Thursday, November 20, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-20 - RESULTS!




WooHoo! What a round! If you missed any of the amazing stories, check them out here. Otherwise, let's read what the judge had to say:



I thought all the stories were very good. A few, I could have seen myself writing. And I was surprised by 3 references to "Footloose."

My thoughts:

"Release" by Tamara Shoemaker

A very touching story, with some great phrasing. I think my favorite was "explode in a million angry sparks."


"Serendipity" by Rebekah Postupak

Seemed like "My Fair Lady" meets "Cinderella." I really liked the voice of Dominique.



"Streetfighter" by Mark Driskill

A funny read as it went along. Then at the end the POV is pulled out to reveal what is really happening.


"Love And The Gods" by Erica Rahaman

You had me at cleavage. Seriously, a nice take on classical mythology. I could easily see these characters in a longer short story or a novel....


"The Woods" by Michael Simko

I'm always a sucker for a great phrase, and "The gunman looks like a TWISTED love child of a moonshiner and a clown" was it.



Special Challenge Champion

Michael Simko for "The Woods," simply because you managed to get "Copacabana" in there. Who would have thunk?


Grand Champion

"Release" by Tamara Shoemaker


Much of the flash I write relies on humor. For that reason, "Love And The Gods" was a close second. But lately, I've tried to pull a few more heartstrings, as it were. And "Release" does that. It starts out with a typical child-parent exchange. But soon we learn of "the pain and heartbreak of the last month" which even the child feels inside. Then at the end, we hear in real-time our heroine's tough decision.







Monday, November 17, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-20




Welcome back! We're over halfway through November now (hopefully NaNo hasn't driven you completely crazy yet!). My family has been struggling with sickness for over a week now, but I'm hoping we're on the end of that train. I really need to write some words, which has been impossible with fevered children on my lap for days! Join me in writing words today! The prompt is fun and flexible! 



If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

Rules:
1. Start with the given first sentence.
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST



Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...


Our Judge today is Michael Seese. Read his winning tale from last week hereMichael Seese has published three books, not to mention a lot of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. He currently is shilling his latest work, a long short story / short novella titled Rebecca’s Fall From.... Other than that, he spends his spare time rasslin' with three young'uns. Visit www.MichaelSeese.com or follow @MSeeseTweets to laugh with him or at him. 





 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-20 is:




"If you step on my [toes] again, I'm going to POP you."

Michael wants to remind you of the rules that allow you to change pronouns, tense, punctuation, and anything in brackets; but also wants to add that if you would like to take it out of dialog, you may. ie, I vowed that the next time he stepped...



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Include at least three (3) one-word song titles. Highlight them so he can find them. eg, make them ALL CAPS or <b> </b> 





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!








Thursday, November 13, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-19 - RESULTS!




The judge has spoken! Check out the stories here, if you missed any of them. Read the comments and decision below. :)



When I set the first line, I was curious to see what kinds of places people had gotten into, and I was not disappointed in the variety of locations, and situations that the authors came up with. With the special challenge, I expected to be delighted by the strange additions, and found myself unexpectedly challenged by some of the games that the authors who accepted the challenge incorporated. Overall a lovely bunch of stories, and thank you for sharing them with us.



David Borrowdale:

It is clear from the difficulty of those clues that this character is devoted to crosswords. The clues were beautiful, and I loved seeing how the character broke them down for the person who entered the room – I had figured a child with the "You know I'm not to be disturbed" line, but I love that 18 down clues in the reader to the fact it is, instead, man's best friend.


Hollygeely:

The fact that Shauna was worried about damaging the cup, rather than the kitten exemplifies her obsession with her collection that has to sit just so. Her dedication to Rachel is equally clear, and the compromise that comes with relationships carried nicely. Plus, kitten!


CharlesWShort:

A lot of punch in a little story. The fight was a quick affair, and I like that Gena didn't just sit idly by as the men fought it out.


Michael Simko:

Thank you for the guide to game used – this one challenged me in a way I didn't expect the prompt to do. And I learned about a bunch of new games. The second person future tense was an interesting choice, and a bit jarring to me as a reader, but by the end I settled into it. It felt like a much longer piece, like what we were getting were only fragments of a full story waiting to be expanded on.


