to me. There are details missing that explain what's going on, and there are things that almost feel in the wrong order--the pastor leaving to fetch the cops, for example. I think this one needs a once over with a revision, and it would be on the right track. In that revision, I would definitely feature Ludwig and his plight very highly, focus on that storyline.
From Behind the Hedges
SPaG: 5
T&V: 4
Eval: 4
Reac: 3
Overall: 16

I love me a story about the police state. There's something so exciting about dystopias, right? For me, this is all about the mystery, about being on the outside and not knowing what's going on. It's like the MC's plight is a mirror for the plight of the whole community, a very clever writing device that creates a decent thematic analogy.

I'm not sold on the ending. I think it's a paragraph or two short of creating that sense of unease and unknown for the character. I would almost prefer the character to try to make a legitimate escape and then hear footsteps, like there's no getting away from them after all. The sort of hiding in one place just makes them more like an omniscient narrator than an MC.

Really cool though. Loved all that you had to say. Fascists are imbeciles!
Hisatsinom
SPaG: 4
T&V: 4
Eval: 5
Reac: 5
Overall: 18

I got some very "Parable of the Sower" vibes from this one, which is high praise from me.

If there are any young writers out there wondering how you can create so much emotion on such a small amount of writing, look not further. There is real suffering here--real struggle. It's external, but it's also internal too. The guilt over consuming the raw turkey selfishly resonates so much with me. How can one take care of oneself when the world is falling apart? Is that not selfish? Clearly elegant and brutal writing here.

The only thing I would say is that I would have appreciated maybe a bit more explanation of the setting. It took some time to fully understand who this person was and how they interacted with their community. Just the smallest of nits.
Fire
SPaG: 4
T&V: 5
Eval: 4
Reac: 4
Overall: 17

Gurg. This got REAL, didn't it? I felt this one all the way up my spine until I shivered. What an affect. What a glorious use of second person prose to really get under the skin. I love the commitment as much as anything else, the singular focus of the MC and thus, the reader.

It did get a little repetitive in the middle. There were some lines that just came up a few too many times. I think could have excised those and given us more of the MC's philosophy, or even explain where they are and what the MC is doing more.

Yikes, though, I would read a novella about this--just not before I try to fall asleep.
Bullfrogs
Never Die
SPaG: 4
T&V: 5
Eval: 4
Reac: 5
Overall: 18
Lord! Give me strength to critique this story!You should submit this story somewhere. It belongs in the literary atmosphere.The tone crushes all. I was in this story, IN this battle. That MC is real andwhole and deep. I can give no higher praise than that.Hallelujah!

Small nits here and there: a couple of weirdsentences, a couple of repetitive sections (especially right before themidpoint). Those are the only things that kept this from a perfect score forme.
The Sixth Commandment
SPaG: 5
T&V: 4
Eval: 4
Reac: 2
Overall: 15
I loved this story all the way up until the end.It's just really well-written. The dialogue does so much to service the narrative,so much to develop the characters. It's a wonderful example of how much can beaccomplished in so short an amount of time.

The endingdoesn't work for me, though. There's no hint of it earlier in the story, noclues to the priest's malice, and his motivation doesn't really make senseeither. There's nothing to suggest that Angus would murder her or that he wouldout her and the priest. There's no reason for them to even suspect him. Seems alittle premature, to me.
En Womb Q & A
SPaG: 5
T&V: 4
Eval: 3
Reac: 3
Overall: 15
Super interesting take on birth andreincarnation. I don't know if you meant it this way, but I imagine the ovariesare the "Masters"--the voices of the gods if you will. That made melike this story even more than I did the first go around. I love the tone here,the theocratic baby, so to speak. And it's like a sad, poignant moment when ofcourse they can't remember.

