FANDOM


Farm-Fresh balanceYMMVTransmit blueRadarWikEd fancyquotesQuotes • (Emoticon happyFunnyHeartHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3Awesome) • RefridgeratorFridgeGroupCharactersScript editFanfic RecsSkull0Nightmare FuelMagnifierAnalysisGota iconoTear JerkerBug-silkHeadscratchersHelpTriviaWMGFilmRoll-smallRecapRainbowHo YayPhoto linkImage LinksNyan-Cat-OriginalMemesHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

This page refers to past activity of the TV Tropes community. It is retained here as a historical record.

— The Mgmt.


TV Tropes has periodically held writing contests organized and judged by tropers. These are typically contests for original short stories with a theme. The first and second were posted on Literature; the third through sixth were posted on Writer's Block (where all future contests should go as well). So far they've been held about once a quarter, but their popularity and positive reception suggests that they could be held much more frequently.

Recurring minor difficulties include the lack of people willing to host, the disproportionate ratio of entrants to judges, the preponderance of dropouts, frequent failure of entrants (and, to a lesser extent, judges) to meet the deadline, and the tendency of some judges to award a broader range of scores than others and thus have a larger weight on the result.

The general rules, used for contests 2-6, are as follows:

  • Entries must be 2000-5000 words, original work written for the contest.
  • Judging is out of 25 points:
    • 5 points for conventions (spelling, grammar, capitalization)
    • 5 points for theme (and staying within the word limit)
    • 15 points for general critique (plot, characters, world building, writing style, etc)
  • Entrants usually have about 4-6 weeks to submit an entry; after the deadline, judges have 1 week to post their scores.
  • Judging is anonymous. Each contestant posts his or her story on Free Text Host, then PMs the URL to the anonymizer, who may be one of the contestants. The anonymizer then PMs each judge all the entries. The identities of the contestants are revealed after the judges have all posted their scores.

First TV Tropes Writing Contest (TV Tropes Erofic Contest) Edit

Found here.

Held July-September 2010 (entries accepted August 5-September 5; deadline later extended) and necro'd in January 2011, but was never completed. Only one or two entries were ever submitted and they were never judged. However, it shouldn't be considered a failure, since it kicked off the subsequent successful contests.

Being the first contest, the rules had not yet been standardized at this point and vary somewhat from subsequent contests; in particular, word count and exact story content were discussed at length, and at one point the rules had a 5000-word minimum and required a sci-fi setting, a gay sex scene, a straight sex scene, a flashback, and a death scene.

This contest was not anonymous; participants simply posted their entries to a hosting service such as Literotica and then posted the link in the thread. Consequently, there was a lot of author discussion about ideas and works in progress, something which was discouraged in later contests because it would compromise anonymity.

Final Rules:

  • 1000 minimum word count
  • Must have at least one sex scene in it
  • Must use original settings and characters (i.e no fanfic)
    • Ammendum: Tropers count as original characters.
  • No PWP.

Suggested scoring was out of 15 points, 5 each for the following categories:

  • General Sexiness
  • Prose
  • Plot

Host: rumetzen

Judges:

  • Blackmoon
  • Katsuun
  • Wicked 223
  • Zero Potential

Completed Entries:

Entrants:

  • rumetzen
  • Aondeug
  • Keybreak
  • Wryte
  • Cream
  • English Ivy
  • feotakahari
  • Fighteer
  • Solstace
  • Tzetze
  • Don Zabu
  • Krrackknut
  • Morven
  • harmattane
  • Epitome

Second TV Tropes Writing Contest Edit

Found here.

Held October-November 2010 (announced October 18, deadline November 20). This is the contest where most of the rules were codified. Judging tended to be a little more concise than in subsequent contests.

Nine entrants made the deadline; however, judging had to be extended until December 7 and still only four judges responded, making the totals out of a convenient 100 points. Jewelleddragon was discouraged from totaling up the scores in the future, after accidentally leaving an entry out.

Theme: Now and Then

Prize: A TV Tropes shirt or mug from the store

Host: Parable

Anonymizer and co-host: Leradny

Results:

  • 1st Place: Entry #9 - Feotakahari, 88.5 points
  • 2nd Place: Entry #7 - Chubert, 86 points
  • 3rd Place: Entry #5 - Argeus the Paladin, 81.5 points
  • 4th Place: Entry #4 - Lucky Revenant, 78 points
  • 5th Place: Entry #2 - Lizard Bite, 76.5 points
  • 6th Place: Entry #6 - Carbon Pillow, 74.5 points
  • 7th Place: Entry #1 - English Ivy, 69.5 points
  • 8th Place: Entry #8 - Leradny, 64 points
  • 9th Place: Entry #3 - Everest, 53.5 points

Judges:

  • Scholastica
  • jewelleddragon
  • Freezair For A Limited Time
  • Penguin 4 Senate
  • Raven Wilder

Participants:

  • Leradny
  • Iverum
  • Solstace
  • Tzetze
  • Kyler Thatch
  • English Ivy
  • New Geek Philosopher
  • Lucky Revenant
  • Argeusthe Paladin
  • Feo Takahari
  • Dark Decapodian
  • Everest
  • lockonlockon
  • Alkthash
  • Spackeradder
  • Lizard Bite
  • Carbonpillow
  • Chubert
  • drunkscriblerian

Second Contest Evaluations Edit

jewelleddragon

Entry 1:

  • Conventions: 5/5 (one error: oncemore)
  • Theme: 5/5
  • General: 9/15
  • Good points: I like the meta-ness; the first section is indeed like looking into a mirror. The nameless protagonist helps, too. The ending is good.
  • Bad points: The writing tends towards the dry; a sentence like “She would need to work hard to make up for lost time” is not very compelling. There’s also some word cruft.
  • Total: 19/25

Entry 2:

  • Conventions: 3/5 (lots of stealth typos)
  • Theme: 5/5
  • General: 12/15
  • Good points: Interesting premise; good organization. Succeeds in being rather creepy and unsettling. The balance of PO Vs is effective; the getting ready for school scene is very well done because it’s simple and lets the good and bad actions speak for themselves. Good use of indirect information (the parents).
  • Bad points: Writing tends towards the overwrought and redundant, as in the homeless guy scene, which actually undermines the emotional content. The parents could have used more setup (good girls love their parents).
  • Total: 20/25

Entry 3:

  • Conventions: 3/5 (some typos, overuse of italics and capitals)
  • Theme: 5/5
  • General: 7/15
  • Good points: Reasonable pacing and plotting.
  • Bad points: Prose ranges into the silly; Adeline is a flat character; feels like very generic sci-fi.
  • Total: 15/25

Entry 4:

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • General: 14/15
  • Good points: Good world-building, good characterization, compelling writing covers a range of emotional tones. Vivid descriptions, too.
  • Bad points: Ending is a little weak.
  • Total: 23/25

Entry 5:

  • Conventions: 4/5 (a couple of small mistakes)
  • Theme: 5/5
  • General: 15/15
  • Good points: Strong historicity and realism; immersive; compelling characterizations; good parallelism. Historical fiction is always challenging and this is well done.
  • Bad points: A little on the long side for the amount of material it covers.
  • Total: 24/25

Entry 6:

  • Conventions: 4/5 (even accounting for the voice)
  • Theme: 4/5 (the time skip is not very clear)
  • General: 7/15
  • Good points: The voice is solid and realistic, although prone to word cruft (as normal conversation generally is). The premise is good.
  • Bad points: Organization! The ideas are very unclear; many paragraphs don’t have a discernible point, and even individual sentences seem to contradict themselves (“We’ve all learned these rules when we were young, but certain people never have”). The writing is wordy and not very compelling.
  • Total: 15/25

Entry 7:

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5 (a lot of time skips instead of one big one)
  • General: 14/15
  • Good points: Great premise (there are hairs to be split, but inspiring hair-splitting is a good thing). Good voice and emotional tone well conveyed by the writing. The repetition works. Interesting characterization. Thought provoking.
  • Bad points: The mixed tenses are a good idea, but lead to confusing syntax in places. A lot of “to be” verbs. I’m also not in love with the name.
  • Total: 23/25

Entry 8:

  • Conventions: 4/5 (some questionable grammar)
  • Theme: 4/5 (over word limit)
  • General: 12/15
  • Good points: Good world building (probably part of a larger story); well plotted and organized. Characterization is reasonably good. Action scenes particularly are well paced and carried out.
  • Bad points: Tenses are sometimes improperly or confusingly used, especially the pluperfect where the perfect would be better. Some questionable word choice (notoriously old?). Switches POV without warning.
  • Total: 20/25

Entry 9:

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5 (a flashback is not a time skip)
  • General: 13/15
  • Good points: Compelling story carried out with fluent, descriptive writing and good organization. Well conveyed emotional tone. Nice ending.
  • Bad points: Plot is not very original, though the twist is good.
  • Total: 22/25

Raven Wilder

  • Entry #1

Conventions: 4/5. Only two or three slip-ups I noticed.

Theme: 3/5. It does do the whole contrast between different times thing, but the separation between the two is very gradual; feels more like a story that just happens to be told on a long timescale.

General Critique: 9.5/15

Good Points: Distinct, realistic voice for the narrator. Some very nice touches of detail. Nicely avoids the Mary Sue bait that comes from writing about writing.

Bad Points: If read by someone other than forum goers like us, some of the references and lingo might be difficult to understand. Feels rushed at times. Doesn’t really articulate why the narrator has changed so much by story’s end.

Total: 16.5/25


  • Entry #2

Conventions: 3.5/5. Only a few minor slip-ups, but a couple of them (“They'd hurt here. They'd hurt her.” and "Isn't kind of early for this guy?") took me a moment to think over before understanding set in.

Theme: 3.5/5. The bookends at the police station work really well, but the anachronic order in the rest of the story doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose.

General Critique: 10.5/15.

Good Points: Some passages here really do creepy well, particularly where Evelyn is acting in response to the voices. Very interesting style for those parts, particularly where she goes through her morning routine; if you can make that interesting, anything can be interesting. Skipping over the part where Evelyn does what lands her in jail is a nice bit of “show don’t tell”.

Bad Points: The details about Evelyn being a murderer and recently made orphan probably should have been saved for the end of the story, not the beginning; it gives too much away. Got a little too explicit with Evelyn’s feelings at points; it would be much better if her internal monologue conveyed how she feels about "being good" and the world around her without having her spell it out for the reader. The guy who talks to her in the park could use some explanation; there’s no real implication that he’s a hallucination, but he seems to infer way too much about her to be a random stranger.

Total: 17.5/25.


  • Entry #3

Conventions: 4.5/5. Only one mistake (an out of place period) that I noticed.

Theme: 2/5. The theme is technically present, but it feels like too little has actually changed during the time gaps to really fit the theme’s point.

General Critique: 6/15.

Good Points: It’s nice that Adeline’s change in personality isn’t 100%, which would have been a bit too cliche. Bad Points: Feels way too rushed; would work better in a longer format. Very little detail given concerning most anything. Italics are used to represent internal monologues, Internet postings, and speaking emphatically, one right after the other, making it very difficult to tell which is which. Too much just stating what Adeline’s personality is like post-capture rather than showing it in action. Sentence structure is often awkward, with information the reader should be given right away being delayed until the end of the sentence, certain words and phrases get repeated too much in short succession, and, quite frankly, there's just not the descriptive zing! that action scenes need in this sort of story.

Total: 12.5/25.

  • Entry #4:

Conventions: 4.5/5. Only flaw I noticed was a couple of paragraph breaks that occur in the middle of sentences.

Theme: 2/5. The first part of the story, frankly, seems pretty irrelevant; the pertinent information from there could have been more succinctly provided in the second part’s flashbacks.

General Critique: 11.5/15.

Good Points: The latter half is very atmospheric, doing a good job making the looming threat tangible while still keeping it mysterious. The last line (echoing how the second part of the story began) is particularly effective. Does a good job making Dreisen your typical self-absorbed aristocrat while still making him a believable, mostly sympathetic person.

Bad Points: As said above, the first part of the story seems like a largely irrelevant tangent. There, and in places in the story’s second part, too much time is spent on details that add nothing to the story (like Dreisen reading a book while waiting for dinner). Other parts aren’t given enough detail (like Gorov’s “apocalyptic” paintings).

Total: 18/25.

  • Entry #5

Conventions: 3.5/5. There are several errors, but none that can’t be readily understood anyway.

Theme: 5/5. This is probably exactly the sort of thing this contest was made to look for.

General Critique: 10/15.

Good Points: At times, does a very good job of giving the story a sense of grandeur. Nice how it doesn’t particularly take sides and tries for something deeper than a simple Aesop.

Bad Points: Is far too obvious at most of the time, with the narration or the characters bluntly stating the important facets of characters' personalities; none of the dialogue feels like a real conversation.

Total: 18.5/25.

  • Entry #6

Conventions: 3.5/5. Just a few errors.

Theme: 1/5. Doesn’t feel like there’s a separation of time periods at all, or a particularly large amount of looking backwards or forwards; it just reads like a standard chronological narrative with a bit longer timespan than some.

General Critique: 12/15.

Good Points: Very distinct, intriguing voice. Really gets inside Laura’s head. “Scarface, Scarface, go play in space” is a nice motif that really ties into the story’s themes. The ambiguity about what happens to Laura is a good touch.

Bad Points: The narrator comes off as kinda pretentious near the end. And the part near the beginning where s/he just assumes the reader is imagining Laura in a stereotypical fashion seems very presumptuous and unfair.

Total: 16.5/25.

  • Entry #7

Conventions: 5/5. No problems that I noticed.

Theme: 2/5. There is a little bit of looking back, but it doesn’t have the sharp distinction between Then and Now that this contest seems to be about.

General Critique: 12/15.

Good Points: Very atmospheric. Manages to convey how repetitive and dull the land of the dead is without being dull and repetitive itself. Does a good job humanizing a very inhuman character.

Bad Points: A little more ambiguity or doubt concerning whether the ultimate end is good or bad would have been nice.

Total: 19/25.

  • Entry #8

Conventions: 4/5. Just a few minor gaffes.

Theme: 1/5. There doesn’t seem to be any real comparing of different time periods at all, at least not overtly.

General Critique: 4/15.

Good Points: There are a few nice touches to the battle scene, like turning the safeties off.

