1. Mackers
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    Mackers Contributing Member

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    What is the best short story ever written on this website, in your opinion?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mackers, Jan 24, 2013.

    I know we're all aspiring writers on here, trying to improve ourselves. But has anyone ever read a piece on this website that's really caught the eye where you think, 'woah, this guy/girl is obviously talented.' What I've noticed is people come and go, particularly a lot of young people. There's clearly a wealth of high school standard stuff (predictably) and a lot of beginners who've just decided to give writing a good go. Occasionally you get someone who comes along with brilliant creativity, and it's very noticeable. But I must say they are honestly few and far between. Are there any stories, pieces of fiction which sticks in the memory of long-term members on the site? I'm curious.

    As an aside issue, it makes me wonder if websites like this are really good, effective mediums for serious writers; whether inadvertently spending time on a website like this could be a hindrance rather than a help. I wonder if it attracts bluffers going through a 'phase' and so you never really see a whole pile of work of excellent quality because serious writers would never take a place like this seriously
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Of all the short stories I've read on this site I can remember one or two of them but I would not pick a 'best' of them. Same with the poetry on this site. As a rule I don't think of individual stories or poems as the 'best of the site' but there are some users whose work has impressed me enough to always check out the fiction they post.

    I also do think you can spend too much time on here.
     
  3. King Ulfrik Flamebeard
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    King Ulfrik Flamebeard New Member

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    I'm new to this forum so I can't give an opinion on the best piece ever posted here, but I would disagree on the idea that serious writers would never take these types of sites seriously. I have been writing and posting excerpts to various other forums, and while I would never post anything that I intended to see published (publishers dislike work posted online due to issues of ownership) I enjoy giving and receiving feedback while posting side projects that I write purely for their own sake.

    Kuffy
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I think it's always helpful to review fiction, because it forces you to think about what, specifically, you like or don't like about a piece. This is a good place to do that, and I do so occasionally, but I've never kept a tally of what I consider "the best" I've read. Many have had some impressive elements. There is also some good information about issues in general, so, although, yes, there are mostly, if not all, amateurs on this site, it's still useful. Sometimes someone will ask a question related to craft, and in the process of ruminating on it and seeing what others say about it, I feel like I've learned a great deal about the issue and am better able to tackle writing. I'm on another forum that is part of a writer's organization for which you have to pay an annual fee, and most of those members are serious writers, including many published authors. But many of those members also do visit other writer's sites similar to this one. (I don't know for certain how many frequent both this site and the other site, besides me.) And some of the questions that arise over there have also been discussed here. So, it's not true that they wouldn't take this site "seriously," and there are issues common to all writers, whether professional or amateur. There is something to be said for finding others in a situation similar to your own.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I think it is a very bad idea to try to identify any piece of writing on this site as best or worst. That isn't what this site is about.

    Every piece of writing in the Workshop should be considered a work in progress. The focus is on finding ways to improve each person's writing, not to stamp anyone as inferior or superior.

    As for your last paragraph, thanks for the compliment. It's gratifying to be told you can't be a serious writer if you hang around a place like this. A writer who thinks she or he has nothing more to learn might as well stop writing.
     
  6. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    I'd like to think most people here are serious writers, regardless of what that actually means. There are some who are professionals and have been published/produced, while there are others that haven't, and those that are still learning, and those who do it as a hobby. There are people with decades of experience and people still in school. There are talented writers and people that still require a lot of growth. It really is a mixed bag and that's actually quite healthy. It's already been very useful to me, and I'd like to think of myself as a serious writer.

    Amen to that.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I think it's also worth pointing out that the search for a 'best' story would be rather fruitless anyway. Everyone has different tastes, and everyone have different levels of reading skills. Some people are really great readers and can look deep into a multi-layered story and others just look on the surface, at the narrative. Quality isn't truly objective, we have different tastes, and some tastes are finer than others.
     
  8. Junipergins
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    Junipergins New Member

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    Finding the best short story on here would be difficult and there would be a lot of contenders and a lot of differing opinions on the subject.

    Perhaps a better direction for this topic would be "What are some of your favorite works written on this site?". That way we can discuss what has left an impression on us, without being overly judgmental on the community. I'm talking as if I've been here a long time-- I haven't obviously. However, I've already read some pretty good stuff. I forget the poster's name, but one story in the current short story competition really blew me away with a pretty awesome twist.
     
  9. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    You would think the Writing Contest would be counter-intuitive to the mission of this site, but I disagree. I use the contest as a way for me to practice my writing by using someone else's themes. The fact that there is competition drives me to write even when I don't feel like it. And having a deadline gives me real-world experince for becoming a 'real writer'. Just my 2 cents.

    Also, I agree that there are well-written stories and poorly-written stories, but every well-written story will be judged by the readers taste. ;)

    ~ J. J.
     
  10. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    The value of writing sites and writing groups, is mainly that they give you a readership, albeit it a relatively small one, that is ready and willing to point out your writing strengths and weaknesses. You can learn from the comments of others and that should make you step up your game and give you the impetus to write to impress.
    Maybe successful writers wouldn't visit such sites because they're too busy writing, but who's to say that, at some point in their writing career, they didn't?
     
  11. Mackers
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    Mackers Contributing Member

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    It was maybe a mistake to make a reference to the 'best' story on here. I can understand the principles which underpin the whole existence of the site i.e. It is there to assist people in learning how to write, for interaction between writers who give out pointers and advice on where perhaps some members are going wrong. But that's besides the point. What I was getting at is whether some people have written stories which struck you in a peculiar way, on an individual level, almost as if you could envisage that piece as being of such a high quality that it wouldn't look out of place being published, or at least having the potential to be published. I don't think that's an indictment of people who write bad stories...of course they can always learn through the help of others. This thread is more simply about an appreciation of good writing, of a curiosity that there's crazy talented people out there, hidden somewhere, just waiting to be found. It's something that should be refreshing and celebrated, rather than begrudgingly countered by reference to all other people who, perhaps struggling, still have aspirations.

    As for Cogito, I think it's legitimate to question whether a website like this could be an inadvertent hindrance. I didn't definitively 'tell' anybody anything, which is why I started off with 'I wonder...' Maybe you shouldn't be so paranoid.
     
  12. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    There is one piece I read on this site that really stuck with me, it's a piece of micro-fiction that I just love. It received a fair bit of critique, and as a result the author made a longer piece based on it, but I thought the original was perfect.

    I have read some great writing on the site, but that one piece is what I really remember. I just don't really want to name it as I'd be the first to point a particular post out!

    Have you found anything good on a forum, or this forum?
     
  13. Nate123
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    Nate123 New Member

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    I think the only way a website like this could be detrimental to a writer's growth is if that writer conflates the advise and feedback they receive on their work with personal attacks on their artistic voice and began to write stories with the sole intention of impressing the members of this site instead of sharpening their artistic vision.
     

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