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Veive's Darkfic Contest
ANNOUNCEMENT


The following are the winners! surprised

First Place: Oxxidation.8
Second Place: Fader
Third Place: Doll76




ANNOUNCEMENT

As of June 22nd(when end-of-year parties should be done), I want everyone whose entries are on Pages 1-6 (yes, initially, if you decided to repost) to stop editing their work and leave it as is. I'm going to start judging then, and I'd like to make sure I'm judging the latest edition.


ANNOUNCEMENT

So guys, we've been given a 10k grant. Which means that prizes have gone up. Sweet. Thank you Mahayr!



You may know me. You may know me as the harsh and snarky reviewer who hasn't actually been around a terrible lot lately (blame it on junior year). You may also know me as the girl who writes that creepy fiction about the guy who reads the future in his own entrails.

Which is, really, why I'm creating this contest.


Table of Contents:
01: What is this contest about, anyways?/Prizes, Deadlines, and Rules
02: Hints, tips, and things I don't want to see.
03: Entrants and comments on entries.



So, what is this contest about?

Dark fiction.

Which, in my definition, contains almost all of the following:
-Unclear lines of good and evil
-No guarantees of survival or success
-Gritty, brutal consequences
-********, real people who have issues.

It also may contain these:
-Dark secrets
-Insanity
-Death
-Sex, consensual or nonconsensual
-Magic
-Unmentionable things from the past/the abyss.
-Weird, gross "wtf" moments
-Horror
-Violence


I really, really like dark fiction. Really. And it pisses me off when so many authors- amateur or published- throw in trappings and fail to give us a really dark story. Dark stories are not quantified by body counts (Hi, Terry Goodkind). They don't earn dark status because people call their rituals "Offerings to the Darkness", and because women and men are raped (Anne Bishop). They don't earn dark status because they challenge religious beliefs (Dan Brown). They certainly don't earn dark status by having vampires (Anne Rice).

Prizes, Deadlines, and Rules

This is your mission: Write me something dark. Write me a scene, take a chapter from your novel, or write a short story.

Any fiction genre is permitted. I have more experience with fantasy and science fiction, but realistic fiction is fine.

When you're done, post it here. There is no entry fee.



And now, the prizes:

First Place: 12k
Second Place: 6k
Third Place: 4k


A Special Note: As I seem to be very popular, I'm offering an optional cleavage sign to the first-place winner. If they refuse, the second-place winner will also be offered it. If they refuse, the internet will remain empty of Veive cleavage-pics. And no, I'm not a fatty.

Also, if you win, you may tell me whatever you want it to say- within reason. Push me and you'll get a generic "(Your name here) won Veive's contest".


Deadline for entries is July 1st.



Other Rules:

EDIT:
Veive
Would you guys mind skipping a line between paragraphs? It makes it easier to read. Also, don't post in weird colors like pink or that dreadful turquoise.


-Include a warning before the story if there is extremely graphic content, whether it be violence or sex.

-SPELLCHECK, for love of God. Any entries with a grammar or spelling error every sentence will immediately be discarded.

-No getting hissy at my comments on others' stories.

-No comments on others' stories. If you have something pressing to tell me, PM it.

-Obviously, no plagiarizing or other unscrupulous things.


Judging!

I judge all the entries.

As I read your entry, I will post a response in the thread. Do not get hissy with me. mostly, it'll be asking questions- clarification, concrit, whatever. You may respond to the questions. However, you may not try to use the responses to justify poor prose. You also may not post bonus prose. It is okay to edit your entries up until I have posted response comments.
Hints, tips, and things I don't want to see


-Poorly developed characters will get you nowhere. The majority of dark fiction is dark because the characters are deep, complex, and ******** in the head. That means that your characters should not be two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs.

-Keep realism in mind. Yes, I know, it can't dictate everything, but the world should not bend around your main character. Basic logic should not be violated without good reason.

-Melodrama is poor. The proper dark fiction piece is quiet and subtle about its darkness. Throwing your work in my face- "LOOK HOW DARK I AM"-- will not earn you points.

-Dark Fiction is not characterized by a body count or whatever trappings you throw at me. In order for it to be dark, it has to make the reader think. That means that you have to blur the line between right and wrong. Hit us in the gut until we have no idea what is good in the world-- or if there's anything good in the world.

