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Contest January-February 2017 Voting Thread

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Feb 3, 2017.

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Which Short Story or Stories Do you Like Best (choose up to five)?

Poll closed Mar 5, 2017.
  1. Story One: Hope Is In Order

    3 vote(s)
    14.3%
  2. Story Two: Those Left Behind

    2 vote(s)
    9.5%
  3. Story Three: Hammer of the Lost

    12 vote(s)
    57.1%
  4. Story Four: A Whimper

    3 vote(s)
    14.3%
  5. Story Five: The Next Generation

    6 vote(s)
    28.6%
  6. Story Six: Sacred Duty

    10 vote(s)
    47.6%
  7. Story Seven: Sacred Spawning

    10 vote(s)
    47.6%
  8. Story Eight: Call of the Stars

    10 vote(s)
    47.6%
  9. Story Nine: Purpose

    13 vote(s)
    61.9%
  10. Story Ten: The Ritual of Words Yet Unvoiced

    7 vote(s)
    33.3%
  11. Story Eleven: Commune

    3 vote(s)
    14.3%
  12. Story Twelve: Warlord of Sorrow

    5 vote(s)
    23.8%
  13. Story Thirteen: His Own Hands

    4 vote(s)
    19.0%
  14. Story Fourteen: Duty and Hatred

    4 vote(s)
    19.0%
  15. Story Fifteen: Vengeance’s Fire

    3 vote(s)
    14.3%
  16. Story Sixteen: Hope for Sun

    5 vote(s)
    23.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    It's OK. My eggshell protects me from ideas.
     
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  2. Slanputin
    Carnasaur

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    My ideas protect me from eggshells. It's a constant battle against salmonella.
     
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  3. thedarkfourth
    Kroxigor

    thedarkfourth Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh! This is amazing!

    WHAT A GOOD IDEA TO ADD CRITIQUES TO THE SAME O.P.

    Hey! That's my trademark! I will see you in lizard court, sir!
     
  4. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    Ritual of words unvoiced
    The action just gets better and better!!

    This competition is sort of like the late 80's for movies. First rate action all around!!

    Okay I must vote for this story. Excellent story telling, masterly told with a split narrative and even a split timeline. Duty,friendship, how time works, and best of all memory are the under tones atop an incredible action sequence. No criticism from me, this competition is delivering big time!
     
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  5. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    I just voted. 3 stories demanded a vote from me and then I agonised over the other two. I and already have regrets. Just one more vote and I would be able to sleep at night...
     
  6. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    commune
    An extremely well written story. Another, three in a row, that was technically excellent. The theme is very generation Y, the narrator is under appreciated and wants to be the number one immediately. The characters really suited each other. The ending was well done, though I did have to read twice then check the reviews to make sure I had it - this might be an age of copyright weakness in my part. The themes of co dependency, reliance, status and expertly done. I hope to vote for this story.
     
  7. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    6 read 10 to go.
     
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  8. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    Warlord of sorrow
    I read this not knowing it was a sequel, only realising that after skimming some other reviews. And I don't really remember the Fireblade story.

    So. As a stand alone it was a cool story. Well written, no mistakes stood out. Obviously there are no arcs, save for the 'traitor' part, which I was ambivalent about. Would lizards do that? If so it was a ripper twist. But I'm not sure they would. Very forboding which I liked, but not enough action or character development. As a stand alone story, anyhow.
     
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  9. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    What a ride!
    Many good stories, and some great ones.
    Now I only need to recap my impressions, write some reviews, vote...

    But in the meantime, kudos to all the authors!
     
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  10. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    His own hands

    So here we have another age of copyright story, but one that is very accessible for me.

    I liked it a lot, the characters were well written, the descriptions were vivid. The action was good, perhaps not up to the insane lofty standards much of this competition has set, but good. Better than my action sequences anyway. And the end where he has to kill his brother to get the armour wasn't one I saw coming.

    But I had a few small issues with this story. Mostly it was the motivations of the characters. Why was the old man giving out stuff? How did he know it was his brother? Okay, that's his shtick, but is the narrator really keen to risk his life because he has a sword? I guess I can buy that rage. But all of it put together, combined with the random way someone walks around and happens to bump into him... Mostly I felt there is no way he is killing any innocents, that's why he was so mad to begin with. But maybe that's what happens.