I kind of wish there were morequestions and more answers here. I would have actually enjoyed that formatmaybe as much or even a little more than the current offering. It's also a bitcloudy in the middle. I think a little exposition would go a long wayhere--maybe just a line or two, just something to ground us.
Emperor
SPaG: 3
T&V: 4
Eval: 4
Reac: 4
Overall: 15
Whoa, that was intense. Not every day yourcharacters face down a god. You certainly sow a good amount of tension andexcitement in your writing. I felt very much like I was a part of that storm.My heart was legitimately racing. Ultimately, it comes down to pacing. Thereare no out of place sentences, just one after another hammeringaway.

The beginning had some spelling and grammatical errorsthat you should look into. Also, it was a little weird when Eleanor was like,"Stop with the Jewish thing." I don't know if you meant it to soundthis way, but it sounded a little targeted. I think if you're going to havethat tone in a piece, you should be willing to address it, and this was not thetime or the place for it, maybe.

The other thing I would sayis that it was a little hard to understand what their motivations are. Whatexactly are they trying to do? I can't quite figure it out.
Lifting the Veil
SPaG: 5
T&V: 4
Eval: 4
Reac: 3
Overall: 16
This just kept evolving in such a cool way. Ilike the slow reveal, the patience with which you slowly drew out the mythologybehind the story. There's also no messing with this tone. It's verystraightforward, very effective. You have a very clear voice. It conveys a lotof depth to the narrator--a character that often becomes the least interestingcharacter in any piece.

There was a little inconsistency inher manner, though. The part about the wedding planner being a "vapidbitch" for instance strayed maybe a bit too far from her emotional center,especially when comparing that to how she treated Eva in the end. They justdidn't quite mesh for me.

Scores[/spoiler2]
 
Last edited:

Terra

Senior Member
Congratulations to all members who entered the challenge, and of course to the winners! I continue to learn the details of writing flash with each challenge, and I absolutely love the thrill from start to finish.

I had 100 words left to use in my story, but got completely stuck in my own judgement, so I submitted as is. It's interesting how the judges were able to pinpoint where I was stuck, and made suggestions as a reader, so thank you! After the story simmering for 15 days, I will play with it more ... mainly because I like the story concept and for me, it's a keeper.

Thank you judges and readers, and here's to April's challenge:cool:
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Congrats vranger (loved your story a lot, by the way) and JBF, and thank you to all the judges!

Thank you Sue for hosting (and dealing with my italics) ... ( : ( : ( :

Back atcha, Arrow! Well done. :) It looks like this was a good month to write hopelessness and doom. LOL

There were a lot of nice stories in there, and we can't give enough credit to the members who are willing officiate these contests. Thanks to the judges and thanks to everyone for providing these interesting stories.
 

Foxee

Patron
Patron
Congrats to the winners! :champagne:

Also congrats to every entrant this month, every piece was unique and creative. I don't think any two were even similar. Thank you for contributing your best effort, it was a good month to play the judge.

Thanks, Sue, for hosting and a tip of my hat to my fellow judges. Love ya for volunteering.

So! *claps hands and rubs them together* what mischief can we get into in April?
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Appreciate all the quality feedback, judges. It's funny, I've been doing the LM (as contestant, judge, and host) for so long I'm pretty good at predicting where my scores are going to fall and, at least for the average, I was spot on.

If it's any consolation, I HATED your ending, which means I would have scored you quite well. LOL I think it took everyone out of their comfort zone. Well done.
 

rcallaci

Staff member
Administrator
Congratulations to arrow-vranger and JBF- excellent writing compelling tales. Heartfelt thanks to Sue our host, a lot goes into hosting these events. And my thanks to the judges for taking the time to review each piece to the best of their ability, much appreciation.

I’m going go over my critiques which I normally don’t do but feel this story warrants an explanation-

BD Charles wrote,
Mmm, a bit tell-heavy for me. I don't know, it just seemed a bit ... rushed. What was the noteworthy event? A wedding, but ... but what? Quite a few spaggies too.

