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Home Game/Killing Floor - Week 30

If you've already read the Topic post http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/811500.html, you know what to do here. :)

***

For those *not currently a contestant in the competition* who want to participate though, you can post anything you like. :) A previously written piece, or one based on the topic "Critical Hit"!

The deadline is the same as the topic Monday, Dec 8th at 8pm EST

Have fun!

Comments

( 184 comments — Leave a comment )
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gratefuladdict
Dec. 3rd, 2014 04:23 am (UTC)
Here was my entry for The Cupertino Effect.

Please and thank you! :)
theun4givables
Dec. 3rd, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
I loved this piece the first time, and love it the second time around, too.

I always wondered if the Second Person POV was the best choice (and I always wonder this, even with my own stuff) -- it's such a underutilized POV, and you use it well, here.

Another thing I wonder about is the explanation of the ability to Shift -- where it came from and all that. While definitely a fascinating piece of information, the story might be better served without a large chunk of the background info. We don't even need to know that Reading an animal for the first time results in its death -- you've shown that in the first section.

And even then, that background info is still told in such a compelling way, it doesn't detract from the story. It just might be tighter without it.
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Dec. 8th, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bleodswean - Dec. 3rd, 2014 11:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - bleodswean - Dec. 8th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Dec. 4th, 2014 12:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Dec. 8th, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - anyonesghost - Dec. 4th, 2014 09:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Dec. 8th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 5th, 2014 04:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Dec. 8th, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
witches
Dec. 3rd, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
this was my entry for week 25;
http://witches.livejournal.com/135843.html

thanks in advance!
theun4givables
Dec. 3rd, 2014 09:50 pm (UTC)
The one thing that sticks out to me about this piece is that we start it in the mermaid's POV and then it shifts to sailor. It's not necessarily a rough shift; it's easy enough to follow, but it is a little jarring -- especially upon rereading. I would love to either keep it all in the sailor's POV, or stay in the mermaid's -- but that's also a personal preference. :)

I love that the mermaids are likened to sharks; it gives a much more eerie feel to the sailor's inevitable death as they drag him down into the deep. I wonder if you could allude to this comparison earlier on? Like by describing her tail or something as more sharklike than your average fish. :)
(no subject) - bleodswean - Dec. 3rd, 2014 11:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Dec. 4th, 2014 12:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 5th, 2014 06:31 am (UTC) - Expand
swirlsofblue
Dec. 3rd, 2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
theun4givables
Dec. 3rd, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
I'll admit, this was one of the weeks where I found it difficult to read, so I'm reading this piece for the first time.

The movement from section to section is well done. I am intrigued by the world you set up -- where people are allowed to "declare" their professions, and whether those declarations are accepted or not. I like that she's allowed to keep her coveted position as writer.

I love, love, love the end, where her purpose within her government is revealed. Christ, that has to hit hard.

Things I'd focus on in terms of crit is just tightening the prose and the sections some. I don't know if the second declaration is necessary, for example. You could skip straight to the years passing by and her work growing more and more popular amongst the people. I do like that she gains a greater sense of her own purpose as how SHE'D define it in these sections, as well. It makes that final reveal hit that much harder. :)
(no subject) - swirlsofblue - Dec. 11th, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - anyonesghost - Dec. 4th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 6th, 2014 05:54 am (UTC) - Expand
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sorchawench
Dec. 3rd, 2014 09:57 pm (UTC)
Here's my entry for Week 16: A Terrible Beauty Has Been Born

Thanks so much!
theun4givables
Dec. 3rd, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
Man, I'm sad I missed this piece the first time. (Moving made reading entries difficult.)

I love the dialogue in this. It's interesting, seeing a Devil who is just about as all-knowing as God Himself. I like that he was buttdialed -- I like that he CAME to the "rescue." I love the implication of a FWB type of thing.

My biggest thing is that I want to know WHY the girl needs the Devil to come to her rescue -- and why so often? What is she doing with her life that she needs the Devil to rescue her and come in and "clean up the mess," as he put it? I would have loved details interspersed throughout the story; hints towards what was really happening.

