Discussion Thread -- September 2018 75-word Writing Challenge

Bob Senior

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Congrats Mosaix, out of respect for the winner I will not continue the discussion on originality etc.
You have a well deserved win, enjoy. I look forward to your choice for next month.

I would like to thank these people for a variety of reasons and just to say I appreciate your comments etc.
Parson
Victoria
Perp Man
Phyrebrat
Starbeast
M. Robert Gibson
Pedro Del Mar
Chris
And 34 others
 

Parson

This world is not my home
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Congrats @mosaix ..... Yours was a story that pointed to a truth that we all need to remember.

My story began when I read the line in Girl Punches Out ... "She dreamed that night of Samari and Cyborgs." Which I thought was a really cool line, and I knew I wanted to do something S.F. so voila....

Thanks for the mention @Cat's Cradle
 

paranoid marvin

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Thanks for the shortlistings TDZ and D3athw4alker, and even bigger thanks to Ursa for the vote.

Congrats to Mosaix for the win, well deserved.
 

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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Congrats, mosaix! I really enjoyed your story. Looking forward to the double-challenge month just ahead of us.

@Calliopenjo, I am always happy to read your stories, and I'm glad you enter them, each month. I've seen plenty of people question a genre that they're uncertain about, here in the discussion thread, so if you're ever unsure about a genre you've never written in, just ask about it here, and I know you'll get good advice. :)

Finally, I wrote something last night about using an existing world (Bond's, say) for these challenges, but then deleted it...but I'll just say that what I think we need is people coming to these challenges for fun, and for inspiration/confidence/practice for their own writing. So I fall into the 'write whatever you like, but just write (and enter), and enjoy whatever of the other entries you enjoy (but please vote)' camp.
Exclude, or include, whatever stories you want, and for whatever reasons you like, but encourage others to write for whatever reasons seem most satisfying to them. I promise I am not being critical of anyone, or any comments. But let's do encourage our entrants; I just think if a person is happy with what they've entered in a challenge, then they've succeeded. So, anyway...bring on October!
 

Perpetual Man

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I'm overcome with remorse. For the first time since I stayed doing the challenges I was unable to vote.

A big congratulations to mosaix - I would have voted for either you or PM, so not too much difference.

Now I'm off to walk through the city naked to cries of "SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!" and avoid rotten fruit and worse.
 

mosaix

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Thanks everyone.

My thoughts on ‘unoriginality’. If there’s a rule against it - I’ll abide by it. Until then, surely, the simplist and fairest way for everyone to express an opinion is in the way they vote.

I’m in China at the moment with reasonable internet access but that may change over the next day or two so I’ve given Chris the responsibility of starting the October threads. The theme was taken from the title of a book I’ve just read. Hope you enjoy.
 

The Judge

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Congrats, mosaix!

I've been very lax in compiling the stats this year, but a quick back of the envelope scribble tells me that this is his NINTH win! This takes him into the lead again for most wins in the 75s, sneaking just ahead of TDZ again, who last month equalled his then score of eight wins!


Ooh, and I've got another shortlisting and another vote! Many encoded and ciphered but very-happy-snapped thanks CC and Abernovo!

As for my story, I'm glad I managed to teach our resident scrabble champion a new word! The piece was very much a last minute affair, but living as close to Salisbury as we do, thoughts of Russian double agents spying for the West, then having to be brought out and kept under lifelong protection over here, haven't been far from our minds since March (though in Col Skripal's case he was swapped not exfiltrated). So the setting was there as soon as I put finger to keyboard, and the title -- from The Winter's Tale, as I'm sure everyone knew ;) -- came immediately thereafter, so it was simply a question of getting a troupe of actors in there and trying to decide how to get my double agent out!

I'm having a bit of trouble getting my head around the idea that a story that invovles, for example, a spy shooting someone would not meet the challenge combination of Shot and Spy Story.

