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(Unofficial) Creative Short Writing Comp. - winners!





Nameless
One hundred words. One hundred coins.

The topic? The end of the world. And now for the winners ...

First Prize: In total, there were only seven entries in this competition. Five, once I discounted Bikerman's entries for fun. All of them were genuinely enjoyable though so if anything I'm grateful that Sturgeon's 90% opted to keep their keyboards silent this time. Razz Picking out a single 'best' proved all but impossible and for a while I was honestly stuck between two strong entries. Luckily those two entries were by a single author and I am now happy to announce watersoul as this competition's winner! Smile
Your first entry read a little adjective-heavy for the low word count, but first and last lines were powerful. The middle paragraph managed to convey the ongoing nature of his problem very well in a short space. The second entry felt blander at first until I managed to remember the topic of my own competition and it gut-punched me. Nicely played.
Runners-up: Bluedoll and standready both win secondary prizes for their entries. Most of Bluedoll's entry was beautifully written and I loved the last five lines, but a few were too blunt for my taste and took me out of it. Standready's entry was certainly under the limit and did make me chuckle, so points for that. Very Happy
Bonus Prize: In an overwhelming show of support and unprecedented unanimous vote (of five), truespeed will be taking home both the hearts of the nation and also the bonus prize. I thought the entry was not as remarkable as some of the others. But with no flaws, it was still solid writing and the people have spoken. Wink

The 100 coin and 1000 frih$ prizes will be distributed a few moments after this post is made. Bluedoll, if you would like to choose my signature then PM me the text and I'll change it the next time I log on. Standready, same thing for my avatar.

Thank you to everyone who entered!
deanhills
Standready's entry made me chuckle too. Not often that I find judging to be so on the mark, well done nameless and all of the guys who competed.
watersoul
I didn't expect that at all, thanks, bit shocked, and I still prefer Truespeeds entry.

[/embarrassment ]

In (the story of) my story I was just trying to portray a man I know locally who struggles with serious alcohol and life issues.
He's completely absorbed with conspiracy theories, and the last time I bumped into him was just before Harold Campings religious cult recently proved to be off target with their end of the world announcements. (link)
When he'd finished excitedly telling me about what was going on in the US, he followed it up with a line about how he was looking forward to some earth change/tilt/spiritual energy entity new reality thing taking us all to new dimensions or whatever. I was busy that day though so I extracted myself from the conversation and went on my way.
I didn't forget what the guy said, in fact I felt a little saddened, while imagining him as he woke up on the day after 'the end of the world' realising he was still here, facing 'real' life.

My second attempt was after a couple of glasses of brandy while getting all thoughtful about the people I'd want to talk to if the world was suddenly ending. I then thought of my mother and what type of text I'd send her - composed only of real words, not txt spk, my mam never gets that from me Wink

Cheers for the adjective count comments Nameless, I'm not very strong with the finer rules of written English, having been a product of the late 80's early 90's education system in Wales, and also as a result of not studying the subject much further to improve my knowledge.
I do take good advice on board though, so if anyone wants to rip my first attempt apart regarding grammar/structure/punctuation/whatever, please do. It will only help me to learn more Smile
Bikerman
Quote:
He opened his eyes with the effort of a newborn, struggling, trying to focus on his new world.

The empty beer cans stared back at him conspiratorially

Even in their crushed and discarded state on the carpet, they retained a judgemental reflection of the slowly brightening morning light, reminding him, again, that hed messed up...again.

I guess the sky wasnt falling in after all he slurred aloud, with an image of Henny Penny in his mind.
It almost forced a smile...almost, but the world was still there, and now it was mocking him by its existence.

