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SCORES: OCT2020 LM "Dead Man's Dance/Drawing Down the Moon" (1 Viewer)

velo

Retired Supervisor
OCT 2020 results are in. First let me thank our judges, Tiamat, -xXx-, and rcallaci, for donating their valuable time and expertise to their critiques. Second I want to thank all of our entrants for their submissions. Really good contributions this month.

With no further delay, our winner this month is a new member, JJDean with "The Gray Area" Nicely done JJ and welcome to the forum! You will get a badge to commemorate your win and a month's subscription to Friends of WritingForum status.

Tying for second are Jonthom and Terra with "The Dead Man's Dance" and "Conga Magic" respectively.

Filling out the podium in third is ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord with "Z My Name Is"


NameStoryTiamat -xXx- rcallaciScorePlace
Anon1EternalGreenAshley161911.515.50
Anon2MatchuWar Wedding12191013.67
Anon3JJDeanThe Gray Area18181818.001
Anon4Demieluntitled101916.515.17
Anon5JonthomThe Dead Man's Dance16201617.332
Anon6CyberWarDanse Macabre15191416.00
Anon7TettsuoDrawing Down the Moon15171716.33
Anon8TerraConga Magic14182017.332
Anon9veloThe Last12201716.33
Anon10Sycamoreuntitled13.5171113.83
Anon11undead_avBrother Mike Helps Out151718.516.83
Anon12ArrowInTheBowOfTheLordZ My Name Is17201417.003
Anon13BornForBurningDefying The Rind15181516.00





[spoiler2="tiamat"]


Anon1 - Ashley


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


Review: The first two sections of this held me quite enthralled, and served to reaffirm my usual mantra of "People suck." I actually felt the nurse's petty cruelty more so than Ashley's death, but I think that's because an old friend from work once told me that her stepdad absolutely refused to call her anything other than her birth name, so my outrage at that was rekindled by the nurse's behavior. That said, I feel like the third section sort of came out of nowhere. Section one: hate crime. Section two: building upon hate crime. Section three: moonlit nymphs...? That's not to say that you can't pull off moonlit nymphs in a story that starts out the way this did, but I feel like you needed to leave more clues along the way, so that when the supernatural side of the piece finally does come out, I-the-Reader should feel like it was inevitable.


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Anon2 - War Wedding


SPaG: 3/5
T&V: 3/5
Eval: 3/5
Reaction: 3/5
Overall: 12/20


Review: I loved the first line of this, love the idea of saying "I love you" to every moment of your significant other's eyes. The title told me this piece was going to be about a guy who got married and died in the war, so whenever that's exactly what happened in the story, it was a bit disappointing. Side note: What a sad wedding night to make love quietly before going off to war. The voice was very breathless, with so many dependent clauses tripping over one another. It just didn't quite work for me.


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Anon3 - The Gray Area


SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 4/4
Eval: 4/4
Reaction: 5/5
Overall: 18/20


Review: This took me a little bit to get into, but by the end, I was hooked. Really clever interpretation of the theme, and I loved the sort of double entendre of the title. My only real criticisms are that the omniscient POV feels accidental, and that the receptionist feels superfluous. We start from Janet's POV, but then we switch to Liebowitz and we stay with him until the news headline at the end. Why did we start with Janet? Why do we even have Janet? I don't think she really adds anything except unnecessary words to the story. Other than those two things though, loved this.


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Anon4 - untitled


SPaG: 3/5
T&V: 3/5
Eval: 2.5/5
Reaction: 2/5
Overall: 10/20


Review: The only thing I was able to really picture in this story was Hemming saying, "Fire again, shall I captain?" It felt real. I heard the grenadier's voice in my head, felt his eagerness and his hesitation. Everything else was buried in adjectives, to the point where I just couldn't enjoy this piece very much. I struggle to understand the significance of the italics, and according to Wikipedia (which I 100% had to use for the word "cerise"), the color is bright pink and seems quite out of place for a blood-spewing bullet wound.


