Creative Writing Challenge #25: Tied Together

Oct 25, 2017
2,150
Speaking of which, here's the entries this time around. We've got three collabs, a slew of new people, and several returns! Looking forward to a good round of stories. If I missed an entry just let me know.

Entries
Setre - The Murder of Loretta Robinson
krazen - MTA
Chainsawkitten - A Meeting in the Cottage
Eternal Song - The Beast that Binds
John Cyanbar - All In This Together
Dedication Through Light - Pulling Strings
Karateka - The Wildest Dream
Nezumike - How's the Weather
Dong Mas - Meal-ing Half-way
 
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Eternal Song

Member
Oct 31, 2017
590
This is looking exciting.

I figured the tags might at least be used to find things quickly with a CTRL/CMD+F if the script wasn't in use.
 
Nov 28, 2017
312
Sweden
1. Karateka - This had me hooked but doesn't really stick the landing. I'm not sure what was going on but I may be a dum-dum.
2. Nezumike - Great presentation (thank you for not using a monospace font).
3. John Cyanbar - Gave me children of god vibes. Nasty.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,259
Entries
Setre - The Murder of Loretta Robinson

Interesting story to take advantage of the tied together them by applying it to a grieving family wanting answers that are taking too long to come and someone wanted to get justice for the one they believed wronged them. It seems ethically and morally questionable but the family doesnt care. Even with people so entrenched in their faith, even such a situation can drive them to make the socially unacceptable decision. Compelling and chilling especially with the parents will to take the blame for their remaining children.

krazen - MTA

From what I know of public transit, this seemed like it could be a fair and relatively accurate assessment of the type of things someone could see in any sort of transit authority train. That said it was honestly one of the more crazier things I read and I loved how the kids on the train had different actions from some looking away, to the one that wanted to record and live stream it, to the one that bashfully put his phone away after being chastised and the other cunning one who provided the solution for the problem as well as shown the caring element for the ladies plight. Really good writing.


Chainsawkitten - A Meeting in the Cottage

There was a majorly big paragraph that was a monologue of sorts that really made a portion of this hard to read. I also enjoyed this monologue and story of the mother of three sons too, which proved to be a bit more interesting than the main plot IMO. I think I might have missed the conclusion or so? I think Sergey didnt seem to really be connected to any of the characters?

Eternal Song - The Beast that Binds

Enjoyed this because it was an accurate portrayal of someone having some type of weight or struggle that was tied to them like a beast that just held them down in life and bit them and threatened to do it again. Really, of your entries thus far was the one I connected with the most.

John Cyanbar - All In This Together

This was a compelling story with an awesome dynamic between two female characters. Perhaps it is this type of story that makes reading the CWC entries so interesting to me because in my usual reading material its usually never female led (beyond YA dystopia), or has interesting female female friendship, teamups, etc. And the one handled here was done in such a memorable and intriguing way that the ending of this was actually really effective in being emotional and shocking. I could really feel for Victoria. I think this was really helped by the word count too, really would wonder how this could be done in 2.5K words. Even the smaller scenes and interactions with the secondary characters felt vital and necessary.

Dedication Through Light - Pulling Strings

Went with something to put this on the more light-hearted fluffy feels type of thing here so maybe it stood out for that, lol. Pleased and enjoyed writing and reading it. Also just wanted to get my feet wet with writing for the thread of fate trope.

Karateka - The Wildest Dream

Compelling story plot that made this a suspenseful rollercoaster ride of slowly providing answers for what the main character was seeing but also how he was tying it back to his past. The involvement of the girl being pulled along by this to help him get through it worked well. Seemed like a story about being haunted by the past and filled with regrets and unfulfilled desires.

Nezumike - How's the Weather

This had an interesting back and forth between two AI's that was very enjoyable and intriguing. I enjoyed it immensely. The moment where the monitoring AI played like it had been reset was really awesome.

Dong Mas - Meal-ing Half-way

Mack and Buschy were an awesome pair and I really loved how they played off each other. It was also good learning that Mack kind of liked the thing she has going for them her own rag tag funnish restaurant and Buschy's more posh and lofty restaurant and their different ideas to it. Seeing how she actually proved to be more cunning and ruthless than he could even imagine was honestly one of the best parts to it, he's probably like he'll never try to get on her bad side.

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Vote
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1 Dong Mas - Meal-ing Half-way
2 krazen - MTA
3 Karateka - The Wildest Dream
 

Setre

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14
Vote:

1. Eternal Song - The Beast that Binds
2. krazen - MTA
3. Dong Mas - Meal-ing Half-way
 
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Nezumi

Nezumi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
800
Bad Soden am Taunus
Posting on behalf of Cyan.

Setre - The Murder of Loretta Robinson
Good concept, easily understandable setup. I'd consider putting the opening exposition in-scene instead, makes it easier to pull the reader in.

krazen - MTA
Solid sense of place and time, and I love the mirroring of the beginning and ending. Not sure how much actual story there is here, though. The lack of a specific POV hurts.

