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View Full Version : Comments on short story contest #1 - THIS IS NOT AN EXIT


King_Ghidra
05-08-2003, 16:17:42
What it says up there - comments and criticism here :)

fp
05-08-2003, 16:23:33
It says in the story-posting thread that we must START with the phrase "This is not an exit". That sounds a little restrictive to me.

Would it be OK if we changed it so that we simply have to include that phrase anywhere in the story? Or does that not give enough restriction?

King_Ghidra
05-08-2003, 16:25:34
hmm..i thought that bit might cause controversy. Personally i 'm easy about it, but maroule's idea seemed to imply that we take a phrase and continue from that point.

So my feeling is just using the phrase somewhere is ok, anyone else have an opinion?

If no one objects by the end of the night i'll edit the other thread to 'includes the phrase'

Sean
05-08-2003, 16:26:37
I prefer that you have to start with it, although it does give you a rather abrupt beginning in most cases. Then again, I’m not entering.

King_Ghidra
05-08-2003, 16:27:10
not entering? i hoped you'd join in :(

Sean
05-08-2003, 16:28:12
OK then, I’m entering.

King_Ghidra
05-08-2003, 16:30:39
i was serious when i said i'd rather someone entered a 50 word story tha they wrote in 10 minutes than didn't enter at all, i intend to pimp this fucker and get CGers involved, it'll be well worth it

fp
05-08-2003, 16:31:12
Actually I withdraw my objection. :D

After thinking about it for a few minuted I've come to the conclusion that it's better the original way. ;)

Sorry. :scared:

BigGameHunter
05-08-2003, 18:20:01
I would like to possibly suggest that we submit to one person anonymously, so that there is no emphasis whatsoever on the writer and only on the story...kind of like LWP?

King_Ghidra@home
05-08-2003, 18:46:45
hmm...although i can see your point i don't know i like the idea of that...i was thinking it would be more informal than that. But i do understand the desire to have people read the stories without prejudice.

I just wanted it to be as little organised and regimented as possible.

maroule@home
05-08-2003, 19:37:35
it's nice to have it as the first sentence because it is a constraint we all share : it will then be amusing to see we all found our own specific way to deal with it.

King_Ghidra@home
05-08-2003, 19:40:11
yeah agreed. I've started writing mine and i used it as the first line so the die is cast now anyway :)

BigGameHunter
05-08-2003, 19:49:09
Pussies...
:0

BigGameHunter
05-08-2003, 19:49:55
Damn...I can't seem to get my story concept out of the Greek bath house setting...hmmmm.

jsorense
05-08-2003, 21:56:25
Ummm, now where are we suppose to post our stories?

King_Ghidra@home
05-08-2003, 22:03:02
you're asking for trouble young man :bash:

jsorense
05-08-2003, 23:27:04
Totallly up to my usual standard, don't you think?
:D

Funkodrom
05-08-2003, 23:44:12
I have posted something too. I must have started writing seconds after jsorense submitted.

Written quickly when very drunk so I expect it'll be cringeworthily shit when I read it back in the morning. Night!

:beer:

Darkstar
06-08-2003, 06:04:18
Damn you, J Sore! I had something similar in mind! Oh well, I will see what else I can dream up...

King_Ghidra@home
06-08-2003, 06:34:47
Great stuff guys, well done for entering, i'm so proud! :o :cry:

maroule
06-08-2003, 08:25:14
:hmm: mine is quite overblown. I did it as I used to play this game with a friend : I take one full hour (yesterday night). I cheated actually because I re read it this morning and made some changes. Oh well. I felt like telling an horror story, so there you go.

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 08:35:23
I don't dare read back what I wrote last night because people have obviously read it by now and if it's as bad as I imagine I'll be gutted. :o


Possible spoilers, read the stories before the comments:













jsorense, that takes me back. :)

Jon Miller^3's is totally surreal. I've read it twice and I don't really know what it's about.

I like maroule's style, dunno if it's because he's not a native speaker but it's got a great rhythm about it. His is the most classically structured short story so far, down to the twist at the end.

