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katyseagull 11-29-2007 02:32 PM

Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
Okay, this is the thread to discuss the short stories submitted for our contest as well as discussion of writing techniques and so on.

Here is the thread with the submissions

Short Stories

The contest is open to all 2+2ers.

The purpose of this thread is also to ask questions about the contest, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the stories, talk about active and passive voice, dialogue or whatever your interest is in writing.

This is the Lounge so let's try to be polite and use constructive criticism. Thanks! [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

(also, if you want to tell your 2+2 friends in the other forums about our contest please, by all means, do so.)

SoloAJ 11-29-2007 09:08 PM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
I don't really have any comments yet. I somehow didn't ever open the previous threads until just now. I suppose in 2 weeks I might be able to crank something out. Either way, hopefully I can get active in the contest some way or another. I always bum out on these things :-(

katyseagull 11-29-2007 09:44 PM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
Oh cool, I hope you submit a story Solo. I could extend the time frame to 3 weeks if that would help people. I think we have so many talented writers on 2+2. I greatly enjoy reading all your stories.

I was toying with the idea of writing a story myself but I'm so busy at work that I doubt I will have time. I'm usually burned out by the time I get home. Man am I exhausted. Exhausted and depressed. Every story idea that I contemplate has suicide as its theme.

Kimbell175113 11-29-2007 11:00 PM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
all the best stories have suicide as a theme.

I am working on mine, but probably won't post it for another week. Also, I am busy now, but I def want to get involved in this thread with the comments and the such.


JMP300z 11-29-2007 11:33 PM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread

I am working on mine, but probably won't post it for another week. Also, I am busy now, but I def want to get involved in this thread with the comments and the such.

[/ QUOTE ]


daveT 11-29-2007 11:42 PM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
I have already started two stories, and they both suck. Creativity is a long, arduous process for me.

katyseagull 11-29-2007 11:58 PM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
Ok so I've read eviljeff's story and Coffee's. Whoa. Now I'm all weirded out. All 3 of us have death on our mind. [img]/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] What does THAT mean?

(Wonder what Zutroy has written about. If his is about death too I am going to laugh.)

Wow I can't believe no one has commented on these stories yet. I'm very excited because I liked both of them (I'm so sorry, haven't read yours yet, Zutroy, but I promise I will!)


I'm curious to know what you guys think of the two very different styles of eviljeff and Coffee.

For me, Coffee's style is great. Very relaxing to settle into and well written. In fact he writes the way I love to hear people talk - meandering, each paragraph open to different avenues. You get the feeling that had he not chosen the avenue he did there were numerous other avenues he could have taken. With Coffee I feel as though I want him to keep going...tell me more about that town, our hero's past, a historic event. I'm the kind of person who always wants to hear the details of other places so I guess this kind of piece is up my ally. Just like in the last contest, I want to know what happens in the next chapter. I think this is an interesting trait of Coffee's, that he leaves me wanting more. [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

I like the way you describe Texas, Coffee. This part made me chuckle

For some reason, the Allen brothers elected to found their city in a maze of bayous and marsh, and we’ve been fighting the mosquitoes ever since. Four million people reside in the Houston area, and to be honest, I’m not sure why.

I lived in Houston one summer. The thing I remember the most is the humidity. I had to walk to work and boy was it hot!

I like the ending of this story. It is a good question - What if when we die we don't go anywhere?

Anyway, thanks for participating again. I'm looking forward to your next one!

<u>Eviljeff -</u>
With eviljeff I was amazed at how he quickly paints this picture of such a smart guy who seems to be so incredibly lonely. It is heart-breaking. In fact I'm still very depressed by it. What I like is how he does all this in a very short amount of time and I feel concerned for his hero because the descriptions are really powerful. This sentence makes me want to cry

Andrew had spent the night lying on a damp park bench creating constellations in his tuxedo.