Chainsawkitten
A Meeting in the Cottage - Smoothly written and good dialogue that feels stiff in a convincing way, a way that tells us something about the characters. I got mixed up by the character names and wasn't sure quite what was supposed to have happened at the ending. Both with the ambiguous "miracle" bit and the guy redoing the handcuff.

Eternal Song - The Beast that Binds
I like the concept, and I think the vagueness of what the beast is a metaphor for does help you avoid some pitfalls. On the other hand, that lack of specificity also doesn't give much room to get a lot out of the story. The most interesting bit to me is the very end, that the character feels someone else has to free them. This says to me that they'll never get out of their (self-inflicted?) situation.

John Cyanbar - All In This Together
This was a lot of fun to write! Been a while since I've done a collab challenge, and after a few initial hiccups on coordination this one felt like it went very smoothly. I always enjoyed the sometimes strange and dark edge to John Dunbar's work back in the old challenges--my very favorite bit of this story is a Dunbar original that brings in some of that feeling (I think you can probably guess which moment this is). Thanks for working with me, Mr. Dunbar, I really enjoyed it!

Dedication Through Light - Pulling Strings
The string is an interesting device, pulling your character into things and making him be active even when he doesn't want to. Structurally, it pulls our MC into two relationships, but you might be better served with just the one. As is, the story feels more like two disconnected halves than a complete story in itself.

Karateka - The Wildest Dream
The first half of the story has a consistent sense of tension that pulls us through--the unreality and general sense of confusion actually helps with this. I'm not sure what I'm meant to get out of the ending. The fact that the girl's POV continues suggests it's not just a dream but some strange fantastical thing actually happening, I'm just not sure I get what. Two moments jarred me from the story. First, the boy having to figure out he's in a forest. He can't see, but his sense of proprioception would tell him he's on uneven natural ground. He would smell dirt and growing things. He would hear insects and animals and the wind. Being outside impinges on all the senses. Second, the girl/woman. At first she's a girl he knows from school and spoke to once. Then suddenly she's a married woman. Clearing these up would help smooth out the story.

Nezumike - How's the Weather
Aww, the two AIs are so dang adorable! I was actually very sad when I thought poor Craig had died. I got rused! I liked the ongoing format, but it would've been really helpful to have noticeably different designations so we could tell the difference between speakers (i.e. have stella's designation start with "SLAI" or something else different enough from CRAI to easily tell at a glance). Usually the voice was enough but I still got confused once or twice.

Dong Mas - Meal-ing Half-way
Very clever! I don't think Appazongoogbook would ever be defeated so easily, but it's a nice thought. The clashing personalities of Mack and Busch make for a really fun read. I think my one criticism would be that we don't get enough of Mack's POV--it's Busch most of the way. And since she's the one with the plan it also doesn't feel like the characters are being active or really have a goal. I think you could have found a way to give them a stronger proactive feel without giving away the reveal.

Votes:
1. Dong Mas - "Meal-ing Half-way"
2. Nezumike - "How's the Weather"
3. Karateka - "The Wildest Dream"
 

mas8705

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,824
((Disclaimer: Unless if Dongs was going to vote or if we were both going to discuss it, I thought it would be nice to leave my thoughts on the entries. In case if he decides to vote, I'll either combine my thoughts with him and we'll vote together, or I'll likely redact my vote and let him pick and choose his favorites since it is one vote per team.))

Oh Boy... Part of me is actually kind of scared to read through the stories. It's funny because usually I don't mind the part of writing the stories, but reading others is something I don't normally do since I feel like if I did, it would make my writing feel... Well, I did point out how intimidated I was beforehand before we started, and according to the rules, I do need to read the stories and vote. This is as close to a "Writing group" as I'm going to get that isn't NaNoWriMo, so hopefully I can use this to help get me moving on my own stories. ^__^

So with that said, here are my top picks for "Tied Together"


1. Karateka- The Wildest Dream
2. Eternal Song- The Beast that Binds.
3. Krazen- MTA

So many of these stories were really good and I'm actually kind of glad I pushed myself into doing this. Hopefully I'll be able to do many more with you guys. ^__^ Again, kind of jumped in at a slightly random time, but I did pick up on a few tidbits from Dongs so hopefully if when I go solo, I might be able to do just as well.
 
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Karateka

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,483
I'm through all the writings and I have to say I really enjoyed all of them.

I'm not much of a critic but I'll post some impressions, I'll hide them in a spoiler here.

Meeting at the Cottage
I liked the dialog, and it sounded believable. I enjoyed the story about the children and how it drove the character who was saying it. The writing was good and I didn't notice any errors. The existential questions and context underpinning the story was interesting but I think might have needed more time to develop as its such a big subject matte, still it set a certain mood which I think is a success.

