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mr_pikachu
1st May 2007, 03:19 AM
The May 2007 Fanfic Writing Contest
Judged by Lady Vulpix and Phoenixsong



Welcome, Fanficcers, to the first Fanfic Writing Contest since 2004!

I’ll get right to the point. To enter the contest, all you have to do is compose a short manuscript and post it in this thread. All entries will be judged by two of Fanfic’s most illustrious members: Lady Vulpix, who won Best Fantasy Fic in the 2007 Silver Pencil Awards; and Phoenixsong, who earned Best Reviewer in the Silver Pencils. The winner is guaranteed fabulous prizes and an all-inclusive trip to Hawaii*!

All entries must conform to the following guidelines:

No more than 2500 words
Must involve a quarrel in a relationship, whether it is romantic, friendship, etc.
Must be submitted by 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on May 31, 2007
Remember, post your completed entries in this thread. Don’t PM them to the judges, as overfilled PM boxes won’t make them happy with you.

Good luck to all!


* Trip will only take place in your dreams, which you won’t remember. Satisfaction not guaranteed. Side effects may include nausea, drowsiness, bloating, heart attack, stroke, bleeding from various bodily orifices, loss of motor control, death, necromancy, vampirism, and Armageddon. Offer expires May 30. Void where prohibited.

Houndoom_Lover
4th May 2007, 07:59 PM
Oy, well despite my stupidity I got this bad boy done!

This story (and all following stories related to this story) is dedicated to my lovebug, Blademaster.

---

The Father

A storm raged on the seacoast, but there wasn’t a dark cloud in the sky. In fact, it was quite sunny, with a slight wind that gently picked up the sand and blew it a crossed the beach.

A lone figure stood there, arms open, embracing those make believe clouds. The figure’s blond hair, cut to the shoulders, flew around the figure’s face. A body unrecognizable in gender- eyes two different colours, one calm and blue, one wild and green. A robe wrapped tight around the figure’s body was colour coded with reds and blues in a stripe like pattern.

The figure turned its head almost all the way around, and they…the chosen ones, looked at the figure in fear. They knew who it was, and they feared.

“Take care of the crest of serenity, oh, and that egg too…can’t call it a Gazimon anymore, can I?” The figure said in the voice of Kerry Kento. It rang with insanities, with arrogance…with emptiness.

“No!” Tami cried, stretching out an arm as though to grab the girl that was…about to do something.

Kento turned her head back in the proper place, arms out stretched as though to embrace the sky, walked into the sea.

“Nooooo!” She cried again, making a run to save her in vain. Tobi’s strong arms grabbed her, and she thrashed against them. “My fault- all, my fault…” Tears, warm and stingy, rolled down her face.

“There was nothing you could have done,” Valkyrimon said solemnly, landing by her trainers. Gryphonmon let out a mournful cry, folding his wings as his trainers jumped off his back.

Dane was smiling, as always, but his eyes were full of tears as he held the speckled egg to his chest. No, it didn’t look like a Gazimon anymore. Its shell was a pale pink, with black specks.

“We can’t stay here; we…have to get home.” Mark said softly, his voice full of false cheer. He jumped back on Gryphonmon’s back, the crests of sincerity dangling from his neck. He shoved it in, and offered a hand to Dane.

Dane took it, his own chest shinning; his crest of love. Blushing lightly, he wiped the tears on the back of his sweater sleeve.

“Indeed,” the angel digimon said, grabbing the siblings; the tamers of light and hope.

The tears they wept were for the ones they lost and the relief that it was all over. And as they flew through the gates, the most frantic wish they had in their hearts was this;

That Kass, Romea, Tiberius, and Delhi would be standing out there, maybe even with baby digimon in their hands. They would grin and say that everything was alright and that they should skip school tomorrow…just because.

And Kento, Kerry Kento, would be the only one in class B2, shrewd and ambitions; though no longer a killer, because it never happened…ever.

“Are you done yet!?” Jack Spicer yelled from his bathroom, brushing his teeth as a last ditch effort. His hair was painstakingly done, and his eyeliner was in perfection.

“Almost,” Came the pained answer, “I just have to upload it on to the site!” It contained glee, that voice. Jack rolled his eyes as he spat into the sink.

Wiping his face, he rebutted, “I can believe you managed to get gay love into that, it almost makes me regret giving you free time.” He raced out of the bathroom, dodging into his bedroom.

The girl that replied to him clicked submit, waited, and when it was finished she got offline. She seemed to be less ready than the boy. Her long blond hair was frizzy, her blue eyes sleepy, and was wearing what looked like pajamas, this girl leaned back in the computer chair.

“So, what’s so important about your Father, anyway?” She asked, stretching lightly. She slowly rose out of the chair, to make an attempt to get ready.

“Get off that high Ponyta of yours and get ready, Wednesday!” Jack snapped, putting on a short cropped jacket of black. He quickly snapped the clasps, chucking a large lump of fabric at her.

Wednesday caught it, and then somehow managed to drop it. Bending over to pick it up, she retorted; “What’s that suppose to mean?”

“I think you’re just jealous because you don’t have a dad!” He snipped venomously, snapping his trademark goggles on his head. Jack looked down; clearly deciding that the rest of him looked fine.

“Oh, and you do?” She warbled in return, “OOoh, poor Jacky, his Father disappeared when he was just a lad to find himself! Oh, but he brings in the bacon, and every once in a while comes back” Wednesday unfolded the clothes, looking slightly disgusted by them, “But, you know, he shows up once in a while, and you all throw a party!”

Jack pushed her lightly on the left shoulder, “Shut up about my Dad…parents, whatever!” He squeaked the last word, taking a look at his watch. It was almost time!

Wednesday gave a spectacular pout, stropping off to go change.

The teen boy rubbed his shoes with an old rag, trying to get them to shine. A large Murkrow flapped over to Jack, digging its claws as it landed on his shoulder.

“Ow, careful with this jacket, Wuya!” He flicked his hand in her direction. She let out a caw, flying away and on to the table where his feet were propped up.

“What is so important?” She asked, eyeing him shrewdly, “Your Father has come back before, as the girl said.”

“Yeah…but…” Jack rubbed more, looking totally absorbed into the polishing. “I need money for robot parts, but Dad thinks robots are stupid…”

Wuya hopped forward, looking inquisitive. Her fool wasn’t telling the complete truth, and she knew it.

Jack avoided Wuya’s gazed, shinning a spot he had already shinned. No longer able to pretend to shine (thanks to a short attention span) he stood up straight, and sighed.

“And he wants me to take care of the Gym while he’s gone! The Gym!” Jack cried, in a aggrieved voice. Gripping his hands into a fist, he mimicked punching something. “I won’t have a social life-“

“Not that you have one.”

“Or be able to gather Shen Gong Wu!” He finished, ignoring Wuya’s insult. The witch in the pokemon body gapped at him. She ruffled her feathers angrily.

“By no account must you get that position!” Wuya snapped, flying into Jack Spicer’s face. He cried girlishly, blocking his face from her claws of doom.

“That’s why…” Wednesday walked out of Jack’s room just them, pulling on the stretchy fabric of the black dress, looking very uncomfortable.

“Wednesday,” he grinned at her, pushing Wuya out of his face, “now to do something about you hair…” Jack snapped his fingers, and before you could say ‘Make-over’ Wednesday found herself surrounded by Jack-bots holding cans of cheap hair spray.

“EEee-No, go Mopsey!” There was a minor explosion as a long eared pokemon kicked their robot cans. The two struck a pose as the dust from hair spray and robot bits flew from them like some sort of cosmic rays. “No one touches the hair!” (Luuuupbun!)

The hair spray floated through the room like a noxious gas. In fact, it gagged a certain lavender haired man.

Jessie and Meowth jumped as James coughed, diving over him with freighted eyes to quell the noise. The two bickering teenagers looked over there, and Jack pointed in the coughing direction. Obeying, the Jack-Bots hovered over there.