Bad Points: Much of the sentence structure is just very awkward, and often makes it difficult to understand what’s going on. Big transitions in place and time occur without sufficient warning to the reader that it’s happening. The fantasy elements need to be mentioned earlier so the reader knows what kind of story they're getting. Ingrid’s personality is hard to get a handle on; it never really lets us get to know her. What’s going on in the ending is unclear; so she’s arranging for someone to be put in a division they’ll be talented at? isn’t that supposed to be her job? why is it treated like some super secret sneaky strategy?

Total: 9/25.

  • Entry #9

Conventions: 5/5. No problems that I noticed.

Theme: 4/5. The interplay between the two times plays a pretty large role in the story; good work.

General Critique: 12.5/15.

Good Points: Like how it avoided clear-cut right and wrong and showed the story from different perspectives. The Gara/Elmer romance is done very sweetly. Has a well done bittersweet ending.

Bad Points: The beginning is a little rushed and makes it too obvious that Elmer and the drummer are one and the same. Lawrence being unaware that the Enemy could love and be gentle is one thing; being unaware that they even have a language seems a little too improbable.

Total: 21.5/25.


Freezair For A Limited Time

Entry 1

Conventions: 4 points

  • Good, but a few typos. Otherwise, just fine.

Theme: 3 points

  • It does go into the character's background a little, but there doesn't seem to be enough "then" otherwise. It mostly focuses on the future/the now.

General Critique: 9 points

  • Good Points:
    • A good character snapshot
    • Good conventions; good pacing
  • Bad Points:
    • Feels a bit rambling. It doesn't really feel as if it's going much of anywhere. It's a nice character snapshot, but it doesn't really feel as if it's leading up to anything, and the ending feels a bit anticlimactic. I can tell that we're supposed to get wrapped up in this character's feelings for her writing as well, but I feel like we don't, so the ending lacks the sense of either loss or relief it should. (-5 pts)
    • It feels a bit TOO slyly autobiographical. It feels a bit more like a rant on the part of the author than a story about someone else. The usage of the word "plotbunny" especially. (-1 pts.)

Review comments: The premise reminds me of a Diana Wynne Jones short story, called "Nad and Dad adn Quaffy, " but I feel we need to be pulled into this nameless writer's mindset a bit more. We really need to see her really interact with others, I think, to really get a feel for her.

Total: 16 points

Entry 2

Conventions: 5 points

  • No glaring errors I saw.

Theme: 3 points

  • It's a nice story, but I did not feel the theme was represented very strongly in the work. The "then" felt a bit too temporally close to the "now."

General Critique: 12 points

  • Good Points
    • Love that film-noir thing going on! It's deliciously hard-boiled.
    • Evelyn's—parents? Schitzophrenic manifestations? were deliciously creepy, regardless of what they were.
    • An interesting look into the mind of a Stepford Smiler.
  • Bad Points:
    • At times, it got a bit heavy handed with both the "bad girl" thing and Evelyn's contempt for humanity. I felt like it was telling us a bit too much, when we could have been shown certain things—an almost-hidden sneer, perhaps, or a fearful look—that could've told us as many things. (-2)
    • The bit about the annoying bird was part of it. It felt a little forced; the dialogue not totally natural. (-1)

Reviewer Comments: I liked this story, but I feel it's missing something—something holding it back, and keeping it from being great instead of merely good. I'm not sure what, though.

Total: 20 points

Entry 3

Conventions: 3 points

  • In addition to a few typos, there are a couple run-on sentences. They break up the flow and make it difficult to follow.

Theme: 1 point

  • I saw glimmers of the theme in mentions of the past, but otherwise, I wasn't able to really see the theme in this one.

General Critique: 6 points

  • Good Points
    • I like the premise. Sci-fi escape! You can have a lot of fun with that one.
    • Adeline seems like an interesting character; I wouldn't mind getting to know her elsewhere.
  • Bad Points
    • The story, on the whole, lacked a lot of tension. Events happened, but I feel like they went by too fast, and it was hard to get a feel for either the characters or the severity of the situations. Just when we thought we were in one thing, another thing happened. It's almost too easy to follow, if you catch my drift. (-5)
    • The story seems to lack a central conflict. Instead, it has a lot of little things happening. The slave issue seems to be the main one, but it almost goes by too fast. We never really feel the problem of being enslaved. (-4)

Reviewer's comments: I think the main problem here is trying to squeeze too much plot and too much character into too few words. As a long short story—a few chapters in length—this would probably work too much better. As it is, it goes by too fast. As a longer work, it would probably be better to pace this better, and delve into more detail.

Total: 10 points

Entry 4

Conventions: 3 points

  • Some of the sentences are a bit oddly constructed, and our old enemy, typos, pop up. But it is solid, if in need of a teeny touch of editing.

Theme: 4 points

  • It's a little shoehorned, but otherwise, the theme manifests strongly here.

General critique: 8 points

  • Good Points
    • It's a really great idea, and creepy in a good way. Creepy paintings are a staple, but you don't meet many creepy painters!
    • The character interaction was done quite well. I felt it established both the characters nicely in a short span of time, and made both Gorov and his patron nicely sympathetic.
  • Bad Points
    • The transition between the two parts is very... abrupt. I started thinking this would be a nice story about the relationship between a painter and his patron, but then it leaps really suddenly. This also means it uses a lot of valuable time explaining things that happened, when you could've shown them—making sure the audience knows them, while at the same time making a more nicely gradual transition. (-3)
    • I understand that Nothing Is Scarier, and leaving things unexplained can work, but I feel like you almost leave too MUCH unexplained. What did the paintings do? What was the reason for Gorov's madness? It adds to the too-abrupt feeling, and leaves me wondering too much. It made me kind of wonder what the point was. (-4 points)

Reviewer's comments: I really did like the first half of this story. The second half, though, felt a bit too much out-of-left field. If it were a more gradual descent into madness, I think this would make the story much stronger.

Total: 15 points

Entry 5

Conventions: 5 points

  • No glaring errors as far as I can tell!

Theme: 5 points

  • You worked with a nice "succession" theme. Works for me!

General critique: 10 points

  • Good Points
    • The prose is quite solid. It's interesting and does hold the attention fairly well.
    • It's historically interesting! You made me look up stuff about the Byzantine Empire; something which no history class has ever made me willingly do! And if you can get somebody interested in something, that's quite a feet.
  • Bad Points
    • Due to the way the story hopped between times, I found it difficult to get attached to the characters. They were gone in a flash, and since we only got to see small portions of them, it felt difficult to really get a feel for their characters. The best-established was the first, but I feel like we didn't see enough of the others. As a consequence, I didn't feel a real "punch" in the ending. (-3)
    • Although it did make me interested in them, I felt like there wasn't enough historical background. We got little snippets told to us, but as someone who self-admittedly knew nothing of the Byzantines before reading this, it got a little hard to both follow and feel for the events taking place. I felt like I didn't have enough information to make the most out of this story. (-2)

General comments: It is a solidly-written story, but I still feel it needs a bit more "oomph." This is a good backbone, though!

Total: 20 points

Entry 6

Conventions: 5 points

  • Looks shipshape, Captain!

Theme: 4 points

  • Seems to be following someone through life, eh? It's pretty good, though I felt it could've used more contrast.

General critique: 11 points

  • Good Points
    • The narrator has spirit and verve. He (she?) is genuinely enjoyable to read! You want to find out what this crazy cat is gonna say next.
    • The story is very good at observations. Picking out the little idosyncracies of life and the way we think and act is what really helps bring writing to life.
  • Bad Points
    • As amusing as the narrator is, I feel the story gets buried beneath his wryness. The story is probably supposed to be about Laura, but I feel like this narrator is overwhelming her tale. I was always more interested in the narrator than her life. Plus, he's a bit TOO aware and Genre Savvy. (-3)
    • Related to the above, I felt the actual main story—conflict—didn't really go anywhere. It followed Laura through parts of her life, and her troubles, but I felt like she had no real resolution. There were very good moments in it, but at the end, I felt it fizzled. (-1)

General comments: I feel like this is the wrong narrator for Laura's story. I think this story would be best if it chose to focus on one of them, and not both. Both are solid aspects in and of themselves—the narrator is great—but they don't quite work together.

Total: 20 points

Entry 7

Conventions: 5 points

  • Lookin' sharp.

Theme: 4 points

  • I can definitely see the theme in here, but I feel that the story is just a bit too linear. It does crop up in the dead, though. So I'm splittin' the difference.

General Critique: 14 points

  • Good Points
    • Exquisitely beautiful, in a very tragic way. I'm not normally a True Art Is Angsty kind of person, but I found myself truly feeling for the Lord and his visitor. Their plight was complicated and not easily dealt with. Otherworldly, yet very human. They have a love-hate relationship with their work and each other. I think we can all identify.
    • The writing was wonderfully done—well-paced, excellent word choice, and the repitition—very nice! For the most part, superb prose!
  • Bad Points
    • Some of the sentences and constructions were a bit clunky in their construction. There weren't too many, but they felt a bit like they were "trying too hard." I don't have real room to go into specifics, but I can at a later date. (-1)

Reviewer's comments: This is a good story. I enjoyed it very much—not simply as a judge, but as someone who likes stories. Bravo.

Total: 23 points

Entry 8

Conventions: 4 points

  • A few run-ons here and there, and a couple dangling modifiers. But for the most part, nice.

Theme: 3 points

  • I got the contrast at the beginning, but I otherwise felt it was somewhat weak here.

General Critique: 11 points

  • Good Points
    • Dang—is Ingrid a character, or is she a character? Sharp as a tack, indomitable, reckless yet calculated, ruthless in certain respects—gotta love her! Just don't get under her feet!
    • I loved the little snapshots of the world we saw. I like magitek/urban fantasy, and I like what I see here.
  • Bad Points
    • I felt like the telepathy felt a little shoehorned in, and I felt like the reason she retained it even after the potion was... not clear. I do like magitek, as noted, but I felt like I didn't fully understand everything everything going on. Is this from part of a larger world of yours? Either way, I am just a little lost. (-2)
    • The "heiress" subplot felt just a little tacked on at the end. I like how she took a shine to that new recruit, but I felt like it cut off too abruptly to feel like a true resolution. Ingrid's comment at the end is great, but it felt a bit too shallow in what seemed like an otherwise solid story. (-2)

General comments: I really do like what you're doing here, especially the Ingrid character. But I think it needs expanding upon. Heck, maybe this is the Expanded Universe and I'm just left out. Generally, though, I do like it. I would love to see this toyed with and improved upon.

Total: 18 points

Entry 9

Conventions: 5

  • No big errors that I can see!

Theme: 5

  • Nice usage of back-and-forth storytelling. This is a very clear Framing Device, but it actually works very well—especially in the end. Nicely done!

General Critique: 11

  • Good Points
    • That ending is quite well done. I thought I had it all figured out how this was going to end, and BAM! You turned things up. I found it rather allegorical to real-world politics, actually, though I don't know if that was your intent.
    • Not gonna lie—the love story was pretty darn cute. You know, until it went to Hell. But still.
  • Bad Points
    • Cute as it was, the love story did feel slightly... not quite "trite, " but a little overdone. Perhaps a bit too classically Noble Savage. Then again, Tropes Are Not bad, and that was the intent. I'm not sure how to make it seem more unique for the love story itself, although the reactions to it are quite unique. (-2)
    • The dialogue feels a bit odd in a few places. Maybe just a bit cheesy. It's hard to pin doen certain things, but it's a bit hard. (-2)

Reviewer's comments: I really did like this story, especially the fairly unique ending. It's one of those annoying cases, though, where I know it can be better—but don't know what needs to be done to achieve that! Forgive me for my waffly advice. Perhaps another judge will pin it down.

Total: 21 points


Scholastica

Entry #1

Conventions: 4/5 Theme: 4/5 General Critique: 10/15

Good Points: As a slice-of-life stand alone this was solid. It told what needed to be told with a distinct voice. I'll admit I related to the character very easily so this was

Bad points: Short, choppy sentences damper the readibilty. On occassion there are segments that don't feel like they fit.

Total: 18/25

Entry #2

Conventions: 4/5 Theme: 2/5 General Critique: 13/15

Good points: Whoo boy, that was creepy. But in a good way. The rather deranged mind of the character was an interesting experience to get into. The characters were well written and enjoyable to read about.

Bad points: The part with Paul either should have been expanded on or left out entirely. What it tells us is shown better in the very next part.

Total: 19/25

Entry #3

Conventions: 4/5 Theme: 3/5 General Critique: 9/15

Good Points: Interesting and exciting plot.

Bad Points: Interesting and exciting plot that is takes a loss from hurried writing and dialogue that feels off. Ending made me feel, "Is that it?"

Total: 16/25

Entry #4

Conventions:4/5 Theme:5/5 General Critique:12/15

Good Points: Very compelling story with great characters and interesting plot that works well with the theme. I was especially impressed with the characterization of both Gorov and Dreisen. Using the painting as a method for giving life to the city was a nice touch.

Bad Points: The city itself seems to be the window for the theme to be seen and it is done excellently. However, the whole deal with Gorov seemed sudden and unexplained. And you seemed to have missed an opportunity to utilze the paintings in the second half like you did in the first as a way to display the city, instead relying on Dreisen.

Total: 21/25

-

Entry #5

Conventions: 4/5 Theme: 5/5 General Critique: 10/15

Good Points: Stellar writing and a good historical piece. Of all the things to focus on in this time period, this story chose one that was refreshing.

Bad Points: This is where my bad judging abilities shows. I'm not sure what is missing but the story just doesn't seem alive. It was interesting but not engrossing.

Total: 19/25

Entry #6

Conventions: 5/5 Theme: 5/5 General Critique: 13/15

Good Points: A very nice tale and nicely told. The transistion from Now and then was murkey but it seems to me there was a Now, Then, and Soon to Be. It ends rather ambigiously but there was a ray of light at the end I'm not used to seeing in these stories which impresssed me very much.

Bad Points: The narrator seems to prattle on a bit more than is needed. This distracts from the story and made me skim over a few lines just to see Laura again.

Total: 23/25

Entry #7

Conventions: 5/5 Theme: 3/5 General Critique: 13/15

Good Points: Very unique premisis and well told. The Lord of the Dead can be very lively with the right push from the other guy (whoever he is). Despite their otherwordly nature they feel real and alive.

Bad Points: Both too short and too long at the same time. I felt certain parts could have been expanded on, the talking betweeen the man in white and the Lord, specifically. Others could have been shorter, the ghosts could have gone by with a sentence or two without much difference.

Total Score: 21/25

Entry #8

Conventions: 4/5 Theme: 3/5 General Critique: 10/15

Good Points: Fun character in Ingrid makes for an enjoyable read. The setting is well written and vivid.