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Anon5 - The Dead Man's Dance


SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 5/5
Eval: 4/5
Reaction: 2/5
Overall: 16/20


Review: Solidly written with a consistent (bleak) tone and standard third past voice. Very literal interpretation of the theme. What a hellish place this modern Colosseum is. Given that the only guidance given to the prisoners was "do what you will," I was surprised there was less direct competition (till Deborah went for it at the end). I mean, obviously Roslin isn't going to knock someone down and stand on them, but apart from her, you'd think that'd be a solid strategy to save yourself from excruciating pain. Overall, this feels too much like torture porn for me to really dig it, but it was well-crafted piece all the same.


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Anon6 - Danse Macabre


SPaG: 4/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 3.5/5
Reaction: 3.5/5
Overall: 15/20


Review: What an interesting (and perfectly horrifying) afterlife. Doomed to spend eternity dancing through the hills in a gloriously macabre rave. I would've loved for the title to be "Dance Macabre" but it's maybe a bit too silly for the tone. Speaking of the tone, it felt like it took itself too seriously. Maybe it's a failing on my part, but I actually wanted this to be humor, or at least a little ironic, and although you insisted on keeping it serious, that didn't stop me from being amused all the same. Also, I struggled with the names a bit, getting Anthonius and Albertus mixed up a few times throughout.


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Anon7 - Drawing Down the Moon


SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 3/5
Reaction: 3/5
Overall: 15/20


Review: This was a pretty sad piece that struck a little close to home. Toward the end of my dad's life, he spent a pretty good chunk of the time seeing things that weren't there and not being able to tell what was real and what wasn't, so to say that I related to Carl was a bit of an understatement. That said, I think the inherent drama in this idea is somewhat diminished by the fact that you give us all the deets up front, and then it doesn't change. Carl's mom and Carl's feeling towards her and her illness are largely the same at the end as they are at the beginning, so it reads like more of an internal monologue/character study than an actual story. It's well-written and clear that you know the craft. I just wanted a little more from this than you gave me.


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Anon8 - Conga Magic


SPaG: 3/5
T&V: 3/5
Eval: 4/5
Reaction: 4/5
Overall: 14/20


Review: Let me start by saying that I loved how she had to work herself up to the big, bad F word. I also loved when it happened as naturally as it did. The themes of grief and loss were pretty heavy here, but I did feel like the ending, after she got her sign from Peter, was a little too pat. It basically ended with "and then she woke up" and that's an ending that's really really hard to make work. I also thought that her speaking aloud to Peter, remarking on the dancing felt a bit on the nose, like you really wanted to drive home the theme, even though dead guy doing the conga was a perfect fit without announcing it like that. I found a number of different SPaG issues--missing commas (sleepy, tear-filled voice), missing hyphens (silver-streaked), to name a couple. Overall though, it was still a cute piece. I enjoyed it.


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Anon9 - The Last


SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 2/5
Eval: 3/5
Reaction: 2/5
Overall: 12/20


Review: The idea of literally dancing with death while both you and he (she? they?) die is so very interesting. It's poetic and poignant and hilarious all at the same time. I think this would have been better served by a flowery, third person present POV though. The second person telling was actually quite off-putting for me. I read a story earlier today where the second person was wonderful, so I know it's possible to make it work. It's just so very hard. Also, the conversation without any quotation marks or tags or any useful identifiers was incredibly difficult to follow. I went back and tried to keep track at one point, but eventually gave up on it. It was clearly a deliberate choice though so I didn't dock you in SPaG for it, but rather in T&V. Overall, I liked the idea quite a bit more than the execution.


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Anon10 - untitled


SPaG: 3/5
T&V: 3.5/5
Eval: 3.5/5
Reaction: 3.5/5
Overall: 13.5/20


Review: I feel like a bad title is better than no title at all. No title means you gave up. A bad title might also mean that, but it at least shows that you tried. And I suck at titles, so I empathize more with picking bad ones. There were a few SPaG errors--the em dash either gets a space before and after it, or no spaces before and after, not one of each, a comma splice in the sentence immediately after the em dash, which should either be a semi-colon or two sentences. "More old" should be "older." To the story itself, I found it a bit over the top when Jesus suddenly saved the day, and the end where she's just kind of dismissive of the whole thing, like "What a WEIRD day" didn't quite work for me.


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Anon11 - Brother Mike Helps Out


SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 3/5
Reaction: 3/5
Overall: 15/20


Review: I'm honestly not sure if this is supposed to be facetious or not. We got "spooky scary skeletons" having a rave in some chick's backyard, and then we're all BEGONE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! My biggest crit is that after he's all "beat it, dead guys!" they just disintegrate. Where's the conflict? I could forgive the lack of conflict if the climax were meant to be funny, but it doesn't appear to be, so there's no real tension or resolution here for me.