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 09:20:18
Another good one - shades of the Weapon X project. This was a great idea! :beer:

fp
06-08-2003, 09:37:06
Very good ones so far. :coolgrin: I almost wish I hadn't read them yet ... a bit intimidating.

I like maroule's style, dunno if it's because he's not a native speaker but it's got a great rhythm about it.

I find that quite a lot with foreign novels that have been translated into English. They have a very different flow to them than most novels we get to read. It's great!

The idea for a story I had is very similar to the one jsorense posted so I'll have to back to the drawing board on that one.

maroule
06-08-2003, 09:56:04
on K_G's : very good!
The general idea is very good, although the treatment a bit contrived, too much leaning on the situation and not enough place to the protagonists (one or more character description would have added meat to it).
I do like a lot however the economy of it : very efficient in describing a whole scenarii in a precious few words, or a motivation in one sentence (you can't prevent that). Ending it with the starting sentence was obvious, so it somehow spoils the final twist, but it's still elegant and IMO the right way to do it (I like well crafted/precise 'mechanics' in novels).

I just re-read mine, I didn’t pull off well the terror monologue, it was a tricky bit and I flunked it.

maroule
06-08-2003, 09:58:40
Originally posted by fp
I find that quite a lot with foreign novels that have been translated into English. They have a very different flow to them than most novels we get to read.


funny you should say that, I indeed write very differently in French and English. My tempo is much quicker (shorter sentences) and more aggressive in English, I move more leisurely in French.

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 10:04:08
I didn't think you flunked it. I always get pissed off when I read stuff back though, because I think I could have done it better. I'm especially bad with stuff I wrote a long time ago.

King_Ghidra
06-08-2003, 10:13:45
Originally posted by maroule
on K_G's : very good!
The general idea is very good, although the treatment a bit contrived, too much leaning on the situation and not enough place to the protagonists (one or more character description would have added meat to it).

yeah was very tempted to add to the characters of Blish and the general, but as you say, i decided to go for economy to maintain the pace of the story

Ending it with the starting sentence was obvious, so it somehow spoils the final twist, but it's still elegant and IMO the right way to do it (I like well crafted/precise 'mechanics' in novels).


Agreed again. Although it felt a bit clichéd it was quite natural, i didn't want the story to feel open ended, so this was a kind of closure (literally :))


I just re-read mine, I didn’t pull off well the terror monologue, it was a tricky bit and I flunked it.


no i liked it, it was vague enough that it gave your imagination freedom to fill in the details yourself, while also suggesting the horror

fp
06-08-2003, 10:31:18
ack! 250 words into mine and I'm on the verge of drowning in a sea of adverbs and adjectives!

Noisy
06-08-2003, 11:33:08
Has anyone emailed Kory?

Venom
06-08-2003, 13:11:05
Maroule's is too long, and he uses overly redundant adjectives and descriptions.

I like the face smashing in Funko's and the machine gun fire in jsorense's.

maroule
06-08-2003, 13:14:36
most of the redundance is done on purpose actually, for rythm sake, and because the narrator is supposed to talk (not write)

but it is too long, yes

Venom
06-08-2003, 13:18:06
I was wondering if that was the case. I couldn't quite figure out if the second sentance was some sort of pun/joke or if you just got stuck in a loop.

And I'm half kidding about the length, if I wrote something it'd be twice as long and 5 times as rambling.

King_Ghidra
06-08-2003, 13:33:24
You forgot to mention that Maroule's is written in pidgin english :p
in fact you're being worryingly nice to him...:cute:

jon miller's entry is like william burroughs' naked lunch rewritten by a thirteen year old, but very entertaining all the same :D

fp
06-08-2003, 13:51:04
Isn't "I am not Jon Miller" a loinburger AE? The avatar and the frequent mentioning of the word 'ass' would certainly suggest so.

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 13:53:13
Ah. Possibly!

I Am Not Jon Miller
06-08-2003, 14:38:08
Originally posted by fp
Isn't "I am not Jon Miller" a loinburger AE? The avatar and the frequent mentioning of the word 'ass' would certainly suggest so. Is my penchant for assery that much of a giveaway? :(

I'm a bit partial towards maroule's story -- "Fucktard Hendry" ties the room together.

