WRiTE CLUB 2015 - Elimination Round #9



Over the past five weeks forty writers have stepped into the WRiTE CLUB ring and twenty emerged victorious. We whittled our ten winners down to five in the first the elimination round (named that way because it’s the first time winners face off against one another), now its time to send home five more. Our ten winners from phase two will again be shuffled and -- like the first bouts -- randomly matched to compete against one another with their same submission. A writer who emerges victorious from this round will earn a spot in the play-offs and will be asked to submit a new 500 sample to use in the next round. Let me remind you that our competitors are not only scuffling for notoriety…recognition…a $75 Amazon gift card…but also free admission to the 2016 DFW WritersConference, who helps sponsor this contest.  




This week there will be daily bouts (M-F) between the Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted under a pen name by the winners of our first 10 rounds.  The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction. Today is Elimination Bout #9.  Read each sample carefully and then leave a vote in the comment section for the one that resonates with you the most.  If you didn’t have a chance before, please leave with a brief critique of both submissions as well.

This week, voting for each bout will remain open only until noon (central time) on Sunday, June 28th. The winner of each will be posted at the WRiTECLUB scoreboard. 

Are you ready?


Here are today's randomly selected WRiTER's.

Standing in this corner please welcome back to the ring……..Blackdamp


Submission removed at writers request.

 
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And in the other corner, representing the Paranormal genre and weighing in at 499 words, please welcome back to the ring……..Eleanor McInnes




“Who’s next, boss?” Ross bounced in his seat.

“Damn, boy! We barely got the knife outta this one.” Raynard laughed.

“I’m just havin’ fun. It ain’t like they’re human or nothin’,” Ross looked at the rear-view mirror and watched the flickering car fire grow distant.

“No… they aren’t.”

Raynard fell silent. Ross turned on the radio and hummed as they drove.

Back at Raynard’s barn, Ross went through the rituals of dipping the blades in a mild acid bath, then scrubbing them. He was at the whet stone, sharpening for the next kill when he began to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Raynard smirked at his apprentice.

“All them legends about the garlic and the wooden stakes and shit- ain’t none of that real. Hell, we just slice and dice with machetes from Jackson’s Hardware.” Ross held the newly sharpened blade up in the light. “Ain’t nothin’ special.”

“It becomes special. It becomes the sword of God,” Raynard’s voice grew deep and reverent. Ross nodded.

A nothing kind of night in the Delta became special when there was a dance at Oak Grove High School. Ross sat in Raynard’s Jeep under the canopy of ancient oaks watching teenagers wander in and out of the gym.

“A lot of bait.” Ross shifted in his seat.

“It’s perfect for their kind. Some kids get drunk and drive off a bridge or something, prefect to feed.” Raynard lit a cigarette.

“They feed off the accident, or they cause it?” Ross’ brows pulled together.

“Both,” Raynard exhaled smoke.

Along the edge of the lot, a shadow moved.

“There,” hissed Raynard, stabbing out his cigarette. “The one that got away. I knew there were more in this clutch.”

“You was right,” Ross whispered. He had never seen anything like Raynard’s perceptive hunter’s eyes.

Raynard got the crossbow ready, instructing Ross to walk toward the dance through the shadows. As he stepped under the cover of trees, a girl approached him.

“You wanna dance out here?” she winked at Ross. He grinned and pivoted, grabbing her and shielding himself just as the bolt skewered her.

Her shrieks turned inhuman as she flailed with every bolt Raynard fired. She slumped down the length of Ross’ body and he let her fall. Someone else’s blood drained from her.

Ross smirked down at her until a polished machete burst through his shirt.

“What? Why?” Ross gasped.

“You thought you could use the crazy vampire hunter to eliminate your competition? You thought I was too stupid to see through your act?” Raynard made sure no one noticed them and began dragging Ross backwards to the Jeep by his throat. A second machete joined the first.

“Please, no… just let me go. I’ll… never come back…” Ross was losing the human blood he had fought to conceal from Raynard. A third blade pierced him and the precious blood splattered at his feet.

