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Home Game/Killing Floor - Week 29

Welcome to the Home Game/Killing Floor.

This is the thread to post your entries if you are not a current contestant. That's the "Home Game" element.

The Killing Floor is where other people come in and often constructive criticism on your piece, to give you the feedback to help make it even better.

Hopefully, combining them will give folks more incentive to take part.

However, if that's not enough - there is one more twist. Anyone posting two (or more) pieces of constructive criticism in this thread (or one entry and a piece of constructive criticism for someone else) is eligible to CAST A VOTE TO DETERMINE WHO RECEIVES IMMUNITY IN THIS WEEK'S POLL.

Which, as you know, can be huge.

The topic this week is "Gauntlet". Although really Home Game entries can be anything you want folks to look at! :)

The deadline to be eligible to cast a vote is one hour before the poll closes. Just send me an email with your Top 4 choices.

In the meantime - get to writing, and commenting!


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2014 03:56 pm (UTC)
*clears throat*
I bring y'all this humble offering, because I was looking through my incomplete stuff/short stories and found it: http://theun4givables.livejournal.com/166010.html

I actually kind of forgot that this piece existed, so I'm really curious as to what a wider audience than my flist thinks. Any and all criticism is welcome -- especially crit on the "voice." Though I'm already painfully aware that there is no voice. xD
Nov. 21st, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
Re: *clears throat*
It's a little wordy - especially, all the body language and these descriptions of them moving around in their seats. (Maybe I'm just allergic to this in particular because I used to do a lot of screenwriting where you don't do that unless it's completely unavoidable, but I feel that in the written form when you describe body language it becomes amplified and before long I was sort of picturing them rolling their eyes back in their heads and tossing their bodies around the car. It just seemed very artificial. Especially, you waste a lot of time with these stage directions - why is it significant that this guy is making sure not to light a cigarette too near the pumps? Everybody does that, it's not so interesting or important that you need a whole sentence for it. "I walked away from the pumps, lighting a cigarette" ... you know, that sort of thing, it would be better here.) The opening is also a little weird - your narrator either knows exactly what he's doing with his hands, enough to attach an adverb to it, or he's just guessing that he's biting his nails.

"Had gotten her" is a little weird. "How one of those bastards got her" is more natural.

Re: *clears throat* - theun4givables - Nov. 21st, 2014 04:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 21st, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC)
Re: *clears throat*
I like the tension you set up: both choices, stopping or not, are dangerous and both have risks. You convey the characters exhaustion well too, but somehow the exhaustion and the tension work against each other for me and came out a little bland.
They mention nothing being in the news, and that is a great way to end this, but I really wanted something about the radio (maybe just because I listen to the local news station in the car a lot).
I think this needs more words to really work, the brothers are sketched in nicely but it's only a sketch and so it didn't get under my skin the way your stuff so frequently does. I was left thinking their biggest danger is each other, which I don't think you were going for (and may reflect the post-apocalyptic stuff I'm currently reading).
Also, yay for someone coming back and using the killing floor part of this space!
Re: *clears throat* - theun4givables - Nov. 21st, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: *clears throat* - kehlen - Nov. 26th, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 24th, 2014 04:41 am (UTC)
Re: *clears throat*
Oh, it was so sad to go back and read the prompt after finishing the story! I hope it is the last gas station for reasons other than our POV brothers never needing any gas again because they've gone to the great big gas station in the sky.

It definitely reeled me in once I really had a chance to sit down and start reading. I feel like you picked up steam after the beginning and it got tighter. The bits of characterization towards the end like the younger brother not really smoking were nicely done.

The murmuring and muttering descriptions of the first few bits of dialog threw me off ever so slightly. Why are they hushed? Are they just muted because of tiredness and desperation? They can't be hiding from someone else in the car going down the road, can they?

Also Jake's supposition that Jason is thinking about Sheila again is a nice touch, but he does veer into cliche territory when he laments that those bastard got her.

You do a really nice job walking the line of giving enough detail of the others to be scary in a non-cliche' way, but enough to leave the reader wanting to know more. It is very eerie that they get gas next to someone and pay with a card, but don't talk to her.

The pacing is nice with the paragraph breaks, too, I think. I'd say that part of your voice is pretty neatly developed.

This was cool. Glad you shared it.

Now back to banging my head against the wall of what to write for "gauntlet." Blech.
Re: *clears throat* - theun4givables - Nov. 24th, 2014 11:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 25th, 2014 04:20 am (UTC)
Re: *clears throat*
What's precarious about his fingers in front of his lips?

“And how one of those -- those bastards had gotten her.”

Could be simplified to “And how one of those -- those bastards got her.”

