WRiTE CLUB – Round 5


WRiTE CLUB took a serious dip last week, only generating 20 votes for what was debatably the toughest competition yet.  Let's just hope it was a momentary lull.  Anyway, round five is here and we have another pair of outstanding writing samples.  On a side note, today is a double-nickel birthday for me.  It would be the coolest birthday present if everybody left a vote for this week's WRiTE CLUB and broke the rules to tell all of your friends to come and vote as well.  :)

We had one new submission last week, so according to Rule #8 that WRiTER must be one of the contestants.  And this week is the first time the random number generator selected a previous WRiTER for a second go around.  So, without further ado....



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

Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 225 words, please welcome to the ring……..

PANAMA RED

From the day my grand-daddy homesteaded this little valley, people have thought it was cursed. The Williams, and now the Bakers, seem to have such incredible bad luck. There was a time when I myself would have thought that a curse. Today, after so much time and so much watching of folks, I see clearly it ain’t no curse. It ain’t even bad luck. More like poor judgment and bad choices.

Take Miss Sandra Baker. She and that ranch kid were certainly about to make a bad choice out there in the barn. Not to say it ain’t one I would have made myself. Especially with her being so willin’. In my time, if I had met a girl like Sandra Baker and she was that willin’, we would have been married by her fifteenth birthday. By now, she would have had a baby on her hip or one in her belly for sure. I would have been a little smarter than to be foolin’ with her in her daddy’s barn, though. It’s a good way to get shot. What do I know about women like Sandra Baker? I only got nineteen years with never an opportunity to be smart or foolish around women. Everything I know comes from watchin’.
Getting shot is something I know about. I still can’t figure out exactly what happened.

And in the other corner, weighing in with a brand new 241 word sample, let me re-introduce to you ……..

TRIXIE LaRUE

“Is everything okay?” Becca’s muffled voice traveled through the wall.

I didn’t answer; breathing already hurt too much.  And with each shallow breath that moved my chest too much, making my shoulder flame with pain all over again, the metallic scent of blood overwhelmed my nostrils.

Nick’s body was slouched against the wall just a few yards to my left.  His chin rested against his bloody and oozing chest.  I forgot the pain in my arm as I ran over to him and kneeled on the ground.  The ground was soaked with his warm, sticky blood.  I flicked away a hunk of flesh and gagged.

I wiped the blood away from his neck and checked his pulse.  It was there, but it was weak.  I put my hand below his nose and felt a faint trickling of breath.

“Bas?”  Lizzy’s frantic call came through the wall this time.  “Is everything all right?  What’s going on?”

I took a deep breath and winced.  “He’s alive.  Barely.  Get help.”

I looked over his body to make sure I wouldn’t cause serious damage if I moved him.  Most of the blood coated his neck, chest, and arms.  Carefully taking one of his arms in my hand, I checked the bones to make sure nothing was broken.  As I got to his hands, I saw something that made me almost throw up.  Huge chunks of skin dangled from his nails. 

He did this to himself.

Nope, it doesn't get any easier!  Leave your vote for the winner of round 5, 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!  Want to take part in the word battles, throw your pen name into the hat 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.

PS. PS. I've created a nifty poll on my side-bar in an effort to better gauge who my audience might be.  Please take a brief moment to make a selection.   

37 comments

  1. Ooh, this is a tough one. I LOVE the voice in the first segment--very real. But the second segment hooked me with the ending. I think I'll go with TRIXIE LaRUE.

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  2. Both are compelling for different reasons. I vote for Panama Red because the voice is so strong - I can hear the twang as I read it.

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  3. I like both, but I preferred the voice in the second and it sounds more like my kind of story.

    I tried voting for my genre but I don't think it worked. I write YA but when I voted, YA still showed up as zero.

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  4. Tough choice for sure - but I love the voice in Panama Red and want to read more.

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  5. Not sure what's happening in the second one, so the first one gets my vote.

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  6. And I had to vote other in your poll because you don't have one for non-fiction.

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  7. This is a tough decision. I liked both, but I'm going with the first one. I really liked the voice in that one.