“Pleasssssseee…” Ross collapsed. “I beg you.”

“I don’t grant forgiveness. I am merely the sword of God.”

Raynard smiled.

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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.  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!



45 comments

  1. Eleanor McInnes

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  2. In the first round I had voted for the first piece, but not the second. However... Eleanor McInnes is getting my vote this time. Why? Because the first piece just didn't hook me. It's a lot of not-much-going-on. The second piece does need some minor work, but it captured my attention and made me want to know more.

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  3. Blackdamp for me. The prose is quite lovely and it's a story I would continue reading. Eleanor's piece unfortunately doesn't intrigue me, as I don't like vampire fiction.

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  4. Blackdamp this time around.

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  5. Eleanor McInnes this time

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  6. Eleanor McInnes

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  7. My vote is for Blackdamp. It's a bit difficult, though, compare such different genres: realistic fiction vs. paranormal.

    The about-face in Eleanor McInnes was not earned in this short space. There are big holes in the development. The change is forced, it seems, just to bring the situation to a head, instead of things turning around in a more natural way at a believable pace. These gaps made the story confusing in some places.

    Not that crazy about the opening lines of Blackdamp, but the characters and storyline were better developed and more interesting.

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  8. Eleanor McInnes. I want to read more. In the other, I didn't think the dialogue flows well.

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  9. Hmmmm….. Not a huge fan of either entry today. I think I'll go with Blackdamp though, just because I'd read more of this story.

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  10. Elinore mcinnes

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  11. Eleanor McInnes

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  12. Eleanor McInnes

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  13. They are both good. But my vote is going to Blackdamp.

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  14. I vote for Blackdamp. I just can't get into the other one.

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  15. Blackdamp — just because the characters in this short span already look worth knowing.

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  16. Hmmm, tough choice. I am going to vote for Blackdamp. It was intriguing and had good character and plot development.

    But, so does Eleanor's piece, and I voted for it last time. I really do like it a lot. I wrote enough of a crit last time, and so I guess the reason I'm going with Blackdamp over this is that it is more solid from beginning to end, overall.

    I hated to have to choose, though! Good luck to whichever one of you moves on and I am looking forward to reading something new!

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  17. I'm going with Blackdamp as I felt it told a more cohesive story.

    Elanor's story chopped and changed scene twice (maybe 3 times?) and I didn't find the transitions very smooth. I also got tripped up on the two R names!

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  18. What an odd pairing....

    My vote is easy to make....Blackdamp. I get a good sense of the characters, of a mystery, and the writing is top-notch. There is a layering that promises a rich story.

    For the Eleanor piece, the story and characters seem flat. If this piece beats out the better-written piece, I will be stunned. I recommend the author fix the spelling of 'perfect' in the second use of the word. And for this line.....began dragging Ross backwards to the Jeep by his throat....I recommend rearranging the sentence so that it doesn't read like the jeep is near his throat. I know what the author means, that the man was drug by his throat to the jeep, but that's not how it's written.

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  19. HI Don - Blackdamp for me ... cheers Hilary

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  20. Elanor because it is an intriguing piece and i want more to the story

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  21. Blackdamp is my favorite. Easy to follow and flowed nicely.

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  22. Eleanor McInnes for me. She gets my vote again based solely upon how interesting the story is. It may have its problems, but there have been several stories over the competition that I finished reading and then still didn't care about the characters. I want to know how Reynard knew Ross was a vamp and what he will do next. Blackdamp was nice, but I wasn't interested.

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  24. Eleanor McInnes gets my vote again this round

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  25. Eleanor McInnes- I didn't feel any sympathy toward the MC in the Blackdamp piece. I was more intrigued by the vampire story, which is very unusual for me.

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  26. Eleanor McInnes!

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  27. Blackdamp. "Making snow sausages of themselves"...loved that!

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. Eleanor McInnes gets my vote again this round.

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  30. Eleanor McInnes!

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  31. Eleanor McInnes!

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