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WCT - The Writing Competition Thread [September Round]

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Like I said, I've been swamped. I haven't even looked at the new chapter yet, sorry. I will get to it in time, though.

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Yeah, seriously. The faster all the votes come in the faster the competition is over, but I've only received votes from two people.

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Yeah, I pm'd everyone the second or third day of voting.

REMEMBER TO VOTE IF YOU HAVEN'T!!!

Three days remaining...

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Well, all but two people voted. Voting will end tonight at midnight, but I won't be around. I will probably get the results up in a couple days.

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Well, all but two people voted. Voting will end tonight at midnight, but I won't be around. I will probably get the results up in a couple days.

Oh. Thats good. Maybe I have a chance after all...

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Heh, I have the votes tallied, but forgot who I voted for. I wrote it down on my computer before I counted votes so that I wouldn't be influenced, but I don't have access to my computer until tomorrow night late. I will post the results tomorrow night. Sorry about the delay.

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I dunno about competitions or anything, but I wrote this recently and I'd like to see your thoughts on it. First story I've ever wrote:

Forgiveness and Compasssion

Sean Elihu took one last breath of his cigarette. Stress had the kid caring a lot more about avoiding another anxiety attack than some cancer that might put him on a deathbed if he survived the next few decades. The nicotine high felt something graceful, like absolution from sin. He put the ash out on his clothes and flicked the butt as he could, as if the farther he threw it the farther he could cast away the evils. If Sean was concerned about his own wrongdoings he could just go to confession. But how can a man redeem offenses that are not his own?

It’s been two lonely years since he’d been kicked and left homeless to support himself. Most of the time extended family and friends were kind enough to let him sleep on their couch and have a few good meals, but nothing felt more shameful than leeching off of people’s sentiments. He should be supported by his own flesh and blood, but he wasn’t able to coexist with a once loving father turned monster who abused his wife and daughter. Instead the only place he could call home was a state of mind consumed by rage and torment. He never smiled, never frowned, and never spoke unless obligated to, but inside was a quiet storm.

Sean’s stomach rumbled as he made the sign of the cross and began say what could be his last prayer. He begged God to properly heal the wounds of his baby sister in the hospital. Her suicide attempt would probably leave scarring down her arms. He also had to be thankful that he didn’t have to grow up anymore in such a cold household filled with suffering. The priest told him that Christ didn’t die for our sins so we could seek vengeance. Obviously Sean no longer held the same view of the Savior. To him, God couldn’t care enough to listen to his prayers every night, but He did expect justice to be upheld. This was Sean’s duty to embody Divine Wrath upon a wicked man, and he refused to eat or sleep until his father was repaid twofold.

Finally Sean peeked through the window and spotted his father rolling his car into the driveway. It was time for a more passionate hunger to be satisfied. Moments later he clutched his knife as his father opened the front door. The guy dropped his keys on the ground and looked like he saw a ghost. Sean knocked him out with the blunt side of his weapon.

Sometime later Mr. Elihu woke up with both hands tied to each arm of a chair. Towels were placed all over the floor. Sean sat across, facing him, while sipping on a glass of scotch.

“Cut me free right now and I won’t press any charges.”

“You’ve dishonored my family. Shamelessly hurt women—my mother and little sister. And now your emotional scarring on that little girl has left her thinking she’s got nothing to live for. I used to love you, Dad. You were everything I could dream to be in a man. And now look at you. I’m gonna cut you free of something a lot worse than that chair you’re tied to… I’m gonna bring you closer to God. And considering what that little girl’s done to herself because of you, I figured justice should be poetic.”

Sean took his blade and sliced it down father’s forearms. The blood dripped down and was soaked up by the towels on the floor. He shook his head as Mr. Elihu screamed and cried in pain.

“What do you want from me?! This is murder!”

A hot iron was forced against his forearms, cauterizing the wound, stopping the bleeding, and leaving charred, peeling skin. “I heard your daughter didn’t even cry when she did this to herself. Shut the hell up and show some dignity. Like I said before, I’m here to free you. Not kill you. You show no remorse for everything you’ve done, and expect to continue hurting the people I love. And no church or pastor can save you because of that. So this will continue until you convince me you’re going to change your ways.”

The same thing happened again and again for hours. The room reeked of fresh blood, which could no longer be contained by the towels. Every time a little bit of that fury in the father’s eyes faded away. Only a sad look and a twinkle remained. He was pale white, and muttering inaudible prayers. The wounds started digging deeper into muscle tissue. Every time the iron pressed against his skin it smelled like freshly cooked steak. Suddenly, in a soft, raspy voice, he spoke

“I’m… I’m sorry. I never wanted to be a parent. I got your mother pregnant, and tried to be a dad. But I guess I never really had the guts in the long run. After a couple decades I grew sick of having mouths to feed, and watching my youth and chance for success fade away. It was never your guys’ faults. I could have brought you guys up in a great family, but I was too selfish. I wanna… I wanna be a good father. I love my family, especially after the years of burden and torment I’ve given you. Oh God …”

Sean never cried before. A man can’t let his emotions get in the way of what he has to do. But this time he couldn’t control the tears which flowed down his face into the puddles of blood all over the floor. It was the first time he could remember smiling, too.