-Avoid the cliche. If I see any black-clad badasses whose parents were killed, I'm going to run. Fast.

-Antiheroes are cool. Heroes who wear a lot of black and have a tendency to whine are not antiheroes. In order for a hero to be classified as an antihero, they must do things that stretch our concepts of "good". These things cannot be sympathetic. That may mean mutilating bodies, defiling graves, cheating on a loving spouse, killing someone ruthlessly, torturing someone to death, etc.

-Whiny boys with black hair who slit their wrists are not dark. They are emo. There is a large difference. If you can't tell the difference, stay out of my contest.

-Write well. Don't use "crimson" to describe blood; that's tiring. If you write gore, know how to paint it so well we shudder.

-I don't mind sex and violence, but please recall that things should exist for a literary purpose, and that literary purpose is not "to make my character want to bed another". Also, I read bad smut in my free time. This means that I can and will mock any story that uses the words "love tunnel", "wondrous rod", and "impressive superstructure" to describe erogenous zones (just so you know, the last one was supposed to mean "breasts" wink .

-You want to write abuse? cool. Do it in a knowledgeable fashion, and please learn how to describe it besides the way everyone who has ever written a "father rapes daughter" story does.

-Insanity is a bigggg leap with me. If you don't do your research and you don't know what it's like, you're running an interesting risk. Although I'm not exactly insane, I have a number of mental disorders. If what I see seems flat and shallow (i.e. "multiple personalities" used to excuse a character's "bad" actions), I'll be quite bothered.

-Nihilism isn't fun. Have a character who's alive, really alive. Apathy and nihilism should not pervade every fiber of your story.
Contestants:

Any person with a strike through them has been commented upon. Just scroll down~.

KiwiOfDestruction, Page 2
NinjaKittiMeowMeow, Page 2
LilyPichu, Page 3

Oterys, Page 3 :: I haven't forgotten about you, but I'm striking the shorter pieces first.
.-[ TOASTER ]-., Page 3
Follow My Lied, Page 5
Dark Fae of Tithe, Page 4
Xeroxer, Page 5
El Gunslinger, Page 5
D_Marx, Page 5
sango-chan17, Page 6 (See above)
Tekzoi, Page 6
x_haphazard_x, Page 6

Oxxidation7, Page 6 (well, sort of)
SilverTree Tears, Page 7
Tailos, Page 8
Kjralon, Page 8

Devin Caldwell, Page 9
GoldenRoya, Page 10
Black Revolver, Page 10
Itazurana Shojo, Page 11
Madara_Phile, Page 11
1Grevenya, Page 11
schoconapps, Page 12
SilverMercury0892, Page 12
doll76, Page 12
LatkesGirl, Page 13
Jasper Riddle, Page 13
The Zed, Page 13
Scribbling Scribe, Page 13
Fader, Page 13
Kyou Nitsune, Page 14
Ghanim, Page 14, who doesn't know the meaning of "prose".
DMJewelle, Page 15
Lyaliro, Page 15
wiingz, Page 15

Krazy Kaori, Page 15
Triste-chan, Page 16



Comments!


Kiwi of Destruction:
Alright, the good first. I liked some of your phrases- the postcard image stuck out at me especially.

Your character was obviously unbalanced. The one problem I had with her was that it seemed... flat. Although it was first-person, there wasn't much feeling in her head. There are ways to show the audience how she sees things besides just stating her thoughts- things like how the character perceives their surroundings. You did a bit of this, but I felt it could have been a lot better had there just been more.

Some of your transitions were weird, which might have worked with the overall mindset of the character, but in my opinion they were too choppy without the narrative being established as choppy.

I also thought it was going to end before it did, with that paragraph about how she's still killing people and taking the bracelets.

Overall, it's a neat idea, but I feel the execution could have been a lot better, a lot more emotional. There are ways to make things read emotionally even when the character is unemotional, ways to make your readers cringe even when the characters aren't.


NinjaKittiMeowMeow:
Your descriptive language is awkward.

That wouldn't be such a blatant problem if the entire meat of this was descriptive language, but as the majority of this is soaring and sometimes melodramatic imagery, it comes off as a real pain. I read it out loud and I keep pausing to try to figure out exactly what you mean.

A lot of the problem is that your word choice is sloppy. How does "repugnant" blood "entice his nostrils"? You're establishing a limited third-person and breaking it. If the scent of blood is, as you've said, repugnant, the character would more likely be repelled by said scent.