Pulling Strings
I enjoyed the writing style but the plot of the story itself didn't really draw me in as I wasn't sure what to make of the string. At the end the second boy seemed to know what it was but there was no time to explain, the mythology behind it might have been interesting to hear about but I understand that you may have wanted to keep it a mystery.

All in this Together
I love dystopian fiction and this hit the right notes so I thought it was brilliant. I could understand if it was criticized for being too much like a (religious) 1984 because as I was reading it I could tell it was going to end badly and that Sarah wasn't genuine. That said, it raised the same "that's not fair!" feeling that I got when I finished reading 1984, which is probably the best accolade I can give given the subject matter.

Hows The Weather
This was a fun story, having two AI bicker like an old married couple was a great concept and the execution was good too. I was actually worried when "craig" got erased and relieved when it was revealed to be a hoax which I think means the goals of the piece were accomplished.

Meal-ing Half Way
This was a well written story, very technical, and it actually touched on an interesting theme with the automation. I'm not sure I agreed with the conclusion as it relates to automation, though, often the thing with automation is that it is coming no matter what and I think the same would have been the case with the restaurants. Still I liked it a lot, and the characters were developed really well.

The Murder of Loretta Robinson
It was well written, aside from a couple missed words. I think you could play around with where in the timeline to start this story and come out with something a lot more exciting but of course that depends on what you are looking for, still I enjoyed the read.

MTA
I enjoyed the prose and the flow of your words but there were a couple missed ones. I learned a new word though in "straphenger". There was some playing around with the tense in the last couple paragraphs I was unsure of whether it was accidental or a technique of some sort but I figured I'd point it out anyways.
I liked that it circled back around to the original passenger, I had actually forgotten about him by the time he came back. Another interesting read.

The Beast That Binds
I feel like this is technically well written but I am not very poetic myself although I do enjoy poetry. I felt the words were woven together well, and although there were a couple times my tongue was confused reading it aloud I think it had a good level of flow.

So my votes from first to third...

1. All in This Together by John Cyanbar (3pts)
2. How's the Weather by Nezumike (2 pts)
3. Meal-ing Half Way by Dong Mas (1 pt)

Not going to lie it was really hard to pick 3 but I think these were my favorites.
 
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Nezumi

Nezumi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
800
Bad Soden am Taunus
((Disclaimer: Unless if Dongs was going to vote or if we were both going to discuss it, I thought it would be nice to leave my thoughts on the entries. In case if he decides to vote, I'll either combine my thoughts with him and we'll vote together, or I'll likely redact my vote and let him pick and choose his favorites since it is one vote per team.))
You both get to vote independently :)
In case of you winning (which isn't that unlikely at the moment, you can decide the new theme together and have whomever you want post it.
 
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krazen

Member
Oct 27, 2017
958
Gentrified Brooklyn
Long time lister, first time caller! I had joining on this project on the backburner forever so when I had a bit more time I made it a point to sneak in writing last week to at least get it in. Ill be popping in more consistently in since my schedules getting clearer! My fav's:

1)Dong Mas
2)Nezumike (what an awesome ass setup)
3)John Cyanbar
 

Dongs Macabre

Member
Oct 26, 2017
804
No comments this time

My votes:
1. John Cyanbar - All in This Together
2. Nezumike - How's the Weather?
3. Karateka - The Wildest Dream
 

Eternal Song

Member
Oct 31, 2017
590
And my votes:

1. NezuMike - How's the Weather?
2. John Cyanbar - All in This Together
3. Team Dong Mas - Meal-ing Half-way
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,591
So we are past the deadline, who still has to vote?

It's still to close to call if there are any votes lingering, though, if there aren't any more votes by my count there is a two way tie at 14 points, but one person/group has 3 votes first place votes and the other only has 1.
 
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Nezumi

Nezumi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
800
Bad Soden am Taunus
Voting has a grace period too ;)

I will start reading shortly. My mother has been here since yesterday and I had no peace of mind to get any reading done so far.
 
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Nezumi

Nezumi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
800
Bad Soden am Taunus
Double posting to announce the results.

1.) Team Dong Mas
2.) Karateka
3.) Team Nezumike

Congratulation Dongs Macabre and mas8705 Great work you two. Now you have to fight to the death decide among each other what our next theme shall be.
 
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mas8705

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,824
Well... Time to see the results... It should be fun to see who were the top picks for my first time participating- *Sees Dong MAS in first*

?! Umm... I... err... *immediately goes to google to find an appropriate gif*



HOLY HELL! :D I really am at a loss for words right now! Thank you to everyone who voted for us! A special shout out to my partner in crime Dongs Macabre for being a spectacular co-writer and rolling with my idea of something based on food just because I was hungry during the brainstorming. We decided how the characters and plot would play out 50/50, took parts of the story to write it and reviewed it to make sure it flowed well enough. Our Deadly Alliance worked out perfect but it would seem the time has come to backstab each other like in Deception- come up with a fun new theme together.

We will have something soon. Stay tuned and thank you once again! ^__^