WRiTE CLUB 2015 - Bout #12


WRiTE CLUB is a writing community sensation sponsored by the DFW Writers Conference that is loosely based on the popular movie Fight Club.  There are numerous versions of this concept floating around the internet, but nothing like we do it here.  This unique approach embodies simple, good-natured competition, with lots and lots of fun sprinkled on top. 

Today we continue with the second phase of the contest which involves ten more daily bouts (M-F) over the next two weeks between Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted under a pen name.   The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction. Today is Bout #12.  Read each sample carefully and then leave a vote in the comment section for the one that resonates with you the most.  Don’t forget to leave with a brief critique of both submissions as well.

Voting for each bout will remain open for one week. The winner of each will be posted HERE, at the WRiTE CLUB scoreboard.  Are you ready?

Here are todays randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in this corner, representing the Literary Mystery genre and weighing in at 493 words, please welcome to the ring……..Blackdamp


Submission removed at writers request.

 
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And in the other corner, representing the Sci-Fi genre with 444 words let me introduce to you……….Blue Unicorn




I make my living playing with genetic sequencing.

You wouldn't know it, looking at me. I'm overweight by at least a hundred pounds, balding, with short and pudgy fingers. I'm the type of guy you wouldn't want to sit next to on a plane. But I'm great at what I do.

Sadly, thanks to the UN you can't make sure your child doesn't have Downs Syndrome or anything like that (not that I don't know people who could make that happen). Humans + genetic modification = something about morality I just roll my eyes at. Genetic sequencers modify animals for farmers or show breeders.

Me, I'm the go-to person for show cats east of the Mississippi.

A typical first-time client will call me, make noises of understanding when I tell them I'll need either a bit of sperm and a female cat, or a few eggs from a different female, sperm, and the surrogate cat mom if you want to go that route, and then sputter when I say my price. They used to all balk at it, genetic engineering isn't cheap, and sometimes first-time clients still do. But word has gotten around. I choose the genes that make high class cats, show winners. I'm worth the price.

But sometimes, I get bored. I'm a creative soul in my fat heart and that means I'm itching to break a few rules.

Not on cats, mind you. That's rather obvious and would get out pretty quick and before you'd know it The Man would be pounding on my door, my business ruined, and me along with it as I drowned in fines and get sent to some secret under-a-lake jail. Instead, like most DNArtists as we call ourselves, I play with plants.

I have polka dotted tulips and lilies that smell like bacon. Rose bushes with no thorns, blooms of one kind on the stems of another with the leaves of yet a third. I have a mini maple tree that doesn't lose its leaves. They sit around my house, a credit to my talent with gene swapping and reading nucleotides. People typically don't notice them and I share my codes on the DNArtists forum while others share theirs. I'd love to have a bush that produces every berry, but my little yard with it's low fences wouldn't hide it and I don't trust my neighbors to to keep their mouths shut.

Like I said, most people don't notice them so I have them in random places around the house and my basement lab.

But that iris that kept changing color depending on the temperature like a mood ring might have been a bit much.
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Enjoying two talented writers at work is only part of the price of admission, now it’s up to you to decide who moves forward to the playoffs.  In the comments below leave your vote for the winner.  Which one tickled your fancy?  After you vote please tell all of your friends to stop by and make a selection as well.  Yes, it’s subjective, but so is the entire publishing world.  It’s as much about the readers as it is about the writers. 

This is WRiTE CLUB – the contest where the audience gets clobbered!

 

33 comments

  1. Blue Unicorn for me. That opening line was a real sharp hook.

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  2. The topic of BlueUnicorn's piece does it for me. It's unique and has room for moral complexity.

    I really liked Blackdamp's too, but the premise of a couple runaway kids has been done a few times and I couldn't quite see how it was different than other stories in that category. Writing was good though :)

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  3. Blackdamp gets my vote this time.

    I really did like the concept of BlueUnicorns, but there was too much telling instead of showing for me. If the writing itself was tightened so that the narrator wasn't just telling us things (he got bored, he was good at his job, he charged a lot of money, he was overweight), then I think it would have more of a punch. Blackdamp kept me guessing, but I still would have them rework their opening paragraph. I had to reread it a few times before understanding.

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  4. Blue Unicorn gets my vote. Although there was a lot of telling, the voice was interesting. And beside, you don't see very many overweight main characters.

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  5. Blackdamp's first and last paragraphs fell flat for me, but the in-between was rich and tightly written. Lucie and Antoine felt alive. Well done.

