WRiTE CLUB 2012 – Round 30








Final two weeks…last seven preliminary bouts…anyone getting excited?

Ravenclaw won round 27 and has now been added to the list of all of the winners on the WRiTE CLUB 2012 results page.  As I mentioned previously, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the winners before we move into the play-off rounds, where the pace really picks up.

I've been hinting about the play-offs for weeks, it’s time we talk specifics about how we will transition from the regular bouts and how the play-offs will work.   Next week (Oct. 15-19) there will be four bouts instead of three, that’s so we can squeeze in that final fight to make it an even 36 winners. Those bouts will be on Mon, Tue, Wed and Fri, but the kicker is that ALL VOTING FOR THOSE BOUTS WILL END BY NOON ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 21st. Once I have the final list of 36 winners, the playoffs will proceed as follows:

Round 1 (Oct. 22 – Nov 2) - Original submission - 18 bouts spread across three separate blogs (MWF) for 2 weeks  = 18 winners

Round 2 (Nov 5-9) - Original submission (edited)  -  9 bouts spread across three separate blogs (MWF) = 9 winners + 1 wildcard winner*

Round 3 (Nov 12-16) - 2nd submission - 5 bouts  (M-F) = 5 winners + 1 wildcard*

Round 4 (Nov 19-23) - 2nd submission - 3 bouts  (MWF) = 3 winners + 1 wildcard*

Round 5 (Nov 26 – 30) - 2nd submission (edited) - 2 bouts (T TH) = 2 winners

FINAL  -  3rd submission - 2 contestants = CHAMPION  (this round will be judged by agents/editors/authors)

*Wildcard winners will be chosen from among the losing entries by selecting the one that received the most amount of votes.

Pairings will always be determined by a blind drawing.  As you see, becoming a WRiTE CLUB champion is more than seeing how far a particular piece of work will go.  The overall writers ability will be tested across multiple pieces and edits.

Fun times ahead!  Now let’s fill up those last seven slots!



Here are this rounds randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in the far corner, weighing in at 499 words, please welcome to the ring……..Honey Child.


A lone figure stands at the crypt’s entrance in a halo of moonlight. A sword dangles from a hand, and the glimmering coming off the metal trembles.

My heart claws up my throat.

“Why are you here?” His words are slow and raspy.

I can’t remember if I screamed. Not that it matters. No one will hear me out here in the middle of the night.

His boots thump against the stone floor with each approaching stride.

“I…I’ll leave. Just let me pass, okay.”

I jam my back into the wall, and the tip of his sword is pointing into my chest.

His hood conceals the man who’s at least a foot taller than me. “What’s your purpose here?”

“I’m lost.”

The sword’s bite eases. He guides the blade down the side of my dress before lifting the hem.“You’re a Mist in training. You shouldn’t have left the grounds.”

I push myself off the wall. “Maybe you shouldn’t go around scaring people. Is that how you get your kicks?”

“I did no such thing.”

“Really?” I tap his blade with the toe of my shoe. The fact that he hasn’t even shown his face infuriates me. Who does he think he is?

“You must be fresh blood, otherwise you’d know you’re prohibited from entering a seiomenn’s crypt.”

I don’t care for his open threat. “And I guess almost stabbing a girl is allowed?” Walking toward the entrance, I try my hardest to keep a normal pace and not show him my fear.

He sighs, and I can’t help myself.

“Why in the world do you care if someone comes to this place? It’s moldy, a health hazard, and crawling with spiders.” I turn around him, and he’s standing a few inches from me. Crap. I didn’t hear him move.

Moonlight strikes the side of his face, revealing a guy about my age. The hint of red in his eyes matches the leather vest beneath his cape. I’m having immense trouble tearing my gaze from his knee-length skirt, boots and broad chest.

An amuzed look crosses his face, and my cheeks heat. “Why are there only boys buried here? Were they sacrificed?”

He frowns. “You’re one of those girls.” He swings his blade over his shoulder and marches outside, his cape flapping in the wind.

