I propose a Winter Writing Contest. The rules are pretty much the same as previous contests, the only change is the "Winter" theme.
Just for it to be in one place, here are the rules for the competition.
1) All submissions must be anonymous!
2) The submissions must relate to the season of Winter in some way.
3) No more than two posts per submission. MAKE SURE I CAN TELL THEY ARE TOGETHER!
I'll make the links NEXT FRIDAY (12/13/2013). The deadline will be on 12/31/2013, anything that shows up in January will not be counted. I don't see it being a problem for anyone to write something in that time frame.
>>12358 I think using two posts per submission is kind of long. It seemed to encourage some of the submissions in the last contest to drag on for a loooong time... Just my opinion, though, I can't really prove that.
>>12362 >So... Are we starting to have a contest each month?
No... I don't think the site/writers would be able to handle monthly contests.
>>12359 >>12361 Well, personally it gives people time to flesh out the story a little more. Still, I encourage everyone to keep it as close to one post as possible
I also forgot to mention something. There will only be three categories!
-Newbie (Been here less than 6 whole months)
-Veteran (Been here for at least 6 whole months)
-Smut (All submissions will go in one thread)
>2) The submissions must relate to the season of Winter in some way.
But it's too hot to write about Winter!
I think the Northern Hemisphere has an unsporting advantage. It does not matter however, for you shall still fall to the inherent superiority of the Glorious Southern Hemispherian Master Race all the same.
How much Winter are we talking about here? I've been sitting on a short idea I'm dying to write, but I don't want to spend it on this if little or non-consequential seasonal dressing is put on top of it.
>>12400 The idea is for winter, or a winter holiday, to be the theme of the shorts. In short, the story should deal with a holiday or the season in someway. Think about how winter is generally viewed and apply those feelings/messages to the short.
I once again offer my service as vote counter for the contest. However unlike last time, I announce my presence beforehand so you’ll have a fair chance to decline if you prefer to do it yourself.
So, would you accept my service or decline it?
If you accept, would there be any preferences I should be aware of, such as not publishing the rankings before the contest is over, or sort them in a specific way?
You should also know I’ll be participating in the contest, but I won’t let that affect ranking. (Of course anon can double check me if they ever come in doubt)
>>12415 By all means, count the votes again! I've got no real preferences on how you do it, save having them split up by category. And keep the tally a secret until voting comes to a close, if they want to know who's winning then they can count for themselves.
>>12416 You got it.
But a relevant question to something you forgot to mention in the opening post.
When does the voting period end? One week like last time; on Wednesday 8th?
I'd like to know so I can plan my schedule accordingly. Wouldn't want the results the following weekend. By that time anon have already counted it themselves.
Then it's official.
From Wednesday 14/01/01 00:00 (Site time) to Tuesday 14/01/07 23:59 (Site time) is the time frame for voting. Exactly 167 hours and 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Then if I just do like I did last time, plus a double check, the results should be out between half an hour to an hour later. (No promise. Unexpected delays happen from time to time.)
Unless there come changes, someone approach or otherwise try to contact me, I'll be going anonymous again until the end of the contest.
Until then, do your best and have fun. I know I will.
Well that lasted long.
My boss decided to start early next year, so I’ll be working Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th, which will make it hard to publish the results immediately after the contest as it ends at 2 AM Wednesday morning.
Either I have to step down and let someone else do it, or anon will be willing to be patient enough to wait until 1 PM (Site time) to 2 PM (Site time) before the votes come out.
I’m not too thrilled about the later, but I don’t like the former either.
The last option that’ll work in my favor, as vote counter, is to end it on Friday 3rd or Saturday 4th , but that’s a little too short of a voting time.
Either I step down as vote counter this time, we move the voting deadline to the former weekend or anon will be willing to wait a little over 12 hours for the results to be posted.
That’s what it boils down to. It’s your choice, Anon.
>>12526 If this contest follows the same rules as the Writeathlon, then no, you can't submit more than one entry per category. However, you can write something for, say, the Newbies and the Porn categories.
>>12535 I believe you can, as long as neither of the authors submit another entry of their own in the same category. Though I'm not really sure on this one; better ask WayMaker.
>>12526 No. Submit more than one entry is frowned upon. There isn't a way for me to prove that someone submitted more than one entry, other than having a mod look at it. But I think we won't need to do that. You can, however, submit an entry in veterans and /at/ due to being different categories.
>>12535 Collaborations? That might be a first. I'll have to ask some people on the IRC and see what they think. Rabbit, if you're seeing this then can you weigh in?
>>12537 I had no problem with collaborations for the writeathon, and if I remember correctly, someone asked me the same question regarding multiple entries and I said 'awesome, go for it, more writing more better'.
Since it's about time for me to start noting the votes, I'd like to ask something.
Are you going to compile a list of the entered stories? If so, would you be so kind as to format it the same what it was done in the last contest? I found it easy to work with.
Or is that something I should do myself?
>>12555 I think this is what makes writers procrastinate in the first place. In the next contest, the organizer should be really strict with the deadline to discourage this kind of behavior. Someone has to break the cycle.
>>12556 >I think this is what makes writers procrastinate in the first place.
Let me see if I've got this straight. You believe the reason writers procrastinate on writing for contests that happen to overlap with what are, generally, some of the busiest times of the year for most people, is because enforcement of the deadlines isn't stringent enough? Not because they may have any number of other things demanding their attention that are of greater importance than some silly little contest, and have chosen to spend their time on those things instead? It's not because they're thinking something along the lines of "I need to pass these finals or I am fucked" but because they're thinking "Well, the deadline's going to get pushed back anyway, so why bother rushing?"
The way I see it, unless there's something actually at stake besides bragging rights, there is no reason why contests like these can't afford to be flexible with their deadlines. If the whole point of these sorts of things is to encourage people to write, what exactly do you accomplish by making it harder for them to do that? If your writing contest is running at a time when people might not be able to write, how does it not make sense to allow them extra time so they can write? If the people you're counting on to write for this contest are procrastinating because of other obligations, what makes you think being more strict about the deadline won't just preclude many of those writers from even bothering to enter?
>>12557 Frankly? Yes. I'm not sure you understand what a deadline actually is and why it exists. If the deadline being New Years was that big of a problem and nobody had time to write over the holidays, then that shouldn't have been the deadline in the first place, and people should - and would - have said so and discussed the matter before the actual last minute.
But that is what the deadline was set for. Nobody had a problem with it until now, and judging from the post timing, many of the currently submitted authors busted their asses specifically to make it in time. Changing the deadline now is seriously rude and not fair to them and depreciates the effort they put in over their holidays.
