Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge


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Post May 25, 2017, 06:53:00 AM

Great stories

Morning everyone!

I'm still working my way through the list, but I love the variety of stories for this challenge. Thank you, everyone, for the kind comments, and I'll post my own thoughts when I have some free time.

-Hope
"Don't look back--something might be gaining on you!"

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Post May 25, 2017, 05:55:02 PM

Re: 09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves by Frank Martin

grobbe wrote:101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves by Frank Martin

A little intense for my tastes but I found it hard to not keep reading

Well, that's something. Thank you for reading and appreciate your commenting.

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Post May 25, 2017, 06:00:10 PM

Re: 09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves by Frank Martin

Chrissy Hampton wrote:101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves by Frank Martin


I don't know what to think about this one.

You got the suspense and heavy drama, plenty of action. But, I didn't feel the humanity of the cruelty. I would like to feel something for Lady Abele, maybe more set up.

But, there was something unmistakable about your writing. You've got something there, I just can't put my finger on it.

This is encouraging. I can sure use some of that about now.

It's hard sitting at a keyboard and writing alone with no one around and then putting my writing out there not knowing how it's going to affect people.

I think a writer always looks for praise, maybe even holding their breath. But I also like the feeling of writing so there's always that.

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Post May 26, 2017, 08:49:35 PM

Re: 09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves by Frank Martin

Need to chime in here after reading the other comments. At first I too was a little taken aback by the cruelty but let's face it... the real world contains far worse things --- and they are happening as we speak. They need to be told! It is important to write about them and not make everything just about cool spaceships or time machines.

So -- GOOD JOB in tackling a difficult challenge. It was a well written story and that's key. Best of luck in your future writing and don't be squeamish about going to dark places. Maybe this isn't the best metaphor, but they say "sunshine is the best disinfectant". You put a bright light into a dark place and the world needs more of it.
Glenn Diamond
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Post May 27, 2017, 10:21:29 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

My votes are in, and here are my comments.
_____________________________________

01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi

Continuity:
Justin is the one who didn't want to go to school, but Ivy seems more pleased when it's cancelled.

Unintended consequences:
What's going to happen to all the puppies that are given to people who don't want them? Many people won't be able to afford the upkeep; some are animal abusers; some of the puppies will be eaten. The world will very suddenly become a lot more crowded. For some while, there won't be enough dog food or veterinary care available; waste cleanup will become a problem.

On the positive side, the job market will take off wildly in everything related to dogs.

Dialog and characterization were well done, with some very nice action beats, such as:
>> Ivy’s face flushed; she looked down at the ground. <<
The kids seemed very kid-like.
I'd have expected more confusion coming from the news reporters, but maybe they were magicked into thinking this was nothing unusual.

I like the ending; a little unstated trickery and some ambiguity about the future.
______________________________________

02 Other People's Children by Genna Watson
___________________________________
03 The Pettiness Device By Jean-Paul L. Garnier

I liked how the effect of the device was limited, and how the MC decided against meddling. Good character arc. I did think the device's effect was just a little overstated.
___________________________________________

04 Meal Time By Thomas Wm. Hamilton

Not much of a character arc, but I was impressed with the economy.
________________________________________________

05 For the Greater Good By Hope Gillette

Interesting premise and setting.
The ending was rather abrupt, but a graceful ending with a satisfying denouement is one of the hardest things to do with flash. I was dissatisfied with a lot of my own, and got to trying to reach the story's climax by the end of the first paragraph. I never managed that, but the effort helped my story arcs.
__________________________________________

06 The Lily Pads of Your Minds By Gareth D Jones

You did a very nice job of describing the details of *how* your MC used his abilities, but I can't seem to find a character arc or a story arc. I had no reason to care about the character or *what* he did, because you didn't give him a motive.

Good stories make us care about the characters because they struggle with circumstance and choice, and with the consequences of those choices for others as well as for themselves.
___________________________________________

07 For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond

Great setup, but that first sentence could use some work. You've got 'dim corner,' 'sleepy tavern,' 'state highway,' 'hill country,' 'Wheatfield County,' and 'muggy summer morning'--that's *six* nested layers of description for where the characters are. This all establishes atmosphere, which is important, but I think some of it can be cut (I'd keep the sleepy tavern in Wheatfield County and cut the rest). You might also recast it differently, maybe into two or even three sentences.

So. Nice setup, and I liked what you did next, with Grimes puzzling over his choice. I liked how you then describe the subsequent meeting.

In the following scene, I think you overexplained the situation for the first two paragraphs. The reader already knows what happened. The fine detail could be taken from that narrative and moved back into Grimes' explanation to Old Sulfur Breath. Then you could move on to the concrete examples of the real-world consequences.

