Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017


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Post April 02, 2017, 07:27:08 PM

Voting Announcement

We have a two way tie for first, second and third places.

In first place, authors Kate Thornton and N. J. Kailhofer each had 5 votes. In second place, Jim Harrington and Hope Gillette also had 5 votes each. In third place, authors Eddie Sullivan and Jean-Paul L. Garnier had 4 votes each.

Story Ranking

First Place - Kate Thorton, N. J. Kailhofer
Second Place - Jim Harrington, Hope Gillette
Third Place - Eddie Sullivan, Jean-Paul L. Garnier

Congratulations to all the authors who worked and crafted beautiful literature for this flash story experience.

***

Total Vote Breakdown from 18 voting members

First - 5 / Second - 0 / Third - 2 Kate Thornton: The Children of Mars:
First - 5 / Second - 1 / Third - 3 N. J. Kailhofer: Dust:
First - 2 / Second - 5 / Third - 1 Hope Gillette: The Hero Forge:
First - 1 / Second - 5 / Third - 0 Jim Harrington: Double Play:
First - 1 / Second - 3 / Third - 4 Eddie Sullivan: Murder by Numbers:
First - 2 / Second - 1 / Third - 0 Casey Callaghan: Rewind:
First - 1 / Second - 0 / Third - 1 Robin B. Lipinski: Puff or Poof:
First - 0 / Second - 1 / Third - 1 Kandi Tims: Two Princesses and the King:
First - 0 / Second - 0 / Third - 1 Bingemeister: The Secrets of General Nuisance:
First - 0 / Second - 1 / Third - 4 Jean-Paul L. Garnier: The Button:
First - 0 / Second - 1 / Third - 1 Sergio Palumbo: Bring Them Back:
First - 1 / Second - 0 / Third - 0 The Fisher of Men: No Brainer:

Each vote above was tabulated within each rank. When tabulating votes for first place, only those cast for first place were counted. The same for second and third places.

Thank you members who voted for this exceptional line up of stories, Lester was the last voting member. This was a special experience because of the level of creativity and the camaraderie amongst the writers and their readers. I see a growing fan base being generated in this challenge. I see writers, great ones as celebrities.

I encourage commenting on all the stories by both readers and writers. Remember these writers have feelings, they want to do well, which is why they are here. Never be critical, be instructive and give praise where deserved.

My comments will be coming soon.
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Post April 03, 2017, 12:02:11 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

To every writer who participated, and especially to Daniel Johnson:

I am honored - had I voted (I have been out of town & missed the deadline) I would have voted first for Nate's story. I love Nate's work, always have. He is the winner as far as am concerned. I am so pleased and delighted to be in such truly stellar company. You guys make me a better writer every single time. And knowing how your minds work, how you write, what you write - it makes me want to abandon romantic suspense and go back to my roots here, in this best of all worlds. I don't know if any of you remember that one time, many years ago, when a bunch of us met up at Dan's house for a barbeque and a great time. I was old and fat and crippled (I am still old and crippled, but finally got the weight off) and you guys welcomed me as one of you. I will never forget it. Thank you so much. And I thank each and every writer here - you have transported and delighted me, and done that thing for which we all strive: taken me to another world. Thank you.
Kate Thornton
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Post April 03, 2017, 05:33:42 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Looks like I was the only one to vote Eddie's story for first place. Ed has made remarkable progress as a writer, but that can happen if you work at it as hard as he's been doing.

That one hit all the buttons for me. Everything began as a cipher, but the character built in parallel with the hints of what he was doing, so you learn the what and the why in perfect synch. I couldn't get as far as liking the guy, much less condoning murder, but I could perfectly understand it all.

Then, the whammy--I hadn't known if he was going to get away with it or not--and the twist just came out of nowhere. As surprise endings go, this one gets a ten. Of course, he had to finish what he thought he'd already done.

I suppose that if this were being scored by the old method, the story would get a lower score for meeting the challenge because this guy wasn't entirely regretful. Aside from that, though, it's got what counts: out of the whole pack, this is the one I most clearly remember, and I won't forget it soon.
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Post April 03, 2017, 07:06:15 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Lester Curtis wrote:Looks like I was the only one to vote Eddie's story for first place. Ed has made remarkable progress as a writer, but that can happen if you work at it as hard as he's been doing.

