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WRiTE CLUB 2013 Play-offs Round Two - Bout #2

Continuing on with the second round of the WRiTE CLUB play-offs, our ten contestants will be battling it out with a brand new writing sample.  The bouts will be posted on Mon - Tue - Wed - Thur - Sat, but the voting will remain open for all bouts until Sunday at noon.  Today we have Bout #2 for you.

Once again...every vote counts. The contestant who doesn't win their bout...but garners the most votes amongst all of the other losers...will become a wildcard winner and advance to round 3.  

Whether you've been following along from the beginning or this is your first time's just a matter of choosing the one you feel deserves to move forward. Please offer some critique if you have time.  Anyone reading this can vote (after signing up on this LinkyList) so blog/tweet/facebook/text/smoke signal everyone you know and get them to take part in the fun. 

And now...stepping into the ring with a brand new story to is Imalie Teller.

The thought of people roaming the park made Patel gun his squad car. No telling what that nut Bouvier would do if someone took him by surprise. Patel hoped that he’d find Bouvier at the lake, sane, or at least calm, and in his girlfriend’s arms. What he saw in his headlights was a park patrol SUV and a pile of bodies, none of them human except Officer Bert Thomas.

The Official Apocalypse Diary of Monster Hunter, Andre Bouvier

Monday, August 1, 2016


Well, Dinah sure as SHIT believes me that there are monsters in the park, now!

The lake monster is dead. Slain by me with a crossbow bolt to the fricking mouth. Went down like a whale and somehow shat a wave of things. I think they were gargoyles, but of course Dinah wants to argue about what to call them. She says they are some new species, but I know a damned gargoyle when I see one, and I saw a shitload of them.

I wish I could report that I killed the entire shitload, but I did not. I estimate that I terminated 66-78% of the gargoyles before the rest escaped into the park. The only human causality of The Battle Of Central Park Lake was a park cop who saved Dinah’s life. He seemed like a helluva nice guy. Rest in peace, Park Cop.

Dinah and I are currently hiding out in the American Museum of Natural History. Damned creepy place. Damned creepy. When we came in last night, I shot a crossbow bolt into the skull of this big dinosaur skeleton in the lobby. I was a little jumpy. They can sue me. Frankly, I don’t give a shit.

I’m not totally sure why we are here, but Dinah is freaked. Seems to think we’ll be charged with the murder of the park cop, or something. She is being totally irrational. Hope she isn’t going nuts on me. After she wakes up, I’m going to suggest we talk to the cops, get it all over with. I am confident that cooler heads will prevail, the light of day will reveal me as the hero I am, and we can go home and stop hiding out. The food in the vending machines here is stale.

Alive and Kicking,


Andre rose from the toilet. Writing in the bathroom seemed kind of nasty to him, and he hadn’t enjoyed doing it. Andre didn’t even read in the bathroom. Some people left magazines in johns for people to read. Had special magazine racks for them. You wouldn’t catch Andre dead reading a magazine he found in a john. Andre didn’t trust people to crap, put their magazines back, and then wipe. What if they crapped, wiped, and THEN put back their magazines? It was a recipe for bacterial disaster. Andre never touched anything in bathrooms. Of course he touched toilet paper. And soap. Monsters were one thing. E. coli poisoning was another thing entirely.

And with their own brand new piece of writing, welcome back to the ring....Jamie Stuart.

Evie had died too many times to count--the first time when she was sixteen--and she had thought for sure this time an angel had come to take her away. He was certainly heavenly enough, practically glowing from the moonlight. Instead, he was just another ghost. Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing was soon to be decided.

“I know you can talk, so don’t think you can get away with the silent treatment.”

He stared into her eyes. “How can you see me? Make me solid?”

She shrugged. “Been trying to figure that one out for eight years now. It only happens when I’m alone. With a ghost, that is. Now that you know my secret, you’re not going to hurt me, are you?” Because then she would have to move again, and wouldn’t her brothers have a field day with that.

He shook his head. “I could never hurt you.”

Somehow she believed him. Some ghosts weren’t so friendly, some downright crazy, but those traits usually came out as soon as they realized what she could do. This one seemed more scared than anything. She smiled and relaxed. “Glad to hear it. My name’s Evelyn. What’s yours?”

“It’s not Evie?”

How did he…oh, her brothers. “That’s my nickname. And yours…?” He looked down as if debating. “You know, there are ways for me to find out. I’m sure if I did some research, I’d find--”

His head shot up. “Don’t. It’s Adam.”

That was interesting. What was he afraid she’d find? “Who killed you, Adam?”

“What makes you think I was killed?”

“Because ghosts don’t linger unless they have unfinished business. And that unfinished business usually takes the form of finding their killer. Or maybe you need to tell someone you love them?”

He shook his head.

“So you were killed.”

“Why is it so important to you?”

“I just want to help. Figure there’s a reason I have this ability.”

“Well, maybe I don’t want your help.”

