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Home Game/Killing Floor - Week 28

Because of events, I'm not sure who actually noticed this last week. But with how close the poll has been lately, this could be something that is extremely useful in the coming weeks - so I will cut and paste what I said last week:

Yes, you read that correctly.

The Home Game and Killing Floor have merged - with a twist! :)

If you are NOT a current contestant, but want to write something and link it at Idol, this is the place to come. That's the Home Game element. It's a chance to still have your writing out there, as a part of this place. If you *are* a current contestant, but feel like writing something extra - this is also the place to come!

The Killing Floor is where people go to receive constructive advice on their pieces. So, if you post something here, people are expected to do more than just a "Good job", and instead actually give you something that you can use to make the entry even better.

Mixing them is a move, but I wanted to make a *big* move, so here it is:


That's right. It's not just submitting entries or giving feedback on entries - there's actually *influence over the game* on the line here. :)


So submit your Home Game entry here - for feedback! :)


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2014 07:22 pm (UTC)
Nov. 17th, 2014 08:33 pm (UTC)
I love myths, so I was intrigued by this piece. My main advice would be to focus in more tightly more quickly. In other words, the Source Crystal is the true purpose of this myth and therefore needs to be hinted at earlier. I could be wrong, but I think the biblical creation story is only a few sentences of the gigantic, universal picture before it begins to take up the story of Adam and Eve.
Nov. 18th, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, a lot of the Gods stuff is me trying to figure things out on "paper." It could stand a good trimming. Thanks for the concrit!
Nov. 17th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC)
Your first paragraph could use some commas, or some other way to break those sentences up. They're all fairly similar structures, with "while", "and" and "so".

Similarly, your second paragraph has "The Earth God then..." and "The Water God then...".

I love this sentence: "The God of Light separated the light from the darkness, bringing the sun back to its place in the sky, renewing the order of sunrise and sunset, day and night. " but I'm not sure why the god of fire is moving air around. I understand that there are temperatures involved, but it seems to be blurring the roles, since you mention air in the next paragraph. Maybe fire can make some volcanoes?

"The God of Air wrested control of the winds from Chaos sent them to mix the cold polar air with the warm equatorial air" needs an "and".

"The peoples who survived the Cataclysm" - were there multiple types of people before the Cataclysm?

I agree with alycewilson, that this is weighted a little too heavy on the early exposition. It'd be good to see more detail about the crystal, and the mage. I'd like to see more!

Nov. 18th, 2014 10:47 pm (UTC)
Blame the repetition on me trying to write at work. (Bad employee! Bad!)

I think I'm going to revise the Gods rebuilding the world section into some judicious handwaving. One shouldn't explain the works of the Gods. *looks pious* On rereading, I think the Crystal itself could do some of the work itself, since this is really its show. Thanks for the concrit!
Nov. 18th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
This is nifty. Your instincts in the note at the end are right, if you want high bombast examples go to the King James bible; the NSRV is translated to be readable so most of that gets lost (says the girl who owns too many bibles).

I don’t think there’s too much about the Elemental Gods in the beginning but look at how you break that information up into sentences and paragraphs, and what order you put them in. It feels a bit choppy now and I think you could find a better flow (maybe earth, water, air to start since they inter-relate?) I do think fire needs a more distinct job.

This distillation glowed like Light, burned like Fire, flowed like Water, permeated all things like Air, and formed itself into a stone like Earth.

I loved this description, and could visualize all of the elements coming together.

I want to know more about the mages – and why anyone would even attempt to merge with the crystal if it occasionally destroys people not strong enough for it. But that’s the next story.
Nov. 18th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
I figured out today that Fire's going to be the death/war/warrior god. So that gives me some groundwork to figure out what Fire needs to do.

I want to know more about the mages – and why anyone would even attempt to merge with the crystal if it occasionally destroys people not strong enough for it. But that’s the next story.
I'm curious about that myself. That's part of Thistle's story--why would she do this if it might possibly destroy her? (Because I am the Writer and I know she lives. It's good to make up your own endings. :D)

Thanks for the concrit! (And I liked that description of the Source, too.)
Nov. 18th, 2014 11:49 pm (UTC)
I can definitely see the biblical influence here. I think it might already be pretty close to what you want, depending on how you want to use it. I have to admit; when a fantasy novel starts with an excerpt like that, I generally skim it or skip it, even for beloved authors. I figure that if it becomes relevant, I will circle back and read it then. But if you're going to work this into a story, perhaps in bite sized chunks, it may already be where you want to take it. It certainly has a grandiose and arcane feel to it, while also getting a myth across.
Nov. 19th, 2014 01:35 am (UTC)
When I read a fantasy novel that starts with a grand epic mythology tale, I have to check the cover to see if I'm reading David Eddings again.* I wrote this story mainly to get a feel for the world and how it works. If I do use it it will most likely be in bits in pieces. It's kind of fun to (attempt to) write in High Forsooth, though.

