Wednesday, February 26, 2014


What a ride! Thanks to everyone for submitting stories this week! If you missed any of them, go check them out here. Otherwise, let's see what the judge had to say:

Thank you to all who participated this week! All of your unique and creative stories made my first time as a judge truly enjoyable.

@DoctorMikeReddy: I appreciated where you went with the special challenge. Your main character was very unreliable and the reader was really along for the ride with him. One line that really stood out to me was: 'Its spinning slowed and showed a blade burdened with blood.' The imagery here was very well done and I loved being able to picture the blood as being this heavy thing. Also, I liked your use of lyrics to carry the story.

@drmagoo: The beginning of the story was set up in a very strong manner. I could empathize with your main character having the need to escape from the many layers that winter brings upon us. This also brought about the same heaviness the character was feeling throughout the story. Your use of details were quite powerful in placing the reader into the scene. One of my favorite was: 'room of statues'. The cold he felt from the people in that room was undeniable. I was left wanting more at the end of the story. I wanted to see where your main character was going with his actions.

@JMMacF: I laughed so hard while reading this story that I had to wipe tears from my eyes several times. What an adventure you took us on! Your main character's voice was spot on. I truly believed a college aged boy was telling me this story. The line 'Cal grabbed the beer out of my hands, smacked the seal, and crawled up behind me on the moose,' just killed me. The imagery going through my head with a boy wrestling a seal and the other wrangling a moose was so engraved in my head that I can still picture it. And while there were a few parts that needed a bit of clarification the story was such a random experience that those small moments were easily overlooked.

@Chelle87Fox: The way you set up the story was amazingly done. 'My sin weighed heavier on my soul than the drenched shirt did on my torso and I just couldn't take it any longer.' I felt like I was instantly set into the scene and the atmosphere of the story settled in around me. And as I kept reading the unreliable narrator really came through. Slowly this disconnect came through where her actions and sentences really weren't lining up with her thoughts. And by the end I felt like she was more or less putting on a show of how she should act than how she felt. This action really twisted together with the ending well. And while I was a little lost on the last line and I craved a little more, your main character really kept the focus on her.

@TechieJ: I felt for your main character instantly. The set up of his situation in the beginning came off very clear and I was instantly able to empathize with him. Your imagery was well executed during the story. ' ... Dribbling the ball came as naturally as flying to an elephant.' That was one line that really not only stuck out to me as a reader but also helped define the boy and his struggle to be like his older brother. The new light and hidden bond that showed between the brothers at the end really added something special to this story - how they connected even through resentment. Very powerful.

@asekingprinces17: The image of a mermaid riding a dragon put a smile on my face. What an interesting collaboration! And even through all of the detail and secondary characters, your main character really showed through. The need to fit in with her friends and the fear of failing came through clearly but so did the excitement that she felt and the elation when she succeeded. The last paragraph was very well written and showed such an excellent glimpse into this world in such a short amount of space. I was left wanting to know more about this world and your main character. I felt like what you had setup here could easily be extended into a short story or novella (longer if you so choose!) and I was left very intrigued!

Now for the tough part!

Special Challenge Runner Up: DoctorMikeReddy. The reader experienced the actions in the story right alongside the MC and that really enhanced how unreliable he was. The bits and pieces you have to the reader as we went along really kept us focused on what happened next.


Special Challenge Champion: Michelle. Marian's actions made her a truly unreliable narrator. Were her thoughts truth or were her actions truth? We were really left wondering and the twist of it really stood out.


Grand Champion Runner Up: asekingprinces17. So much was able to come across the story in such a short amount of time! Your MC really showed her emotions well and I was so interested in this world at the end. I would really love to see more from this concept. Excellent job bringing such fantastical characters together in a very realistic way.

Grand Champion: JMMacF. How truly entertaining this story was! And even though there was a hilarity to it you really stayed on track and brought the characters to life. I was truly surprised by this story and I loved where you brought it. And I could see your main character at the end so nonchalantly joking about the story before popping open another beer.

Once again, thank you to all who participated this week! I loved seeing so many different stories and worlds come out of this week's sentence prompt. And one more final congratulations to JMMacF for earning the spot of Grand Champion. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drink some beer and find a moose to ride...

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