Bad Points: While seeing Ingrid go from then and now was clear, a lot of everything else was not. The story feels rushed and bounces from place to place too fast. The ending was not this story's strong point, I felt it was inconclusive when I think like I was supposed to feel anticipation.

Total: 17/25

Entry #9

Conventions: 5/5 Theme: 5/5 General Critique: 14/15

Good Points: No lie, this was a pretty solid piece of writing. I wouldn't be surprised to see this in a book of short stories somewhere. The work tied in well with the theme and the ending was unexpected but great in its own way.

Bad Points: Lawrence went from not believing the Enemey had any civilization to the opposite rather fast. As was pointed out elsewhere, that Elmer and the drummer are the same person is obvious.

Total: 24/25

Third TV Tropes Writing Contest Edit

Found here; a discussion of themes for the contest found here.

Held February-April 2011 (announced February 19; deadline March 31, extended to April 7). Despite having nearly a month and a half to work, only three out of a whopping 35 entrants submitted a story by the deadline; the rest came piling in after it was extended.

While opinions were divided in the previous contest, this was a landslide: The unanimous winner netted two perfect scores and one near-perfect. Judges offered to PM marked up copies of the stories with more detailed critiques to the authors; most of the authors accepted this offer.

Theme: Dreams

Host: Parable

Anonymizer: Freezair For A Limited Time

Results: 1st place: Entry 8 (Chubert), 74/75 (98.7%)

2nd place: Entry 3 (Freezair For A Limited Time), 71/75 (94.7%)

3rd place: Entry 5 (History Maker), 67/75 (89.3%)

4th place: Entry 7 (Sirvanji), 66/75 (88%)

5th place: Entry 2 (Dealan), 57/75 (76%)

6th place: Entry 1 (romanmyth), 49/75 (65.3%)

7th place: Entry 6 (Erufuka), 47/75 (62.7%)

8th place: Entry 4 (Fallen Legend), 38/75 (50.7%)

Judges:

  • Parable
  • Carbonpillow
  • jewelleddragon

Entrants:

  • chihuahua 0
  • Leradny
  • Buttercupistiny
  • QQQQQ
  • Sunshine Werewolf
  • English Ivy
  • Mousa The 14
  • ccoa
  • Lizard Bite
  • Polarity
  • Vyctornian
  • Ponicalica
  • Moerin
  • Tidal Wave 17
  • Zero 0
  • Freezair For A Limited Time
  • Dealan
  • Chubert
  • JHM
  • Usht
  • Metalitia
  • Argeusthe Paladin
  • Pseudonym
  • Saturn
  • Similar To AG 6
  • Sirvanji
  • SPACE TRAVEL!
  • romanmyth
  • snowfoxofdeath
  • Fallen Legend
  • Endark Culi
  • Dynamod
  • Enkufka
  • Jelethorim
  • A Xavier B

Third Contest Evaluations Edit

jewelleddragon

Entry 1

  • Conventions: 3/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • General: 9/15
  • I appreciate what this story is trying to do, but it’s just not quite working. The writing is not very compelling (dead words, monotonous sentence structure, lack of interesting descriptions). It's trying to convey some subtle ideas, but they are just coming across as confused: he likes the dreams, but he doesn’t. There are also technical difficulties: Ted would have to be at least 90 if the story is set in the present, bit old to be on his own and to have a bunch of living, independent war buddies.
  • Overall: 17/25

Entry 2

  • Conventions: 2/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • General: 13/15
  • The story is compelling and I enjoyed it. I like the ambiguity and the ending. The punctuation is a major hindrance, and so is the repeated use of “comma” instead of “coma.” It’s also hard to track who’s talking-—there’s a place where someone must have two (disagreeing) lines in a row. Otherwise Frank and Zak are robust characters. It’s also a little too long, IMO, for a one-conversation story.
  • Overall: 20/25

Entry 3

  • Conventions: 4/5 (overuse of italics)
  • Theme: 5/5
  • General: 13/15
  • The writing is fluent and the story is engaging. The beginning is a bit jarring and the ending could be stronger, but the overall effect is good and it captures the feel of dreaming very well. A number of sentences and phrases have unclear meanings.
  • Overall: 22/25

Entry 4

  • Conventions: 1/5 (non-native English speaker?)
  • Theme: 5/5 (over word limit, but close enough)
  • General: 5/15
  • This story is straightforward, bordering on cliche, which might be fine if the execution were good, but it’s weak as well. The writing is not very engaging and lacks description; what descriptions there are are uninteresting. Grammar and punctuation are bad enough to be a major impediment. This feels like a first draft in need of editing rather than a final product.
  • Overall: 11/25

Entry 5

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • General: 14/15
  • Strong writing with good sentence fluency make this story work. The sparse handling of details is compelling and the story is just the right length not to wear out its welcome as a vignette without a progressing plot. Organization could be stronger, but is not a problem at this length.
  • Overall: 22/25

Entry 6

  • Conventions: 3/5
  • Theme: 2/5 (dreams didn't feel very prominent)
  • General: 7/15
  • This story is fundamentally not working. There is jarring tone mismatch between silly stuff like the title and parts that appear to be intended seriously. References to things like giant robots are just dropped in, making the world feel inconsistent and, well, silly, and adding nothing. It also breaks the first law of writing in a medieval setting: Don’t make it sound like D&D (particularly, never mention plate mail). The writing is pretty strong, but it can’t carry such a scattered story.
  • Overall: 13/25

Entry 7

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • General: 12/15
  • The voice and writing are fluent and feel very engaging at first, but by the end, the continuously detailed level of description starts to feel like a slog; there need to be some less detailed passages to pick up the pace. The pacing would be right for the beginning of a novel, but is slow for a short story. The characters are strong and the ideas were good, but the waking sequence at the end felt like a letdown.
  • Overall: 21/25

Entry 8

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5 (just riding the word limit)
  • General: 15/15
  • Loath as I am to hand out a perfect score, this story simply doesn’t have any significant weak spots. There’s some word cruft and a silly name, but overall, the writing is strong, the story is very compelling, and the pacing and organization move it all along well.
  • Overall: 25/25

Carbonpillow

Entry [1]

Conventions: 4/5

Theme: 3/5

General: 10/15

- The story wasn't really related to the contest theme other than a round-about summary way. Narrative summary can work, but that doesn't mean it has to be completely devoid of plot or tension.

-There was a lack of motion in this piece. There are very few things to keep a reader's attention and I found myself drifting. The story can be described best as "Vet reminisces about the past." You need to get beyond this, delve deeper into Ted's mind and bring up things that will shock, frighten and thrill us.

-Otherwise a decent writing voice. Easy to read and follow. Keep it up!

Overall: 17/25

Entry [2]

Conventions: 2/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 11/15

-First, there are a lot of grammar issues. One of the things that stick out is that you seem to be unsure how to use punctuation in dialogue. It is a bit complicated so I'll recommend the way how I learned: find any novel and read through the dialogue and note where the periods and commas go.

-Every action is described. Try not to be obvious about your character's emotions and know when to skip over mundane events.

-More integration of dialogue with the rest of the story. The way the story is formatted now is bad for flow. As it is you have some lines of dialogue, some prose, and then more dialogue.

Overall: 18/25

Entry [3]

Conventions: 5/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 14/15

-Interesting premise, I'll start worrying about what goes on in my dreams more now.

-Near professional voice, flowed very smoothly. There is a discernible plot that creates expectations from the reader.

-Ending was a disappointment. The last section was not very well explained and the conclusion lacked a feeling of closure.

Overall: 24/25

Entry [4]

Conventions: 1/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 7/15

-A host of grammar issues. It reads like it has been put through a translator. This makes it hard to judge on it's own because of all the problems that bad grammar causes, the least of which will alter the tone of a story. My advice is to familiarize yourself with the English language, you're not a bad writer overall.

-Dialogue suffers the most from poor structure.

-Writing is overly sugary, which works in certain circles, but not most. Protagonist is a bit of a Mary Sue.

Overall: 13/25

Entry [5]

Conventions: 5/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 13/15

-Good Character driven/introspective piece. Would like a little bit more information about the setting. As it is, the story seems totally enclosed within itself and remains tightly closed throughout. Some more details would open it up a bit more.

-I am always wary of stories that don't give you the characters' names. This might be an artistic choice, but it robs us of connection. How can you connect with someone whose name you don't even know? Names have power.

Overall: 23/25

Entry [6]

Conventions: 3/5

Theme: 4/5

General: 9/15

- The setting does not work for me. It is too sparsely detailed and those details make it more unrealistic. Even dreams have logic, just a logic of their own.

-The scene with the guards seemed forced. It didn't really make sense in-universe either. The dead woman and child is only gory scenery that served no purpose plotwise.

-Weapons and equipment over described. Fight scenes awkward.

-Funny title.

Overall: 16/25

Entry [7]

Conventions: 5/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 13/15

-Good writing voice. Description can sometimes walk right up to the edge of being purple prose before turning back. Overall a fun read.

-This piece can be best described as a shard of glass. It's sharp and cutting, edging in just below our consciousness as if chasing meaning. The plot/theme is a bit muddled and and contradictory.

-Did not expect the ending. It was a bit jarring and didn't fit with the rest of the story.

Overall: 23/25

Entry [8]

Conventions: 5/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 14/15

-Very polished piece. Somewhat predictable plot, but that's alright. We tend to like the familiar anyhow.

-No technical problems that I can see. There are some quirks with the story that were a bit lacking, a little awkward phrasing here and there. Overall it has the mirror sheen of quality to it.

Overall: 24/25


Parable

  • Entry 1

Conventions: 3/5

Theme: 3/5

General: 9/15

Total: 15/25

I could see where this story was going and I liked it but several things kept it from being great. The writing is simplistic, especially at the begining. It seems more like he is reminiscing than dreaming. The ending I really liked, it sounded like someone was actually telling me the story, if this had been there from the start and throughout it would have been more fitting.

  • Entry 2

Conventions: 2/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 12/15

Total: 19/25

This was pretty stellar. I liked the characters and the plot held my interest all the way through. My main beef with it though is the dialogue. Often it is hard to understand who is talking to who and the quality varies from natural to forced at times. The ending didn't wrap everything up but gave a pretty clear picture of what was going to happen, which I liked. And was that a Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory drop I saw?

  • Entry 3

Conventions: 5/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 15/15

Total: 25/25

Wow, that was some of the best fiction I've read in a while, no lie. I enjoyed almost every bit of it. The pacing was good, the humor was good, the drama was good. So confident Matthew was in his lucid dreaming I wonder if he even realized at the end he was still in a nightmare. Perfect save for certain part that just felt out of place. The paragraph of "Fuck!" sounded more like a third grader trying the word for the first time then a panicking grown man.

  • Entry 4

Conventions: 1/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 8/15

Total: 14/25

I don't think this was written by someone whose first language is English, so I am am rather uncertain on how to grade this. For all I know a better translation would prove this to be a better story. As is, though, I found it to be repetitive and the grammar and dialogue leaving very much to be desired. The story itselk I thought was pretty cool, but everything that was wrong just smothered it.

  • Entry 5

Conventions: 4/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 13/15

Total: 22/25

All these stories have been interesting but this one was certainly unique in just how so. Obviously something about this setting is very different then what I was expecting. The future? It was clear and concise which I approve of. On the other hand, sparing some details would not have hurt. Leaving too much to the reader's imagination ends up leaving much to be desired.

  • Entry 6

Conventions: 3/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 10/15

Total: 18/25

This is as close to an average dream of mine in writing as I've ever seen, so I enjoyed this a lot. The mix-up of bits and pieces of everything work well in a dream like this. However, the two parts seem too distant, it disrupts the flow of the story. The dialogue also could use work, mostly in the begining. I must say though, I'd probably look foward to an expanded version of this story without it being a dream.

  • Entry 7

Conventions: 5/5

Theme: 5/5

General: 12/15

Total: 22/25

That was unexpected. I very much enjoyed the opening; the flourishing first paragraph followed by Guy just drooling in his sleep got a chuckle out of me and kept me going. Over all this was lovely and the dream felt powerful. I did find certain parts overly long and wordy. The ending was both well written and at the same time rather off-putting. The ending by itself was good but as the ending to this story it just doesn't resonate with me.

  • Entry 8

Conventions:5/5

Theme:5/5

General:15/15

Total: 25/25

This was pretty. I don't even know of a better way to describe this other than pretty. The entire story was something I'd never considered and very well written. The Dreamer and Richmond were intesting characters in their own ways. Some parts felt a bit rushed, the first meeting for instance, but overall I have nothing but good to say about this story.


Fourth TV Tropes Writing Contest Edit

Found here; a discussion of themes for the contest found here. A crowner was put up to help choose a theme, but this turned out to be a poor idea: There were too many contributions, many of which weren't very viable, and after several weeks, a consensus still had not developed. Since a host was not forthcoming, this contest was hosted inadvisably (but not unsuccessfully) by an entrant.

Held June-July 2011 (announced June 2, deadline June 8). In response to the tardiness in the previous contest, this one had a flexible deadline of June 8 or whenever 8 entries were received, whichever came last. This caused some confusion and ultimately proved unnecessary, since 9 entries were submitted on time.

A real nail-biter compared to the third contest, the top entry won by just 1/2 point out of 125. The last entry was just 400 words, far below the minimum and thus essentially incomparable with the others; the judges chose not to score it. In response to complaints about different word processors yielding different final word counts, this word count tool was used for verification.


