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Scores: November 2020 LM - The Shop on the Corner (1 Viewer)

Harper J. Cole

Creative Area Specialist (Speculative Fiction)
Staff member
Chief Mentor
It's results time! Let's see which of you cornered the shop in our November challenge. We had a nice round 10 entries this month.

Here are the scores, from our fabulous quartet of judges ...

Title / authorHJCSueCBFBxXxAverage
Cursed be Thee, Cruel Iron by ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord18.51315.51816.250
The Shop on the Corner by Jonthom
1816111916.000
intersection.ed(u) by -xXx-
----Judge
Shop on't Corner by Matchu
141713.51815.625
Meter's by SueC
----Judge
Korean Corner Store by Tettsuo18.51613.51816.500
Pauper's Prices by Ibb
1618162017.500
Untitled by Sycamore
148191814.750
Blue Metal Freedom by Terra
1517.511.52016.000
The Ice Cream Place by undead_av
1518.5161716.625

1st place: ibb!

2nd place: undead_av!

3rd place: Tettsuo!

Our thanks to all 10 contestants for sharing their stories with us, and to the judges for their judgements...

[spoiler2='HJC scores']
Cursed be Thee, Cruel Iron

SPaG: 4.5/5
“In the seventeenth century,” said the sword, “We had duels.”
Should be a small w.

T&V: 5/5
Good use of language (e.g.: a slow, sleepy man with protuberant eyes); a light, comedic tone is maintained throughout.

Evaluation: 4.5/5
It’s a small complaint, but it’s better to avoid direct exposition (“She’d come to the corner antique-and-novelty shop to get doll’s clothes.”) If you could work that info into the dialogue or her internal monologue, that would be a smoother entry into the story. Overall though, this story is very well structured, and the prompt is met.

Reaction: 4.5/5
This was a fun tale, with three well-drawn characters. A slight lack of punch at the end would be my only quibble.

Total: 18.5/20

##########

The Shop on the Corner

SPaG: 4.5/5
I read about Amorality, about the Clyde Pierre and the Institute he Founded.
Superfluous “the” before “Clyde Pierre”.

T&V: 4
Mostly strong. Try to avoid using the same word twice in quick succession, unless it’s for effect (the word “book” comes up three times in quick succession near the middle of the story, perhaps try “tome” to vary things up?)

Evaluation: 5/5
An extremely well-written short story, with a believable main character. Little touches like the alternative date add a great deal of realism.
Reaction: 4.5/5
Nicely done. There wasn’t enough room within the word limit to fully explore where this book and philosophy might lead the MC, so you leave that hanging in the air. A creative story with verisimilitude.

Total: 18/20

##########

intersection.ed(u)

SPaG: 4.5/5
The grammatical structure is irregular, but I can’t really say there’s any mistakes in it.

T&V: 5/5
Clearly not lacking here. Your style is unique and consistent, if a trifle difficult to understand.

Evaluation: 2/5
The corner shop of the prompt certainly came up. The plot is unfortunately very hard to follow, which is a problem for any short story.

Reaction: 2.5/5
I didn’t feel a million miles away from understanding what was going on: some sort of criminal plot revolving around the corner shoppe that the MC and his colleagues were monitoring, I think? Ultimately, though, I felt a little lost.

Total: 14/20

##########

Shop on’t Corner

SPaG: 3.5/5
visiting for Players cigarettes
This brand name used an apostrophe (Player’s).
‘A quarter of aniseed cubes, please,’ said the child.
You mentioned that there were a group of children, so it’s a bit odd to then talk about ‘the child’, as though there’s only one.
popped it into his own mouth for the ‘safe-keeping and for income tax,’ he crunched.
I’d expect: popped it into his own mouth; ‘for safe-keeping and for income tax,’ he crunched.

T&V: 3.5/5
I’m not an expert on Northern dialects, but I do feel like there are maybe too many words missing here – the word “the” in particular seems to be dropped a lot. For ‘Woman, get out there in snow!’ I’d certainly expect him to use “in’t”.

Evaluation: 3.5/5
Meets the prompt with no trouble. A decent slice of life story, although the supernatural ending felt a bit abrupt.

Reaction: 3.5/5
That said, I did find the ending quite moving. Worth focussing more on that idea, perhaps? I’m intrigued as to why they’d only ever kissed three times. I liked the final line, about drifting among “ancestors and memory and the dust”.

