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……..
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 ……..
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!