BD

It wasn’t rushed, it just was a large story to fit in 650 words. The noteworthy event was the wedding of Joshua and Miriam aka Jesus and Mary Magdalene attended by the Christian pantheon. I think that is a noteworthy event. As for too much tell- well I’m a fabulist, which requires a balance of show and tell. I’m sorry it wasn’t your cup of tea hopefully I’ll grab you next time—thanks for the review…

Foxee wrote,

You’ve got your own brand of irreverence where you’ve taken religious references, mythology, and a sacred cow or two and just kind of shook them up and poured that out into a complete story that fit in the word count. Hats off for that, it’s not easy to do. I do feel like I’m missing a few of the jokes based on some mythology I’m not aware of, not sure. The prompt is tied in all right.

The cast is big for a flash fic and you handled that about as well as is possible. If anything, the voices and characteristics were maybe a little flat because of big cast + word budget.

Well done with capturing wedding fracas, I’m pretty sure every wedding has at least some if that.

Punchy last line. I’m curious if you thought of that first and then wrote the piece.

foxee

I love that last line it came to me right at the end. When I write a story, I write it all on the fly. The story evolves as I write each sentence. Some of the jokes are from the mythology I’ve been writing for the last twenty years so, a few can get lost. I have a habit of writing big stories in flash pieces. These are sketches for larger stories as well as a writing exercise in fitting a large story on a small canvas. An excellent review, much thanks

Bazz cargo wrote,

Hi r,
you are a writer’s writer. The Biblical references are clever. You were either well-schooled and then went renegade or you bluff with elan.
I think this suffered from being too big to squeeze into 650 words. It needed a bit more of ‘reaction’ to leaven the dialogue. The humour is there but it didn’t pop. I bet 1000 words would do it justice.
Respect

Bazz

A spot-on review—this did suffer from the word count but that’s what makes this event challenging. I am well-schooled in comparative religions and mythology. Studied world mythologies for well over forty years and I’m a wild pagan renegade. Much thanks for your kind review.


Thepancreas11 wrote,

This just kept evolving in such a cool way. I like the slow reveal, the patience with which you slowly drew out the mythology behind the story. There's also no messing with this tone. It's very straightforward, very effective. You have a very clear voice. It conveys a lot of depth to the narrator--a character that often becomes the least interesting character in any piece.

There was a little inconsistency in her manner, though. The part about the wedding planner being a "vapid bitch" for instance strayed maybe a bit too far from her emotional center, especially when comparing that to how she treated Eva in the end. They just didn’t quite mesh for me. BC


Pancreas11

I think you appreciated and understood my story the best. You got what I was going for. And as for Eva you are spot on. I messed up on her- she wasn’t a vapid bitch just a little ditsy. I do need to rewrite her part as I do love her being the mother of all humanity.

Thanks for your excellent and perceptive review


I’m done now, got it all off of my chest.


Warmest
bob
 

thepancreas11

New Writers' Mentor
WF Veterans
That was an absolute joy to judge! I forgot how much I love doing this. Y'all other judges are awesome, and to those that wrote the stories: you are beautiful and I didn't mean to call your baby ugly. I've been listening to WAY too many film and literary critic podcasts recently.

I can't wait to be a contestant this month. Rip my story to shreds! It's the only way I survive!
 

bazz cargo

Retired Supervisor
It's been a while since I did my last LM. It has been interesting to see how the comp has developed. Kudos to my fellow judges. Some sharp minds with insight and advice a plenty. Ta for SueC who did the behind the scenes stuff.

My respect to the competitors. Flash fiction is a rough training ground but it really works. It has made me a better writer. When I first started I was embarrassingly pants. Now I am on the verge of self publishing my first solo book.

I tip my hat to each of you.
Thanks for the ride
BC
 

JBF

Staff member
Board Moderator
Strong competition this time around. I figured those two for spots in the top three, and at the close of submissions I didn't figure on breaking the winner's circle.

Thanks to the judges, and congratulations to Arrow and vranger. Well fought. 8)
 
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