Other people can do what they want, I guess, since I don't think there's any actual prize at stake, but I'm going to get to reading the entries and voting for a winner now, and am not going to consider any later entries valid. As was stated like a million times in this thread.
>>12557 There's also the possibility of some people also writing updates to their regular stories. That and people underestimate the sheer amount of shit/stuff that can happen during this time of year: family gatherings, parties, gifts, hellish work schedules.
>>12561 Judging by quality is the entire reason late entries can't be accepted. It would be completely unfair to judge entries that take an extra week of time to edit and improve themselves alongside the ones that struggled to meet the original deadline. That defeats the point of having a contest in the first place. Having leniency on someone who was a few hours late (like a couple of contests ago) is one thing, but giving stragglers an extra week when there are already several completed entries is ridiculous.
>>12557 I am quite well aware of the meaning and purpose of deadlines, believe me. However, not all deadlines are created equal, and while there are times they should be strictly adhered to, there are also times where they should not. It's one thing if it's a project for a class people have paid to attend, or a job that people have been hired to complete on time, but that's not what this is. This isn't even a serious contest with entry fees and prizes and whatnot. It's a friendly competition between people with a mutual hobby.
>Nobody had a problem with it until now, and judging from the post timing, many of the currently submitted authors busted their asses specifically to make it in time. Changing the deadline now is seriously rude and not fair to them and depreciates the effort they put in over their holidays.
Just for the sake of argument, let's assume you're right in claiming that nobody has said anything about having a problem with the deadline, be it here or on IRC, before now. So what? If there was ever going to be a time that people realize they aren't going to make a deadline, it's going to be right when the deadline's upon them. Unless they are very good at figuring out how much time they have to complete a task and how much time it will actually take to complete it, they probably aren't going to realize they aren't going to make it until the last minute, and thus wouldn't be making any comments about their inability to finish until that time.
I won't disagree that changing the deadline so close to the end is kinda poor form, and probably should have been done well before now if it was to be done at all, but it is what it is. You may find it unfair to all those who managed to get their work in on time, but I would again remind you that this isn't a classroom we're in, there are things going on this time of year that are a higher priority to some people than writing winter-themed magical girl fanfiction, and I don't think it's exactly reasonable to deny people from contributing to something like this just because their life took precedence over their writing for a portion of it.
Besides, I would assume that this deadline extension means that those who rushed to get their entries in now have additional time to go back over their work and apply some additional polish to it, if they so choose, so it's not as if they can't benefit from this, too.
1. Waymaker had his computer die on him a couple weeks ago and hasn't been able to post much of anything at all. The fact that he posted today is because he now, as of today, has gained access to an old, shitty computer.
2. If you've posted a rushed and incomplete entry because of the deadline, you can certainly delete it and repost it by the new deadline. I'm certain that is allowed in the spirit of fairness so that everyone will have the same amount of time.
>>12565 I understand that this time of the year has a lot of people busy with real life appointments, but when I wrote >>12556, I meant all the contests that have been held here, not just this one. Even when the Writeathlons' deadlines were decided trying not to overlap with the exam periods of college/highschool exams - and thus assuming everybody had free time -, this situation happened too.
I know this is not a serious job or college project, but when I participate in a contest, the least I expect of all contestants is a bit of commitment to the deadlines. Maybe I am taking this far too seriously, but I do believe it's rude to the people who made an effort to respect the deadlines, even if they too can benefit from the grace period.
>>12568 Basically this, yeah. If you had other stuff going on and didn't get an entry into this contest? Okay! You didn't get an entry in for this contest. So what? That's it. It's fine. It's not the end of the world, there'll be another contest in a month or two, and nothing stops anyone from writing shorts and posting them *whenever you want* on your own time.
But it's a disservice to everyone involved to have a contest change its deadlines and break its previously set rules just because some set of people might not have been able to participate on time. There's no obligation or imperative for the contest to include as many people as possible. If someone couldn't make it this time then they couldn't make it, oh well, life moves on. This contest, right now, was here for the people who could make it.
And no, telling writers who finished to go back and edit for a week isn't a fair solution either. People knew what the timeframe they had was, and planned their stories in length and scope accordingly to be able to finish them on time.
>>12568 Fair enough, though I would suggest that you might very well be taking this a teensy bit too seriously, in this case. After all, it's not as if there's anything meaningful at stake, here, and I think the positives of extending the deadline can outweigh the negatives. People who might not have been able to get in on the first deadline might be able to now, and people who already have can use the time to make their stories even better. Those are good things. It stands to improve both the quality and quantity of entries, and for the people reading and voting on those entries, that's also a good thing.
Seriously, look at the current turnout for this contest, and compare it to the one we had for "Writing Contest the Third". Just looking at the Newbie and Porn categories, each of those had more entries in the previous contest than those same two categories have in this current contest combined. The Newbie category alone has just two entries. I don't know about you, but I think that's kinda sad. If this extra week can get even one more story in any category that otherwise wouldn't have been there, I say go for it.
>>12563 >It would be completely unfair to judge entries that take an extra week of time to edit and improve themselves alongside the ones that struggled to meet the original deadline. That defeats the point of having a contest in the first place
If one entry having more time put into its writing than another entry did is such a "completely unfair" advantage, so much so that it defeats the whole point of the contest itself, then this "contest" is kinda screwed from the very beginning, isn't it? It's not as if every single writer participating had to start at the exact same time as everyone else, nor is there any way you can be sure that they all had the exact same amount of time available to work on their entries. What if one writer couldn't start until a week after the contest began? Even if we stuck with the original deadline, wouldn't it still be unfair to judge that entry alongside those that were started right on the very first day? That is one less week that writer had than the others did, after all. And this isn't even taking into consideration how much time they actually spent on writing each day.
What if one writer has five hours a day they can write, while another has only one or two? Who has the advantage? What if the former didn't start writing until three days after the latter? What if another guy can write up to eight hours in a day, but can only do it one day a week, while everyone else can write on all seven days? How fair is it to judge any of these stories alongside any other if there can be so much variation in what went into their creation?
A reasonable try at drama. I liked that the story was very clear about what was happening, well spaced out and always easy to follow, despite the (probably intentionally?) stilted prose. Intentional stilting aside, though, the prose could use work - is the writer perhaps ESL? Some of the punctuation use and phrasings suggest that to me. Work on keeping tenses and pronouns consistent and making your sentence structures flow more naturally.
As for the plot... eh, solid, but unexciting. There wasn't much real conflict after the mother died, and the stranger's fate and the ending seemed to come out of nowhere. Keep at it though, this is a good effort!