Total: 14/20

##########

Meter’s

SPaG: 4/5
Oddly, the “Meters” sign was still in evidence.
Missing the apostrophe (Meter’s).
Their real last name was Marshall.
Quotation marks needed at the end of this sentence.

T&V: 4.5/5
Nothing too fancy, but you tell the story very clearly.

Evaluation: 3.5/5
The prompt is met. It’s little hard to believe that the MC wouldn’t know his grandparents owned a local store, I think? I do like the idea of the store’s name surviving through many different owners and functions.

Reaction 4/5
It’s a nice story – nothing world-changing happening, but just showing the little quirks that give character to small towns. Perhaps more on the MC’s emotional reactions to what he learns would have been nice, as those parts felt a little rushed.

Total: 16/20

##########

Korean Corner Store

SPaG: 4.5/5
The Park Grocer, resting between Spring and Fulton was more than another shop on the corner.
I’d expect a comma after “Fulton”.

T&V: 4.5/5
But, as the plan began to unfurl, Kareem began to remember.
It’s better to avoid using the same phrase twice in quick succession (“began to”), unless for effect. Otherwise, a strong and distinctive voice. I’m no expert, but the street vernacular looks authentic to me.

Evaluation: 5
An effective answer to the prompt – this feels very real and engaging.

Reaction: 4.5
I’m glad that the MC did the right thing – you showed his dilemma very effectively within a tight word limit, as he remembers both the good and the bad of Mrs. Park. The lure of the gun’s power was a nice touch as well. Good work.


Total: 18.5/20

##########

Pauper’s Prices

SPaG: 4.5/5
to allay me then the creeds and sensibilities
“Allay”, meaning to diminish, doesn’t seem the right word here, as the pirate is giving the MC information.

T&V: 4/5
Idiosyncratic, with colourful words and elaborate sentences throughout. Perhaps a trifle over-elaborate at times, e.g. “which only did I realize too late” could surely be written as “only too late did I realise, plus I had some difficulty working out who was saying what towards the end.

Evaluation: 4/5
An offbeat, darkly comedic take on the theme, highly creative.

Reaction: 3.5/5
I did find it a bit confusing at times, but perhaps that’s only appropriate for a surreal story like this one. Not sure about the final joke. Some excellent use of language though.

Total: 16/20

##########

Untitled

SPaG: 4/5
Some dubious moments, e.g. “say” is used where “says” or “said” might be expected. I suppose these could be taken as stylistic choices, together with the unusual grammar.

T&V: 4.5/5
Certainly striking, and consistent, artistic in places, though not easy to understand.

Evaluation: 3/5
The prompt is only tangentially brought up, which is a problem. There does seem to be an interesting story here, but I’m not entirely sure what it’s about.

Reaction: 2.5/5
I like the flow of your piece – it seems more like poetry at times. Unfortunately, I can’t work out what’s going on, which is always a problem! It seems Christmas themed, but I’m not clear on who the narrator is. Interesting read, anyway.

Total: 14/20

##########

Blue Metal Freedom

SPaG: 3.5/5
I’ve been following her along like an animal in training for domestication, fattening, and eventually eaten.
“Eaten” is a sudden switch to the past tense (I’d suggest “consumption” instead).

She treats me well enough, that is, when she isn’t mistreating me.
Would suggest a hyphen or semicolon after “enough”, as you’re moving onto a separate clause.

the thought of using it to secure freedom for myself, drives me to endure the relentless oppression from my Elder.
I wouldn’t recommend a comma after “myself” (if you read this section out loud, this isn’t a natural place to have a pause).

T&V: 3.5/5
An appropriate voice for the young and unsure MC, maintained consistently throughout.

Evaluation: 4/5
The idea of the corner shop being a relic of a lost age was clever. I’d have liked more world building, but the word limit was against you there.

Reaction: 4/5
Hints of an interesting world. Occasionally suspect punctuation, so I’d suggest honing that area – maybe read the story back aloud to see how natural it sounds.

Total: 15/20

##########

The Ice Cream Place

SPaG: 4.5/5
crashed into a clearing
I’d expect “crashed out” or “crashed through”.

T&V: 4/5
The story is efficiently conveyed, nothing too flashy.