"before making it back towards our car" might be a regional construction, but "making it" reads weirdly to me.

This is such a great piece, though. Pulled me in to it.
Re: *clears throat* - theun4givables - Nov. 25th, 2014 11:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 26th, 2014 03:58 pm (UTC)
Re: *clears throat*
I added to beeker's comment in case you are not tracking this thread.

In general, it is nice and an interesting premise, but sort of empty as a standalone? Because nothing much is happening besides them returning back to the gas station. The tension between them is there but does not go anywhere, their situation does not become clearer, they do not interact with the woman at the station.

So either something should have happened, or it should have been even more tense.
Re: *clears throat* - theun4givables - Nov. 26th, 2014 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: *clears throat* - alycewilson - Nov. 28th, 2014 02:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: *clears throat* - theun4givables - Nov. 28th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 23rd, 2014 04:55 am (UTC)
here's a passage from my NaNoWriMo in progress:
Nov. 23rd, 2014 04:16 pm (UTC)
Not knowing who your characters are straight away, I'll admit I was a little taken aback when I realized Athena was a grown woman, dealing with these issues with her parents and relying on her uncle for guidance. She reads as much younger and less sure of herself, like one ight expect a lawyer to be.

A lot of the dialogue reads well. There are points where it feels clunky and overdone -- like when Athena tells Uncle Cy that he's "the only one who can make her giggle like this." I think a lot of your direction (glances, giggles, etc) do a great deal of showing, but you have a lot of "telling" present, too.

Structurally, you can tell that this piece was very much written on the fly, by the seat of your pants. :) It's not necessarily a bad thing, but cleaning it up a little will help with readability, too. The occasional missed capitalization probably only bothers the grammar nazis amongst us, anyway. =p

Oh, and this in particular bothered me: The proud smile shows up in his voice, even (when she can’t see his face) with her not looking at him.

You can just totally drop the stuff in parentheses. After NaNoWriMo is over, of course. :) Because if she's not looking at him, of course she can't see his face! And little asides in parentheses in dialogue, like "blah blah blah (He grins.) blah blah," are also tricky. If there's an actual pause in his speech there, close the quotes and just write, "He grins," as a sentence by itself. :) It'll read better, that way.

All in all, though, these characters felt real and close. A little too close, almost, but I don't know what their relationship is beyond this piece here. And with the stuff I've been writing lately, I might be projecting, just a little! xD
(no subject) - labelleizzy - Nov. 23rd, 2014 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theun4givables - Nov. 23rd, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jexia - Nov. 25th, 2014 04:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tonithegreat - Nov. 26th, 2014 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Nov. 28th, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 1st, 2014 03:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 25th, 2014 10:08 pm (UTC)
This doesn't really count as a Home Game...
... but this seemed to be the best place to put this:

Tongue-Tied and Twisted.
Nov. 26th, 2014 09:02 am (UTC)
Re: This doesn't really count as a Home Game...
("leap of the page" should be "off")

Totally understand where you are coming from.
Nov. 26th, 2014 12:40 am (UTC)
Nov. 26th, 2014 09:05 am (UTC)
Re: Gauntlet
"were the goal is to" should be "where"

I have heard about Hell Week. I am expecting it to be hard, given that I have just started back at work, but none of my other commitments have gone away!

This post actually gave me a bunch to think about. Thank you. I am sort of flip-flopping between being "done" with Idol (see: going back to work and other commitments) and being fiercely competitive and self-loathing of anything other than perfection.
Re: Gauntlet - kehlen - Dec. 8th, 2014 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 27th, 2014 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: Gauntlet
I think those are all great ways to think about things.

that I myself is one of the major roadblocks

Should be "that I myself am one of the major"
Re: Gauntlet - kehlen - Dec. 8th, 2014 11:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 28th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Gauntlet
I think it's a great idea to challenge yourself to continue to write pieces for the Home Game. There are a couple seasons where I did that, mostly because I got so many great ideas that way. I'm not sure why you apologized for possible offense to other LJ Idol contestants; I was bracing myself for veiled slights that never came!
Dec. 1st, 2014 03:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Gauntlet
I like that you wrote this out and solidified what Idol (and home gaming) means for you and your writing.

A few minor tweaks:
...and the horror of schoolroom horrors, --personally, I would avoid the repetition of the word horror/horrors, and change one or the other to something different, such as "and the terror of schoolroom horrors," or something like that. When I have trouble coming up with words, I go to Dictionary.com and choose the thesaurus option. It's amazing how much that can help!
...for demonstrating loudly and clearly that I myself is one of the major roadblocks in my way. --this should be "am one of the major roadblocks..."
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )


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