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Contest October-November 2020 Reading Thread

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Nov 1, 2020.

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Which story or stories do you like best? (choose up to three)

Poll closed Nov 29, 2020.
  1. Story One: "A Place to Call Home: The Official Trailer"

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  2. Story Two: "A Scary Day"

    4 vote(s)
    28.6%
  3. Story Three: "Buried Memories"

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  4. Story Four: "Message Begins"

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  5. Story Five: "The Path to Salvation"

    10 vote(s)
    71.4%
  6. Story Six: "Letters of the Sea"

    6 vote(s)
    42.9%
  7. Story Seven: "We All Belong Somewhere"

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  8. Story Eight: "The Mind of a Huagerdon"

    2 vote(s)
    14.3%
  9. Story Nine: "The Savage Beast"

    6 vote(s)
    42.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Excellent reviews. I liked mine a lot ;) (but I had to wait until all 9 were done so that there was no cat getting out of the bag...)

    One notices that you have not voted yet...
     
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  2. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    At a certain point, when no one will notice...
     
  3. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Skink Chief

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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  4. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Since you have asked me so nicely (?!?!?!? "poke"?!?!?!? ;) ) I will attempt to do this my friend. It will be the first time I have done so with the competition ongoing and will attempt to cover up my own entry.
     
  5. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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  6. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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    I have read 6 of them and write 4 'reviews'.
    So some more waiting for you guys.

    Grrr, Imrahil
     
  7. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    How can you resist that long? :p
     
  8. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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    just life in general doesn't give me the time to read them all at once ;)

    Grrr, Imrahil
     
  9. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    REVIEWS OF RENOWN
    (kind of...)

    As I said last time @Killer Angel got me to do some reviews, these are given with the full view that if they help the author do better, then they are good reviews. If they don't, then they are bad reviews.

    I am far from a professional author, so I don't consider that my opinion is sacrosanct. I think I am a fairly creative person and have read a LOT of fantasy books, so at least I have a lot of experience to draw on.

    I'll give what I consider a "Technical" review, meaning what I think are factual points on quality of writing and then "Personal" meaning totally my opinion about the story (feel free to ignore).

    That all said, let's get cracking:

    Story 1 - A Place to Call Home: Official Trailer

    TECHNICAL:

    So, this one was very hard to technically judge as it is written in an abbreviated script style.

    I believe even with the limited writing, I would give it a pass on imagery. It certainly got me to picture the scenes as they flashed up. I think I would still have given more details about what was happening to give it a real movie-esque feel.

    There is some character description, but not enough to explain why a Reiklander had to be hidden from a Brettonian (or am I missing some fluff points? Might be, if so sorry) or really describe more than this is a story about a girl escaping from an arranged marriage.

    The uses of Lizardmen in the production company lines, etc. are very smart and well thought through.

    PERSONAL:

    What a great idea! I always love something new and thinking outside the box! Can't believe I didn't think of this!

    I loved the introduction, utilizing cut-scenes and voice-overs. Very smart.

    I also thought the build up was good. Really working on a crescendo towards the end.

    Where it lost me was a lack of purpose. I didn't really know enough about the characters to invest in the horror of them being captured by pirates or eaten by sea monsters. For me, it was lacking a more defined story-line that I could get behind.

    I would give this 10/10 for creative inspiration even so. Nice one!
     
  10. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Story 2 - A Scary Day

    TECHNICAL:

    The descriptions for the first 3/4 of the book are excellent. Well described flight through the vessel, thought processes and emotional state.

    I think more attention could have given to the breach of the ships hull, as the decompression would have made a much larger effect on the little skink and with no bulkheads being implemented it would have continued to pull at it as it tried to move away.

    The scene after the ship crash-lands could have used more description as I found it hard to really visualize where they were and what Fribbet was.

    Still, the ships scenes were good and I particularly liked the attention to emotional detail: fear and panic vying within the Skink as it ran, the lack of response from the Saurus, all were well depicted.

    PERSONAL:

    It was a great idea for a story. I've always enjoyed the idea of "what happened next" after the end-times and the Lizardmen becoming part of the 40K universe.

    It started well and I was genuinely curious as to what was going to happen.

    To me, there was a half an event in the story. Meaning, something happened which resulted in the temple-ship being compromised and we are now seeing the aftermath of this.