Theme: One scene from multiple POVs

Results:

  • 1: Entry 7 (jewelleddragon), 107.5 points
  • 2: Entry 8 (Leradny), 107 points
  • 3: Entry 4 (Seamus), 103 points
  • 4: Entry 5 (feotakahari), 98.5 points
  • 5: Entry 2 (Dealan), 95 points
  • 6: Entry 1 (Crystal Glacia), 84.5 points
  • 7: Entry 6 (Mystic Kenji), 73.5 points
  • 8: Entry 3 (Trotzky), 63 points
  • Not judged: Entry 9 (mosspoint)

Host/anonymizer: jewelleddragon

Judges:

  • Betsy and the Five Avengers
  • Freezair For A Limited Time
  • Chubert
  • chihuahua 0
  • snowfoxofdeath

Entrants:

  • Away Laughing
  • feotakahari
  • redpyro
  • animemetalhead
  • Killer Clowns
  • Hermiethefrog
  • snowfoxofdeath
  • Crystal Glacia
  • Leradny
  • Bur
  • Dealan
  • mahel 042
  • Mystic Kenji
  • Lasty
  • Parable
  • punkreader
  • honorius
  • Seamus
  • jewelleddragon
  • Fulcanelli
  • Trotzky
  • Amandurrs
  • Actually Comma
  • English Major

Fourth Contest Evaluations Edit

Freezair For A Limited Time

Entry 1:

  • Theme: 4/5. Stuck to the theme very well, though in some points it seemed to mostly just be bare-bones repitition of stuff that already happened. So while we did get to see the scene from other angles, the fact that there was so much general repition made it a bit hard to get a handle on the differences between the viewpoints.
  • Conventions: 5/5. No errors at all that I noticed.
  • Assessment:
    • Good parts: I thought the concept was interesting. There's a decent amount of backstory to this short world, but I think you did a good job of finding ways to convey it all without beating us over the head with it. The Professor is kind of an interesting character, and I'm not sure what to say about his motives, but I like it when I'm kept guessing. The prose is also nicely solid and shows that the writer has a good grasp on general storytelling.
    • Bad parts: Although solid, the prose is sometimes a bit too "telly." Especially with regards to emotions. That's an easy mistake to make, though. -2 pts.
      • The dialogue is also somewhat bland, and I can't get a proper feel for characters beyond the Professor, really. -2 pts.
      • It was just a little hard to follow. -1 pt.

Overall: I really liked the concept, but I think the story needs a bit more "fire." It has a solid idea, and now it just needs some more evocative dialogue and a slight enlivening of its prose to really draw me in. 19/25

Entry 2:

  • Theme: Not only did you take the theme, you ran with it, (wo)man. 5/5
  • Conventions: No errors I saw; nicely done. 5/5
  • Assessment:
    • Good parts: Right from the beginning of the concept (hide-and-seek in an abandoned building, and everybody ganging up to beat a smarmy player), it is a cool idea that really hooks the reader. At first it seems very life-or-death with the way it's introduced, but then you go on to reveal, no it's only hide-and-seek after all. Except not. There are a lot of characters, but most of them feel pretty good (although I'll get to the others later). The writing is really lively and exciting and conversational in that way that's a hell of a lot of fun to read.
    • Bad parts: Although this story has a lot of plusses, there's one fact about it that gets to me: It's really kind of bloated. There's a lot going on here. Hide-and-seek, superpowers, some postapocalyptic thing... It's a lot to keep a handle on, with the end result that certain aspects feel weak and end up not mattering as much to the reader. The abandoned building hide-and-seek is great. The superpowers and postapocalypse? They're so far in the background, I find it difficult to care. Some of the characters feel a bit extraneous, too. -5 pts.

Overall: I think the hide-and-seek drama is great stuff. But I honestly feel like the telepathy and the apocalypse stuff are just unecessary. If the danger was merely being found in a dangerous abandoned building, I think that would work just as well, as would being caught two-timing in a relationship instead of turning someone over. 20/25

Entry 3:

  • Theme: Rashomon-style testimony, eh? Can't get much more on-theme than that.
  • Conventions: 3/5. Now, before you get on my case: I realize a lot of the errors here were intentional and meant to be evocative of certain speech patterns or potentially levels of education. However, I feel they were taken to the point where they made the story difficult to read, hindering more than they helped.
  • Assessment:
    • Good parts: Despite my griping about the speech patterns, I still feel (although they went overboard) that you're clearly good at differentiating people, and I could always tell who the speakers were. You clearly know how to give dialogue character. There were also a few points where I had legitimate laughs, such as the "deinterpretations" of the soothsayer's, uh, soothsaying, and the ending remark: "It'll be like a hanging without people actually dying." Paraphrased.
    • Bad parts: Well, I already commented on the conventions matter above, so there's that. I also had a difficult time piecing together the actual happenings of the event, due to the weird way certain people phrase things. Like I said, this was somewhat difficult to follow as a whole. -5 pts.

Overall: I like the concept, and I think you're clearly very good at characters. But I think you went a lot-bit overboard with the Funetik Aksent and atypical grammar patterns in this one. It's not too bad on the whole, though. Just a bit over-the-top. 18/25

Entry 4:

  • Theme: Only two points of view, but you make it work. 5/5
  • Conventions: 4/5. I feel like it needed a few more commas, but mostly it was good.
  • Assessment:
    • Good parts: The prose is pretty good, and the concept is pretty interesting. The two characters have a pretty unique interrelationship, the way they view each other as "monsters" is pretty good, and their constant taunting and teasing of one another is good. It's a cat-and-mouse interrogation thing and it's nicely done here.
    • Bad parts: As much as I like the two characters, I feel like I really need more context for them and what's happening with them. There is a clear story around them, but we're so separated from it, it's hard to feel the impact of that story despite the strong role it plays in the relationship between the two. I like the characters, but I'm not sure what's going on around them. -3 pts.
      • Also, the prose gets a little heavy on telling at some parts. Not all, though. -2 pts.

Overall: I like this story and these characters, but I feel like they're floating in a void. I think the backstory needs to be explained a bit more. Great interplay, though. 19/20

Entry 5:

  • Theme: 4/5. You did use multiple points of view, but I feel like they all melded together a bit quickly. Not too bad, though.
  • Conventions: 4/5. Again, I think this one needed a few additional commas, but mostly it's quite solid.
  • Assessment:
    • Good Parts: From the title alone, it's clear that this story is going to be interesting, and it is. It's very easy to follow, and what little of the world we see is nicely explained. Johnny's power is really interesting, and he puts it to very good use. The actiony bit is quite nicely done, the dialogue is pretty good too, and overall, I think it's really nicely done.
    • Bad Parts: The ending feels just a bit too cute. The whole "hero" bit. I like what happens, but I feel like that last line is pushing it a little. It feels too tidy. -1 pt.
      • It is somewhat difficult to tell the different theives apart. I think there might be one or two many of them. -1 pt.

Overall: Quite a nice little story you've got here. It's exactly the right size, and it's a fun read. 21/25.

Entry 6:

  • Theme: 5/5. It's pretty strictly adhered to here.
  • Conventions: 3/5. Something about your formatting is... very odd. I imagine this was an accident, but I wish you'd taken the time to check up on it. It makes this hard to read.
  • Assessment:
    • Good parts: The intro is pretty amusing; you never see much in the way of dark rituals from Cultist No. 72's viewpoint. The matter-of-fact tone to the whole thing is pretty amusing, too. It does quite a good job of pulling you in. And it's interesting to see the sacrifice's POV of things.
    • Bad parts: Unfortunately, I feel like it never really... builds to anything. We know they're summoning something big, something bad is going to happen... and then we don't get to see that something. It makes the whole story fall flat at the end. It's unsatisfying and it feels just... cut off. -6 pts.

Overall: I like the concept, but I really wish I'd seen more done with it. 17/25

Entry 7:

  • Theme: 5/5. I liked the creative titles you gave to the different perspectives, too.
  • Conventions: 4/5. There were a few slightly awkward sentences, but that's all.
  • Assessment:
    • Good Parts: This is cool, man. Each of the different perspectives is a really nicely done little snapshot of a different society, and imbues each one with a different flavor in a way that feels perfectly natural without feeling bloated. The prose, though imperfect, is generally on the "really pretty good" side of the spectrum, especially during the Grayback segment. I love the different views each species had of each other, and the subtle ways they were all described.
    • Bad Parts: As cool as all of this was, the ending felt a little rushed to me. I left with the feeling that not much had been accomplished, and while I understood the viewpoints of each culture and the trouble that brings to their interactions with one another, I was ultimately left with a feeling that not much had been accomplished. It starts great, and the middle is great, it just peeters out a bit in the end. -2 pts.

Overall: Fantastic worldbuilding, and fabulous at sucking the reader into its world. I just think it needs a bit more at the end to really make it feel solid. 22/25

Entry 8:

  • Theme: 5/5. Not only did you use the theme, you used it in a very creative way that made sense.
  • Conventions: 5/5. All good on the Writestern front.
  • Assessment:
    • Good Parts: The voice here is just wonderful. The word choice is excellent, the sentences flow, and you write like a real professional. The imagry is evocative, and really sets the scene. The whole first portion of the story is utterly charming, while the second part makes you go "oooooh" in a really nice way. This story has a wonderfully polished feel overall, except...
    • Bad Parts: ...for Joshua's segment at the end. I was honestly surprised when I saw his bit, because it seemed very clear to me that the story was over. Aoife (how do you pronounce that, by the way?) kept the timeline secure, is getting a job, and she gets to say "Screw you" to her overbearing mother in the process. I honestly felt that Joshua was tacked on and unecessary; just the first two segments would have been enough. And I think they provided enough in the way of "multiple viewpoints" to be just fine. -2 pts.

Overall: Great story. I just question the necessity of the last part. 23/25

Entry 9:

Uh... I'm declining to give this an official score. It seems to be incomplete, as it does not match the word count and it seems as though something's been left out of it.


Chubert

ENTRY 1

  • Conventions: 3.5. You have a lot of mistakes with comma/semicolons, tense that can’t be reasonably excused by having it be in-character narration, run-ons, and a bit of awkward phrasing. But hey, it’s readable.
  • Theme: 5. Multiple viewpoints? Check. In the word limit? Double check. Have your free points.
  • Overall: 8/15. Travere’s stoicism near the end was pretty strange. I mean, either he faces his impending doom with fear, as previously described, or he’s just some hardass who doesn’t even flinch. I really would have appreciated a deeper insight into how the mermaids work. The fact that Xanthe is…well, apparently some Dn D BBEG was admittedly very disappointing.
  • You had a lot of unnecessary show, don’t tell going on as well. It yanked me out of the story. On the plus side, you had clearly developed and well-defined characters, and a solid plot (except for the ending).
  • 16.5/25

ENTRY 2

  • Conventions 3/5. You have a lot of typos.
  • Theme: 5/5. Word count, theme present, have your free points.
  • Overall: 7.5/15 The situation is really, really implausible. I mean, everybody treats it so seriously, you, as the author, treat it seriously—even though there are “just a game” lines, people are sweating and getting cut and ambushing and stuff. It’s not like they’re in some sort of military or something. If they lose, the penalty isn’t some horrible thing, even though it really seems like it sometimes. It’s just contradictory.
  • You had wayyyy too many characters. Some of whom I really couldn’t bring myself to care about. Here, let me try to remember the people—Martha, Cecil, Alex, Steve, Mark. That’s it. Everybody else seems to be brought up in obligatory reminder-references—“Hey, this person exists! Remember him?”
  • Finally, the end was…kind of sort of really anticlimactic. I mean, what did it have to do with the vast majority of the story? You’re concluding something that was brought up in reference. The actual climax of Martha getting her hat stolen didn’t matter in the long run at all.
  • Other than that, I think you have a good, intriguing background going on, and if you had more words to flesh out your ensemble cast I really think you could go somewhere with them.
  • 15.5/25

ENTRY 3

  • Conventions: 1.5/5—Now technically, I could give you artistic license, but I won’t, because this was just so damn hard to read. All the non-existent words, wonky syntax, and pseudo-accents were probably done on purpose, but I don’t care. I still can’t read anything.
  • Theme: 5/5. Not really any problems there.
  • Overall: 2.5/15. Okay. I have no idea what happened. I can barely grade anything. What I could understand sounded a bit cliché—bandits attack, oh no. Who the hell is Guido? I ctrl-f, and he’s some bandit private, but I have no idea—
  • The point being, go for coherency first and try for being clever later. Also, narration would be…nice. Like, something other than disembodied voices rambling on and on. I simply can't enjoy what I can't understand.
  • 9/25

ENTRY 4

  • Conventions: 4.5/5—half a point for small miscellaneous style errors.
  • Theme: 5/5. Free points. Nothing wrong here.
  • Overall: 14/15: This is great. My only complaint is that the younger guy in the beginning is entirely unnecessary and somewhat distracting. But Jesus Christ, you did this really well. As a guy who's read similar stories in a similar setting (SCP), kudos. You even managed to repeat the same scene, yet cast it in an entirely different light. Very engrossing, and the ending was very good.
  • 23.5/25

ENTRY 5

  • Conventions: 5/5. One of the ones were I couldn’t find that many errors. Good job.
  • Theme: 4.5/5. Okay, normally, I really wouldn’t do this, but I can’t say the shifting PO Vs did anything to the story at all.
  • Overall: 11/15. So, it’s solid¸ but not exactly interesting. In some parts it is interesting. But the illusionist twist can be seen a mile away, and the “robber-who-is-actually-good” archetype is just boring when it’s explored for a mere 1.5k words—especially when half of those words are a fight scene. Johnny and his dad…I couldn’t really feel their presence. Even more so for Freddy, who fades away into insignificance after the first scene.
  • But it is solid. Readable, nice background, mostly (except for one line) consistent characters—that was good.
  • 20.5/25

ENTRY 6

  • Conventions: 3.5/5. A few mistakes here and there, and some really awkward wording.
  • Theme: 4.5/5. When an entire third of the story is almost entirely pointless, that just bugs me to no end.
  • Overall: 7/15. I don’t know if you’re being serious or not. It’s not an effective parody and it’s not an effective horror story. Nor is it an effective combination. Everything just seems stilted and unnatural. Both the evil laughter and the attempts at lampshading the evil laughter fall flat.
  • The plot is really, really thin. Some woman’s getting sacrificed. There’s some backstory that doesn’t even affect the story. There isn’t even a conclusion. The good part is that you have a basic plot structure down, even if it’s repetitive.
  • 15/25

ENTRY 7

  • Conventions: 4.5/5. Some minor mistakes, and repetitive sentence structure. Really close to a perfect score, though.
  • Theme: 5/5. Good, good, double-good. No problems here.
  • Overall: 12.5/15. I like the world-building. I really do. It isn’t too cliché for my tastes, nor does the strangeness of the setting make it completely incomprehensible. The theme of mutual misunderstanding is nice as well.
  • What I didn’t like was the way the first-person was handled. It’s really kind of dry—it lacks emotion. Mostly, the characters state things factually and cleanly, as if in a diary. I don’t really get a feel for the true extent of the characters’ reactions.
  • 22/25

ENTRY 8

  • Conventions: 4.5/5—You get docked for a bit of a repetition problem and awkward phrasing. Otherwise, you’re good.
  • Theme: 5/5. Damn, I wish I could give extra credit.
  • Overall: 12/15. I’m going to start with the bad: the last scene is tacked on, repetitive, and shifts my mindset from “wow this is cool” to “uh, why hasn’t it ended yet…?”
  • Otherwise, good job. You have a very solid grasp of writing, your characters are well-defined, and the way that Aoife changes by re-experiencing the past is great. Nice character development there. Also, the settings are pretty good—by which I mean that Aoife’s physical background. The, uh, world-building also felt a bit tacked-on, but I could live with it.
  • 21.5/25

As to, uh, Entry 9, ...I'm really not sure how to handle it. I believe that parts are missing, but I don't know. Not going to grade it if other judges won't either. I will if there's an official ruling of some sort.