“Intruders!!” The Jack-bots cried in unison, shooting laser beams from their eyes .

Team Rocket hugged each other, screaming in terror as lasers zapped around them. Apparently, Jack didn’t program them for accuracy.

The evil boy genius laughed evilly, throwing his arms up in the air in as his Jack-Bots did some damage. Wednesday joined in with shrill, fake sounding giggles, as Mopsey cleaned her paws.

“What is going on here?!” The staircase door had been opened in this chaos. The voice full of anger belonged to a man that was standing there. He had cruel, rounded features with small black eyes and close cut black hair.

“Giovanni!” The trio of attackies cried, anime tears running down their faces as they held on to each other in pants wetting terror.

Giovanni’s already small black eyes narrowed in hatred as he saw the bumbling fools that ‘worked’ for him. He slowly walked down the steps; you could hear a pin drop.

“D-dad,” Jack stammered, he felt the warm blood rush to his face in embarrassment. This was really the last thing Jack wanted his Dad to see. Him, taking joy in petty robots with intruders and a klutzy secretary, not to mention a trapped witch in a weak pokemon’s body, this was great, just great…

“Dis brat is the boss’s son?” Meowth snorted, earning a glare from Giovanni. He hid his face in Jessie’s skirt.

His Father looked up at him, harshly, which caused Jack to give a little whimper. His harsh look faded into a smile, a sharp one, but a smile, nonetheless.

“Jack, you know I am a busy man, “Giovanni said, his voice like silky like a nightgown.

“I know,” Jack blurted out, earning a reproving glare from him. He gulped before continuing, “but I have dreams too, I don’t want to be struck around here-“

“Apparently,” his Father waved his hands around, gesturing that the basement was the subject of his sentence, “you do.” He laughed silently at Jack’s rather hurt look, but now his heartless eyes fell on the girl.

“Who is this?” He asked coldly. Wednesday backed up into Mopsey, who seemed keen on hiding as well, “Your girlfriend?”

“She’s not my girlfriend!” Jack blurted out loudly, folding his arms in a self-conscious way. He didn’t like it when people came down in his basement, getting all up in his grill.

“Well then,” Giovanni smirked, eyeing her, “this second rate tramp can leave my sight. You know the rules about such things, Jack.”

His son raised his eyebrows, since when were the rules enforced on him? Rules were for losers, not for the son of a wealthy tycoon, or an evil genius. He looked over at Wednesday, and groaned inwardly. He could see the infuriation in those ridiculous eyes of hers, normally, she was quiet around strangers, chose not to trust them, but Jack sensed that the norm was about to change.

Please, Jack begged in his brain, please keep quiet. I’ll let you eat my pudding supply, just please shut up.

“Excuse me!?” (Dear God) Wednesday snapped, wound up from earlier still, “A tramp, play me as some sort of a gold digger!?”

Giovanni’s smile slipped off his face, “Than what are you?”

“Your challenger for control of this gym!” She and Mopsey struck a fighting pose, fire in their eyes. In the background, Jack Spicer groaned.

“You!?” The wannabe mobster chuckled, looking at Jack with a certain fondness. Jack met his eyes, looking away quickly.

“Very well,” He nodded with his hands behind his back. Giovanni turned around, giving his flunkies a sharp glare; they instantly understood it as a command to follow him. “Bring your little friend up to the gym, Jack, we’ll show her what a Spicer can do.”

Wuya laughed loudly, flying over them. She took perch on Jack’s shoulders, cawing with malice.

“Yes,” she taunted, “let’s see what a real Spicer can do! Hra-kre-kre, if he’s anything like his son, even this fool will beat him!” Wuya teased Wednesday as though she wasn’t standing there, but that was nothing new.

Upstairs in the Gym, Jack was eating cookies his Mom made for him as his Father and Wednesday prepared for the fight.

The girl was jittery, this being her first legal fight and all. More often than not, Wednesday was engaged in illegal fights over Shen Gong Wu for Wuya and Jack, but why really?

Because I wanted to take over the world since the second grade, too…

Well, it’s jolly good and all that rot to share a dream with someone, but what if…?

What? She asked her self, watching Giovanni yell at the man who was now putting on a judge outfit as quick as he could.

What if you could do it by yourself?

“By myself?” She mouthed, digging in her pocket suddenly. Wednesday produced two small black poke balls, each with the insignia of Heylin on them. Jack had them imprinted with his own initials so other villains didn’t think it was an all for all.

“Jack!” Wednesday yelled, getting his attention between mouthfuls of gooey heaven. She chucked the pokeballs as hard as she could, in his direction…sorta. Lucky for the both of them that Wuya was there to catch them in her evil talons.

“I don’t need ‘em anymore,” She said, solemnly, taking out two of her own pokeballs to replace those.

“What-?!” The evil boy genius looked outraged, what was with this flunky today?

“I’m doing this on my own!” Wednesday retorted, turning from him to look at the field with intent eyes.

Jack shoved the pokeballs into his pocket, as Wuya re-perched herself on his shoulder, “You can’t even walk by yourself,” he muttered, ruefully, returning to the cookies.

James, from Team Rocket, stood on a small podium, with two white flags in his hands. Trembling with fear, he brought them together; “Wednesday…from…” the man let out a squeak, failing already, “challenges Giovanni of the Viridian Gym for control of the Viridian Gym.”

Breaking the connection of the flags, James confidently said; “Let the battle commence!”

Giovanni’s cold knowing smile dug into her skin like scabies, he knew she was flying solo, and he was the German pilot ready to take the K-27 down.

Why must there be calm before the storm? Shouldn’t the warning be less subtle?

The battlers pulled out their first pokeballs, pressing the center button, threw them on to the field, like clouds from the sea.

Mewfour
4th May 2007, 10:44 PM
Here's one I wrote for a college class

It was pretty dreary when I set out in my beat-up ’94 Cadillac that day; there was not a speck of sunlight in the sky to be seen at all. I was cruising down a barren country road with no destination in mind, I just wanted to get away from it all. By “it” I mean everything- my crummy dead-end job, my ex-wife, the endless supply of overdue loan payment statements, and even though I could just barely afford this month’s rent for my tiny little apartment, what little savings I did have were nowhere near the level of debt I was in. Giving up on life, wishing I could just wipe the slate clean and start all over again. But of course, that’s not going to happen anytime soon, so for the time being, I’m stuck in the bottom of this pit that I’ve dug for myself. In all honesty, I was just about to give up. Give up on hope, life, everything. I rolled down the window and felt the cooling wind whip at my face, feeling a fleeting moment of relief as I roared down the dusty road. I knew that I eventually had to return and face all of my problems back home eventually, but for the time being at least, it felt great to be free.

There were quite a few deer in the area I was driving, and I could already smell the fresh sea breeze from the coast. The foothills of the coastal mountains should have been coming into view within ten minutes, and it was at that point that I had decided that I would turn around and head home. This little cruise of mine was so enjoyable that I thought about doing it again soon. For the first time in what seemed like forever, I felt completely calm and relaxed- who knew driving around aimlessly could be such a good stress outlet? Just as I had made my U-turn to barrel back down the opposite way, my cell phone began to ring. Fishing it out of my pocket with one hand on the wheel, I saw by the caller I.D. that it was my wife’s lawyer calling me yet again. Rolling my eyes, I pressed the green phone button and sighed under me breath. “Hello?”

“Hello, Mr. Jerry Burak,” came the automated voice on the other end of the line, “This is a message from the law firm of H. G. Devitt. We are calling to confirm your appointment at our offices is scheduled for Friday, April thirteenth.”

I palmed my forehead in frustration. I don’t know how many times I’ve told them that I won’t be available that week.

“If you would like directions to our office, press one,” the voice continued. I shifted my grip on the steering wheel with my free hand, and pressed the cell phone harder against my ear, trying to hear the quiet voice. “If you would like to arrange an additional meeting, press two. If you would like to reschedule your current meeting, press three.”