Curse and Wood
Hmm... surely kriss isn't writing in the newbies section, so this is someone else taking up her OC? A bold and interesting move.
The prose here is... well, the composition and flow are good, making the conversations easy to read. Unfortunately, the details are not so good. There are a LOT of typos and punctuation and grammatical errors, to the point where I can't overlook them and they interfere with my being able to read the story. Please watch out for such things in the future. Try reading your sentences out loud to yourself, slowly and closely.
Plot was reasonable. Slice of life with a little romance thrown in, some worldbuilding, some conflict. The ending feels abrupt, but clearly there was a fair amount of thought going into the pacing before then. I like this, again, keep at it.
The Verdict: Curse and Wood, although it's a pretty close call for me. Congratulations to both authors and thanks for participating!
HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. This was GREAT. Exquisite prose, strong characterization, strong pacing, and incredible humor. I didn't see the twist coming until it was on me. This is a really stellar entry, and the only true complaint I can lodge against it is that it's not actually porn.
I... do feel that's a real complaint, though. With a couple of details bowdlerized, this could have been posted in Veterans, and maybe should have been. Or, to stay where it is, it could have gone even further with ribald imagery and humor. As it is, it just doesn't take much advantage of being in the /at/ category, and that is some metaphorical points off with me. But still, a great entry.
That... that certainly was something. Um. ALSO not really proper porn, although it definitely goes far enough to justify being in /at/. Prose is good and well used. Details are nice, worldbuilding is nice.
I'm not sure I really 'bought it' though. The first and second posts felt like different stories to some degree, and it was hard to suspend my disbelief at the man's sudden sexual aggression and lack of care about his surroundings. The whole death thing makes it really hard to get off to, but the dramatic sadness didn't work on me because of the porn and somewhat contrived situation (as someone mentioned in the thread, guy suddenly decides to cheat on his dead wife after all that?) I can't say it was poorly written but it just didn't click for me.
A trip to the beach
Ahh, porn at last! And with loving and a nice, not too contrived conflict to overcome as well. A++ construction and execution. Prose was a little weak at times, but that's forgivable - it mostly seems lacking in complexity and detail rather than having actual errors.
Yeah, I liked this. A good solid standard scene, with a nice twist on the winter theme. Just ooooone little thing - the third sentence made me wince and go "citation needed" as I'm pretty sure Gensokyo does have ocean access somewhere, connecting to the Dragon Palace and all that jazz.
The Verdict: Ice Queen, barely, for teh epic lulz it provided. Again, I liked all the entries, congratulations to everyone.
Ooh, a horror entry. I applaud your guts. Good technique most of the way through, I like the frantic tone and the way the prose expresses Tewi's shifting moods. It was a little weak on the finish to really hit the horror notes, though. Saw that ending coming, and the lack of explanation or significant buildup or reason -why- we should be scared kind of hurt it.
Unfortunately, I think I have to say all of the above are moot points in the face of one major concern though. This just isn't really a Touhou fanfiction at all. It's original fiction using Touhou names and making two very token jokes about character traits (Tewi likes pranks, Eirin is immortal). It's very obviously not set in Gensokyo and there's no interplay with either canon or fanon settings, characters or material. Thank you to the author for participating, and maybe we can have a good discussion about these standards, I certainly don't hate that someone submitted an entry like this... but I'm not sure I can vote for this entry regardless of its objective quality.
A Red December Moon
Noir! Wow. WOW. Very, very impressive. I'm at a loss for things to say about it, in fact. Stellar prose, stellar plotting, the action keeps moving and packs a ton of stuff into a tight space without ever feeling lost or draggy. Characterization and atmosphere oozes out of every pore. I'm actually really jealous of this one, truth be told. Until the ending.
Akyu's half right, the story is great but that ending is a huuuuge buzzkill. Also, there's no winter theme included. Saying it's December and mentioning wind and snow once isn't enough to get any marks there, not when the rest of the atmosphere building is that good and crying out that you could easily have done more. But still, a very strong entry indeed.
That's Why I Assault Orin
This one has a very clever take on the winter theme, providing a motive to the story. I really like the whole Reimu/Satori/Orin interplay, minus the battle, and the end with Marisa is a great way to wrap it up!
Alas, the battle scene, and pretty much the entire first post, feel unnecessary and overstay their welcome. The story's conflict is between Reimu and Satori, so all the stuff with Yuugi winds up feeling totally tangential, and the danmaku just draaaaags and is hard to follow. Props for trying, I see why the author wanted to practice those things, but as a standalone contest entry I feel like this is a good example of how less is more - it'd be stronger by just cutting out the whole first post and most of the fight and letting the strong parts of the second post stand as the bulk of the narrative.
Nice take on Koishi, and some nice slice of life. Nothing really happens though, question mark? There are people observed, and Kokoro gets kissed, and then suddenly it's over? It's not bad, exactly, but there's just not enough *here* for me to grip on to and view as a story. Needs a conflict, rising and falling action, all that stuff. The author clearly has some talent for mood and I'd love to see this expanded into a longer piece!
Epic of the Nine Horsewomen
Holy crap, this is like half the topic by length, and dense besides. That's not a bad thing per se, but it has a big hill to climb to be able to capture and maintain reader interest the whole way through.
And it... does, surprisingly well! The episodic breakups and constant humor make it really easy to read, and the crazy worldstuffs and Sinterklassings tossed in made me always want to keep going. Good job! I do still think the length dilutes the impact a little, but I dig what went on here.
Another Christmas Koishi? She seems popular! Good characterization in this one, for both Koishi and Parsee. A simple heartwarming story, well told. Nothing too ambitious, but what's here is executed really nicely.
The Verdict:Epic of the Nine Horsewomen! Well done, I wish to subscribe to your newsletter, and that of A Red December Moon as well. Thanks to all and a happy New Year!
Aw, man, I had my entry almost ready to go when news of the extension hit, so I decided to just take a break. I didn't think folk were gonna vote already, otherwise I'd have stuck through that extra hour and finished it all up by the original deadline.
And, if I'm being honest with myself, I'm sore about missing out on >>12572's good critique. I hope they won't mind reading the stories that come in after the original deadline, because I wanna see what they think.
>>12574 His is a special case, the guy that said that he wouldn't vote for entries past the original deadline. (>>12559)
Even though I didn't agree with the extended deadline either, I will still read and vote all entries. However, I will give negative points in my book to those who still slack off and leave it for the last minute again, so you should get writing now if you don't want me to give you a bad review for being too Komachi! And it'd better be a really good piece of fiction, ya hear me?