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 14:42:59
From what I remember of my story, Qweeg's copied the plot. ;)

maroule
06-08-2003, 14:43:47
I re read funko's and I quite like it actually. Short stories seem perfect for exposing daily, meaningless frustrations

Qweeg
06-08-2003, 15:03:06
Originally posted by Funkodrom
From what I remember of my story, Qweeg's copied the plot. ;)

Edited to conceal neglectful behaviour.

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 15:06:34
:)

Debaser
06-08-2003, 15:12:15
Ok, mine's up. It's entirely constructed from cheesy cliches.

King_Ghidra
06-08-2003, 15:18:33
cool, a big fat hug for everyone who has contributed, i'm really chuffed so many people have made the effort already

Venom
06-08-2003, 15:25:59
I wanna be a writer! WAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

fp
06-08-2003, 15:28:51
A paperback writer?

Venom
06-08-2003, 15:34:14
I liked Debasers. Left me wanting to read more, but perhaps a little too short on the people involved, but what can you expect from 20 lines.

King_Ghidra
06-08-2003, 15:36:01
venom you can write a short story, i know you can. And if you can't, try anyway for chrissake

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 15:36:16
I wanna be a raita.

King_Ghidra
06-08-2003, 15:41:48
Debaser, they say a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Yours appears to be lacking an end, which is a shame cos after building the story up now you don't tell me what happens to those two.

Sean
06-08-2003, 15:42:50
I want to be a waiter.

Venom
06-08-2003, 15:45:20
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
venom you can write a short story, i know you can. And if you can't, try anyway for chrissake

My time will come. First I must gauge the audience and see what kind of scathing criticism I can expect.

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 15:47:46
Worse than that, I'm going to give you patronising praise.

King_Ghidra
06-08-2003, 15:48:09
easy - you can assume that whatever the general level of criticism, it will be that much more scathing for you :)

Debaser
06-08-2003, 16:02:39
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Debaser, they say a story should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Yours appears to be lacking an end, which is a shame cos after building the story up now you don't tell me what happens to those two.

Exactly, they're stepping out into the unknown.



Or maybe I couldn't think of anything interesting to happen to them

Funkodrom
06-08-2003, 16:03:38
They could have had sex. :rolleyes:

Venom
06-08-2003, 16:05:34
Originally posted by Funkodrom
Worse than that, I'm going to give you patronising praise.

Oh that is diabolical.

fp
06-08-2003, 20:10:56
Doesn't it just really fucking annoy you when people who don't have English as a first language write such erudite, expressive and interesting stories?

I struggle to ask the way to the toilet in French and then paiktis and maroule come along with a couple of excellent stories and English isn't even their first language.

Bastards!!!!

(great stories, by the way. :D :D)

BigGameHunter
06-08-2003, 20:57:35
Wow...great stuff so far guys. All very different and each with it's merits, for certain.
I like Funky's 'cause it feels the most real, Qweeg's 'cause it's funny, Debaser's 'cause it reminds me of a Clancy novel, KG's 'casue it makes me want to play HalfLife, Paiktis because it has an oppressive feel to it, and Maroule's 'cause it reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe or something...Cthuluistic stuff. Jsorense and Not Jon Miller were a bit hard to follow for me...but reminded me of when my friend wrote something similar in English class in high school and they called in therapists and counselors and his mom 'cause they thought he was going to kill himself!!! Ha ha!

King_Ghidra@home
06-08-2003, 21:21:06
Paikitis, BGH, great stuff - it's funny but as in some way i felt both maroule's story and mine were similar, i felt both your two stories were similar.
To explain what i mean, i and maroule's were both horror type stories, whereas bgh's and paikitis' are more vague and psychological/dare i say mystical - they do not have tidy plotlines in the sense that maroule's and mine did, yet they are consistent and complete in their own way.
Perhaps no one will agree with this opinion of mine - it is bolstered by a bottle of wine and several beers :D

Anyway well done both of you, i'm so pleased at the response, hopefully there's still a couple of stories to come

fp
06-08-2003, 21:36:21
Originally posted by King_Ghidra@home
hopefully there's still a couple of stories to come

There's at least one. :D

It might be Saturday before I have time to finish it though.