Without hesitation, I punched in three, and waited anxiously. There was a brief pause.

“We’re sorry, all of our operators are busy right now-”

I let out a roar of frustration and flipped the cell phone shut. I’ll deal with that mess when I get back. After all, why let those bottom-feeding lawyers ruin a good joyride? I took my eyes off the road for a split-second to pocket my cell phone again, when a bump in the road made it jump out of my hands and onto the floor. Grumbling, I lurched down quickly to fetch it from underneath the passenger’s seat, and looked ahead at the road again just in time to see a deer darting across the road right in front of me. Purely on instinct I swerved to the left as a jammed on my brakes, sending me into a field with a high-pitched shriek. I spun the wheel left and right frantically trying to regain control of my car again, but everything I did only seemed to make the swerving worse. Finally, I felt the right side of the vehicle tip up and over, and the last thing I remembered was being flipping upside down before everything went black.

I don’t know how long I was out for, but it couldn’t have been long. Only when I felt myself getting light-headed did I realize that I was now hanging upside-down, fastened to my seat by the seatbelt. A throbbing pain ran mercilessly though my temples, and hanging upside down only made the laceration above my right eye worse, as I could tell from what remained of the rear-view mirror. Great, this is the last thing I needed. Now I don’t have a car. I was about to complain further when I moved my right shoulder, and suddenly felt like I had been stabbed. It was a pain unlike any other I had ever felt in my life, and to my horror I noticed that my shoulder had been rendered almost completely immobile. I wanted to scream, but nothing came out from my dry and raspy throat. Knowing that hanging like I was would only worsen my condition, I reached for the clasp to my seatbelt with me left hand. The moment I spread my fingers was the moment another sharp jolt of pain shot up my arm, and I knew immediately that I had broken my left hand in addition to dislocating my right shoulder. I knew that I needed help, and quickly. Grimacing and bearing the pain in my hand, I gingerly slipped my fingers into my pocket to retrieve my cell phone again, yet to my dismay, all I felt was the insides of my pocket. Where could it have possibly gone? Did I have it out when I rolled over? I slowly glanced to my left out of the window, and saw my opened cell phone, propped up like a tent, lying about ten or so feet away from me on a rocky patch of the field. Lucky for me the thin grass was yellowing and beginning to die, otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to spot my phone. “Hey!” I called out, hoping someone was nearby. “Hey! Can anybody hear me?” I choked on the last word as I hacked and coughed; my parched throat would not permit me to yell very loud for very long. Eventually, I had to face the facts. I couldn’t afford to sit and wait for help, I had to pull myself out of my car and call for it myself.

With my right hand unable to put any kind of pressure on it, I knew that I would not be able to unfasten my seatbelt- the clasp kept sticking, and only then did I immediately regret procrastinating to have it fixed for all those months. I needed something to cut through my seatbelt, but what? I glanced around the car, and found one large shard of glass from the passenger’s window lying by my head on the ceiling. I reached up to grab it with my right hand, but all that got me was a wide cut on my finger and thumb. I cursed inwardly, and searched for something else I could cut with. I suddenly found myself looking at my car keys, still dangling in the ignition. Careful as to not disturb my injured shoulder, I reached across my chest and plucked the car keys from the steering column, seeing what I could work with. The ignition key was too smooth, and my car door key had only one little tooth near the base. But my room key, however, had two triangle-like points near the end of the key, and pressing it into my thumb confirmed that they were pretty sharp. With blood still rushing to my head, I doggedly set to work with my key, bit by steady bit sawing through the tough fabric across my shoulder.

About halfway through the shoulder strap, my right arm bent at the elbow, sending another jolt of pain through my body. Lucky for me, my right hand was hooked safely underneath my lap belt. I shuddered to imagine how much it would have hurt if my whole arm came flopping down. I began to drift in an out of a haze, and I knew that if I didn’t saw through my bonds fast enough, I would pass out and probably be left for dead in the middle of this field. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, I cut through my shoulder strap, and with whatever strength I still had in my right hand, I clutched onto the lap belt to stop my dislocated shoulder from becoming even more damaged. Now that I had a little more mobility, the next task was to saw through my lap belt. Holding the key as tightly in my left hand as I could, I wound my arm back to my left hip, and began to rip away at the belt. With my elbow hitting the side of the car more than the key was touching the belt, I was intending to hold the key like a dagger, when my weakened hand clumsily dropped the keys, landing with a little pat on the windshield. I wanted to swear, but by this point my throat’s aridness had gotten worse much. I gingerly reached up to grab my keys, but with my trembling, broken hand I could barely manage to hook the key ring in my pinkie finger before dropping them again. Well, I wasn’t ready to give up just yet. I forced my hand to clench as tight as it could around the keys, no matter how much my body screamed in pain. Getting a firm enough grip on my room key again, I had only a quarter of seatbelt to go through when my right hand had finally had enough and went numb, dropping my keys back onto the windshield. As another red haze filled my head and my vision dimmed, I knew that the only tool I had left to break free from the seatbelt was my own body. I jerked my hips outward; hoping to sever whatever remained of the compromised seatbelt. At the instant I did, a blast of pain ripped through my body, freezing me in my seat. My shoulder didn’t like that at all, and boy did it let me know. There had to be some other way to break the belt. After a few minutes of brainstorming, I was dismayed to come to the conclusion that there was no other way. I just had to keep pulling against my restraint, no matter how much it hurt. I jerked my hips again. The seatbelt tore a little bit, and my shoulder felt like it had been torn off. I jerked my hips a third time. The seatbelt tore a little more, and my shoulder screamed in pain, much more than I thought I could bear. Finally, a fourth tug tore the seatbelt in two with an audible pop, and so did my shoulder. I would have screamed in agony, but dropping from my seat and onto my head on the windshield knocked me too senseless. Lying on my back on the upholstered ceiling of my car, I knew that I was far from being out of the woods yet. Now I had to pull myself out of the car, and drag my battered body towards my cell phone in the field. With my left arm miraculously still able to move, I reached out of the open window, over the shattered glass, and dragged myself forward.

Suddenly, I felt a pop in my left ankle, and pain began tearing through my whole leg. I was also suddenly aware of a throbbing ache in my lower back as I reached to cradle my ankle. My shoe had to come off, or the swelling would cut off blood flow to my foot. But there was no space in the car to do so, so for the time being, I had to bear the pain in my foot and drag myself out into the field. Rolling over, I reached outside and anchored my elbow into the soft ground, and I felt little bits of jagged glass cutting into my arm over the shattered window frame, testing my will to survive. I bit my lip and pressed on, dragging my body halfway out of the car, pausing to rest a little bit over the broken glass before reaching up again and dragging myself out of the car. Now that I could sit up, I could finally get my shoe off. I dragged myself to the side of my overturned car, and propped my back up against the tire rim, taking a moment to soak in the cooling breeze. All the blood draining from my head felt nothing short of heavenly, and after a few deep breaths, I was ready to take that shoe off. Lurching forward, I gingerly pulled on the laces with my tingling left hand, slowly but surely loosening the knot. With my right foot I kicked off my shoe, and let my foot swell. As good as this felt right now, I knew I couldn’t stay like I was. My cell phone was still on that rocky patch of ground, and only now did I realize how far it was. I took a deep sigh, and prepared myself for the worst part of my struggle. It was going to be a long dragging.

Sliding over onto my stomach again, I steadily crawled towards my phone, inch by painful inch. I would plant my elbow down on the ground, and use my good leg to push myself along the ground. My limp shoulder dragging behind me ached and throbbed with every little bump and jostle, but my resolve would not waiver. Finally, after dragging myself for what seemed to be miles, I laid my hand upon my cell phone and scooped it inward, hugging it tightly to my chest. Flipping it right-side up, I gingerly dialed 9-1-1 with my finger on my broken hand, and waited for a reply.

