Print Story WFC 9: CRwM is hosting
Diary
By 2 plus 3 equals 5 (Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 10:55:37 AM EST) WFC (all tags)
Oh, yeah. I forgot to end WFC 8.

Christopher Robin was Murdered wins, hands down, with Country Manners. Go read it. It's good.



The other entrants were:
Wheel Man by Kellnerin
Bird by me
Dream Dagger by the part of me that was sober and awake at the time
My Last Day Alive by aethucyn
Snake Eyes by weregoat

Congrats to everyone for a reasonable crop.

(I wrote two stories because I didn't want there to be only two, just in case. I s'pose I'll write something about why I wrote them later.)

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WFC 9: CRwM is hosting | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Congrats to the winner! by blixco (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 11:12:30 AM EST
I knew it was him.  Damn fine stuff.

But my fav was kellnerin's.  I didn't know it was her.  But it now figures.

In re: next wfc, more will participate.  This one happened around the big holidays.  You'll get three or four more at least.
---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

not me, man, CRwM by 2 plus 3 equals 5 (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 11:24:03 AM EST
I'd have to win for it to be me.

-- Do the math.
[ Parent ]
thanks by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 04:26:41 PM EST
I thought the setting would make it obvious it was me, but I'm glad you liked.

I'm more glad, though, that CRwM submitted his, because it was a great story.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
Why is my stuff always recogizable? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #8 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 03:06:03 AM EST
I'd hoped that the experiment on dialect talk would be enough to throw folks even just a wee bit. The next one's going to be be written entirely in code.

[ Parent ]
recognizability by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #9 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 03:22:18 AM EST
Even though you haven't done that particular dialect before, it's not at all out of your range. You experiment with voice a lot -- take "Sylvia" at the other end of the spectrum.

I suspected it was you early on, but what sealed it was "His three-hundred plus pound frame didn't exit the car so much as get spat out." -- the line is reminiscent of the father in "November, 1978." It's very much a CRwM observation. And there's the way you describe people and their clothes, which is completely different from the way that ana does the same thing.

That said, if I haven't made you too self-conscious by now, there's also a certain confidence in your writing that always comes through. A sureness in your narrative stride from beginning to end. Stories that are well put-together, but not so much that they feel constructed.

In short, your stuff is good and it shows.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
huh by 2 plus 3 equals 5 (4.00 / 1) #11 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 05:12:10 AM EST
I think you nailed something I've been bothered about for some time with this line: Stories that are well put-together, but not so much that they feel constructed. This is why I resist all formal education in creative writing.

-- Do the math.
[ Parent ]
Hey, I've never taken a CW course. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 04:57:03 PM EST
I resent the notion that I have. I work hard at makin' shit look easy.

[ Parent ]
me neither! by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #15 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 05:25:37 PM EST
But I don't think the equation is suggesting that you have. I thought the implication was that if you had had any formal training, your stories would seem more "constructed" rather than simply well done. But I think I've just established that there are times when I completely don't know how to read Mr. equals 5's work.

On the other hand, "constructed" pretty much describes all my shit, despite the fact that the only time I took a CW course was for translation, which happened to be under the aegis of the Creative Writing dept at my alma mater. I work hard with the end result that my stories look like I worked too hard on them.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
as the waitress said by 2 plus 3 equals 5 (2.00 / 0) #16 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 06:29:48 PM EST
(where waitress=kellnerin)

Literary fiction, over-thought writing, all that crap churns out pieces of text I don't care to read. She verbalized what bugs me about them, their huge self-consciousness.

I wouldn't say that your stories are unselfconscious, but they aren't precious or over-constructed. There's none of that "Look, right here it's time to make a specific kind of shift."

And I was talking to kellnerin.

-- Do the math.

[ Parent ]
what "talking to kellnerin" meant by 2 plus 3 equals 5 (2.00 / 0) #17 Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 05:43:24 AM EST
I was making a general point reflecting my opinions, not saying anything specific about you. No need to get defensive.

-- Do the math.
[ Parent ]
Damn that fat man. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #13 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 05:03:22 PM EST
He gave me away.

In my defense, that's how men get out of cars. They don't understand that the handle above the door is to help them step out gracefully (it is a hold over from carriages and it is how stars step out of limos so casually and yet so coolly).

I blame reality for that stylistic quirk.

