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NeoGAF Creative Writing Challenge #208 - "Hidden in Plain View"

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Ashes

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Dec 11, 2008
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Theme - "Hidden in Plain View"

Word Limit: 1799

Submission Deadline: Friday 24th March by 11:59 PM Pacific.

Voting Deadline: Monday 27th March at 11:59 PM Pacific.

Optional Secondary Objective: Implicit

Some things in a text are explicit. And sometimes we can make logical inferences from texts to draw meaning. This week should you want to take part in the optional secondary objective, you can focus on the implicit.

Submission Guidelines:

- One entry per poster.
- All submissions must be written during the time of the challenge.
- Using the topic as the title of your piece is discouraged.
- Keep to the word count!
- Follow these rules when posting your entry for easy collection of entries:

Voting Guidelines:

- Three votes per voter. Please denote in your voting your 1st (3 pts), 2nd (2 pts), and 3rd (1 pt) place votes.
- Please read all submissions before voting.
- You must vote in order to be eligible to win the challenge.
- When voting ends, the winner gets a collective pat on the back, and starts the new challenge.

Important side note: A lot of our regulars like to write out short critiques/comments for the stories, but you can always opt out by simply adding a note like "I'd prefer no critiques" in the post where you submit your story. We're an understanding group and respect that not everyone wants comments on their work. Above all, we just want to read your story.

NeoGAF Creative Writing Challenge FAQ
Previous Challenge Threads and Themes
 

Ashes

Member
Dec 11, 2008
23,380
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This week I'm reading:



The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith. I intend to read it over the next seven days. You're welcome to join me. :)

 

Tangent

Member
Mar 15, 2010
658
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Congrats, Ashes!

Aaaand, I love that book. So fun, with a dry sense of humor. I remember loving the opening. Maybe I'll join you. Or maybe I'll just try to survive and sleep, meaning, I .... won't... read......

I'm impressed with your organization of everything: reading, writing, working/school, sleeping, laundry, groceries, etc. How do you and everyone else do it all?!
 

Nezumi

Member
Aug 8, 2011
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Small town near Frankfurt in Germany
Wow! Did we break Ashes with all our mocking? I'm trying to feel bad, but somehow I can't. I like the themes. No sickness or Zelda to keep me from writing this time!

Will check out the book as well since I'm finally worked through most of my comic book backlog.
 

choodi

Banned
Aug 23, 2007
2,735
70
955
This week I'm reading:



The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith. I intend to read it over the next seven days. You're welcome to join me. :)

I have actually had that book on my bedside table for the last six months. I guess now is a good time to start reading it.
 

weemadarthur

Member
Feb 27, 2012
3,598
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410
Thanks for making these last couple challenges have themes that easily fit in with bits of my old NaNo project i haven't finished! It keeps me getting chapters started!

And here.
https://discord.gg/qc45CDY

Join and then never come back, like everyone else.
 

Neeener

Neo Member
Feb 10, 2015
131
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0
Using this comment as a commitment device.

Please feel free to heap shame upon me if I don't enter this time. Been away from the challenges for over a year!
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
I'm in the home stretch. Under 500 words to go. Should be done by tomorrow night, and will let it settle for a day or two after that before thinking about editing.

How do you guys go about editing your stuff?
 

weemadarthur

Member
Feb 27, 2012
3,598
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410
I'm in the home stretch. Under 500 words to go. Should be done by tomorrow night, and will let it settle for a day or two after that before thinking about editing.

How do you guys go about editing your stuff?
I stare at it, realize my mind won't come up with any more words, beg some people I know to look at it, get no feedback, stare at it again, and then push Post.
 

Mephala

Member
Sep 7, 2010
4,315
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770
I stare at it, realize my mind won't come up with any more words, beg some people I know to look at it, get no feedback, stare at it again, and then push Post.
This is me except I don't press Post, instead I hit CTRL+A then BACKSPACE. I then face desk and cry in shame and defeat.
 

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,924
5
0
Washington
I'm in the home stretch. Under 500 words to go. Should be done by tomorrow night, and will let it settle for a day or two after that before thinking about editing.

How do you guys go about editing your stuff?
I do it daily after I complete a draft (which I've yet to do this week. I'm slipping). Preferably on a hard copy, I catch waaaaaaay more on a physical print out than I do on a screen.

...

I just reread what I have so far and found I wrote the entire first scene in present tense. God, I need to catch up on my sleep.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Can't believe I'm done and that I'm actually happy with how most of my story turned out. I lied to myself about editing this one, as it just feels...done.

I would have added some more important details that would probably answer any questions you might have after it, but I think it still works as is. Enjoy, and good luck to all the writers in this challenge.
 

Ashes

Member
Dec 11, 2008
23,380
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I have actually had that book on my bedside table for the last six months. I guess now is a good time to start reading it.
Great.

I've started this morning, and I think I will go quarter by quarter.