Before I can rein in my emotions, I throw a pebble at him, hitting him square in the back.

“Did you just throw at rock at me?”

“Did you insult me?”

“You’re one crazy girl.”

“Look, I was kidnapped today. A troll almost killed me. And everyone else in the Hall is enjoying the company of their Mom. I’m confused, lost, and I’d sacrifice a leg to get my Mom back from the dead.”

Silence slips between us. He looks at me - not checking me out, but taking a long hard stare as if trying to work out if I’m real or making shit up. “You’re not the only one who’s lost a parent.”

******************************************************************


And in the other corner, weighing in at 483 words, let me introduce to you ……..Jade Kestrel.


I was in a strip club trying to help a ghost get laid, which was challenging, but not impossible. It was just extremely taxing on the necromancer extraordinaire (me) who had to channel energy into the ghost to make her corporeal enough to entice one of the stripper boys. Technically what I was doing was illegal, but it was my job to help ghosts settle their affairs so they could move on to eternally ever after, and Julia’s unfinished business was that she’d died a virgin. I’d made it as easy as I could for her by starting at a strip club; if she couldn’t get some here I wasn’t sure how much lower I could scrape the barrel.

Julia’s prolonged virginity was an enigma to me, even though she’d told me that she’d been waiting for her soul mate. I just didn’t understand why that meant she couldn’t hit up a bar, get drunk, and have a fun, regret filled weekend that included the walk of shame. At least she’d have been in better shape once soul mate came around.

 “What do you think about him?” I asked, pointing to one of the three oiled up men who were gyrating for the benefit of all the screaming women. He had blond hair and green eyes, and was well muscled but not overly so. Julia looked at him then quickly looked away. I took that as a sign of approval.

“I think this was a bad idea,” she stammered.

“This was a fantastic idea,” I said.“And it will work, don’t worry.”

“No, I mean, I don’t think I can do this. I waited my whole life for my soul mate and now you want me to just--,”she stole another quick look at the stripper, “I don’t think I can do this with some random…stripper man. It’s so indecent.” I rolled my eyes.

“Julia, you’re a ghost; you no longer have the option of being discerning. And if you don’t wrap up what’s keeping you around, you run the risk of turning into a monster. Then it’s an even bigger pain in the ass to get rid of you. So let’s call our efforts here at Bump and Moan choice A, and murderous monster choice B, which choice would you like to make?”

“A,” Julia said, but she didn’t sound happy about it. I grabbed a couple drinks off the tray of a passing waitress and set them down in front of Julia.

“Drink,” I said. “This will help.”

“I’m a ghost,” she said. “I thought I was unable to eat or drink.”

 “You can feel the effects of the alcohol since you’ll be working off my energy, so drink up. I’ve pegged you as a light weight so I think two drinks will be enough.”

“But how is this supposed to help?”she asked.

“Because its job is to help,” I said, smiling.

*************************************************************


New voters must sign up on the Linky List found by clicking on the badge below.  The voting will remain open until noon next Sunday.

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

41 comments

  1. I vote for Jade Kestrel. Love that first line!

    Honey Child's selection has some slips in verb tenses and a fantasy setting with modern-sounding dialogue. That threw me.

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  2. I vote for Jade Kestrel. The voice of the narrative paired with the voice of the characters in Honey Child's threw me.

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  3. I really like Honey Child's but I felt Jade's was just a tad stronger in the writing department so I'm voting for Jade Kestrel.

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  4. Jade's felt more adult and gets my vote.

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  5. DL, thanks for laying out the up-coming schedule so clearly! I'm really looking forward to it!

    Today's bout features yet another two supernatural tales, both with unnamed MCs, and it's interesting to me how much voice plays a part in these entries.

