WRiTE CLUB – Round 4


A quarter of the way through the preliminary rounds and WRiTE CLUB is just now picking up steam.  We had a strong showing last week despite the Thanksgiving holiday and NaNo activity peaking.  As we move into December my wife (who have read all the submissions) tells me the best is yet to come, and I'm eager to agree with her.  

In the previous rounds a good litmus test for deciding victory is whether or not a writing sample leaves the reader wanting more.  If nothing else, this should illustrate how we must each strive to adhere to this guiding principle in every phase of our work.  We've seen some awesome 250 word snippets, but what about the next 250 words...and the 250 after that?  We as writers cannot afford to coast, or compose filler that is supposed to simply serve as a bridge to the next major plot point, character interaction, or dramatic encounter.  Our standards must be set higher than that and the luxury of complacency a foreign concept.  A tough task indeed, but one we all embrace willingly.

There were no new submissions last week, so both our WRiTER's will come from the existing pool.  So, without further ado....



Here are this week's randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 239 words, please welcome to the ring……..

PENCIL PUSHER

She wasn’t allowed a name.

She stole one anyway.

She hoarded it in her mind, stowed it away to savour when she hid under the laboratory. Alone. Against the rules. Away from the eyes and the needles and the mindless others.

The thick walls stopped their minds from finding her. Kept her secret. Hid her name.

She heard the bright one say it. Her face changed. Her eyes widened, her mouth turned up. Her shoulders lifted and sat tall on her body. The bright one’s voice changed too. The words chased each other up and down instead of slumping along one after the next.

She’d never seen the bright one like that before. She’d never seen anyone like that before. She wanted that. So, she stole it.

The eyes of the others widened when the bright one said it, but she’d seen that look before. Fear. They looked around quickly, told the bright one to shut up. She hadn’t. Instead, she moved her feet quickly, moved them not in a straight line. Moved them back and forth and to the side.

The one with the broom hit the bright one. She stopped moving her feet and stopped looking different. When the broomed one moved away, the bright one whispered the word again.

She wanted that. Wanted to feel that.

So she’d stolen the word, made it her name.

Made it her.

She was Freedom.

And she needed a plan.

And in the other corner, weighing in at 246 words, let me introduce to you ……..

CASEY BROOKS

When a princess misbehaves, most kings and queens send them to their chambers. Not mine. No, my parents send me to the dungeons. And I don’t get to sit there and “think about what I’ve done.” I have to clean. It probably says something about my temperament that we have the cleanest dungeons in all of Farfel. Even now, as I sat on my royal *ahem* and polished the bars outside the second-largest cell for VIPs only (Very Important Prisoners), I was hard-pressed to find even one speck of dust. Of course, that might be because I’ve been on dungeon duty every day this week. (Let me just say – cleaning out chamber pots? Not. Fun.)

Sunday I was punished for putting a snake in Prince Alec’s salad. I know, I know. Not that original, but he yelled louder than a banshee from the Mountains of Mystery.

On Monday, I ever-so-innocently suggested that the prince resembled a blue pincushion – what with his puffy sleeves and all – and my parents sent me down here again. (Though, I noticed they didn’t disagree with my assessment of his outfit).

Tuesday morning I pushed the prince into the fountain during our supposed-to-be-romantic walk. My parents didn’t believe me when I said I was protecting the prince from a very deadly looking wasp who seemed quite taken with his cologne.

Really, I was surprised they still wanted to go forward with the whole marriage arrangement.

Maybe the fountain thing was too subtle.

Another tough choice for you.  Leave your vote for the winner of round 4, along with any sort of critique you would like to offer, in the comments below.  Please remind your friends to make a selection as well.  The voting will remain open until noon Sunday.  

Remember, here in WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!

The results will be posted Sunday night, just ahead of ROUND 5 which will happen next Monday.   You can throw your pen name into the hate anytime during the first twelve rounds by submitting your own 250 word sample.  Check out the rules by clicking on the badge below…then come out swinging!

 Where words are the true knockout!

PS.  The Deja Vu Blogfest scheduled for December 16th is going to be EPIC!  If you haven't signed up yet, do so right now.

25 comments

  1. Yeah. Tough choice, but I'm going with Pencil Pusher. The second line got me. Nice job to both writers!!

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  2. Wow, super hard this week for me to make a choice. I thought the intensity in tone and suspense was excellent in the first excerpt. However, the timeline confused me a little. The opening moments are what's happening now, but the rest describes what led up to "now," and I had to reread a few lines to be sure I was understanding it right. (In going over it again, I wonder if this line, and others after it, should have been in past perfect tense to avoid confusion: She (had) heard the bright one say it.)