The first thing I realised about this book was the white male gaze apparent in the introductory period of the book. I don't mean this as a criticism, just an observation. Is it merely a coincidence that he refers to Botswana several times in the first few pages? Talks about the view of the desert too. It appears that he's writing for an audience not from Botswana too.

A secondary observation is that I get the impression, that he is a native, if not of Botswana, then of the continent. So he's convinced me that he's not like me travelling there for two weeks, and reading up on local history, it feels like he knows the culture personally. At least he's convinced me of that picture.

I will look into that, of course, but its my first big takeaway of this story.

edit: On that second point, I think his use of mma, which I presume is a mark of respect; something that isn't really a feature of the English tongue, but is in other languages, helps in that regard. I don't know how one can know such things and use so naturally without having a deeper [ read local] understanding of the culture at hand. For me sometimes, its very apparent when an author has a shallow understanding of how something like 'respect' is understood and used in practise across different cultures. Because often it feels like a best guess.
 

choodi

Banned
Aug 23, 2007
2,735
70
955
Great.

I've started this morning, and I think I will go quarter by quarter.

The first thing I realised about this book was the white male gaze apparent in the introductory period of the book. I don't mean this as a criticism, just an observation. Is it merely a coincidence that he refers to Botswana several times in the first few pages? Talks about the view of the desert too. It appears that he's writing for an audience not from Botswana too.

A secondary observation is that I get the impression, that he is a native, if not of Botswana, then of the continent. So he's convinced me that he's not like me travelling there for two weeks, and reading up on local history, it feels like he knows the culture personally. At least he's convinced me of that picture.

I will look into that, of course, but its my first big takeaway of this story.

edit: On that second point, I think his use of mma, which I presume is a mark of respect; something that isn't really a feature of the English tongue, but is in other languages, helps in that regard. I don't know how one can know such things and use so naturally without having a deeper [ read local] understanding of the culture at hand. For me sometimes, its very apparent when an author has a shallow understanding of how something like 'respect' is understood and used in practise across different cultures. Because often it feels like a best guess.
His story is quite interesting in itself. I can't remember the details but I'm pretty sure he's a white guy, but born in Botswana. Very prolific author too.
 

Cyan

Banned
Jun 10, 2004
34,830
0
0
Writing hangout in about two hours. As usual, I'll post the details a half hour beforehand.
 

Cyan

Banned
Jun 10, 2004
34,830
0
0
Writing hangout in about half an hour. Standard quick recap: it's on Google Hangouts, and the format is ten minutes of chat, then thirty minutes of writing with mics muted, repeated until we've gone for two hours. Webcams aren't required, though several of us will have them. Mics are recommended but also not required, as you can use the text chat.

The hangout link is hidden in plain view (quote to see):

(Incidentally, if you're on Mozilla, it looks like Hangouts no longer works on that browser. Try Chrome instead.)
 

Tangent

Member
Mar 15, 2010
658
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No sickness or Zelda to keep me from writing this time!

Will check out the book as well since I'm finally worked through most of my comic book backlog.
Comic book backlog? Zelda? You're the coolest person ever.
 

Ashes

Member
Dec 11, 2008
23,380
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Can't believe I'm done and that I'm actually happy with how most of my story turned out. I lied to myself about editing this one, as it just feels...done.
Yeah. Sometimes things just feel done. I say treasure that feeling. It comes harder and harder to come by.

Sometimes I wish I could see stories like an artist sees their landscape/model/fruitbowl/item in focus. The eye movement from picture to 'real life' is rapid and you can make big changes at the start to smaller more subtle changes toward the finish line. Then you can go, 'Oh, silly me. Forgot the moon," or "ooh that apple needs a little bit more shadow here." Mostly subconsciously and mostly instantaneously but hopefully you catch my drift.

What I do now sometimes, is stare at the screen, whilst writing then stare away, so then I can focus on the thought being expressed on its own, hanging, suspended for observation. Similar to how people can just see a story playing out in their head. But not really.

But who has the time to do that with every line? Sometimes you just plain write.


edit: Also there may or may not be an impromptu writers hangouts. Basically take your drink of choice, and sit your arse at a chair & write. 9pm GMT. We'll keep the google hangouts stuff for the Sunday slot. Also somebody told me google hangouts doesn't work in certain middle eastern countries. Or did I read that somewhere?
 

Tangent

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Mar 15, 2010
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I still have a blank page. I have about 10 ideas but I'm not really into any of them. And I wanted to go to bed about two hours ago! Hmm...... Maybe I'll do a haiku and call it a day.
 

Ashes

Member
Dec 11, 2008
23,380
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Just so you know, quoting entry posts breaks the automated script.

But it is okay, It just alerted me to the fact that it does, so I can improve the script a bit more. :)
 

Cyan

Banned
Jun 10, 2004
34,830
0
0
Just so you know, quoting entry posts breaks the automated script.

But it is okay, It just alerted me to the fact that it does, so I can improve the script a bit more. :)
Heh, I had the same problem come up with NaNobot. I think I eventually just had it ignore anything in block quotes.
 
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