    Overall it was very fun to read
     
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  11. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, and people should check out bobs post who is continuing to edit his and add posts, rather than rack up post counts the way I am. (Phone issues)

    And Bob, be aware that your tags aren't giving people notifications, as they need to be a new post to do that. (I assume)
     
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  12. Slanputin
    Carnasaur

    Slanputin Well-Known Member

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    The may be no i in Seraphon but there is in Lizardmen and c u in court.
     
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  13. Warden
    Slann

    Warden Tenth Spawning

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    Some great reviews and quotes! Lots of stuff for us to work on for future fluff pieces/future comps! I have a better appreciation now for some of the ambiguous endings.

    I especially liked this one, it got me thinking about how to tell a story better:


    Definitely the tasty grub mine.

    Realmgates is the biggest defensible/important? locations at each of the realm, but I am sure there are plenty more. I assume it would be hard to write good fluff pieces about the sigmarcast, but then again I really haven't read any.
     
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  14. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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  15. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    duty and Hatred
    I thought it was a skink. Omytil sounded skink like (phone, sorry if that was wrong) and he was sneaky and evasive so that was my presumption. Based on reviews i was wrong, did I miss a word? Anyway, the action was thick and fast. My own taste is not for these Rambo type characters who are tough and infallible and have no arc. But that's just my taste. I also right quite get the end. Suicide to prevent plague or death from wounds? And what didn't get written?

    Otherwise it was a really fun story, and a great sequel. I am now convinced the standard of this comp is the highest yet.

    Two more and I can vote and see how everyone else did!
     
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  16. lordkingcrow
    Temple Guard

    lordkingcrow Active Member

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    Alright... After considerable time and effort I have finished my reviews. I hope my opinions are helpful and every one of you keeps on writing.


    Hope is in Order:

    I feel like the idea was there, but the story lacked execution. At moments I would find myself becoming drawn in until the lack of grammar and some run on sentences knocked me out of it. I think this story could easily become better if the author sat down after writing and really went over it. Reading it out loud to yourself can really help pick out those jarring sentences. As of now, it is an interesting rough draft.


    Those Left Behind:

    One of the five I voted for and am surprised to see so few votes for it. Loved reading the interaction between the skink as they discuss the imminent death of this great hero. I felt that the author had a firm grasp of the drama going on and even tossed in some Lustrian politicking. There was some element in there, faintly reminiscent of some of David Gemmell’s work. While I am having difficulty writing what that is exactly, I think it is the hope of those for lost causes. If you’re not familiar with his work, I suggest giving it whirl.

    Only a few things took me away from this story, “growled G’tt-taax in her signature deep voice” (I don’t know why that line bugged me.) or the constant use of she. Personally, the use of she is jarring as I make my way through this story. Kudos for trying to be different, but I believe there is a certain masculinity involved in martial combat. Adding a feminine aspect can be intriguing in certain elements of a story, but it’s a gamble and not one that I think pays off here. I would have also liked to have had a more clear idea of what was happening in the overall picture. At first I thought she was reclaiming something, then a temple is being overrun. Maybe I needed to read it more in depth, but then isn’t the job of the writer to paint a mental picture? Again, great story, really enjoyed it.


    Hammer of the Lost:

    Wonderful story. I loved the author’s descriptions and word use throughout the entirety of it. It flowed well and really painted a picture in my mind. The sense of confusion of the warrior as he tried to understand something he never could, was powerful. The burden felt by the skink as he wrestled with seeing the recreation of his friend. The sense of loss for what had been. There was very little not to like in this story. As for the heavy combat aspect… I loved it. This is WARhammer after all. (I still refuse to call it Age of Si… Sig… Nope, still not ready.)

    The only thing that I didn’t care for was this little section: --Rex-Op was nearby, backstabbing vulnerable foes with his starstone dagger, flitting between the ranks to bring them down from his low stature--


    --the five saurus guard that accompanied Kai-Otl were in the thick of the fighting, their halberds inflicting mayhem upon the ranks of the skeletons--


    --the other ten saurus, the warriors, were scattered throughout the clearing, hacking away at the zombies as they closed in--


    --the bastiladon was lumbering forward, crushing and smashing with each swing of its horned tail, the solar engine upon its back thrumming with arcane energy that was building to a crescendo--


    I feel like the author could have just written that all out. It broke away from the flow of the story.


    A Whimper:

    This was a short, short story without a real resolution. The theme of vengeance is there, but it is never realized. Maybe that is what the author is going for? I’m grasping though. I also had a difficult time understanding why this guy couldn’t enlist. He was too old? But then he has a young daughter… I mean, unless this is one super old dude that found some viagra (or the herbal equivalent of it), I struggle to understand why his brothers went to war and he did not. Perhaps if he was injured or lame it might make a more believable backstory.


    The Next Generation:

    Not a huge Star Trek fan. Also hard for me to get into comedic writing, especially when it is put into a Star Trek theme. Maybe I’m too serious when it comes to writing (unless it’s McManus, I love that guy.). That being said, it was pretty well written without a great deal of grammatical issues. I just sort of felt overwhelmed by the seemingly random nature of the story. Not a bad story, just not my cup of tea.


    Sacred Duty:

    Another vote went here. I enjoyed this story. The bond between the two characters was strong and clear. It was well thought out and came to a solid conclusion that held true to the vengeance theme. The only thing that stuck out was the sometimes human sometimes not human relationship. At first the two remind me of a boy and his dog, but then later the writer describes the main character as not quite understanding why he is sad when his companion dies. All I would suggest would be to pick a mind set. Either go lizards with human emotions, or lizards with lizardy emotions. Both could feel a sense of loss, but it would be written differently. Again, a solid read.


    Sacred Spawning:

    Vote number 4. The author of this piece has a great eye for detail and description. He/She leaves no stone unturned when setting the scene for this tale and I found myself more immersed the second reading. If I were to really critique it, I did notice a few word repeats, some minor grammar errors, but nothing that couldn’t be weeded out with a fine tooth comb. I think this author is very talented and has a way with words that makes me a bit envious. I have always found myself writing more about a character than spending time setting the scene. Kuddos to you! Well written.


    Call of the Stars:

    There were things I liked about this story and things I did not. I liked the idea behind the story. Kroq-Gar coming back and having to face his faithful mount. A struggle of two great wills. The faceless slann in the background. All of it had just the right flair of drama to be a great short story. However, I think if the author read some of his/her sentences out loud, he/she would have been able to save readers a great deal of grief. There are some great descriptions throughout, but the execution was found a bit wanting. Sentence structure and flow is key in keeping a reader interested. There were times where I really liked some of the descriptions and I understood what you were saying, but it needed to be sanded and smoothed. Broad strokes, you had all the telltale marks of a great story, but it’s the details that got you.


    Purpose:

    Good story, strong character building, and an interesting take on the temple guard. I think it hit the mark for the theme. I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction of the magic axe he acquires, allowing him to take on the assassins in the spawning pools. I noticed a few grammatical errors here and there that a little extra time could have been caught. Also, I agree with Carnikang. I think the intro would have been better if the author started this character beneath the mounds of dead and discovers his slann dead when he emerges. A little alteration could have really helped with the overall flow.


    Rituals of Words Yet Unvoiced:

    This was well written piece. Flow, punctuation, overall grammar, it hits all the marks. I could clearly visualize every scene as it played out in words on the page. However, I had a hard time figuring out if it was a comedy or a serious story and, therefor, had a hard time getting into it. Perhaps it was both? Villainous monologues also take me out of a story and our daemon did this a considerable amount. “How did I do this, hahaha, you’re incompetent!” was a common theme when interacting with the daemon. Just not my taste I guess.


    Commune:

    Solid story and well written. You have a conflict between two characters with a power dynamic that eventually come to odds. The first paragraph really drew me in. However, I had to re-read it a few times to really get through it. I think the flaw in this story isn’t that it was poorly written, but perhaps that the characters are not all that interesting. I felt that I had to go back and re-read several times because my mind would go elsewhere while the drama between the two dragged out. The author hints at things from the past that we as readers don’t really know much about and therefore can’t really get behind. The “You’re nothing like your father…” line made me think that perhaps the character could have been more interesting if, rather than rant about how much he disliked this woman, we got some backstory that would support his claims. Instead we get a spat between the two that ends tragically. With only 2000 words authors are really limited to what they spend their focus on. In the end, I wanted to get into this one, as it was of good quality, but I just wasn’t motivated as a reader.


    Warlord of Sorrow:

    This was quite short, but got to the point. I actually enjoyed the little taste I was given, but I wanted more. Some might argue that wanting more is a good sign of a short story. This is not one of those times. There is a difference between getting a slice of wonderful cake and looking forward to another slice on a special occasion and only getting to lick the spoon that had once had the delicious cake on it. It was just too short. Outside of that, there was some sound description throughout the story and I thoroughly enjoyed the background of the newly risen warrior. I would encourage some more proofreading, reading it out loud to hear how it sounds, and look up when and how to use commas (I also have an issue with the latter. An editor friend had to point that out to me in very frank terms).