Altogether, very nice.
__________________________________________

08 Omnipotent by Roderick D. Turner

I found myself confused, wondering who was who and which one of them was talking. Needs more attribution tags. Good dialog and plot, though.
_____________________________________________

09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves By Frank Martin

I spotted a continuity problem--the story opens with dialog indicating that the female victim had already been 'bought,' but shortly thereafter, she is sold at auction. This may be an error in how the chronology of events was portrayed.

Then there is a luridly detailed torture scene, and the victim has her memory erased and is returned to her daily routine as a performer.

I failed to find a character arc here for anyone, therefor the story has no hook. Readers need a reason to care about someone, but that character needs to be allowed agency and some means with which to resist obstacles and proceed toward their goal; see my notes on #06 above. The victim here wasn't given a goal, nor any agency. I don't see anything that looks like a substantial plot.

My strongest reaction to the story was revulsion at the gratuitous violence of the torture scene.
_________________________________________________

10 All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men By Haydn T. A. Jones

The character's goal is stated, but it was unclear to me what was opposing him. He seems to have imprisoned all of his competition. Also, I couldn't figure out the point of his manipulation of those people. I presume they're all taking the place of chessmen in various games, but I don't see a reason for it. And since he has his competitors locked up, who is playing against him? Very fuzzy plot.
_______________________________________________

11 Absolute Platitude By Mike Dorman

I liked this story for its philosophical aspect, but the euthanasia is a significant plot point, the necessity of which isn't explained.

The fact that you have the character saying, "shut up and listen" twice in the first two paragraphs led me to expect that some important aspect of the story would have to do with sound; I was left with an unfulfilled expectation.

The story does have a strong point, which is nicely delivered.
_______________________________________

12 Mister Adjuster By Alexander D Jones

This story seems to lack a plot, and there is no character arc.
________________________________________

13 Inside the Cave by Jason McGraw

I see the second installment of something larger--maybe much larger. Not bad, as fantasy goes. It seems to only be tangentially addressed to the challenge, but it's justifiable. The problem is that the main human characters aren't being controlled; they're being persuaded.

I like this. It's going somewhere we can't see yet, and I think you should take it there on its own merits, whether it fits with a challenge or not.
________________________________________

14 The Day the Earth Moved by Martin Westlake

Delightful!
__________________________________________

15 A Confrontation of Wills By Sergio ‘ente per ente’ Palumbo

Interesting plot--two layers of mind-control.
_______________________________________

16 The Spider By Robin B. Lipinski

I got a good laugh out of this.
____________________________________

17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca.

Prose poetry.
_______________________________________

18 The Director by Ryan Harris
_________________________________
19 Eric's Peace by Mike Wilson
______________________________________
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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Post May 28, 2017, 10:18:55 AM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Thanks!

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Post May 28, 2017, 12:58:33 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Oh sure Lester, laugh all you want. You're safe, what with your killer cat guard. I however now have to pay the price for revealing the power of spiders.

The things Fred and Fred have been doing to me lately? Well, lets just say I'm planning a trip to see North Korea's sewer systems and I have a craving for spinach yogurt. Plus, you should see how cool my naked body looks covered in tar and feathers.

(thanks for the laugh though. this world definitely needs more laughter)
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Post May 28, 2017, 06:10:38 PM

May 2017 Flash Fiction Voting Results

We have set 3 new Aphelion records this month!

019 - The most participants in a flash challenge
042 - The most votes in a flash challenge
150 - The most comments made by author’s who were commenting on other author’s stories. (If you subtract the set up posts and the off topic posts, the posts count is 150+.)

The votes came in through e-mails from site members, writing clubs, outside sources and bloggers.

I wonder if these records will ever be topped.

Next, I want you people to know you mean a lot to me. Communicating with you and watching your stories develop gave me great satisfaction and that part of this challenge made it worthwhile.

I want you all to continue to flourish wherever you submit your stories.

The votes along with the comments are designed to give you feedback. By no means does this establish which stories were the best. The voting and the comments are to generate activity around your creativity.

***

And now…with 42 votes in!

In First Place: Jason McGraw‘s, “Inside the Cave”.

In Second Place: Glenn M. Diamond‘s, “For a Mile or an Hour”.

In Third Place: Tie - Genna Watson’s, “Other People's Children and Hope Gillette’s, “For the Greater Good”.

