DISCUSSION THREAD, July 2019 75-Word Writing Challenge

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
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It's a very good story, Peter V. It would have made my lists - if not for the massive heatwave that sucked from me the ambition to list. Well done, with From Under the Martian Yoke. That's quite a clock, and quite a story.

New Challenge in two days. My goal is always to do just a little better than the month before. :)
 

elvet

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I have a question. If it has been addressed before and I missed the response, I apologize.
Why do we get three votes on the 300 word challenge, and only one vote on the 75, when the latter has more entries?
Edited: I might answer my own question and guess that they were not planned that way , never knowing how popular or how many entries might be submitted.
 
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StilLearning

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Congratulations @The Judge. When I heard what you had done, my mouth dropped open No wonder you won! I, however, did not come close to picking that up. I know of Gilbert & Sullivan, but cannot remember ever hearing the song referenced. Sorry to have missed your story so badly.

----

@StilLearning .... I wish I were as clever as you think I was. I did not know of the science behind Van Gogh. I have used "Starry Night" as an illustration in a sermon a few years back as a way to show how things which weren't literal interpretations might still speak deep truth.

My inspiration was rather more prosaic. I remembered the navigators from Dune and the line "We have now folded space." and thought about the fact that to me at least it seemed as much art as science, and it was something humans couldn't do. Stir in my distaste Picasso's weird stuff and you have the genesis of a story. I was happy to have short listings and votes. (I do like the early Picasso when he painted in the style of the Great Masters.)
If you didn't get the idea from the Van Gogh mystery then that makes you cleverer than I thought, don't you think? :D I took both physics and art at A-level, so my thoughts often run this way. When people ask why the universe should exist I always think 'it's beautiful, why is more reason needed?' That would make it artwork, if true...
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
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When I heard what you had done, my mouth dropped open No wonder you won! I, however, did not come close to picking that up. I know of Gilbert & Sullivan, but cannot remember ever hearing the song referenced. Sorry to have missed your story so badly.
No apologies necessary, Parson! It's always a gamble referencing something, and I was staking everything on people getting the reference and being amused by it, giving me an extra lift on top of the story itself -- I'm astounded (and very grateful!) that elvet voted for it just as a poem without being aware of the original. If you haven't already, have a look at a couple of recordings of it and google the lyrics which are stupendously daft! And next time I sneak G&S into the title, be ready! ;)


To be honest I am quite disappointed with the result because I felt it was possibly my strongest entry to date. I know I should be grateful for getting a couple of votes and some mentions, especially as there have been multiple occasions when I have received neither but it has set me to wondering if a majority of this fine ensemble simply do not enjoy dark stories or unhappy endings? If that is the case it is unfortunate for me because I have depths of darkness to plumb!
Oddly enough I was thinking about this myself, but on a quick look at my own pieces, there's no apparent correlation between humour and votes on the one hand, and dark stories and no votes on the other -- some of my darks have reaped wins, some of my funny pieces have sunk without trace, and vice versa. Partly it will depend on the theme and genre, I imagine. Partly also on the other stories because we don't read one 75 worder in a vacuum -- if everyone is dark and you (ie one, not you personally) are funny, that can be attractive, and if there are lots of brilliant stories, or even one outstanding piece, it will get the vote you might otherwise have picked up in a more mediocre field. We all know how it feels to put up what we think is a vote-catcher which catches no attention at all, and as you say two votes aren't to be sniffed at, but perhaps put the story up in the Improving thread and get specific feedback.

Great photo of the clock! As Ursa says, we used it in the very first 300, so it's given inspiration to many of us!


I have a question. If it has been addressed before and I missed the response, I apologize.

Edited: I might answer my own question and guess that they were not planned that way , never knowing how popular or how many entries might be submitted.
Actually, we guessed that would happen, since writing the longer piece would take more commitment and therefore would attract fewer entrants.

The 75s had been going a year before we introduced the 300s, so we'd had some experience of voting, and we'd already realised we have a problem with getting people to vote. Off the top of my head I don't think we've ever had a month when everyone who took part in a Challenge voted in that Challenge -- people forget, or lose track of the date, or are too busy, or get called away, or they're newbies who don't understand, and some members simply have had no intention of voting. And while we encourage non-participants to vote, and we have a lot of lovely people who have done that, very often we have fewer voters than participants. As a result I for one was worried that with fewer members taking part, we might actually end up with so few votes in the 300s that it wouldn't reflect on the work done. It's dispiriting enough to get no votes in a 75 worder, but it's easier to shrug off -- plenty of other participants are in the same boat, it's only a bit of fun, and there's always another Challenge next month.