Evaluation: 3/5
The shop doesn’t exactly seem to be on the corner, so I’m not sure it entirely fits the prompt. You do tell a complete story with a satisfying ending, which isn’t easy to do in so few words.

Reaction: 3.5/5
While this kind of supernatural guide story has been done before, I enjoyed your take well enough. Maybe find a way to spice up your use of English with some more metaphors, to give it that extra kick?

Total: 15/20
[/spoiler2]

[spoiler2='SueC scores']
1) Author: Matchu
Title: Shoppe on’t Corner
SPaG:
3/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 5/5
Reac: 5/5
Overall: 17/20
Review:
Matchu. Oh, I really did like this. I think, however, that it would have read better if it were in first person to justify the telling style, which was a lot to wade through. But the dialogue was fun. I could actually see these people, or maybe just hear them. There was - for me anyway - a bit of a disconnect between the transition between life and death. After a couple of reads, I saw it in a slim paragraph remarking on the passage of time, and the decision to take up smoking. It makes you wonder . . . is it like that? That some of us will just not accept our own passing and continue yelling about the brass plate needing a polish? You met the prompt. Good job, Matchu - very creative and thanks for your entry.

2) Author: Anonymous (1)
Title: Cursed by Thee, Cruel Iron
SPaG: 3
/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 3/5
Reac: 3/5
Overall: 13/20
Review:
This is an interesting idea, but the telling was a little mundane. It didn't really grab my interest. Not to say that with a little work, a little more mystery, it couldn't be a good read but as it stands now it didn't do much for me. I think it takes a lot to be able to do something creative and remarkable (like a talking sword) without a more visceral reaction to events it presents to the story. There were some SPaG issues that I noted, and the story was much more about a girl and a sword than it was about a shop on the corner, all reflected in the score. Thanks for your entry, and keep trying!

3) Author: Anonymous (2)
Title: The Shop on the Corner
SPaG:
5/5
T&V: 5/5
Eval: 3/5
Reac: 3/5
Overall: 16/20
Review:
This isn't really a story, is it? We have a young man, aptly described, who goes to a book store, purchases a tome and comes away with an entirely new view of life and the world. You have a good command of time and space and your descriptions are well done. The subject of the piece, however, is not "the shop on the corner," but a description of an ism that has grabbed the young man's attention. While there is little to show its readers what exactly this absorbing philosophy is all about, why it is even appealing, what the grab is, the main character of the tale is obsessed, or so it appears. Since we are left with the idea of the young man returning to the store for more involvement (and how did he know this?), it might have been a good idea to focus on that to create more of a story, and give the prompt more substance. Thanks for your entry.

4) Author: Anonymous (3)
Title: Intersection
SPaG:
3/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 4/5
Reac: 3/5
Overall: 14/20
Review:
I've read and re-read this piece several times, and am having difficulty fathoming what this story is really about. Written in first person, the tale is told - I believe - in sub levels, that immediately alerts the reader to adjust. Like when saying someone turned, instead of just that, you go much deeper and talk about the swirl, the effect, preparing for an impact. There is a business card, with a company name that apparently changes "every time." The meaning of this is undecipherable. The only other reality I can determine is that our character is to meet someone named Jace at Paneras on Tuesday for lunch. There appears to be a lot of preparation for the meeting, but does it ever happen? I see the apology for being late, but no indication of anything further - "The timer counts. I cross the street." There also seems to be a bit of dumpster diving. I just don't know what's happening here. I know I am probably missing the whole point, but am limited in my vision for this caliber of story and for that I apologize. I may be too much of a literalist. Thank you for your entry.

5) Author: Tettsuo
Title: Korean Corner Shop
SPaG:
4/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 4/5
Reac: 4/5
Overall: 16/20
Review:
I would like to point out right away that there should have been a warning about language at the top of the story. Having said that, I imagine the graphic language was essential in a way; it certain set the character of some of the characters! This is not a bad tale at all. It held my interest, and even speaks to a social situation that we may not always see or hear about unfortunately - a growth of conscience. I saw no spelling or grammar errors. The only thing I would suggest in content is that when we initially read about Mrs. Park, she is described as someone who was "never nice." But in the ensuing story, she is also described as a woman of great charity and kindness. You might consider changing the adverb never to something less frequent. The prompt was well-met. All-in-all a good effort, Tettsuo. Thank you for your entry.