This is an example. In other sentences, you use too many words, you use adjectives that are unnecessary (moonlight is generally pale and thus the adjective is not required unless you're Batman and are dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight), and a lot of it seems to flow very strangely. Your sentences are bulky. Many of your similes are just awkward ("Wicked wings of magnificent greatness drooped at his back, curling their master like a defensive predator who had become vulnerable and weak."? really.). Similes shouldn't require extensive explanation or even that much detail-- when you find yourself having to explain said simile within the sentence, you should probably reconsider the connection.

In the future, I'd suggest that you read your writings over aloud to catch for flow problems and generally awkward constructions. You're missing words in places (like the sentence I just quoted- you mean "around their master", perhaps), and in others you reuse nouns in the same sentence.

It doesn't particularly help that everything in this piece is hyped up- every single thing is worthy of dramatic depiction and flowerly language. When your language seems clumsy, this is rather bad. Next time, try focusing on a few things that make the scene- think about it like this: If the scene was a video, what would the camera focus on? A lot of beast-man transformations focus on hands, so try something else. There's such a thing as too much, in this case- if there's so much going on that the camera is trying to capture it all, the audience will get confused.

And speaking of confused, I'm rather wondering about the rhetorical question'd paragraph (your third). It doesn't seem to fit with the tone of the rest of the piece (in it he actually seems to mind killing people), and it also seems like you've completely slipped out of third-person limited and are now the Omniscient Authorial Voice, asking us about how your creation is so awesome. Or, even worse, it seems like you're just trying to insert philosophical ramblings.

I did, however, like the end. It's short and sweet and punchy.

LilyPichu

I liked the raccoons. It's a much better choice than having her, say, kill another human.

Nevertheless, something about this story made me go "eeehhh". I think it was the "voices-in-the-head" part combined with how the overwhelming feel of the narrative is that she's been corrupted based on something that wasn't really her fault. A lot of it just doesn't make sense, either. How would drinking a raccoon's blood make her immortal and inhuman? Although I understand that the voice is somewhat sadistic, if you want to make it so that it's just playing with her and making her mind boggle, that needs to be done clearly.

It seemed halfway between surreal and real. I feel it just needed more definition.

Toaster

Ultimately, this piece suffers because of a lack of background. Although that might make it delightfully surreal, the fact that the torture is of a purely empathic/physical sort effectively requires more of a background to it. There are chilling passages in a book called The Far Side of Evil of purely physical and sensory torture, but that is because we know what happens. We know what we lose if the torture makes someone crack. Here, we don't- we're given a couple who reacts as any couple would, and while it's sweet and sad, there's nothing extraordinary about it, nothing that makes me wince or have any reaction other than the typical.

Basically, if it were any other loving characters in the same situation, I'd have the same reaction. That's not a good thing.


Dark Fae of Tithe

I could see potential in this, I really could. Unfortunately, the journal entries read less like the dark transformation you're aiming for and more like the rantings and ventings of a teenager who's been particularly ill-effected by the onset of teen angst.

What could be done to change this? Well, you could show the girl before the "hideous transformation". Or, alternately, you could present her as being more vicious. Manic depression does not prevent someone from being calculatingly cruel- all this seems to be is a ranting and raving against anyone who's there. It's a venting mechanism, an outpouring of a mind.

It would be so much better if it was calculated and cruel. Best friends can make for incredibly harmful enemies. I'd find Ferra's reactions more realistic, the final thought of suicide more plausible. I don't believe that anyone would react to just a bunch of rambling "I HATE YOU"s that don't make much sense in that particular way, especially not an eighteen-year-old.



I find your short sentences and laundry-lists of actions a bit distracting, but I liked much of the prose (the "sweet-smelling death" could have been phrased more eloquently and it would have been amazing).



Xeroxer

I had to read this several times before I really understood it- not because it's obscure or complex, but because there are a whole bunch of threads that don't seem to tie together. I didn't really get how she related to him, other than that she liked him, which I'm of mixed feelings about. In some ways, it was surreal enough for that not to matter and it almost added to the craziness, but in others, it made me feel like I was missing something important. If she was his girlfriend/whatever, why do the maturity levels seem to differ so much? Why is he so sexual with her? And why doesn't she call out to the guards?