Though the fact that the Devil put his name in the speed dial -- that he COULD be buttdialed, in the first place? Priceless. :)
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Dec. 5th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 6th, 2014 06:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tonithegreat - Dec. 12th, 2014 02:34 am (UTC) - Expand
theun4givables
Dec. 4th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
My entry for Scare Quotes.

Thanks. :)
bleodswean
Dec. 4th, 2014 05:15 pm (UTC)
This is a fast-paced part of something larger. :)

You keep the pace up and that keeps the piece moving along quickly.

Without knowing if you want to see this as a complete piece of writing it's a bit difficult to "critique" it. Can something be too descriptive? Occasionally.

On a sentence level edit you might find some descriptors that could be removed entirely or massaged. In the very first sentence, "single shoulder" could be edited to "shoulder" for example. Sometimes, in an attempt to clearly paint a visual picture we can get bogged down with detail that isn't necessary but if included then brings expectation for every move, colour, smell, sound to be identified and that becomes exhausting.

On a more thematic level, the idea of a "natural born" liberation and elimination issue is intriguing. For me, that's more of the focus than the fact that he's ginger.
(no subject) - theun4givables - Dec. 4th, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - n3m3sis43 - Dec. 5th, 2014 04:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Dec. 5th, 2014 01:43 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - theun4givables - Dec. 10th, 2014 11:23 am (UTC) - Expand
roina_arwen
Dec. 5th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
Since we were allowed to edit our old pieces, I touched up my Week 2 entry for The Missing Stair. I linked the original entry (for comparison if desired) at the top of the new entry.

(The original entry was a paltry 670 words; the rewrite is about 900 words). Thanks!
kickthehobbit
Dec. 5th, 2014 07:14 am (UTC)
Whoa, this is quite a throwback! Week 2—way to bring it, Ro! ;)

I like this, actually, quite a bit—the setup is cute, even if occasionally the puns are a little over the top (I think where I lost it was when he "dogged" her steps :P ), and while you're trying to straddle the description of a human male that also fits a dog, it doesn't always quite make it. Those are things that could be easily polished away—more careful word-choice, or deciding to use different descriptors, thinking about how you would describe a person versus a dog and what works for one, um, species but not the other. I honestly think that those things are things that were passed over in the first draft mostly because this is something for Idol and, well, you don't get a lot of time to polish—you've added some to it now, but there's still subtle things that could use improvement. Looking for a wedding-ring, for instance, on the dog's paw—that doesn't quite work, and it's a detail I'd think about leaving out, or changing somehow. You'd look for a wedding-band on a man, a collar on a dog—so you need to be coy about it. "I didn't see anything that marked him as belonging to another", maybe, or something that makes it clear—she's not preying on a married man (or an owned dog), but doesn't make it clear that it's not someone human she's talking about. That's the only real issue I have with the piece and something that I think could potentially improve it. :)
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 5th, 2014 01:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Dec. 5th, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lrig_rorrim - Dec. 8th, 2014 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
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n3m3sis43
Dec. 5th, 2014 04:39 am (UTC)
Sure, why not? I have an idea for the topic as well, but this is a piece I'm thinking about either fleshing out later (or writing more in this world, anyway) or trying to make into a submittable (that's not a word, apparently) short thing, so.

This was my week 1 entry from LCI (yes, I have quit THREE TIMES this season):
http://n3m3sis43.livejournal.com/115155.html

Be brutal. I enjoyed writing this piece and was more satisfied with it than most of my Idol offerings this season, but it's not one of my babies and I won't cry if you hit me too hard. xD

Edited at 2014-12-05 04:41 am (UTC)
kickthehobbit
Dec. 5th, 2014 07:51 am (UTC)
This is one of my favorite things you've turned out this season, even if it was for Last-Chance Idol. (:P )

As a piece of flash fiction this is pretty great as-is. There's always the usual complaint of "this could be tighter if..." with respect to word-choice and whatnot, but the pacing is good, as are your descriptions, the plot is tight, and while we don't get a ton of worldbuilding, we don't really need it, either—this isn't about the thoughts/feelings of the plant; we don't need to know its motivations beyond that it wants to feed—we're fine, there.