Sean
06-08-2003, 22:51:36
:lol: @ IW’s entry. That was great.

Noisy
06-08-2003, 23:19:19
Phew. Lucky I didn't go with the 'Exeunt, persued by a bear' motif.

Sir Penguin
07-08-2003, 02:58:47
Sorry, mine's really long and ~winded.

And Turnbach is not a reference to BTO, dammit. :mad:

SP

King_Ghidra@home
07-08-2003, 06:47:20
Some great entries after i went to bed last night, well done everybody!

maroule
07-08-2003, 07:14:25
I liked SP's, but even more IW: nothing so original in the theme (reminiscent of 'in the bleak midwinter') but very light (in the good sense of the word) and balanced. The best story among the shorties so far, for my money.

Qweeg
07-08-2003, 14:23:15
I like Drekkus's story, I thought it was very zen and I think I get it (it's not an exit- it's a painting! er....)

anyway good stuff. All the rest were crap.

apartfrommine.

Qweeg
07-08-2003, 14:24:28
I was only kidding, I havent read the rest yet, so I will do so now.

Immortal Wombat
07-08-2003, 15:06:07
They're all good. Its amazing how the opening phrase has forced lots of the stories into dark and disturbing themes, trippy headfucks and paranoia. Does that make it too restrictive, or just more of a challenge? Interesting though.

Thanks maroule, and Sean. :D

paiktis22
07-08-2003, 17:05:21
Thanks for your good words :) All stories had worth/merit IMO. Some were worked more, others less. The story that I enjoyed a bit more was KG's. I think it was just solid, "slim", horrour storry with a good literary circle roundup. Maroule's story brought to my mind standard Lovecraft/Poe and managed to send a small electric needle up my spine in the end, BGH's I think did share elements of esoteric head fuck trips as IW said :D with mine and it made me think of Gibson's Neuromancer in some point. Funkodrom's could be entitiled "stories of everyday madness" and I'd like to read some others from start to finish before I say anything.

Sir Penguin
07-08-2003, 17:37:20
Originally posted by Immortal Wombat
They're all good. Its amazing how the opening phrase has forced lots of the stories into dark and disturbing themes, trippy headfucks and paranoia. Does that make it too restrictive, or just more of a challenge? Interesting though.

Thanks maroule, and Sean. :D

I think it's because everyone's metally disturbed but we're big pussies who can't do it in real life.

SP

Drekkus
08-08-2003, 11:01:37
Originally posted by Qweeg
I like Drekkus's story, I thought it was very zen and I think I get it (it's not an exit- it's a painting! er....)
Thanks! I was just about to say that I really liked yours!! You should have used, the 'round the corner' bit in the spoken text too. Could be a sketch of some silly british comedy.

The rest are indeed dark and violent. I haven't read the long ones yet, but most of them are weird! DaShi's is sick!

maroule
08-08-2003, 11:08:57
not everything is about happy trees in life, spoonhead


but yours was good (except for the mispelt french, I'll have to kill you for that)

Drekkus
08-08-2003, 11:25:40
une sortie, right?

maroule
08-08-2003, 11:34:10
yes

King_Ghidra
08-08-2003, 12:08:49
I missed the last batch of entries somehow :clueless: Anyway, I'm really impressed, some very good stuff there!

Thanks again to everybody who has submitted, i'm so pleased that everyone has taken part, it looks like people are enjoying writing and reading the stories as much as i am.

I don't know what we're going to do to decide who is this week's 'winner', guess i'll just start a voting thread monday, omitting myself, given that we need a new person to suggest the opening line for contest #2

BigGameHunter
08-08-2003, 15:05:45
Ah, just pick someone at random or do it in order of submission or something...I generally detest contests based on subjective artwork.

Darkstar
09-08-2003, 03:45:45
Posted. Had to split it into 3 parts. It's actually just 19,990 characters, before the (Part) notes. That put it over the limit for 2 posts, and turned it into 3.

One short sequence of scenes. Not even a real short story. ;)

Good thing we weren't going for something big, eh? But a piece is done when it is done, ya know?

Venom
09-08-2003, 18:07:03
3 parts? Looks like I won't be reading that one.