    His Own Hands:

    I like the idea of this AOS story. Young man wanting to forge his own path with the ability to defend himself and those he loves. Overall concept is great. I will say that, not knowing much about the AOS background (a choice I make willingly), it was a bit confusing at the end. Is the other person revealed to be sacrificed? Maybe I’m just not educated enough with how things work in AOS. That being said, it seems the author is in the early stages of developing his/her craft. It’s there in the idea department, but needs fine tuning. Some clunky sentences, grammar issues, things of that sort. I’d suggest really studying the authors you read in your free time and see how their paragraphs and sentences flow together. Lastly, learn the differences between their, there, and they’re. It’s an important piece of knowledge when writing.


    Duty and Hatred:

    Pretty good piece, considering I have no clue what is going on in it. Having not read the previous short story, I don’t know who I am dealing with or why there was a break in characters. That being said, I enjoyed the action and very cold blooded logic of the main character. Putting down your own kind is rough, but understandable and the author of this piece did well justifying it. The beastmen and diseased lizardmen were a nice touch to the story. I enjoyed the descriptions used. I would have liked to have had a more detailed fight scene. I understand that not everyone likes those gritty details, but I felt that things were building up toward it and then just left me with a “and then it was over” sort of feel. While I enjoyed this one, it didn’t make it into my votes. I had a hard time voting for a short story that wasn’t a short story, but instead a continuation of a longer story.


    Vengeance’s Fire:

    I liked this one and so it earned a vote. While it was also a part of a different story, I can justify a prequel as it left me with a beginning and conclusion, whereas the previous story just tossed me in expecting me to know what was going on. The story could end there and I, as a reader, get to contemplate what this seer will do with the weapon now that he has it. There was also something about this story that just grabbed me. Simply put, I liked the idea of it. While I think there were some better written pieces, this one stuck with me. I think the author could have gone a little more in depth on the emotion behind the suicide. I was starting to get on board with the character, but I’m not sure what I read about him really made me believe he would off himself. I think the author could have just edged a bit more darkness or tragedy into the story to make it believable. The only other thing I would add, just as a suggestion, would be to change your wording a bit. Example: he had = he’d, they had = they’d, etc… it doesn’t seem like much, but it can really help with flow.


    Hope for Sun:

    It seems like a very action packed tale with a great deal of potential. The author has a lot going on and the idea behind it seems sound. However this is another example of a good idea that needs better execution to bring to life. A few flaws in grammar can be ignored, but this piece was rife with past and present tense confusion as well as grammatical and structural issues. Another story that I would encourage the author to read aloud and edit.
     
  17. Warden
    Slann

    Warden Tenth Spawning

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    I think I was trying to agree with you in my post but it looks like it didn't come out that way...

    Also I need to go read some more on AOS and get a better understanding of the new universe. But it so hard to pull away from the great old stuff!


    Interesting idea that I hadn't considered before: deliberately picking a mindset for the lizards to have. What would be the major differences? Not a concept I though about before:

    Lizards with human emotions- just normal, emotional people with "lizardmen" objectives (they get angry, get sad, find joy in their work, etc.)

    Lizards with lizard emotions- cold blooded, reluctant to change, pragmatic, not many emotions? Kinda like scaley spocks? :vulcan:
     
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  18. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    So many critiques to write.

    Must....set....good...example

    Not...post....till....all....done.
     
  19. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    vengeance fire
    Wish I remembered the Fireblade story... But a very well written story. I enjoyed the first part, the theme of vengeance felt real. The author has a lot of natural talent, I think it needs to be refined more. Try to follow an arc, but again, it so might make more sense if I remember the original!
     
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  20. discomute
    Kroxigor

    discomute Well-Known Member

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    hope for sun

    Okay, a lot of clunky sentences and really needs work on the structure. It's AoC/S and me no likey.

    But... Putting that aside this author showed glimpses on greatness. Seriously. Dealt with some cool concepts, the imagery was as good as was seen in this contest. The ending was good. This is the sort of story I'd love to edit. I understand this story was a last minute entry? That might explain a bit. It is one hell of a first draft, just needs more polishing.
     
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