“Why wouldn’t you want my help? Don’t you want to move on?”

“That’s not it.”

“Then what is it? You think someone will come after me?”

He floated back and forth across the room, as if pacing, but kept his mouth shut.

She pointed at his faded Rolling Stones t-shirt. “I know you died wearing that shirt, so it had to have happened after that concert. I also know it happened around here, because you’re stuck in a quarter-mile radius of your death.”

His eyes widened as the pacing stopped. “How do you know all that?”

“You’re not my first ghost.” She sat on the bed, hoping that would relax him. “Please tell me what happened so I don’t have to look it up. I can help.”

“No! You can’t help.” With that, he disappeared through the wall. “Oh, Adam. That’s where you’re so wrong,” she muttered. Guess she’d have to find out on her own, then.

Leave your vote and we'll see you back here tomorrow for the next match-up!

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


  1. Jamie Stuart gets my vote today. Alone seemed a bit disjointed.

  2. Neither of these struck me as very original, unfortunately. But Jamie Stuart's writing was clear and to the point, and the dialogue was believable, whereas Alone's hit me right in the cliche-detector. So Jamie today.

  3. I really liked the subtle understated piece that Alone had in the earlier rounds -- the warm touches between the boy and the dead mother made a great contrast to the "spooky" elements of a ghost story. But I'm afraid that Alone's new entry does not quite connect with me in the same way. Here we have a jumble of a supernatural tale, with an erratic shift from an initial PoV of Patel to a diary entry, to Andre in the toilet. The diary entry is too harsh in tone, and apparently serves no real purpose than as a means to fill in backstory -- it seems very much out of character for the narrator to decide to write a journal entry in his situation, especially since he himself says he didn't enjoy doing it. And the initial tidbit about Patel and Bert (the dead Park Cop, maybe?) is more distracting than anything because the reader has no opportunity to connect with that character or scene before getting whisked away to a diary update and a museum toilet. I have no real idea of what's happening -- some lake monster evidently shat gargoyles and now Andre is in the toilet updating his diary and ruminating about people wiping and dirty hands. There certainly seems to be an excremental theme here if nothing else, but I'd really much rather have a direct telling of the events that have occurred than to get them via a diary entry after the fact and then to shoot off on a tangent about dirty hands...

    Jaime Stuart gives us more of their earlier ghost story between Adam and Evie, now with the focus on the PoV of Evie with her fully awake. The scene develops reasonable smoothly, and the dialog serves the story, although it's a little stilted and I'm not sure why the ghost is reluctant to tell his story. The "person who sees the dead" trope is a familiar one, but I do like the matter-of-fact way it's handled in this entry. Overall, this piece does a decent job of moving the story forward and establishing the characters involved.

    So between the two, I have to vote for Jaime today.

    1. The top entry was earlier listed as belonging to "Alone" and now it says "Imalie Teller". That changes what I wrote above about Alone's earlier piece with the boy in the car speaking with his dead mother. Imalie Teller's earlier submission was the one with Rascal and Maize and the dead girl in the carnival wagon.

      However the sentiments of disappointment remain the same -- Imalie Teller's first piece was very well-written and tightly constructed, while their new entry is a disjointed jumble literally filled with crap -- from a shitload of paranormal gargoyle-turd-beasts to a MC contemplating fecal matter while sitting in a toilet stall.

      So my vote for Jaime Stuart still remains.

    2. Ahh man. I liked Rascal and Maize.

      Way to pinpoint the scatological theme, by the way. I found that funny as well.

  4. Jamie Stuart also gets my vote. I didn't like the scene shifts in Alone.

  5. Alone for me!
    It did seem a bit disjointed (I don't know that we needed the first little bit from Patel's POV for this contest) but it won me back with the humor. The repetition of "shitload" really did it for me

  6. My vote goes to Jamie Stuart. The dialogue was well done and engaging and my only complaint with this entry is the last line. It felt like it was "tacked on." As the reader of this snippet, I know the MC is going to find out about her visitor. The writer SHOWED me that already. (The only thing worse than being told is being shown and THEN being told.)

    Alone's entry was too all-over-the-place. What happened to Patel ... where did he go? Why did we go from what could have been a fabulous crime scene to the musings and POV of Andre? Isn't the American Museum of Natural History a big enough place to find somewhere other than the bathroom as a place to write? Did the word "shit" appear four times as a partial foreshadowing? Why use "crapped" when "shit" appeared to be a theme of sorts? The entire sample felt like it's main goal was to get Andre into that restroom so he could deliver the monsters vs. e.coli line at the end. There's some good writing here, I was just really confused and the only person I wanted to know more about was Patel.

    1. Oops ... was there a mistake regarding the submission? It started out this a.m. as "Alone" for entry #1 and now it's "Imalie Teller"?