After all, the genre is "spy story", not "spying story", so having a spy as the main character should meet the criterion.
As I said, I've no problems with a spy killing or being killed, but to my mind an assassin -- ie someone whose primary, if not sole, job is to kill -- isn't a spy, so if there is no spying involved in the story, it can't be a spy story, it's an assassin story, ie a thriller. Simply calling the assassin a spy doesn't make him or her a spy unless some spying is actually carried out.
 

Phyrebrat

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Ooops,

With all this talk of fanfic/original-not-original etc, I forgot my manners and neglected to say a huge thanks to @Bob Senior, @Hugh and @M. Robert Gibson for the votes which if I'm honest I was shocked to have received. I always 'try' to get one vote for the 75 and three for the 300 - God knows why, I just think it means something in terms of improvement or something - but when I saw the theme and genre I must admit to thinking it would be the second month in a row I'd not enter.

But that bugged me so I did think all month on coming up with something, and somehow 'hotshot' came to mind and stuck, hence the ATBASH code in my piece. Anyway, I thought it was too obscure and I wasn't particularly happy with it, more satisfied I'd entered than anything else. So the mentions and votes really did surprise me.

Once again congratulations @mosaix, enjoy China and thanks again you three for the votes.

pH
 

Ursa major

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Now that the voting is over, I thought I'd mention that my entry was not the first one I'd written.

Writing entries at the last minute has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the latter -- at least for someone (like me) who does not keep track of the entries already in -- is that one can write a story that is (or may appear to be) too similar to an existing entry... or, in this case, to more than one entry. (Note that I skim through the entries just before posting.)

Thus this month's entry was the second story that I had to write in short order (an appropriate order for such short stories).

Here's the first effort, whose title was borrowed by the second (but only because I thought that "spectre at the feast" was a good description of the problem that led Bond to deciding to retire):



Spectre at the Feast

Miss Bouvier returned from powdering her nose. Seeing Largo slumped across his table, she started shaking.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “He’ll not be stirring again.”
“How?”
“His martini. One shot of vodka was enough.”
“It was poisoned?”
“Naturally.” I picked up the bottle. It had to disappear, as did Largo’s body.
“Your superiors approve of what you do?”
“Mmmm, yes.” I gestured absentmindedly at the sign over the bar: ‘Licensee: J Bond.’
 

M. Robert Gibson

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that
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So the mentions and votes really did surprise me.
What swung it for me was the menacing phrase:
“If you fail this one, I’ll find someone else.”
Which I interpreted as "If you don't kill yourself, we'll get someone who will" Evil :devilish:


And of course, congrats to @mosaix
 
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M. Robert Gibson

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And for those of you whose interest was piqued by my asking for the name of the film where the main character has a similar mission to that in my effort, here's a giveaway clue.

Oh, and the offer of a pork pie is off the table
 

Hugh

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Congratulations Mosaix!

Should we anticipate a Chinese theme for the next challenge? Perhaps "The Long March" or "The Elixir of Immortality"?

And many thanks to @The Judge and @Phyrebrat for the shortlisting.
 

TheDustyZebra

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Now that it's 'splaining time, I'll mention, for those who may not have understood my story, that it hinged on the Victorian language of flowers. Hence the title, "My Dearest Victoria", when her name was Elizabeth.

My character, Jeff (whose name was James until I realized everyone else's was James and mine wasn't meant to be him), and his partner were stuck on an island, one of them injured, with no way to call for early extraction because the other side had disabled or tapped their communications.

Jeff put together a lei with a message in flowers and got a picture taken by a tourist photo booth, then had them email it to his ex to call for help. Their communications would not be monitored, or if they were, it was just a photo and nobody would realize it was a message.

Backstory, which you could not possibly be expected to have gleaned from what made it into print, is that Elizabeth was an English professor with an in-depth knowledge of the Victorian language of flowers, and of course she was able to decode the message and call his bosses at the CIA to go and get them.

Jeff had undoubtedly been subjected to many lessons in the language of flowers while dating Elizabeth, which is probably why they're ex. But, you know, it did him good, so he should just get over it.
 
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