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NeoGAF Creative Writing Challenge #214 - "Internal Landscapes"

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,774
1
0
Maine
Theme - "Internal Landscapes"

Word Limit: 2200

Submission Deadline: Friday, June 23rd by 11:59 PM Pacific

Voting Deadline: Monday, June 26th at 11:59 PM Pacific.



Optional Secondary Objective: Careful Descriptions: Try and hint at the mood or tone of your story/scene through descriptions or even hint at the subtleties of your characters through how they look or act: Do they have depression? Maybe they're slouching a bunch, they haven't bathed, there is a bland dead look in their face. If you're writing a horror story, focus on the shadows in the room, the crack of lightning in the storm, the silence in the home that is interrupted by a creak upstairs. If a character falls in love, tell me every micro detail of how hot their lover's lips are. Try and infuse more than just a visual element in your descriptions.



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!

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
 

mu cephei

Member
Jan 22, 2010
928
0
0
UK
Congrats Flowers. Super story.

Mu, is your avatar from the new Berserk series? How is it? Can I watch it if I've never seen the original?

It's from one of the films. How is the new series, you ask? Um. I cannot really answer this without sounding ridiculously hyperbolic. To be honest I quit a few episodes into the first season of the new anime: it's really really bad. The animation is terrible, the direction is terrible. Don't watch it. Watch the 1997 anime and/ or read the manga. Even if it wasn't terrible, I don't think it would be a good idea to watch it without seeing the original. Read through one of the Berserk threads, marvel at the gifs.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Congrats Flowers. Super story.



It's from one of the films. How is the new series, you ask? Um. I cannot really answer this without sounding ridiculously hyperbolic. To be honest I quit a few episodes into the first season of the new anime: it's really really bad. The animation is terrible, the direction is terrible. Don't watch it. Watch the 1997 anime and/ or read the manga. Even if it wasn't terrible, I don't think it would be a good idea to watch it without seeing the original. Read through one of the Berserk threads, marvel at the gifs.

Okay. Sweet. I see he entire original series is up on YouTube in HD. It's the English dub, but I'm not a purist snob like I was in the 90s, so that's fine with me.
 

Cowlick

Banned
Jan 23, 2014
382
2
385
Man, I'd like to get back into doing these, but internal landscapes? I don't even know how I'd begin to approach that.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Man, I'd like to get back into doing these, but internal landscapes? I don't even know how I'd begin to approach that.

Exploration of a character's internal thought processes and emotions. Basically a deep character piece or study of things hidden, be they motives, emotions, or maybe even something like a disease.

...or it could be about exploring the inside of a structure, I guess.

Or something else that one of the more talented people on here will no doubt come up with.
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,774
1
0
Maine
Ooooooor some dude or dudet with a tree growing out his face. Thats why the images are there, to help people get a but more an idea of what they can do.
 

Yeef

Member
Dec 25, 2008
10,517
0
810
NY
Yeah, you can interpret it however you want. Maybe your protag finds out they have pancreatic cancer. Or maybe they go spelunking. Or perhaps, they invent a machine that allows them to enter other people's dreams.
 

mu cephei

Member
Jan 22, 2010
928
0
0
UK
Okay. Sweet. I see he entire original series is up on YouTube in HD. It's the English dub, but I'm not a purist snob like I was in the 90s, so that's fine with me.

Excellent :) I really hope you like it. If you were watching anime in the 90s, I'm a little surprised you missed out on it. Let me know what you think!
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,774
1
0
Maine
It's from one of the films. How is the new series, you ask? Um. I cannot really answer this without sounding ridiculously hyperbolic. To be honest I quit a few episodes into the first season of the new anime: it's really really bad. The animation is terrible, the direction is terrible. Don't watch it. Watch the 1997 anime and/ or read the manga. Even if it wasn't terrible, I don't think it would be a good idea to watch it without seeing the original. Read through one of the Berserk threads, marvel at the gifs.

Mu Im so glad you said this. I was so worried you liked the new series that i was prepared to pretend you never existed.
 

mu cephei

Member
Jan 22, 2010
928
0
0
UK
Mu Im so glad you said this. I was so worried you liked the new series that i was prepared to pretend you never existed.

If I liked the new series, you would be quite right to do so! It's a complete dealbreaker. I would put anyone who admitted to it on ignore, at the very least.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
First raw draft done. Super raw. More of a diary entry from my twenties than a proper story, but I'm going with it.

Will work on making it readable over the next few days and ask for feedback from anyone who wants to give it to hopefully make it even better.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Excellent :) I really hope you like it. If you were watching anime in the 90s, I'm a little surprised you missed out on it. Let me know what you think!

I watched an episode or two and had heard of it but I had limited funds for anime in the 90s and relied on friends and this little anime club in the city for my viewing.

About to watch episode 5. Liking it overall so far. Watching it as someone who fashions themself as "a writer" is interesting. Love the layers and questions it introduces just in the first two episodes.
 

Ashes

Member
Dec 11, 2008
23,378
5
1,105
Greater London
First raw draft done. Super raw. More of a diary entry from my twenties than a proper story, but I'm going with it.