Michael Seese:

Not only did you manage to squeeze in the game titles, but also a series of bad jokes, and several puns. These lent well to the personality of the person who had their arm twisted to participate in a crime against their will, but there were hints throughout that it was a grim humor, and the twist at the end, answering the why, didn't disappoint.


Mark Driskill:

Taking the game challenge in the direction of sports was something else I didn't expect, but worked nicely in this story. Jeremy seems like a handful, and a joy all at the same time.


Nancy Chenier:

It is clear the speaker has paid a lot of attention, knowing the habits and favorite dink of the "you" in the story. The build from a caring friend to an obsessed stalker is subtle, and the end gave me chills. Nicely done.




Special Challenge Champion:
David Borrowdale

You folded the names of games in nicely, but it was taking a game that was played, and turning it into an obsession that snagged you the special challenge championship spot this week.


Grand Champion:
Michael Seese


A casual conversation revels a dire situation in the end. The build was nice, and what can I say, I'm a sucker for puns.







Monday, November 10, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-19




Welcome back, Nanoers and non-Nanoers alike! My Nano got off to a great start and has struggled ever since. I have high hopes still! Go check out the prompt and write something amazing! :)



If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

Rules:
1. Start with the given first sentence.
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST



Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...


Our Judge today is Christy Shorey. Follow her on Twitter as @weylyn42. Check out her blog here. Read her winning tale from last week here! Christy is predominately a writer of novel-length works, particularly those generated in the fine month of November, but is seeking to stretch her writing limbs in the areas of short stories and flash fiction. Born and raised in Florida, she continues to live there with her husband and two lap warmers, urm, cats.




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-19 is:




How did you get in [there]?



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Include a strange addiction AND the names of at least two games (but not as games). 





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!









Thursday, November 6, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-18 - RESULTS!




WINNERS!!! My head is rebelling right now, so hopefully I can craft a coherent sentence. If you missed any of the stories, go here to read them. Here's what the judge had to say:



I like to make open-ended prompts because it enables creativity. Our writers this week embraced different view on the prompt and took it several different ways. We had horror, a couple horror that release, a story that could make a video game. We had point-in-time pieces and pieces that fit a novel’s worth into 500 words.
This week was a master class on how to do second-person POV. Three second-person pieces, and each felt different.
It was a pleasure reading your work, thank you.


Jamie Hershberger

This sounds bad from a romantic, but I was hoping it was going this way. I was wondering who would go the lobster route, and you hit it right off the bat. Fun story, and wise decision.
“Meanwhile, I was remembering of the many dances of Jorge.” What a great double-entendre, that for the first time ever in a double-entendre, was completely clean.


Emily Karn

I was wondering if Emily had walked the dark side. I love the cooking wizard actually being a wizard. Great play on the prompt.
“It hurts your soul deep inside where no one else can see it.” Your voice is so strong, even in second person. I can picture this being read aloud in a coffee shop in the performance artist method.


Christy

I love the use of second person POV. This brings us in as the caregiver while not making it seem like we’re in mortal danger.
“And the screams become commonplace, part of the job. But they never get easier. That was a lie.” What a wonderful way to use second person to bring us into the role of the caregiver.
And wow, I got chills from that ending.


Geoff Lepard

What a wild trip exploring people who can hear trees. I’m reminded of the Redwood forests and can imagine the scream from the giant trees.  The person hearing the screams, but has sympathy is a great take on the prompt.
“For some it's just a background hiss, like a tingling tinnitus which sets your nerves on edge.” Great use of audible clues to wrap the story. I think my ears started buzzing from reading this — so thanks for that.


Mark Driskill

What a great take on the detective noir genre. I love the voice going. All the signs point to a serial killer before you pull the rug out from us. At first I read and said, “Hey, he didn’t foreshadow.” But then I went back and saw the subtleness. Well played.
“It’s the kind of conversation that leaves you numb on the inside, and slimy on the outside.” What a perfect setup to the rest of the story.


