?

Which story should win?

Poll closed Dec 1, 2016.
  1. Cherry Pop

    3 vote(s)
    9.7%
  2. Lord Medley

    2 vote(s)
    6.5%
  3. Honest Intent

    5 vote(s)
    16.1%
  4. President Kayne 4 Life

    12 vote(s)
    38.7%
  5. Toasting Brown Bread

    9 vote(s)
    29.0%
  1. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK

    Closed Voting Vote Now - November 2016 Contest (Voting closes 30 November)

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest' started by Tenderiser, Nov 15, 2016.

    Who should win the shiny medal?

    1. Read the entries: http://www.writingforums.org/threads/november-2016-short-story-contest-instructions-and-entries-here.149020/

    2. Vote. Authors, please do not vote for your own story. If you don't want to vote for another but still want to know the poll results, don't worry - they will be visible to all once voting closes. If you really can't wait then feel free to PM me and I'll tell you the current results.

    Voting will close at midnight (GMT) on 30 November.

    You can use whatever criteria you like to choose a winner. If you want some guidance, the criteria we used for the 10th anniversary contest was:
    • Technical ability (spelling, grammar, etc)
    • Entertainment
    • Use of the prompt
    • Originality
    Please don't read the replies to this thread until you have voted! They may contain spoilers.
     
    LinnyV likes this.
  2. LinnyV
    Offline

    LinnyV Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    992
    This is so weird... All the stories bar one is in present tense, unless I missed something. I've never seen this pattern of behaviour anywhere. I don't think I noticed this overwhelming trend in the flash fic comp. As a result, I struggled reading any. Since I don't enjoy present tense for fiction, I only had one choice open to me.

    I'm sorry entrants and @Tenderiser, I tried but I found the tense too distracting and something I noticed right away.

    Good luck everyone!

    Edit: I can't even vote (I'm probably being punished), there's no poll option..?
     
  3. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    Oh yeah, it's a good idea to add a poll when you want people to vote, isn't it? D'oh.

    I struggle with present tense too, but I'm persevering because it seems to grow ever more prevalent.
     
    LinnyV likes this.
  4. LinnyV
    Offline

    LinnyV Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    992
    Done. I did not mind the one I did fully read, so I'll go with my reading preferences this time. Next time I shall persevere harder.
    And this was interesting to know. I got curious (worried), so I checked out the top 10 NYT combined print and e-book just now (which includes one of my favourite authors atm). I'm relieved that only 1 out of 10 was written in present tense. But I'll shut up now and slink back under my rock...
     
  5. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    Oh man, I'm torn between three stories. I don't think I've ever had a straightforward favourite in any contest.

    Decisions, decisions...
     
  6. Jarvis XIX
    Offline

    Jarvis XIX Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Torquay, UK
    Ah crap. I had an entry for this featuring ritual sacrifice and some deity called Yhkhalhu (too Lovecraftian?) almost done, but joined a new band last week and completely distracted myself.
     
    Sal Boxford likes this.
  7. Lifeline
    Offline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    1,716
    Location:
    no longer between
    Yeah well... my choice presented itself after the first two or three sentences and I couldn't stop reading anymore :rolleyes:
     
  8. big soft moose
    Offline

    big soft moose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Driving a tractuur in ciduur countree
    don't you just hate when that happens - I had a story damn nearly ready for the october contest and just missed the deadline (I'm tempted to polish it up for the open contest in january)
     
  9. Alphonse Capone
    Offline

    Alphonse Capone Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Scotland
    Agree on present tense, not my cup of tea personally.
     
  10. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    Well darn you, because I want to read it! Ritual sacrifice fascinates me. Please do this:

    I know the same thing happened to another writer, and I advised them to enter the January one. I hope all three of you do!
     
    Jarvis XIX likes this.
  11. big soft moose
    Offline

    big soft moose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Driving a tractuur in ciduur countree
    I sort of agree but I think it is sometimes hard to avoid particularly in first person narration. For one thing if first person is told in past you know the character survives (its unlikely a story is being told from beyond the grave) . A good example of present being used to avoid this is in the 'jack the hat' section of 'the long firm' by jake arnott - Jack gets killed by the kray firm right at the end, which wouldnt be possible in first past, and wouldn't be anywhere near as powerful in third.
     
  12. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    Nah, I don't buy that. Do you really assume every first person story told in past tense is literally being narrated by the character in the future? Unless it's framed as such, that's a very odd assumption.

    You can kill a first person narrator at the end of the book in past or present - makes no difference.
     