Will work on making it readable over the next few days and ask for feedback from anyone who wants to give it to hopefully make it even better.

Be careful. Recall that fiction offers a greater license for drama than real life does.

Fiction inspired by real life is still fiction.

A memoir, ethically speaking, should be all biography, not a mixture of the two.,
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Be careful. Recall that fiction offers a greater license for drama than real life does.

Fiction inspired by real life is still fiction.

A memoir, ethically speaking, should be all biography, not a mixture of the two.,

Yeah, I've amped up the drama and description a bit. It's not really a memoir but a short story in which someone recalls a painful event and tries to make sense of it for themselves and the reader. Maybe it's crap, maybe not. I don't know right now. :)
 

Tangent

Member
Mar 15, 2010
658
0
0
Congrats, Flowers! Well-deserved, your story was very fun to read.

Also, thanks for the condolences regarding my friend/acquaintance. What sucks the most is that we DID drift... even though I liked her a lot, and I wish I had known her better and now it's too late. Cancer sucks. So young. Shit.

On another note, I just realised that your avatar is a broken egg. Would you believe that I always saw it as a toy rubber duck?

I blame mobileGaf's tiny avatars and bad eyesight.

I'm trying to see the toy rubber duck! I just don't see it! Optical illusion...

It's Wednesday, and I have nothing.

Panicking.
Y'know, this reminds me an NY Times article on the perils of PRE-crastination.... Nezumi, you might like reading this. I think it'll make you feel really good. Haha!
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Congrats, Flowers! Well-deserved, your story was very fun to read.

Also, thanks for the condolences regarding my friend/acquaintance. What sucks the most is that we DID drift... even though I liked her a lot, and I wish I had known her better and now it's too late. Cancer sucks. So young. Shit.



I'm trying to see the toy rubber duck! I just don't see it! Optical illusion...


Y'know, this reminds me an NY Times article on the perils of PRE-crastination.... Nezumi, you might like reading this. I think it'll make you feel really good. Haha!

Brilliant article. Thanks for sharing, Tangent. There's something to be said for allowing your ideas to simmer before you fully cook them, add the fixings, and plate them.

The past two challenges, I've finished my first draft within 48 hours of the given assignment. It didn't work super well last time, but I still got a decent (?) piece of work out of it after receiving some feedback (Thanks, Wee Mad Arthur) and editing it.

This time, I'm using a similar approach, but I feel much more okay knowing that the first draft is basically just me cracking some eggs into a bowl. Now, I'm ready to put them into the pan and to start stirring them around with the burner on. I've already started toying with it and adding bits and pieces to it. I'm going to try to refrain from going back to it right away for at least the next twenty four hours while I think about it some more and look at with the fresh eyes of a reader this weekend.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Question for you guys. Do you do all of your writing on a computer, or do you use a notebook or something else? How does editing work for you?

I'm asking because I'm trying something different this time around. I've double-spaced and printed off my first draft. I have just over five pages of text, and I'm going to approach editing like a teacher marking up a printed essay. I can already feel that this process is going to benefit me long term. There's just something different about being able to flip through the pages, touch the text, and mark it up. Having it be tangible just gives it a different feeling of control on my part. I hope the results are positive, and I can't wait to dig in with this approach on the weekend.

Thoughts?
 

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,923
5
0
Washington
Question for you guys. Do you do all of your writing on a computer, or do you use a notebook or something else? How does editing work for you?

I'm asking because I'm trying something different this time around. I've double-spaced and printed off my first draft. I have just over five pages of text, and I'm going to approach editing like a teacher marking up a printed essay. I can already feel that this process is going to benefit me long term. There's just something different about being able to flip through the pages, touch the text, and mark it up. Having it be tangible just gives it a different feeling of control on my part. I hope the results are positive, and I can't wait to dig in with this approach on the weekend.

Thoughts?

Write on computer, markup hard copy with edits, rinse, repeat.

We actually had a "show your work" secondary objective a few years back.
 

weemadarthur

Member
Feb 27, 2012
3,598
0
410
You're welcome.

For editing, hard copy is a lot easier. Typing notes into a google doc is annoying. But I just edit my own by rereading on screen; mind you, I'm not at all certain my stuff is good lol.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
You're welcome.

For editing, hard copy is a lot easier. Typing notes into a google doc is annoying. But I just edit my own by rereading on screen; mind you, I'm not at all certain my stuff is good lol.

I've been doing the rewriting and overwriting right on the document approach, but I'm hoping this hard copy approach will make me feel like I'm really moulding something together by being able to see the changes and different versions.
 

Nezumi

Member
Aug 8, 2011
3,374
0
590
39
Small town near Frankfurt in Germany
I just write super slow. Oftentimes I write and delete 3-5 different versions of a single sentence before I find the one I stick with. I tried doing the rushed first draft and then editing the shit out of it... Not working for me.

Then there are the times where I go into procrastination overdrive and hammer out an entry in a couple of hours, but it's not something I can actively activate so I guess that doesn't count.