Can I point out a few things real quick? I'm not going to bother responding to individual people, I'm just not in the mood to do anything more than give a crappy justification of my actions. I've lost my computer, my grandmother who I very close to, NEARLY LOST MY OWN LIFE, and have had shit piling up on me for the past month.
You guys want to complain about the deadline being extended, go for it. I won't make you vote for anything that is submitted after. I extended the submission because I know that people are busy this time of year and we didn't get the numbers I was expecting/hoping for. I assumed people were busy and didn't have time to write or were just enjoying their normal-fag lifestyles with family and friends.
I will apologize to everyone who rushed to meet the original deadline. Congrats on meeting it and you can lord it over anyone who hasn't posted yet.
For everyone else, YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING! We always extend the deadline for these things! Sure, a week might be a bit much, but that was always my original plan.
So, instead of complaining and throwing shit around, why not WRITE? Some of you are surprising articulate and could probably write something nice.
>>12578 You see, normally I would have been understanding about this whole deal. I would have bitched about it like I always do when something rustles my jimmies but then I would have calmed down and accepted it. No problemo.
But then I see this shit:
>For everyone else, YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING! We always extend the deadline for these things! Sure, a week might be a bit much, but that was always my original plan.
>that was always my original plan.
THEN WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T YOU SET THE DEADLINE TO JANUARY 7TH FROM THE BEGINNING!?
>>12578 Argh, in my rage I almost forgot. Sorry for your loss, Waymaker. It's always tough to lose a relative. I can relate. Remember your best memories with her, the things she taught you, and move on. It might be difficult at first, but eventually you will get over it. it's gon be ok lil nigga you can do it
>>12579 Because if I had done that, the people who waited until last minute would have just waited longer to write. This gives two sets of procrastinators a chance to post something. Not to mention that a lot of people see an empty contest, and don't see a point in entering if there isn't any competition. So, by doing this and having people rage over my actions, it shows an interest and hopefully people will write.
There is always a method to my madness, even if it sounds insane, retarded, backwards, or just plain wrong.
>>12582 That explanation sounds like something you came up on the spot to save face... But I'll buy it. I won't complain anymore. This whole deal left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and I don't wish to continue arguing for something I know it won't be changing.
>>12574 Finish and post your short as soon as possible, then, and ask for critique.
>>12578 Sorry for your loss and your hard times. "This was always the plan" is kind of blatantly untrue though.
>>12358 > The deadline will be on 12/31/2013, anything that shows up in January will not be counted. I don't see it being a problem for anyone to write something in that time frame.
Pulling shenanigans like this and telling people "don't take it seriously" is pretty freakin rude to the people who put in time and effort to write for this contest. It does not inspire me to write more, in fact just the opposite, it is a large disincentive and makes me very unlikely to want to contribute to any future contests. I could spend hours of my time planning and writing something nice, but if this is how it'll be handled, why should I bother?
It seems like the actual reason you want to extend the deadline is because this contest didn't get as many entries as the previous one. Is that really a problem? If so, why? Why not just state that outright? Are you just going to keep extending until you match or exceed the previous contest's numbers? Then why have a deadline in the first place? This is just not a good scheme for encouraging people to write. Stick to your plans and deadlines and be honest with people.
I would like to bring everyone's attention to >>11812
Rabbit extended the deadline an extra week, on the last day of the contest too. There was nothing like what is going on here and I REALLY want to know why at this point. So, why was it there wasn't an outrage last time? He even gave an hour extension and there were no negative posts.
>>12584 Can you not accept that I lied? I do that at times. I really was going to always extend the deadline an extra week. Would you rather I have said
> The deadline will be on 12/31/2013, anything that shows up in January will not be counted. I don't see it being a problem for anyone to write something in that time frame. But not really, it'll be a week after.
I'll apologize for offending/making light of your work and effort/being a massive faggot. But I will not apologize for lying or my reasons for doing so.
>>12589 I'm a neutral party here, but my guess is that the way you're spinning this ("haha well we were going to extend it all along") is what made Anon upset. You're making it sound like you deliberately plotted to deceive everyone. Last contest, there was no such vibe. People were complaining about AWA intruding on prime writing time, so it was decided last minute that we needed an extension. There wasn't any of this "well you should have expected it we planned this all along."
> Rabbit extended the deadline an extra week, on the last day of the contest too. There was nothing like what is going on here and I REALLY want to know why at this point. So, why was it there wasn't an outrage last time? He even gave an hour extension and there were no negative posts.
This is a good point. The reason for that extension was that AWA turned out to be a much bigger Thing for THP than anyone anticipated. Like seriously 50% of the IRC folks attended, and most of them just made their own plans without realizing how many other people were also going. Even though the convention itself was known about beforehand, the magnitude of its impact on the site and how much of everyone's attention it would take was legitimately unforseen.
I guess you could argue that the holidays are also a big impediment to people writing, but December holidays are very much forseen. If you're thinking of entering a contest with the deadline on New Year's, you know what you're getting into. Likewise for setting a deadline then in the first place.
The point is still not a bad one though. If it'd been presented like "Hey guys, entries are way down compared to past contests, newbies only has two, what do people think about extending the deadline by a week?" yeah, I wouldn't be upset.
> But I will not apologize for lying or my reasons for doing so.
But instead we got this, which I don't even know what to say about. I don't even... I don't... What? Are you serious, is this for real? You're saying you proposed a contest and then deliberately lied about the rules you were setting? And you think people should have expected you to be lying all along? And you have no idea why anyone is upset about this?
Yes, >>12590 is correct. I'm not sure there's anything else I can even say.
Going to assume this is >>12574 's work. Good stuff. Exquisite prose, exquisite pornographic aspects. Female perspective is rare, and rarer still to see done well. I love the use of language and the constant barrage of physical detail - it makes it very easy indeed to be in Ran's head (and other parts) and get into the story.
I don't love the sudden inject of drama around the halfway point. There are suddenly three major conflicts going on - Ran vs her impregnation urges, Ran vs the guy lying and their mental relationship, and then suddenly Ran vs Evil Letty Freezes a Dude. (Seriously, what IS it with the Evil Letty Freezes a Dude all over the place in these contests? Especially in the porn section?) Just one of these would be a lot of conflict for a porn short, let alone all three, and that causes some confusion of tone. It's not clear which of the conflicts are important or to what degree, and all of them get resolved pretty abruptly.
Or, to put it more bluntly, the whole Letty section is a big bonerkill because it's too complicated, and the unwanted impregnation aspect makes it hard to know whether boner should resurrect. I think it'd be a stronger story with some paring down - like maybe put an abbreviated, less murdersauce version of the Letty stuff up front, making that the reason the guy ends up in Ran's bed (roleplaying?), and then pick either the mental (what's your name, really) or physical (why you got that condom on), make one of them the focal conflict of the scene and downplay or discard the other. A single strong focus for a story is much more effective than trying to do several things at once, especially in erotica.