6) Author: Ibb
Title: Pauper's Prices
SPaG: 4/5
T&V: 5/5
Eval: 4/5
Reac: 5/5
Overall: 18/20
Review:
What a wonderfully creative, imaginative tale! This really was good, although at times a little bit like wading through tide. There were a few run-on sentences that even with re-reading a couple of times, were hard to decipher, but not impossible. In the beginning paragraph you said the pirate saved your life and then at the end it was the parrot. I liked the bit about the dung beetle; that's exactly what they do! And of course the last line was genius. Despite the inconsistencies, it was a well-written tale and I enjoyed it. Thanks for your entry, Ibb.

7) Author: Anonymous (4)
Title: Untitled
SPaG: 2/5
T&V: 2/5
Eval: 2/5
Reac: 2/5
Overall: 8/20
Review:
I truly tried but I do not see a story here. According to www.junctionesd.net: A short story has five basic but important elements. These five components are: the characters, the setting, the plot, the conflict, and the resolution. These essential elements keep the story running smoothly and allow the action to develop in a logical way that the reader can follow. I accept the possibility that some of these elements are present in the work "Untitled," but I am not skilled enough to find them. I'm a little ambivalent about the "title;" I see it as an author's choice, but on the other hand, "Untitled" does nothing to indicate what you had in mind when you wrote the story. Other than the mention of a shop on the corner, I cannot really determine that what is written is a story about that shop or not, but I don't believe the prompt was met. The score reflects those concerns.

8) Author: Anonymous (5)
Title: Blue Metal Freedom
SPaG: 4/5
T&V: 5/5
Eval: 4.5/5
Reac: 4/5
Overall: 17.5/20
Review:
What a demoralizing tale! Told in first person, we hear of a world we hopefully will never see. I think if this story could be fleshed out a little more, it would be very compelling, but I do understand the limitations of only 650 words. There was good flow and even in the limited space, you were able to aptly describe events that happened to the storyteller. Spacing between several words did seem to be a little off and I would encourage you to really look over your work after you have cut and paste it into the forum. Other than that, I didn't see any spelling or grammar issues. Good job here and thank you for your entry.

9) Author: Anonymous (6)
Title: The Ice Cream Place
SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 4.5/5
Reac: 5/5
Overall: 18.5/20
Review:
I liked this and I'll tell you why. When people are accused of a crime, whether they did it or not, we humans rarely wonder what they feel or what they think, or how they got to such a low point in their lives. I think about that all the time - I always wonder what kind of a childhood a killer must have had to become what he or she has become. In your story we have a father who clearly knows of his daughter's death, but is fleeing from those who think he was responsible. The fantasy of the Ice Cream Place appears in that unlikely spot out of that fear and longing, and the father completely submerses himself in the unreality if only for a moment. He assures the ice cream man that he was not responsible. Rather than leaving him there for the authorities to find, the ice cream man assures the distraught dad that his daughter is safe, "in good hands" and those words enable the fugitive to release the dream and go forward. I saw no SPaG problems with this story, and I believe the prompt was well met. Good job and thank you for your entry.
[/spoiler2]

[spoiler2='BFB scores']
CURSED BE THEE, CRUEL IRON

The start was a bit slow; the body had emotional bite. The finale was good, and the final line could probably be cut. Very barebones, minimalist despite filling out the 650 word maximum. Very much liked the exchanges between the two main characters. The protagonist especially was highly endearing in her naive moral purity. The introduction was a bit dry. It wasn't particularly clear what the motifs were. They did emerge eventually, but in flash, I feel concision is key. We need those emotional bones earlier.

SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 3.5/5
Evaluation: 3.5/5
Reaction: 3.5/5
Total: 15.5


THE SHOP ON THE CORNER

Autobiography? Perhaps. There's a debate to be had over whether all fiction is ultimately autobiographical. Regardless, this was certainly dry. Watain did it better. That's all I'm saying. Angstier, eviler, aestheticer, confusinger. Appreciate the genuine understanding of occult symbology, but that's only as a fellow scholar, not a critic. Certainly, there are experiences here that anyone who's been in the occult can identify with--that creeping sense that you've 'seen this all before' despite never having been exposed to the piece in question. Ultimately, none of that improves the quality of the story itself, which is dry with a twinge of snide arrogance, and perhaps, by the end, self-awareness. Advice? Don't try and write a purely voice-driven piece without an engaging voice. Perhaps you might improve your voice. Better imagery is a good place to start--you seem to love iconography. Put that love to good use. Really draw out that oozing Satanic imagery.

SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 2/5
Evaluation: 2.5/5
Reaction: 1.5/5
Total: 11/20





KOREAN CORNER STORE

A bit dry. Interesting plot. Social commentary? I wasn't particularly engaged with any of the characters. I was engaged with the story itself. Best explanation is that I wasn't taken with the main protagonist or his motivations. It did pick up by the end. I certainly identified/sympathized with his choice. Might this also be partially autobiographical? The opening paragraph was weak. I think the first sentence was okay, but the third one definitely didn't hit (for me) at all. I guess, I just didn't understand what emotion I was supposed to be feeling. Comforting domesticity? Past childhood trauma? Very unclear.

SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 2.5/5
Evaluation: 3/5
Reaction: 3/5
Total: 13.5/20


-intersection.ed(u)-

This one had good pacing. There was quite a bit of style-noise. By which I mean, stuff that was allegedly part of the 'style,' but didn't really contribute anything emotionally or thematically. I've read it multiple times, and I still don't understand what's going on. I think that's a problem. I think I'm missing a significant amount of intended tension. There was some good imagery, and some bad imagery. The 'Quiet cars' line was the one that bothered me the most. It just doesn't land. Maybe 'Gently thrumming cars?'

SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 3/5
Evaluation: 3/5
Reaction: 2/5
Total: 13/20


METER'S

There was some emotion here. Some of the dialog seemed kind of awkward. Had a blog-post type of tone, especially towards the beginning. Probably wasn't really my thing. For me, this didn't really evoke the kind of long-lost childhood nostalgia (I think) you were going for. Maybe there was too much telling. This happened, I was here. Etc. On the other hang, the travel-log voice was kind of interesting. Maybe inject that with some punchy emotional moments. Voice as canvas, emotion as paint. I think the story and the history and the voice are all very interesting. There just wasn't really anything to breath life into it.

SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 2/5
Evaluation: 2.5/5
Reaction: 2.5/5
Total: 12/20


PAUPER'S PRICES

GROAN. After all that, a pun? Really? I almost respect your utter audacity, sir. I really do. Regardless, of course this was a good, if mostly nonsensical piece, but it had a kind of whimsical logic to it that hung everything together nicely. Biggest problem I had was the cultural appropriation line. It just kinda popped me out of the world. Also, the parrot thudded against what surface? I couldn't visualize that. The ending, for whatever reason, didn't hit as hard as I would have liked. Felt like you were trying to figure out where the story was supposed to go because you had to, not because you wanted to.

SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 4.5/5
Evaluation: 3.5/5
Reaction: 3/5
Total: 16/20


SHOPPE ON'T CORNER

Matchu, you might be some kind of literary auteur. I mean that sincerely. The fact that you can write something so technically confusing and still have it make emotional sense speaks to a strong narrative instinct. Yes, this has problems. Let's talk about them. Number One: Pacing. There is a difference between a proper surrealist nightmare and that awful sense of impenetrable, dripping greyness that hangs over so much bad writing; and often the reason for such opacity is a kind of breakneck speed that prevents us from seeing or feeling anything. In MY OPINION, things in this story happen just a bit too fast. I don't have enough time to breath, to go "Okay, I'm here now. I'm in this moment, seeing this thing," before the next moment comes flashing by. Give your moments some time to breath, to live. Let us savor them. Number Two: Show don't tell. Very basic. Yes, we don't need to spell everything out in highly dramatic purple prose, but lines like "Stanley became impatient" are either 1) unnecessary, due to the fact that the next line is him bellowing at his wife, or 2) Heavily atrophied versions of what might be a genuinely great moment emotional moment, aka ["Barbara, polish our plaque!" Stanley barked tersely, fiercely scrubbing down the countertop with a grease-stained rag.]

Some of your lines have unnecessary noise, like this: "Quarter to six in the morning, the rush of interesting customers impending: the folk, visiting for Players cigarettes, for copies of Herald, for Mirror, any moment now." No need for interesting, certainly. Not that customers can't be interesting, but it's just irrelevant to the purpose of this sentence, which is to convey the mad anxiety induced by the morning rush. You might also cut the definitive article and some commas, perhaps inject more emotion using the appropriate adverbs, aka:
Quarter to six in the morning, a rush of customers impending: the folk desperate for cigarettes, for copies of the Herald, the Mirror--
Any moment now.