    Spencer1990 likes this.
  13. big soft moose
    Offline

    big soft moose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Driving a tractuur in ciduur countree
    This probably isn't the thread for the discussion but I can't see how It could be otherwise - the fact that someone is telling you I did this, I did that frames it as them telling it you in the future - that's the very definition of past tense

    As a reader I'd have serious issues with a first past story that ended 'then I died' unless it was specifically framed as being told by a ghost or similar. The only book I can think of off the top of my head where the first person narrator dies is 'eagle in the snow' by Wallace Breem , and that switches into third for the last chapter
     
  14. Alphonse Capone
    Offline

    Alphonse Capone Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Scotland
    I can see what you mean.

    But I see it as the character is telling me their story, this is what happened to me, until the moment they aren't or can't (whether that is death or whatever), but not in the literal sense in that I presume they therefore can't be dead.

    Reading that back I've realised it made little sense beyond my own head :supergrin:

    To sum up, I'm sure present tense can be great and appropriate, just not my preference to read, or write.
     
    Spencer1990 and Tenderiser like this.
  15. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    Precisely - they can be telling it one second in the future or 20 years in the future. So their narration can end when they die.

    I'm fine with a discussion here, by the way. It's very relevant to the entries, after all!
     
  16. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    Just to add, in case any of the authors are feeling bad - of the three I was torn between, two were in present tense. I don't think the tense is going to ruin anybody's chance of a victory. :)
     
  17. Midge23
    Offline

    Midge23 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    UK
    All Quiet On The Western Front kills its first-person-past-tense narrator very well, I think.

    Perhaps the reader assumption that a first-person narrator must have survived the story could be used to good effect by a skilled author.
     
    Sal Boxford likes this.
  18. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    Voting is getting interesting. Looks like it'll be another close one!
     
  19. big soft moose
    Offline

    big soft moose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2016
    Messages:
    2,024
    Likes Received:
    1,453
    Location:
    Driving a tractuur in ciduur countree
    It certainly is looking close , though at this stage it could still be anybodies - testament to the quality of the writing across the forum I guess

    (incidentally just as a thought, have we ever looked at having medals of gold/silver/bronze or anything like that - it just seems a shame for the people wjo are just squeezed out by one vote not to get recognition of their work , given how close these contests seem to be)
     
  20. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    There's been a tie for first place for days. More votes needed!
     
    Alphonse Capone likes this.
  21. 20oz
    Offline

    20oz Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    In a white, walled tomb
    Slowly, but eventually.

    Slowly, but eventually.
     
  22. Alphonse Capone
    Offline

    Alphonse Capone Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Scotland
    What happens in the event of a tie?
     
  23. Tenderiser
    Online

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,419
    Likes Received:
    5,303
    Location:
    London, UK
    [​IMG]
     
    20oz, Alphonse Capone and Spencer1990 like this.
  24. Alphonse Capone
    Offline

    Alphonse Capone Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Scotland
    :superlaugh:

    download.jpg
     
    Tenderiser likes this.
  25. Sal Boxford
    Offline

    Sal Boxford Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    236
    Location:
    UK
    I voted for 'Honest Intent'. It really stood out for me. There were a lot of punctuation problems, but the plot and characters were good and it was well told, so I can forgive it the technical flaws. It wasn't my type of story at all, but it was undeniably well done. It felt quite 'rich' for such a short story - kind of immersive. Ordinarily, I'd be put off by "guns and stuff" but I got really absorbed.

    I really enjoyed the language. It was pretty poetic in places, especially near the start: "Six hundred and fifty mouths gorging themselves on an ugly swill of falsified expenses, inflated pay packets, and brazen backhanders." "Arse gravy" is sooo gross but original and evocative. (Euchh! Typing it is making me queasy.) I loved all the humorous stuff about nicknames. Especially "Billy “the Wedge” O'Connell... I reckon it's because as soon as you see his face you want to shove it into a door."

    The contrast between the noble ex-servicemen, there as much to get justice for their comrades as to rob the place, and the straight-out thugs was nice. I really felt their righteous anger in those early paragraphs.

    The plot seemed well thought-out. I wasn't keen on the "it turns out to be a double-cross" bit, which felt a little bit cliched, but I guess it allowed for a satisfying ending with the guy we hate getting his comeuppance (in a very bonfire-night-appropriate style). I especially liked the way it opened with Guy Fawkes and ended with "dummies burning" - very nicely done.
     
    Tenderiser likes this.

Share This Page