Despite my ratio of critical vs praising words there though, the scene IS quite good, a luxurious joy to read in the erotic parts. Definitely very interested in looking up more writing from this author, or whipping them until they produce more~
While I'd love to take credit for Cabin Fever, what I'm working on isn't an /at/ thing. Save your credit for the real author, because damn, he deserves it more than I.
On your note about Letty, though, the way I took her scene was that she didn't actually do anything malicious; the guy got himself into trouble on his own account. I might've misread the scene, though, so take my opinion with a healthy dose of salt.
Ah, image prompts are fun, aren't they? This is an enjoyable little romp. The pacing and prose are really top notch; I might've said that about a few entries already, but this one is really far above the curve. It flows nicely and is just plain pleasant to read. Description and use of detail are especially good.
It might have some trouble hitting above "pleasant diversion," though. Coming out of it, I feel relaxed, but also a little unsatisfied, like not a lot really -happened-. The beginning is slow to pick up, and juiciest parts of the actually-happening-current-story, like Ari's conversation with Remilia and trip into the village, happen offscreen. Meanwhile onscreen we get Ari describing Skyrim for several paragraphs, which is amusing but not terribly interesting or contributing to his current situation.
I'd like to see more of this, and would have liked to see more right here. If anything it feels like the author was nervous and deliberately played it slow and safe. No need for that, sir or madam, you are doing well and should have confidence in your work!
I went in trying to keep the story to a single post, the better to keep it concise, but you raise very good points! Looking back on it, it could definitely use a bit more meat on its bones.
I'll leave it like it is for the purposes of the contest, because I think it's a bit of a dick move to go and re-edit the finished and posted product while the contest is still running, but I'm gladly gonna work on an extended version that, hopefully, gets some of those juicy bits written down that you wanted to actually see.
Well, if I can get this Extended Cut™ done before the contest is over, I guess I can delete the old short and replace it with the redux. It still feels kinda skeevy to me, though, especially after I got that nice bit of critique. Like, if I was going to make it longer, I should've done so before posting it. But, if it's all legal, then I suppose I'd be doing my story a disservice by not taking this critique to heart and making DD longer and better.
>>12602 Nah, I agree with your initial position. Put it up in its own topic, maybe even make a longer story out of it! Don't delete existing versions from threads though, no reason for that. The deadline was the 1st, after all, and any sort of judging is probably a lost cause at this point anyway.
This is a cool action-y piece, though it has some issues. The good stuff first - I really like the sense of place and the solidness of the chase scene. Action scenes tend to be challenging to depict, and this one is managed pretty well. The winter atmosphere is also prominent and strongly on-tone, I like that quite a bit.
I guess I should just say it though - I got confused and couldn't really follow what was going on in this story. The *actions* are described well, but the characters performing them aren't - in fact, they aren't even named, except for Aya. It took a long time and multiple readings for me to realize that the chasing figure wasn't Aya, and in fact there were three characters and two wolf tengu. (I think?) If it wasn't for the title and image, I'd have a hard time figuring out even that much, and even now I still can't tell which of the wolf tengu (if either?!) is Momizi, or what their genders are.
This all comes down to a pretty basic issue of clarity. Introduce and identify your characters clearly! Give them names and use their names, and be especially careful in situations where there could be ambiguity about who's saying a line or performing an action. Explain what is going on, and why the reader should care.
I feel like I should apologize for my own contributions to the realm of nameless protagonists being considered stylish. Oops.
Melting and Cooling
Great. Spectacular! Amazing. Good genderswap use, good setup, very strong focal character, mostly good description, hot sexings, delicious Okuu.
If I had to pick on something, it'd be the latter half of the story, where the description slows down a bit and the action gets... standard? A little predictable, and falls slightly into "h-manga dialogue" and conventions. It feels like the author was getting hot and bothered writing this and the quality slipped a little? Very understandable, but a good example of why it's worth reading over your story closely after finishing. I would have liked to see the end take a slightly more relaxed pace, perhaps with some more character-centric dialogue and interplay, instead of the usual male-passes-out-after-orgasm-story's-over.
"Mmm... You're so cute and nice, Letty, and your penis feel so good..." made me crack up. It's only a single letter typo, but in such an unfortunate place...
That all aside, though, pretty stellar writing. Keep at it!
>>12572 I suppose I should respond to your (excellent) critique of my works: regarding Ice Queen, I'm absolutely terrible at writing, well, porny porn. Anything more than a quarter to a half actually porn, and I have significant problems writing it. So I basically shoot for comedy.
That said, I'm glad you liked it! This is an idea that just popped into my head, and Unzan's definitely bro-tier enough to make the perfect protagonist for this short. I actually do have a recording of me doing a reading of this, and I think it would improve the reading significantly. Maybe. But I'll wait on that until after voting is closed.
I also wrote Snow Angel. This was my very first attempt ever at anything horror-related, and I'm glad I got the mood across well. I've found that horror is very difficult to end well, but I do intend to continue trying. And as for this not being a very Touhou story... well, you're right. If I was to write another horror short (and I will) I'd focus it on Aokigahara. But what I did write was actually about a 50% true retelling of things that happened to me (obviously, there wasn't any shooting of people, but basically everything before that,) and the diary is something I intend to plant at the power station next time I go up. (Yes, all of this was based on a real place and my experience in running through the woods in the middle of the night. Don't ask why.)
It's more comfortable to write from a position of things I know, and a place I'm familiar with. It's also not too difficult to imagine that Gensokyo doesn't have such a place- in fact, I'd be disappointed if it doesn't. I rather like the snow, and if the story didn't make it obvious, I absolutely adore the twilight snow makes.
AAAAAAAAAAAANYWAY. I suppose this is my way of saying 'thanks for liking it even though neither of the entries actually fit either of the categories particularly well'.
And at least I surprised you with one twist (unless you count Nue as two.)
Since people have already started to vote, I figured it'd be best if I began counting them as well.
I would like to request that you make it clear what you're voting on.
If you'd be as kind as to:
1. Give the vote its own line, clearly distinguishable from the comment if you’re including such.
2. Highlight the name of the story you’re voting on, preferably with bold. (In case you don’t know how, the front page has a section with it.)
3. Separate your votes in categories, if you’re voting multiple times per post. (I see no reason to do otherwise, but there are votes only including one or two categories of the three.)
Doing so will make my part easier and take next to no extra effort on your end. Your cooperation is appreciated.
