?

Which story should win?

Poll closed Jan 1, 2017.
  1. The Rogue Officer

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  2. Jihad

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  3. Alexander’s Bear

    9 vote(s)
    37.5%
  4. Mother Snowman

    3 vote(s)
    12.5%
  5. A Dull Domestic

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Il Macchiato Down

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  7. The Snow Men

    2 vote(s)
    8.3%
  8. The Prompt and the Contest

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Shit Sometimes Happens

    1 vote(s)
    4.2%
  10. The Von Catus Murder Case

    3 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Closed Voting Vote Now - December 2016 Contest (Voting closes 31 December)

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

    Who should win the shiny medal?

    1. Read the entries: https://www.writingforums.org/threads/december-2016-short-story-contest-instructions-and-entries-here.149476/

    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 31 December.

    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.
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member

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    Missed the damn deadline again - i now have a choice of two for the january contest - assuming i don't just enter something random
     
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  3. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I finally finished reading them all. I found it interesting that three of the first four stores all focus around a mother character. I enjoyed reading some of them and found others quite confusing. I thought the mother snowman was a delightful children's story.
     
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  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I was torn between three this time, but went for the one that gripped me from the first line and didn't let go.

    Now I know December is a busy month (it took me this long to read and vote) but we need MORE VOTES! Spread a little New Year cheer and vote for a fellow author, WF...
     
  5. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member

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    I've already voted but I'm here to save the puppies ... "don't even think of gently putting the dogs down, I don't want to have to pull the trigger" :D
     
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  6. Lifeline

    Lifeline Out of the Night Supporter Contributor

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    One more down ;)
     
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  7. Brindy

    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Ok, last minute I know, but I just saved a puppy. Great stories guys, enjoyed them.
     
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  8. 20oz

    20oz Active Member

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    That was tough. In the end, my vote didn't come close to changing the outcome. :p

    I hope, at least, l made someone happy that he/she got a vote. "Shit Sometimes Happens" was really good. Actually, every entry was good in their own way, it's just this time the detective/crime elements got to me.
     
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  9. dbesim

    dbesim Contributing Member

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    Thank you @newjerseyrunner for mentioning my story. I wanted to likey your post before but thought people might figure out it was my story if I did that! I've likied your post now the contest is over. It means so much simply that you've read and appreciated! I never know who my voters are, so love that I can thank you personally for this.
     
  10. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Six puppies had to die, but the other five are happy frolicking in a field. Next month it'll be kittens.

    My mini-critiques on the stories, if anybody cares ;) :

    The Rogue Officer - I didn't see the twist coming and I had to re-read to figure everything out. In a way that's good, because twists shouldn't be obvious, but I think there need to be clues/explanations hidden in the build up. I have too many questions - how is Steve getting away with this? If he's rogue, as the title suggests, how does he have access to the radio? Who is the man who attacks them and how does he know to expect Rob? Why does Steve refer to Rob as "the teddy bear" when he clearly thinks of him as a person?

    Good premise but I think it needs to be expanded into a slightly longer story.

    Jihad - Great twist!
    This is a difficult critique, because I can see that the thing I didn't like (the tone - the fairy tale / old fashioned / formal / whatever-you-want-to-call-it style) was chosen to pull off the twist. That kind of voice is very distancing (for me) and doesn't engage me, so if the story was in an anthology I would've stopped reading before I got to the last line. I wonder if this would work as well in a regular 21st century voice? I think it would :)

    Alexander's Bear - I'm not surprised this was a runaway winner. I was gripped from beginning to end. It was an excellent, true-to-life portrayal of a family suffering the after effects of abuse and trauma. There's nothing I would want to change.

    Mother Snowman - Man, I hate Gareth (good job). I pictured him as Syd from Toy Story and I wanted that little brat to be run over with a removal truck too. I would've liked to feel Amy's fear of him more, and I would've liked to feel HIS fear more when the snowmen chased him. But then I'm reading as an adult, and I don't know what works for children.

    A Dull Domestic - I love the surreal, witty, matwoolf-trademark tone. When it works it really really works. The only disappointment was no sex scene... I would very much like to read a matwoolf sex scene.

    Il Macchiato Down - I thought this was well written, particularly the portrayal of someone very very drunk. But the mood/tone didn't seem true to life - like when they got angry, it didn't seem authentic. I was also confused about the Il Macchiato; as far as I'm aware, that's a coffee, and I couldn't work out its significance or why it was in a green bottle with coloured spots. Maybe that's just me being thick?

    The Snow Men - As I said earlier, it's a personal thing that I don't enjoy this kind of tone that's often used in historical or high fantasy stories. It's very distancing and I find it hard to care about the characters. I'm not sure I got the story - was the idea that Jed learned that it's better to live peacefully than fight and rape daily? Jed didn't seem the fighty-rapey sort anyway, being in love with Gwen and a loving father.

    The Prompt and the Contest - Author has been banned, so I won't bother.

    Shit Sometimes Happens - Well written and a smooth read. I struggled with plausibility though - nobody had noticed before that all 10 babies had been visited by the bear lady before they became ill, even though the info was in their notes? There was also the big coincidence of Tony being directed to the room just as Cathy ran out. And nobody else noticed a hooded figure in a black coat in a hospital? I would think that'd scare the shit out of most patients :D I'm also skeptical that a bear could be used as a virus carrier, but I'm no expert.

    The Von Catus Murder Case - Loved this from the first line to the last, which is about all I can say! I really want someone to make a Rhino Shark movie.
     
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  11. Fernando.C

    Fernando.C Contributing Member

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    Glad you liked my story @Tenderiser :)

    Now you mention it, I'm thinking a Rhino Shark movie would be absolutely freaking awesome. I'm picturing a Sharknado-y vibe, maybe a little less cheesy though :bigtongue:
     
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  12. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Glad you liked the twist, sorry you didn't like the style. But two people seemed to have thought it was the best, so oh well, you can't please everyone all the time.
     

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