Total Overall Votes in All-Three Categories. Tie - Hope Gillette’s, “For the Greater Good” and Glenn M. Diamond’s, “For a Mile or an Hour”


Vote Breakdown

First Place

01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi - 3
02 Other People's Children by Genna Watson - 1
03 The Pettiness Device By Jean-Paul L. Garnier - 3
04 Meal Time By Thomas Wm. Hamilton - 1
05 For the Greater Good By Hope Gillette - 3
06 The Lily Pads of Your Minds By Gareth D Jones - 3
07 For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond - 3
08 Omnipotent by Roderick D. Turner - 2
09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves By Frank Martin -
10 All the King’s Horses / All the King’s Men By Haydn T. A. Jones - 2
11 Absolute Platitude By Mike Dorman - 2
12 Mister Adjuster By Alexander D Jones - 2
13 Inside the Cave by Jason McGraw - 5
14 The Day the Earth Moved by Martin Westlake - 2
15 A Confrontation of Wills By Sergio ‘ente per ente’ Palumbo - 1
16 The Spider By Robin B. Lipinski - 2
17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca - 3
18 The Director by Ryan Harris - 2
19 Eric's Peace by Mike Wilson - 2


Second Place

01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi - 3
02 Other People's Children by Genna Watson - 1
03 The Pettiness Device By Jean-Paul L. Garnier - 2
04 Meal Time By Thomas Wm. Hamilton - 2
05 For the Greater Good By Hope Gillette - 4
06 The Lily Pads of Your Minds By Gareth D Jones - 3
07 For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond - 7
08 Omnipotent by Roderick D. Turner - 2
09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves By Frank Martin - 1
10 All the King’s Horses / All the King’s Men By Haydn T. A. Jones - 1
11 Absolute Platitude By Mike Dorman - 2
12 Mister Adjuster By Alexander D Jones - 1
13 Inside the Cave by Jason McGraw - 1
14 The Day the Earth Moved by Martin Westlake - 2
15 A Confrontation of Wills By Sergio ‘ente per ente’ Palumbo - 2
16 The Spider By Robin B. Lipinski - 3
17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca - 3
18 The Director by Ryan Harris - 1
19 Eric's Peace by Mike Wilson - 1


Third Place

01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi - 3
02 Other People's Children by Genna Watson - 5
03 The Pettiness Device By Jean-Paul L. Garnier - 2
04 Meal Time By Thomas Wm. Hamilton - 2
05 For the Greater Good By Hope Gillette - 5
06 The Lily Pads of Your Minds By Gareth D Jones - 2
07 For a Mile or an Hour by Glenn M. Diamond - 2
08 Omnipotent by Roderick D. Turner -
09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves By Frank Martin - 1
10 All the King’s Horses / All the King’s Men By Haydn T. A. Jones -
11 Absolute Platitude By Mike Dorman - 2
12 Mister Adjuster By Alexander D Jones - 2
13 Inside the Cave by Jason McGraw - 1
14 The Day the Earth Moved by Martin Westlake - 3
15 A Confrontation of Wills By Sergio ‘ente per ente’ Palumbo - 2
16 The Spider By Robin B. Lipinski - 3
17 A Bouquet of Flowers of the Mind by Florin Purluca - 3
18 The Director by Ryan Harris - 2
19 Eric's Peace by Mike Wilson - 2

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Post May 28, 2017, 07:10:08 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Congrats to the winners--well done! And I have to say this has been a lot of fun.

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Post May 28, 2017, 08:47:30 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Many thanks to all of you. And Daniel, you did an awesome job and it's much appreciated!
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Post May 28, 2017, 09:22:23 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Congrats to the winners, and thanks to all for your participation.

For me, at least, this was a lot more work than I'm accustomed to for a flash challenge, and I wasn't sure I'd even be able to get through all the entries.
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Post May 28, 2017, 09:39:31 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Great job, everyone! Love to see all the participation.
"Don't look back--something might be gaining on you!"

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Post May 28, 2017, 10:19:21 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Oh come on now, my story actually got some votes? What will be next, a reality TV show host getting elected as president?

Seriously though, thanks to those who enjoyed the spiders. I voted for, 'Inside the Cave'. Thought it was a good read.

For those who have not entered any of these challenges, you should now understand how really easy it is. You don't even have to have any experience. Just go for it. And trust me, with me entering this stuff your story will shine! In fact, I can gareenteed iit.

Good job all. Nice to be able to write.

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Post May 29, 2017, 12:32:04 AM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

gmdiamond wrote:Many thanks to all of you. And Daniel, you did an awesome job and it's much appreciated!

Gongrats to all the winners! See you all in the next round. I think. :D

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Post May 29, 2017, 09:23:31 AM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Great job to everyone. I haven't participated much but I hope to in the future. From what I've seen, this challenge is soaring!!! Daniel you are doing a wonderful and inspirational job!!!!
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Post May 29, 2017, 10:14:01 AM

Re: May 2017 Flash Fiction Voting Results

Daniel Johnson wrote:In Third Place: Tie - Genna Watson’s, “Other People's Children and Hope Gillette’s, “For the Greater Good”.