    Blue Unicorn has an unusual narrator and an intriguing concept, but nothing happened. Nothing. Way too much telling.

    My vote is for Blackdamp.

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  6. Although I enjoyed both pieces, I'm voting for Blackdamp today. The characters are fleshed out and truly seem real. Plus, as a Canadian, it's wonderful to read an excerpt with a Canadian setting; the market desperately needs more books that take place here!

    I thought the voice in Blue Unicorn's was engaging; it ultimately held my interest but I do agree that there was a lot of telling as opposed to showing.

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  7. Blackdamp gets my vote.

    Yes, Blue Unicorn's protagonist drew me in, but I felt like I got to the end of the selection and there was still no story in sight. With Blackdamp's it's clear to see there is a bigger story/intrigue on the horizon while I couldn't muster much enthusiasm for genetically modified plants.

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  8. Blue Unicorn. "I'm the go-to person for show cats east of the Mississippi." Love it.

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  9. I vote Black D - better writing, although I wasn't drawn to the characters. Maybe the boy a bit. I did look up what Chiac meant.

    Blue U - I must have an aversion to long sentences because that's all I noticed. Interesting subject matter, but again, too much telling. And lastly, it seemed to be told in the present tense but the last sentence 'that iris that kept changing color' didn't seem to fit.

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  10. I vote for BlackDamp today because I saw more of a story there whereas the other entry (though engaging) didn't feel like a story to me for some reason.

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  11. Both were interesting. A relative helping/hiding her nephew. The Dr. Moreau of plants and animals.

    I vote Black damp because of the clean writing. I didn't really like Lucie at this point - why wouldn't she hug the boy she'd raised for 7 years?

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  12. Honestly, neither of these stories really did it for me. I think I would have loved Blue Unicorn's if it was written more comical. After the cat comment, I thought to myself "This is gonna be hilarious". I was disappointed.

    I'm voting for Black Damp, because I did feel, though fleeting, pulled into the story.

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  13. Both great. Blackdamp has my vote.

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  14. Voting for Blackdamp.

    It felt more like a story, where as Blue Unicorn seemed more like a description of a hobby.
    Good writing in both, though.

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  15. I was intrigued but Blackdamp's story and liked the writing but polka-dotted tulips and lilies that smell like bacon are just too good not to vote for. I'm going with Blue Unicorn.

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  16. I was intrigued but Blackdamp's story and liked the writing but polka-dotted tulips and lilies that smell like bacon are just too good not to vote for. I'm going with Blue Unicorn.

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  17. Blue unicorn. I'm not one who dislikes narrative. Interesting premise

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  18. Blackdamp- Vivid. Drew me in.
    Blue Unicorn- Interesting. Had me curious.

    Both are good. But my vote goes to Blackdamp.

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  19. Blue Unicorn! Bit of humor, interesting premise. I like it!

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  20. Like many people here, I think Blue Unicorn is very interesting and likely a great story - but needed another 500 or so words added to that scene for me to feel like it is a story. It was very journalistic.

    Blackdamp was intriguing and also had a beginning/middle/end to that story, so my vote goes to Blackdamp

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  21. Blackdamp gets my vote. Both need tightening and revision; but Blackdamp seems to know how to keep a story moving with action and dialogue.

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  22. I'm a SF fan. I gotta go for Blue Unicorn.

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  23. My vote goes for Blackdamp. The writing is way better and the amount of layering in such a small piece holds great promise of a rich story.

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  24. Blue Unicorn. I want a lily that smells like bacon. Also, I like the voice of the main character, somewhere between rebellious and tender. His plant modding is his own middle finger to "The Man," but he also loves his creations, and that's apparent in the text. I also see lots of potential moral themes that could be explored in a longer piece. Would it be legal to submit a genetically modified animal in a show, I wonder? I guess if everyone's doing it, then it doesn't change the playing field, pitting a genetically modded cat against another genetically modded cat

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  25. I vote for Blue Unicorn. The unusual premise and the overweight protagonist drew me right in. Definitely not something I've seen before and I wanted to continue on.

    It was a very strong opening with Blackdamp. Well written with the promise of an intriguing story to follow. A very solid entry.

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  26. Wonderful images in Blue Unicorn. Very imaginative and creative. Needs to have more narrative, though.
    Blackdamp has vivid characters interacting more in a way that promises a developing story.

    Voting for Blackdamp.

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  27. Blue Unicorn's isn't really a story yet, but I like the character and want to know more. So Blue Unicorn it is!

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  28. Blue unicorn. Both had things to work on, but SF does it for me.

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