I don't really feel the connection between the anecdote and the actual "present day" time. Although I get that he's crazy, I'd think that even crazy people would have some sort of connection between stories they tell and outside stimuli-- especially for literary purposes. They just don't seem connected to me. And I didn't understand the connections you tried to show me, with the island as a preview to the asylum- it just wasn't strong enough.

Overall, it was creepy and gorgeous, but in a very fractured way.


ElGunslinger

Ah, beautiful. Unfortunately, you still have a few flow issues similar to the ones I remember in your first piece I ever read. Most prominently was perhaps the "Daylight was around when the deed occured", which would be better stated as "The deed occured in daylight" or even "It was day when the deed occured"- the passive voice in this sentence is normally something I'd disagree with, but here I feel it really helps the tone of the story.

Others include: "both halves having driven" = "both hands driven"
"finishing up" = "finishing", though they're not as jarring as the former.


Oh god the snowmen. e_e One thing, though- although it was creepy and a really excellent horror story, it didn't make me think a lot. But it was still an excellent read, and that's not a terrible black mark. There were also some excellent freudian tones to this story. Whee.


Follow My Lied

I was starting to feel worried when you mixed up its and it's in the second sentence. Got that impending feel of doom in my stomach and everything.

But actually I was pleasantly surprised.

Have a few nitpicks, and then I'll give you an overview:
I didn't really get the difference between "released" and "relieved"- they seemed almost identical in this incident.

Minor agreement issues with "another car finding it before she"- probably should be "another car finding it before hers", or "another finding it before she did".

A tense shift: "They make an awful sound when they're wounded" seems out of place; if it was a distinct thought, it could have been more clearly indicated.

And a few more errors like "is" in place of "in", etc.

But the overview:

Jesus christ, it was creepy. i didn't quite get the creepiness right until Sean showed up, and then my bones started to quiver right deep down inside. And it kept going. I felt fulfilled when I finished the story, too; although confusing and weird, it was very well-constructed.


D_Marx

The first sentence rather bothered me. Is there some reason to assume that it wouldn't be? Does she give off heat? Overall, it wasn't the best lead-in to the story.

"dark fantasies" + blindfold made me think she was at some kind of BDSM thing, only then it segued off into something about her mother that seemed quite random at the time-- and it still seemed random when I finished it.

I feel that the scene was a little more beautiful than you really gave it credit for- I could feel the stirrings of a wonderfully tactile scene that wasn't quite fulfilled. If I were in that situation, my body would be tingling- although, yes, she was focusing on the outside, there would be something about her as well. There's more room for simile and metaphor that doesn't involve sight and vision- footsteps dancing across the floor, the little tiny details of how his fingers moved that just bring it all to life.

Ultimately, though, it wasn't terribly dark. While a nice image and a nice story scene, it didn't have layers of complexity and fear and horror.


sango_chan17
Get back to you later; your entry is longggg

Tekzoi

gonk I read this right after I ate lunch. Also, my cat is sitting next to me.

It provoked a very "eww" reaction.

My one real complaint was that the comparison to sex was poorly developed. It's mentioned once or twice, but never really fulfilled. I understand that you don't want to provoke the PG-13 rule, but there are ways to go into greater detail without breaking that- focus on some other part of the scene, perhaps, so while we know there's sex going on, the images we get tactfully avoid it. Overall, it was almost a "subplot" that seemed to lack fulfillment- repeating something again and again doesn't quite count for it.


x_haphazard_x

I'd have liked this to be longer, so that the relationship between Sparkles and Alexis was developed more. It could have been a lot more poignant if we knew what she was losing, you know? As it is, we're tossed into a girl's life that has suddenly gone haywire and we don't even know what things used to be like, not really.

It has a lot of potential, but unfortunately it reads rather flat right now. So give us more.

Some of the prose read kind of strangely to me- the part about the confetti seemed to have some tense agreement issues, as I think it should be "had managed".

And some more imagery would have made it more eerie, too. What was the office like? The rest of it? There's nothing to visualize.


Oxxidation

...am I a bad person? I totally giggled at the joyous exclamations of "p***s!".

It actually caught my eye and kept me going. There were some side-tracks, like the part wherein the job was detailed, but I didn't mind them terribly. I can see, however, where people like Zoharial might be bothered- it's a question of distractions vs. added realism.

...I'm going to come back and give you real crit. I swear.


