Spring Ceramic DMô: WINNER POSTED! - Page 55
  1. #541
    I had originally planned to do the story as a farce, hence several elements of humor remained in the piece, but my farce muse deserted me early on. I had to beat something out of the horror muse again. Honestly, I swear I almost never write horror pieces. Just something about Piratecat's pictures, I guess. They're cursed!

  2. #542
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    I Defended The Walls!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arwink
    Iíll also apologize if my comments sound a little to picky
    Warm fuzzies, however nice, don't help us improve.

    Author notes:

    1. I really wanted to start a story with "I write this with a trembling hand..."

    2. If you lived where I do right now, you, too, would hate trees.

    3. I'll try to rework Danika's entries because, sadly, I didn't think it surprising at all that she stayed with Cray after the forest fire. I saw her as young, immature and more than a little unsure of herself in the world, and it's depressingly common for insecure young women to stay in relationships when the rest of us are screaming "GET OUT! RUN!" from the real-life version of the audience. I tried to portray Cray as yanking her chain to keep her off-balance and cooperative; sweeping her off her feet and exposing her to the grown-up world, but acting as though he was disappointed she wasn't quite up to spec as a way of making her eager to please.

  3. #543
    Quote Originally Posted by mythago
    2. If you lived where I do right now, you, too, would hate trees.
    Hey now... I like those trees.

    Zhaneel

  4. #544
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    Quote Originally Posted by mythago
    Not so!

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

  5. #545
    Writing TimeWatch!
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

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    Judgment of Match 2-3: NiTessine vs. BardStephenFox.

    Maldur:

    Again both stories not fantasy. Is this a trend? And both stories feature some sort of law enforcement, while the pictures don't feature any of that.

    My vote will go to BardStephenFox, the richness of his story amazes me. Have you used this world before?

    ----------

    Arwink:

    NiTessine Ė From the Other Side

    Some elements of NiTessineís opening I liked Ė the contrast of having a group who is chosen for their competence rather than their brilliance sets up an interesting dynamic from the beginning. Other things didnít appeal to quite as much Ė the character by character listing seems a bit flat and leads us away from what was interesting about the very opening Ė why the merely competent are suddenly important enough to earn a story.

    While the story has some interesting moments in it from there on in, it doesnít ever really take off as a narrative. In many respects it feels like a fragment of a story Ė a single action sequence that is leading us into something else. NiTessine gets points for the action and the undead monkeys (Iím a sucker for an undead monkey), but I couldnít help wishing that the story was actually leading me somewhere or the characters would become a little more well rounded.

    It feels more like a write up of a gaming session than a story Ė not necessarily a bad thing, but Iím slightly more forgiving of loose narratives in a storyhour than I am in a short story. As a story, though, it leaves me slightly lost.

    BardStephenFox Ė Rojo

    BardStephenFox gives us a nice, stylish opening that leads into a very stylized story. We get some strong character motivation, an engaging world, and a series of mysterious problems that keep things from being easily resolved.

    My only complaint is that it seems to finish a little abruptly, almost as though the story ran out of time. Iíd like to see this one fleshed out a bit more, maybe given the length to run slightly longer than the competition allows, and sees where it can go. (I also have this niggling feeling that this world was based on game system, but I canít recall which one).

    Judgment

    The round goes to BardStephenFox, whose story gets the edge due to its cohesive narrative. NiTessine has some fine moments, but ultimately the lack of empathy for the characters and the lack of motivation undercut my appreciation for the action (although if it were ever a storyhour of a campaign, Iíd be on it like a shot).

    ----------

    Piratecat:

    NiTessine starts off well, with an opening paragraph that grabs you. He loses momentum with the four character descriptions, though; I would have preferred to introduce the characters as we go, slipping these descriptions into the text elsewhere, especially because distinguishing them never becomes especially important as the story continues. They don't get the chance to really distinguish themselves through dialogue, and that's a shame. I loooove snappy dialogue.

    The use of Sialia's "secrets" painting was nice because it helps launch the plot; I would have liked it to play a longer role, though. The blue jar was pretty much a throwaway picture. Likewise for the apes; why undead apes? If these had been thematically tied into the villain more tightly, the photo usage would have been stronger. On the other hand, the sorcerer-in-a-bubble was a very innovative use of the photo. I wish I could say the same for the chili peppers, but trying to get that photo used strained credibility. Overall, photo usage isn't as strong as it had been in NiTessine's last story.