Michael Seese

First off, did you challenge me to a spice off? Sir, I have slain for less. My Penzey’s creed is solid and masala is to die for.

I suppose I’m a bad person for being glad that someone went the bloody route with the prompt.
“Quickly, thought, out becomes downright comical.” I laughed, again proof that I have problems.
Slaughtering poor mutants — my goodness. Fantastic voice, and love where this went. I was picturing a zombie story pretty early on, but you went for the humanoid mutant aspect. Love how you unapologetically keep it in the killer’s perspective.


Necwrites

Horror lends itself well to second person POV, and you pulled it off. You shoved a great world into a flash and it pours through. What a great conclusion turning the first line on it’s head. Great tie in with the spices being integral to the story.
“One cup and he’s yours.” I love how you have a happy romance in a horror piece. The tone comes from whimsical and hopeful to yaksi taking their rights.


Charles W Short

The amusement park of fear. How many of us played the amusement park games and had people asking why our computers were screaming? Sharp story with a seamless integration between different time periods of memory.
“Five years later I could no longer claim apathy or innocence to what was taking place.” I was like, did he really go there?

——


Special Challenge Champion:
We had imaginative use of spices in the story from cooking (fantastic), to magic (wonderful), to puns (groanful). The one that called me first when I read was using spices to evoke emotion.

Geoff Lepard: 
  “You know the only thing that works? Fruit. Well anything the trees give willingly. Spices are best.” The sacrifice of the trees is human and inspiring at once.


Finish That Thought #2-18 Grand Champion:

Christy:

Using second person to pull us into the empathetic role is wonderful. When we went for the hug I expected the artist to hurt us. Instead you end on such a human element that, sorry, there’s some dust in here. Great story, fantastic voice. Love the ray of light in a prompt that harkens darkness.






Monday, November 3, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-18




Welcome back! I won't take up your time reading a bazillion words from me. If you're like me, you're doing NaNo...and you need to spend your time writing. :) Go check out the prompt and take a break with something completely different from your NaNo project, or just use the line in your project somewhere to get things moving. Have fun!



If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

Rules:
1. Start with the given first sentence.
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST



Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...


Our Judge today is Michael Simko. Read his winning tale from last week here! Michael is a story teller who writes novels, shorts, and dabbles in flash fiction. He's a father of two, a lover of storms, and works as an engineer and instructor. He is a regular contributor to writingwenches.com (he's the barkeep). He can be found on Twitter at @MichaelSimko1.





 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-18 is:




The first time you hear [their] screams is [always] the hardest.



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Incorporate at least THREE spices. 





 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!








Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-17 - RESULTS!




Welcome back! We had a small, but amazing week! Go read the entries here. Now let's read what the judge had to say:




Having only three entries did make my first time as a judge for ANYTHING related to writing a lot easier. I hope the dip in numbers meant everyone else was getting a Halloween costume ready, rather than thinking, "Boy, this prompt sucks!" If the latter, sorry folks. On to the comments.

"Chasing Cars" by Emily Karn

This was a fun story. I LOVED the "gorgeous transvestite dressed up as Carmen Electra." That, along with "my partner," makes you think it's about a homosexual relationship (which is fine, of course). But you pull a switcheroo, and make the MC a dog. Then the title ties it up in a bow. Great.

"The Lesson" by Rebekah Postupak

While reading this one, I kept thinking "What's going on?" Which is good. You sprinkled a lot of nice little nuggets throughout. My favorite was “In bowling!” “You’d be surprised.” The ending really caught me off guard.

"Capabilities" by Michael Simko

Good suspense. (I have a short story about skydiving gone awry, which is why I picked this prompt.) You did a nice a job of building tension. Then, a comic release at the end. Nice job.


And the Grand Champion is:

"Capabilities." by Michael Simko


The story starts out tense. "Her ring, which cost me five month’s salary taunts me each time we hit the angle right for the sun" is both a nice turn of phrase, and sets up the relationship between the MC and Aliyah. "if she’s still alive" maintains the suspense. Then she "comes to life," but says nothing. She just lands on the "punked," and leaves the rest up to him.