I am so honored to receive the votes and comments from the writers in this challenge. Thank you much for all the comments during the voting week. I've never seen such participation and genuine affection for any writing contest.

Bless you all.
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Post May 29, 2017, 10:18:20 AM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Daniel,

You are a special person. I can truly feel your desire to inspire the writers you're communicating with and I know it is reciprocated back to you. Tim and I are grateful for the chats we've had with you.

Thank you so much!

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Post May 29, 2017, 11:38:39 AM

Re: May 2017 Flash Fiction Voting Results

Daniel Johnson wrote:We have set 3 new Aphelion records this month!



Now that is a strong tie for me :D i just noticed. 3-3-3 :) Thanks to all who voted my story.

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Post May 29, 2017, 11:46:14 AM

Re: 09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves by Frank Martin

gmdiamond wrote:Need to chime in here after reading the other comments. At first I too was a little taken aback by the cruelty but let's face it... the real world contains far worse things --- and they are happening as we speak. They need to be told! It is important to write about them and not make everything just about cool spaceships or time machines.

So -- GOOD JOB in tackling a difficult challenge. It was a well written story and that's key. Best of luck in your future writing and don't be squeamish about going to dark places. Maybe this isn't the best metaphor, but they say "sunshine is the best disinfectant". You put a bright light into a dark place and the world needs more of it.

This is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. It was extremely important to me! Thank you for saying it!

Frank

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Post May 29, 2017, 11:51:18 AM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Daniel,

Thank you for spending so much time with me by e-mail, reviewing this entry and other of my stories and giving me your thoughts in such a kind way. You swapped about two dozen e-mails helping me with how to organize a story this month. No body else would have done it. I'm easily discouraged and you kept picking me up. I don't know how to thank you!

Frank

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Post May 29, 2017, 06:18:49 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Daniel,

I loved your challenge! I enjoyed reading and voting. After I saw how many people were involved I wished I had finished my story.

The writing club I'm in wanted me to tell you, just let them know when you want them to sign up. We're all waiting on the next contest theme.

Wow, great job!

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Post May 29, 2017, 10:00:12 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Many thanks for the votes! What an honor - this was a fun and challenging event. Thanks for all your work, Daniel. It was fascinating reading all of the different takes on the control the world theme.
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Post May 29, 2017, 11:37:50 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Hi Mr. Daniel,

What is the next challenge going to be? I'm nervously anticipating it!

Kandi
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Post May 30, 2017, 05:09:02 AM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Congratulations to the winners!!!
:D
Some wonderful entries!!!

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Post May 30, 2017, 01:03:36 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

COMMENT ON 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves

I read this story a week ago and I had a similar reaction to others here. I've been thinking about it and how it could be twisted around to be even more unique. Here is what I think.

Make the story narrated by the woman. She is trying to resist her handlers but also trying to befriend some that seem "nicer". But it doesn't work and a nasty buyer takes her to be tortured. The woman fights the pain. She tries to appear insane on the outside while she detaches her mind from her body so she can keep her mind intact. It backfires - she can see and feel everything but her body is not her own and the body follows the orders of the master. She is forced to follow orders while her mind is trapped in the cage that is her skull.

Just an idea!!!

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Post May 30, 2017, 04:30:20 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Daniel, I got my English department excited about your challenges. Let me know what the next step is.

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Post May 30, 2017, 08:31:03 PM

Re: 09 101 Uses For Mind Control Slaves by Frank Martin

Hi Frank,
Awesome, thanks for that kind reply. This really is a pretty amazing group of folks. I have to laugh.. before I discovered Aphelion I wasted a lot of time sending stories to the big sci-fi publishers. I couldn't believe their snotty attitudes. Now I don't even bother. The fiction published here is as good or better than those "pay" venues. Cheers, Glenn
Glenn Diamond
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Post May 30, 2017, 10:06:09 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Our church drama club would like to try writing in the challenges, about 30 people. Does it matter that most of them are amateur writers?
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Post May 31, 2017, 08:49:41 AM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Walter, Carroll and Geena - thank you for your enthusiasm and replying. I will send you e-mails on what to do next. I estimate that the combined sign ups from your organizations total about 50 new members for Aphelion. Thank you all for working so hard.

To all other members who commented favorably to me, I treasure you all!

Daniel

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Post May 31, 2017, 04:46:56 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Geena told me to go ahead and write you. The church drama people got your e-mails. We're all looking forward to the next challenge.

Thanks for including us.

Sam
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