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WCT - The Writing Competition Thread [Short Story Results]

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Critiquing is an entriely optional service you may do to your fellow writers. The only real guideline we have about it is you shouldn't discuss the entries before the voting period ends. So, feel free to critique as much or as little as you want.

I'll be critiquing most, if not all of the entries once I've satiated my thirst for old episodes of The Office.

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Seeing the critiques that have been written in the past, I would REALLY appreciate if people could critique. I'm incredibly busy myself (I work from 9AM to whenever, which is usually after midnight) but I will do my best to reciprocate.

I'll try to be harsh but fair. :sleepdepriv:

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If anyone wants to send what you thought of my story thanks for the imput... apparently i need the help if i got 1 vote for the last few contests...

Alright, this is going to be a little thin (meaning I won't be too specific) and this is pretty much one of my first fiction critiques, but here goes.

I thought the plot was interesting and great, and there were only a few issues with communicating your ideas through your words (meaning only a few of your phrasings were unclear, see below)

The main issue for me was the grammar: diction and syntax mainly (word choice and word order/sentence structure). I'm sorry that i'm not feeling overly helpful right now to actually point out a specific case in point (i have a headache and i'm.. also.. very hungry.. maybe that's why I have my headache?), but I think more proofreading and copyediting would have served well for your work. Some words were misused (the first sentence: sometime should have been "some time"; second paragraph, first sentence: there should be "their") and while they may not be outstanding issues on their own they can add up. And my sense that some of your grammar needs tweaking may come from the fact that you used some wrong words or something, i don't know..

Oh, and on structure: maybe you could divide up your paragraphs a bit, and add more punctuation. However that may be due to the medium I'm reading this in (a forum with small text and a pretty wide screen resolution). It just felt really cramped. I know, that's not really grounds to disqualify you, but in all fairness, I only voted for three stories, and it wasn't that huge of a deal. Hey, I could be wrong, because Conrad was quite the fan of unending sentences and paragraphs from what I recall, and he is considered to be one of the great English authors (and English was his third language).

And back to diction, you should try not to repeat words, unless there's a meaning for using a certain word over and over. (of course, this is in the context of a short story) This is probably a ramification of the way you've constructed some sentences: "Now" was really overused, and in the same way almost every time (to start off a sentence). I think in a story's dialogue, or if a person is really speaking a story, it's not so bad to repeat a word or construction like that, but it gets kind of repetitive even still. You only used "now" for the first few paragraphs, but the unvarying sentence structure made them seem more obvious.

So my main issues were the repetitiveness of certain words, misuse of words, and some issues of vagueness or unclarity.

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

Now for an interesting thing to see: a critique on my own work.

Alright Soul, so you submitted a work to this Freeform writing context, you say? That's interesting, because if you hadn't first told me it was such a submission, I would have immediately assumed you had been asked to pee in a cup, proceeded to do so, and, in an act of unforeseeable and incomprehensible idiocy, thrusted the contents of the cup onto a (short) piece of paper and declared some triumphant victory, this being said urine-soaked paper.

It's short. I know why it's short: one, you thought the measurement for the limit on length was characters, not words, but two: you were hasty and it was a story you had going through your mind for a few days - you really needed to devote more time to it to flesh all of it out and further develop it. As a really short story, it's fine, but it isn't enough to be considered Shakespeare. Keep trying, though - you're close.

Your diction was varied, which I appreciated. You wrote in a semi-alright stream of conscoiusness narration, which I think worked for the plot: a man is reliving the last images of his life on Earth, the death of his girlfriend in falling down the stairs after the handrail collapsed from underneath her, and how it gave him some sick thrill or pleasure, though whether or not said pleasure is in the present (while burning in hell) or in the past (in the scene) is unclear, but I believe one can safely assume the pleasure lies in both instances.

What needed improvement? You should have written more. Especially about the tortures of hellfire, juxtaposed with the reminiscence of one's past, even though the narrator probably wouldn't have time to enjoy the passion of the death while his flesh mars and crackles. Hm. "It incites thought," as Imagery suggests.

Moar writing in ur stories plz Soul! It did good for me eye(s) but nothing really substantial for me brain.

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I forgot to say: Thanks for the badges, Doulifee! Especially the nice surprise for GA Jedi Knight (our close "Honorable Mention").

Okay, so now that I have a day off, here goes:

SoulinEther: Your piece began intriguingly, but I found it mostly confusing. At first it seemed like the narrator was the one who had been "betrayed" by the banister, but then it turns out not to be so? And I really couldn't get behind his motivations in being so fascinated by this scene; they were a little obtuse. The end: is he really experiencing this as some kind of torment in hell, or what? It seemed like you were trying to build the scenario with an element of suspense, but ultimately it felt ambiguous and, well, confusing. As you said, this may have been helped if you had written more with it, but the exposition would need some refinement, too.

thesim: The main reason I couldn't get into this piece was because I couldn't care about the character, or what happened to him, at all. He came across as a bit of a cynic with few endearing qualities, so when the entire piece centered on throwing him into "peril," I lost interest. I liked the twist, though, of this guy (who ridicules some "idiot" who got lost two miles from the road) being so close to salvation all along (even if that premise is slightly implausible, to me), so maybe if you developed that irony a little more... I don't know. It was a fairly well written piece, it just didn't do anything for me.

just64helpin: I wanted more. There is not much more I can say than that. You basically just gave me a striptease and told me I would have to pay for the full show. (And that is basically what I wanted: for you to show me this vastly intriguing premise, instead of telling me about it.)