This is a request, not a condition. Feel free to ignore it and make my part harder. Just be aware that I’m not going to read through walls of text to spot out the vote. If it’s casually placed in the middle of a 300 word long comment, then I’ll most likely ignore it.
Hoo boy, now it's my favorite part of the contests: where I get to maul and eviscerate on the participants' stories! But before that, I'll cast my vote for Mister Counter's convenience:
Newbies: Curse and Wood
Veterans: The Party
Smut: Melting and Cooling
Alright, let's get to work. Those who think they'll get offended with stern and vicious critique should abstain from reading further. I'll try to keep it as mellow and brief as possible, but I do not promise anything. Also, I won't analyze the smut stories because frankly, I don't feel comfortable explaining the reasons why this or that story made me fap repeatedly and have lewd thoughts for the rest of the day. Ahem!
Strange Nature: Interesting take on Cirno's origin. But that's it. It feels more like a draft or outline than a proper narrative piece. It lacks a lot of purple and fluff, which is what really holds the feelings of sorrow, gratification and surprise you were probably trying to convey. As the great Yaffikins often recommends, read books to learn how to embellish your stories and avoid grammar/spelling mistakes. Other than that, it was a good attempt. Don't give up, partner!
Curse and Wood: Let me start by establishing the following: I personally do not like stories starring other writer's OCs, but I'm going to let it slide this time and try to be unbiased. That said, the characterization was nice and loyal to the correspondent canon material, and the development of Hina and Reina's relationship felt natural - which is what many writers here have troubles with, so kudos! However, the sheer amount of paragraphs dedicated exclusively to worldbuilding made the story proper drag on for too long, unnecessarily. At times I had to stop and take a breather because I was too bored to continue reading about the economy of Gensokyo. It wouldn't be a problem if this was a long story, but this is supposed to be a short. Next time, before adding more details to the setting, ask yourself if it really adds something important to the story you are trying to tell your readers. Despite that, you do have talent for writing, just in need of polishing. I'll be waiting warmly for your first story in this site, if you decide to write here.
Snow Angel: The style in itself was great for a horror story. As >>12572 pointed out, the frantic tone of the narrative; the short, concise sentences and the common linebreaks do wonders at conveying Tewi's terror and nervousness. However, all the tension that was being built up suddenly deflates with the ending - that supposed double whammy falls flat at scaring the readers themselves (or at least just me). How am I supposed to be terrified of something that I don't know how it looks or if it really kills its victims? Granted, there are things Man was not supposed to know, but it does feel quite anticlimactic for this particular instance. It was an interesting read, nonetheless.
A Red December Moon: If I had to describe this story with one word, that would be "disappointment". Noir is a very difficult genre to get right, because it needs a very specific setting explained with a very particular style of narration, and a very interesting cast to keep it afloat. For the most part, you had it right: the characters were credible and endearing for a bunch of criminals, the setting was fantastic and let my mind run wild, Reimu sounds exactly like how a Noir protagonist should. Everything was going smoothly, and I was thoroughly enjoying the reading... until the ending. That ending. I wasn't so disappointed with an ending since the Mass Effect 3 fiasco. It completely and utterly destroyed the suspension of disbelief I had for the story with overly cliché dialogue, a kiss scene out of nowhere, and a sudden cliffhanger that could very well be in your usual soap opera. Having another character lampshade on it doesn't atone for that - in words of the wise Keine-sensei: "It is a shit ending, even if it's ironic." That kind of stunt only works well if the whole story was shitty from the beginning and doesn't take itself seriously, but for the love of God, don't try that for a Noir story, especially one that was so good up until that moment. Well, now that rant time is over, I compliment your superb writing skills. Just promise me not to pull this kind of thing out ever again.
That's why I assault Orin: Probably the only non-smut story that fully takes advantage of the winter theme of this contest. I pretty much agree with >>12572 here: the entire first post could have been erased and nothing important would've been lost, since the bulk of the plot was the conflict between Reimu and Satori. The danmaku fight was very well described, and unlike my fellow critic, I found it easy to read and imagine, though I too think it was a bit longer than necessary. That said, such a whimsical reason to "borrow" the kasha felt very Reimu-like, and the ending put a smile on my face. You are going places, my friend.
Timeless Gesture: Not much to comment in this short piece than >>12572 hasn't already explained. The mood was very well established, and the scene was very sugary and heart-warming, but there's no conflict at all. And most stories need a conflict to be interesting. Other than that, it was a nice read. Yeah, not much else can be said.
Epic of the Nine Horsewomen: This was my story. I'll abstain from commenting on it until the voting period is closed. But I hope it made you laugh, or chuckle, or at least blow out air of your noses more than usual.
The Party: It might not be the most ambitious story of all time, but what it aims to do, it does exceptionally well. A simple plot, with no convoluted dramas, just Koishi throwing a party and teaching the whole Underground the meaning of Christmas, in her own particular way. The characterization was perhaps a bit shallow and unoriginal, but it works perfectly for the setting of this story. Parsee's antagonism, her plan to ruin the party, the way it backfired, and how she was so easily "forgiven" by Koishi, it all reminds me of a children story I could very well read to my little cousins. The only major flaw I could find was that I the use of sound effects, which I find in bad taste, but other than that, I liked this story very much. Kudos to you!
Dragon Duty: I used to believe Skyrim crossovers were bad, but then I took a sword to the chest. The dynamic between Ari and Meiling was quite enjoyable - guard homies fo' life, yo - and the narrative style and pacing were also excellent. If only you hadn't cut out the city guard's forays with Remilia and the villagers! Because that was what would have made this story stand out among the rest. But sadly, you decided to stick with the uninteresting parts with Meiling, standing at the gate like always, bored out of her mind (isn't it sad, China?). I would greatly like an expanded version of this story, maybe turn it into a full-fledged CYOA. You have the skills and the talent to make it work, unlike so many crossovers attempts before.
Winter Wolf: I don't know what happened to >>12605 for him/her not to notice the narrator was male all along. I mean, Momiji even calls him "Prince" mockingly just after the chase scene. Though I did have to reread it to spot that one and point it out here, so his/her overlooking is understandable. The narrator gender does not matter anyway; this story would have worked out equally fine even if he was a she. A sweet story of rivalry between lovers which starts out very exciting at the beginning. Though Aya's appearance seemed like a bit of a non-sequitur to me - what was her reason to interrupt the lovey-dovey time aside from having their company for a little bit? Regardless, this was an excellent short, and scored a very close second, just behind The Party.
>>12630 >>12631 >>12632 >>12639 Less shitposting and more voting. Because honestly, I can't believe we're halfway through the voting period and we only got four votes. Four votes! And there are 15 entries, so there should be at least fifteen votes. C'mon, what are you waiting for?