SilverTree Tears

I'm not dreadfully fond of the big block o' telling at the beginning. Same with the overall lack of description- what is it about the narrator, exactly, that puts people off-guard?

The other thing I didn't particularly like was the lack of real set-up. Okay, so he's obviously a bit crazy and then HOLY s**t HE HAS CRAZYASS DELUSIONS OKAY.

I mean, I believe strongly in things that are completely ridiculous, and it does carry over beyond when I'm actually acting on these crazy beliefs. Also, you don't introduce the way he narrates the killings until much later- I think it'd be really cool if you started out with an instructor's voice, so he was teaching us from the very beginning.


Tailos

I feel like I'm missing a reference with the "late night ghosts and ghouls" sentence. It seems to be hinting at something and playing off something that I'm not familiar with. Is this the case?

In some sentences you seemed to be relying on fragments, or missing words: "Illumination of the keys as I struck them mercilessly, typographic mistakes could hardly be afforded at this critical stage of cracking."

There's something missing in that sentence and I'm not sure what it is.

I liked Charles. I have a secret love for dogs. Don't tell anyone.

I also really liked the tone you were aiming for, even if it didn't really work in places. Cyberpunk is smexy <3 Your narrator is also pretty neat; I'm a sucker for those cynical types.

It's definitely an excerpt, and I may be judging it too harshly, but even as an excerpt it seems very... dependent. Nothing particularly different happens and I'm not honestly feeling the importance of this sequence of events.

Kjralon

String cheese. eek

that's a creepy image. Kudos.

There were a few phrasing issues- perhaps "blue eyes staring adorably at the matching sky" rather than that convoluted mess- but they weren't terribly common.

...there were a few loose ends, although it seemed to come to a rather chilling closure; I want to know how she's like him, or perhaps have more clarification if that's how he entices his audiences. I also want to know why he'd eat himself and not just others, if he grows his limbs back, etc. I didn't quite get all of it- maybe it's because I'm running on minimal sleep and lots of movies, but it also just didn't seem to all fit together at the end.

The opening line, though, is a great one- short, concise, and sucks us in like a black hole.

GoldenRoya:

The title gives it away. sad

I think the impersonal style could work well for a story like this, but I also think that it needs to be slightly more sickening. Certainly, the ending is rather “oh, that’s pleasant”, but the beginnings... there’s more gross stuff than just rolls of fat and being taken away for food. I probably would have liked more of a gross duality construction, one that made it seem almost like it was just exposing our society for who we truly were-- only then the CRANES COME IN OH NO.

Basically, I felt it was extremely pretty at the beginning and extremely gross at the end and the two didn’t mesh terribly well. There were a lot more parallels that could have been worked, too; the animal/human dichotomy, etc. could have been milked more. It was a neat concept, though, and having just read a science-fiction book that deals with body image and feeders, it was particularly enticing. Speaking of which, I’d highly recommend Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed. If you’re writing about this stuff, I think you’d like it.


Black Revolver:

I know a Tetsuo! surprised

Mm, I started kind-of wincing at the description of how he was a jock and she was the quiet girl in the corner. I don’t know; a lot of Japanese high schools are not split like that because of the consistent pressure to conform. It’s not about the cliques; it’s about ALL being the same, and nobody being any better than anyone else.

And of course the jock just wants her for sex. Of course. Eh, they’re kind of acting like American teenagers- Japanese high schoolers act rather different, from all the exchange students I’ve ever hosted.

Betrayal is always a stab in the back. That was kind of cliched, and it was one that I can’t not mention.

It was kind of... meh. It might have been interesting had there been any more to it- betrayal is a lot more harsh than just a “stab- and now I hate him!”. Complexity is really what’s missing here: emotional complexity. It’s easy to paint him as just being a bad ‘un, but what’s more difficult and more touching is to portray him as a person in his own right.



Itazurana Shojo:
I always try to read “Hixen” as “Vixen”. Such are the perils of spelling an unconventional name like a word, only with one letter changed. Just so’s you know, it’s generally bad policy. Won’t effect judging too much, though.

The narrative struck me as being very dry. Although serviceable, it seemed to just plop down everything I needed to know in front of me. Boring. Is there a way to show that Luigi owns the best hotels in the business? And if she shows up later, won’t she be able to tell by the layout of the place?