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Anon12 - Z My Name Is


SPaG: 4/5
T&V: 5/5
Eval: 4/5
Reaction: 4/5
Overall: 17/20


Review: This was fun. I feel like I'm only about 70% of the way to actually understanding what happened, but it was still a fun read. There's some pretty solid imagery in here, and I thoroughly enjoyed the voice. I usually dislike unreliable narrators, but when they're kinda funny, that seems to help. I dislike starting sentences with numericals, and you started the entire story with one, plus unnecessary hyphens. Strictly speaking, numbers at the beginnings of sentences should be written out, and the proper hyphenation would've been "Forty-eight hours straight." Nope nope made me laugh. I feel like I might use that when people I don't wish to talk to say hi from now on.


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Anon13 - Defying the Rind


SPaG: 5/5
T&V: 4/5
Eval: 3/5
Reaction: 3/5
Overall: 15/20


Review: Macho-man military coup takes place inside a biological female devil moon. That in itself is kind of hilarious. I'll admit that I wanted the whole thing to be a metaphor, but if it is one, I can't figure it out. It's well-written, and feels a bit like 50s pulp sci-fi. Loved the first sentence, but I feel like it's stretching the theme pretty thin, and I was actually rooting for the devil in this one.
[/spoiler2]

[spoiler2="-xXx-"]


Anon1- Ashley (649w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 4/5
react 5/5
overall 19/20

g 1 word choice-meh<--woot!
s -89.9 <---appropriate to subject
r Grade Level: 5
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

best of month: agency-V-agents

label-language, violence physical & emotional/psychological
label-trigger warning

scene section
kudos: scene 1 reader leave/scene 2 impact by understatement/scene 3 agency absolute

named and unnamed solid
use generic avenue name, perhaps oak? ;)

personhood as genre

<snip>as is correct.

<snip>never straying far from shrubberies carved into teardrops and streets with dog-bowls built into driveways.

<snip>just smoke :)

Harshness was the only way I could suppress a torrent of wails.

---
Anon2- War Wedding (417w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5 no pings for american english
eval 4/5
react 5/5
overall 19/20

g 13
s -25.6 <------appropriate to subject
r Grade Level: 8
Reading Level: fairly easy to read.
Reader's Age: 12-14 yrs. old (Seventh and Eighth graders)

best of month: universal-translates

name and unnamed solid
green park/good generic

dialogue solid

period authentic warspeak?
points for creative impressionism conveyance.
i read this as an alternative (secondary/marginalized) perspective overhearing primary focal perspective two generations removed, translating substance with earned disregard of formal structure.
rich!
quite the composition!

Only by 1945 did our War Ministry deliver one box.

<snip>in Czech, and in English<snip>

Fire funnelled.....through rear Perspex visor.

---
Anon3- The Gray Area (650w)
spag 4/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 4/5
overall 18/20

g 18
s -36.0
r Grade Level: 4
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

best of month: that's-what-they-said

scene section: character reader leave 1&2/succinct+3 party ground as final reader leave

names, consider alternative for bizman, perhaps copperson

open/close mundane->high impact FAB!!!!
coincedental/inversion-psience as genre

<snip>It’s just a metaphor<snip>

“Very well. Please be advised that we reserve all rights.”

---
Anon4 - untitled (346w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 4/5
react 5/5
overall 19/20

g 12
s -78.5 <-----------------heavy content
r Grade Level: 7
Reading Level: standard / average.
Reader's Age: 11-13 yrs. old (Sixth and Seventh graders)

best of month: bold-bifurc-execute

label?
title, stance?

dialogue solid

names intensity matches tale

short form beautifully executed!

His limbs shuddered in the malicious October wind; under the orange sky flew pathetic clouds.

Time was lead-footed right then, a crotchet of the pocket watch incapable of measuring the mercurial air.