But why the bottles? Was he just trying to create the illusion that he had drunk the beer? Gah, forgive me, I'm just really slow tonight. Awfully tired. [img]/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

I liked this part
Andrew calmly spilled his knowledge onto the exam sheets, humming like a baker pouring batter into a pan. With time to spare, he presented his symphony to the unimpressed wooden box. Another 'A' would fit neatly into his collection at the registrar's office. Reduced to four lines of archaic transcript font, this semester would be indistinguishable from any other.

Normally I do not like adjectives but this style of yours I'm finding pretty cool. Very interesting technique, Jeff, and I have to say I totally dug it. Thanks for being the first to go!

Now I must read the next story and then collapse into bed. Anyone else? Are you guys reading these stories?

Coffee 11-30-2007 12:34 AM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
Katy - Thank you for the comments and for hosting this year's competition.

Eviljeff's story is an interesting piece. It's almost written as a pastiche of images. There is something inherently modernistic about it, both from the episodic nature of it, and from the general anomie of the main character. It's all sort of a nihilistic collage. I liked the imagery, too...particularly the one about him on the bench looking at the constellations. This is good work, but not something to read if you're feeling down about yourself.

Zutroy's story has some very good things about it. I think that the argument between the elites is fairly standard dialogue, but I believe that was the point. I loved the vivid imagery of the creature, the woman, and the church with the priest. I felt a bit confused about your choices in the ending, simply because it seems a bit kneejerk. In other words...I understand the image of the woman, and the character of the priest...but why was the priest subservient to the cat-creature? Is this an affirmation of God or of paganism? I was just a bit confused by the symbolism of the cat-creature, because the other two symbols were so clearly that of Judeo-Christian tradition. Overall, it was a very vivid piece...could you shed some light on the ending, though...perhaps after a bit of discussion from everyone else?

Zutroy 11-30-2007 02:21 AM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
The Final- An insanely well written story with a very unique and fitting style. I really enjoyed the different segments, though I didn't really "get" it at first. However, after
reading a few of the above posts and reflecting a bit, I feel a bit stupid for not piecing it together sooner. Thoroughly depressing and overall very well done. Also, I really love the following sentence:
"The pencils clawed maniacally at their flimsy adversaries, inflicting leaded scars at the will of the frenzied young scholars."

The Hitchhiker- I enjoyed the rambling, stream of consciousness style and found the story to be pretty interesting overall, particularly the ending. I understand you threw this together and all, but the story could have used a bit of focus. The main character went off on a few tangents, which is usually a good thing for that style, but I felt that they didn't add as much to the overall understanding of the character as they could have. On the other hand, I really enjoyed this part:
"I guess I thought it would hurt at this point, but strangely, there wasn’t any pain…just that pressure, almost like a chiropractor trying to crack my chest, but failing to do so."

Also, you are quite correct about the ending, good sir. I toyed with the idea of placing the priest behind the altar and the cat at his side but didn't for a few reasons: I liked the image of the cat seated proudly on the altar and was somewhat hesitant to edit my work in any significant way before getting a few outside opinions. I had hoped it was clear that both the angel and the cat served at the pleasure of the priest but, in retrospect, I don't think I worded the ending properly.

As for the cat itself, I would like to hear from a few more people before revealing my interpretation, as the cat is meant to be an important symbol and I was worried I did not convey it properly (or that the cat was a flawed premise to begin with). However, food for thought: is this cat normal and how does Jerold react to the cat? What does he do afterward and where does he eventually end up? Assume I didn't [censored] up the ending and the reader is left with the impression that the cat serves the priest.

Conspire 11-30-2007 05:45 AM

Re: Writing Competition: Discussion Thread
Im currently jotting down ideas every so often, trying to get something in my mind ticking. Have not done anything like this since high school.

Any pointers on the basic concepts of short stories? I was thinking like...preface, introduction, maybe foreshadowing the ending right at the start? Followed by 2 conflicts, resolution and conclusion?

I dont think I know what im talking about, maybe I should read some of the stories that have been submitted and kinda get a basic layout.

Its not like I have any major responsibilities in my life at the moment, im just cursed with laziness and my love for bbv.

Like I said earlier any pointers on a good structure are welcome with open arms.

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