    However, because we are only seeing the result it didn't really impact on me. I think I would describe it like the last part of a crescendo (meaning just loud high notes at the end, rather than the whole build-up).

    I thought the first 3/4 were really good. I was with the character as he raced through the calamity of the ship and was ready for the event of the story to occur. When the event was just finding the Slann dead it lost me as a reader as the protagonist didn't actually do anything.

    I liked the story and, as has been remarked in earlier posts, this was a competition filled with inspiration and talent. I'm giving my ideas in a way which will hopefully assist future story telling.
     
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  11. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Story 3 - Buried Memories

    TECHNICAL:

    Whether intentional or not, this story reads like a fable. On first reading, I didn't find myself drawn into the story as there was insufficient descriptions of the surroundings to be able to visualize what was happening. On second reading, I felt that maybe I had missed the purpose of the lack of descriptions. To me, it reads like one of Aesops Fables or the Stories of Anansi or Arabian Nights.

    It's an interesting style and fits with the symbolic message of the story which, to me, was along the lines of your friends are always with you and your own personal integrity is more important than your life.

    There were a couple of jarring uses of slanguage ("my bad") which interrupted my read of the story, but otherwise it was good.

    PERSONAL:

    The idea for the story is great. A lizard goes off to find a better life for her and her friends, but this devolves into chaos and anarchy.

    I think I would have voted for this one, but if felt like 3 separate parts rather than a build up to the ending.

    I appreciated the humour of the "sacred plaques" being the "sacred cookbooks" :) but it felt like it's own piece of a story, not related to the rest.

    The middle part was good and I was following along the heretical Skink's past and then the protagonist finding her again, even with the idea of keeping her friends alive through their memories and doing the things that loved best (which I thought was a great touch).

    But there didn't seem to be a connection between that and her deciding to go back to the Temple City. Maybe there could have been something the Skink had said that then the author could have laid out the mental process for the Skink deciding to go back and face the music.

    Good idea for the story and nice to read. I think overall the quality has been increasing on the contests and more and more you have to bring a LOT to the table to stand out above the rest.

    Good job!
     
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  12. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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    I currently read 8 of the stories and have 7 'reviews' done.

    coming soon ;)

    Grrr, Imrahil
     
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  13. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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    I think I am done.

    Some notes in front: keep in mind that I don't have any experience or authority in writing and therefore there is no good argumentation in my reviews.
    This is how I felt when I read the stories. In no way is it my intention to hurt someone, so please don't be offended.

    Hereby my 'reviews':

    Interesting style of writing, certainly for me the first time to see an entry like this. The cueing of viewpoint and brief description of the setting and scenery. For a long while I was wondering how Lizardmen would feature in the story, but in the end the teaser did not lack attention for them. The piece read pretty quick due to the describing parts of every scene. In general it gave a good surmise of what the movie will be about.

    Though this piece fulfilled the role as Teaser pretty good. I prefer stories that paint pictures in the actual storyline so this will not claim my vote, but an honorable mention it is.

    Jumping from a teaser from an Old World story to a modern spaceship story. This story spans a short period of time mostly all inside a Lizardmen/Seraphon spaceship. At the start there is a clear distinction between the Sauri and the Skinks, Xix in particular, to the approach of live. The Saurus as a less concerning creature opposed to the overthinking Skink. I like these roles for both of them and think it suits them.

    The attack and destruction escalated quickly and was not given any origin. Maybe because it wasn’t necessary for the development of the storyline. The outside perspective in the ending of the story brought a refreshing new point of view. And a fitting end to tie in the theme.

    I like stories that enter halfway a storyline. To add to this, in this story we do it twice. First in the memory of a conversation and secondly in the travels of a young Priest. On delivering his package of plaques he discovers that his cargo wasn’t even as important as he thought. It is nice to see a reference to the Old World Southland’s city of Zlatlan.

    To find out that there are Lizardmen that rebel against the leaders, even accuse them of wrongly interpreting the will of the Old Ones, was both refreshing and alarming. Following her own beliefs and plan the rebel Skink breaks away some part of the population for her cause.

    In the end the now solitary Skink returns to undergo the sentence that awaits here, feeling obligated to find rest for her fallen followers.

    Reading this story left me with one question: when is a Skink Priest in his prime(age-wise)?

    It is nice to see another crossover between 40K and the Lizardmen, like we have seen in the last contest. I am not exactly sure how to read this story: it is either a letter about an interrogation or a tape of one playing.

