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NeoGAF Creative Writing Challenge #218 - "The Door"

Plum

Member
Aug 26, 2015
8,679
4
0
My Votes:

1) Corpsing by Dongs Macabre - Some really thought-provoking stuff. Well-written with an interesting premise. Well done!
2) Where No Door Has Gone Before by Charade - My preferred favorite of the two "the protagonist is literally a sentient door," stories. Sorry, Flowers :(
3) A Leak in the Basement by Mike M - Whilst the pacing and characterisation were a tad bit off, the writing was suitably gory and full of great imagery. Good stuff.

Thanks for the comment, Flowers! I did do an edit but it was more "fix obvious grammatical errors" than "take entire chunks out." Next time I'll see if I can be a bit more discerning with what really works for the story and what doesn't. Glad to hear it wasn't a total disaster, though; that's the best I could hope for with something I slapped together in two nights.
 

Plum

Member
Aug 26, 2015
8,679
4
0
Posting for Keelesto:

1. Mike M
2. Charade
3. Alucard

Mike M
Nick N
(Today, 12:20 AM)

 

Charade

Member
Nov 23, 2013
1,786
0
305
Some feedback/ramblings:

LaMagenta – This was really touching. I have a soft spot for pet stories. There was a lot of great little details that made this feel real. Some of tenses towards the beginning felt a little awkward but once you got into the story it was fine.

Plum – Hah! Poor guy. This was pretty funny and a solid first entry. I was curious how he got locked in the bathroom in the first place, but I rolled with it. The almost stream of consciousness of what he’s thinking through in his last moments was very well done.

Charade – Right before I submitted I got the idea to fit in one more part at the end with the 2 AIs shooting the shit as the abandoned ship drifts in space. Not sure if that would’ve been a better or worse ending. Also present tense certainly is a pain. I kept wanting to write montage-like scenes (where time keeps skipping ahead), but it just doesn’t work/sound right at all.

Mike M - You absolute madman! Certainty one of the most memorable things I’ve read for these challenges in recent memory. My skin was crawling, especially at the arm/hand bits, but I think body horror must be a particular weakness of mine. I will say one thing that stuck out was the reference to the Portuguese man o’ war. I had to google it, but obviously upon seeing what it looks like the simile makes perfect sense. Just seemed kinda weird to me that Douglas would know that… but who knows you never mentioned what his occupation was. Or maybe he’s also got a background in animals like you :p

Tangent – This was cute. The use of the word “backroom” versus something like “closet” stuck out to me a bit, but I guess the former does evoke more mystery, kinda. Also it would be sad to see you go :( But I do agree with you these challenges take up a lot of otherwise free time!

Dongs Macabre – This was pretty good. Felt very complete. I liked the mask imagery you referenced a couple times and how that tied into the play/the MC. Very powerful ending. Though I will say when he grabbed the vial I thought he was going to drink it himself hah, but that would make for a very different type of ending. I did think it was weird how in the beginning he’s the one who’s supposed to strap the prisoner down. Seems kinda like a safety hazard for him, but it’s a minor complaint.

FlowersisBritish – Oh wow, great minds think alike! :D I loved all the little details in this. The bit about door sex and the terms you used were really funny. But damnnn this got dark fast. I think I liked it, but at the same time I also got the sense that it felt like different story. But that ending was great, and I was surprised how powerful it was for something that seemed, at first, like a simple door-love story (y’know, all those door-love stories that are so popular with the kids these days).

Keleesto – You know it’s funny I had actually written a story that briefly mentioned the concept of the weight of the soul. I think I got it from some random article I came across online and thought it was a cool idea to throw into a story. Anyways. This started a bit slow, but by the end I thought this was really neat, especially the tuning fork/frequency thing. It’s something I think could definitely be expanded upon into a much larger story. The reference to him getting stabbed in the gut kinda confused me about when his death actually happened – since up to that point I had assumed he was a cowboy from the Old West they brought back – but I think you meant he just got stabbed and survived that attack (which you confirm at the end with the Montana reference). I was also left wondering how a cowboy befriended a tiger in the first place. I was a little surprised by how much I liked this considering it was mostly an info-dump, but I think it was because of the ideas at play.