That one hit all the buttons for me. Everything began as a cipher, but the character built in parallel with the hints of what he was doing, so you learn the what and the why in perfect synch. I couldn't get as far as liking the guy, much less condoning murder, but I could perfectly understand it all.

Then, the whammy--I hadn't known if he was going to get away with it or not--and the twist just came out of nowhere. As surprise endings go, this one gets a ten. Of course, he had to finish what he thought he'd already done.

I suppose that if this were being scored by the old method, the story would get a lower score for meeting the challenge because this guy wasn't entirely regretful. Aside from that, though, it's got what counts: out of the whole pack, this is the one I most clearly remember, and I won't forget it soon.


Now that is what I call pleasing a tough critic. Glad I got your vote. I played a little loose and fast and just made it a resolution, not a penitent one. A mistake did get corrected though. >:D
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Post April 03, 2017, 09:19:42 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Is this one getting archived?
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Post April 03, 2017, 09:40:35 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

EddieSullivan wrote:Is this one getting archived?

Yes. I will get them in the archives in the next few days.
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Post April 03, 2017, 09:58:27 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Excellent. This was a good one.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post April 04, 2017, 03:01:41 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Congratulations to the winners!!!

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Post April 04, 2017, 08:30:20 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Congratulations to the winner and to everybody that entered. I had a death in the family and because of my daughter's death I don't feel like writing much. I'm sure it will pass. But for now I can't.

I have to remember that the sun also rises as I'm sure it will again from me.
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Post April 04, 2017, 09:30:56 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Megawatts wrote:Congratulations to the winner and to everybody that entered. I had a death in the family and because of my daughter's death I don't feel like writing much. I'm sure it will pass. But for now I can't.

I have to remember that the sun also rises as I'm sure it will again from me.


So sorry to hear about the death of your daughter, Megawatts. My condolences to you and your family.
Jim
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Post April 04, 2017, 01:44:14 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Megawatts wrote:Congratulations to the winner and to everybody that entered. I had a death in the family and because of my daughter's death I don't feel like writing much. I'm sure it will pass. But for now I can't.

I have to remember that the sun also rises as I'm sure it will again from me.

I am very saddened by your grief. The offer is always open, you can write me anytime to sort out your feelings through the PM. You have a lot of friends here!
Last edited by Daniel Johnson on April 04, 2017, 01:52:35 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post April 04, 2017, 01:51:47 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

I've been reading around two hours a day since I was a boy. During this challenge, I worked on Aphelion each day before reading for leisure and I found it to be more rewarding. I have gathered close ties with many of you during this process and I'm grateful for these relationships.

There is great writing talent here which I am proud to know. I read each story many times, first to administrate and the other times for enjoyment.

Thank you so much for being in this experience with me.
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Post April 04, 2017, 02:18:27 PM

Eddie Sullivan

I'm going to comment on the stories for March one at a time, so I can do it throughout my work day.

I agree with Lester on every comment he made on Eddie's story and I have a few more. Eddie's twist is always powerful, never with a subtle nuance. Reading his story is like cutting into a box of cracker jacks and looking for the prize.

But I was not ready for this one!

A well thought through murder of a shrew by her husband is methodically executed so perfectly that not even Columbo could figure it out. Meticulously performed and covering his tracks to the last detail, the murderer checks out of his room knowing the shrill of his wife's nagging was never to be heard from again.

However...

When checking out he discovers he murdered the wrong woman in the dark when the berating wife passes by like an ill wind, putting him down once again in public.

Then he snaps.

Grabbing an object from the counter, he chases her down and bludgeoned her to death in front of everyone until there's not enough left of her to fill a paper cup. Sitting in the midst of the gore he awaits the police not fully aware of the consequences of his insane actions.

The first time I read this, (I don't know if this was Eddie's intent) I almost spilled my coffee as I read the part where the murderer snapped. I laughed so hard out loud, I was still laughing to myself an hour after reading it.

The next dozen times I read it, I still laughed. I don't know why it struck me that way, but I loved it. I hope that was Eddie's intent, cause that story will stay with me from now on.

The story was well written. It was for me a comic horror even though the first part was bone chilling horror with no indication that the feel of the story was going to change.