It's the scene where they come into the garden where things fall apart a bit, at least for me. Specifically, while I'm all for the idea of Audrey II eating these guys, that she would leave another just sitting off to the side makes me raise an eyebrow. The motivations for that aren't quite clear—we get a one-off sentence about how she's going to "leave it for the wildflowers", and that's it—but she knows that something is different about this one, and since she is an apex predator, I'm wondering why she doesn't hit different = dangerous. I'm curious, then, as to why she lets her guard down and tries to extend friendship toward him. There's a disconnect, there—is she lonely, or...? That's what we really need to know the sell the end of this: why would she suddenly decide to trust what is essentially a prey animal behaving weirdly? She notes that it hasn't tried to flee—a bad sign—and she decides to extend friendship toward it anyway? It doesn't quite it. I'd argue that there needs to be something more, there—if she decides that she's going to "charm" it into staying, we need to see that; if it's that she's a bit lonely and wants to toy with it before the wildflowers eat it (as I'm assuming that's what she meant by giving it to them), we need to see that, too. The piece before that point is really tight—so, give us those motivation—slot that last bit of the puzzle into place so that we can see more clearly what's going on.
(no subject) - theun4givables - Dec. 5th, 2014 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cheshire23 - Dec. 8th, 2014 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
i_17bingo
Dec. 5th, 2014 06:32 am (UTC)
My favorite OC is Edie Beran, Private Eye, and I'd really like to get her published. So here's Week 4: "Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent", also known as "Boundless Restraint."
kickthehobbit
Dec. 5th, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC)
The characterization in this is great, and you've really nailed the noir voice—on that front, it's working excellently, and Mike Resnik would be proud. ;) Additionally, the plot is really compelling—what we get of it, anyway—the supernatural is worked in pretty well, without being over-the-top.

I think my biggest complaint about this would have to be that it is very, very dialog heavy. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's very short, and clearly the end of something else—the final dialog, with the villain twirling his mustache and going, "aha!" could be good—I'm just not sure that I'm sold on it working here. This feels like the end to a much longer piece, and because we're not getting the context that we need to make the plot and whatnot work on their own, most of our exposition is coming through dialog.

My suggestion, then, would be to lengthen it just a bit. You're under a thousand words right now—that's fairly short! You have room to work with! Give us more of the story, before we get to the very end of things, so that we see the action unfold, versus being told about it through the dialog. Right now it's more "screenplay" than "short story", and I'd love to see that flipped.
(no subject) - theun4givables - Dec. 6th, 2014 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bleodswean - Dec. 7th, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
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kickthehobbit
Dec. 5th, 2014 07:36 am (UTC)
I had to think about it for a few days, but. Yes.

I also welcome commentary through e-mail or PM.

Thanks. :D
roina_arwen
Dec. 7th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC)
I still love this story and the inscrutable Fey. The only item I want to know more about is this, as you mention it at least twice:

“I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.”

I'm curious as to where she was or what she was doing when she met the Fey, but otherwise I can't think of anything else to comment on.
(no subject) - kickthehobbit - Dec. 7th, 2014 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Dec. 9th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
icaruslived
Dec. 5th, 2014 08:31 am (UTC)
Hey yall.

Because I feel like being somewhat ... obtuse, I'm going to link this thing.

I'd appreciate any and all feedback that can be provided :)
kickthehobbit
Dec. 5th, 2014 07:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, lord, Sohum. You know how I feel about this already. :P Let's take a swing at it anyway, and I'll be glad you didn't submit it to my workshop. (;P )

I'm not really sure what you're looking for, in terms of feedback, about this. As a piece of IF it works very well. The different choices are very clever; it's difficult to find fault in any of the things that you have written as scenarios.

The only suggestions I might make are more specific to writing a story than they are to IF, and honestly, I'm not sure that they're changes that necessarily need to be made at all. Specifically: there isn't a lot of characterization of the different sinners. They all bleed together after a certain point, and while it's fine here, it does make things fall a little flat, and it can be hard to distinguish one set of characters from another, one set of sinners from another set.