Betsy and the Five Avengers

Entry One:

  • Theme: 3/5. Now, I noticed that you did use multiple PO Vs, but none of the characters or their voices weren't distinct enough to feel as if I’m viewing this event from a number of different perspectives, beyond the occasional glimpse into what a character was thinking.
  • General: 12/20. I liked the idea, but I felt as if it was almost too grand, or too sweeping, for this purpose. It may need more than about 3, 000 words to really work. As it is, you relied too much on “telling” than actual “showing, ” and the repetitive phrases were distracting, and somewhat unnecessary. The lack of character interaction and depth before the mission doesn’t lead me to care about the expedition, or its resolution, so I didn’t feel anything when I finished reading. The writing was dry in places, and I think that you meandered a bit in the middle before you ran out of momentum towards the end.
  • Overall: If you were willing to revisit the idea and make it longer, than you would definitely have something here. This could be a nice outline or template, and with more character development, better pacing, and livelier prose, it would be very good. 15/25

Entry Two:

  • Theme: 4/5. I can see where the perspective changes, and I liked that every character had a different relationship to Alex, Martha, and an attempt to win the game. The little messages from Alex at the beginning of some of the sections were nice, too.
  • General: 14/20. I enjoyed the way this story began and the idea behind it. It kind of reminded me of a teenage Corrections: “We have to get together to play one last game of Hide-and-Seek!” The writing had a lot of “presence” which is great. Everything felt fun and natural, and it was a good read.
  • There were a lot of things going on at once, and a lot of characters coming in and out. In certain sections it was fine, but—like Entry One—this story also lagged in the middle and slowed down towards the end. The characters and their backstories seemed interesting enough, however, nobody stood out. Their tone and voices were too similar for me to invest in anyone. There is also a fair amount of telling in the narration that could have been trimmed. Some of the aspects—especially the superpowers—could have been left out; it didn’t seem to contribute anything to the plot. I also know that the only reasons the characters were playing the final game because they had to evacuate the city, but I never felt the extremity of this, why it was sad or difficult, and why it was shocking that Alex was the first to leave. This seemed like a central part of the story, but the way it was presented needed a lot of polish to work for me.
  • Overall: I have some minor complaints with this story, but it was an enjoyable read. Job well done. 18/25.

Entry Three:

  • Theme: 5/5. I have to give you full points on the theme. I loved the oral history approach; in addition to being different and original, I think it showed a lot of bravery to try something so minimalist for the contest.
  • General: 6/20. Nevertheless, everything else fell apart. I understand where you were heading with the dialogue, but each part read as if you were trying to add another quirk rather than explain an event. The plot and characters seemed to fall by the wayside. It was hard for me to finish this entry, and I was so distracted by all of the different devices that I couldn’t even begin to care about the story.
  • Overall: You deserve props for the refreshing approach, but everything else was too messy to resonate. 11/25.

Entry Four:

  • Theme: 4/5. For the most part, you wrote the same scene twice from two different character’s perspectives. This is serviceable as a story from multiple PO Vs, though it is a little paint-by-the-numbers.
  • General: 14/20. Unlike the previous entries, this one was slow to start before it picked up in the middle. The writing—particularly the expository scenes and inner monologues—tended to be a bit dry, and failed to rope me into the conflict. The first 400 words or so could have been cut down to get right to the heart of the story. I found that the real strength in this entry was the interaction between 1684 and Maxwell. At its best the dialogue was almost like a chess match, and there were some great lines. I liked that I could see where they were both coming from, and I enjoyed the subtle hints to the tension between them.
  • I think that the ending didn’t mesh well with the rest of the story. It felt like you were trying to end the story with a “wham!, ” which ultimately didn’t work against the quiet, clever match between the characters.
  • Overall: Good work on the character interactions, but the final moments were an unsuccessful tie-up for the ending. 18/25

Entry Five:

  • Theme: 5/5. I liked that you went back and forth between the two perspectives as the scene unfolded.
  • General: 15/20. I enjoyed this entry. The writing was clear, concise, and fast-paced. It caught me from the beginning and held my interest through the end. The dialogue was good, funny in parts, and you manage to capture the voice and presence well. However, the story was predictable, and the characters weren’t particularly original. The action scene was a bit muddled and hard to follow, which compromised my enjoyment of the ending. It was also a little too short, and could have been better if it was fleshed out more.
  • Overall: The writing was crisp, clean, and entertaining. The story would be more effective with more length, development, and originality. 20/25

Entry Six:

  • Theme: 3/5. The POV changed, and new speakers took over, but none of them stood out or enhanced the plot.
  • General: 10/20. This story was really hard to follow. The formatting and odd line breaks made it difficult to read, there was little exposition, the dialogue did not reveal much, and I had no sense of who the characters are. The plot was well structured, but I had little to no interest in it, even as I read it unfold.
  • Overall: This had potential, but the characters and exposition needed to be shaped up. 13/25

Entry Seven:

  • Theme: 5/5. I enjoyed the glimpses into the different classes; it was a really interesting take on the theme.
  • General: 13/20. This story is kind of a “diamond in the rough” for me. I liked the concept and found the setting interesting, but the first person perspective didn’t seem to work. The was little variation between the way the three narrators reacted to the setting and events. It was all very distant and unemotional, which would have been fine in third person. This entry was another one that could have used a lot of condensing, or trimming to remove the dry patches and repetitive narration.
  • Overall: You had an interesting setting and take on theme, but the choice to use first person takes away from the overall effectiveness. 18/25.

Entry Eight:

  • Theme: 4/5. The first two perspectives were great, but the last one could have been omitted entirely.
  • General: 16/20. You did a really good job. The writing was strong: descriptive without going over board, Aoife was interesting to read, the voice was very strong, and I enjoyed the little enhancements to the narration, like the advertisement. I also liked the concept: a character is able to revisit an odd moment in their past. That was a great take on multiple PO Vs.
  • The pacing throughout was rather slow, and some of the details from “Aoife as an adult” could have been trimmed. The last POV didn’t add to the story; it was more repetitive than helpful.
  • Overall: Despite its flaws, this was a great entry. 20/25.

Entry Nine:

  • I’m not going to score Entry Nine. You didn’t adhere to the word count rule, and I wasn’t sure what to make of the story. I have a feeling that it was either incomplete, or something didn’t come through on the hosting site.

snowfoxofdeath

Entry 1

  • Conventions: 3/5
    • Several punctuation mistakes and the like, but no spelling errors. There were also some weird places that probably resulted from sloppy editing.
  • Theme: 4.5/5
    • Straightforward. I have a reasonable idea of what Travere and Guillory are like, but Guillory is definitely the more interesting character. Travere is sort of just the wimpy assistant. Decent word count.
  • General: 13.5/15
    • It's mostly smooth (not counting the punctuation stuff), and I liked the ending, but not extraordinary. I noted a few places where more detail would be appreciated, but there're probably more if I want to be really picky. Show-don't-tell and all.
  • Total: 21/25

Entry 2

  • Conventions: 4.5/5
    • Read up on semicolon use. Other than that, good. Not a single misspelled word in sight.
  • Theme: 3.5/5
    • It wasn't really the same scene because most of the time everyone was in a different place. There were a lot of viewpoint characters and that probably made it harder for you to give each of them a distinct personality. Good job on the word count.
  • General: 13.5/15
    • I really wish I knew more about this universe, so I was slightly disappointed. Eliminating the hints of a post-apocalyptic world would help. Alex was the character I felt was the most developed, and we didn't even see him. Maybe, if you stuck to fewer narrators, you could have developed each of them more.
  • Total: 21.5/25

Entry 3

  • Conventions: 4/5
    • I know that some of the spelling and grammar errors were to keep with the voice of your narrators, but some of it, especially Chang and Dahgos', really wore on my nerves. It was overdone and made it harder to understand the piece.
  • Theme: 3/5
    • You played it straight. You played it too straight, actually, but I'll be a bit lenient because at least it was unique in that it was a court trial rather than just a section break like the others. Once again, overdoing the narrators' idiosyncrasies counted against you here. Don't know why you used the word "séance" because it carries very different connotations and means something completely different anyway, and then I realized that the guy was probably dead (being stabbed in the guts and all, so you should have made it clear from the beginning that he was dead). I thought it was within the word limit, and then I realized you pasted it twice, and it's about 400 words shy.
  • General: 8/15
    • I had to read it over several times to get what was going on. I count the "optional epilogue" against you because I didn't like the fact that you included it at all. All in all, it was a mess.
  • Total: 15/25

Entry 4

  • Conventions: 5/5
    • Some paragraph breaks would have helped, but that probably happened during copying and pasting.
  • Theme: 4.5/5
    • Again, played very straight, but I got a feel of the characters. I also liked that you put the agent first and Maxwell second.
  • General: 14/15
    • I liked this very much. I had to read it twice, though, and I wish I knew some more about Maxwell's past and how he lived so long— I assume he was born in the days of the Roman Empire. It flowed well.
  • Total: 23.5/25

Entry 5

  • Conventions: 5/5
    • Not much to say. They were fine.
  • Theme: 4/5
    • Is it hypocritical of me to demand the writers to come up with more creative ways to do this when the reason I dropped out was because I couldn't think of a new way? Even though I thought of some stuff in the meantime. The point is, you played it straight, but it did the job. Still couldn't get much of a feel for your narrators, though. Just below the minimum word count, but it didn't feel like it was too short or anything, so I'll let that slide.
  • General: 13/15
    • Neither terrible or great. Adding more background details would have been nice for sure. I think Johnny's powers are pretty cool, though, and I wish you fleshed out the story's universe a bit more.

Entry 6

  • Conventions: 4.5/5
    • Really weird line breaks going on here, and that made it hard to read. Other than that, okay.
  • Theme: 2/5
    • It didn't help the story and didn't reveal anything very meaningful about your narrators.
  • General: 8/15
    • It just… it just… it was so bland. I'm sorry. When I put up the links to documents with in-line comments, you'll learn more. Actually, I’m probably posting yours first because of how brief this is.
  • Total: 14.5/25

Entry 7

  • Conventions: 5/5
    • Once again, paragraph breaks would have been nice, but this probably happened during copy-paste.
  • Theme: 4.5/5
    • Nothing new, but I really liked the narrators and what they gave to the story, especially the last one.
  • General: 14/15
    • I loved it. I just wish I found out what the Master Hunter's species looked like sooner because it got me really confused. You did a pretty good job of fleshing out the world with the length of the story.
  • Total: 23.5/25

Entry 8

  • Conventions: 5/5
    • … yeah.
  • Theme: 4.5/5
    • You did the child's perspective very well. The simple sentences worked in its favor, but the adult perspective still had some of that, which didn't work as well. I knocked off half a point because I didn't think Joshua's was necessary, not even to further the word count. Otherwise, you would have gotten full credit because this was something different— the time travel.
  • General: 14/15
    • It really frustrated me not to see more of this world, but the story made me go "d'awwww" so kudos to you.
  • Total: 23.5/25

Entry 9

  • This one is apparently not going to be scored. Wheeee.

chihuahua 0

Entry One: Mermaid’s Egg

  • Conventions: 3/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Overall: 6/15
  • Total: 13/25
  • Comments: For me, this story fell a little flat for me. The plot wasn’t very compelling, and I expected Adhara to do something else, like betray Guillory and Travere—or actually be Xante. But at least she gave them Xante’s egg in the end. Travere as an Audience Surrogate? I kind of sympathize with him because of his master’s madness, but he didn’t really have a personality. Some of Travere’s narration was interesting though (Professor Vincent Guillory was completely, utterly insane. And he was letting this madman take him on a one-way trip to oblivion), but would he even know about the Spartan’s, and the “I told you so” card? Reality can be Unrealistic, but you could have used more historic comparisons. He seemed too modern for the era.
  • In terms of conventions, there were a few flaws. For example, your tendency to restate dialogue used in the last section came off as redundant and unnecessary. One sentence ("I assure you, Captain, I -will- find one..." ...Travere silently nudged his boss... "...and so will my apprentice.") came off as clunky. What’s with the dashes, and the ellipses are used strangely. You used variations of the word disdain three too closely together. Paraphrasing would’ve streamlined your story better. But at least you vary your sentence structure, and your word choice was varied. That’s a plus.
  • And I noticed you were about 2000 words short of the word limit. My advice? Fill it out a little more. Use the five senses more. What did the rowing the boat felt like? What did Xante smell like? Treat the moment Travere was dragged into the water like a snapshot in time. It was too short to be a satisfying climax. Tweak his narration to make it more historic-like, with maybe a metaphor or two. And give us another reason to care for him. Since Guillory’s insane, he’s the character that our audience has to care for.

Entry Two: You Can Now Raise Your Heads

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 11/15
  • Total: 20/25
  • Comments: For me, this was an intriguing story. From the beginning, you set the atmosphere, and you had me wondering. For example, what are these people, and why are they travelling? Is it After the End? And what game are they playing (apparently, some variation of Hide-And-Seek, with hats). There was a lot of telling in the first section, but it was necessary to set the backstory. Still, you left out enough for me to want to find out what exactly is going on.
  • The cast was a mixed bag. There weren’t a large variety of personalities (they seemed mostly the same for me) but I can sort of care for them. The dialogue exchanges were interesting, especially the one with Mark and Cecil. Martha stands out. I also wondered about Alex. What he going to do something, like go insane? Will he appear in the end? And the ending. When Sharon was giving the note to Martha, I felt nervous in anticipation. He abandoned them, and it is something that could affect what could happen after the story. An emotional stir even that small makes a story higher than average in my book.
  • In terms of Conventions, there are only a couple of nitpicks. In terms of grammar, your sentences flow together and you adjust your pacing quite perfectly, but I felt like the caps lock wasn’t necessary, as I stated above. Only Harry Potter gets away with it, but only because the lines where it is used for are already powerful. Also, your dashes lengths are inconsistent. Even if that was a result of the website, one sentence (“I’m, huf- I’m right –huf- RIGHT BEHIND YOU!”) looks awkward formatting-wise. And also, I think the word “huff” is used more, and it looks better than “huf”.
  • My advice? Develop the characters a little more. Vary their personalites. And I’m curious of all of their powers. Show them using them. But besides that, it’s a great story. With some brushing up and some streamlining, you could get it published in a magazine.