Thank you for that, Eddie.
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Post April 04, 2017, 04:49:37 PM

The Fisher of Men

Fisher,

First let me say that the subject matter you chose has a wealth of powerful writing potential. Like the other story you submitted months ago, this is very dark subject matter. I like what you wanted to do with this and where you wanted it to go.

But I want to break down where I see some of the problems you had in the execution of the writing.

I haven't read a piece before that was written in second person. I think it was a bold decision, but it took this story from fiction to an almost essay style. I couldn't separate the points you made from fact or fiction.

Bringing the audience into the conversation jolted me out of the story and I had to refocus to get back into it.

Also, mostly using a telling instead of showing approach although it can be done successfully (see Sergio's stories as an example) you must have action to move the audience from a sedentary, sort of sleepy mindset and description so they can see what you see for themselves. You may overlook describing the environment of the story, because you see everything, but you must let the readers see what is in your mind.

Action and dialogue breathes life into fiction. You can't get around that.

So yes, like Nate advised, you must work at it. It takes discipline and hard work. Both Nate and Lester pointed out to you there are resources on this site that can open up in you the ability to distinguish between good, effective writing and writing that just lays there...lifeless.

You're the one that needs to write in your voice. Nobody can do that but you. I think you have potential based on the subject matter you have chosen, but it's going to take work.

Use these challenges as an opportunity to write. Read other writers works, there are exceptional stories in this challenge and perfect your craft.


As an exercise, will one or more of you experienced writers "rewrite" say about five paragraphs, 250 words starting anyplace within Fisher's story to show the difference between good writing and ineffective writing.

Fisher, we'll talk more.
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Post April 04, 2017, 07:19:07 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Waiting for Fisher to condone that exercise before attempting it. Will give it a shot if it is approved. But really the best advice would be getting rid of all the second person. You probably aren't ready for that yet. It is brutal to do right.
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Post April 04, 2017, 07:27:51 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Unless you are Chuck Palahniuk infiltrating this forum for kicks. He is the only one that comes to mind in the last decade. And maybe Andy Weir in the Martian... kinda sorta for some of it.
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Post April 04, 2017, 08:00:14 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

EddieSullivan wrote:Waiting for Fisher to condone that exercise before attempting it. Will give it a shot if it is approved. But really the best advice would be getting rid of all the second person. You probably aren't ready for that yet. It is brutal to do right.

Well sure, I called out for help some posts back. Lester sent me something to look into. Nate and Daniel advised me. Anything would be appreciated.
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Post April 04, 2017, 10:01:08 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

So I whipped this up. Maybe not perfect. I tried to keep some of your stuff as much as possible and tried to stay true to your theme. I hope I did it justice and you feel it honors you rather than criticizes overly.

No Brainer: Redux
by Eddie Sullivan
Original Concept from The Fisher of Men


“Tell me doctor are these people being made into zombies?”

“I’m sure your viewers want to know that. There are zombies and then there are zombies. These aren’t your horror type or fringe SciFi movie zombies. These are more appropriately mind control slaves.”

Dinah Christensen adjusted the view on her camera/audio combo pod to take in more of the surroundings while he responded.

“My viewers most certainly would. How do you think you will be able to keep doing this, even in secret?”

“Well Ms. Christensen, human trafficking has been going on since the beginning of civilization, setting apart the elite masters from the masses (like you and me). And the plan is going, well...as planned. But recently it has taken a giant leap forward. It only takes ten minutes to make an incision on the right side of a human head and insert a chip that ceases the personality and the will of the human being leaving their minds ready for programming. A mind can be programmed in many ways, but this is best.”

She glanced around at the people strapped to tables, sedated, being readied for procedures.

“Please, don’t be nervous. You have been given safe passage. I would take my own life before I would defy those whom I serve. You are entirely safe here.”

She looked calmer, not calm but calmer. “How does the technology work doctor?”

“Well, honestly some of it is tech, but some of it is infernal. We have made deals with the devil quite literally. Each chip opens a portal into the pit and the subjects mind is torn asunder by the denizens of the abyss. This makes them quite pliable.”

The platforms full of strapped, drugged people move slowly down an assembly line. Anonymous technicians perform various functions to prepare them, then install the chips as she and the doctor walk along observing. They stop at the end of the line and he leans over a freshly done patient.

Snapping his fingers in her face, he yells, "Wake up, wake up. Can you hear me?" The patient opened her eyes staring at the cold, white-blue ceiling. There is no evidence of consciousness beyond the vacant stare.

