Be careful what you ask for!
We’re entering our second week of WRiTE CLUB and things are going like gangbusters! Participation has been through the roof, in both the voting and submissions. So much so that I'm expanding WRiTE CLUB to three bouts a week! That's right, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I will be posting new match ups. I'm doing this to try and limit the disappointment (there will still be some) of a writer not being chosen to battle, even though this has tripled my own workload. As before, the voting for each round will remain open for one week.
I also need to remind everyone that in order to vote for your favorite piece, you must be registered on the Linky List here. I've already had a couple disqualifications for non-registration which impacted the outcome of the first round, so please take the time to read the rules before you take part.
Now we have the added pleasure of announcing our first WRiTER who has earned a ticket to advance to the playoffs by the slimmest of margins. Please join me in congratulating Word Whittler as the winner of Round One. Ratz's piece will go back into the pool for possible selection in the later rounds, or he/she is free to submit a new sample for consideration. The second round winner will be announced on Friday.
In the first two rounds we’ve witnessed a clashing of styles, which always prompts some discussion about the fairness of having samples of different genre's in the same ring together. Broader still, maybe WRiTE CLUB is inherently biased towards YA WRiTER's since it seemed like the majority of the blogosphere (at least this hemisphere of it) is populated by those working in the YA genre. I do not accept either of those postulations, for many reasons, but the primary one being that I believe visitors to WRiTE CLUB...regardless of the genre they practice in...can recognize excellent writing! And it doesn't matter if that writing is YA, MG, Sci-Fi, Horror, Mystery, Fantasy, etc...etc. I'm confident that the WRiTER's that have chosen to submit their work (which I have the utmost admiration for) did so knowing that those 500 word snippets would stand on their own, without the benefit of plot or theme, and though there may be an element that suggests a specific genre (vampires are a dead giveaway), it is the way the scene is weaved that would be judged.
Cue the reminder! Submissions continue to remain open during the entire 12 weeks of preliminary rounds, just read the rules and sign up on the linky list here (even if all you’re going to do is vote), and come out swinging.
Let’s get to it.
Here are Round 3’s randomly selected WRiTER's.
Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 447 words, please welcome to the ring……..Aurelia
Cory heard her foot steps on the warped boards that creaked and moved beneath her feet. He sat at the end of the dock with his bare feet dangling in the the water.
“I can't believe you have your feet in that water.” He smelled her shampoo, lavender and chamomile,but didn't look up at her face.
“Why? What do you think will happen?”
“You know damn well what I think.” Matty didn't move to sit next to him. She just stood there, her shadow shading him from the setting sun. “Why did you want to comeback here?”
He swung his legs, the water swirled and pulled at his feet, the sound of splashing melodic in the summer air. “It's been ten years. Do you think it's still down there?”
“It's still down there. It always was and it always will be. Which is why I don't think it's a good idea to go flapping your feet around in it's domain.”
He laughed. They had spent their childhood summers on this here, swimming, wading, fishing, paddling a canoe from one end of the lake to the other. Never in their wildest dreams had they ever imagined that there was something in there that could cause them any harm.
“There's no danger. Remember, the last time the water had that weird color, with the silvery lights? Look, it's just water now.”
“For how much longer?”
He continued to swing his legs listening to the sound they made. How much longer? That was a good question. After what had happened with Jeff, he had tried to pretend it was just a regular drowning, that their little brother who he was supposed to be watching-and who was an excellent swimmer in any case-had just drowned. Except for his frantic splashing, his cries for help. His cries of fear and pain. He remembered swimming towards the 10 year old, grabbing his arm, seeing the tentacle wrapped around the boys waist. He pulled. Pulled so hard, tried to pry the tentacle off of his brother's waist, but it was no use.
He tried to explain to his parents and to the police what had happened. His sister, watching from the dock described a shadow in the water surrounding Jeff, but it was all written off as some sort of shared hysterical hallucination.
Matty became obsessed with the whole thing, spent years trying to convince everyone of what had happened,but Cory kept quiet. It was better that people didn't think he was crazy. That was until she told him of what she had discovered: every ten years, someone drowned in this lake under mysterious circumstances, often with outlandish stories from witnesses. Suddenly he wanted to know. To see what had taken his brother. His sister, after all the research and years of being looked at with concern, was suddenly reluctant when he called, but she came.
And in the other corner, weighing in at a mere 461 words, let me introduce to you ……..D.Rose
For the longest time, I feel like I’m suspended or floating in darkness. I’m awake,but I see nothing. No Asher, no Jackson, no Kat, no instructors, not even a simple plain wall. Just black. Chills travel up and down my spine. Then, I drift downward and into a spiraling turn. I’m dizzy, but I don’t know how because I can’t see anything to know which end is up.
Warmth spreads from my toes to my head and a steady thump beats in my chest. I cough.It’s deep and crackles like I’ve had bronchitis. Wait. It’s not from me. It’sfrom someone else--my new body.
Light enters. I guess my new body is opening her eyes. Everything is blurry. I try to focus, but I can’t. Something is spinning on the ceiling. A ceiling fan? She reaches over and grabs something. Glasses. Once they’re on, everything is clear.
The walls are a dull yellow with a green haze, almost like puke. The comforter is some cheap material. God, is it polyester? The pattern is dots and flowers.Ugh. Little pinches pull in my gut. Is it my gut or this person’s gut? Can they feel it too? What do they look like?
My new body turns and stretches, then rises. As she passes her dresser, I notice small wooden letters that spell--Evelyn. She trudges into a hallway. Pictures line the walls, but I can’t focus on one. They seem generic like they came with the frame. She knocks on a white door.
“Heydufus, I’m not done yet.” A guy’s voice yells from inside.
“C’mon.I have to pee.” Evelyn’s tone is soft and wimpy. Where did Asher put me? He said it was girl that I would like, and so far, I don’t.
The doorknob jingles and flies open. A tall, lanky sandy blonde guy steps out. His face is full of acne. Basically, huge craters populate his cheeks like the surface of the moon. Yuck. There’s a cream for that.
“Gottapee chubs. Huh?” He stands in the doorway and pokes Evelyn’s sides.
“I’mnot chubby,” she whimpers.
“Yesyou are.” His hand grabs the bottom of her upper arm. “Flimpsy and flabby. I’mnot even going to start about your hips.”
“Shutup. Let me in.” She tries to push him out of the way, but it’s like her arms are made of jelly. He barely flinches when she slaps him. She’s weak. Unlike me.
“Ralph,let her in and stop teasing.” A raspy woman’s voice hollers from down the hall.
“You’relucky mom’s home.” He pushes me, her, against the wall and goes down the hall.
What an idiot.
I’m not in the right body. Asher messed up or something’s screwed up. This is all wrong. I can’t live like this for three months. It’s like I’m in a cage,waiting for my owner to take care of me. I have to remember how to control her to get out of here.
Now it’s up to you. Which of these two sample resonated the most? In the comments below leave your vote for the winner of round 3, along with any sort of critique you would like to offer. 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!