    In this interrogation we eventually find out that, in contrast to other crossovers with 40K, the Lizardmen are still in their basic form and original surroundings. Here they have claimed a whole planet to be their home and defend it to the teeth. It is great to see that the magic of the Skink priests and offcourse of the Slann even overpower the modern weaponry of the invading/exploring forces. Atop of it the psychic warfare that prevails even the bravest of soldiers

    I like the setting in this story: there is a Temple city almost completely recovered by the jungle. Time and place are irrelevant it seems. One lonely soul, a Kroxigor is working to restore this vast city to its former glory. Upon learning his reasons for this massive task we found that he is in grief over the friends he lost. As he blames himself he can not find rest to move on. His need for the company of the little ones makes him determined to work even harder so to attract them back in this city and in his life.

    The twist comes when he spots intruders in the city. Able to scare them off we find out that this story sets in the present time. I liked this discovery as not many stories are set in this time. The second twist is to find out that the Kroxigor and the work he does not actual exist in this time, but that he himself was killed in the same battle as the ones he mourns and his soul roams the city to find redemption for his misdeeds. After which he purposefully takes up his self-set tasks again.

    This story gets my vote

    This story for me reads like a painting. The well described surroundings, climate and expressions takes me right to the beach that is written about. Cleaver use of the letters, written by one of the explorers, gives this story a dramatic feeling. The absence of dialog is a brilliant part of the story. I read it in one quick go and was sad to see it end. Both the scene on the beach and the description in the letters tell a story of a place to call home. So the theme is more then met.

    This story gets my vote.

    Nice to see an Old World story again. Finding the skink in captivity with some other strangers, along with the mention of the laboratory made me think of some evil collector of species. ‘Luckily’ we find out that the Elves are involved, despite their arrogance are not that evil as I thought. I like the build up to the conversation, the setting well described. I was somewhat disappointed about the length of the conversation and as well surprised by the result as the Elven captain.

    I feel that this story focused largely on the obedience of the lizardmen to the Great Plan, no matter how weird it seems to others.

    I like the pace that this story is written in, the short parts make me read it hasty. This adds to the story line of this lost Huagerdon. The description of the smell and thoughts of the animal takes me right into his mind and viewpoint. The sadness that turns into despair. Finally story ends on a happy note, to be found and loved is the real home.

    In my search for the description of a Huagerdon did bring me back to Lustria-Online only being described by @Scalenex , so my guess would be that this is his entry.

    This story gets my vote

    What I liked about this story was the development of the main character. From underdog position, this is also his view of himself, to a viable part of the army and worthy of being a vassal for the Slann. In the response of the Old Blood towards the Scar-Veteran there is a reveal of how behavior of belittling often works top down. Finally the skink found himself able to cast a spell and be of any significance to his Scar-Veteran. You could argue if the brother he finds is the same as a place to call home, but I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

    Grrr, Imrahil
     
  14. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I should have my reviews done in a few days. These reviews have been hard to write.

    In high school my favorite class was always English and I memorized all sorts of facts about pacing and story construction and I kept at it as an adult. I can also be pretty hidebound about Lizardman canon and fanon and a lot of these stories turn traditional aspects of our fluff on it's ear (in a good way!).

    If these were traditional stories, I could pick them apart and write lengthy reviews, this was good, this could have been improved but my orthodox review style does not work very well for unorthodox stories, so my reviews will be shorter than usual and more focused on emotional impact, because man this contest had more feelings in it than Pixar's Inside Out!

     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  15. Paul1748
    Saurus

    Paul1748 Well-Known Member

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    THE PATH TO SALVATION
    May you find your way home, Kadai.

    [​IMG]


    note:
    It's the first time that the closer I get to finishing a project, the more depressed I feel.
    As always, thanks to all participants for the amazing stories.:)
     
  16. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    ohhh, beautiful!
     
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  17. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Fantastic!

    Are we just getting one story's accompanying picture? Or will each of them get their own? :D
     
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  18. Paul1748
    Saurus

    Paul1748 Well-Known Member

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    One picture per contest, I guess.
     
  19. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    ...which is already 1 more than what was expected. :D
     
  20. Paul1748
    Saurus

    Paul1748 Well-Known Member

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    You got me. :p
    Looks like I have to make another picture to compensate it.
     

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