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NeoGAF Creative Writing Challenge #219 - "Resurgence"

Dongs Macabre

aka Daedalos42
Feb 2, 2013
5,049
0
675
Vancouver, Canada
[*]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.

So what I was trying to do was try and trick the reader into thinking that maybe there was a chance she was still alive just like the Doppler did, despite having already established in the beginning that she had been missing for years. The part where I mention that the planet was less than a lightyear away was my way of trying to subvert expectations since one would think that the distance in lightyears would correspond to the amount of time that had passed when it's really just because the beacon is still transmitting (but even if that was the case it would contradict what was said previously). That could have definitely been done a lot better.

And I kinda just picked iron because I already used titanium and it was the second coolest sounding metal I could think of lol. I should have put a bit of effort into that detail. :p

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.

The Duchess was based on Spartans from Halo, actually, but way more over-the-top. I wanted to pick a kind of character that resonates with me personally given what the story is about, so I picked Halo because it's one of those fictional properties I still have a lot of love for (I had a different idea involving a Transformers pastiche and another involving Bionicle pastiches but this was more fleshed out). The bit with the screw was intentional. Basically that was one of the parallels I tried to draw between the Duchess and the Doppler, since the Doppler's whole thing is that he worships her and tries to emulate her. When he finds that screw in his pocket, I wanted that to be one of those throwaway gags that ends up being important. The Doppler ends up mimicking the Duchess unintentionally, but he isn't on the same scale as the Duchess, so instead of his ship's power failing completely, it just breaks a speedometer, although it ends up having pretty big consequences anyway.


Hopefully my ramblings about my thought process make sense lol.
 

Charade

Member
Nov 23, 2013
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305
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.

Ah, gotcha. That's a pretty neat system, can do a lot of cool things with it (which I now only just realize you've already done . . . who wrote this secondary again? Hey look, I did an ellipses right! I think).

The Duchess was based on Spartans from Halo, actually, but way more over-the-top. I wanted to pick a kind of character that resonates with me personally given what the story is about, so I picked Halo because it's one of those fictional properties I still have a lot of love for (I had a different idea involving a Transformers pastiche and another involving Bionicle pastiches but this was more fleshed out). The bit with the screw was intentional. Basically that was one of the parallels I tried to draw between the Duchess and the Doppler, since the Doppler's whole thing is that he worships her and tries to emulate her. When he finds that screw in his pocket, I wanted that to be one of those throwaway gags that ends up being important. The Doppler ends up mimicking the Duchess unintentionally, but he isn't on the same scale as the Duchess, so instead of his ship's power failing completely, it just breaks a speedometer, although it ends up having pretty big consequences anyway.

Oh wow, Bionicle . . . that brings me back. Ahhh, ok so his screw was the screw from his speedometer, gotcha. Alright, I can see the parallel there.
 

Alucard

Banned
Jun 9, 2004
39,737
2
0
Canada
I'll tabulate the votes, as that's everyone.

Dongs - 11
Flowers - 10
Moustacheman - 8
Mike M - 5
Alucard - 4
Jtb - 3
Charade - 1

Congrats to Dongs! (I liked writing that more than I should have) Well done. Is this your first victory? Looking forward to the new thread: 220!

To everyone, nice work. I thought the quality of writing on this challenge was pretty, pretty, pretty good.
 

jtb

Banned
Jun 20, 2009
19,674
1
0
NYC
[*]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.

I don't know how obvious/utterly incomprehensible this was lol (I lean towards the latter), but the idea was originally that he killed all these people with his car (a la Charlottesville) and every time he mentions "tax reform," he doesn't actually mean tax reform. The premise, on paper anyways, was that the idea that killing someone over tax reform was so absurd on face that it becomes a dogwhistle of sorts for some other, more sinister unspoken reason. I think that failed in this draft because there was too little tying it down to the real world and it gets absurd and apocalyptic way too early, so your average reader treats rationality and realism as suspended rules that don't apply before they probably should - and, as you mention, it gets really repetitive.

I'm a really stingy writer when it comes to doling out details and information (my fav writer is Ishiguro, heh!), and I wanted to test the limits of how little I could make explicit in this draft. Figuring out how to distribute the breadcrumbs is always the biggest challenge in writing and rewriting for me.
 

Dongs Macabre

aka Daedalos42
Feb 2, 2013
5,049
0
675
Vancouver, Canada
I'll tabulate the votes, as that's everyone.

Dongs - 11
Flowers - 10
Moustacheman - 8
Mike M - 5
Alucard - 4
Jtb - 3
Charade - 1

Congrats to Dongs! (I liked writing that more than I should have) Well done. Is this your first victory? Looking forward to the new thread: 220!

To everyone, nice work. I thought the quality of writing on this challenge was pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Congrats! That was some quality Dong there.



Thanks :)

New thread is up here: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=247960814