“Dad I… Dad? Oh God!”

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Since that isn't going into a competition, epinephrin, it's better suited for the main Writers' Thread. Post it there; the thread is in need of a bump anyway. I'll try to get around to reading it after this week is over... too many tests coming at me all at once.

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I moved your story to the Writer's Thread, epinephrin. Hope you don't mind.

Also, the RESULTS ARE IN!

Short Story:

First place --> Literary Technique by Wacky

Runner-up --> The Blue-Tinged Angel by Old Man Time

Poetry:

First place --> "Of Starry Visions" by Zeality

Runner-up --> "Untitled" by Leon K

Congratulations guys, and good job to everyone who entered. This was an excellent competition. We'll get the winners' sig badges out soon for you. I'll also be adding your work to the list in the Writer's Thread, provided that you posted a link. If you didn't have a linked work but still would like to be in the list, just provide a link somehow, and I'll put it up.

Here are some critiques by Zeality:

Short story:

Literary Technique

You either spent a great deal of time on the premise, or hardly any at all, choosing to just blend girls and analysis of ancient literary technique. But at any rate, the execution is what makes it stand out. It maintained my attention and made me pretty curious about the wise one. My only complaint is that the protagonist is one hell of a horndog, which didn't do much to bond him to me (the audience).

~

Radcliffe Residence 9/3/97

I'd normally pick a larger short story over flash fiction, but this captured my attention. We can only wonder what kind of horrible fate Bob suffered, and how J.W. is finding the tremendous strength to keep moving. It's also dated in the 90's, which blows my mind in the curiosity department. It isn't pretentious at all, which lets me believe that this really is J.W.'s writing.

~

The Blue-Tinged Angel

Interesting premise, but just make it a bit more unique and flavorful. You can pull a dystopia ruled by a computer out of a closet as a stock setting, but there's so much room to add your own spin and touch. Huxley had soma, Orwell had constant surveillance.

~

A Second Chance

I just wanted a liiiiiittle more. I'm not sure what the purpose of the piece was except to describe a hunt. It didn't really have a theme, or else it's so subtle that I missed it. I mean, not all literature has to be moralistic or instructional, but...I'm not sure. My criticism is vague.

~

Poetry:

Jesus people, start giving your poems some titles. It's something to take pride in and use to define your poem or add to it another dimension. Anyway, Leon K, just for future reference, try removing the line breaks (so you can view the poem in the form of a big sentence) and add proper pronunciation. The lack of an important semicolon at the end of the third line didn't absolutely blow it for me, but it makes it look less professional.

Anyway, I won't individually critique these, but I will say that if you write a dark poem, make it dark. There is a better way to convey despondency than to mimic Linkin Park or make sweeping, generalized criticisms of governmental and corporate institutions.

One more thing before I'm done today. How would you guys feel about splitting the competitions? I'm proposing having separate poetry/short story/freeform competitions so that we can focus on a single type of writing. I know that I personally would like this because I never have time to do both a short story and a poem, and in the last three competitions we've had a total of three freeform pieces. If this were to happen, I'd probably hold them a little more often.

Please post your thoughts on this, and again, congratulations to the winners of the Winter Writing Competition!

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Congratulations to the winners and runner-ups, and nice work to those that entered!

One more thing before I'm done today. How would you guys feel about splitting the competitions? I'm proposing having separate poetry/short story/freeform competitions so that we can focus on a single type of writing. I know that I personally would like this because I never have time to do both a short story and a poem, and in the last three competitions we've had a total of three freeform pieces. If this were to happen, I'd probably hold them a little more often.

I LIKE this idea! I'd let me focus on one at a time. Dooooooo eeeeeeeet! :)

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One more thing before I'm done today. How would you guys feel about splitting the competitions? I'm proposing having separate poetry/short story/freeform competitions so that we can focus on a single type of writing. I know that I personally would like this because I never have time to do both a short story and a poem, and in the last three competitions we've had a total of three freeform pieces. If this were to happen, I'd probably hold them a little more often.

Please post your thoughts on this, and again, congratulations to the winners of the Winter Writing Competition!

I think split competitions would be really good, for the reasons you just mentioned. Oh, congrats to all the winners. I'm happy just to place, especially behind some of the great pieces you guys submitted.

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