Spring Ceramic DMô: WINNER POSTED! - Page 54
  1. #531
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    NiTessine vs BardStephenFox is away.

    Although I appear to be discovering brevity in my judging comments this round

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    Zhaneel vs Rangerwickett is done and sent.

    Now I'm going to linger for a while to see if the judgments show up before collapsing into bed and hoping that no-one asks me to look at any writing for the next fourty-eight hours or so

  3. #533
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    I'm going to have Drose25 vs Mythago up shortly. Then I'll have NiTessine vs BardStephenFox a few hours after that (early afternoon EST), and Zhaneel vs RangerWickett up in early evening.

  4. #534
    Quote Originally Posted by mythago
    "What a useless scroll--it just says 'Piratecat Piratecat Piratecat'...."
    Rolls on the floor laughing...

  5. #535
    Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
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    Judgment of Match 2-2: Mythago vs. Drose25.

    Maldur:

    This is hard, both stories are amazing.

    Mythago with crazy cultists, mad art, Cthulhu-like fear and an open ending. But great use of the pictures, and the way the current holiday was used (ok, current when she wrote it ).

    Drose25 had some different images, vampires, dreadlocked nurses and doctors in a weird asylum, bumbling goons, magic incorporated into society. I loved the way the acrobats are used, Ceramic Keystone Cops!

    But at the end my vote goes to Mythago. The story felt more "complete". But If I could I would make both win in this round.

    ----------

    Arwink:

    Once again, Iíll apologize for the lateness and brevity of the comments.
    Iíll also apologize if my comments sound a little to picky given the nature of the contest Ė itís hard to break yourself of the habit when itís all youíve been doing for three days J

    Mythago Ė Like Clockwork

    The underlying tension of Mythagoís story is great, as is the careful construction of Cray as a character. Unfortunately, the pay off at the ending is something of a let down Ė after the careful construction of the mechanistic paganism that Crayís following in the early parts of the story, the fact that heís feeding Danika to his experiment doesnít really seem to resonate as an ending.

    Danika, as a character, isnít quite as engaging as Cray Ė itís hard to get a feel for exactly why she doesnít catch onto Crayís nature earlier or why she doesnít leave after the forest fire. While her diary entries are an interesting motif to the story, the first entry becomes confusing in its placement Ė it foreshadows the rest of the story effectively, but seems to out of place to be connected the way itís written at present.

    Drose25 Ė Untitled

    Although I like the idea of the opening, Droseís first line is trying far to hard to cram in far too much. To many ideas let the sentence wander, and end up creating an awkward feel to the opening. The writing continues to feel a little stiff Ė the rhythm created by so many long sentences sounds slightly awkward when read aloud.

    Thereís a lot of interesting stuff going on in Droseís story, but ultimately it doesnít quite hang together as a tale. The connections between events are far to random, the tension and conflict that makes us *want* to follow Simonís story isnít quite developed enough to engage us, and the occasional switch from Simonís point of view to his attackers seems out of place. Thereís the bare bones of a really, really cool story here, but the linkages need to be made stronger in order to escape the feeling of being driven by the needs of a plot rather than a character. Given the time and space to make these connections, I can see this story becoming something very cool.

    Judgment

    I give the round to Mythago, although if the various elements of Drose25ís story had come together it would have been a strong competitor for the round. The integration of images in Mythagoís story seems slightly more cohesive, and Cray works as a more rounded central character than Simon does.

    ----------

    Piratecat:

    Round Two, where the photos begin to get more difficult. As I select them I deliberately try to create some visual dissonance, to make you strain your imagination in order to fit everything in smoothly. It's not always easy. Let's see how you did.

    - o -

    Mythago has a tendency to use stereotypes to her advantage, twisting them enough to get more mileage out of them than you'd initially expect. In the process she adds telling little details that add verisimillitude without distracting the plot. Thus, we have foreshadowing with the name "Cray" and a quirky nod to Polish heritage in Danika's name. Likewise, she's painting out the trees instead of painting them in. These are nice touches.

    The story itself hangs together nicely. I like the interspersed segments of Danika's diary as an insight into her thought process, although they would benefit from some slightly tighter editing; some seem like her thoughts at the time and not a diary entry, and her rationale for staying with him after the forest fire seems a bit specious. Not enough to drag me from the story, though. Cray is an interesting character, and his mechanistic viewpoint and worship resonates subtlety throughout the short story.

    Picture use was excellent, with one exception. The (anti-)painting twisted expectations and advanced the plot; very nice. The clock and the burning tree both became symbols for what was going on. The use of the flares wasn't especially inspired in and of itself, but it fit perfectly and logically within the story. Only the Experiment was a real stretch. Imaginative use of the photo, but in the way that Mythago has developed Cray I'd expect a different sort of monster, and so this usage seemed strained.

    - o -

    Drose25's story has some wonderful moments. The tale begins slowly but ends with a bang, and it has a great last line. Unfortunately, it turns from a creepy mystery to an "I'm being chased" action story without ever giving you more than a glimpse at some of the fascinating aspects of the world. Why the sympathetic magic that draws visions from the bracelet? What impact does the vampire have in the world? We never learn, and I really wanted to.

    My biggest distraction was the change in point of view from Simon to the thugs (Arpad and Viktor) chasing him and back. It wasn't always seamless, and it ended up being confusing more than once. I think the narrative would flow better if the entire tale was told entirely from Simon's (or better yet, the thugs') perspective. Ultimately the two thugs were secondary characters, minions of Dr. Sasha, but they got more attention than she did. That seemed a bit odd.

    Photo use varied. The burning tree was a throwaway, as was the "fire trails" photo. I'm neutral on the use of the painting as a therapy, but I think more could be done with it; if I had been illustrating the story myself, that wouldn't be a scene that I'd have chosen to illustrate. In comparison, the clock photo was effectively used to advance information, and I really like the image of the two thugs tumbling down atop one another.

    Overall I'd have liked to see more development of both the bad guy and the protagonist, and less of the two thugs. This story had some wonderful ideas and images, and there are interesting depths in there, but it needs some more editing before it really flows smoothly.

    - o -

    My judgment is for Mythago, who combined very effective image usage with a tight story.


    ----------


    FINAL JUDGMENT: 3 out of 3 for Mythago, who will go on to the third round.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Tuesday, 27th April, 2004 at 03:09 PM.

  6. #536
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat
    I'm going to have Drose25 vs Mythago up shortly. Then I'll have NiTessine vs BardStephenFox a few hours after that (early afternoon EST), and Zhaneel vs RangerWickett up in early evening.
    Ack! Now I will feel nervous. OK, I'll deal with it.

    Umm, RangerWickett, you know a person's avatar means next to nothing here.

  7. #537
    Quote Originally Posted by BardStephenFox
    Ack! Now I will feel nervous. OK, I'll deal with it.

    Umm, RangerWickett, you know a person's avatar means next to nothing here.
    What are you talking about? Yours looks exactly like you.

  8. #538
    Quote Originally Posted by Macbeth
    What are you talking about? Yours looks exactly like you.
    But of course.

  9. #539
    Congratulations to Mythago, a very talented competitor I had no hope of besting, a fact of which I was brutally aware after that first round story. Now I can sit back and watch everyone else squirm with Piratecat's evil picture selection!

  10. #540
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    I Defended The Walls!

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    Quote Originally Posted by drose25
    a very talented competitor I had no hope of besting
    Not so!

    I loved your use of the two guys falling on top of each other, btw.

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