Rhianna may be throwing up, but I found the scene not terribly impressive. Oh, it’s just so... boring. Admittedly, this is coming from someone who reads a lot of gorefic (early Laurell K. Hamilton, anyone?), but still.

It’s really hard to slit someone’s arm open and let it bleed long from just “sharp nails”. They break, you know. I’d know.

Why would she be so surprised if she’d had her suspicions all along that Luigi had been the murderer? I mean, those “clues” are blatantly obvious to anyone with half a brain- the fact that she’s still surprised is a surprise to us all. And why isn’t she calling the police, either? And why would she ever go ALONE into a place the murderer might still be, especially if she suspects the owner of being said murderer?

If anything, this requires more build-up of the friendship to make her disbelief believable- and some toning down of the clues.


Madara_Phile:

Okay, your dialogue is really unreal. I can’t think of a single person who would talk like that. Not even any of the crazy people I know talk like that, unless it’s a ridiculously ORDERED crazy (keep in mind that the vast majority of “crazy” people have diseases that cause mental disorganization, i.e. schizophrenia).

Your narrative held a lot of cliches that irked me due to the incredible tension of the scene- things like the game of cat and mouse, the sometimes overwhelming melodrama (“this beyond insane man”), etc.

It could have been interesting, but it wound up very over-the-top. Tone it down. Crazy is a lot more impressive when it’s not being talked about every single sentence, when the reader can infer it, when every single bit of dialogue and narrative is not saying “THIS PERSON IS CRAZY. ALSO THIS SCENE IS DRAMATIC. DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.”


1Grevenya:

Look up prose in the dictionary.


schoconapps:


Repetition is a wonderful technique if you manage to pull it off well. I’m not terribly fond of the repetition in this piece because it didn’t seem rote- it was expressing it in different ways, but it didn’t have the familiar cadence of madness. That left the prose not only irritatingly redundant, but the madness isn’t terribly convincing, which leaves the entire thing feeling kind of “WTF”.

That’s really my only complaint, though. I’d suggest you look up Donald Barthelme’s short story “Game” for an example of very effective, very convincing repetition-as-madness.


SilverMercury0892

Aaah, the cliches! Okay, so he's this OMG I AM EVILLL vampire dude who throws people against the wall, has turned people into vampires, is unrelentingly violent, and likes black and red. He also talks completely melodramatically.

Where have I seen this before? Oh right, in almost every other "evil vampire" in amateur fiction.

We don't care about his clothing or his appearance. What we do care about is who he is and what he wants. The melodrama in the dialogue doesn't help this one bit- if he was really supposed to be badass, he wouldn't have the need for talk. I wanted to scream "JUST KILL HER AND GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY".

The entire scene reeked of bad vampire novels a la Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, although in A A-R's books, they'd be falling in love and having those wonderful hott kisses. Anyways, it was really puerile and boring and not that intriguing.

And it certainly wasn't dark. What am I supposed to be questioning here? What is supposed to make me cringe? What is supposed to present me with a conflict that seems to only get worse? There's nothing, just a blatantly black-vs.-white battle and a boring description of vampire bites. Blah.


Doll76

And I thought I used a lot of commas!

I like commas-- love them, even-- but in this case, I found that a lot of them broke the flow when perhaps a conjunction would have worked beautifully. Examples? Your first sentence. It read rather choppily; I would probably have replaced the last comma with "like".

This had the perfect, perfect mix of sadism/violence and sex. I had chills. I absolutely loved the part with the tongue. Oh my goodness. heart So climactic and wonderful.

Kudos to you.


Latkes

In a way, this was too predictable for the genre.

Yes, guy likes girl, guy is a killer, guy kills girl, guy doesn't realize girl is dead but rants about it in a cheery, good-natured tone.

It didn't really inspire anything but a general "meh" from me. The prose was utilitarian and worked for the story, but the story itself just wasn't all that interesting. I mean, I could anticipate it. That's generally a bad thing.

Yes, it has a lot to do with the nature of this contest that it couldn't have ended any other way, but I think that the general premise doomed you unless you really made the relationship more vivid. Perhaps this might have taken creepy images to do- "her rosepetal lips on mine with that warm wetness of her tongue in my mouth" becomes so much more creepy when you realize he's killed her. Imagery might have been a step in the right direction, but I'm not entirely sure that could have saved this.