Entry Three: The Bitter Bight (sic)

  • Conventions: 1/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 4/15
  • Total: 10/25
  • Comments: Although some of the viewpoints were interesting, it wasn’t funny or exciting. Although you went for a quirky direction, I couldn’t get into the story. The beginning barely got me hooked, but the story went down-hill from there. The climax came a little flat. The story was quite simple, but a little confusing. From what I see, bandits attack, that is all. Out of all the sections only one stood out (More impossible! More ick! Interpreting prophecy be bunk! I call for spelling reform! It bain’t “Astrology”, it be “Ass-ology”). Even then, I didn’t laugh.
  • The Conventions? I know that you were putting accents for some of the viewpoints, the capitalization was bad. I knew something is going to be wrong when I saw the title. For example: (Deposition of Jacqot bandit artillery corporal). How am I supposed to read that. You also parse your numbers strangely. Single and double-digit numbers should be typed out as words. And you formatted your fractions differently. (1/3, ¾). But overall, it wasn’t easy to read.
  • And the optional epilogue? Sorry, but no optional here. It broke what little mood I can pertain. (WTF??? Cousin Guido excaped again? %$£^%&*%!)
  • My advice? Write it as a straight-forward story. The format doesn’t do it justice. In order to pull off something like this, you have to develop your characters, your style, and your story better. You didn’t need all of these viewpoints.

Entry Four: Untitled

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 3/5
  • Overall: 11/15
  • Total: 19/25
  • Comments: Even though the second viewpoint revealed very little, I was curious from the start, I was quite curious. Although I was a little confused about the setting and the characters at first (that was probably intentional), you got me into wanting to see how everything unfolded. Although the concept of the Millennium Man had been done many times, there was a fresh feeling to it. The end gave me a thrill feeling, from how Maxwell killed 1684.
  • No complaints for the conventions here. Any style errors that do exist aren’t blatant enough to spot.
  • My advice? Condense the second viewpoint. Just summarize what needs to be revealed and then show the climax.

Entry Five: . . . Now You Don't: an Origin Story (sic)

  • Conventions: 2/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Overall: 9/15
  • Total: 15/25
  • Comments: Although your story didn’t have a high emotional drive, it was quick and easy to read. Like Entry Two, your story involves a wave of superheroes. However, the tone was lighter, less melancholy, and the plot was straight-forwards. It was easy to read and wasn’t a bore, but more emotions could’ve been put in it. There was some deepness of the characters (Brains and Brawns, the fact that Chris is a formal man) but these were prominent.
  • In terms of Conventions, some of the sentences are awkwardly worded (The voice was low, menacing; The horror didn't even pause its slow advance) , but tolerable. For example, there are shades of “As You Know, Bob” (when a character calls another character by name or say a piece of information just so the audience can learn it) in the first and second section. Also, there was a point where John’s POV used Rufus’s name even though he never learned it. There were plenty of Said Bookisms, and a couple of “said he”. If you want a full examination of your wording, tell me.
  • My advice? Make it slightly deeper. For example, the fight scene felt a little hurried at parts, and an extra sentence or two can streamline things better. And a suggestion: Considering the depth, this could easily be re-tooled to be targeted towards a Young Adult audience, or even a Children’s audience.

Entry Six: Untitled

  • Conventions: 4 /5
  • Theme: 3/5
  • Overall: 7/15
  • Total: 14/25
  • Comments: Although the actual story is okay, the three point-of-views are redundant and unfinished. Plot-wise, not a lot happens, and I feel like there wasn’t an ending. It felt shallow at parts too. In terms of word choice and sentence structures, you are quite varied.
  • There were a few grammar errors here and there. The capitalization of “High Priest” is inconsistent in the dialogue, and there were some minor errors (...what? she thought.) Besides that, nothing grating.
  • Advice? Scrap the redundancies, and make something actually happen. Let our readers see whatever creature the cult summons up.

Entry Seven: Tenants

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 12/15
  • Total: 22/25
  • Comments: Although establishing a new world was a hard task, you manage to capture the beauty of it with interesting wording and sympathetic viewpoints. With each viewpoint, you able to cast the narrators in a bright light, and show that nobody are the antagonist here. Although the “tenants” tiles were confusing at first, it was an interesting touch, considering the domains of the three species. The first viewpoint establishes the stage, the second one has the most emotional impact, and the third one ties everything up.
  • No complaints for the conventions here.
  • My advice? Try to do something more with the third viewpoint and make the context of the world more clearer. But besides that, there’s little to chance.

Entry Eight: A Matter of Stability

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Overall: 11/15
  • Total: 19/25
  • Comments: Compared with the other entries, I couldn’t really figure out how much I liked it due to it “lit fic” nature. But in the end, there was enough emotions to make it an interesting read. How you handled the two main viewpoints (Young and Old Aoife). The second time, you provided great insight in Aoife’s state of mind and relationship with her parents, and you were the only writer that were able to use all-caps in an impactful way. I have one problem with the third viewpoint (Joshua) though: It didn’t add anything to the story. You could’ve left it out instead of letting the story die off.
  • My only complaint for conventions is that the pacing felt a little off, and some actions could’ve been expanded on. But nothing else style-wise.
  • My advice? Nuke the last viewpoint, and emphasize on the emotions of the story.

Entry Nine: Untitled

  • Incomplete
  • Comments: Since none of the other judges are scoring this, I'm not either. However, I can say it was a little higher than average, based on what you managed to write.


Fifth TV Tropes Writing Contest Edit

Found here; a discussion of themes for the contest found here.

The contest was held from August to October 2011 (announced August 16, deadline October 7). A longer period was given, accounting for the fact that many tropers would be in school. As a safeguard against tardiness, the deadline was extended by a couple of days until seven entries were received. This caused some confusion.

The judging dragged on longer than usual due to one judge abandoning the contest for real life duties. A real life acquaintance had to be recruited to help round out the close scores. Regardless, there were three tied places.

Theme: Combine two or more of the following into an elegant and well-crafted entry:

Results:

Host/anonymizer: snowfoxofdeath/ Snowy Foxes

Judges:

  • jewelleddragon
  • chihuahua0
  • Kino (dropped)
  • RL friend of Snowy Foxes (dropped)
  • jewelleddragon's Other Half

Entrants:

  • Fallen Legend
  • Dealan
  • feotakahari
  • animemetalhead
  • Doktorvan Eurotrash
  • USAF 713
  • Ralph Crown
  • Freezair For A Limited Time
  • Mecha Jesus
  • Away Laughing
  • snowfoxofdeath/ Snowy Foxes
  • Leradny
  • Chubert
  • deathjavu
  • Rhyme Beat
  • Argeus the Paladin
  • Manga Maniac
  • Saturn
  • Boredknight
  • pagad
  • Specialist 290
  • History Maker
  • Dae Brayk
  • Atom James
  • Tera Chimera
  • Mild Guy


Fifth Contest Evaluations Edit

jewelleddragon

Entry 1

  • Conventions: 4/5 (balling instead of bawling, Spinsteress is not a word because spinster is already feminine, some awkward syntax)
  • Theme: 5/5 (fairy tales, second chances, genre shift)
  • Overall: 10/15

Darker and edgier takes on fairy tales always walk the line of unintentional humor. This entry generally manages, but the first half in particular has some lapses (you expect us to take a badass Little Red Riding Hood seriously? Did you see that movie?). I'm not a big fan of fantasy kitchen sinks, and while that shouldn't count against you, there are parts of this one, like Gretel, that don't feel like they add anything, especially since Gretel's establishment would presumably be a candy house. The world-building feels inconsistent; the Stork seems to be a real stork, but Cat and Mouse are guys, and since when is Clever Hans a fairy tale character? Also, spot checks. This is not D&D.

However, the world-building is well-communicated, revealing and concealing detail effectively, and often intriguing. I liked the Stork's establishment and the ravens, as well as Rumpelstiltskin's apparent fragility. As the pace picks up, the story gets stronger and more compelling, and the Rumpelstiltskin/Spinsteress/Hans interplay works well. The tone is very consistent.

Recommendation: Go through this with a close eye for what builds up the story and what undermines it.

  • Total: 19/25

Entry 2

  • Conventions: 4/5 (though for thought and a few others)
  • Theme: 5/5 (Harris Burdick, second chances, a bit of fairy tale)
  • Overall: 12/15

This story feels pat without being trite and follows a fairy-tale type of narrative with a legitimately sweet and powerful ending. It addresses legitimately difficult situations and makes them feel solved without trivializing them or feeling like a cop-out. Archie is nicely voiced. I'd like to see more of the mom and Eric; what we do see is interesting. My problems with this entry are primarily cosmetic. Archie swearing feels out of character. Statistics should be given as odds (something to one) or percentages (something out of one hundred). And, most importantly, the world feels really sparse. He goes to a park and plays a trading card game. We don't know what anyone or anything looks like.

Recommendation: A little color would go a long way.

  • Total: 21/25

Entry 3

  • Conventions: 4/5 (acknowledgement, a couple of missing words)
  • Themes: 4/5 (alternate history, one hour. I don't consider finding aliens to really be in the spirit of alternate history, though.)
  • Overall: 12/15

The survival/horror tone of this story is nicely developed and makes good use of the unknown. It has a good historical tone, too. Generally, it's very compelling. However, there are some weak points. The characters are essentially flat. It's strange that the infestation could progress so far without being noticed and that there are no safeguards nor methods of neutralization other than shooting them (why not seal off the area and gas it?), especially since there was a previous escape. And the ending is a let-down. Perhaps it's an inherent problem of survival/horror that it ramps up and then lets you down, but “Yeah, we killed them all” is a particularly weak way to do it.

Recommendation: Better ending, natch. Find a way to destroy the Ivaneks that's more clever than “we shot them all.”

  • Total: 19/25

Entry 4

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 3/5 (fairy tales, one hour, Harris Burdick. But story with fairies doesn't equal fairy tale, and Harris Burdick is thrown in. Also I wouldn't peg this as genre shift or alternate history.)
  • Overall: 6/15

This one is all over the place and no aspect of it is fully realized. Elves have been discovered, but their impact on society isn't explored very much. There are too many characters for such a short story and they're consequently underdeveloped. We get a few looks at elvish psychology and culture, but Jan and especially his relationship with Eileen feel too human. The plot bounces from accidental pregnancy to glowing pumpkins to dog attacks, abandoning one to address the next. The clean, spare writing is the strong point.

Recommendation: Start with world-building—think carefully about how tiny 400-year-old creatures would think and act, and how they would influence the world—and work out how to mesh the story with that.

  • Total: 14/25

Entry 5

  • Conventions: 4/5 (some awkward or ambiguous syntax)
  • Theme: 5/5 (fairy tales, second chances)
  • Overall: 14/15

A fairy tale entry containing a proper fairy tale, and a fine example of how to properly write vignettes. Each section stands on its own, but is harmonious with the others. The characters are fully developed in a few quick strokes. The dialogue is realistic and has strong voice. The larger events into which this story fits make it compelling, but it doesn't just feel like an excerpt from a longer work. The writing is evocative, but at times convoluted. My main points of contention are Lucy's scene, which introduces too many concepts for such a short space, and Jessica, who is an oddly inert foil.

Recommendation: Maybe drop Lucy's scene.

  • Total: 23/25

Entry 6

  • Conventions: 2/5 (punctuation issues and tense/number confusion, unnecessary capitals)
  • Theme: 4/5 (one hour; fairy tale, but more of a general fantasy)
  • Overall: 12/15

Interesting cosmology and approach to will and the mind. There's an appropriately inexorable feel to this world that draws you in—this was a story I really felt invested in. The first-person voice with its omniscient aspect is a neat storytelling angle. The rules of the world feel consistent and believable, avoiding contrivance. Still, there are a few major loose ends. Is the narrator driven by what people want or what people expect? Why bother mentioning the Other Humans and Barbara when they have no bearing on the story? Why are the transformations sometimes timed and sometimes triggered? The latter makes me suspect this might be part of a larger work, or at least a larger world, always a rocky starting place for a short story.

Recommendation: This story is mostly in need of a grammar clean-up.

  • Total: 18/25

Entry 7

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 1/5 (No fan fiction. It's in the rules. Also doesn't include any of the themes.)
  • Overall: 5/15

I don't read fan fiction and I'm not inclined to be generous to it in a contest that specifically forbids it. The author should also note that, while there was some discussion of fairy tales vs. tales that happen to include fairies, there is no universe in which Carmen Sandiego nor any expy of her is a fairy tale character. If you need to clarify why your story fits the theme, it doesn't.

I'm not sure if this story is supposed to be funny or not. Parts of it certainly are funny, but it feels unintentional, as if it's supposed to be a serious noir-detective story about Carmen Sandiego. The first few paragraphs in particular are incredibly narmy. It's apparently set in some sort of alternate world, which adds nothing except questions about why this world is exactly like ours. The story itself is adequately plotted and organized, but the protagonists never actually do anything substantive.

Recommendation: Follow the contest rules next time.

  • Total: 11/25

Entry 8

  • Conventions: 1/5 (get a native speaker as a copy editor)
  • Theme: 5/5 (fairy tales, second chances)
  • Overall: 9/15

While the conventions are a major hindrance, beneath them is a simple but charming fairy tale told in a classic style. Not a monumental work nor a very subtle one, to be sure, and it doesn't address any new or particularly interesting ideas, but there's an honesty to these characters that makes them relatable, and I'm inclined to prefer simple stories executed effectively to complex ones executed imperfectly. I also like the semi-historical setting, although the descriptions are too sparse to give a proper feel for it. It's broken up into way too many sections.

Recommendation: Get a native speaker to proofread.

  • Total: 15/25

Entry 9

  • Conventions: 5/5 (some word choice, but not docking you because it might be a British/American thing)
  • Theme: 4/5 (genre shift, one hour, but I wouldn't have guessed the former)
  • Overall: 13/15

A short and compelling entry. The lack of resolution is effective in a short story, leaving it appropriately open-ended, although the last paragraph isn't very snappy. The descriptions, voice, and fluency are all especially strong and make this one feel realistic and personal.

