Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge


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Post May 21, 2017, 08:19:20 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Holy cow, Boyo. 19 stories!

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Post May 22, 2017, 12:03:04 AM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Nice. Read em all. Will reread two more times but I have my choice for number uno.

"Hey Robin, spiders? Really? Are you daft?"

Yep. I truly am parasite. By the way, where is your story for the contest?

"'Uhmm. Uh. Well. I. Well..."

Just what I thought. You're too lazy. Nineteen people took the time to write and all you do is have time to complain.

"I'm not complaining, just pointing out...spiders?"

What, you wanted me to use intelligent jelly beans or ant eaters, maybe a pair of whales?
*

Nice to see all the authors who took the time. From my perspective they all were good.
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Post May 22, 2017, 08:58:02 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Radagast,

Here's just a hint. You are missing "[/quote]" at the end of your quoting, and thanks for snipping the quotes to a manageable size.
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Post May 22, 2017, 10:15:07 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Daniel Johnson wrote:I do not mind commenters quoting the entire story. For those who are new to forums, it is easier.

Truly, it is easier for the poster, but it may be somewhat less easy on the reader.
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Post May 22, 2017, 11:10:46 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Daniel Johnson wrote:I invited a lot of kids and I don't want to lay out a tutorial on forum tags. It's not difficult to scroll.

If you have any other comments about it, send me a PM.
This may be a good time to remember that as this is a public forum, open to all, rarely will the discussion follow only one track, or stay in the direction one may wish. Such deviations are not wrong, just a fact of life in Aphelion's forum.
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Post May 23, 2017, 09:59:05 PM

Re: 16 The Spider by Robin B. Lipinski

radagast-now wrote:
Daniel Johnson wrote:The Spider by Robin B. Lipinski



Clever - spiders controlling the world - LOL this ought to shake up the spider haters out there. I let the spiders in my place go for the most part, since they control the gnat and squito poulations. Good thing, too....


and

Now this is a cute story! Two spiders named Fred, how adorable. Life from the spider's perception.

Spiders may make you like spinach yogurt? Well, I don't want that.

Highly entertained Mr. Lipinski. Are you a pro writer?

My brain processes in a multi-dimensional logic thus in reply to two comments color is needed to sprillicate the operendous corner

First, thanks for the kind words geena. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. As for being a pro writer, while it would be something nice to be called I'm much more comfortable being called a free minded, free willed, individual. Or in other words, i'm just an idiot who loooooves to write.

And to radagast, thanks too for the nice comments. Spiders are one of my favorite creature on this planet. Now on other planets spiders take humans that are living on their television sets and say, "Ooooh, a human. Honey, could you get rid of... OH! NO! Don't squish it... Ooo... Take it outside. Take it outside."
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Post May 23, 2017, 10:21:12 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

I'm going to comment here on the need to snip. Quoting the entire story is unnecessary, especially if you aren't commenting on a specific part of it. If so, quote that and snip the rest.

I'm not having a pleasant time with this challenge because having to scroll large blocks of text gives me vertigo. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person affected this way.
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Post May 24, 2017, 08:27:45 AM

Re: 01 Ivy and Justin by K. Vesi

Nice story centered on Kids and what they might or might not do if they encounter extreme power.
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Post May 24, 2017, 03:25:43 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Daniel Johnson wrote:The clicking the quote button was an important part of my plan in bringing in people to the challenge who are nervous and uncomfortable with forum methodology. Many have written me about not participating for that reason. There are a lot of them. I solved that with using the quote button.

I do not want to add any new thing during this challenge. I want to make an easy transition for those who are first timers.


I respect your good intentions, Daniel, but in trying to make things easier for your friends, you've taught them bad habits.

It's common internet etiquette to 'snip' irrelevant text so that people don't have to wade through it. Please learn this practice; an admin or moderator somewhere will chastise you if you don't. Do be sure to leave in enough relevant text so that readers aren't having to ask you what you were talking about. You'll get chastised for that, too.

Odd that there's no 'help' button available on this forum and that everyone just assumes that everyone knows how to work forum controls.

Since you're worried that your friends are unfamiliar with forums, here is the FAQ for this board's software; they may want to bookmark it:

https://www.phpbb.com/community/help/fa ... 8d273b#f61

Even that doesn't give instructions for handling quotes; for that, look here:

https://www.phpbb.com/community/help/bbcode

Play around with this stuff, and check the results with the 'Preview' button--it will open another frame above your text box. The Preview cannot be used to edit; just scroll back down to your text editing box for that and repeat until the preview looks the way you want it to.

You can delete material from a quote wherever you want to snip unneeded text, but be sure to use the word 'snip' on its own line, as though it's a separate paragraph.

When you're done it should look like this:
snip

Original quote Original quote Original quote Original quote Original quote Original quote

snip

Original quote Original quote Original quote

snip


If you want to comment on more than one portion of a large quote, first, copy and paste a portion and make sure it's enclosed with quote tags. Write your comment, then repeat the procedure with the next portion. You won't need to mark the snips with this approach, but be sure to copy and paste the title and author name into the 'Subject' box or the top of your post. Be sure to preview it before hitting 'Submit;' it's easy to lose track of quote tags.

That method will result in this:

Original quote Original quote Original quote


Reader's review comments

Original quote Original quote Original quote


Reader's review comments
-----------------------
Hope this helps.
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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
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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
______________________________________
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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, 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, 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, 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 June 02, 2017, 02:06:35 PM

Re: Voting Stage - May Flash Fiction Challenge

Finally, I've had enough spare moments to finish reading all these stories. Excellent effort by a lot of you.

My personal favorites were "The Pettiness Device" by Jean-Paul Garnier and "Ivy and Justin" by K. Vesi. I felt that these two were the two strongest, character-driven stories in the bunch. There are a lot of ways to frame a story and character-driven is the one I prefer by far. That, however, is only my personal opinion.

It's fairly horrible of me to lump 17 mores stories into one short statement, but one sometimes only has so much time. Life gets in the way. Anyhow, I would encourage the rest of the entrants this month to bolster your efforts toward showing over telling in a story. Showing more engages the reader, brings them into a story. A good way to do that is to focus on creating a very strong character--one with one ore more flaws to them--who has a real, serious problem to overcome in life. That character may or may not resolve that problem in the story, especially in that this is flash, but his, her, or its actions should be governed by the overarching need to resolve the bigger issue. There is much more to showing vs. telling than can be explained in a short paragraph, of course.

As a conversation starter, I would ask, and no offense meant to Daniel by doing so, but what did you learn while trying to write your story? Aphelion is all about helping writers grow and learn. It's why this site is here.
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