“This is 9-1-1,” a calm operator on the other end answered.

“Send an ambulance,” I wheezed weakly, trying not to cry with joy, “I’ve been in a rollover.”

“Alright sir,” said the operator with that ever-placid monotone, “Where are you?”

I groaned and rolled over onto my back, watching the bleak sky begin let loose little droplets of rain from the clouds. “156th street, between First and Second Avenue, in that big field by the coast. My car’s rolled over upside-down, you can’t miss it.”

“Are you injured at all, sir?”

“I’ve broken my ankle, my hand, and I think I’ve dislocated my left shoulder.”

“Anyone else with you?”

I took a deep breath. “No,” said at length, “just me and my thoughts.”

“Okay sir, an ambulance is on the way,” said the ever-calm operator, “I’ll need you to stay on the line.”

Then he said a bunch of other stuff that I didn’t pay attention to. All that mattered to me now was that I was still alive, and help was on the way. In the half-hour or so it took for the ambulance to arrive, I lay on my back in a motionless heap, wondering what would happen from here. And as the rain came pouring down upon me, I knew what I was going to do from now on. I would appreciate the fact that I had survived, and most importantly, for the first time in a long time, I would be thankful for being alive.

Bulbasaur4
19th May 2007, 02:06 PM
Would playscripts be allowable? ^_^;;

Lady Vulpix
19th May 2007, 02:23 PM
They may be hard to compare to narrative stories, but it's still writing, so I guess they're allowed.

Gavin Luper
19th May 2007, 02:40 PM
Posting in agreement. A play script fits the judging criteria, so it's allowable. Gabi is right that it would be harder to compare with a narrative, but it's nonetheless acceptable.

Weasel Overlord
24th May 2007, 08:36 AM
Word Count: 2091



Lost Heaven








He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.



Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.



Always in the shadows, we walk. Sunlight forbidden to us, we are creatures of the night. Blood our sustenance; we stalk through darkness, unseen by all save those we choose to reveal ourselves to. And for them it is too late.

Arioch is my name, and tonight is the night when I am to take for myself a mortal. To sire a fledgling; to bring another beast of preternatural strength into this world of humans so that he may stalk among them unknown, as I do, picking for the slaughter whomever he may choose to slake his eternal blood-thirst.

But I fear that I cannot make myself do it. Sinking my teeth into the throat of a mortal sickens me to my very core; so much so that I quail when it comes my time to feed. My reticence does nothing to endear me to my sire, or to the eldest ones.

Their strength is such that I cannot resist, no matter how much I choose to argue and disobey. It is enough that I carry my book wherever I go. Heavy though it may be, it is all the heavier for my unearthly nature, almost as if the book itself knows of my sins.

My sire, Léandre, terrifies me sometimes. He does not get angry. No. Instead his burnished eyes glint steely for a second, his jaw clenches, and his voice, oh, perfectly controlled, drops to a pitch meant only for my recalcitrant ears as he expresses his deep disappointment that I have, once again, banished a demon from our realm on Earth.

My punishment, as always, is to take extra food for the night. Léandre knows that I will not feed more than is necessary to keep me alive; I bear my thirst, keeping a hold on it deep inside, for fear that I lose control and become…something darker than I can redeem.

The Lord will forgive me my sins, for I do his holy work. It is His test of me, bestowing this… gift upon me.

But my sire, he does not care for the Lord. He spurns Him, as all our brethren do, as they should. And for every demon I exorcise, I must drink the lives of five mortals.

For every vampire I kill, the toll increases to twenty. No matter how I protest, he will force me to it, pressing them upon me until my instincts take over and I cannot refuse their fresh, red heat.

Trapped in my world of darkness, I can no longer look upon the light of the Lord. But I can hope. I can always hope.



*


“Léandre. Sire. I cannot do this thing.”

“Arioch. My love. You have no choice in the matter.” He smiled.

“Mathieu has been waiting long for this night, my Arioch. You cannot deny him this moment; you have seen how he looks at you with his hungry eyes. He longs to be as we are. We are so beautiful to him; you must realise this.” His French lilt and silver tongue washed over me, persuasive as always. But I was resolute. Mathieu and I had grown close in the time he had spent among us. I had no wish to make him into the blood-drinking creature of darkness as I was.

So far, I had managed to account, if not fully, at least partially for my sins; but this would be the complete severance of my ties to God. Léandre had been determined as soon as he sired me that he would stamp out this ‘religious nonsense’, as he called it with such a scornful tone to his soft voice.

“My little one, what else are we to do with these powers? Surely if your Lord is as powerful as you believe, he would not have allowed us to be upon his earth. Surely he would intervene to stop us taking his children. Hm?” As always, his words seemed to fit at the time. But later on, when I would think on what was actually said, I realised it for the hypocrisy it truly was. It was ever Léandre’s undertaking to quell my religious inclinations, and he revelled whenever his various ruses worked to steep me further in sin. But as long as I remained faithful to my Lord, and paid penance for my sins, I still believed that I could find my rightful place in Heaven, at God’s side.

It was Léandre who stole me from that path in the first place. He took me under his wing not two years ago, when I was but sixteen and unaware of the evil that lay beneath his icy perfection and his sugared words. I was taken in, as Mathieu was, and stolen away from my life as a demonologist, away from the light. Two years later, Léandre finally made me into what I am today. Vampiric through and through; drinking the life of mortals for my own survival.

For although I hate my nature, and although I hate Léandre for siring me, I can no more force myself not to feed than a mortal can force himself to stop breathing. And though I hate the very scent of blood, a part of me revels in it. And that part terrifies me beyond all compare, for it is darkness itself; wild and pure and unstoppered by conscious faith or morality.

And this is what Mathieu is to become. What he is to become by my doing, with my blood. And a part of me wants him to be this way. That part of me wants to become closer to him; to be his sire, and be responsible for teaching him our ways. But in giving him my blood, I will forever remove his mortality. It will be replaced with the eerie grace and preternatural abilities of the vampire, although no-one can say in advance what those abilities will be.

In me, they showed themselves in my uncanny speed and celerity of movement. If I so wish it, I can fade into the very shadows themselves, such is my fleetness of foot. But for Mathieu, why I could not guess what his powers would manifest as, and I suppose that could be part of the allure of siring a new vampire.

For me, however, the prospect chilled my blood. There was nothing worse I could imagine than forcing my demonic blood into gentle Mathieu whom I had come to love so much.

But Léandre was having none of it. And the night was finally here. My final protestations had all been for naught. I should have known that Léandre and the elders would not listen to my pleas, but I had to try anyway, if only for the sake of trying, and to bring a little peace to my aching soul.

Léandre came to me, offering his shoulder for silent support as he was wont to do. Cradled in his arms, breathing in his soft, talcum powder scent, the world almost seemed right to me, if only for those few moments of peace; undisturbed by the persistence of my faith fighting against the darkness of my immortal soul.

He ran a gentle hand through my hair – it was getting somewhat unruly of late; my preoccupation with this task throwing all thoughts of personal grooming from my mind.

“Arioch.” He sighed, lips pressed to my forehead. “I know how this troubles you dear heart, and I have no words that could console you. Only know this; siring you was the best decision I ever made. Even though you test my patience most every day. Once you feel the closeness that I feel with you, you will no longer pine for your lost God.” I shook away from the confines of his arms at this, anger flaring within me. I imagine my eyes almost blazed with my rage, for Léandre flinched back slightly, holding his hands out as if to stop my onslaught.

“Who are you to take me from my life?” I demanded. “You have polluted me, Léandre. Tainted me in the eyes of my Lord and I shall never return to His light…” My voice broke, wavering slightly at the thought of spending an eternity without God, and Léandre gathered me into his arms once more, as if to crush away my pain with his embrace.

“You are unflinching then.” My voice was muffled in the fabric of his coat, but he must have picked up on my flatness of tone.