Just my idea. Please don't let me squash your highly unique sense of rambling, nightmarish narration. That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to further development those elements of your craft that, again, in my opinion, have been neglected.

SPaG: 4/5
T&V: 3/5
Evaluation: 3/5
Reaction: 3.5/5
Total: 13.5/20


UNTITLED

Not a whole lot of complaints here, except the fact that the ending was AWFUL! in that tear-jerking, that's-not-fair-and-I-hate-that-it-happened-and-I'm-gonna-write-my-OWN-ending type way. Did she have to commit suicide? I suppose so. Regardless, this was extremely solid. Great imagery, pacing, twists coming that I didn't see but still made sense...yeah, I liked this. Don't really care that not every line 'made sense' logically. The mood was there.

SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 5/5
Evaluation: 4.5/5
Reaction: 4.5/5
Total: 19/20


BLUE METAL FREEDOM

This was a story. It happened. For better, or for worse. Strange, awkward phrasing throughout, with some poor spelling and grammar to top it all off. Work on your sentence-by-sentence prose. Dull, lifeless characters. Disregarding grammar, the voice is serviceable but hardly engaging. Why child abuse? The ending didn't make sense. Why would she kill him? Is the gun meant to be 'important' in this world? If so, none of that came through. The discussion among the Elders seemed to be building to something, but there was no payoff. In the end, she thrashed him (her?) in public because she was just so darn evil and then killed him for no reason. Wonderful.

SPaG: 4.5/5
T&V: 2/5
Evaluation: 3/5
Reaction: 2/5
Total: 11.5/20


THE ICE CREAM PLACE

This was interesting, weird, vivid...and honestly, didn't quite land. I think it feels a bit trite. "Just believe!" Hmmm. Alright, Sutter Cane. The imagery of a strange ice-cream place appearing in the dead of night after a murder is, um, really cool. Kind of creepy. Maybe I'm also biased against stories where kids get killed. Also, him saying "What have I done!" implies he killed her. But then the ice-cream guy says he didn't and it's kind of implied said guy has supernatural powers, so...? That didn't make much sense to me. Some strange phrasing. "He thought he could hear?" Why not just say he heard? If you are going for his mind is slipping, I feel that needs to be set up. I think I also wish the stakes at the beginning were clearer. That ties back to knowing whether he is a murderer or not.

SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 3.5/5
Evaluation: 4/5
Reaction: 3.5/5
Total: 16/20

[/spoiler2]

[spoiler2='-xXx- scores']
hjc1 Cursed Be Thee, Cruel Iron 18
hjc2 The Shop on the Corner .....19
matchu Shoppe on’t Corner .......18
suec Meter’s ............................17
tettsuo Korean Corner Store ......18
ibb Pauper's Prices ...................20
hjc3 untitled .............................18
hjc4 Blue Metal Freedom ...........20
hjc5 The Ice Cream Place .........17


==========================
hjc1
Cursed Be Thee, Cruel Iron


spag 5/5<-tied for least g issues
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 4/5
overall 18/20


g 10 4pun comp/cplx
s -63.7
r 2.97 (Grade 1) less than 2.5min


best of month: snark as genre


scene section 4 shop/casual reveal/snap/new norm

named and unnamed solid


dialogue edie/severus/proprietor work


She snorted. <snip> people.”


“Edie, I love you. You bought me when no one else did.”



interesting approach to "cultural clash".
consider submission to young women's mags.


---
hjc2
The Shop on the Corner


spag 4/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 5/5
overall 19/20


g 32 13punct 9 compd/cmplx
s 32.2
r 8.93 (Grade 7) just over 2mins


best of month: attract v recruit
best of month: serialized promo


name/unnamed cashier/reader-Clyde Pierre


dialogue min, appropriate to low profile
3rd January 2002 AD/32 AA noteworthy author detail


you have a distinctive progression going.
at this point in your presentation(s),
consider use of narrative heavy short form.
while this may seem awkward with an inward focus arc,
the manner of MC manifestation may prove stronger
as reader bridge (readership build).