---
Anon5 - The Dead Man's Dance (650w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 5/5
overall 20/20

g 27 style/form?
s +51.8 <---------winner, winner?
r Grade Level: 7
Reading Level: fairly easy to read.
Reader's Age: 11-13 yrs. old (Sixth and Seventh graders)

best of month: meter-made-spectacle

names robust
phoenix, banned 'the chidren'<---look at you!!!
daniel, religious-first out
roslin, altruism-first down
deborah, workless-attack phoenix-success
Pierreia/prison<---love this!
tannoy
embed

verb, move to present?
open/close strong, matter-of-factness

scene section style/time-temp<--brilliant use of device
c40=104
c50=122
-dan
c60=140
-roslin
-feral deb
c70=158
-victor?

<snip>gradually rising beyond human tolerance.

<snip>growing ever more frantic with time.

---
Anon6 - Danse Macabre (650w)

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

g 20 <----high outside of style accomodation
s +50.9
r Grade Level: 7
Reading Level: fairly easy to read.
Reader's Age: 11-13 yrs. old (Sixth and Seventh graders)

best of month: paint-me-a-picture

names effective batch

open/close quiet acceptance-mood/tone

<snip>could twist the mind of even the mightiest knights<snip>

<snip>knowing that fear was futile.

---
Anon7 - Drawing Down the Moon (623w)
spag 4/5
t&v 5/5
eval 4/5
react 4/5
overall 17/20

g 16 1 inappropriate colloquialism
s +61.6 <-----------------joy, joy as reframe?
r Grade Level: 6
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 10-11 yrs. olds (Fifth and Sixth graders)

best of month: normal-eyes

names
mother-mommy-no name/did act-normals have names? omission reads as bias
dad-dave
carl

this reads as an authentic reframe-in-process.
replace ignorance with innocence?

<snip>The knowing didn’t stop the words from hurting though.<snip>

<snip>watched longingly, with a quiet desperation.

<snip>remain that way, protected by antiquity.

---
Anon8 - Conga Magic (644w)

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

g 19
s +17.3
r Grade Level: 5
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

best of month: you-know-you-know
label language?

names work in context

open/close dialogue question/answer as answer

scene section succinct
dialogue as transformative pronouncements

<snip>expression of her sudden widowhood in the form of expletives<snip>

<snip>took on a slightly rose-coloured glow.<snip>

---
Anon9 - The Last (483w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 5/5
overall 20/20

g 23 1 inappropriate colliquialism/style
s +34.3
r Grade Level: 4
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

best of month: voice-Voice-VOICE-noice!!!
passes the inverted bdcharlestest, all you & i/self?

names unneccesary

open/close strong
dialogue
suspend disbelief->all life? v anthropomorphic

<snip>let there be joy, let there be LIFE!<snip>

---
Anon10 - untitled (600w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 2/5
overall 17/20

g 14 1 potentially sensitive language
s +34.3
r Grade Level: 4
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

best of month: eager-egress-young adult

names context appropriate

title, great balls of fire or it's too soon to know?
open/close scope appropriate
dialogue

strength: it is as it presents

<snip>resonate violently in my mind. I wince at the impact.<snip>

<snip>a laughing, rushing wind clutch at my entire body.<snip>

<snip>life’s full of surprises.

---
Anon11 - Brother Mike Helps Out (646w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 2/5
overall 17/20

g 13
s -2.6
r Grade Level: 4
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

best of month: humor-serves

names selective focus

open/close grumpyoldman humor
dialogue

scene section as thematic isolation emphasis

<snip>Solitude, they’d said. Nothing but prayer and rest, they’d said.

<snip>“What? What? I’m going, okay!”

<snip>Hollow.....sigh.

---
Anon12 - Z My Name Is (650w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 5/5
react 5/5
overall 20/20

g 17/40 (adj 22 as style/credit formatting)
s +8.8
r Grade Level: 4
Reading Level: very easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

best of month: deep-end-immersion-intro

open/close delectable!!!

scene section pause/break as impact

<snip>because it’s holding open my eyes<snip>

<snip>saying my name but<snip>


PUBLISH THIS!!!!

---
Anon13 - Defying The Rind (648w)
spag 5/5
t&v 5/5
eval 4/5
react 4/5
overall 18/20

g 14 3 inappropriate colloquialisms
s +23.0 <--------------no vivid description of violence? yay team?
r Grade Level: 4
Reading Level: easy to read.
Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)

best of month: enter-inter-section

names
her devil-moon
jenkins-sarge
vasquez +1
somtaaw-i +1 :)
screw worms <-----look at you!!!

open/close vivid-static as charged
dialogue complements

<snip>Because if we know one thing about the Devil, it is that we are not of her. We were never of her.