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  8. My vote is for number one, Panama Red. This one was close for me, I would have gone with the second one, except it kinda grossed me out ... Also, it didn't make sense that the character was too out of breath to answer at first only to run in the next part ... So ... #1!

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  9. Once again, two great entries. My vote is for Panama. The character's voice is strong and compelling.

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  10. Difficult choice, for sure. I love the voice in the first piece, but the second one brought me into the scene immediately, so it gets my vote.

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  11. Both good, love the voice in the first one, I relate to it well, like the detail in the second one, but a cowgirl at heart leaves me voting for Panama Red

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  12. wow. It does NOT get any easier! These are both VERY strong contenders. Awesome. I'm super interested to find out what happened in Trixie's piece. He did it to himself??? And gag! Great work with the descriptive writing.

    But for whatever reason, I do confess I was pulled in by the voice of PANAMA RED right away. How did he get shot? Why are these families so unlucky? What's the curse? So I vote for #1.

    But I would read BOTH of these books. Kudos to both writers and best of luck to them~ <3

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  13. They are both good entries. I'm casting my vote on Trixie LaRue!

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  14. Here's a vote for Panama Red. Happy birthday DL.

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  15. omg, these are both so excellent! I feel really bad that i have to choose because i would definitely keep reading on both of them.
    But, i'm going to go with Panama Red this week

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  16. Definitely Panama Red for me. The characterization was done so well using just the narrator's voice in a few words - really nice job.

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  17. (Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DON!) :)

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  18. They say it's your Birthday! Well Happy birthday to you. Hope it's a great one, did someone say 'double nickel'? Naw,I can't believe it. 55,say it isn't so. Oh well,you're probably just getting better.

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  19. I was a bit more drawn to # 2. Both very worthy opponents tho. Great voice in #1.

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  20. Happy Birthday!! Enjoy! :)

    This is (another) tough one! I liked both - but I'll throw my vote to Panama. The voice made me smile :)

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  21. Trixie LaRue made me react quite a bit. But Panama Red clutched me with that last line. The good Southern boy who t'ain't done no wrong go himself shot...but how?

    Okay, so as HARD as it is, I will go with Panama Red.

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  22. Panama Red has an intriguing concept; that of a cursed valley. I'm a bit confused by whether the story is present or past tense, although I would read a bit futher to find out . .

    Trixie has an action scene, of sorts. I like the sense of still lurking danger; although the scene is crowded with too many people and a disconnected event.

    Still; I'm more interested in Trixie's prospective story progress, so I vote Trixie.

    .......dhole

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  23. This is tough! Even though I loved, loved, loved the last line in the second entry, that voice in the first entry totally grabbed me. My vote's for Panama Red.

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  24. Happy Birthday!

    I vote for Panama Red - very strong voice.

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  25. Eeek! Another toughy! I'm going to go with the first one though because I LOVED the voice on it. I felt like I was sitting on a front porch with the narrator, shuckin' corn in the hot sunshine.

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  26. OMG, Trixie LaRue wrote something I'd read even if more pressing things needed to be done. Both excerpts were engaging, but Trixie has my vote this week!

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  27. The first one has my vote! BUT, I enjoyed reading both!

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  28. No non-fiction or memoir to vote for? I voted other...

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  29. Hey there! I'm voting for Trixie LaRue this week - and not just because that name's so darn cute. I was impressed with the powerful image conveyed in so few words.

    Panama Red's is also very nice, even though I don't generally cotton to that style o' story tellin'.

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  30. D'oh, I forgot to say Happy Belated Birthday!!

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  31. I'm going with Trixi, the second one.

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  32. I came back looking for that Peter Pan comment. I guess it was an email. Not as 'geeked out' as I thought.

    I got so excited about your birthday. I was hoping for cake. I love birthday cake. Anyway,I never voted.
    Make mine 'Panama Red'.

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  33. Trixie LaRue. But you need to cut the repetition. No need for “too much” to occur twice in the second paragraph. And “It was there, but it was weak” can reduce to “It was weak” or even “Weak” in italics, for the character to be thinking it to herself. I’ll let you spot the third repetition on your own.

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