The other big difference is that originally the 300 worder carried a prize which Brian was kind enough to provide. With something tangible at stake, it was important to ensure that we had as many votes as possible so the best stories would pull away from the crowd.**

I think we'd already had a 75 worder with more than one vote each by way of a "present" and certainly we were used to getting members clamouring for more votes in the 75s. So we decided to go with 3 votes for the 300s to quieten some clamours, to give more votes and therefore encourage more participants, and also it helped distinguish it from the 75s.


** though ironically in the third 300 worder we had exactly the bunching at the top we'd hoped to avoid, with 4 stories on 7 votes apiece!
 

Luiglin

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there's no apparent correlation between humour and votes on the one hand, and dark stories and no votes on the other -- some of my darks have reaped wins, some of my funny pieces have sunk without trace, and vice versa.
Seconded, apart from one aberration this year where even the internet seemed hell bent on preventing me winning, I've found generally whatever you write is immaterial to the voting... if that makes sense.

I know there are some that just plain don't like my "humour", which is fine, although I'd like to say to them raspberry!

Seriously though if we were all the same life would be very boring.

So, stick to what you like doing and most importantly, don't listen to a word of advice from me. I'm useless at this thing.
 

johnnyjet

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I've always considered the writing challenges as just that: "challenges." They're a fun way to challenge your imagination and writing skills. If I get a nice review, feedback, mention, or vote, I consider that icing on the cake: greatly and humbly appreciated.

Voting is always difficult because of the high quality of the stories and the widely varied interpretations of the theme. I usually just go by my gut feeling.
 

Peter V

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Seconded, apart from one aberration this year where even the internet seemed hell bent on preventing me winning, I've found generally whatever you write is immaterial to the voting... if that makes sense.

I know there are some that just plain don't like my "humour", which is fine, although I'd like to say to them raspberry!

Seriously though if we were all the same life would be very boring.

So, stick to what you like doing and most importantly, don't listen to a word of advice from me. I'm useless at this thing.
I love your humour Luiglin and must admit that I always look forward to reading your entries.
 

Luiglin

by day Stuart Orford by night Dark Lord's scribe
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I love your humour Luiglin and must admit that I always look forward to reading your entries.
Cheers @Peter V, I'll send you the appropriate currency of your choice, apart from gold bullion, my local post office has refused that as it gave the sorter a bad back.
 

Peter V

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Seconded, apart from one aberration this year where even the internet seemed hell bent on preventing me winning, I've found generally whatever you write is immaterial to the voting... if that makes sense.

I know there are some that just plain don't like my "humour", which is fine, although I'd like to say to them raspberry!

Seriously though if we were all the same life would be very boring.

So, stick to what you like doing and most importantly, don't listen to a word of advice from me. I'm useless at this thing.
I love your humour Luiglin and always look forward to reading your entries.
Cheers @Peter V, I'll send you the appropriate currency of your choice, apart from gold bullion, my local post office has refused that as it gave the sorter a bad back.
My back is none too good... unfortunately not from carrying sacks of bullion!
 

Starbeast

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@Luiglin I'm also another fan of yours.



Victoria's Museum of Arts
(short list)

@Marvin
@Cathbad
@MikeAnderson
@Ashleyne
@Artoriarius
@Culhwch
@Luiglin
@dannymcg
@chrispenycate
@IntoTheBlack
@Ian Fortytwo
@J.C. Scoberg
@Calliopenjo
@Karn's Return
@M. Robert Gibson
@David Evil Overlord
@LittleStar - my eyes became glassy - VOTE
@Hugh
@Ursa major
@TheDustyZebra


My Story: At first, I couldn't think of a thing. All forms of art splashed around in my mind. As I thought (days later) , "Art of..........................." It came to me, the creature, known as, the Muse. It slithered toward me, then grabbed me by it's tentacles. Our minds melded.

me: Horror?

It: No.

Drama?

No.

Comedy?

Just a tad. Think of Spongebob Sqarepants, Star Trek, Ursa Major and make it about writing, with a pleasant ending.

Ummmmmmmmmm, give me a minute. Ouch!

What happened?

I was thinking too hard.

Is this a piece of your brain?

Yep. Just squish it in my ear.

OK.

No. I said my ear.

Oh.
 
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