    2. It's not foreshadowing. It's fourshitowing.

    3. Ha Ha, Mr. List! I couldn't give four of 'em and now I OWE 'em? What strange currency!

  7. Imalie I couldn't quite grasp. The voice and language a tad confusing and I want sure if the direction.

    Jamie's had areas with holes on what is going on. But it was the easier read.

    Vote Jamie

  8. Imalie Teller for me. Loved the voice, and the story sounds like fun.

  9. Although I prefer the writing in the first piece, the rapid shifts from Patel's POV to the diary entry to the bathroom/magazine reading tangent really threw me for a loop. My vote goes to Jamie Stuart this week.

  10. The first was too disjointed and didn't read credibly. "Shit" and "slain?" Jamie Stuart left me wanting more. Jamie.

  11. Imalie,
    You attempted to cover a lot of ground, skirting at two viewpoints, three total POVs (including 1st and 3rd Andre).
    I had to read it twice. And it was still a bit of a stretch to relate the first paragraph with the rest. It just didn't have a smooth transition. Maybe in a bigger piece it would have worked, once I was expecting it.
    I'm no prude when it comes to literature, but your swear-to-story ratio is off. We get it, he has a potty mouth. And yet he writes the word "fricking" in his journal? That seems like a !#@$%load of @$#*^%$*%*(!@ mother@#$%@$#^%. *(%^*(%^ it.
    The last paragraph establishes his personality and the contrast between his aversion to bacteria and his courage against monsters. But it could have been tighter. The voice is too different from the rest of the journal.

    To be honest, despite that I'm sure this is an excerpt of an established tale, I would have LOVED this story if Patel had come across a pile of HUMAN bodies in the first paragraph, all having been slaughtered by that psycho Andre, who swears he's a monster-killing hero.

    Final note, just say "I estimate that I terminated _% of them." Just pick 66 or 78. You don't have to enter a range. That's what the word "estimate" accomplishes.

    Jamie Stuart,
    This entry wasn't as entertaining as the first installment. I must admit that I'm disappointed the direction it took, considering where it could have gone.
    I don't like the conversational tone they immediately fall into, given the odd nature of their meeting. The relaxed tone isn't even justified by her having met tons of ghosts before. She comments on trying to calm him down, asks if he's going to hurt her... And yet there's somehow no emotion.
    I hesitate to mention this because it played no part in my decision, but Rolling Stones t-shirts actually do exist and can be worn elsewhere than just after a Rolling Stones concert.

    I vote Imalie. It was the stronger writing of the two.

  12. Imalie Teller. I didn't have a problem with the POV shifts and I found it entertaining, which is kind of the point of reading a story. The second one didn't really go anywhere and the dialogue was a bit too on the nose. In regards to the to the t-shirt comment above. I agree. I've got rock concert t-shirts older than some of the people on this board:)

  13. Neither of these follow-ups were as impressive as the initial entry. Frankly, the decision is tough given that there are so many problems with both of them.

    The first one is startling with the diary entry. I would have liked this piece much better if the first paragraph were gone altogether and the story was simply that of the Battle at Central Park. Granted, all of the "shit" references would have been lost. As lovely as the EColi comparison is to monster fighting it isn't worth what is lost to get there.

    The second piece is confusing at the beginning. Too many threads are left dangling. It starts out wonderfully with Evie having died "too many times to count." but then gets lost in a conversation with Adam that doesn't really go anywhere. I am much more interested in how/why Evie comes back to life. Does she know? What does that feel like? The conversations with Adam could have taken far fewer words, particularly since he is reluctant to talk.

    I cast my vote for Imalie. I like the story, if not the presentation.

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  15. Imalie Teller for me. First, I like that it's completely different from the original submission, so I'm not comparing it with the original sample (for story continuity, character speech, etc). Second, it sounds like a piece from a much larger story, not just a quick blurb for a contest. I'm very curious to find out what happens with Andre, Dinah and Patel and their monster fighting.

    Jamie's piece felt a little, I don't know, stilted? Formulaic? I'm idly curious as to what happened to Adam to cause his death, but I don't think it's going to pull at me quite the same to find out.

  16. Imalie Teller, for sure. I'm really gunshy of epistolary devices these days (even if the epistle in question is written on a bathroom wall) because so often it descends into as-you-know-Bob exposition as the writer twists themselves into knots trying to make the character write things that have no other purpose but to inform the reader. But even with the issues that others have raised (and I agree with David List on pretty much all of them), the voice of the main character is wonderful - makes me think of Jayne from Firefly. That alone would buy my interest for at least another few pages.

    For Jamie's piece, I might be biased because I've never read any PNR (and it does seem like it might be heading into romantic territory). But the notion of the ghost being like, a regular guy who looks and talks like a regular guy would, is somehow disappointing. It's just kind of too "lights on" to have much spookiness or mystery to it.

  17. holy crap that's a hard pick.. you have the quick paced, easy flow of a robin hood re-telling version the hot and heavy emotionally laden Teen same sex romance...

    For me? Swick this round, but by the BAREST of margins. Congrats to both writers.




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