Improving our 75 Word Stories -- READ FIRST POST

Discussion in 'Writing Challenges' started by The Judge, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,804
    Location:
    In your bedroom wardrobe...
    I liked it, Coast, quite a lot actually but for me - as it inhabited an already-existing world - I felt it slipped into fanfic so did not make my shortlist.

    The writing is great; tidy and it has a nice rhythm. It was purely discounted because of the fanfic sense, which is a shame because it was well executed - and I loved the bit about the T16.

    pH
     
    Coast likes this.
  2. The Big Peat

    The Big Peat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    764
    Coast - I only got the Star Wars reference because I read Phyrebrat's comment here first and was looking for something like that. Also, I'd agree with Mosaix that I'm not sure there's really a story there.
     
    Coast likes this.
  3. Coast

    Coast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    219
    Yeah, I'll have to cop the obscure reference criticism. :alien:

    Which was part of my main concern that it relied too heavily on those references, and didn't have the character doing much 'on page', just being frustrated and thinking to themselves. Is that what you mean by no story? No narrative?

    Mosaix I liked yours, it made my shortlist. I got the Mars to Earth part, but I actually thought they were human (perhaps because of the title), so I thought it was an origin story! I pictured them building the pyramids then somehow forgetting their knowledge.
     
    mosaix likes this.
  4. mosaix

    mosaix Shropshire, U.K.

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    5,989
    Location:
    Shropshire, U.K.
    Hi Coast. Thanks for the comments. I think I posted too soon instead of sleeping on it and re-reading. Lesson learnt.

    Regarding yours. My personal test for a 'story' is does it have a beginning, a middle and an end? Maybe that's a bit strict with only 75 words to play with. Your story didn't seem to pass the test - sorry. :unsure:
     
  5. Luiglin

    Luiglin Dark Lord's biographer aka Stuart Orford

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    789
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    I'm always fearful of posting Dark Lord stories these days (daft thing to say I know seeing as how my 300 was in that realm) as some maybe getting tired of it.

    However, I wanted to try something different and the theme 'dry' led to the idea as a style of humour.

    Obviously that didn't really resonate for many. Was it the content, writing or are people getting bored?

    I assume everyone got the joke.

    It’s the way I tell ‘em!

    “Is that it?”

    Ham, the Dark Lord’s halfling fool, nodded glumly.

    “But you didn’t caper or wave your bladder stick.”

    “It’s very popular amongst elves, my Lord. They call it Anfaug Lalaith.”

    The Dark Lord leaned forward. “Say it again.”

    “Recent research has shown that six out of seven dwarves aren’t happy,” said Ham.

    “Well the elves have got their research wrong. All dwarves are miserable bleeders.”

    Ham’s bladder stick silently deflated. Typical, he thought.
     
  6. Coast

    Coast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    219
    That's alright, I think I usually just try to write a small vignette or play with an idea I think is interesting, rather than thinking beginning, middle, end. I'll have to experiment with that next month.
    Thanks mosaix.

    Thanks Phyrebrat, I can live with that. :)
     
    mosaix likes this.
  7. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Dogged Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,649
    Location:
    Colorado
    Coast, I liked yours, and I got the references. I just didn't see any particular connection to "Dry", and it was more of a snippet than a story. Hope that helps.

    It can be a vignette -- many, many of my stories are all dialogue, so obviously taking place in a few moments. But you need to imply, in that space, the bigger picture. Establish them in a moment in time, with the sense of what came before and showing what's coming next. If that makes sense.
     
    Coast likes this.
  8. Parson

    Parson This world is not my home

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,954
    Location:
    Iowa
    @Coast --- I did not get the references "chiller bar" included. I was confused and wasn't sure what the story was.

    @mosaix --- I got the story, but I too thought it was an origin story, "tentacle" would have really confused me. But the whole "global warming" thing got me. Could Mars really have had that problem? Seemed unlikely.

    @Luiglin --- I didn't follow the story at all but thought the idea of a bladder stick humorous, and slightly scandalous.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
    mosaix, Coast and Luiglin like this.
  9. Luiglin

    Luiglin Dark Lord's biographer aka Stuart Orford

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    789
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    Cheers. It was about a dry joke - in this case the six out of seven dwarves gag. They're the sort that are told with deadpan face that can mean one thing but are actually about something else entirely. Maybe I needed to sign post it better.
     
  10. hopewrites

    hopewrites Believe in your youness

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Home
    I got the joke but was distracted and confused by the bladder stick. I felt the Dark Lord's response made the joke even better!

    ---

    I didn't object to earth twinkling.