I'm probably not going to be able to read all of the Vets before time's up, but I may as well cast my vote for the Newbies.
Newbie vote: Strange Nature
A nice origin story. It was kind of abstract, but maybe that's what I liked about it. The questions, oh how I love questions~
As for the other story, Curse and Wood... I liked it, but the reason I didn't vote it is because it didn't feel like it fit the contest. It felt more like part of a story. The ending was a bit inconclusive. (What about the contract?) If it were an actual story, though, I'd read the heck out of it.
Also, I haven't read RiG, but I recognize Reina. Does this mean Curse and Wood is fanfiction of fanfiction?
>>12646 So, real talk, is anyone else out there interested in reading and voting and just hasn't been able to for whatever reason?
I'd like to read all the entries and vote, but this whole last week has been absolutely god-awful for me. If a decent number of people are in a similar boat, I'd suggest a one week vote extension, no sarcasm.
>>12647 I'm not voting because:
1. I’m a participant. Since I know I won’t be able to view the other stories with the admiration they deserve until this contest is over, voting is out of the question as I refuse to vote on my own story. My ego is not in that bad of a shape. 2. No story really stood out from the rest. I honest to god felt bored reading some of these. Though I will admit I skip the stories which carry a certain trait, which a lot of the entries did.
However the extended voting time seems like a good idea. It’s only fair since we writers got an extra week to write in.
We're not even voting "for" anything anyway, so just... take it easy. Read when you can and give critiques instead, that's the important part. I'd like to start hearing back from the authors now, no point waiting another week for that.
>>12651 I would role with whatever you would have chosen. This is your contest after all.
But since you left the choice to me, then I say it shall be extended. Voting will finish on Tuesday 21nd at 23:59 PM.
As >>12648 said, it's only fair to extend the voting time since the entry deadline got extended as well.
>>12653 >What trait and why?
I wasn’t part of the targeted audience; that much I’ll tell you. These stories did a good job about appealing to their intended targets, or at least that’s what it seems like from a spectator’s POV. They just weren’t meant to appeal to me. It’s that simple.
Let me ask you something then. What were you going to do once you knew the trait and reason?
>>12655 I dunno, discuss it? I was curious since you made it sound like there was a specific trait that you disliked so much as to instantly skip anything that included it. It'd be nice for writers to know what people like and dislike, yeah?
>>12658 Wait, so you want to discuss something in the general discussion board?
… Well that reason is as legit as they come around here.
>you made it sound like there was a specific trait that you disliked so much as to instantly skip anything that included it
I did that, because that’s exactly the case. What exactly it is I dislike so much, is the protagonist being a Touhou. I know how that sounds when we’re talking about Touhou fan-fiction.
You may not acknowledge my reason as legitimate, but frankly I don’t care as it’s my reason and not yours. Now that we both understand that we have different preferences, I’ll go on.
My reasoning for ‘hating’ these kinds of stories is because you, the reader, essentially ‘become’ said Touhou. I don’t like them, I don’t care about them.
Even though I’m not a fan of TPP, I’m fine with that kind of story having Touhous as the MC, as they have equal access to everyone’s minds at all time.
FPP and SPP stories trying this are just crossing my line.
Now it should be pretty easy to pin down which story I’ve written, by simply eliminating the stories with a Touhou as the MC.
>It'd be nice for writers to know what people like and dislike, yeah?
But the fun part is discovering that. Lurking in others’ stories and observing anon’s behavior, experimenting in your own and watching the reaction, lurk on IRC and watch what the other writers say about their anons and their behavior. But don’t mind me, that’s just my opinion.
Since I’m already on a bit of a rant, allow me to share my thoughts on the entries of this contest.
For the two newbies, I’ll say that, that’s about what I’d expect of them. Both stories hold potential.
I think Strange Nature have potential, think about going more in-depth with it. It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s worth the time to read it.
As for Curse and Wood. ‘Fan-fiction of fan-fiction’ as someone said earlier, that sums up how I generally feel about it. In that sense it reminds me of the Touhoumon stories, parodies (fan-fiction) of parodies.
As for the vets, I won’t go in detail about every story since what i have to say is roughly the same for each of them.
They feel too polished.
Honestly, I skipped a lot of these, but I took the time to skim through most of them since yesterday. One of my first thoughts was that they gave this extra effort than their usual updates. It feels like they pulled out the big guns, fine proses and all the fine words that wouldn’t ruin the flow. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but to the extend where it looks like it’s just to show off, it just kinda bugs me.
What I expected from the vets were normal shorts of similar build like the general stories on the site, not ‘wood that has been polished so smooth you could slip on it’.
But that’s just the opinion of a lone anon.
Now if you want to discuss it, I suggest that we find another place to do so, as it has little relevance to this contest.
>>12659 I'd like to think I put the same effort into writing my short for this contest than any other of my stories here. That's why I usually take so long to update. I know it's not an excuse, but still.
But it's also true that, for this occasion, I tried luck with a genre I don't usually write. If people really like my short that much, maybe I should consider focusing on that genre instead. My readers are not very vocal on whether my normal story is good or not, so...
>>12659 >One of my first thoughts was that they gave this extra effort than their usual updates. It feels like they pulled out the big guns, fine proses and all the fine words that wouldn’t ruin the flow.
Honestly I'd assume that my story came out less polished. Normally all my updates are proofread by someone on IRC, while all of my contest entries have been purely solo. I don't even do a ton of self-proofreading; usually just a quick lookover.
I certainly spent more time on this, but that's largely because it's longer than my normal updates.
I disagree on that last point. It's a contest don't forget. Why shouldn't the writers try their very hardest?
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>>12659 >It feels like they pulled out the big guns, fine proses and all the fine words that wouldn’t ruin the flow. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but to the extend where it looks like it’s just to show off, it just kinda bugs me.
>it looks like it’s just to show off
>>12664 To be fair, there is such a thing as "trying too hard", and it can show.
Not saying it does or doesn't in this particular case since I haven't even read a single contest entry.
I'm just sayin'.
Alright, finally got around to reading these. Thanks for the extension, and here's my picks:
Newbies: Curse and Wood
Veterans: A Red December Moon
Smut: Melting and Cooling
And some comments to go with them.
Newbies Strange Nature: Definitely the wintrier of the two. Had an interesting fairy-tale sort of feel, but not much in the way of substance. I guess origin stories seem a little overdone.