“I am.”

“I had no other expectations.” I knew that He would no longer look upon me as His own, no matter how many exorcisms I performed, or how many demons I slew with my incantations.

As I moved to leave, I felt his eyes upon me.

“I will still love you, Arioch. Never doubt that.” I nodded once, and pushed open the door. It felt so much heavier now that I was certain what was to come that night.

Each step I took towards Mathieu then was as if a leaden weight was dragging at my soul. I walked through that house as a man walking to his own death, head bowed and shoulders slumped in defeat. I wearied of disobeying my sire, and I could no longer be sure of his protection if I was to ignore the task set before me. It enveloped me like a trap, and I felt ensnared by it, and by my own nature.

For you can be certain that my darker half was singing out at the thought of sinking my teeth into Mathieu’s precious, unprotected neck. At the thought of allowing him to drink of my dark blood until he became one of us.

The door to his high-ceilinged room was set slightly ajar. He was awaiting me, sitting peacefully, legs crossed in the centre of the room; a calm smile upon his face.

He was clad in sacrificial white, and I snorted as I came to kneel beside him. The irony was not lost on me.

He turned to me, a light in his blue eyes which I had never seen before. He looked almost delirious with anticipation, fiddling with a corner of his plain robe as if he could not keep still.

I opened my mouth with the intention of asking if he was aware of the gravity of what he was about to undertake, but he put a finger to my lips and the words remained unsaid.

“I know what I’m doing, Arioch.” His words were simple, but they filled my heart with the heaviness of sorrow.

“But do you know what you ask of me.” I said, my voice almost a whisper. He nodded gravely, and placed both of his hands back in his lap.

Inhaling once to steady myself, I raised my eyes to Mathieu’s intense blue stare.

He held my gaze as I reached over to take him by the back of his neck, pulling him from his seat until he was on his knees; head tilted away to bare unmarred flesh.

I closed my eyes for a second, steeling myself for what I knew must come.

In a sharp and sudden movement, I ducked my head to his neck, inhaling the clean scent of his skin and the sharp, ever-present tang of blood pumping beneath the surface.

One breath and I punctured tender skin, feeling hot, red blood gush against my throat, and Mathieu tensing beneath the kiss of fangs. I felt a deep moan reverberate through him as I drew more blood, almost to the point of death.

A haze of red swept over my vision and I felt my very flesh grow warm at the intake of precious blood.

Mathieu fell to the ground, limp and gasping, as I reeled from my first meal in days. Gathering my senses, I leant over Mathieu and cradled his head into my lap.

“You must drink.” I offered my wrist, placing it gently against his lips to encourage him to bite and take of my blood.

As I felt his teeth sink in, feebly at first, and then stronger, a dizziness came over me not unlike the euphoria of feeding. I felt blood drain from me as it had drained from him mere moments ago; and I knew that we were complete.

And as I pulled away, gasping and weak; and as Mathieu writhed on the floor in the throes of mortal death, I knew that heaven was forever lost to me.

I would no longer walk in His light.

mistysakura
1st June 2007, 03:09 AM
I don't know what time it is in Eastern Standard Time, but I'm pretty sure it's 1st June everywhere in the world. So entries are now closed... now we just wait for the judges' comments. :)

Phoenixsong
1st June 2007, 03:55 PM
Yeah, it's June 1st here. Lady V and I will get ter the judging soon. Good luck to all the entrants, then!

mr_pikachu
25th June 2007, 11:28 PM
The judging is complete, and the results are here!




PHOENIXSONG


Rating for Entry #1: The Father by Houndoom_Lover

Rating Chart

-Plot (/20 points): Is the plot entertaining or captivating? Does it twist and turn, keep you guessing, and so on? How sustained is the plot … and how well does it work together?

Maybe I’m missing some deeper symbolism here, but other than those lines about clouds and sea and such I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what the two parts of the story had to do with one another. Unless Kerry Kento, whoever she is (see what I said about characterization further down), somehow turns into Wednesday, whoever she is, the two parts were entirely unrelated, and as such made no sense together in the same story. Furthermore, the second part ended abruptly. It looked like you were about to give some clarification as to Wednesday’s relationship with Jack and Wuya, but you cut it short and left me confused. Feel free to smack me upside the head if I’m missing your intent here, but you really could have made the connections clearer. The plot had a lot of potential, but you changed tack or even changed subject before you got into any depth about anything. 8/20

-Plot Originality (/10 points): How original the plot and plot twists are. Is the fic a brand new concept, or something that has been rehashed so many times it’s redundant? Are we completely shocked at what happens and left in suspense, or do we foresee everything from chapter one?

The plot is definitely… original, yes. And there were plot twists, to be sure; for one thing, I certainly wasn’t expecting Jack to be Giovanni’s son. However, it made absolutely no sense. I already explained this in the previous section, so read over that again if you’re confused. The whole “evil father being disappointed in evil offspring” deal is also fairly old… the crossover might have given you a chance to work on a new angle, but again, as explained above, you cut it short before we had a chance to see much of anything. 6/10

-Writing Style (/20 points): The writer’s choice of words, use of description, dialogue, layout and so on. Does the story flow well or does it seem stop-start all the time? Above all, is it easy to read?

I can tell that you’ve got a very descriptive style, and it’s nice. The problem is that it’s a bit incoherent and choppy; much of that can be corrected by watching your grammar, however. Also, more of a definitive break between sections (such as when the scene changed from the Digimon characters to the Xiaolin Showdown characters), such as a bit more space in between paragraphs, would be nice; the scene changes are awfully abrupt as they are. Another note is that you shouldn’t describe crying as “crying anime tears”, as that makes your work sound sillier than it was meant to be. “Crying frantically” would have conveyed the same emotion without sounding amateurish or silly. There were also a few other phrases, such as “wannabe mobster”, that also sounded silly. Generally, such phrasing should be reserved for parodies, and I didn’t get the impression that your fic is a parody; therefore, they sound out of place. I will say, however, that I did chuckle at some of the snappy dialogue in Jack’s scenes, and you did have some nice, poetic-sounding sentences here and there. 10/20

-Spelling and Grammar (/10 points):

You’ve got several sentence fragments here, such as “A body unrecognizable in gender- eyes two different colours, one calm and blue, one wild and green.” , and quite a few grammatical mistakes. They’re the kind of mistakes that Microsoft Word won’t catch, such as when you said “a crossed the beach”; technically, the words are kind of used correctly, so Word won’t mark it as wrong, but what you meant to say was “across the beach”. Watch out for things like that. One particular mistake you seem to make often is in the case of the word “shine”. When Jack rubs his boots with a rag, he is “shining” them, with one “n”, not “shinning” them. Also, what is “stropping”? Oh, and what about “diving over him with freighted eyes to quell the noise”? That sentence was not worded properly at all, and I really had no idea what you were trying to say. 4/10

-Characters (/15 points): What are the characters? Are they realistic, good, emotional? Can we relate to them?:

It’s very difficult to relate to the characters. You provided almost no backstory and little description about or mention of physical features other than clothes, hair and eyes OR personality, and since you are writing a crossover involving several fandoms, well, you can’t just assume that everyone will automatically know who is who and why they do what they do and why they have what they have. Don’t forget that this is a Pokémon forum: therefore, the only common knowledge you can guess that your readers here will have is Pokémon-related information, and you can’t just assume that we all know who Wuya is and what a Gryphonmon is. Really, a writer shouldn’t assume much of anything about his or her readers anyway. Luckily for me, I do know a bit about Xiaolin Showdown (although I don’t particularly care for it, so what I know isn’t much), but I haven’t paid attention to Digimon since the days of the first season, so as far as those characters were concerned I had no idea what was going on. In cases like that, you need to expend the extra effort to characterize these unfamiliar people and ideas for us, and it appears you’ve done a pretty poor job with that. Even if they weren’t from another fandom and were your own characters (is Wednesday?), you’d still need to explain them to us to a degree. 2/15

-Settings (/15 points): What is the world the story is set in like? Is it well explained, different and interesting?