[ Parent ]
huh by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 04:22:31 PM EST
I never would have guessed "Bird" was yours in a million years. "Dream Dagger" had your fingerprints all over it, though. I just wish you had, y'know, actually written the story -- I think it would have been a fun read.

"Snake Eyes" shouldn't be under the weregoat moniker. It's at least 75% ana.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

Never would have been finished by ana (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 04:44:07 PM EST
without a certain scene in the middle, courtesy of Kellnerin. Which is to say, the execution was improved immensely by the fingers of the K-person. The original idea that went nowhere was entirely mine. After all, anything not worth doing is not worth doing well, don't you think?

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Siggable -- by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Feb 08, 2008 at 05:07:38 PM EST
After all, anything not worth doing is not worth doing well, don't you think?

... but I think with my current level of Husi activity my current one is more appropriate. It's tempting to get this printed and laminated to tack up above a desk, though.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
fingerprints by 2 plus 3 equals 5 (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 05:09:40 AM EST
Why wouldn't you have guessed Bird was me? The point of view, or fan-fiction nature?

As for Dream Dagger, I told you back at the beginning that my first story idea was the first chapter of a novel, but I doubt it will get in the queue. First of all, lamer gaming kids finding Real Magical Artifact is probably played out in the genre. Second, the narrator is a real asshole, and I  have to live with me enough that I don't need a character wandering around my head that reinforces my worst character flaws.

-- Do the math.

[ Parent ]
why by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #14 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 05:17:08 PM EST
Hmm. That's a harder question the CRwM's to blixco.

Point of view -- I guess that's part of it, but not just because you usually write in first person. I did note that "Bird" was the only entry in the third person this round, and it struck me as a poor choice for this challenge. I thought the theme cried out for a really subjective POV, and I think one of the things that made "Country Manners" so successful was just how strongly that POV comes through.

What really didn't seem like "you" though was what I mentioned in my review -- the way the characters are generically referred to as "he" and "she" in the beginning, without giving the reader any handles on who they might be or how to begin to grasp them, reads (to me) as the kind of thing that happens when a writer doesn't know exactly what they've got yet, or where this is going, or hasn't fully committed to the characters, or doesn't have enough of a sense of the characters to even give them provisional names or identifiers -- which is odd given that fanfic comes with prefab characters. (Possibly due to this in addition to my cultural illiteracy in not recognizing what the titular bird alluded to, I didn't actually tag this as fanfic until after your comment, so that didn't influence my impression of it.)

Also, based on the conventions of the "hard-boiled" genre I initially expected the setting to be "his" (the private eye's) office, but that turned out not to be the case. And again, my prejudice made me want to read him as the POV character, though it's actually her, but not strongly so -- in places it can almost be read as omniscient.

I've never had that sense of disorientation, of not knowing who these people were, where they were, what was going on, or even who was the protagonist in any of your other stories. This is probably just an utter failure of my reading (for which I apologize), or it might be a product of how you played against the source story, in which case your own review is right on: maybe it works as fanfic, but not standalone.

As for "Dream Dagger," yes, you did mention you had another beginning to a novel, but still. Novels have smaller points of closure within them, and this isn't even a first chapter. I didn't come away from "Spike" feeling cheated out of the "real" story, for instance -- it could easily have gone on, but I liked the slice that we got to see. "Dagger" was a cliffhanger over a bottomless pit (I almost typed "cliffhangover" for a sec there).

Anyway, it's true I'd rather read a novel set in the "Spike" world than "Dream Dagger"'s. A lot of the elements that make "Dagger" appealing are present in "Spike" and yeah, I winced just a bit when the narrator saw all his gaming sessions come to life. But, somehow, the coyness of the opening worked better for me in "Dagger" than in "Bird." Each sentence, even though I couldn't quite put it in context yet, told me something about the characters and how they related.

--
"Late to the party" is the new "ahead of the curve" -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
cliffhangover is good by 2 plus 3 equals 5 (4.00 / 1) #18 Sun Feb 10, 2008 at 01:47:48 PM EST
Cool. Thanks for the meaty response.

I think I'll save my responses for when I write my post-WFC post, after which I will return to my favorite sport of extreme lurking.

-- Do the math.

[ Parent ]
excellent by fleece (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Feb 09, 2008 at 12:30:58 AM EST
looking forward to begging for new deadlines and missing every one of them

WFC 9: CRwM is hosting | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback