• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

NeoGAF Creative Writing Challenge #219 - "Resurgence"

Plum

Member
Aug 26, 2015
8,679
4
0
That feel when you realise your story would be much better from two different perspectives than a singular one so you have to restart almost everything.

Least I've got just under a week to finish it.
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,774
1
0
Maine
I got some slochk that I'm going to edit tomorrow. I'm thinking of maybe writing something else, buuuuuut I've already written two stories and I need to commit to something.
 

Charade

Member
Nov 23, 2013
1,786
0
305
Almost done with mine, think it's gonna be a bit over though. Time to get to cutting.

I got some slochk that I'm going to edit tomorrow. I'm thinking of maybe writing something else, buuuuuut I've already written two stories and I need to commit to something.

Damn, I can barely finish one and you're thinking about three!? You madman, you.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
I'm driving for seven hours with my wife and two kids tomorrow night, so I won't have a chance to do any more writing. Finished this one up in the last hour. At the very least, despite the shorter length, I can say it's one of the clearest things I've written for these challenges. Enjoy.
 

Plum

Member
Aug 26, 2015
8,679
4
0
Really not sure I'll be able to finish this. I've got literally no idea where my story's going nor am I really certain of it being anywhere good. I'll try and power through it since I've got little else to do and I don't want to disappoint on my second challenge.
 

Nezumi

Member
Aug 8, 2011
3,374
0
590
39
Small town near Frankfurt in Germany
Well, I decided to ignore the secondary and instead went back to the idea I didn't manage to write during the last challenge, deleted almost everything I already had (only kept some twenty or thirty words) so I hope it will still count as written during this challenge when/if I submit it.
 

moustascheman

Member
Jul 13, 2016
361
0
280
Canada
First time posting here so here it goes.

The witch and the phoenix (2493)

#entry

Password is the name of this forum.

I'm not too experienced with creative writing and especially not with writing short stories so this has been quite a learning experience for me. In terms of it relating to something I've previously written, the main character of this story is a major character in a novel I tried writing for NaNoWriMo last year. I still need to finish it, although I did get past 50k words.
 

LaMagenta

Member
Oct 6, 2013
420
0
0
ugh, i wasn't able to write anything. It's been a busy week. But i look forward to reading the rest.
 

Plum

Member
Aug 26, 2015
8,679
4
0
ugh, i wasn't able to write anything. It's been a busy week. But i look forward to reading the rest.

Same here. I was able to write a few hundred words but I just couldn't go much further. The theme just wasn't working with me (sorry, Charade!). Though maybe my issue is I just need to stop over-thinking things; I had many ideas, I just thought about them too long to get stuck into writing something. Eh, there's always next time.
 

Dongs Macabre

aka Daedalos42
Feb 2, 2013
5,049
0
675
Vancouver, Canada
This one was pretty tough. I guess I didn't realize just how short 2500 words could be, since all my previous stories have been well under the limit. There are some things I would expand upon if I had the extra room, but I think it ended up alright.
 
Last edited:

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,923
5
0
Washington
Old Dog

Usual password and all that.

Today I found out I've been doing suspension points in dialogue wrong for like 33 years.


#entry
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Feedback as I go:

"The Witch and the Phoenix" by moustacheman - Gotta say, I wanted you to hurry things along with that page-long prologue to start things off. I felt you could've and should've found a way to just start with Miri entering the cave and having the conversation she had with a splatter of backstory here and there. Once it got going, I enjoyed the way you wrote action, and I never felt lost in your scenes. That said, I felt you settled into white room syndrome with the final conversation between Miri and the phoenix, and I wish it wasn't just a string of dialogue. Still, I liked the general idea even if there were questions at the end of it for me.

"Ashes to Ashes" by jtb - I enjoy your clear style. You have a good vocabulary bank and your action-reaction sets are never confusing. That said, I'm not sure I fully got this. I got Running Man vibes mixed with Hunger Games during the 2008 economic crisis, but I'm not sure I fully got the point?

"The Priest of Adjura" by Charade - really dense world building for a short story and some unique and memorable names, for characters and locations both. On the other hand, is this complete? It stopped just as it was about to get going.

"The Doppler Looks Back" by Dongs Macabre - I dug the premise of this, and I feel like your writing is getting a bit better overall. It's obvious you have a lot of familiarity with real and theoretical physics, or if you don't, you definitely give off the impression you do. I liked the trade dialogue at the end and your "and those were just the As!" line. The story does didn't hit me as hard as I think it was meant to, though. Sorry, this isn't super helpful.

"Old Dog" by Mike M - well-written as always. The story was also super clear and a decent romp, but I felt it was too simple for what I've come to expect from you. Still, better than most anything I've ever done. Ha.

"Rumours of an Old Friend" by FlowersIsBritish - this was pretty neat and kept with your taste for the weird. I wish I knew more about the main relationship here, but it still worked. You kept my attention the whole way through and I thought you built the tension nicely until the end.
 

jtb

Banned
Jun 20, 2009
19,674
1
0
NYC
Hopefully I’m doing this right and all this feedback makes sense; happy to answer any Qs about my incoherent ramblings.

“Breath of New Life” by alucard: I think the best scenes here are wherever the narrator’s daughter enters the picture. The narrator admits he’s doing it for his wife and kids; I wanted to see more of his progression measured through his relationship with them. For example, the second scene with them together is ultimately played as a reveal of his weight when I was hoping for something more. Some questions I had that may be worth fleshing out in future drafts: What is the catalyst for the narrator’s renewed interest in his health? What was “rock bottom” for his relationship? And were these marital/parental difficulties tangible, or merely imagined (i.e. a side product of his deteriorating self-esteem over his weight)?

“The witch and the phoenix” by moustascheman: I’m a huge sucker for stories that are about the act of storytelling itself, so I found this story very entertaining, particularly the middle scene where Miri grows up (somewhat inexplicably) be an angsty evil witch. I was surprised when the story didn’t end with Miri recounting the stories back to an amnesiac Zara (the parent becomes the child, etc. etc.), which I thought the Agrippa metaphor was alluding to. As a result, I feel like the thematic through line of the story becomes a bit muddled: is it a story about letting go and accepting mortality (as Miri does with Zara) or about the inheritance of memory (as Miri recounts her life to the young boy)? Perhaps these two ideas are not mutually exclusive at all – but with one scene a piece, and a very large temporal gap between them, I felt pulled in two directions more than a sense of closure by the end.

“The Doppler Looks Back” by Dongs Macabre: I thought the most compelling part of this story is the dynamic between the Doppler and this semi-created fiction of the Duchess. I was a little confused as just how much overlap there is between TV Duchess and Actual Duchess, and it seems a little convenient that she just happens to be on his radar. There’s something strangely voyeuristic about stepping into the Duchess’ final moments, which leads him to this momentous realization that he didn’t know his hero at all. But the realization doesn’t seem to mean much because he’s willing to trade her last precious moments… for an action figure? He’s literally trading the real Duchess for an artificial one!

With that in mind, I read the ending as the Doppler being perfectly content to replace Actual Duchess with his idealized, fictional version of her. He buys her action figure, and sees malfunction and likely death (if the Duchess’ fate is any indication) as literally living in a TV show, which both read to me as a little bit delusional? I like the ending (not sure if that’s the way you intended) but I hoped the story could wring a little more tension out of the dissonance between TV/Actual Duchess before getting there.

“The Priest of Adjura” by Charade: I never felt like I had a good understanding over what the conflict was (the whole petitioner’s fee thing was confusing; is he skimming money on the side? Are they not supposed to ask for money?), so I was never invested in Typhen or his story. It read like an excerpt of a longer story, which makes sense given it exists alongside several other stories in this universe; or a comically convoluted shaggy dog joke built around an (admittedly amusing) punchline, but little more.

“Old Dog” by Mike M: I was struck by the relatively limited interiority and close perspective in this story. It builds suspense effectively, but at what cost? While it makes for an action-packed story that moves at an energetic clip, it also left me detached from the events of the story and wondering why any of this mattered. The religiosity of the story seemed underutilized to me – or perhaps merely underexplained to a newcomer to this universe like myself – is Qamar some kind of heretic? If so, what do these beliefs mean to him (and to everybody else)? The external conflict doesn’t seem to be matched by a similar interior one.

“Rumors of an Old Friend” by FlowersIsBritish: The story did an excellent job creating suspense and a sense of unease around “the girl”, though I was still blindsided when Veridia stabs her hand. She was just going off a hunch! Holy shit, dude, what if there was like a 20% chance this was just a big misunderstanding! Did she consider how she would feel if there was copious amounts of blood gushing out of a child’s hand? Her thought process in acting this way seems to revolve entirely around her relationship with Melgram, but she’s not inflicting the violence on him – I wanted to know more about her thoughts about the Golem/child. Does she feel any apprehension in this moment? Does the fact that a golem can pass as a human child (to a lonely man like Melgram anyways) so effectively challenger her pre-conceived notions about her job and the golem’s second-class/monster status?
 

jtb

Banned
Jun 20, 2009
19,674
1
0
NYC
Votes:

1. “The Doppler Looks Back” by Dongs Macabre
2. “Rumors of an Old Friend” by FlowersIsBritish
3. “The witch and the phoenix” by moustascheman
 

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,923
5
0
Washington
It's . . . okay.

But anyway, can you tell us what you think you did incorrectly?
CMS specifies elipses be three space-separated periods with a space before and after (like you did). Except if it comes at the end of a sentence, in which case it comes *after* the period, like this. . . .

I always did it like... This. Which I don't think it's supported by any style guide (I think AP's only difference is the absence of spaces before, after, and between, but I'm not writing for journalism or periodicals, so the fuck do I care what the AP call for?). It's like learning to do only one space after a period after a lifetime of doing two.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
CMS specifies elipses be three space-separated periods with a space before and after (like you did). Except if it comes at the end of a sentence, in which case it comes *after* the period, like this. . . .

I always did it like... This. Which I don't think it's supported by any style guide (I think AP's only difference is the absence of spaces before, after, and between, but I'm not writing for journalism or periodicals, so the fuck do I care what the AP call for?). It's like learning to do only one space after a period after a lifetime of doing two.

Sounds like bullshit to me, man. I'm gonna keep rolling like...this.
 

Tangent

Member
Mar 15, 2010
658
0
0
CMS specifies elipses be three space-separated periods with a space before and after (like you did). Except if it comes at the end of a sentence, in which case it comes *after* the period, like this. . . .

I always did it like... This. Which I don't think it's supported by any style guide (I think AP's only difference is the absence of spaces before, after, and between, but I'm not writing for journalism or periodicals, so the fuck do I care what the AP call for?). It's like learning to do only one space after a period after a lifetime of doing two.

Yeah I agree with Alucard. It is BS and it takes so much longer to put in all those spaces. And who gives a flying fuck? These rules are so anal.

Anyway, so wait, what's the verdict on one or two spaces after a period? I think we're supposed to do one, but honestly, it makes so much more sense to do two. That way, it'd be: one space between words, and two between sentences. It just seems right.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
Yeah I agree with Alucard. It is BS and it takes so much longer to put in all those spaces. And who gives a flying fuck? These rules are so anal.

Anyway, so wait, what's the verdict on one or two spaces after a period? I think we're supposed to do one, but honestly, it makes so much more sense to do two. That way, it'd be: one space between words, and two between sentences. It just seems right.

It's one. It's a rule that changed at some point in the early 2000s. Pretty sure it was made standard in order to save paper.
 

choodi

Banned
Aug 23, 2007
2,735
70
955
My take on style guides is that they are a guide only. Unless you must adhere to a particular style, then use whatever feels right and is going to get your message across easiest to the reader.

Every style guide is different anyway, so why choose to follow one particular style unless you must?

Definitely one space after a full stop. Most modern word processors will adjust spacing automatically, so there's no need to force it.
 

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,923
5
0
Washington
Sounds like bullshit to me, man. I'm gonna keep rolling like...this.

Which is in keeping with AP style, and probably some in-house style guides out there.

It's one. It's a rule that changed at some point in the early 2000s. Pretty sure it was made standard in order to save paper.

The double space was a leftover rule from the days where everything was monospaced and it was difficult to see where a new sentence began otherwise. It was rendered redundant in the age of proportional font.

Want to know a dirty secret? This sentence has one space after the question mark. This one has two spaces after the period.

The message board automatically reduces it to the one space : P

My take on style guides is that they are a guide only. Unless you must adhere to a particular style, then use whatever feels right and is going to get your message across easiest to the reader.

Every style guide is different anyway, so why choose to follow one particular style unless you must?

Definitely one space after a full stop. Most modern word processors will adjust spacing automatically, so there's no need to force it.

Depends entirely on application. For farting around on a message board or whatever? Sure, there's no reason to adhere to it. But if you're working in any professional capacity and there's a style guide (be it AP, MLA, AMA, CMS, or something in-house), it's definitely "here's how you do it" and not "here's how we suggest you do it."

I personally just like to be in the practice of conforming to the applicable style and format right out the gate rather than having to go back and make formatting changes should I decide to submit for publication or what have you. CMS is pretty much the default for book-writing, so that's what I go with.

I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I omit a serial comma like AP recommends as default
 

choodi

Banned
Aug 23, 2007
2,735
70
955
Depends entirely on application. For farting around on a message board or whatever? Sure, there's no reason to adhere to it. But if you're working in any professional capacity and there's a style guide (be it AP, MLA, AMA, CMS, or something in-house), it's definitely "here's how you do it" and not "here's how we suggest you do it."

I personally just like to be in the practice of conforming to the applicable style and format right out the gate rather than having to go back and make formatting changes should I decide to submit for publication or what have you. CMS is pretty much the default for book-writing, so that's what I go with.

I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I omit a serial comma like AP recommends as default

Makes sense for you to want to follow one in that context.

Style guide is definitely more than a suggestion in a professional capacity, but as you say, for this type of thing, I don't get too hung up on it.
 

Tangent

Member
Mar 15, 2010
658
0
0
My take on style guides is that they are a guide only. Unless you must adhere to a particular style, then use whatever feels right and is going to get your message across easiest to the reader.

Every style guide is different anyway, so why choose to follow one particular style unless you must?

Definitely one space after a full stop. Most modern word processors will adjust spacing automatically, so there's no need to force it.

So many mixed messages!
 

choodi

Banned
Aug 23, 2007
2,735
70
955
So many mixed messages!

Yeah, sorry. I've been down with the flu and probably shouldn't be trying to communicate in writing.

My message was more about not getting hung up on trying to get everything right for something like these challenges.

However, Mike's post above about wanting to do so for ease of submission later on means that following a particular style makes sense in that context.
 
Jan 28, 2007
12,339
0
910
I've read some entries thus far.

Alucard - Breath of New Life : I felt that 'staccato' and 'schlock' were out of tone a bit, but that is all.

moustascheman - The witch and the phoenix : I will agree with jtb that setting up that rule about the rebirth created an expectation you did not intend for, but I was fine with the resolution anyway. I do object to not referring to the adult as 'woman' though, particularly when her growth is the point of the story's design. (girl, woman, old lady).

jtb - Ashes to Ashes : I felt like this was a descent into the lunacy of conservative talk radio, as it was no doubt intended. :(

Charade - The Priest of Adjura : "the smell of filth", can 'filth' actually be used in that manner when referring to sewage smells? (...) I got a bit too hooked up on that word, but this was nice.

Dongs Macabre - The Doppler Looks back : heh. That was neat.

edit: I'll read the other two tomorrow. I can't seem to focus on reading right now.

Mike M - Old Dog :
FlowersisBritish - Rumors of an Old Friend :
 

Dongs Macabre

aka Daedalos42
Feb 2, 2013
5,049
0
675
Vancouver, Canada
Votes:
1) moustascheman - The witch and the phoenix
I really liked the "rebirth" angle where it's more metaphorical than literal, with the witch taking on the phoenix's storyteller role (although I'm guessing the implication is that the boy is the reincarnated phoenix?).

2) FlowersisBritish - Rumors of an Old Friend
I liked how you captured the uncanniness of the girl.

3) Charade - The Priest of Adjura
The setting and characters were very well developed and realistic, but I agree with jtb's assessment that it felt like part of a greater whole than a standalone story.

”The Doppler Looks Back" by Dongs Macabre: I thought the most compelling part of this story is the dynamic between the Doppler and this semi-created fiction of the Duchess. I was a little confused as just how much overlap there is between TV Duchess and Actual Duchess, and it seems a little convenient that she just happens to be on his radar. There's something strangely voyeuristic about stepping into the Duchess' final moments, which leads him to this momentous realization that he didn't know his hero at all. But the realization doesn't seem to mean much because he's willing to trade her last precious moments... for an action figure? He's literally trading the real Duchess for an artificial one!

With that in mind, I read the ending as the Doppler being perfectly content to replace Actual Duchess with his idealized, fictional version of her. He buys her action figure, and sees malfunction and likely death (if the Duchess' fate is any indication) as literally living in a TV show, which both read to me as a little bit delusional? I like the ending (not sure if that's the way you intended) but I hoped the story could wring a little more tension out of the dissonance between TV/Actual Duchess before getting there.

Yeah that's pretty much it. My intention was that the Doppler has spent his whole life building up a fictional narrative of the Duchess that so utterly defines his identity that he chooses it over the real deal. By trading the helmet for the action figure, he's choosing a flawed fantasy that nevertheless sustains him. If I had more space there's definitely a lot that I would have expanded on.

"The Doppler Looks Back" by Dongs Macabre - I dug the premise of this, and I feel like your writing is getting a bit better overall. It's obvious you have a lot of familiarity with real and theoretical physics, or if you don't, you definitely give off the impression you do. I liked the trade dialogue at the end and your "and those were just the As!" line. The story does didn't hit me as hard as I think it was meant to, though. Sorry, this isn't super helpful.

I wouldn't say that I have a lot of familiarity with physics (I am taking some physics courses at university, though), but I do try to incorporate what concepts I do know into my writing.
 

jtb

Banned
Jun 20, 2009
19,674
1
0
NYC
jtb - Ashes to Ashes : I felt like this was a descent into the lunacy of conservative talk radio, as it was no doubt intended. :(

Heh, yep pretty much. Or, more specifically, just kind of my reaction to Charlotesville. Fiction is a curious outlet like that...

Yeah that's pretty much it. My intention was that the Doppler has spent his whole life building up a fictional narrative of the Duchess that so utterly defines his identity that he chooses it over the real deal. By trading the helmet for the action figure, he's choosing a flawed fantasy that nevertheless sustains him. If I had more space there's definitely a lot that I would have expanded on.

In that case, it sounds like you executed your intent perfectly!
 

moustascheman

Member
Jul 13, 2016
361
0
280
Canada
My votes:

1) The Doppler looks back by Dongs Macabre
2) Breath of New Life by Alucard
3) Rumors of an Old Friend by FlowersisBritish
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,774
1
0
Maine
Here are some responses, though i am a little surprised at the positive reception to my story. But I guess that's how this goes sometimes.

Alucard - Breath of New Life: I was super shocked when this wasn't a fantasy story. It's a very good story about how yoga and physical health in general can help improve one's life. It also reminds me how I've slack off so much in the gym this last year ;_; Overall, I liked this a lot and I thought you captured the improvements in life rather well. The switch at the end was rather jarring though. At first, I thought it was a time jump forward to when the MC stopped doing yoga and his life fell apart, but when I realized it was a flashback, it kinda became too weird for me. Very odd placement for it.

Charade - The Priest of Adjura: I don't think I've read (Or at the very least remember) any stories from this setting, but immediately one can tell that it is a setting you've given a lot of thought to. The amount of world building you do from the get go, without it overwhelming or taking away from the focus of the story, is really impressive. I agree with everyone, this feels like part of a larger thing, but that's mostly because you expand our worldview by quite a bit at the end, we start off small (in the sewers beneath the city) but end at a much broader, more world affecting scale.

Mike - Old Dog: If it makes you feel better, I didn't realize you had to put a comma with he said she said until a little less than a year ago :p More exposition in this then you tend to do (mostly in regards to the function of The Hound of God) but honestly this is one of those cases where this story was kinda what I was in the mood for. Something a little darker, something in a graveyard, something with ghasts and werewolves and senseless violence. Have you watched Penny Dreadful? Because this reminds me a bit of what I wish Penny Dreadful was. This the setting to your novel? Because I'm gonna be honest, I'd read that.

Jtb - Ashes to Ashes: Welcome aboard! I liked the ”A word from our sponsors" bit, that was a great thing at the midpoint that caught me off guard in a good way. It really gave a good bit of context to the tone of this apocalyptic scene at the right time for me. This was a neat idea with more than a few fun bits (the occasional talk-show host God voice always getting a chuckle out of me). I can certainly see the therapeutic elements of this in it, and I hope it helped with some feelings. That's always been the kind of amazing thing about writing to me tbh

Moustacheman - The Witch and the Phoenix: Welcome aboard! Must say, this is a really strong first entry. I really enjoyed the quiet moments between the girl and the phoenix, those were easily my favorite moments. So much so, that I got really bummed when we skip ahead in the middle to a battle that I don't really have any context for. Also, I really dislike the name ”The Dragon" it's not a good name in my opinion. The ending is really good too, though, and I enjoyed it looping back to the tale of Agrippa.

Dongs Macabre - The Doppler Looks Back: Right out the gate, this is some anime shit right here. And then we pull back out of the veil to reveal it is actually some anime shit! Good job, that got me early on and really invested in your story! I enjoyed the back and forth between bombastic space adventure and disappointing realities of the job in space, though I am kinda dissapointed The Duchess is a real character and not just a made up cartoon. Though, to your stories credit, you did make the ending of the Dutchess feel very somber and I really did enjoy the conclusion to her side of the story.


Votes
1.
....Mike........................
2.
Dongs Macab.........RE!
3.
.............Moustacheman
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,774
1
0
Maine
"Old Dog" by Mike M - well-written as always. The story was also super clear and a decent romp, but I felt it was too simple for what I've come to expect from you. Still, better than most anything I've ever done. Ha.

Aaaaawwww don't sell yourself short. I've honestly become very impressed with the quality of writing you've been putting out.
 

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,923
5
0
Washington
This the setting to your novel? Because I’m gonna be honest, I’d read that.

The novel is 1820 Bavaria, technically. I had originally intended this one to be set in France, but I never actually worked it in. Foreknowledge of this story totally spoils the shit out of the novel, too, unfortunately. I wasn't able to pull it off as well as I'd hoped.
 

Mike M

Nick N
Jun 9, 2005
12,923
5
0
Washington
Tough choices to make this week.


  • Alucard: I have to echo sentiments that the chronology really threw me. I got that the last scene was the first to take place, but that made it ambiguous as to whether or not the middle scene took place before or after the first scene, as an argument could be made for reading it either way. I can't help but think you unfairly played on the heartstrings of everyone with a five year old daughter in this thread : P
  • moustascheman: I liked this in the broad strokes, but it seemed a bit exposition heavy where we spent a lot of time reading about the background of the two primary characters without actually getting to see them in action for much of the story. Then when we got to the action of the witch tearing apart the army, it almost seemed superfluous since what happened during the battle ultimately doesn't matter so long as we had her standing victorious at the end.
  • jtb: This one kind of overstayed its welcome with me. The guy is crawling toward the supposed voice of god and goes on about tax reform; it felt like we just kept revisiting the same handful of details repeatedly while not actually advancing anything. The fact that "calling for help" in this guy's mind meant calling into the talk show was a great detail to slip in at the end there, though.
  • Charade: This came out as more the inciting incident for a story rather than a story of its own right. The second the question of whether or not they would take the royal request arose, the fact that they would and they would send the protagonist to do it was immediately apparent. The real story is what happens on that quest, if you had that in hand you could probably jettison everything preceding his being assigned the task and not miss a beat.
  • Dongs Macabre: I came away with the distinct impression that the doppler fully intended to *find* the Duchess, which seems wildly at odds from the established knowledge that everyone in the story's universe is well aware of the limitations of radio signals and the effects of time dilation. Also found it strikingly odd that her super-advanced power armor would have gauntlets made of iron of all materials when iron is pretty much only useful as a precursor to steel.
  • Mike M: I don't feel like my heart was in this one at all. I knew exactly what I was going to do when Nezumi made her request, but even with the benefit of knowing how the story will play out, it was still pretty superficial and perfunctory. I even *gasp* skipped doing revisions some nights in the past two weeks because I'd rather play video games.
  • FlowersisBritish: I wasn't at all sold on Melgram. I found it difficult to believe that someone apparently so skilled as he would be suckered by Veridia's little fake-out, for starters. I was unable to believe that he would not give Goh some sort of cover story that he knew of, or that he would think the otherwise taciturn Goh could plausibly make something like that story up on the spot. Likewise, I couldn't reconcile his relationship with Veridia having any depth to it with his attempt to put one over on her when he had to know that she would see right through it the way she did. I can think of a bunch of different angles that would have worked better for me, but whether or not you could do them in the allocated word count is a separate matter.

Votes:
1.) moustascheman
2.) Alucard
3.) FlowersisBritish
 

Charade

Member
Nov 23, 2013
1,786
0
305
Votes! I'll echo Mike this was very difficult to narrow down:

1. Jtb – Really liked how intense and raw the descriptions were, played out like a slow burn. The convergence at the end was a great way to close and show the surreal commentary was not so surreal after all (at least to me – in hindsight I probably should’ve realized at the sponsors bit).
2. Dongs – The Duchess reminded me of an over-the-top Warhammer 40k character, which I liked (especially when you dropped that “holy” in there). The Doppler trading the helmet for the action figure was a nice touch, which elevated this for me. I like how you never explicitly state that he did, but at the same time I think it might’ve been a stronger ending to just have it play out versus the “to be continued” thing we got. Also, seems like everyone has a screw loose, quite literally haha. Her ship crashed because of a screw, the Doppler’s got a screw in his pocket, and then his speedometer fails because of a screw. Not sure if that was intentional or some weird connection there.
3. Flowers – Liked the dark ending (almost wanted to say bittersweet, but realized it wasn’t really sweet for either character really). I’m curious about the iron nuggets. At first I thought it was some allomancy-like thing going on (her touching it made me think it was a magic catalyst-thing, like Melgram's seems to be mud as shown in the flashback), but I think you were just implying the golem was weak to iron (like the knife maybe), and the ones on the floor created a barrier… I think.
 

FlowersisBritish

fleurs n'est pas britannique
May 13, 2014
3,774
1
0
Maine
Flowers – Liked the dark ending (almost wanted to say bittersweet, but realized it wasn’t really sweet for either character really). I’m curious about the iron nuggets. At first I thought it was some allomancy-like thing going on (her touching it made me think it was a magic catalyst-thing, like Melgram's seems to be mud as shown in the flashback), but I think you were just implying the golem was weak to iron (like the knife maybe), and the ones on the floor created a barrier… I think.

That's just how the magic system works. Usually, you got to sacrifice something (it can be physical or conceptual (I once had a guy sacrifice his body heat to do fire stuff)) and use an accompanying thought to trigger how the spell works. In the case of the nuggets, she sacrificed some iron nuggets and used a memory of her being protected to conjure a magic barrier.