“I'm justice” is definitely not a strong reveal, though, and it's unclear how Christian comes around to believing her in just a few paragraphs.

Recommendation: Lose the last paragraph and end it with “eyes.”

  • Total: 22/25

Entry 10

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5 (second chances, one hour)
  • Overall: 11/15

A good concept, but the execution feels slightly at odds with itself. The apex of the story ought to be on Remiel offering Abel resurrection, but there's a page and a half of detailed action after that when the story ought to be winding down to its resolution, and when there's no emotional investment because Abel has been given his second chance and presumably won't immediately die. It's also odd that his second chance involves him immediately killing someone; having him take a third option to get out of the situation would be more fitting. The action and injuries are highly detailed, while the angel scenes are barely given any description. There's also a fair amount of word cruft.

Recommendation: Shave down the action parts so that the focus falls on the resurrection bit, where it should be.

  • Total: 21/25

Entry 11

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5 (fairy tales, genre shift)
  • Overall: 9/15

This entry starts out strong, but gets weaker. The voice initially suggests a children's story, but words like “effervescent” and the “bundle of sticks” joke suggest otherwise. Unfortunately it's a tired old premise, neither executed very strongly nor covering any new ground. An almost prohibitively large cast of stock characters goes through standard fish-out-of-water situations that often make very little sense (if the parents put so much research into picking a school, how come they don't know anything about it except the name?). I think the author also overestimates general knowledge of nerd culture.

The story's strong point, however, is the voice. The writing is playful, largely well-paced and organized, and often clever (such as “Spring bubbled”), although there are awkward bits, like “They all felt much better after that, but not quite.” This makes it a quick, fun read, regardless of its weaknesses.

Recommendation: Find a more exciting angle to take on the “fantasy creatures enter the real world, hilarity ensues” premise.

  • Total: 19/25

Entry 12

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5 (alternate history, second chances; the alternate history is barely mentioned)
  • Overall: 14/15

This is a fascinating story that opens all kinds of questions. Its main issue is being a little too brief for its subject matter, but even that is hardly a criticism, since at every turn it feels open-ended rather than unplanned. The characters are complex and well-developed, especially the narrator, who manages to make the amnesiac narrator feel compelling, perhaps because the focus is on the future and where he's going rather than the standard plot of piecing together his past. The story could stand to expand more on the last bit, where he's with his family, and to give us a bit more history since the alternate-history aspect is barely mentioned.

Recommendation: Give us some more history.

  • Total: 23/25

Entry 13

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5 (fairy tales, second chances. Way over the word limit.)
  • Overall: 11/15

This ought to be a great story, but I don't feel it's really working. The initial appearance of a cliché unhappy fairy tale sequel quickly gives way to the far more interesting multiple-realities story, but it's needlessly long and lacks the precision that these sorts of stories require. The writing feels affected; getting the correct voice for upper-class fantasy characters is difficult. But my main complaint is the narrator's OCD-like obsession with cleaning. No matter where she is or what she's doing, all she can talk about is how dirty everything is, and it overwhelms all the rest of her personality.

Recommendation: Trim it down by ceasing the constant cleaning focus.

  • Total: 20/25

chihuahua0

Entry One: “Rumpelstiltskin Plays It Smart” (Breezy and Quirky)

  • Conventions: 3/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 10/15
  • Total: 18/25

Explanation: Overall, the breezy and quirky narration is a two-edged sword. At first, I found it a bit too loose (the content level isn’t usually something I look for), the amount of similes and metaphors used were interesting, not to mention amusing at parts. Rumpelstiltskin indeed has an interesting point. I also felt both dread and anticipation at parts.  However, at parts, it was a little too breezy. I found it a little hard at parts to anchor myself into the story due to the monotony of the pacing (the narrator maintains the same rhythm throughout), and therefore a few details went over my head and failed to sink in. I was still able to follow the story. Also, while a lot of the characters were recognizable due to the way the narrator describes them, I confused Spinster and the Queen, and Hans fell a bit flat. 

In terms of conventions, you didn’t do too badly. However, you tend to leave out commas (No avoiding it goddammit”), and you use one too many sentence fragments, which might have contributed to the fast pacing.

Advice: Vary your sentence structures a little. Be a little less breezy at parts when dealing with slower stuff. Mix the normal with the clipped and quirky, and the contrasting will make swallowing the story and retaining the nutrition a little better.

Entry Two: “The Young Redeemer” (Artistic and Looming)

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 13/15
  • Total: 23/25

Explanation: Wow. At first, I was hesitant on giving such a high score to an early entry, but this is a stirring story. Although it doesn’t barrow deep into the gut, the story’s style is a little plain, but compact, hitting the right notes with a POV that switches from immersive and omniscient. 

I had trouble anchoring myself at first because of the latter, and the fact that I couldn’t figure out whatever to read it as a Middle School, Young Adult, or Adult story (the content threw me off), along with Archie’s age and the time period, I settled into the story. Your story is strong enough to keep its prologue/epilogue and said bookisms from being jarring. The narrator reminds me slightly of Death from ‘’The Book Thief’’. The little details here and there helps. The final sequence with Archie’s parents…amazing.  Conventions? Didn’t notice any problems, although I’m not the best at spotting them.

Advice: Flesh it out. I feel like there needs to be something more to this story, to polish it more, along with characterizing the narrator and his species. Maybe a novella, if you find enough content? I feel like the structure deserves expanding. Also, pin down your exact audience, and adjust Archie’s age and the content as necessary.

Entry Three: “Untitled” (“Alex Casey walked cautiously down the hall.”) (Flowy and Quick)

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 9/15
  • Total: 18/25

Explanation: Although the story’s straight-forward, with only a couple of twists, it is fun, in a way. With lots of small paragraph and lots of dialogue, it makes it a fast-paced and thrilling story. The exposition is also sprinkled throughout and delivered in a natural way. However, the number of characters (especially that squad) made me a bit detached from some of the minor ones, but I was able to hold on to a few like Ramirez, Larson, and O’Reilly. I felt the ending didn’t go down as climatic as it should be (pinning it down is a little hard), but it doesn’t affect the piece too much. 

Conventions. Besides a few semi-colons and “little recoil, to boot.”, it’s fine.

Advice: Really, I’m not sure. It’s not bad, but not overly great…Maybe play around with atmosphere a little more? Also, make characters more distinct, and see if you can either reduce the squad or shift the focus.

Entry Four: Untitled (“Ten o'clock.”) (Brisk and Witty)

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 9/15
  • Total: 19/25

Explanation: I liked the brisk pace. Although I was confused about the characters at first, when I sorted them out, it was smooth sailing. You have just enough detail to carry the story along, with little exposition bogging stuff down. Although I didn’t laugh out loud, I find some of the parts amusing. I would like to have more taste of this world. It has potential.  Nothing wrong I noticed in terms of conventions.

Advice: A little more description may be needed to balance out the dialogue more. Contrast is important. Also, a little more focus to the scene may be needed. The dog in the end may need a little foreshadowing (or more of it, if I missed it). If this is supposed to be a little slice-of-life, it’s okay, but it’s hard pinning down the point of the scene.

Entry Five: Untitled (“Two words encapsulated the conditions of the colony Elysi:”) (Subdued and Artistic)

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 11/15
  • Total: 20/25

Explanation: It’s a beautiful piece, I can say that, and it’s also clear. But it didn’t have as much of I focus than I preferred it to have. Although the connection between the five parts is apparent, it took some retrospective thinking to pin them down. I feel like two, or even three (the cabin, the black hole, and the artificial of humanity), different plots are in motion, but I can’t see them clearly. It’s supposed to be thought-stirring, I know that. The fairy tale made that apparent, but I wished it tied up more neatly, possibly before the fifth part.  However, I like your word choice and attention for detail, but I think it wasn’t distributed evenly in the middle, where it became a bit barer.

(“He knew what HQ’s reply would bee”) is the only grammar problem I spotted.

Advice: Improve the focus. Streamline it. I know you’re aiming for something literary, but the five parts sort of confuse me in a jumble. Really, I think this is more suited for a longer format, since a length like this requires more emphasize on one plot thread.

Entry Six: Untitled (“The Clock strikes twelve times.) (Plain and Internal/Distant)

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 4/15
  • Total: 13/25

Explanation: Although it is a bit thought-provoking and the end got slightly better, the prose is plain and a bit beige. The lack of dialogue, quite a lot of “I see”, “I hear” and such, lots of telling, little sensory details, simple vocabulary, and a strange godly view doesn’t make it very immersive. I feel detached. Besides a misplaced period (“Fifteen. minutes until my next transformation.”), there isn’t anything too awkward about the prose, but there’s nothing special about it. Your use of varied sentence structure did give your story a little more depth, but I couldn’t get into that depth. Ironically, how internal the POV causes the external part to fall flat. It’s mostly thoughts in a plain environment. 

Story-wise, it’s hampered by the prose. The “capitalized phrases” at the beginning were a little confusing, and the animals form the narrator takes is also a bit confusing, but I can see a story down there. I see potential to convey the emotions of the humans. The problem is, you don’t “show” these emotions.

Advice: Really, I don’t have a lot to say about this, but try mixing your current style (semi-thought-orientated) with some more scene. Ground your narrator more, get the reader into her/its skin. Spice the wording up. Read about stuff like figurative language and word usage. Don’t be afraid to show some real color.

Entry Seven: “Whistle While You Warrant” (Noir and Witty)

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 12/15
  • Total: 21/25

Explanation: Although the first two paragraphs were a bit slow, you quickly built up the tension with your prose. And you got me hook at “That bitch stole my car”. Even though I left half-way through reading the story, I quickly pick up the feeling in my gut. Although it's a straight-forward detective story with a noir tint, the humor infused in the narrative, along with some thoughtful clues, made it an enjoyable tale. The antagonist is also interesting, along with a few other characters.  I do have a few things to point out, though. First of all, I think the detective needs a little fleshing out. Although he possesses wit, his background isn't as elaborate on as Colonel Whitford. Also, you lost me at some of the clue stuff.

One nitpick though in terms of grammar. (Don't corrupt him, " Miss Whitford said, over an astonished gasp. "With your tall tales.") From what I know, “with” should be lowercase. And you use the word “pumps” one too many times. Find some other shoes.

Advice: As I said earlier, flesh the detective out. Increase his stakes in the case, perhaps putting a personal attachment to it. With some work, you can make a character that you can reuse again and again. Also, if you're going to publish it, file the serial numbers off Carmella Santiago. Besides that, not a lot.

Entry Eight: “The Fairy and the Slave” (Story-telling and Raw)

  • Conventions: 1/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Overall: 5/15
  • Total: 11/25

Explanation/Advice: Hmm…how do I put this? It needs revising, I can say that, but it’s savable. The following will be all advice.  There’s too many mistakes grammar wise (although it’s still readable, it hampered the prose a little), but you make mistakes with end punctuation. You sometimes leave them out in dialogue, and the spacing is a little inconsistent (the correct format is no space before it, one space after). Also, you always place dialogue tags after all the dialogue is done. This gets repetitive after a while, so considering placing some before or during dialogue. 

Now, story-wise. I can see this as a story aimed for children or middle-schoolers, but it still needs some strengthening plot-wise. For example, the protagonist’s problem with her mother is never resolved, you need to fix that. Also, her regaining her powers is a bit of a Duex Ex Machina. Keeping track of characters were a bit difficult, but it probably got to do with the prose. Also, you don’t show at the right times. Instances you probably should show is at parts like Vanisha destroying the army, or when she gets whipped for the first time. Generally, you should work on the end of the scenes. Also, reconsider making the beginning more scenic. 

Lastly, if you’re going to enter again, you probably should get someone to look over your work. Either that, or take some lessons on grammar. It’ll help your writing, and save you a lot of pain in the long-run. Good luck.

Entry Nine: “"Her Eyes, Her Sword" (Varied and Subdued)

  • Conventions: 3/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 7/15
  • Total: 15/25

Explanation: Although I could feel the tension coming on, I feel like it wasn’t channeled correctly. The story is missing a strong structure. You do evoke some good images, but your delivery needs a little work. I think the main problem is with Christian. I’m confused whether he supposed to be a young man or a father. He also lacks a strong motive, nor good stakes. He only helps Justice out of spite. Also, the ending didn’t feel complete. It left things hanging. Plus, the build-up whimpered out, because the climax isn’t apparent enough. Is it when he offers to bring her to the hospital? If it is, it’s a bit beige there. 

You made more than a few formatting blunders. For example, you always put your commas after the second quotation mark, which isn’t the correct position to put them. Also, the usage of underscores bothered me. Dashes are standard. Underscores are rarely used in formal writing. One minor nitpicks is that instead of “Is”, it should be “I’s”. 

Last final note: I think the main problem is probably your voice. It seems inconsistent and unbalanced. While you zoom in on some details on some parts, there isn’t a lot of anchoring at other parts. Your dialogue is a bit silted, and dialogue tags are place in a way that interrupts rhythm.

Advice: Work on Christian first. Since the story is lacking conflict, you’ll have to find an inner conflict within him to drive the story, to give him a reason to be with Justice, something he can fulfill at least a little at the end. It’ll make hitting those beats better. Also, work on dialogue, along with your writing style.

Entry Ten: Untitled (“The back of his head was a mass of pain.”) (Formal and Subdued)

  • Conventions: 3/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 10/15
  • Total: 18/25

Explanation: Although it’s slow-paced, it’s a rather interesting story, a look into Abel’s soul and internal conflict. Some thoughts are offered with nice execution, especially with Abel and the lamb. The action parts formed some good tension too.  However, the transitions to and from the flashback and the real world are a bit jarring. Maybe a soft break is needed. Also, the first paragraph after the section break is a bit too long, and I think the opening can be reworked to get to the point earlier (I read an article recently on how opening with a character regaining unconsciousness isn’t a great way to start it. A little unavoidable with your story, but…) . However, you hit all the plot beats pretty well.

One sentence killed the momentum a little due to having two mistakes (emphasizes added): (“[…]is prodding at my ‘’psych’’ supposed to aid in the judgement of my immortal soul? If so, we're wasting our breath. I'm ‘’Hell bound’’ anyway."”) You also use some unusual spellings (like sceptical) that are acceptable, but thrown me off a little. Besides that, I didn’t spot any grammar errors.