The cans remained silent


There isn't much to criticise methinks. If I was to be pedantic i would say that the word 'light' in the 'slowly brightening morning' is perhaps redundant? Also I don't 'get' the relationship between retaining a judgemental reflection and the brightening morning - retain implies 'non changing' whereas the morning is brightening. Finally I'm not sure about the word 'conspiratorially' since the cans are ultimately reminding him of something he would perhaps rather not be reminded of. Perhaps 'accusingly' would be better?
But that is just me nitpicking (or perhaps missing something)....
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:
There isn't much to criticise methinks. If I was to be pedantic i would say that the word 'light' in the 'slowly brightening morning' is perhaps redundant? Also I don't 'get' the relationship between retaining a judgemental reflection and the brightening morning - retain implies 'non changing' whereas the morning is brightening. Finally I'm not sure about the word 'conspiratorially' since the cans are ultimately reminding him of something he would perhaps rather not be reminded of. Perhaps 'accusingly' would be better?
But that is just me nitpicking (or perhaps missing something)....


Cheers Bikerman, I appreciate the thoughts and have taken them on board, how does this read to you:

The empty beer cans stared back at him accusingly

Laying in their crushed and discarded state on the carpet, they were now a judgemental reflection of the slowly brightening morning, reminding him again, that hed messed up...again.


I think it's certainly improved, and in future will remember the 'changing/non changing' issue while describing different elements in the same sentence.

I also prefer 'accusingly' for the cans stare at the guy, but its a tricky one for me because I know the man blames the alcohol for his troubles, not his own lack of motivation/effort to dry out.
The conspiratorially slant is the way I imagine him calling the empty cans treacherous bastards for letting him down.
I've actually heard him 'speak' to a can of Special Brew before now, telling it that he loves her but hates what she does to him. I chose the word because (in his own denying mind) the collection of empty cans had worked together the night before, as a group, tempting him with their numbing qualities in his mind.

Perhaps I should have kept it simpler because the audience obviously wouldn't know the background story, Laughing
Again, very grateful for the comments, and of course, anyone elses are also welcome.
Bikerman
Yes, I think that works MUCH better.
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, I think that works MUCH better.


Nice one, I'm just glad I haven't had a 'See Me!' written in red pen in the margin! Laughing
As a teacher I'm sure you now what I mean, I might have had that a couple of times in my exercise books when I was younger Wink
watersoul
*** IMPORTANT!!! VOID RESULT, I WENT OVER 100 WORDS ***

Oops, just noticed some words joined together without a space (up...again, smile...almost)
As I've said previously, I'm not amazingly strong with the finer rules of the English Language, but to me, they should be separated with a space before counting. By that reckoning, my MS Word count is 102 and as such it should be disqualified from the competition.

I await any suggestion regarding the current situation, with 100 coins ready to be delivered to whoever they should rightly be with Embarassed
truespeed
Honestly honest people.

Watersoul just take out two words. Smile
watersoul
truespeed wrote:
Honestly honest people.

Watersoul just take out two words. Smile


If I'd noticed before posting I would have probably deleted the two bold words:

Quote:
He opened his eyes with the effort of a newborn, struggling, trying to focus on his new world.

The empty beer cans stared back at him conspiratorially

Even in their crushed and discarded state on the carpet, they retained a judgemental reflection of the slowly brightening morning light, reminding him, again, that hed messed up...again.

I guess the sky wasnt falling in after all he slurred aloud, with an image of Henny Penny in his mind.
It almost forced a smile...almost, but the world was still there, and now it was mocking him by its existence.

The cans remained silent


I'm grateful for the understanding truespeed, but I didn't post the edited version (above) as an entry so I'm troubled about taking any coins for it now, retrospectively.
Unless there is an English (written language) rule which says otherwise, I believe I went over 100 and don't deserve the coins.
Bikerman
Nah, I think you should keep the coins.
I often set my students fixed length assignments (1200 words, 1000 words etc). The idea is to set a ballpark figure, not be really pedantic about a word or two more or less.
Nameless
watersoul wrote:
By that reckoning, my MS Word count is 102 and as such it should be disqualified from the competition.

Eehhhh. It was an honest mistake and still well within the spirit of the competition. Your writing deserves the win. Honestly, I didn't actually bother to word count any of the entries anyway, so it's more my fault as the runner of the competition. Smile
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