Jasper Riddle

Hah, I think my creative writing nitpicky word-choice teacher has had a huge influence on me. See, the first thing that stuck out about your piece was how the narrator is going on and on about how she HATES this dog and wants to kill it and it marked her descent into murder- and then it's "I was so annoyed".

Now, annoyance can lead to frustration can lead to murderous anger, but plopping down "annoyed" in there really throws me for a loop. Watch that, just a little, although I sympathize with not wanting to repeat ANGER and RAGE again and again.

I didn't get the smock. I can understand the meticulous attention to detail, and treating it like a murder, but the smock seemed to stand out as not being very necessary. If it was more neurotic, perhaps that might have worked, but when you started mentioning it, I thought he was going to slice the dog open or something. And while he was very careful, he struck me more as the nervous "I feel like I killed someone rather than just a dog-- i've never hurt anything in my life!" type than the "I am crazy and obsessive-compulsive" type.


The Zed:

It was an interesting concept. Unfortunately, the director struck me as far too "I AM THE MELODRAMATIC VILLAIN. HERE I GO REVEALING ALL OF MY PLOTS FOR THE HERO"-ish-- too classically melodramatic, which might have worked had it seemed more purposeful, more invested with irony. The writing wasn't very tight; there were certainly a few things that could have been cut, even whole sentences here and there ("Perhaps this was a product of bad theatre education?" wink .

It didn't come together terribly well, either. There were some threads left open, some things that were repeated (motivation) that never quite climaxed.

All in all, it has a lot of potential, but needs a lot more polishing.


Scribbling Scribe

I really liked the concept and the vast majority of the piece. It made me want to know more about her fantasy world, real or imaginary- at first I was worried because it seemed very "she is definitely RIGHT"-- or it seemed like the more tired "can't tell the difference between fiction and reality" stories, but the added aspects of the fantasy stereotypes really boosted it.

My one suggestion would be a bit more imagery. Give us more sensory details when you describe the fantasy scenes in particular. Maybe even chop up the main body of the narrative with her "memories" of Amarth so that the entire thing reads a bit more fractured- the beginning was more smooth than I'd expect, while the end was delightfully crazy.

Fader

I really felt this from the first paragraph onwards. Wow. End of the first paragraph, I could see her in my mind, could feel the narrator's attitude. This took my breath away in distinct emotional impact.

I like the fact that there isn't much attention paid to his abusive father- that makes it much less irritating. It's very tasteful, if that can be said for anything about this story- just kidding. Actually, I think that it works because you make it so painfully beautiful. Had it been more brutal, had it been a sick lust portrayed as a sick lust, it would have been unbelievable and seemed almost cheesy. But this is both horrifying and captivating.

My one complaint- one complaint! is that it seemed as though it might be more poignant had we known how she took care of him. This may be a very personal matter, but even some interaction between them before the rape might have helped to show their relationship on the brink of destruction.


Kyou Nitsune

One of my big pet peeves is when a writer doesn't give me their character name until it's mentioned in dialogue. It's a very common mistake, and it isn't a big issue, until you start getting into the two-paragraph territory, where there are silly things like "the blue-eyed teenager did this".

There were a few scattered errors (aweful) that seemed a bit sloppy.

It had potential. I enjoy Nantucket as a setting, except that I didn't really get a feel for the setting from this- or even any of the characters. I didn't honestly care about Mac, or about the pregnant woman or the twins or the tour guide. Thus, when it ended, I just felt kind of "meh". There wasn't anything to care about. Mac was generic, as were the other characters; I didn't feel like a human life was really lost.

DMJewelle

I have to say, you know how to get a person into your story. I started reading it and it sucked me in until I was reading it more for fun than for critique.

Only that lasted about until the name caught up with me. "Ruuen" sounds far too much like "Ruin", only more fantasy-esque thanks to the extra vouels.

And then it started jumping around a bit. Okay, so he's getting chased after by beasts, and all of a sudden he's remembering his old partner Edison. Um, alright. And it wasn't his fault. It wasn't his fault. Okay. Neurosis there.

But I didn't get the connection. I think this is a question of you knowing more than the reader does, and a failure to fully communicate. Work on it.

Also, the eyesocket creeped me out. I have a thing about eyes.