"She is ready for conditioning," the doctor said to the programmer.

Seeing the reporters fear again he turns. “I understand your uneasiness. But please understand it is the way of things. Most of the people involved in human conversion technology are human bots themselves. Enslaving the human race has always been the plan. Your precious viewer would be terrified if they knew how short a time they really have.”

“Someone will try to stop you.”

“Unlikely. We have run the government for the last decade. Ever since the Rapture there has been no one to stop us. This world is ours. I even have no issue telling you where we are. This conversion lab is underground at the Desario Air Force Base.”

A laboratory technician ran up to the doctor waving. He gave a nod to her to excuse himself for a moment.

“Yes?”

“Doctor, the infant girl is rejecting the chip. During the three attempts, some of its brain tissue was damaged,” the lab tech said to his superior. Dinah swore she saw the doctor’s eyes glow red for a moment.


Impatiently he growled, “Incinerate it!”

The tech ran off back where he came.

“I’m sorry where were we? Oh yes. The chances of revolt. There are none. We have the remaining politicians, the actors and actresses, everyone of note. Some of these families have been in our power for generations. Before the Rapture and our opening of the gates we used chemicals, hypnotism, fear induced trauma and torture to control our charges. Now we can expedite all of that. It is our world now after all. The hoi polloi out there can’t stop us. We have always been at the top of our field. Since the forties we have been at least five decades ahead of any technology the public has been aware of.”

“Eventually people will revolt.”

He smiled, his teeth were all filed to points. “No. We control the food. I have given orders to include RH 487 in the processed food supply. It should take effect in several months. Chemtrails are being sown which make humans receptive to programming. The media, entertainment, sports and especially the news are all programming - all designed to slowly make the human race susceptible to mass mind control. “

“I think I have heard enough. I know I have seen and taped enough. You really think once I air this you won’t be stopped?”

The doctor paused apparently given her question the benefit of the doubt.

“Most people choose not to fight,until it's too late. It is. The news is programming chaos into the world,racially charged division, loss of faith in the people’s national government, inducing fear and creating worldwide mass instability. Fear is the ambrosia of the infernal you know. That is what we are here for, your fear, your suffering, and your pain. It is ours by holy decree. He took those he wanted, those that remain are ours.”

Tears welled in her eyes as she turned her camera off. She looked up.

“I could have given my life to God, a mistake I lived to regret. I need more power to fight. I could have done so much. Now, I don't know, maybe I still could. I need to try.”

“Perhaps. Under other circumstances I might wish you luck. You are doomed to fail. That is the way it is written.”

“It's still not too late.There must be grace left to be had.”

He reached out and touched her shoulder. Heat radiated off his hand through her blouse.

“Show them your tapes. Do your best. Ultimately we will see each other again no matter what you do Ms. Christensen.”

She wept yet didn’t pray.
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Post April 04, 2017, 11:56:01 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

EddieSullivan wrote:So I whipped this up. Maybe not perfect. I tried to keep some of your stuff as much as possible and tried to stay true to your theme. I hope I did it justice and you feel it honors you rather than criticizes overly.

No Brainer: Redux
by Eddie Sullivan
Original Concept from The Fisher of Men

Wow!

This is amazing! I am so impressed!
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Post April 05, 2017, 12:02:04 AM

Kate Thorton

Kate Thorton - You start with the story toward the ending and then move it to the beginning, setting the scene that is to come and showing the reader how the events got to the place that you showed us at the beginning of your story. That was clever and hard to do.

This is a story about a braggart who boasted of his sexual prowess and tried it once to often leading to his early demise. The lead female character made a deal with the braggart's wife that she would give her any offspring from the tryst with her husband.

You touched all the right buttons and took the reader by the hand and lead them all the way through to the sad resolve.

I am so impressed and I'm grateful for your graciousness and your willingness to be in this challenge.

Thank you Kate.
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Post April 05, 2017, 12:05:51 AM

Nate Kailhofer

Nate Kailhofer - This story is by far the most well crafted story I have read by you. You have written dozens of great stories, but this one was was art.

The old deceiver, Vala who is witch like, became a mentor to her charge Anna, demanding she clean all the dust in her home just so the old crone could take it to her home and horde it, in hopes she might revive her lost evil love, who turned to dust years earlier.