<snip>His black eyes scan the heaving flesh-cathedral, stretching for miles above our tiny ant-bodies.<snip>

<snip>“In retrospect,” he laughs. “You can rationalize anything.” He flips a switch. The bomb thrums with power.<snip>

[/spoiler2]

[spoiler2="rcallaci"]


Title: Ashley
Author anon

Review: There were missing pieces in this story. It felt that this was a part of a larger story and that you made cuts to fit in the word count. Some of the dialogue is stilted although the transitions from one timeline to another are done well.

The first two sections were done well; it’s the third that lacked coherence. This dragged the story down, it was confusing and unfocused. The problem here is that in the first 2 parts it was a story about a hate crime, bias, intolerance, and the struggles and outright hostility that transwomen go through. It was powerful. The only problem with these sections was the character of Ashley was nondescript. The only real description you give of her,
“She turned as if one had politely called her, revealing her jaw that looked like a cube. The moon projected its crisp light onto her. I always told Ashley that her chin was lovely, but she never believed me.” Not a good solid description. You give us no reason for us wanting to connect to this character.

All of a sudden the third section has a supernatural element to it. The dialogue between them is off kilter. Is she a ghost or a figment of the mind? Were they both Nymphs before they became human or “Dead, young women—those least inclined towards forcefulness—as Ashley used to say.”? And why does Ashley want her dead life here- what’s the motivation? So she can be a Nymph on Earth? One confusing section, this needs to be reworked it dragged the guts of the story down for me. You should have built on the first two sections rather than going on an ethereal journey. You did use the prompt in a superficial sort of way.

You’re a good writer who needs to learn to tell a complete story in a fully coherent manner. Also work on your dialogue.

SPAG 3
Tone & Voice 3
Evaluation 2 1/2
Reaction 3
Total 11 1/2


Title: War Wedding
Author Anon


Review: This was difficult to follow. Your sentence structure is odd; it’s stop and go, an uneasy flow. Your characters are flat, I as a reader don’t find them likable or unlikeable; they are just characters on a page. When Barbara received her telegram that Peter was dead I sure didn’t cry along with her. The last paragraph is quite confusing, it’s a mess.

I get it, this is about a wartime romance during WWII, they get married he dies she remarries the sailor-his description is way beyond confusing. The battle scene was mundane; I feel this is not your native tongue. Your phrasing is convoluted.

I don’t mean to be harsh but this is not a polished work. This is a 1st draft at best. And what about the prompt- I assume it’s Dead Man’s Dance—not made clear- Don’t be discouraged you learn the best from your mistakes and listening to constructive criticism. Go over your story line for line. Don’t tell-your whole piece is mostly tell, accept for the battle scene but the imagery in that confusing at best. You need to show us, use imagery, descriptive language and full rounded characters. Do a revision. I look forward to reading it.


SPaG: 3
T&V: 2
Evaluation: 2 1/2
Reaction: 2 1/2
Total: 10



Title The Gray Area
Author anon


Review: I got a kick out of this piece. A well written “Twilight Zone” like story. No first names, a receptionist, Astor, Leibewitz, and Orchid. The Main storyline line was really one business conversation between Astor and Leibewitz. It couldn’t have lasted more than half an hour, a straight business proposal from the Mysterious Astor

Her set up introduction,” The middle-aged woman had apparently been standing there awhile, spectacularly average in her white blouse and charcoal pencil skirt. For reasons she couldn’t understand, Janet suddenly felt flushed. That same queasy feeling like when she had met each of her ex-husbands.” set the tone for the whole piece. She seemed ordinary but she wasn’t, an Intro that piqued your interest.

All throughout the piece there were little nuggets that she and her firm offered their services through super ordinary or natural means. “It refers to the moon.” She did not respond to his smile. But neither did she break his gaze. “In ancient times, it was believed that some women could summon a powerful lunar energy to do all sorts of things. Create storms at sea. Drive men mad. Bring societies to the brink of war. It was a sort of dark magic.”

Leibowitz tried to laugh, but it came out as a stifled cough. “And that’s what you do?”

