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Writer's Corner - February 2008


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Sorry guys, but I don't have time to offer much in the way of feedback. Next month I'm going to keep notes, and jot down what each story evokes in me as each one pops up, rather than trying to cram them all in at the end (I started, doing that back on page 1 after the first couple of stories...).

So, all I can say for now is my vote goes with Jolly. Good pace throughout, especially the first section, which is crucial for drawing you in; a really easy read that just slips by, and a great ending.

Thanks for a cracking bunch of reads people. I hope to be able to take more time over your entires next month. *hope*.

Edit: Just out of interest, has anyone here ever tried to get a short story published? Whether in a magazine, an e-zine, or anything else?

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Nope, never tried. Wouldn't really know where to start to be honest. I did have a thing about getting high scores in videogames broadcast on teletext a few years back though.

Really enjoyed your by the way Argh. Reminded me of an aside by the Guide in Hitchhikers.

It's even better if you imagine Stephen Fry is reading it to you.

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Jolly - Twisted! I did wonder where it was going but that last scene with him all over himself… nasty! Almost my vote winner.

I did start off intending it to end with him masterbating in the mirror, but when I started writing it it seemed a bit too much. It seemed better for him to be doing it out of love rather than lust.

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Some very different entries to last month. Voting seems to get tougher every month - are we collectively improving? Who knows.

Some thoughts -

johnjwaters - Enjoyed it, but the tense seemed to change at the last minute, which I found a bit jarring.

Argh - Considering I'm not really a fan of sci-fi I quite liked this. Interestingly I found the botched teleport and the reaction to it quite comical, which put the rest of the story in a different light. Wonder if this was the intention?

Danster - You always manage to capture the human side, it always feels like a real story belonging to real people. Excellent

Jolly - What an ending! Horrific yet tragic.

Campfire - Lovely in a nasty way. The rewrite seems much better for the short story format, as it focuses more on the core of the tale. Plus the intro links the past to the present nicely, which I think is a key part of it.

CrispinG - Lots of talk recently about the Ultra-short story, and this was a perfect example of how to leave a lasting impression with so few words.

Narcissus - Brave and well written. Overall I think it worked, had a real integrity to it.

Bastion - I'll admit now - I'm a bit of a fan. Your style of writing really sits well with me - intelligent, ambiguous and relevant. This was excellent as always

Concrete - well written, but didn't really get it. Wonder if I've missed something.

MankeyMan - again well written, and would have liked to have read more.

So overall....... I'm giving it to Jolly, for a shocking ending that ultimately gives way to something deeper

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I struggled with this one. Wrote story ideas and brainstormed coming up with several different story ideas I either couldn’t fit in 1000 words, couldn’t find the voice too or dismissed as stupid. I was looking through notes of old story ideas when I found a plot outline about two survivors of the mysteriously destroyed, then Chicago. The plot was focused on those two as adults but I never wrote much about the event itself. For some reason I was thinking about the protagonist and what she must have been thinking as the city fell apart around her and the idea of love and memory came into play.

Danster, the reason why only her father broke the spell is that all the infected were after her specifically. Bar the other normal survivor everyone who survived the initial event were instinctively geared to killing her. If they were after someone else he would have killed them, and maybe that persons father or mother would have broken the spell. Don’t know if I explained that well in the story and may have cut to much out of it to get it down to size (was originally 1300 words.)

As for the entries.

Johnjwaters – liked it. Good capturing the characters voice with good humour.

Argh- looking forward to seeing more from you. Loved the humour.

Danster- Furthering my thoughts from last month you know how to write dialogue exceptionally well and really drew me into the story.

Jolly – your quickly becoming one of my favourite writers here, that ending is something else.

Campfire burning – Very good read, quite haunting though it was one I had to read twice to click. The imagery I think will stick with me for a while.

CrispinG – Short, to the point and can defiantly identify with the feeling of missed opportunities. Liked that there was no padding. Quick, direct and unfiltered

Narissus - Took me a while to warm to this one, rereading the beginning a few times for it to sink in. Well written and good ending

Bastion – reread several times as well, I shouldn’t leave these to the last minute to read. Again, once the idea clicked, loved it.

Mankyman – Very quick easy to read, well written and cant believe I didn’t see the end coming.

Hombre hompson – I get the distinct impression that you’re in a different league to the rest of us in your writing and your making me well envious. It’s also strange my best friend and his wife were in similar circles to each other and me in fact for years. We shared all the same friends, similar interests yet didn’t meet up for years so that rang very true.

Jolly and Danster came close but how could I not vote for Hombre?

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Hombre or Concrete, it's hard to decide. I'm too tired to talk about all the great pieces this month tonight but tonight is the voting deadline, so...

Ack, well, it's got to be Concrete, hasn't it. His piece speaks very well to the audience whilst hombre's seems more of an internal thing, which is not a slight. Concrete's narrative just slipped it into first place for me.

And thanks for the feedback everyone - first time I'd tried such a thing so the positive comments are encouraging. Did anyone work out the theme of the story? It was an ambitious one and more likely than not not entirely successful.

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I'll admit, I'm not too good at giving criticism of prose. I spend much more of my time writing and evaluating scripts, so I don't think I'm in the position to be giving out any particularly poignant criticism. As usual, all the entries were well written and weren't boring, but for me hombre just tips it, because I'm really sentimental at heart, and he pulled the right strings.

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