GA Jedi Knight: I really liked the piece, how it was introduced and how it developed and how it concluded. I just had to ask myself why twenty-nine would be such an important number to anyone, and how convenient (like, deus ex machina convenient) it was that he figured this out on exactly the right day. Maybe if I could have suspended my disbelief just a little more, this would have been my absolute favorite.

That's all I've got for now. I also have comments for Random Hajile and Washington Maverick, but I can't really talk about either piece without going more into detail so I'll get them up a little later.

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just64helpin: I wanted more. There is not much more I can say than that. You basically just gave me a striptease and told me I would have to pay for the full show. (And that is basically what I wanted: for you to show me this vastly intriguing premise, instead of telling me about it.)

So... did you read the story that sets up this premise, or not? You don't have to, but this critique takes on a different meaning if you had or hadn't.

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And I really couldn't get behind his motivations in being so fascination by this scene; they were a little obtuse.

That's the story of my life :(

lol but in all seriousness, I appreciate your feedback, though I wish I could have simply written more to receive more/more appropriate criticism - it's like giving someone 30 seconds of a larger song, you know... you can't really critique the song holistically, which is often pretty critical, because you just don't have everything to judge.

And I will write* more feedback. When I get this college crap taken care of.

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Beuler?

I work 14 hour days for a political campaign guys, come on, my brain is fried. I'm trying to get my critique done, but I thought there'd be SOMEthing up about the submissions before I sent mine in. Pleeeeeeeeeease critique mine?

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I'm working on it, I'm working on it!

You work 14-hour days for a political campaign, I work 16-hour days as an Aerospace and Ocean Engineering student. We're both a little busy here! It'll get done when it gets done! :razz:

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Beuler?

I work 14 hour days for a political campaign guys, come on, my brain is fried. I'm trying to get my critique done, but I thought there'd be SOMEthing up about the submissions before I sent mine in. Pleeeeeeeeeease critique mine?

I just started college, and my math class has placed my genitalia in a pot of boiling oil.

You'll get it when you get it, oil splashes and all :)

(if it makes you feel any better, you won't be hearing much negative from me at all)

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Still working on my critiques, and making progress.

You can all show your appreciation for me by giving me critiques of my work for my 22nd birthday today!

And maybe a thread in OffTop. :<

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So... I am a pretty terrible person when it comes to doing what I say I am going to do. Sorry Washington Maverick, Random Hajile. I promise I'll do it eventually?

But for now, we have another competition coming up! The September short story competition, my last competition, begins this weekend! You can now find the dates in the first post.

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So... I am a pretty terrible person when it comes to doing what I say I am going to do. Sorry Washington Maverick, Random Hajile. I promise I'll do it eventually?
+1.

I just dropped my math class. AND IT WAS FOR YOU TWO MR. MAVERICK AND HAJILE. *sniff* Nah it was for more time and less stress.

I swear I'll get around to it.

Oh and, i had one more point to make.. .oh yeah

If nobody is going to be taking over this competition, can this last competition be Freeform, since it allows for both short stories AND poetry (and other genres), and .. it's sort of .. well, enough of my rambling, what do you think of the matter?

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I... haven't actually figured out what to do with the competition. I've been so caught up preparing for what I'm going to be doing the next two years that I've almost forgotten to think about what this and other things I'm involved with are going to do. I guess I figured someone would up and approach me about taking it over like I did to G_D. But for now it's probably best to stick to the rotation, because I have a feeling that as long as there are writers around the forums there will be a writing competition.

That said, if you're a responsible and willing person who has the time and focus to dedicate to the competition, and most importantly think that you will be able to stick with it for the foreseeable future, by all means PM me.

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+1.

I just dropped my math class. AND IT WAS FOR YOU TWO MR. MAVERICK AND HAJILE. *sniff* Nah it was for more time and less stress.

I always knew the dedication of members of this forum was above and beyond the average human being's capacity! *wipes away a tear* You guys are teh roxors!

Seriously though, I really do appreciate everyone trying to get around to it. My work has been keeping me in the office pretty routinely until midnight or later, so I haven't had a whole lot of time to write critique. :sleepdepriv:

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Woo hoo! Short story time!

If you were truly disciplined you'd have been around for the other competitions too! :wink:

(Or submitted a short story for freeform...)

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If you were truly disciplined you'd have been around for the other competitions too! :wink:

(Or submitted a short story for freeform...)

I freely admit that I am an undisciplined goofball. I thought about doing a short story for freeform, but it seemed wrong somehow. I also tried writing a couple essays, but I was never satisfied with them and so I didn't submit anything. So I did the CMC competition instead.

Feel free to slap my undisciplined face, I'm sure I deserve it. :tomatoface:

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But then you would run away in tears and not submit a short story! And that would make me sad, because it is my last competition. How about I just tell you off severely instead?

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You suggest that I would a figurative slap to my face keep me from submitting? Ha! It takes more than that to stop me!

Besides, I've already outlined my story, so scold away :razz:

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