    This story reads throughout much more like a game than anything else. There are some great visuals, but there's no time for character development, no unveiled revelation as to who is attacking and why, and no development of the concept of bound spirits. I think the story would be stronger if some of these disparate themes were brought together, explaining who the sorcerer was and why he was hanging out in a chaos demon/boat and summoning undead monkeys. I'd love to play in a game that ran like this, but it makes for an uneven story.

    - o -

    As in his previous story, BardStephenFox uses technology to help define the world. He starts off doing a good job of showing without telling, and the protagonist's running monologue allows BSF a handy literary technique for filling us in on what's going on while his character tries to deduct. He almost lapses into over-explanation in the third paragraph, but manages to keep it relatively balanced. Throughout the story, there's nice use of foreshadowing and reasonable logic trails, and that's always nice to read.

    Unfortunately, this story reads as unfinished. There was no climax and no real conclusion; it stops at an odd spot, and I'm guessing that BSF ran out of time. That significantly weakens the story. In addition, the momentum begins to drag in the middle. We slip into "tell" instead of "show," and the plot begins to focus on details that might be better off glossed over in the interest of reaching a stronger final scene.

    And for the photos? The hot spring monkeys work very nicely as creepy aliens. The plastic ball/energy shield is a nice image that isn't really resolved by the story taking place around it. The examination of the blue bowl nicely advances the plot, and so is worthy of illustration. Not so with the chili peppers; relevant drug or not, the illustration of the flashback seems somewhat forced, and likewise Sialia's painting is entirely a throwaway reference.

    This is a story that needs tuning and editing. It's fundamentally quite strong and takes place in a fascinating world, but the pacing needs some adjustment. This aside, it's worth mentioning that it's nice reading about a strong, smart heroine.

    - o -

    My judgment is for BardStephenFox. Regardless of how I feel about the ending, the richness of the world and the rigorous nature of the investigation made the story a delight to read.


    ----------


    FINAL JUDGMENT: 3 out of 3 for BardStephenFox, who will go on to the third round.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Tuesday, 27th April, 2004 at 07:00 PM.

  6. #546
    Okay... 2 out of 3 posted.

    Must... remember... to... breathe...

    Zhaneel

    * post roll count doesn't match database

  7. #547
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    As was heavily pegged, I really ran out of time with my story. I tried to read back over it the other day and couldn't because of all the detail that I lost in my typing. Sialia's pic did come across as a throwaway and that bothers me a bit. The Chili field also bothered me because I couldn't cram the significance in that I wanted to.

    I am a bit surprised that nobody seemed to pick up on the fact that it is based in the Star Frontiers universe. Star Frontiers was a present from my parents after I started playing D&D. I always liked the flavor because it wasn't Star Wars or Star Trek. And it was fun to play. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what to do with the monkeys. I kept trying to craft a story around a modern day fantasy motif with Red Dragon crime lords hording red chili. It just was not working. Then I thought, hey, in Star Frontiers the slang nickname for the Yazarians was monkeys, what if I go that route?

    I won't say the story fell together at that point, but it did give me a point of reference to build from. This set of pics was dang tough for me.

  8. #548

    Fun Read!

    I've been waiting a long time to tell NiTessine that the undead monkeys were great and made me laugh, and I thought the chaos beast turning into a chili field was really fun! I enjoyed the story.

    Congrats to BSF and MacBeth for making the semi-finals! Hooray! And BSF finally made salsa last night

  9. #549
    How are we doing matchups for the next round? So far we have myself, Mythago, and BSF, how are we being paired up? Any chance of me and BSF facing off? When do we start scheduling the next round? My schedule gets kind of crazy with a huge work project and then final exams, so the soooner we start looking for a good time, the better.

    And congrats, BSF. I knew your story was rushed (you were still writing when I arrived for the game Friday night), but you still seem to have done a fine job. I'll make a point of reading it. That and your first round entry. Way too much reading to do...

  10. #550
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    Well, we will have Zhaneel & RangerWickett posted tonight, so we should know soon. Wow, we both made it to the semi-finals. Now, I have been under the impression that Zhaneel and Mythago game together. Macbeth and I do game together. Depending on how the matchups turn out, it might be an interesting round.

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