    ---

    I only got that this was a Star Wars reference because of the T-14. Then realized that the MC is the new resident at uncle Owan's farm. Only then did I realize that a moisture farmer with faulty equipment is a dry reference.
     
    mosaix, Coast and Luiglin like this.
  11. Coast

    Coast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    219
    Thanks Parson and Hopewrites!
    Yeah, Double points for hope! But it seems a lot more obvious to me now that without making those links, it doesn't make a lot of sense.. :whistle:

    Thank TDZ, it definitely makes sense. I've seen a few comments about entries not being stories in a few of the challenges, and was a bit confused by it, thinking I was missing something that everybody else knew! ;)
     
    TheDustyZebra likes this.
  12. Stable

    Stable Watching you from upside down

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2016
    Messages:
    81
    Hey guys, I've not done one on here before, so I'd love some feedback on my entry this month if you have any! I'll include it below for reference, thanks in advance.

    Safe and Dry

    The trees all had thick wax coating their leaves, letting the acid run off without damaging their precious insides. Big droplets pattered into the leaf litter, soaked everything in a dangerous wet. But not me. It was powerful stuff, one of the pegs holding up my little shelter already tarnished and corroding. Like the tarp above keeping me safe from the unfriendly environment, this acid rain was a shroud that kept me safe and hidden.
     
  13. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Dogged Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    6,649
    Location:
    Colorado
    Stable, I think yours just struck me as an "...ok, and...?" It's a snippet of something, and though it has nice imagery and description, there's not a lot of sense of what's going on. Who is this, and what are they hiding from? And where is this place, and why is it full of acid rain? How did they get here, or what's going to happen if they leave? These are the questions that come to mind, and with no answers, it's just a little chunk of mystery.

    I think you could have pared down the description and used those words for making something happen, or showing what was about to happen. We talk a lot about "beginning, middle and end" in these Challenges. You have a lot of middle there. :D
     
    Stable likes this.
  14. Stable

    Stable Watching you from upside down

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2016
    Messages:
    81
    @Coast - I'm afraid I totally didn't get the Star Wars references either, although the story becomes much more clever now it's been pointed out.
    @Luiglin - I liked your little story, but I felt the ending was a little flat (hoho). The joke still makes me smile, but maybe the deflating bladder is a little heavy-handed? Hard to say because humour is so personal.
     
    Coast and Luiglin like this.
  15. Mad Alice

    Mad Alice From Earth; Mad House of the Universe

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Messages:
    610
    stable I liked your story. I thought it was about an escaped person hiding from the authorities .. I wanted to know what the circumstances were behind the escape. big idea and good descriptors.
     
    Stable likes this.
  16. Luiglin

    Luiglin Dark Lord's biographer aka Stuart Orford

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    789
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    Cheers @Stable. It looks like the bladder gag was too diverting rather than supporting for some. It was there to show just how unrewarding the job of jester to The Dark Lord truly is. For anyone else the bladder would have deflated with a comic raspberry noise. Unfortunately for Ham it didn't.

    As to yours, for me it hinted at a greater tale than you could possibly get into a 75. As such I wanted to know more about the situation and didn't get a closure - damn hard to do in a 75.
     
    Stable likes this.
  17. Coast

    Coast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    219
    RE: concerns over too much Dark Lord. For me, being pretty new here, it was a case of not enough Dark Lord! I got tied up with the joke and the bladder stick, and couldn't make the connection, so I assumed it required previous experience with his Lordship. (Which, looking up-thread a little, is a mistake I'm more guilty of than you! :confused::D)

    Agree with the points that TDZ, ALice, Luiglin have made. I do like the description though, especially the tarnished peg. I can tell you with certainty that after a couple of months of challenges your economy will improve drastically! (y)
     
    Stable, Cathbad and Luiglin like this.
  18. Stable

    Stable Watching you from upside down

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2016
    Messages:
    81
    Thanks for the feedback everyone! That was very helpful and gave me plenty to think about.
     
    hopewrites likes this.
  19. hopewrites

    hopewrites Believe in your youness

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Home
    If you decide to do more with it, I'd like to know if there was a reason your MC didn't use the waxy leaves to coat their shelter in an attempt to prevent damage by the acid rains.

    Acid rain smells different from clean rain, so I'd also like to know how this smell (and its possible indication of dangerous inhalents in the air) effects MC, the wildlife in this jungle, and any pursuit that may be going on.

    Nice hooks, clearly, if it were mine I'd shelve it rather than bin it. lots of good potential to be something more :)
     
    juelz4sure and Stable like this.
  20. Stable

    Stable Watching you from upside down

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2016
    Messages:
    81
    Thanks hopewrites. I've no plans for it at the moment, but the scene will go into my big bag of "pieces I've written that might one day get pasted into the right story." Great points on how to expand.

    From the character's POV the tarp is better because a shelter of leaves might let the odd drop through. From my POV the leaves were supposed to be a metaphor for the protagonist and their tarp, which wouldn't work if the shelter was also leaves.
     
Loading...

Share This Page