    With regard to the second excerpt, I thought the voice was awesome, introducing a spunky, independent young woman with a great sense of humor who I was already rooting for. I wanted to read on.

    So, I'm placing my vote with Casey Brooks. Both authors rocked it, though!

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  3. I was enjoying the first one, but then it kind of dragged on. Not great for my ADHD mind.

    I loved the voice in the second one. I would definitely keep reading #2.

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  4. This is the hardest one yet. On the one hand I'm a sucker (SUCKER) for all things fairy tale-ish. And I love the voice of the princess. But then the first one has so many unanswered questions, I want to read on. My only nitpick is that there were almost too many unanswered questions for a short snippet. It get's my vote -- but it was a TOUGH choice.

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  5. I liked the first one, but it kinda dragged on for me. Plus, that's probably not the kind of story I'd want to read more of. Just not my favorite genre. If it had moved along faster, perhaps I'd want to read more.

    The second one sounds fun though! I love the voice, she tells her story neatly and efficiently and makes me want to know more about the world in which she lives and this arranged marriage. :) I go with #2.

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  6. OMG! These are BOTH so good--but so different. How am I ever going to choose this time? It depends on what mood I'm in...

    First, I LOVE the way both of them end: "Maybe the fountain thing was too subtle." (*snort*)

    and "She was Freedom. And she needed a plan." (ooo--intrigue!)

    I can't choose. I'm seriously flipping a coin right now. And the winner is... CASEY BROOKS!

    But I would want to read more of both of these. Best to both writers~

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  7. I loved the voice in Casey's piece, so I'm going with the punished princess story!

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  8. this one was extra tough, because they're both different and both had great voices. However i felt the first obe dragged on just a bit too long for my taste. So i'm going with

    Casey Brooks

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  9. Loved the voice in the second one. It's Casey Brooks for me.

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  10. I was a little too confused in the first piece (which is a hard thing to judge by since we're only allowed a small snippet). Still, the second one is totally my kind of genre, so it's Casey Brooks for me!

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  11. I had read these earlier this morning and had to think about them before I could vote. In the end, the humor got me, so Casey Brooks gets my vote. I love that last line! I want to read more.

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  12. The humor in the second one did it for me! Going with Casey Brooks for this round.

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  13. I LOVE Casey Brooks' entry. Fun twists on fairy tales are right up my alley, and the voice was light and engaging. Definitely #2 for me!

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  14. Although the first one really got me curious about the main character, the second one sucked me in right away.

    Good job to both writers.

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  15. There was something haunting and poetic about the first one that drew me in but didn't quite sustain me.

    The second one drew me in and the main character's voice kept me wanting more.

    So I vote Casey Brooks

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  16. This is the toughest round yet! Both so different: the first one is dark, mysterious, but with a hint of hope in the end, but I love the feisty voice in the second.

    So after much tough deliberation, I vote for Casey Brooks.

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  17. My vote for Casey Brooks #2.Always the smart ass I can relate.

    Also thought the first was good but went on a little too long.

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  18. Both good submissions, as always. But Pencil Pusher gets my vote. I want to know more!

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  19. This was a really great match! And tough! I LOVED the first one for style and word choice.
    The second one has an awesome voice. I'd keep reading both for sure.
    BUT as I can only pick one, I vote for #1 because I read it first and it just grabbed me.
    Excellent job, contenders!

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  20. I'm loving the originality of submissions! Both do a great job of making me want to read more. I thought the second was a lot of fun and gives a great set up, buuut I think I'll vote for #1 - the poetic style and mysterious qualities drew me in, and the "Freedom" at the end was delightfully unexpected.

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  21. The first one definitely intrigued me but I have to go with Casey Brooks. I wanted to keep reading...

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  22. Great submissions! I have to go with #1, though. That voice is so unique. I love the choppiness of the short sentences. Well done!

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  23. Wow, do these keep getting harder, or is it just me? They were both great, but love the voice in the 2nd one. My votes for Casey.

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  24. I'd like to vote for both :(

    Well, the second one I guess. I like her punishments; and the hint of worldbuilding. The MC is nicely developed, and I'm getting a sense of the others too. The King and Queen deserve a shout out for unique Princess discipline :)

    .......dhole

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  25. Am I late? I loved them both but Casey Brooks won my heart!

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