*Note: I love David Eddings. Except his last series, which sucked.
Nov. 19th, 2014 07:54 pm (UTC)
I can tell this is an early draft, but it does seem like there is a whole lot of "telling" and not much "showing" or action. It's rather simplistic, and I think it would be better to just get into the meat of the tale; I don't think the reader needs much of the first few paragraphs, to be honest, they just need to know that there was a Cataclysm.

I really like this line: This distillation glowed like Light, burned like Fire, flowed like Water, permeated all things like Air, and formed itself into a stone like Earth. The Gods named this essence “magic”

I also like the way you describe the Elves and the Humans, and what forces they were made from.

I guess what I'm saying is I would like this told more from a person's standpoint rather a "and this is how we got weather" point of view. :)
Nov. 19th, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
I think if ever use this in anything it will be in the context of a bardic tale or something like it. It does need a lot of condensation, though. A lot.

Thanks for the concrit!
Nov. 18th, 2014 11:59 pm (UTC)
I really like this take on the prompt! Length and pacing were great, too.

I would consider removing or reworking this sentence: I realized I was twisting myself into knots to be someone I wasn’t for these girls who I didn’t even like so much. In some ways, it is the heart of the story, but you are already showing that the protagonist knows that by having her step back from the cool kids and enjoy the merry go round. I think it might be a more powerful piece if you let the readers feel like they figure out that conclusion for themselves instead of stating it.

You make me want to write about my own merry go round experiences!

I also like the way that your structure with the asterisks kind-of imitates the spokes on a merry go round, but you might consider playing with it a little to achieve something with a bit more whitespace. I myself may not always make the best decisions on this kind of thing, though. There is also value in keeping it from being so long that people have to scroll- so that's just a thought.

I really liked this piece!
Nov. 19th, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you! When I was thinking on this topic I went through orbits, and crack-the-whip, and then remembered the merry-go-round from grade school and knew I had to use it somehow.

You're absolutely right, that sentence can probably just go. I cut another in one of the merry-go-round sections about how it was more dangerous closer to the center for being too on the nose, but missed this one.

I write in word and then cut and paste to LJ, one of the things it always does is collapse all the white space. Ordinarily I go put it all back in, but with the asterisks still acting as paragraph breaks this week I left it; it was less a choice and more expediency. Hey anyone else coming through to comment - what did you think of the white space? I'm curious to see if there is a standard preference or not.
Nov. 19th, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
I view entries in my own LJ design, so I saw it like this:


It was alright because the paragraphs were not very long, so adding extra lines would've been slightly better, yet not crucial.
Nov. 19th, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I always forget that a lot of people read in their own format, so I should err on the side of caution when it comes to formatting.
Nov. 19th, 2014 05:31 am (UTC)
I really liked this piece! My only comment is exactly the same as tonithegreat's - "I realized I was twisting myself into knots to be someone I wasn’t for these girls who I didn’t even like so much." would benefit from, at the very least, a comma.

Edited at 2014-11-19 05:33 am (UTC)
Nov. 19th, 2014 04:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that sentence can absolutely use some help, or possibly just get cut. This is why editors are magic, I didn't particularly notice until it was called out, but once it was - ooh that sentence is clunky.

Nov. 19th, 2014 04:10 pm (UTC)
It was an interesting read, and a good idea to include the image of the merry-go-round: we do not have them quite like this here.

Every time someone tells school stories like this I wonder where I was at the same age and how all this tug-of-war politics passed me by unnoticed. I was aware of all the little cliques and friends groups of course, but being friends with popular kinds never mattered to me so much as to actively seek it.

So. I like the structure of the piece and how describing the merry-go-round is interspersed with your interactions with Charmaine (is her name read the French way, starting with the [sh] sound?). Especially because it offsets your relationship as a kind of whirlwind.

However, the way you mention your realization is too abrupt. It might have been better to add an episode or two to show how it came about, the same way you start with showing us how you gradually came to be part of her group of friends.