Additionally, we get a lot of telling-not-showing—but, again, it works, at least for this. There's a lot of exposition to be crammed into a very small space—there's not really a lot that you can do to avoid that trap, unless you want to make the pieces of the game longer (and I don't think that you necessarily do).

Ultimately, I think it works. What I've listed above are things to keep in mind if you tackle a project like this again, but I don't think they're necessarily things that you have to worry about fixing here.
anyonesghost
Dec. 6th, 2014 04:41 am (UTC)
My Week 22 entry: Nothing Left To Burn.
sobota
Dec. 6th, 2014 10:49 pm (UTC)
A redemption piece I did, for the topic "“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time”".

there's a light on, in chicago, and i know i should be home
lrig_rorrim
Dec. 8th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
This is really beautiful - there's a sense of motion and restlessness here that comes through loud and clear in your choice of language. I also realllllly like how the different slices of time tell a story - it's disjointed and a little dreamy and vague, but there's a definite sense of progress and change and connection here. Coming full circle back to running in Vegas, but shifting the time to 5 am is a nice, neat narrative trick.

I think the main way this piece could be strengthened is just for there to be more of it. I'd like to get even more of a sense of the narrator, and the choices that led to these different 4 am situations. Expand each section a little and let them breathe - give us more than a sentence or two in each space.

That very first shift, from Vegas to London, was kind of jarring for me. I don't think there's much you can do to ease that transition in that paragraph, because you've got that lovely repetitive structure that's just getting established there, but maybe a little something at the end of the first paragraph would make it flow better? You might want to consider a simple formatting trick, actually - put a little separator between each section, so the reader knows something totally different is happening next. *** or ~~~ or whatever.
(no subject) - roina_arwen - Dec. 8th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
watching_ships
Dec. 7th, 2014 01:03 am (UTC)
My piece from Week 19 - Kindling
roina_arwen
Dec. 8th, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
I'm still very impressed by this, the way the creepiness just sneaks up on you. I can't think of anything else to add!
(no subject) - watching_ships - Dec. 11th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
jexia
Dec. 7th, 2014 10:25 am (UTC)
Chekov's gun: http://jexia.livejournal.com/1316597.html

...this is actually my third favourite, as my favourite-favourite has been bought and published elsewhere, and my second favourite is under review and can't be public.

Sorry :/

Edited at 2014-12-07 10:28 am (UTC)
bleodswean
Dec. 7th, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
This is a tightly written piece. It does need to be edited on a sentence level, for example this - The day had been so busy that he hadn't even got to eat the lunch that a co-worker had dropped on his desk around 1, when they noticed he hadn't even had a coffee break yet. is clunky. Also, perhaps you could take a look at the numerous contractions in the work.

Also, right off the bat I want to "see" the chicken salad in a container of some sort. I just am not seeing that and it's pulling me out of the flow of the story. Especially as you come back around to it in the final lines....why has it gone off? Where did he procure it?

Lastly, I'm left wondering about the purpose and point of this small slice of domestic life. Not to say that all flash fiction needs a point....but the overall upbeat nature of this piece of writing should probably have more purpose lest it read as sentimental.

You are a great technician and your writing always is a pleasure to read!
(no subject) - jexia - Dec. 8th, 2014 05:48 am (UTC) - Expand
halfshellvenus
Dec. 7th, 2014 07:11 pm (UTC)
This was my entry for A Terrible Beauty Is Born.

Thank you!
roina_arwen
Dec. 8th, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC)
I like the premise behind this, and love the name Lazaryl for the drug - very appropriate!

My two main comments are editorial in nature:
You wrote: “I tore the room apart until I find a syringe, and then I injected the Lazaryl into her heart." --This should be "until I found a syringe..."

And this section here flows oddly to me:
Our own mother would have died last month, when her appendix burst and toxins spread all through her, but the doctors were able to revive her. --For me, it would sound better if it was "My own mother..." I know she is the mom of two grown kids, but only one person is telling the story, so using "Our own mother" just sounds off to my ear. I hope that makes sense!
(no subject) - halfshellvenus - Dec. 8th, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cheshire23 - Dec. 10th, 2014 05:13 am (UTC) - Expand
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