You completely failed to describe the setting of the story properly. While your description of the beach and Jack’s basement was fairly decent, you have to remember that description and setting are not the same thing. Why where the Digimon trainers and Kento on this beach? Where is the beach? What’s significant about the beach? I know you’ve got the potential to really accurately depict whatever world your story is set in, but it seems like you didn’t bother here. 5/15

-Overall Appreciation (/10 points): Overall, the big question – is it any good? Why/why not?

I’m sorry to say this, but I wasn’t impressed by this story. It’s not enough to describe everything well—and you’re pretty good at that, don’t get me wrong. You have to watch your grammar and spelling, you need to give some kind of indication as to the story’s setting, you need to work on characterization beyond just what someone is wearing. On that note, don’t forget to let a character’s personality come out through their actions and interactions, in addition to description. Equally important is the fact that you have to try and tie everything you’re doing together. You can’t just slap three random things that you like together and call it a story. Even in fiction, you have to make some attempt at connection and realism. That’s the thing about crossovers, though, and one of the reasons that I very rarely enjoy them. In order for a crossover to work, the author needs to put in an inordinate amount of effort to make two or more completely unrelated stories and worlds mesh together in a way that readers can understand. Crossovers have to be written so that it seems to make perfect sense for Jack Spicer to be a Pokémon trainer, even though Pokémon do not exist in the world of Xiaolin Showdown. Obviously you enjoy these fandoms, but without a LOT more effort they just plain don’t work together and as such make for a weak story. It had its cute moments, it had its funny moments, it had its descriptive moments, but these are only moments and not a coherent story as a whole. 4/10

Final Result (total of all ratings on 100) as a raw score and a percentage, eg. 70/100 = 70%. 39/100 = 39%

Closing advice: From the reviewer to the writer; how they can improve it.

I more or less gave advice throughout my ratings, as that’s more or less how I give criticism; I don’t summarize it well afterwards, ehehe. But I suppose I can try… basically, be a lot more careful with your English, and make sure that in any story (but especially a crossover) you expend the effort to keep the tale coherent and sensible, even though it is fiction. A reader keeps reading a fictional work because even though it’s not really real is because they find some way to connect it to something real. That doesn’t work well at all if the story doesn’t flow. And last, but not least, work on your characterization. You’ve got nice descriptive abilities—they’re only really hampered by the grammatical and spelling errors that crop up here and there and not by any lack of skill—but don’t let that be overshadowed by the fact that, while we can see what’s happening and who it’s happening to, we can’t see why it’s happening or understand any of the reactions and consequences that occur.


Rating for Entry #2: Untitled by Evil Mewf0ur

Rating Chart

-Plot (/20 points): Is the plot entertaining or captivating? Does it twist and turn, keep you guessing, and so on? How sustained is the plot … and how well does it work together?

The plot was very nice, if quite simple. Everything flows nicely. There’s really not much more to say; the plot did what it had to do and did it well. 17/20

-Plot Originality (/10 points): How original the plot and plot twists are. Is the fic a brand new concept, or something that has been rehashed so many times it’s redundant? Are we completely shocked at what happens and left in suspense, or do we foresee everything from chapter one?

I have to say, as nice and well-written as this story was, and as impressive as simple plots can be, it was really nothing original. We’ve all heard stories about people who’ve pulled themselves out of car crashes, and we’ve all heard stories about people who have dire experiences that change their depressed outlook on life; combining the two has also been done. 4/10

-Writing Style (/20 points): The writer’s choice of words, use of description, dialogue, layout and so on. Does the story flow well or does it seem stop-start all the time? Above all, is it easy to read?

First of all, let me say that your use of description in its various forms is impressive. I could really see what Jerry was going through, and I was actually beginning to get a little tense as his predicament grew steadily worse. There were a few points where I think you’ve over-dramatized a few things just a touch, though, but overall it was wonderfully descriptive prose. That said, nothing much actually happened other than a blow-by-blow of Jerry’s unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on how you look at it) afternoon. More or less, your story was just a very colorful essay. An impressive essay, but an essay nonetheless. 13/20

-Spelling and Grammar (/10 points):

Your spelling and grammar is pretty good, but not flawless. Sentence fragments, misused punctuation and the odd change in tense are easily visible. Be more careful about those. 7/10

-Characters (/15 points): What are the characters? Are they realistic, good, emotional? Can we relate to them?

As I mentioned before, it was possible to relate to what your character was going through, and it was easy to connect with Jerry’s situation. He was not, however, a particularly original character; we’ve all seen the down-and-out, just going through a divorce kind of guy before. Then again, that, perhaps, is why it’s so easy to relate to someone like Jerry; what happens to him happens a lot to people, both in fiction and in real life. 9/15

-Settings (/15 points): What is the world the story is set in like? Is it well explained, different and interesting?

The road Jerry was driving along, the scenery around the world and then the inside of the overturned car were all well-described. A setting doesn’t really have to be just a location, however; in a single-character story like this one, the character’s state of mind can almost be a sort of setting. As long as that’s handled well, it can be even more important than the physical space, and in this case I think you handled it fairly well. At any rate, you gave the kind of attention to the “various types” of setting that such a story seems to need. The essay feel hurt this a little bit, though. 9/15

-Overall Appreciation (/10 points): Overall, the big question – is it any good? Why/why not?

This is quite a good story, as far as keeping me entertained and engaged goes. I already mentioned the fact that it seemed a bit too much like a blow-by-blow account, which hurts it somewhat. It also could have been more original. It was certainly an enjoyable read, however. 8/10

Final Result (total of all ratings on 100) as a raw score and a percentage, eg. 70/100 = 70%. 67/100 = 67%

Closing advice: From the reviewer to the writer; how they can improve it.

Hmm, let’s see… other than being careful about grammar and perhaps choosing a more original angle for the story, the only real area in need of improvement is that “essay” impression that it leaves. I’m not sure if I can explain how to fix that… varying sentence length and style so that it’s more than just “I felt an intense pain in my shoulder as I tried to move, but I kept moving. I ignored my hand’s protests as I cut away at the seatbelt.”, or whatever. Yeah, that’s it… you had some sentence variation, but more of it would certainly give it more of the air of a story than that of a report.



Rating for Entry #3: Lost Heaven by Weasel Overlord

Rating Chart

-Plot (/20 points): Is the plot entertaining or captivating? Does it twist and turn, keep you guessing, and so on? How sustained is the plot … and how well does it work together?

The story was quite captivating, yes. Vampire stuff isn’t my thing, so I was sort of “meh” the entire time, but you did well enough to keep me reading. It was a fairly straightforward plot without many twists or much decoration, but I suppose it didn’t really need anything else. For example, you could have taken the opportunity to show us some of Arioch’s exorcisms or something, although I know that the word limit can be kind of crippling when one wants to go into more detail. Overall a bit dull, almost, because there were some missed opportunities here or there, but they were to be expected with the word limit and the story was not so dull as to be hard to read or find something to enjoy. 17/20

-Plot Originality (/10 points): How original the plot and plot twists are. Is the fic a brand new concept, or something that has been rehashed so many times it’s redundant? Are we completely shocked at what happens and left in suspense, or do we foresee everything from chapter one?

I must admit, once I got a few paragraphs into the story I sort of knew what was coming and that Arioch would give in; such “lost chances at redemption” stories are fairly common, and those who prefer darker stories (I don’t know if you “prefer” those or not, but this is a fairly dark story) generally have them end in much the same way. I don’t know any vampire stories to compare it to, so I don’t know how original it is compared to others of its type. But, yes, it was pretty predictable. 5/10

-Writing Style (/20 points): The writer’s choice of words, use of description, dialogue, layout and so on. Does the story flow well or does it seem stop-start all the time? Above all, is it easy to read?