Darkstar
10-08-2003, 04:43:48
It's just at ~20,000 CHARACTERS. Which isn't very long, actually. And it's not very dense reading, since its got a lot of dialog.

But if you don't want to read it, fine. Lots of gratutious sex and violence, Venom. Next time, I'll add in a few explosions for you. See if that will help bait it for you. :D

Venom
10-08-2003, 12:55:35
You can't trick me wit those lies!

fp
10-08-2003, 17:50:39
I've just posted my story. I think all the ones posted so far have been good, and a few are really excellent.

This was definitely a good idea, thanks for having the initiative to get it off the ground King_Ghidra.

Scabrous Birdseed
10-08-2003, 20:13:08
Right, mine's in. Marred by the always crippling combination of gross incompetence and massive pretension, I started out with a really ambitious idea and then realised I was too crap to do it and then did it anyway in a crap way.

Mine's also a gothic horror story. Not a very good one and a bit of a thought excercise rather than an actual story, though it has a loose structure of sorts in thought and abrupt ending if not in actual plot, since there isn't one. God I suck.

Debaser
10-08-2003, 23:59:59
I quite liked it, though I prefer the sentence "Marred by the always crippling combination of gross incompetence and massive pretension...".

BigGameHunter
11-08-2003, 06:35:21
Shit...if I knew this was going to be in novella form, I'd have done a bit more than a "sudden fiction" piece.
Some of you bastard have a lot of time on your hands.
And a shiny penny to the person who can guess what my story is really about.

King_Ghidra@home
11-08-2003, 06:45:49
Well a suitably bizarre final piece from Scabrous rounds off what i think has been a really enjoyable excercise. For the final time a huge thanks to everyone for submitting the stories. :beer: I don't about anyone else, but i'm keen to get started on story number 2. :bounce:
With that end in mind, we do need to agree somehow on how we pick the next sentence to start the story with.
I suggested a vote for the best story and then that person picks the new sentence, but BGH has already raised his disapproval to that. Does anyone else have an opinion on this method or a suggestion for another way?

Sir Penguin
11-08-2003, 06:51:59
I could write a program that, given the thread number of a story thread, extracts the username of everybody who posted in that thread and picks one randomly. :)

SP

Darkstar
11-08-2003, 06:52:33
Lies? What lies, Venom? Go ahead. You know you want to.

The stories did turn out rather well. However, I think Laz wrote the best one. Humm... since Venom didn't submit anything this time, let him give us the start to the next one. How about it? Anyone else second that?

Funkodrom
11-08-2003, 13:01:01
I don't mind, and don't have any suggestions. :)

King_Ghidra
11-08-2003, 13:06:36
well you're fucking useless aren't you mr no argument

i don't mind venom picking it but maroule's suggestion was to use a phrase from another work of literature, so unless we want 'See Spot run' we could be in trouble

Debaser
11-08-2003, 13:14:57
I'm sure he's got a few issues of Guns & Ammo scattered around too.

Immortal Wombat
11-08-2003, 13:18:23
Just remembered what fp's story reminds me of: Detective Story from the Animatrix. Maybe its because I saw them so close together, but I even pictured the story in the same black and white animated format.


As for next time, I don't mind. I think "see spot run" would be a good opening line.

Funkodrom
11-08-2003, 13:18:28
"Where's Wally?"

Venom
11-08-2003, 14:52:40
Oh you want literary, do you...FINE!

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

That's literary, so suck my gooch.

fp
11-08-2003, 15:03:08
Originally posted by Immortal Wombat
I even pictured the story in the same black and white animated format.

Well that's cool, because that's exactly how I imagined it when I was writing. Wicked. :D

King_Ghidra
11-08-2003, 15:09:00
Originally posted by Venom

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Fine by me :beer:

Scabrous Birdseed
11-08-2003, 15:20:05
Nooooo! Oh okay then.

Funkodrom
11-08-2003, 15:50:39
Ugh.

OK I have an idea, it's fine.

fp
11-08-2003, 15:55:44
Are we gonna have Sunday night/Monday morning as the deadline again?

King_Ghidra
11-08-2003, 16:09:40
yeah, i'm away in the middle of the week so it'll give me a chance to do one