“Of course not. It’s just a metaphor for disruptive business tactics. What I do is leverage resources to disrupt markets and create opportunities for growth. I believe I’ve said that.”

But as it turns out it wasn’t a metaphor but the ancient women’s lunar society was real, which unfortunately he soon found out when the lunar glare blinded him and ended his existence.


I took off a point for SPAG; there should have been some commas instead of periods, and at least one semi colon and some quote tags, just a few nits.

This had an easy flow and you used the Prompt quite well. I totally enjoyed this story...

SPaG: 4
T&V: 4 1/2
Evaluation: 4 1/2
Reaction: 5
Total: 18



Title untitled
Author anon

Review: One devilishly rousing story, great imagery. The first paragraph set the tone and introduced us to this legendary cadaver. The second paragraph was gripping; I saw the whole grisly scene in the movie reel in my mind. Great writing!
You should have been marked higher but having no title is a no, no. A title is part of the story, to not title it is a disservice to the outstanding work you wrote. Also formatting is important as well. You should have separated your paragraphs, makes it easier to read and it acts as a pause.

Great use of the prompt: “His stance shaking, his arm shot to his side. He began to step, first with one foot and then with the other, marking the irregular time signature. How contorted was that mass of appendage, how blasphemous was that bipedal devil which rattled hither and thither, like a dead roach in a jar. Then he stopped, collapsed onto the soil, and died.”

The devil in me applauds you—good job

SPaG: 3
T&V: 5
Evaluation: 3 1/2
Reaction: 5
Total: 16 1/2

"Title" The Dead Man’s Dance
Author Anon

Review : Interesting take on the prompt- you literary had dead man dancing. This had a “Hunger Games” feel to it and I pictured Jenifer Lawrence’s bloody foot on his throat. The show and tell aspect of the story was evenly matched and it held the readers interest. I realize the word limitation leaves you very limited in any kind of back story but I would have liked a few more words about this dystopian world. If not that then a little more expansion or explanation on their crimes—worlkessness-have no idea what that means—or being banned for being in a
Organization-the Children—was this a group of pedophiles or a group that cared for children? By at least explaining this in a little more detail it would give the reader a stake in the character’s welfare. I know flash can be hard but there is a way to add those thinks- you need to make the story tight. But a good job nevertheless.

SPaG: 4
T&V: 4
Evaluation: 4
Reaction: 4
Total: 16


Title Danse Macabre
Author anon

Review: I found some of the writing in this piece wanting. The use of archaic writing in this piece was clumsy, it sounded out of place and hollow. It took away from the piece. The storyline line was good and the piece did hold your interest. When you used modern language and stayed away from “Pray Tell” speak the dialogue popped. I liked the ending “That evening, a peasant fleeing the plague with his family too saw the dead dancing over the hills towards oblivion, lord Anthonius and his companions amongst them.” A fitting ending.
For the most part this was a well written piece with some glaring holes, a few nits here and there. But for me it didn’t wow me, due to those nits and dialogue hiccups. Good use of the prompt.


SPaG: 3 1/2
T&V: 3 1/2
Evaluation: 3 1/2
Reaction: 3 1/2
Total: 14

Title Drawing Down the Moon
Author Anon

Review: An interesting psychological piece. A well written and disturbing piece on schizophrenia and the toll it takes on their loved ones. Some nits, misplaced commas, fragmented sentence, and formatting. It would have been nice to space out some of the sections.
A well written and informative piece- I loved the mother son dynamic- Good ending. But no conclusions, it just felt for me at least kind of flat in places. But it was a damn good story. Excellent use of the prompt.


SPaG: 4
T&V: 4 1/2
Evaluation: 4
Reaction: 4 1/2
Total: 17

Title Conga Magic
Author Anon

Review: This brought actual tears to my eyes. I felt the sadness and grief as well as the joy. Brilliant writing, the near ending was absolutely outstanding as her husband gave her a wink doing the dead man’s dance. He answered her prayers.
This so wanted me to believe in the afterlife, there wasn’t a misstep in this piece, excellent use of the prompt, no SPAG issues whatsoever, great pace and flow, just excellent storytelling, such a tender piece.
A pure Joy.... Brava, I ‘m assuming you’re a woman but if you’re a man then Bravo...