Also, a typo:
everyone who could found a handhold (find)
Nov. 19th, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I realized I had better go find a picture, both to have a visual something in front of me as I was writing description and because I think those merry-go-rounds were rare by the time I got to school for safety reasons, so most folks would have no idea what I was talking about.

Mostly I managed to stay out of kid politics. Charmaine (yes with a {sh}, how she came by that name in WI is a mystery) was the coolest of the girls though, so when she started talking to me it sucked me right in.

I think you're right that the realization is too quick. In another pass I would need to make it less on the nose (see the sentence others have called out) and probably stretch it out into at least one more episode.

Thanks for the crit! I'm enjoying this killing room take on the home game, I feel like I'm going to come out the other side a stronger writer.
Nov. 19th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC)
This was a sweet entry, and I like the way you go back and forth between the main characters and the playground. I've not seen that specific type of merry-go-round before, but the picture was very helpful.

I also agree about the clunkiness of the sentence that everyone else has pointed out. It wouldn't take much to de-clunk it:

Instead of:
I realized I was twisting myself into knots to be someone I wasn’t for these girls who I didn’t even like so much.

How about:
I realized I was twisting myself into knots for girls I didn't even like very much.
Nov. 19th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and I'm glad the back and forth worked for you, I was a little nervous about it. The merry-go-round was the best thing, most of the school was heartbroken when we came back from summer vacation and it was gone.

That is a nice polish of that thought, thank you. I just tried to cram one too many things into one sentence I think, and since it fit my thought process didn't notice the clunk. This is what I get for not reading it out loud, no guarantees I would have found it that way, but much more likely.
Nov. 18th, 2014 08:42 pm (UTC)
My Home Game Entry...
Nov. 19th, 2014 12:19 am (UTC)
Re: My Home Game Entry...
You have a lot going on in that entry! A whole lot of cleverness. I love the title. I love the Oscar quote at the end. And it's an interesting story, even if you hadn't gone back in and dramatized it, so to speak, which was also a really nice touch. When I was reading, I got to the break after the first non-italic section and thought, "Hmm, I'm going to recommend expanding this just a little bit. . . But I was only halfway through!

I think this was a sweet entry. But I would recommend paring it down a little. The length in words isn't a problem, because you keep me wanting to read. But it is dense! I fear it might be head-spinningly so. I think it might benefit a little bit from being slightly less breathless feeling, if that makes sense. I'm channelling Paul Simon's staccato signals of constant information here and I want to savor some of these more.

Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable read!
Nov. 19th, 2014 05:05 am (UTC)
I wasn't expecting a "Killing Floor" concrit on my Home Game entry. Not a complaint, just saying I was truly surprised.

I tend to be verbose in my writing, but your particular criticism will require some thought; I'll need to figure out how to make the work "less dense" without making it too verbose.

Again, your concrit is a pleasant surprise and *DEEPLY* appreciated!
Nov. 19th, 2014 03:01 pm (UTC)
Re: My Home Game Entry...
Hmm, while I see where you come from, I do not think that the denseness is a detriment, because the story is not long enough for the tenseness to become tiresome.
Nov. 20th, 2014 01:33 am (UTC)
Re: My Home Game Entry...
I can see it that way, too, to be honest. I was pretty tired when I read and critiqued last night, and that might have unduly colored my opinion.
Nov. 19th, 2014 02:57 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed your entry and the dramatization of historical events.

Also, I have always wondered at the media hype surrounding loud crimes. While what Croesus decreed did not work because it was too extreme, and therefore understandable made someone "dare", it seems reasonable to mention the names of the criminals as little as possible and to make them known as little as possible, at least in the famous way. Because who would like to be known as "his is a murder, like a million murderers before him, what does it matter how he murdered, he did".

I have no concrit to offer, only one little thing that I am not even sure is a mistake:
We tell ourselves otherwise, but deep down we all know the truth: That death is the complete cessation of existance.
Why did you start "that" with a capital letter? Is there a definite rule that allows for this? Because if you meant to put in relief the second part of the phrase, I think the colon does it already.
Nov. 19th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
Re: My Home Game Entry...
Welcome to the funky combo HG/KR! I'm so glad you're still writing!

I really like the angle on this topic you took; the sad reality that the criminals are often more remembered than the victims and that it might be why they do it. I hadn't heard this particular story before and it's oh so sad, but a perfect illustration of the topic.

I think you cut in and out of italics at the perfect time, condensing the trial was very smart. For my taste, the last bit in italics could have included a little less in the way of Bold and Capital letters, but it made me laugh, and the information in it brought the story full circle.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )


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