Lyaliro

I loved the way you made the setting come alive. It really breathed for me. My one real issue with prose as it pertains to the setting, though, was that you used similes and metaphors that wouldn't have existed in Biblical times. I don't believe Chess existed then- tell me if I'm wrong- and using those metaphors breaks some of the suspension of disbelief.

It was nicely written and the narrator had personality, which was enjoyable. It did seem to drag on in places, what with the seeming flashbacks and other things (I wonder why you didn't just begin at the beginning), but overall it was a nice read.

Also, are there any plants so sharp they'll actually cut (not scratch) you when you fall on them?

wiingz

Okay. This seemed really generic, and I think that's the biggest issue with it. I don't care about Skylar because I have no reason to- because what she's hiding from is never shown as anything more than men with funny accents and some bullets, because she just reacts and doesn't really act. Her reactions are the same as anyone's, with no subtle difference that makes them unique. I can't tell what she's lost, if anything, and her fear doesn't seem real. Would her only emotion be a desire to escape? While yes, in most people that would be the prominent one, I find it strange that not only are her actions not terribly desperate, but she's not worried about friends and family at all.

Nor do we have any background to the war, to her pursuers, anything. The thing I want the least is to have an infodump, but even some hints might be nice- she'd probably at LEAST think about the "invading soviet forces" or something.

The whole "how can people be so cruel?" bit of dialogue is not only cliche, but it's also telling the reader what you should be expressing in the story.

And then the ending was just random. Okay. So she's running. And she gets attacked by a wolf. Um. Sure. And she dies. What?

What was accomplished? The story has no climax, no final conclusion. There's nothing there.
I'm in.

Edit: Ooooh man. I know exactly which scene I'm going to do, too.

It's so ******** wrong.
Can dark fiction have a happy ending? Sort of...

I was just looking at this and saw what you think dark fiction has, and realized one of my stories has a lot of the requirements in it. But it ends with one happy and one sad note.
days_night
Can dark fiction have a happy ending? Sort of...

I was just looking at this and saw what you think dark fiction has, and realized one of my stories has a lot of the requirements in it. But it ends with one happy and one sad note.


Certainly.
I noticed the option of cleavage as a prize, this intrigues me--how old are you?
Ni Che
I noticed the option of cleavage as a prize, this intrigues me--how old are you?


16. Following the Gaia TOS, of course (and their rules about cleavage signs-- i.e. there must be something worn).

34B. Pale.
Ni Che
I noticed the option of cleavage as a prize, this intrigues me--how old are you?


Please, for the love of God, if you win, turn it down.

This is, of course, assuming I get second place. xd
Sorry doll, no entry for me in this instance. Good luck with the contest! heart
Veive
Ni Che
I noticed the option of cleavage as a prize, this intrigues me--how old are you?


16. Following the Gaia TOS, of course (and their rules about cleavage signs-- i.e. there must be something worn).

34B. Pale.
And let me say...
Don't slap me?

I will be entering, as soon as I deicide how peopl're going to live/die/ascend to godhood.

Yes, Gordon will become a god. A suicidal, pascifistic god of war, but a god nonetheless.
You Stu him up and I will personally kill you. Probably with poison, because it's hard to get off on dying when you're puking up your innards.
Veive
You Stu him up and I will personally kill you. Probably with poison, because it's hard to get off on dying when you're puking up your innards.
He becomes a god when another character, an "actual" god dies. He takes up the role, and the divinity comes along with it. More by accident, and as an ending. Most characters die, Judas enters heaven, Gordon becomes a god of war.

Funfun?

Will I be able to scry from them?
Veive
Ni Che
I noticed the option of cleavage as a prize, this intrigues me--how old are you?


16. Following the Gaia TOS, of course (and their rules about cleavage signs-- i.e. there must be something worn).

34B. Pale.


You have the same bra size as me....


Anyway, to the point:

Is there any length limit? If you mentioned it in the posts, I'm sorry. I tend to forget things right after I read them.
KiwiOfDestruction
Veive
Ni Che
I noticed the option of cleavage as a prize, this intrigues me--how old are you?


16. Following the Gaia TOS, of course (and their rules about cleavage signs-- i.e. there must be something worn).

34B. Pale.


You have the same bra size as me....


Anyway, to the point:

Is there any length limit? If you mentioned it in the posts, I'm sorry. I tend to forget things right after I read them.



Just don't give me a novel, 'kay? I'm not going to give you a specific limit. You can give me part of a novel, just not the whole thing.

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