---
-intersection.ed(u)- 640ish wdct


---
matchu
Shoppe on’t Corner @550


spag 4/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 4/5
overall 18/20


g 27 4 cmpd/cmplx
s -79.6
r 8.23 (Grade 7) just over 2mins


best of month: author movement toward readership growth
best of month: last label reminder


label? important


open/close compliment


For goodness sake, you could not get staff these days. He’d married Babs right enough, saved her from that dreadful family. But had she? Had she really lived up to ambition for a franchise of confectioners?


‘Only,’ the man continued, <snip> drift on wind.’


cultural, generational gaps.
this has been your best work to date, imho.
for this reader, frustration reads as hate.
i look forward to seeing if you continue to
trend away from a "shock" core.


---
suec
Meter’s (649 wds)


spag 5/5
t&v 4/5
eval 4/5
react 4/5
overall 17/20


g 14 3 cmpd/cmplx 1 potentially sensitive lang?
s 9.4
r 3.68 (Grade 2) almost 2.5mins


best of month: reflective futures
extra credit-cultural relevance during whackadoodle now


name/unamed strengthens focus
dialogue, wistful as event reaction?
(technique to flesh MC personality)


I looked <snip> Viet Nam.




open/close are disproportionately important,
especially in short forms.
try maybe, one day, you'll be known in the...
sounds smoother when you say it aloud?
as a reader, i feel a need to apologize to you as a writer.
i read a steady positive progression across your work.
i think, within your style, my obstacle is rockwellish.
as i read, it is as if i am looking through frosted glass.
even if i had been prepared for the death of a parent,
i think the emotional impact of the photos would be stronger.
the gap between personal life experience and the larger
family context would seem deeper, despite the other side
of the gap seeming closer.
dunno if that's helpful.


---
tettsuo
Korean Corner Store


spag 5/5
t&v 4/5
eval 5/5
react 4/5
overall 18/20


g 27 5 cmpd/cmplx 3 inappr coll?! ;)
s 21.1
r 4.19 (Grade 3) just over 2mins


best of month: straight up
extra credit-cultural relevance during whackadoodle now
best of month: element balance


label(s)?


names solid
dialogue, strong, interspersion


With that, the three young men continued to kneel in the alley they played in as children, hidden from the bright street lights above. But, as the plan began to unfurl, Kareem began to remember.<snip>

single statement open/closing sentence strong bracketing/bookending


as a reader, the closing paragraph did not reflect the dire nature of Kareem's situation.
an internal question about how to get her to close,
without drawing more fire, would have bumped this up a point.
if you are able to address that, i think think several magazines would look favorably toward publication.


---
ibb
Pauper's Prices ($649.00 Words, No Returns, All Stories are Final)


spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 5/5
overall 20/20


g 10 (7 comma/clause) 3 cmpd/cmplx
s 60.0
r 8.97 (Grade 7) almost 2.5mins


best of month: transactional dialysis-analysis
best of month: joyful horrifics parable


label, present, indicative (add lang)
identifiers, descriptive
dialogue, all on point


open/close vivid+




“Aye,” said the pirate. “Razzle dazzle.”


<snip>...pushing past the curtains into an impossibly spacious world of wonderment and trumpeting elephants... <snip>


punctuation in clauses & submit.
i, personally, want to stumble upon this
in neighborhood pub(s)
with information on where to read more.
salts extra peanuts


---
hjc3 untitled


spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 4/5
react 4/5
overall 18/20


g 24 5 cmpd/cmplx 1 inapprop coll
s 10.5
r 2.74 (Grade 1) just over 1min


best of month: title
best of month: horseshoes-n-hand-grenades
brilliant, but no
icky-thump



Six
Be <snip> If anyone asks for me




soooooooooooooo.
pretty sure you know how much i want this to score well.
yes, this work took more assessment time than all other submissions combined.
spag v style.
midpoint for the group is 20.2.
style trumped spag especially well:
emphasis on open, bugs, lists, close.
pronoun (diminutive/reader entrain)
tone/voice masterful (extra point for strikeout)
eval:
rubric base present
hybrid analytics appropriate to style.
react:
as a reader, i choose to place this
within a world war context
(secondary layer as 1950's reverb).
within that primary context,
i removed points for:
one arrowhead & five smooth stones
all of section six
long phrase section seven(moderated by enjamb/overflow)
OneBlueMoon-Onewhitedove.
Twosparrows-Rottingbleedingleaves.
Onearrowhead-Thenakedbrownleaves(IF anyone...)
FiveSmoothStones-It...
StillSeptember-March


having provided the above information,
as a writer, can you identify where you did not connect with the judge that wanted you to win?
yes.
this meets a market,
and has a high probability of publisher acceptance there.
look forward to reading more.