Wow. Your style is very, very nice. It has that certain “archaic” ring to it that makes high fantasy sound so enchanting. You’re also very, very good at describing the various aspects of your story. I liked the use of the word “sire” when it comes to describing the creation of a new vampire. As I said, vampire stories aren’t my cup of tea, so I’m not sure if that’s “standard” terminology as the genre goes, but whoever came up with it, if it wasn’t you, was quite clever. As far as the technicalities of your style go (and shoving personal preference aside, hard as that is to do), I really can’t find much to criticize. One quick note, though; if you’re going to quote a passage of something, such as that bit you took from the Bible at the beginning (Psalm 23? I don’t recall…), you need to give credit or cite it or whatever it’s called. 17/20

-Spelling and Grammar (/10 points):

Very, very nice. I’m an English fanatic and I could find little to criticize. There might have been a few misspellings in a few places, and I know that I saw several sentence fragments, so be more careful about those. 8/10

-Characters (/15 points): What are the characters? Are they realistic, good, emotional? Can we relate to them?

I could relate to Arioch, certainly, although, as mentioned earlier, I think it would have been even easier if we’d had more of a chance to see some of his previous life. I doubt we were supposed to relate to Léandre, as that’s simply the kind of sly, smooth-talking villain he is, so his portrayal was very well done. I get the feeling that a bit more could have been done with Mathieu, however. How did he come to the vampires? What exactly was it that enamored him with the idea? I can make several entertaining guesses, and perhaps you wanted us to guess for ourselves (for that matter, you might have wanted us to guess what first attracted Arioch to the vampires when he was/is such a devoted Christian)—or, perhaps, it was just that darned word limit again. Who knows? 9/15

-Settings (/15 points): What is the world the story is set in like? Is it well explained, different and interesting?

This is a good example of a story where setting isn’t just about physical location, although for the record it would have been nice to know a bit more about where they were, even if most of it was just left to the imagination. I also think you could have done a bit more, even with the word limit restriction, with explaining the vampires’ social hierarchy and “ceremony” that served as the setting. For example, these “elders” you mentioned… were you simply referring to older, more experienced vampires in general, or is there an actual group of elders in Arioch’s community? That was a touch confusing… and I would have liked to know a bit more about the process of siring a new vampire. Why is it necessary for the new vampire to drink of his/her sire’s blood? While “classical” vampire stories only speak of one bite—the one the original vampire administers to his/her victim—as necessary for transformation into the waking dead, you’ve required two bites, one from each party. Is there a reason for this, or is it fairly typical among vampire fiction? If it is, then I have the same advice for you as I gave Houndoom_Lover: you can’t assume that your readers will understand everything about your genre or subject. You were almost a full 500 words under count, so I think you had the room to explain that at least in passing, regardless of whether it was your idea or is vampire canon. Overall, Arioch’s world is an intriguing one, but I think just a bit too much was left up to our imaginations. 9/15

-Overall Appreciation (/10 points): Overall, the big question – is it any good? Why/why not?

Personal preference for vampire fiction aside, the story is a very well constructed one, and although you could have gone into just a bit more detail in places, it was overall engaging enough to entertain even someone like me who is disinterested in this particular genre. 8/10

Final Result (total of all ratings on 100) as a raw score and a percentage, eg. 70/100 = 70%. 73/100 = 73%

Closing advice: From the reviewer to the writer; how they can improve it.

There’s not all that much that needs improving, really. Simply remember that you shouldn’t pass up opportunities to give your readers a deeper glimpse into your characters and their world whenever possible. Very nicely done, Wurz!




LADY VULPIX


Rating for Entry #1: The Father by Houndoom_Lover

-Plot 5/20. Plot Originality: 5/10. Writing Style: 7/20. Spelling and
Grammar: 9/10. Characters: 3/15. Settings: 5/15. Overall: 4/10. Final
result: 33%

Notes: the concept of Giovanni's son rebelling against him has been
done a few times before and, while it is uncommon to see so many
stories mixed together, they didn't mix very well. It looked like the
story was starting over all the time, and each scene had little to no
connection to the previous ones. As soon as it looked like the
characters were starting to get some depth, the atmosphere changed
abruptly and the effect was lost. There were some cliches, and many
things that can't be understood if you haven't seen the original
sources. On the positive side, it did follow the theme of the contest.

Closing advice: please don't take any of this personally. There are
many things that can be improved, but you can do it if you work on
them. I think it would help if you tried to connect with your
characters a bit more... imagine what their lives are like, and how
they feel about it. You managed it to some degree with Jack, so you
can go deeper and explore all your characters and your world a bit
more. Don't try to cover too much ground at once. Start from a simple
concept and then expand on it. Let the story flow.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Rating for Entry #2: Untitled by Evil Mewf0ur

-Plot 12/20. Plot Originality: 9/10. Writing Style: 15/20. Spelling
and Grammar: 10/10 (a typo or two, but not enough to count).
Characters: 13/15. Settings: 10/15. Overall: 8/10. Final result: 77%

Notes: good and detailed descriptions, good continuity and a rounded
ending. The paragraphs were a bit too long, though, and so was the
tension. Tension dragged for so long becomes a bit tedious. But there
were some good unexpected twists, and the first few paragraphs made me
feel sorry for the main character. His emotions were quite well
portrayed. Now... what did this story have to do with the theme of the
contest?

Closing advice: your style is good, and so is your character
development. I think a basic way to improve the story a bit would be
by breaking the paragraphs into shorter ones and, with a little more
effort, vary the tension so that it has peaks and valleys rather than
being more like a plateau. That, and read the rules more carefully.
The story's good, but I don't see how it fits the criteria for this
contest.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Rating for Entry #3: Lost Heaven by Weasel Overlord

-Plot 20/20. Plot Originality: 7/10. Writing Style: 20/20. Spelling
and Grammar: 10/10. Characters: 15/15. Settings: 15/15. Overall:
10/10. Final result: 97%

Notes: now that I see it's Weasel Overlord it makes sense that the
writing's so goot. It was hooking from start to end and, while none of
the events in the story were really unexpected, the perspective and
view of the whole situation were quite original. And so was the chosen
relationship.

Closing advice: I'm sorry, I can't think of any advice to give.
Except... keep writing. I could suggest adding an unexpected plot twist every now and then, but this story in particular is still good without them, as it shows an evolution of the main character's views and feelings, which might otherwise have been broken.




FINAL SCORES
(Average of two ratings)

Entry #1: (39%+33%)/2 = 36%
Entry #2: (67%+77%)/2 = 72%
Entry #3: (73%+97%)/2 = 85%




Congratulations to Weasel Overlord for winning the May 2007 Fanfic Writing Contest! Lost Heaven was a very mystical piece, to be sure. And thanks to our three participants for working so hard on their submissions. We hope to see you all at the next Fanfic Writing Contest!

Houndoom_Lover
26th June 2007, 05:53 PM
Hmm, story stories arn't my for....*glares at the word for a second* Forta (sp?) -_- *sigh* Nor is Grammar or Spelling, anywho; the digimon start is a fanfiction the character 'Wednesday' is working on.


“Are you done yet!?” Jack Spicer yelled from his bathroom, brushing his teeth as a last ditch effort. His hair was painstakingly done, and his eyeliner was in perfection.

“Almost,” Came the pained answer, “I just have to upload it on to the site!” It contained glee, that voice. Jack rolled his eyes as he spat into the sink.

Wiping his face, he rebutted, “I can believe you managed to get gay love into that, it almost makes me regret giving you free time.” He raced out of the bathroom, dodging into his bedroom.

The girl that replied to him clicked submit, waited, and when it was finished she got offline. She seemed to be less ready than the boy. Her long blond hair was frizzy, her blue eyes sleepy, and was wearing what looked like pajamas, this girl leaned back in the computer chair.