    Honey Child's submission has some intriguing elements, but I felt ungrounded through most of it -- the second line about the sword, "...and the glimmering coming off of the metal trembles" threw me (how does glimmering tremble?) and I never fully recovered. Also, the MC's emotions seem to shift all over the place -- from fear to indignation to anger to a pebble-throwing snit. This fantasy piece has some parts that could work well -- a dark figure challenges the MC at the opening to a crypt -- but it never quite comes together for me, and a big part is the voice. The MC ends up sounding like a modern teen ("He looks at me - not checking me out?"), and the imposing guard at the crypt shifts from a threatening figure to just "a guy about my age." Add in the cast-off bits about a kidnapping and almost being killed by a troll, and it just adds up to a jumble for me. I think there is a lot of potential here, but it needs some polish and focus.

    Jade Kestrel gives us a totally different spin on the supernatural. The voice is also modern, but here it works very well -- the setting is modern. With a dynamite opening line, this piece is quirky and amusing. I may not totally empathize with the MC's quest for tawdry spectral sex (I don't necessarily think virginity is a barrier to a soul being able to move on, lol), but the voice is certainly compelling, and I'd want to read on, even if it's just because I hope Julia can find her true soul mate instead of having to resort to an empty hookup to reach postmortem transcendence. The writing flows well, and while I might pick a nit or two (I don't know if I'd use the word "illegal" -- that implies mortal laws to me, and while there may be statutes on the books against improper use of a corpse, I doubt if there are any involving a ghost), this is an entertaining read.

    So my vote goes to Jade.

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  6. Loved that first line too! My vote is for Jade.

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  7. My vote is for Jade on this one. The first one felt a bit unfocused for me.

    Good luck!

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  8. Have to agree with the other comments. Jade Kestrel gets my vote, too.

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  9. Voting for Jade Kestrel, I liked the concept of the first one but the writing just didn't flow too well for me.

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  10. Jade hooked me with that first sentence, and never let go. I love the quirky humor in this piece, so that's where my vote goes.

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  11. I liked both of these (double paranormal/fantasy, how exciting!), but I've gotta go with Jade. The voice is fun and sassy. I would read more of both of them, though.

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  12. Jade for me also. I didn't get the last line though.

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  13. I'm not against the marriage of genres; YA and fantasy in this case. I think certain books do it seamlessly, for example the later Harry Potters (which are arguably YA-Urban Fantasy or YA-Paranormal but seriously... they have dragons, wizards, trolls, dwarves, etc.)
    The problem with Honey Ch. is that the voice is snooty American teen in an intended fantasy setting (from the text 'leather vest' I imagined a cuirass or chest plate... Not a Sons of Anarchy type of leather vest... I could be mistaken)
    The writing could indeed use some polishing (amuzed isn't a word) but that's not what threw me. The voice felt hugely anachronistic.

    The writing in Jade Kestrel was cleaner than the first. I'm not ecstatic about any piece that opens with a paragraph of explanation... Especially when all the explanation is reiterated over the course of the piece (or could be told in a more fluid manner).
    I wasn't thrilled about the combo-cliche "how much lower I could scrape the barrel"
    I'm forced to assume the protagonist is female. Otherwise (and I don't condone necrophilia) why not just do the job yourself??

    Bottom line; My vote goes to Jade Kestrel

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  14. Despite fairly heavy exposition at the start, Jade's was the stronger writing when speaking purely to craft. But I have to be allowed to add, 'Julia, honey? RUN.'

    (Or glide like hell or whatever it is ghosts do to get away from satanic henchmen.)

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  15. My vote today is for Jade--nice intro to a snarky sort of fantasy world, a jaded protag, a virgin ghost who needs to get some before crossing over... Yep, I'd read on. Great voice, too. Honey's was good in intention, too, but it needs work in order to sharpen the focus. I think someone else mentioned that, so forgive me if I'm doubling up, but I felt the protag shifted emotions too quickly, too unjustifiably. She starts out terrified, but once the stranger is up close, she turns snooty and irreverent, even throws a pebble at him. I think streamlining her emotions so the reader can follow with the changes is key to maintaining reader involvement. Still, the concept is a good one (for the genre), and with a bit of work it might turn out a masterpiece.