This is both a children's story and a fantasy style literature movie. It reminds me of (not the storyline, but how good it is) the movie "Hansel and Gretal: Witch Hunters".

This original story of yours is a perfect construct and is deserving of something great. It's professional and has money making potential.

Writers are my celebrities. I'm glad I know you.
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Post April 05, 2017, 12:08:02 AM

Hope Gillette

Hope Gillette - Your descriptive talents are wonderful, almost poetic. This has a classic literature feel to it. The idea and storyline is interesting and like your name, filled with hope.

You built a beautiful world. Here is a sample.

"They couldn't get out, but neither could Balor. With a pained cry, he grabbed the handle again, groaning as his skin blistered around the red-hot metal. Summoning all his strength, he wrenched the door inward, but to no avail. The hinges had fused shut with the heat of the fire in the interior of the house."

The mistakes people make that takes a life of someone dear to them is hard to imagine how they cope with it. You portrayed that well. Although this story ends in tragedy, there is unspoken hope for the future.

I'm so glad you shared in this challenge with us.
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Post April 05, 2017, 03:34:38 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Megawatts, Condolences to you and your family.

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Post April 05, 2017, 05:22:58 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

EddieSullivan wrote:So I whipped this up. Maybe not perfect. I tried to keep some of your stuff as much as possible and tried to stay true to your theme. I hope I did it justice and you feel it honors you rather than criticizes overly.

No Brainer: Redux
by Eddie Sullivan
Original Concept from The Fisher of Men

I am just stunned. I don't know how you were able to do this. I felt the Lord on it. I've read christian fiction for ten years and most of it was flat, but I used it as an example to write for myself the things I wanted to get out of me. I couldn't tell that what I was writing was not good and the message was hindered by my writing.

My heart wanted to say the things in my story, but you brought life to them. I just don't understand how you were able to do it. I thought about it all night and let friends read it and they were stunned too. The Lord spoke to me through this.

Thank you Eddie, thank you so much!

Frank
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Post April 05, 2017, 06:48:21 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

The Fisher of Men wrote:
EddieSullivan wrote:So I whipped this up. Maybe not perfect. I tried to keep some of your stuff as much as possible and tried to stay true to your theme. I hope I did it justice and you feel it honors you rather than criticizes overly.

No Brainer: Redux
by Eddie Sullivan
Original Concept from The Fisher of Men

I am just stunned. I don't know how you were able to do this. I felt the Lord on it. I've read christian fiction for ten years and most of it was flat, but I used it as an example to write for myself the things I wanted to get out of me. I couldn't tell that what I was writing was not good and the message was hindered by my writing.

My heart wanted to say the things in my story, but you brought life to them. I just don't understand how you were able to do it. I thought about it all night and let friends read it and they were stunned too. The Lord spoke to me through this.

Thank you Eddie, thank you so much!

Frank


Hi Frank!

I don't often pop in on conversations, but I do have something I want to say. First, it's not easy to read criticism about something you've written, but you've taken this all in graceful stride, and I applaud you for that.

Second, I think you're being too hard on yourself. I don't deny Eddie rewrote an admirable version of your submission, but your own work shouldn't be dismissed so lightly. You chose (from what I can tell) to write in first person, not second, since there are no references of speaking about something with "you, your, or yours" with an exception at the very end. I feel this story works well with first person; you just need to brush up on your cadence, sentence structure, and eliminating unnecessary words like "that."

In this sentence, for example, "that" does nothing except make the sentence clunky:

There are a few signs that you're observing a mind controlled slave, but they are becoming harder to detect.


I'm not going to do a rewrite of your story. I think that should be left to you, but I will give you an example of how I'd brush up your first paragraph. You wrote:

There are zombies and then, there are zombies. The kind seen in Sci Fi flicks are from the recesses of the human mind; frail imaginations of ghosts and goblins, vampires and monsters. None such exist.


And I'd suggest something like:

There are zombies, and then there are [i]zombies[i]. I admit, it took me a while to understand the difference. After all, like most other people in the world, the zombies I knew were those conjured from human imagination. The zombies I knew were frail imaginations of ghosts and goblins, vampires and monsters. How was I to know the real thing would be so much more terrifying?