Alucard – At first I got Moby-Dick in the air vibes, and then you somewhat subverted that with the picture-taking being the focus, which was cool. I thought the 30-year gap seemed a bit long, but you explained it with that one sentence so I’ll buy it. Solid writing and great descriptions throughout. The MC’s decision at the end felt a bit unexpected, but I see what you were going for. I think as a reader I needed more of a reminder that he was going to die anyways (I think? The ship seemed like it was a goner but by throwing the camera you also implied his legacy was living on potentially). Anddddd of course, I just read your comment now with you saying basically this exact same thing, haha.

Noisy Ninj4 – There seemed like a lot of backstory here that we really only touch upon briefly. Is this perhaps a world you are building? I got that sense while reading. I really liked the perspective you took of a grunt’s-eye view for this epic space battle. I could see something larger (like a longer story or novel) potentially working written entirely from that perspective. The email thing at the end did seem somewhat out of place. Almost like it was setting up for a sequel. But I see what you were going for with showing that the war is here to stay and that being the last thing the MC wants.

Ashes – Really liked the flow of this. The reference to “firesticks” and the bit at the end made me think of recent events here in the states. Not sure if that was your intention, but I liked how it did that in my mind. Also love the use of the word “stonewashed.”

Pretty hard to vote this time, lots of good stuff.
1. Mike (or should I say Nick since this had to be written by your murderous alter-ego)
2. Keleesto
3. Dongs Macabre
HM: Alucard, Flowers
 

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,923
5
0
Washington
Are Portuguese man o'war really that obscure? Man, I don't remember a time I didn't know what those were, but I had planned to be a marine biologist since I was nine.

Anyway, votes:

1. LaMagenta
2. Keleesto
3. Charade.

Will try to circle back around with feedback tomorrow.
 

Charade

Member
Nov 23, 2013
1,786
0
305
Are Portuguese man o'war really that obscure? Man, I don't remember a time I didn't know what those were, but I had planned to be a marine biologist since I was nine.

I always just called them by their more official name of swimming-tentacle-thing.
 
Jan 28, 2007
12,339
0
910
What about Squishy squashy?

Or: that one jellyfish thing that looks like an alien battleship got miniaturized and is now stuck on Earth (insert ha-ha now you're stuck on Earth).

But really, this one particular colony forming ehm... -- is it an animal or a sponge? I forgot -- thingy is not obscure by any means. It's probably the second 'jellyfish thingy' people know about, I'd guess.
 

Cyan

Banned
Jun 10, 2004
34,830
0
0
1. LaMagenta - "Abraham Lincoln V"
2. Dongs Macabre - "Corpsing"
3. Ashes - "Closing doors"

Great stuff all around, there were a bunch more stories I could easily have voted for! I was happy to see folks taking some risks. :)
 

Plum

Member
Aug 26, 2015
8,679
4
0
The Results:
1st Place: Charade - "Where No Door Has Gone Before"
2nd Place: LaMagenta - "Abraham Lincoln V"
3rd Place: Dongs Macabre - "Corpsing"

Vote Count:
Charade - 12 (2)
LaMagenta - 9 (3)
Dongs Macabre - 8 (1)
Mike M - 7 (2)
Keleesto - 4
Alucard - 3
FlowersisBritish - 2
Plum - 2
Ashes - 1

Congrats, Charade! And thanks to everyone who participated!

Thanks for putting it together and well done to Charade!
2 points ain't too bad for my first time here (thanks LaMagenta).
 

Tangent

Member
Mar 15, 2010
658
0
0
Tangent – This was cute. The use of the word “backroom” versus something like “closet” stuck out to me a bit, but I guess the former does evoke more mystery, kinda. Also it would be sad to see you go :( But I do agree with you these challenges take up a lot of otherwise free time!

Hi Charade, great story, congrats!

And sorry about the confusion. "Backoom" was the kid's way of saying "vacuum."

Yeah, I'm not 100% certain about leaving because it'd be sad. You guys rock. Thanks for the kind words.
 

Tangent

Member
Mar 15, 2010
658
0
0
Tangent: Boooooo! If you leave I understand, these are quite the time commitment, but I’ll miss your writing a bunch. You write kids and kid stories so damn well! I don’t think any other regular does child friendly adventures even half as well as you do! If you do end up stopping, at least corner some unexpecting business person in an elevator and pitch them a children’s book idea.
Wow, Flowers. Well, you just made my day. I want to write down what you said, print it out, and put it right next to my monitor. Thanks man! I'll try to remember this and keep up with writing.
But I kinda think kids are bonkers, and want to write more for adults! If I can learn how to! Shh, don't tell!