---
hjc4
Blue Metal Freedom - 643 words


spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 5/5
overall 20/20


g 23 7 cmpd/cmplx 3 inappr colloq
s 3.2
r 10.47 (Grade 9) almost 2.5mins<- highest automated readability index


best of month: full-metal-jacket
best of month: flash fiction template


label?


open/close strong


sharp impact speech


My Elder chose me three seasons ago, and I’ve been following her along like an animal in training for domestication, fattening, and eventually eaten.(verb)


Without warning, <snip> into the powder of the thirsty land.


conventional flash model
1 statement next to last paragraph +
punchline close
you already know this is skillfully crafted.
yes.
publishers, plural, should embrace this.


---
hjc5
The Ice Cream Place (633 words)


spag 5/5
t&v 4/5
eval 4/5
react 4/5
overall 17/20


g 15 3 comp/cmplx
s -84.1
r 3.57 (Grade 2) just over 2mins


best of month: scene close intensifier
best of month: all the words for surrender


name/unnamed solid


dialogue solid


section break/poetic pause intensifier
surrender? important to reader demographic


<snip> Neon-green-crushed-light...<snip>


The man had reappeared, holding the ice cream cone. Andrew took it with care; it was perfect. Round and frosty with the crinkled edge just right.



willing himself forward.
as a reader, i want to empathize with the MC.
the living memory/miraculous connection point fails for me
because a significant/material to tale omission does not create mystery here.
a single clarifier, a strong suggestion, a crafted clue
would permit the reader to suspend other disbelief(s).
remember, i've not met running-thru-the-brushes-man.
mystery ice cream man doesn't change that.
lots of solid writing.
think thru arc for december LM.
[/spoiler2]

Our December contest is coming soon!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

undead_av

Senior Member
congrats ibb and tettsuo, and thank you to the judges! appreciate all your critiques, esp xXx and bfb. helpful.
 

Terra

Senior Member
Thank you Judges for the most helpful critiques. I've made note of where I need to put more effort and attention for future challenge(s).

Congratulations to the winners! I learn from reading your words and stories, so my thanks to you as well.
 

Ibb

Senior Member
Thank you, everybody, and congrats to every participant this month! BFB, you're right about the ending feeling needed rather than wanted; I had to choose between keeping this story coherent or keeping the narrator's personality intact. Slicing and dicing my way down to 650 was tough, as I didn't want to lose the narrator's voice but knew I was also losing some of the thematic content... But between telling a moral and being true to your goofball protagonists, I always choose the latter--crappy (get it? HAR HAR) puns included. Fitzgerald whispers: "Kill your darlings," to which I always answer: "I'll kill you," and to this day the cops still haven't found me OR the real corpse of Scott. Thank you to the judges for your kind words and insights and to HJC for running this month's contest. HJC, I've noted my misuse of allay and have chucked three manuscripts into the fire since your feedback; -xXx-, as soon as I find its whereabouts, I'll let you know; SueC, your words are always encouraging and kind and I am always grateful for them. Thank you.
 

Matchu

Senior Member
Thanks so much everybody. Thanks so much winners, contestants, and our most wonderful judges. It means so much to a 'writer' [me] to get eyes on, any attention whatsoever. My entire mood swings on 'writing,' it's not healthy really :/

I found the prompt difficult. My mind wandered toward a little shop I used to meander toward, often naked, back in 1973. The mind plays tricks: 'did I really used to stroll up the shops with no clothes on?' It's those really, really ancient memories. I tried a little dialogue exchange, bolted on the 'child returning.' Like you say judges, it needs some more attention.

Thank you everybody, long live the contests, & thank you for allowing me to 'indulge.'

...

More research on ciggies required:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player's_Navy_Cut
 

Sycamore

Senior Member
Thanks all! This was a fun one. Also xXx, I am thankful for your critique, and this story was partially inspired by your prose :)
 
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