I though it was a good chapter ^_^, like I said, I suck at short stories, the actual chapter is twice as long as this one, I had to cut about a thousand words or somthing to make it fit. Heh, I tried, thanks.


On the positive side, it did follow the theme of the contest. Yay me!

Weasel Overlord
26th June 2007, 07:59 PM
WAGH! I WON! *jigs around happily* ^_________^ Hee!

Phoenixsong, your advice is extremely useful :D The thing is, I made Arioch for an RPG by Plantae *glares at him* that's not actually been made yet, so I've not had a chance to RP him yet. I really wanted a chance to write some of his backstory, and this was a good opportunity. ^_^ As of yet though, there's no more written, but I reckon I'll definitely be doing more at some point.

I read too much Anne Rice... ¬_¬

And ZOMG Gabi!! You gave me full marks in all but one category!? *glomps you* I feel special now. :D I hope this story goes down as well in my Creative Writing portfolio...

Phoenixsong
26th June 2007, 08:11 PM
Yeah, Houndy, I got the impression that it was supposed to be something more. It's pretty difficult to try and tailor something you've written for one purpose to another purpose, so I generally wouldn't recommend it. Perhaps you didn't have the time to write a separate story, but next time you enter I'd suggest doing that. It'll make more sense because you didn't have to decide what to axe for the word count, and it'll do a lot better.

I'm glad my advice was helpful, Wurz, and congrats to you! By the way, I'd like to point out that I read all three of these aloud as I was grading them... doing voices is fun, muahahaha. Especially Léandre's... silky French accents are fun to imitate. French people would probably laugh or cry or break out the flaming torches if they could hear me butchering their language, but I like to pretend I sound decent.

Weasel Overlord
26th June 2007, 08:42 PM
Hah, I do the same thing! When I'm writing conversation, I whisper it out loud to myself to see if it sounds alright. I'm not particularly good at dialogue, so I find it tends to help. That, and my tutor this year was a screenplay writer. Very useful. ^_^

Oh yeah, afore I forget, mistysakura, would you mind awfully if I resized the congratulatory banner of wonder? My siggy's rather large at the moment, and I don't really like it to go over a certain size. ^_^""

Lady Vulpix
26th June 2007, 09:09 PM
Congratulations, Weasel Overlord! You deserve it.

And sorry about my brief reviews, everyone. I'm used to the AC/CC rating system in which reviews are a lot less detailed. That, and I rated the stories weeks ago scribbling a few notes all over the paper and only typed my comments yesterday. If I ever get to judge another contest, I'll make sure to write down everything as I go.

mistysakura
26th June 2007, 11:02 PM
No! How dare you resize my precious banner that isn't even mine? :P Go ahead, Weas.

Congratulations to everyone, especially Weasel Overlord. I really liked your story; the writing style was so smooth and silky... and I liked how you built up the tension. Would have been great to see more of Arioch and Mathieu's relationship before this scene though. Does your creative writing portfolio have a word limit? *nudgenudge* Just kidding. And I really liked Mewfour's work as well. I don't usually go for graphic stuff, but it wasn't violent so I could take it. Anyway, the whole thing felt so real, like it was happening before my eyes. It was also tied together nicely at the end. I reckon it's really cool of everyone to put their stories out to be judged though. Takes some guts.

EDIT: Oh yeah, after the judging's done, everyone can comment on the fics... right?

Weasel Overlord
27th June 2007, 02:26 AM
Yay! Thanks mistysakura. :D And aye, it had to be 8000 words. Well, thereabouts, anyway. In the department they're always going on about word counts inhibiting creativity, which is a bit of pretentious crap, I think, but there you go.

I'll definitely post up more Arioch stuff when I've written some. Although my next focus is part III of Warped and Broken. There's progress! I've written the title in my writing journal...

Lady Vulpix
27th June 2007, 07:20 AM
I can talk about word counts inhibiting creativity. When I was studying English, I loved it whenever I got the chance to write a story... right up to the point when I started preparing for the First Certificate and they put a limit of... no more than 180 words! That's really butchering a story. It hurt so much to have to crop them like that that I often kept two versions of the story: the official one for the assignment and the original for myself.

Mewfour
28th June 2007, 12:47 AM
Meh. Second's good enough.

FUN FACT: That monster of mine was originally over 5,000 characters. What you saw was a horribly mutilated halved version. Maybe I should get around to posting that once I can get my backup HD working again...

Lady Vulpix
28th June 2007, 04:19 PM
It was a good story, Evil Mewf0ur, but where was the quarrel in a relationship?

Houndoom_Lover
28th June 2007, 05:49 PM
no more than 180 words! That's really butchering a story. It hurt so much to have to crop them like that that I often kept two versions of the story: the official one for the assignment and the original for myself.

*looks apaled* I wouldn't have anything done! We had to do a short story in my English class, the only thing was that it had to be less than ten pages long, and have all the english conventions. I freaked! We had three weeks to do it and I COULDN'T get anything. It was too long, or it didn't have enough emostions, or an intro -_-...Two hours before ten I sat down on the computer in tears and BANG I wrote the best short story I ever written in my ENTIRE life ^-^. Sigh. I was smiled at by the Writing Gods that day. (Anyone want to read it? ^.^)

But yeah,the more pages the better for me. I force myself to keep fanfiction chapters under ten too, but that one time...I went 30 XD.

Mewfour
28th June 2007, 07:29 PM
It was a good story, Evil Mewf0ur, but where was the quarrel in a relationship?

Again, 5000 words, butchered to fit limit, etc.

mistysakura
28th June 2007, 10:49 PM
Mm, I don't know. 180 words is absolutely ridiculous, and anything under 1500 I'd despair at (or ignored if the teachers weren't the fussy type). But especially with essays and stuff, I find that a reasonable word limit actually hels me because it makes me really look at what I've written, and what's actually important, and where I've just rambled on and bored the audience where I could have expressed things in a more concise and effective manner. It works less well for creative writing but even with that, trying to cut words seems to make my writing more tight and focussed. Of course it depends on what I'm writing as well; some things like character development are too subtle to axe.

Weasel Overlord
29th June 2007, 06:56 AM
Well, I know that Neil Gaiman has a short story that is exactly 100 words. But either way, I know I'd struggle with that word limit. How exactly are you meant to get anything written? It wouldn't be a story, per se, would it? It'd be like, a vignette or something.

Our creative writing word counts for the assignments varied from 1000 for the first one, and then we were regularly on 2500, which I think is a good size for a short story. But then, we never got yelled at for not meeting it, or going over it. And in the portfolios, a poem was worth roughly 500 words, which is good for making the count up to 8000, since just two poems is 1000 words. It makes a difference. ^_^

Mewf0ur, why didn't you condense the story, instead of chopping a piece out of one you'd already written? Like, just go through and do some heavy editing. Maybe that would have worked better, I dunno.

Saying that, my argument was hardly a flaming one, heh. It was more of the subtle, hardly-there sort... But when I tried to alter it, it didn't fit with the piece, so I just left it as it was.

Lady Vulpix
29th June 2007, 07:26 AM
Well, there were no rules against making it subtle. But it had to be there in some way.

Speaking of extremely short stories, the shorted story recorded in Spanish is as follows:
"Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí." (Translation: "When he/she woke up, the dinosaur was still there.")

My fevorite extremely short story is "Su amor no era sencillo" (their love wasn't easy) by Mario Benedetti. I could post it, but it might change the rating of this topic. It was about a claustrophobic man and an agoraphobic woman who were in love and got arrested. You can imagine the rest.

Houndoom_Lover
29th June 2007, 05:06 PM
OOoh, I have many favorite short stories, maybe because I can't write them. *chuckles* I'm doing this thing where I'm finding and collecting all my favorite one, because they're never in the same book. The shorties one I know this this, and I know it by heart;It's the secret of immortals, they call, ask for your time and hang up. The whole story is like ten lines long, maybe less.

XD...claustrophobic man and an agoraphobic woman...my mind can't even fathom it.