SPaG: 5
T&V: 5
Evaluation: 5
Reaction: 5
Total: 20


Title The Last
Author Anon

Review: I enjoyed this. Love stories when Death is a major character. You made Death very relatable. Some of the dialogue was a little wonky but overall it held up. The Ending made up for any of the stories weakness, a great visual. I did enjoy the conversations although some of it was a little stilted. Well written, good use of the prompt and some interesting metaphysical talk. Good Job


SPaG: 4
T&V: 4 1/2
Evaluation: 4
Reaction: 4 1/2
Total: 17


Title untitled
Author Anon

Review: First off- not having a title doesn’t do you any favors. It’s a sign of laziness or not giving a damn about your story. Titles are important.

This story is not fully developed, it’s a mish mash, I felt I was reading a flash piece written for Q-anon
Newsletter. The Deus ex Machina made for a weak and lazy conclusion to this tale. Some of the dialogue didn’t make sense or was rushed. It just didn’t make sense that someone dating a girl for a time would then hand her over to a satanic cult to be sacrificed and then just saying I’m sorry. You need to do a total rework. Consider this a rough draft.


SPaG: 3
T&V: 2 1/2
Evaluation: 3
Reaction: 2 1/2
Total: 11


Title Brother Mike Helps Out
Author Anon

Review: I got a kick at of this one. You made a fun character in Brother Mike. I can see a series of stories based on his character. Some minor, minor nits, periods where commas should be stuff like that. But I loved this; his matter of fact quality to something extraordinary was magical, a true delight to read. If I needed an exorcist I’d call Brother Mike. Well done...


SPaG: 4 1/2
T&V: 4 1/2
Evaluation: 4 1/2
Reaction: 5
Total: 18 1/2



Title Z my Name is
Author Anon

Review: I didn’t connect with this story. It just didn’t make sense for me. The irony is that this is written well but plays to a certain audience. I sense the urgency and the fear as well as the relief when the good entity saves her from the bad one. That she is a student living on coffee fumes and doesn’t talk to things are not real. It has a frenetic pace that makes my brain wobble. Sorry it didn’t do it for me but it’s a subjective thing- You do know how to write and have a way with words.


SPaG: 4
T&V: 3 1/2
Evaluation: 3 1/2
Reaction: 3
Total: 14

Title Defying the Rind
Author Anon

Review: One weird story. A little confused. Was this a living moon (our moon) who was going to swallow earth or the devil in moons clothing. This reminded me of a Dali painting of an immobile Satan. Blowing him up or the moon seems like a good Idea. But if the moon is blown up the earth will be in one whale of trouble.
Interesting premise, some interesting dialogue but it just didn’t pop out for me. It’s a run of the mill we got to blow this evil thing up story. Some of it worked some of it didn’t. If it was a living thing or even the devil why didn’t it defend itself? Too many unexplained things for me to bite my teeth into. This is a good story, not a very good one-You needed about a 100 more words and then this would have been a very good story.


SPaG: 4 1/2
T&V: 3 1/2
Evaluation: 4
Reaction: 3
Total: 15
[/spoiler2]
 
Congrats (and welcome) JJDean! Congrats also to Jonthom and Terra. Thank you to the judges (thank you esp. to rcallaci for bearing with my experiment--I was a bit brain-wobbled myself once I was done with it!).
 

undead_av

Senior Member
Thanks to all the judges and congrats to the winners! rcallaci, really glad you enjoyed - it was a little different than what I usually write but I had fun!
 

CyberWar

Senior Member
Considering how uninspired I've been feeling lately, I'm honestly surprised mine did as well as it did.

Anyway, congrats to the winners, many thanks to the judges for their fair evaluation, and let's compete again next month!
 

BornForBurning

Senior Member
I'll admit that I wanted the whole thing to be a metaphor, but if it is one, I can't figure it out.
This may or may not help. To rcallaci's point, I had to pear this piece down due to the word count.

Congratulations to the winners! This month, I especially liked Arrow's, Demiel's, and Matchu's entries.
 
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Terra

Senior Member
For some reason I remembered just this morning to check the critiques from October's challenge. Congrats to everyone who submitted to what I considered to be a challenging challenge. Thank you Judges for the feedback on my piece which I have tweaked since submitting, and will tweak again with your comments in mind.

I am learning so much since joining WF, and even the process of submitting to a challenge has been an excellent experience.
 
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