Edit: Looking forward to read that article. I could use something to feel good about when it comes to writing lately...
 

Nezumi

Member
Aug 8, 2011
3,374
0
590
39
Small town near Frankfurt in Germany
Writing isn't always done at the point of executing words. I do a lot of my poetry on walks over several days/weeks.

Also this. I go over stuff from my stories all the time in my head. Testing out dialogue or certain phrasings, conjuring up settings to look for details that would make good descriptions etc. The peril is that when you do that too long you might end up with too much stuff you want to put in your story only to realize that some 2000 words aren't that much.
 

mu cephei

Member
Jan 22, 2010
928
0
0
UK
Thanks for linking the article, Tangent.

I just write super slow. Oftentimes I write and delete 3-5 different versions of a single sentence before I find the one I stick with. I tried doing the rushed first draft and then editing the shit out of it... Not working for me.

Then there are the times where I go into procrastination overdrive and hammer out an entry in a couple of hours, but it's not something I can actively activate so I guess that doesn't count.

Edit: Looking forward to read that article. I could use something to feel good about when it comes to writing lately...

I'm quite similer. I am a very slow writer. But I would say that although I spend a huge amount of time thinking about my stories before I write them, almost all of that thought is concerning broad outline, themes, emotional points. I never know what the story will actually be until I write it, and that's also why I try to get each sentence, paragraph right before moving on. Because each one influences what comes after.
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,774
1
0
Maine
If we're talking about writing time, mine is very variable. It depends on how much i have figured out before i wrote it. For last challenge, I had an idea very last minute and figured out only the basic premise. I wrote it in the dead of night in one go, a little drunk, took me about three hours to write the first draft, which os quicker than normal for me, but not by much. The next day, I spent all day editing and I want to say it took me six to seven hours to edit to that draft. Editing usually takes me muuuuuuch longer because im ver meticulous about it, despite the fact i cant spot grammatical errors for shit.

Normally i dont print out a hard copy to edit (might stary doing it though) and just edit it from my computer, either making mental notes or comments in word.


Mike! Whats your usual time spent writing/editing per session? im now really curious.
 

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,923
5
0
Washington
Mike! Whats your usual time spent writing/editing per session? im now really curious.

If I know where the story is going to go (which I frequently do), I can probably get it done in a couple hours. If I'm a little more vague, maybe four spread out over a couple days. I very rarely have complete writer's block, outside of events like this where none of my ready-fire stuff fits the theme.

Once I have a draft in the can, a revision usually takes me 45 min - 1 hour, depending on the length of the draft and how easily I am distracted.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
I've also stopped believing that writer's block is a thing. Yes, you can feel less motivated or creative some days, but that shouldn't stop you from writing something, anything, down onto the page. Even if you're just writing about how you can't think of anything to write about, it's better than nothing. There's an article and a quote that I turn to to get rid of the idea that you have to be "in the mood" to write:

Philip Athans' article, "Save the Bullshit Excuses"

And this quote from Stephen's King's On Writing:



I also heard a brilliant comparison on a writing podcast recently. It goes something like this...

Firefighters don't get firefighter's block. They can't show up to work, stand in front of a burning building and say, "Nah, I just don't feel like it today. I just don't think I can do it. I'm not inspired enough."

The sooner you start treating your writing like a job, the more successful you'll be at it. Provided that's what you want it to be one day, you just have to show up and do the work.

By the way, how many resident creative writing challenge writers are planning on making this a side hustle or a career one day, or are maybe already doing it?
 

Ashes

Member
Dec 11, 2008
23,378
5
1,105
Greater London
By the way, how many resident creative writing challenge writers are planning on making this a side hustle or a career one day, or are maybe already doing it?

Some are already published authors, others hope to follow in their footsteps, and others still, like pushing forward in that direction.

My long term goal is to get published. I'm just taking it a day at a time.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Some are already published authors, others hope to follow in their footsteps, and others still, like pushing forward in that direction.

My long term goal is to get published. I'm just taking it a day at a time.

Same. My goal is self-publishing within five years (or quicker?), and traditional publishing within ten years' time. In it for the long haul and know this is a process. I'm still in the early apprenticeship and skills development stage.
 

Ashes

Member
Dec 11, 2008
23,378
5
1,105
Greater London
Same. My goal is self-publishing within five years (or quicker?), and traditional publishing within ten years' time. In it for the long haul and know this is a process. I'm still in the early apprenticeship and skills development stage.

You should get in the habit of sending stuff out.
 

Nezumi

Member
Aug 8, 2011
3,374
0
590
39
Small town near Frankfurt in Germany
I'm quite similer. I am a very slow writer. But I would say that although I spend a huge amount of time thinking about my stories before I write them, almost all of that thought is concerning broad outline, themes, emotional points. I never know what the story will actually be until I write it, and that's also why I try to get each sentence, paragraph right before moving on. Because each one influences what comes after.

I agree with all of this especially the bolded part.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Another random question. What do you use to write on the go?

I just open up the google docs app and type stuff on there. Any better writing tools I should be aware of? I have Scrivener on my notebook but haven't made the mobile Scrivener dive.