Anyway, I don't feel you need to abandon all your hard work. Do some tweaking. Work on this. Or, better yet, write something new and then rewrite it. Now that you've read a different version of your current story, it may be difficult to get that out of your head.

And don't ever call your work "bad."

Cheers,

Hope
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Post April 05, 2017, 07:53:56 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

The Fisher of Men wrote:
EddieSullivan wrote:So I whipped this up. Maybe not perfect. I tried to keep some of your stuff as much as possible and tried to stay true to your theme. I hope I did it justice and you feel it honors you rather than criticizes overly.

No Brainer: Redux
by Eddie Sullivan
Original Concept from The Fisher of Men

I am just stunned. I don't know how you were able to do this. I felt the Lord on it. I've read christian fiction for ten years and most of it was flat, but I used it as an example to write for myself the things I wanted to get out of me. I couldn't tell that what I was writing was not good and the message was hindered by my writing.

My heart wanted to say the things in my story, but you brought life to them. I just don't understand how you were able to do it. I thought about it all night and let friends read it and they were stunned too. The Lord spoke to me through this.

Thank you Eddie, thank you so much!

Frank


There was nothing "bad" about the original at all. It was a concept that was ripe for an excellent narrative. It is a question of refinement and practice, which is what he is doing here. I applaud the effort being put forth. The most difficult thing about it is the exposing your inner self to others.

Frank,
I am a dyed in the wool atheist by way of being a reformed Christian. There is no denying though that Christianity has given us some of the best story basis for the modern world regardless of your beliefs. Being able to take subject matter and mold it to touch your reader is a practiced skill, one that you are learning now.

I see your faith in your writing and there is no question you should use it. Christian fiction can be a vibrant exciting thing when done right. There is so much to explore. Being able to write like I did with your beliefs even though I don't necessary share them is one of the advantages of practice. It is something akin to a Ford mechanic being able to repair a Toyota if necessary. Use your faith for inspiration, but separate it when it comes to developing yourself as a writer. The writing is a tool that you can use to spread your message but it is about as religious as being a good singer. The skill itself should be usable for any purpose. I think many religious writers make this mistake. Jenkins and LaHaye seem to be a notable exception from what I have heard with the "Left Behind" books.

Keep at it. You are doing great!
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post April 05, 2017, 07:59:11 AM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Here are, in any case, the votes/preferences I gave the entries for last month's Flash Challenge:

The Fisher of Men: No Brainer:1
Eddie Sullivan: Murder by Numbers: 2
N. J. Kailhofer: Dust: 3

CCC

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Post April 05, 2017, 03:44:38 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Daniel Johnson wrote:Each vote above was tabulated within each rank. When tabulating votes for first place, only those cast for first place were counted. The same for second and third places.


That's a... unique scoring method. I feel I should point out that it's remarkably easy to craft a set of votes such that every single voter agrees story A is better than story B, yet B is placed and A is not.

So thank you for posting the vote counts as well.

---------------

As to specific stories:

Kate: Your story touched on ancient themes - adultery and death - in a futuristic scenario. But it wasn't just an old story with new words; there was something fundamentally different about Mars, something that affected humanity in a deep and primal way, that (together with the disaster on Earth) forcing interplanetary travel to continue no matter whether or not the economics could otherwise support it. But there was one thing that bothered me about the world you drew, and that was this - in such a futuristic society, surely the news media would be at least as good at getting news out to people as they are today? And, under the circumstances, the first baby born on Mars - that would be big news. Sure, I can see how someone might not believe that this guy in front of them is the guy who was on the news as the father of the first Martian baby - but to not have that story known and discussed all over the ship seems more than a little odd.

Nate: Brilliant story, excellently executed. The fussy old lady, the young bride, the broken heart - all stood out well in this short piece. Very well done.

Hope: Your 'hero forge' people are, to put it bluntly, idiots. Yes, they put people through incredible emotional trauma, and yes this can lead to people who have a lot more drive to interact with the world one way or another (or people who withdraw completely into themselves), and that can make them a power in the world, but nowhere in there can I see the bit where the victim becomes a power for good in the world. After all, every villain has his tragic backstory, and they're simply mass-producing tragic backstories. For all that, though, the story itself was good - it's just the characters who were deeply flawed (which is not a bad thing in and of itself).