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  16. Neither of these pieces are in a genre I would normally read but I am voting for Honey Child

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  17. My vote goes to Jade. Drew me in completely.

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  18. I vote for Jade K. and I truly hope this is just a tiny piece of a book, because I want to read the rest. Please! Great job.

    I wanted to be interested in the first one, but it just wasn't as good as the second. Sorry.

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  19. Loved the voice in #2 - it gets my vote!

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  20. My vote is for Jade - I really got into the story past the first two paragraphs of infodump. Weave those into the first chapter and you're golden.

    I love the pen name Honey Child - that's a term of endearment where I grew up.

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  21. I'm voting for Jade. The voice of the main character is just to undeniable and the premise gathered from this piece is something that makes me want to read so much more.

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  22. My vote is for Jade. I loved the voice, the premise and the writing. I want to read more.

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  23. My vote goes to Jade. Entertaining, fun and great voice!

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  24. I've always loved reading your blogs. Which is why when I was asked to award 7 Beautiful Blogger Awards, I included your blog.

    http://brownbugz.blogspot.com/2012/10/beautiful-blogger-award-part-deux.html” A Ladybug's Life

    Sonnia

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  25. Tricky one for me this I'm going Honey Child. Good luck guys.

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  26. Jade got my vote today. That fist line grabbed me and I can see the story leading in some interesting directions.

    Honey's piece was a little distant. For example: A lone figure stands at the crypt’s entrance in a halo of moonlight. A sword dangles from a hand, and the glimmering coming off the metal trembles. I don't feel fear or any emotion really. There is no tension in these words, although there could be with a little tweaking. "A sword dangles from a hand" does nothing to make the threat of the sword real.

    Compare that to this part, which was good, the reader felt the action happening: The sword’s bite eases. He guides the blade down the side of my dress before lifting the hem.“You’re a Mist in training. You shouldn’t have left the grounds.”

    With a little work, this has potential. Keep writing!

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  27. I'm voting for Jade on this one. I really like where Honey Child is going with his/her entry, and the story line sounds very interesting, but Jade's piece was better developed.

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  28. I have to vote for Jade Kestrel. Well done.

    And DL: I must say you've put a tremendous amount of work into organizing this all so well. Thanks for the specifics about the play-offs.

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  29. My vote is for Jade Kestrel for a very well developed story in such a small amount of space. It was well written, interesting and had just the right touch of humor. While Honey Child's piece has potential, it lost my vote with confusing descriptions right from the get-go: "A sword dangles from a hand, and the glimmering coming off the metal trembles." How does a "glimmering" tremble, exactly? And the line, "My heart claws up my throat" just didn't sit well with me. Maybe "My quickened pulse caught in my throat" or something along those lines would have reflected the emotion more clearly. With a little more polish, this story could be a lot better.

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  30. Jade, definitely. I've only read the first sentence of that one so far. But oh, how fun and intriguing!

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  31. Okay, now I've read it all. I want to know what happens next!

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  32. Honey child's piece suffers from an overuse of telling. It could also benefit from a quick proofread. What does "I turn around him" mean? The tense shifts from present to past and back at least twice. "Amuzed" should be "amused."

    While I found Jade's MC unsympathetic (I agree with Julia's "indecent" comment), the writing in the piece is solid, and I didn't even find a typo, which usually means there aren't any.

    Therefore, it's an easy choice: Jade Kestrel gets my vote.

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  33. Jade. Grabbed me at the first line.

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  34. My vote is for Jade Kestrel. Perhaps I disagree with the premise that a virgin would be tied to this earth until she'd done the deed...but I also find the situation hilarious. Plus the writing was nice & smooth.

    Honey Child's piece is also intriguing and I enjoyed the sassyness of the MC, but I was a little thrown by the terror at the beginning so suddenly changing to bravado, and also by the scope of her gaze - if the guy was a few inches from her, it would be difficult for a locked gaze to take in his boots all the way to his chest. Nothing another round of editing couldn't fix.

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  35. Jade had me at the first sentence. That's a great hook and the rest of it justified it.

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