Advice: While your voice is stirring in a way, I feel like the action is a bit buried in it. Maybe I just find it a little too formal? It’s something to consider. You can transfer some stuff into your otherwise brisk but bare dialogue. Also, work on transitions and the opening and the closing. Besides that, it’s very polished. Entry Eleven: “The Brothers of Deepwood” (Story-telling and Picturesque)

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 8/15
  • Total: 18/25

Explanation: Your prose is quite interesting. Although it’s mostly summative, approaching scenes in a passage-of-time matter, the plot is clear and straight-forward. It makes a good children’s story. The opening was a bit heavy, but the rest gets away with varying vocab without breaking its pacing. 

However, it does fall flat plot-wise. For example, ‘’too’’ many characters. Do you really need fifteen? Seven, or even five, would be enough. I could only anchor onto a few, like Snow, but after a while I treated all the brothers as a collective character and didn’t bother making any ties. Of course, this comes with its problems. This neglects some of the main conflict, the relationships between the brothers. It’s also simple, with little twists. Safe, but not interesting.

Advice: Cut down the amount of brothers to five. You can delegate all those roles to those ones. Consider improving the opening to get to the point (that’s where I get the “Story-telling” vibe at first, besides the narrator), and raise the stakes. Perhaps contrast between the problems of the brothers who blend in or choose to stand out and therefore bullied.

Entry Twelve: “The cafeteria line mechanically shuffles on.” (Stark and Varied)

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Overall: 13/15
  • Total: 21/25

Explanation: Even though the details in the first paragraphs weren’t represented clearly, the rest showed the sci-fi parts in a stark way, not being confusing. The protagonist I emphasized on a level, and the list was a feather in your cap. The relationship to the wife is shown in a good and somewhat sad way (those lines she used while taking him to bed was clever).  However, in the end, I realize that my expectations didn’t match with what you were trying to induce. For example, I expected some sort of rebellion, probably due to the narrator’s resistance to the experiments. The ending became a bit confusing, mostly because the transition starting with dialogue and making me think that the narrator was interacting with his wife at first. Also, the profile at the end is a little pointless. I wished to see the alternate history elements just a little more, as the Darth Vader and Legend of Zelda references, also presented nicely, don’t pin down the era enough.

Advice: While the opening is okay, work on the last half, or maybe the scene where the wife is rescuing the narrator and make things more clear. The profile may have to be cut. Also, see the transitions and see if you can strike a balance between smooth and jarring.

Entry Thirteen: “Mother Dearest” (Long-winded and Brisk)

  • Conventions: 3/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Overall: 14/15
  • Total: 22/25

Explanation: This is an unusual story for me to read last.  Prose-wise, it’s varied. Your complex sentences were interesting at first (it probably reflected Ella’s voice), but it became monotonous soon. The opening had my interest trailing before the scene kicked in, along with the ending. The dialogue exchanges between the step-mother and her daughters also were a bit brisk for me. In general, although I was completely confused, information was lost at me. It locked the story within the text. Also, lowercasing “father” and “step-mother” was a bit jarring. 

But the idea and execution under the prose was what redeemed it. It’s a story I would want to read. I actually considered doing a Cinderella story for the contest, before I decided to become a judge. But making it a Peggy Sue story puts a twist to it. The other elements (no happily-ever-after, Wilfred Ella’s pregnancy, the incorporation of mutilating feet, the father being alive and involved) maintained a constant state of tension. There was a bit of darkness, without being edgy. Once nitpick is the Shaggy Dog Story, though. It made pinning down Ella’s control of fate unclear.

Advice: Work on the prose. Change the voice and vary sentence structure. Add some more details to anchor the readers in so you can present information without dumping it. Think of a theme. This is a great story to put one in, due to how it adds new to the old in a new way.


jewelleddragon's Other Half

Entry 1

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Score: 9/15
  • Total: 19/25
  • Strengths: Solid conventions, readily apparent themes, and spots of original humor.
  • Weaknesses: Sparse descriptions and somewhat loose characterization, no really likeable

characters (though of course that’s intentional in most Noir).

Entry 2

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Score: 14/15
  • Total: 24/25
  • Strengths: Solid conventions, well-incorporated themes, good characterization and pacing. Very genuine.
  • Weaknesses: Harris Burdick is of course a constraint but the story is pulled off well. Borderline

sappy, but it stays on the right side of the line, I’d say.


Entry 3

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Score: 12/15
  • Total: 21/25
  • Strengths: Plays to genre well, solid conventions, killer bunnies.
  • Weaknesses: Slightly shaky themes, and stock characterizations.


Entry 4

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 3/5
  • Score: 6/15
  • Total: 14/25
  • Strengths: Good conventions, characterization.
  • Weaknesses: Somewhat reaching themes, and inconsistent tone. Also, killed a dog.


Entry 5

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Score: 11/15
  • Overall: 20/25
  • Strengths: Solid conventions, interesting characters, original vignettes.
  • Weaknesses: Weak theme incorporation, loose connections between snippets.


Entry 6

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Score: 9/15
  • Total: 17/25
  • Strengths: Good atmosphere, themes, concept.
  • Weaknesses: A little too stream-of-consciousness at points.


Entry 7

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 3/5
  • Score: 7/15
  • Total: 15/25
  • Strengths: Good conventions, some funny moments.
  • Weaknesses: Weaker themes, somewhat meandering storytelling.

Entry 8

  • Conventions: 3/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Score: 10/15
  • Total: 18/25
  • Strengths: Good story, theme incorporation, and consistent characterization.
  • Weaknesses: Lacking in conventions, a little too stream-of-consciousness.


Entry 9

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Score: 13/15
  • Total: 23/25
  • Strengths: Original story, good conventions, nicely atmospheric.
  • Weaknesses: Somewhat weak in flow, impassive characters (though some of that is intentional, I imagine).


Entry 10

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Score: 9/15
  • Total: 18/25
  • Strengths: Good pacing and conventions.
  • Weaknesses: Ambiguous in theme and message.


Entry 11

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 4/5
  • Score: 8/15
  • Total: 17/25
  • Strengths: Fine conventions, original origin story, nice flow.
  • Weaknesses: Somewhat generic plotting, theme-light.


Entry 12

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Score: 9/15
  • Total: 19/25
  • Strengths: Good characterization, themes, conventions.
  • Weaknesses: Narration breaks down a bit midway, gets a bit jumpy.


Entry 13

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Score: 8/15
  • Total: 18/25
  • Strengths: Good conventions, thematic incorporation, good pacing.
  • Weaknesses: Somewhat weak flow, hard-to-follow narration at points, and inconsistent message.

First TV Tropes Fanfiction Contest Edit

Found here.

Originally held from October 7th to December 5th, 2011, but extended to January 15th after only four entries were received. Many posters expressed uncertainty at or difficulty with writing a story at the same time as participating in NaNoWriMo. However, no entries were received after the extension, so the stories were judged with as many judges as entries. Two of those judges then dropped out, but the first place and last place could be clearly determined from the judging patterns (although it is still uncertain which story would have been second and which would have been third had more judges posted scores.)

Stories were allowed a maximum of 6,000 words instead of the usual 5,000, potentially including an optional paragraph at the beginning to explain relevant information about the setting and the characters. An additional judgment criterion, worth five points, judged how well each story functioned as an independent work. (Thus, stories were scored out of 30 instead of 25.) This didn't work out very well--only the winning entry received more than two points for this criterion from either judge.

Theme: As might be deduced from its name, this contest was for fanfiction rather than original work. Contestants were asked to combine two or more of the below:

  • Redemption
  • Freedom
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Death
  • Deconstruction

Results:

  • 1: Entry 2 (Feotakahari), 48 points
  • 2: Entry 1 (Freezair For a Limited Time), 36 points
  • 3: Entry 3 (Night), 33 points
  • 4: Entry 4 (Misuki), 17 points

Host/Anonymizer: Fallen Legend

Judges:

  • Mild Guy
  • Nrjxll
  • Alethiophile (dropped)
  • Animemetalhead (dropped)

Entrants:

  • Night
  • Misuki
  • Feotakahari
  • Freezair For a Limited Time
  • Pacific Mackerel
  • Specialist 290
  • Away Laughing
  • Leradny
  • Vyctorian
  • Limit Removal
  • Raven Wilder


Fanfiction Contest Evaluations Edit

Mild Guy

Entry 1

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Stands-On-Its-Own Factor: 1/5
  • Themes: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/15
  • Total: 16/30

Comments: Strong descriptions of the environment and character motions and gestures. You worked hard to show rather than tell what the characters felt and thought. Sometimes you went a bit overboard (for ex: A chuckle limped out of his mouth and gave up. I think you tried a little too hard on that one.). Despite never having played a Persona game, the subject matter of defying gender roles is relevant to my interests. I feel sad, then, that I have to give you such a low score. The issues begin at paragraph 4 where you slip into reporting backstory and exposition dumps. You're probably frustrated that I would object to information needed to understand the characters and what they're talking about, but it ties into one of the core faults of this story, which is: this story doesn't stand on its own. The beginning and very tail end might sound as if they came from a short story, but the lion's share of the middle reads like an excerpt taken from a novel-length work. Your story fails to make use of the short story form's strengths. The pace is leisurely, and the characters vent a lot of tender secrets and confessions to each other, which felt very to the point and on the nose compared to how most humans normally talk. People normally evade or use tact and such. It also seemed to me like you had an anvil or two to drop. Most of the conversation lacked subtlety, is what I'm saying, though Naoto's voice seemed more consistent to her character. This tone might work for a fan of the game, who is more familiar with the characters and their struggles, but this story by itself doesn't draw me into the characters enough for these personal moments to have much impact on me. Maybe if I'd played the game... But I haven't and this fic, for all the game plot summaries, kept me distant, and it was a dry read. The POV shift from 3rd person limited to 3rd omniscient didn't do this any favors either. It wouldn't surprise me if Persona 4 fan readers enjoy this a lot more than I do.

Entry 2

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Stands-On-Its-Own Factor: 4/5
  • Themes: 5/5
  • Overall: 11/15
  • Total: 25/30

Comments: This story is my pick for the winner. I've procrastinated for two days, trying to think what I'd type here, and I haven't come up with much. This story works as a short story. It stands on its own. And even though I've never played a Mass Effect game, and even though there is little exposition in the story, I never felt lost or that the writer had dropped me down a random hole somewhere once the arms of their creativity grew tired. I enjoyed reading it. The other entrants need to read this to see how it's done. But they should also be wary. For A Kind of Duty is not perfect, oh no. There's something keeping it back. Something lacking, but I'm having a hard time articulating what that is. Perhaps the redemption and forgiveness feels too easily bought? Perhaps the writer should've picked just one POV character instead of spreading things out between the queen and the Asari? The conflict was morals and forgiveness VS survival and past suffering for the Rachni. For the courier the conflict was... feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem versus, uh, I'm not sure. I feel she's the weak link here. Still, I'm not sure what I can suggest to improve this story. Short and (perhaps overly) sweet.

Entry 3

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Stands-On-Its-Own Factor: 1/5
  • Themes: 5/5
  • Overall: 7/15
  • Total: 18/30

Comments: This story starts well. The first subsection flows, and even the exposition was fun and involving to read and worked in the story's favor. The first fight scene managed to be emotional without melodrama, clear without being overwrought (except for a confusing line at the end dealing with a ship and what it was attacking), and overall this section does well to set tone and voice and reader expectations. Then we get to the next part and things begin to fall apart. Around the part where we get more world building exposition and descriptions of the Bureau uniforms. The rest of the fic I had no idea what was going on, who was doing what to who and why, and I had no reason to care. All the stakes and tension vanished in a blur of world building details I didn't need and choppy fight scenes that didn't hold together like the first one did. We're not told, for instance, what happened to the first wave of enemies before Sig is already fighting the second (they all died, I guess?). Another thing lost was Signum's voice, which helped hook me into the character in the beginning. There are also POV issues. The descriptions hop from omnipresent narration and description (Sig would not think about how strange her pink hair is, she would take it for granted), to closer cropped 3rd person limited, with the details she notices and experiences coming from her own POV. It was a bit confusing. After the first section, this story began to read like a half-finished highlight reel or a synopsis the writer was in a great hurry to bang out and turn in on time without ever reading it over. The themes were there, and grammar and syntax looked pretty clean to me.

Entry 4

  • Conventions: 2/5
  • Stands-On-Its-Own Factor: 0/5
  • Themes: 2/5
  • Overall: 2/15
  • Total: 6/30

Comments: I can read it. The positive part of this critique is now over. I am not being snarky. This warning is meant in full sincerity. Okay. Here we go. Nothing else works in this story. The dialogue is stilted, there's too much exposition, all the characters sound the same, nothing really happens, and the narrative contains no elements which I personally consider the components of a working story—not even in the artsy slice of life Literature sense. The characters tell each other things they should already know. The plot makes no sense given where the characters are in the game. Much detail is given, but none of it is carefully chosen or revealing of anything. This story failed to engage me in any way. This entry does not stand on its own, and it fails to work as a fan fic. Being a fan of FFT will not save the poor reader here. It reads as if the writer couldn't be bothered to take the challenge seriously and just phoned this entry in. I gave it a point for effort and a point for basic readability. Spelling seemed fine, but dialogue is not punctuated correctly throughout, and there was at least one misused semicolon I found.


Nrjxll

Entry 1

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Stands-On-Its-Own Factor: 2/5
  • Themes: 5/5
  • Overall: 8/15
  • Total: 20/30

My overall assessment: Generally, an enjoyable work - despite some questionable stylistic choices - with a theme I can strongly sympathize with, but it fails to work as a stand-alone story.

Entry 2

  • Conventions: 4/5
  • Stands-On-Its-Own Factor: 5/5
  • Themes: 3/5
  • Overall: 11/15
  • Total: 23/30

My overall assessment: An unambitious work that serves as an enjoyable quasi-morality tale. The best offering here, but falls short of what it could have been thanks to the poorly fleshed-out nature of one of its protagonists.

Entry 3

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Stands-On-Its-Own Factor: 1/5
  • Themes: 3/5
  • Overall: 6/15
  • Total: 15/30

My overall assessment: Starts off well, but devolves into a disjointed mess with a curious focus on clothing and way too much exposition. At least the fight scenes seem solid.

Entry 4

  • Conventions: 5/5
  • Stands-On-Its-Own Factor: 1/5
  • Themes: 2/5
  • Overall: 3/15
  • Total: 11/30

My overall assessment: Utterly mediocre work whose indistinguishable protagonists give me no reason to care about them, even without considering the somewhat cliched premise. But the conventions are fine, at least.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.