Jim: ...that wife must have really gone all out with that disguise if her husband of ten years couldn't recognise her. Well described, perfectly competant writing, but nothing that really jumped out at me as particularly memorable. (Going down the list of names, yours was the first one I had to go back and re-read the story because I couldn't remember it from the title alone).

Eddie: A good story in many technical ways. First-person stories about brutal murderers in the act tend to leave me rather disquieted, though.

Robin: The second one I had to go back and read again before commenting on. An excellent start, a good middle, but there's something missing from the end, and that something is Frank's reaction to the situation. All that we see of Frank after that point are at the edges of what Tom does; but Frank's reaction is an important part of that final scene.

Kandi: Ah, the fiercely independent daughter who finds out in the end that her father had a really good point after all. And, um... that's pretty much it. There's no unexpected twist, no sudden swerve in the ending.

Bingemeister: That general was clearly trouble, and I can see why dozens of witnesses insisted that the jeep drove itself. I imagine a fair number of them were only disappointed that they hadn't been in the jeep at the time... but that section with Hoo and Watt just seemed disconnected from everything else. And with so many calls on his time, the General just turns and slips out the back door?

Jean-Paul: Ouch. A nasty situation. A really, really nasty situation. (To be fair, he doesn't actually know that his was the code that triggered the devastation - it could just as easily be that his was the code that triggered the retaliation. Not that that's really any better...)

Sergio: Oh, dear. A tyrant who refuses to listen to even the voices who want to help him,getting himself deeper and deeper into trouble all the time... an excellent plot, and for the most part very well executed.

Fisher: You've clearly defined and delineated the abilities of your villains - a powerful worldwide conspiracy secretly controlling most of the human race and getting to work on the fraction they don't have control of yet. But where are your heroes, your protagonists? There's some hint of one person typing up the story at great personal risk, but even he seems to have given up hope of doing more than merely telling the story...

CCC

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Post April 05, 2017, 03:46:08 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Megawatts wrote:Congratulations to the winner and to everybody that entered. I had a death in the family and because of my daughter's death I don't feel like writing much. I'm sure it will pass. But for now I can't.

I have to remember that the sun also rises as I'm sure it will again from me.


...my condolences.
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Post April 05, 2017, 05:16:59 PM

Re: Voting for Flash Challenge: March 2017

Jim Harrington - Believable bar scene and I liked the way Yerkof told his troubles to the bartender and how his wife made him suffer while rebuilding her own confidence. The bartender knowing it was his wife through the disguise was a nice touch. I love bar stories. Great work!

Casey Callaghan - Making a mistake with calculation of a time machine was a perfect scenario for this theme. Committing genocide by wiping out a mass number of people by making a mistake in a time line and not remembering what it was that changed everything. It left an impression that it was longer than under 500 words.

I would have liked to have seen another 400 words on description and some action other than the unnamed character bemoaning the loss of everyone he ever knew. But you have something here I'd like to read more of in the future.

Robin B. Lipinski - I really liked this story Robin and I like your style of writing. To me, you commentate while showing the story as an overseer and your description are unusually good. There is a poetic feel to this story. You focus on scene changing small occurrences like a leaf falling and things like that. Beautiful use of words.

Kandi Tims - This reminded me of the biblical story of Leah and Rachel and Jacob having to marry the oldest Leah who was not so pretty seven years before he could marry Rachel who captured his heart.

The selfish, manipulating sister Rachelle got her just desserts and was practically ignored by the husband she schemed to get while the other sister was happy and loved.

You have a sweet way of storytelling and I look forward to your next one.

Bingemeister - This was just fun! Another comic horror but more like a cartoon with the bad domineering general getting his comeuppance. I like the Who's on first parody inserted in the story. I wished it could have been developed more.

Really, it was just Hilarius!

Jean-Paul L. Garnier - This really hit the theme prompt nicely. A missed calculation and destruction. Something a do over can't fix. Jerry's reaction was well played and I could feel his shock and grief. I wish it was longer, I enjoyed it much.

Sergio Palumbo - This was a well told story. The insane Emperor believing his enemies were the cause of all his problems and that eliminating them would bring peace and prosperity to his land was believable. He was such a egotist that the only council he received was from himself. All the subjects could do was brace for any number of bad things to happen or leave the kingdom.

True to life about revenge. The person who is hurt the most is the revenge seeker. Good job!
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