Curse and Wood: This really seemed like a full story that was awkwardly jammed into a short. All of the world-building was interesting, but it had next to no impact on the plot, and it seems like kind of a waste to build a world if you aren’t going to use it. Conservation of detail and all that. Wasn’t too interested by any of the characters, either.
Snow Angel: This really didn’t have any business being Touhou fanfiction. The setting and monster had no connection to Gensokyo, and the characters could have easily been switched out with OCs. I guess the repetitive prose got on my nerves, too, and it was kind of disappointing not finding out what the monster’s deal was.
A Red December Moon: Really liked this one. It was fun seeing the characters get reimagined through a film noir lens. Made good use of tropes, and even with that disappointing ending, I still thought it had the most character and excitement. Reimu didn’t seem very… feminine, though. The narration made me keep picturing her as a guy. I don’t know how you’d fix that, though, or if that’s an insensitive thing to say.
That’s Why I Assault Orin: The fight scene was the real star here, so I guess I don’t mind the excuse plot. At the same time, that meant that the whole first post could have been done away with. I was impressed with how precisely it managed to describe the fight, but at the same time, it seemed sterile and clinical. Could have done with some banter or music or something to spice it up.
Timeless Gesture: I can see what was intended, but I don’t think this succeeded. It had words that rhymed, but the meter was completely off. For things to really sound poetic, they need to have a certain rhythm regarding the number of syllables. You could argue that Koishi wouldn’t try to rhyme, but that doesn’t really make it any better to read.
Epic of the Nine Horsewomen: I chuckled at a few parts, but the humor mostly fell flat, so it just seemed like a rambling farce that tried too hard to be funny.
The Party: I didn’t read this one. Seemed too Hallmark-y for me, but that’s just my preferences speaking.
Dragon Duty: Had a bit of promise when it started out, but ended up kinda boring. There wasn’t really any conflict, and I didn’t find the dialogue or character interplay very entertaining. The thing that really bothered me was how casual and modern Ari’s diction was. He didn’t sound like a medieval fantasy axe-wielding guardsman at all. He was really the main character, so it might’ve been better to tell the story from his perspective. Might’ve given it more impact.
Winter Wolf: The chase at the start was well-done, but it wasn’t very interesting otherwise.
Ice Queen: The setup and framing device were decent, and I liked the first few lines, but the story kind of overstayed its welcome. All the pain and blood just made it uncomfortable to read. Never explained why Nue was such an asshole who wanted Unzan’s baby, either.
Wintry Dreamland: Interesting setup, though you’d think a Gensokyo native would know what a yuki-onna is. Liked the banter and the descriptions at first, but it really fell flat on the sex scene. Kind of sparse on detail, lots of repetition of sentence structures, and some questionable word choice.
A Trip to the Beach: Taking Letty to a cold beach is a cute concept, but not as appealing as it seems. There didn’t seem to be much chemistry between Letty and the MC; not that much flirting or intimacy between them. And like in the last few, it all seemed really uncomfortable. Like, I had zero desire to be in the MC’s position, what with the messy condom and the threat of death by exposure and the freezing-cold beach.
Cabin Fever: Not bad. Gave a good look into Ran’s head, and I liked some of the details. Liked the narrative arc, too. The prose was pretty clumsy, though, full of long sentences overstuffed with content and some oddly academic descriptions. It was odd how suddenly Ran’s switch was unflipped, especially after all that narration describing how flipped her switch was.
Melting and Cooling: Best of the bunch, in my opinion. Delicious Okuu, lots of good description, comfy sex, and an insecure Letty who gets in over his head and comes out better for it. His character arc kind of lost its way in all the sex, though, and it was hard to pin down Okuu as well. Was she innocent, or a predator, or lonely, or something else?
[x] newbies: strange nature
THP used to have a lot of these. Now I miss them.
[x] Veterans: December red moon
THP used to have 3 of these. I still miss them.
[x] porn: Ice Queen
THP used to have a ton of comedy. Yup, miss it.
As I thought.
Site time has changed from UTC to EST (-5).
This is relevant for two reasons:
1. Voting time has essentially extended with a couple of hours.
2. I’ll be able to post the results about right after the end of the contest, if I wake up a little earlier. If anything I’ll be able to post it three hours later.
First off, sorry for the delay on voting--as a participant I felt obligated to do so, but if I voted at all I felt I should read them all, no skimming or gleaning or skipping.
NEWBIES Strange Nature: Your core idea was interesting, but it suffers from the strange spacing and stilted structure. If you don't already, I'd suggest reading widely and getting a feel for the composition of paragraphs, when it's good to line break, when it's good not to. Make your words more than a medium for your core idea, since in the end it's the words that determine the enjoyability of the idea.
Curse and Wood: I understand the style you were trying to emulate, but I think you got lost along the way. You meander a bit too far without ever really going anywhere, and it's neither dynamic nor entertaining to read. There's some substance here--it's not that it was bad, though looking back at it after a break I immediately homed in on a misplaced "your."
VETERANS Snow Angel: Similar to other readers, to me this felt like it had nothing to do with Touhou other than names. This is another case of understanding what you were getting for, in this case with the repetition, but it didn't quite work out. I never really felt much terror.
A Red December Moon: My entry. I have some words about it, but I'll hold off, at least for now.
That's Why I Assault Orin: Well-written enough. Personally I felt like the "proper" use of the Japanese terms was a little bit strange and awkward, but that's just me, it's not really a mark against you. Same thing goes for writing out all of Yuugi's "gahahas." Just personal preference. Other than that, amusing premise (though my cats are warmth leeches, not miniature radiators), the last line was a good punchline. Biggest problem was a somewhat dry fight scene and being more roundabout than it really needed to be. As much as I like oni, you probably could have just used the second post and conveyed the entire story more efficiently. My last nag/suggestion would be that you restructure the short--keep Reimu's intentions secret entirely until the reveal. It would have gone from "amusing" to "laugh-out-loud funny."
Timeless Gesture: This did a very good job of establishing mood and tone...and very little else. Getting into the character's mindset and tone is one thing, but it was otherwise almost entirely lacking in the details that you need to establish what's going on beyond the most basic premise.
Epic of the Nine Horsewomen: The first thing that came to mind was one of those old cartoons, with the fast-talking dead guy talking to Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, and all his slang being used literally. Pretty funny and well-done, I liked the callback to nine reindeer and all that. Sufficiently demented to be an enjoyable read. It did wear on a bit long, but it wasn't a chore to slog through.
The Party: Not bad, pretty cute, though it felt like it picked up threads and then just sort of gently put them back down. Things like Satori's reception being no one paid much attention to her, or Parsee just wandering off to the side after her plot's foiled. It made sense, but it felt like you could have done more with both. Or, hell, had the two of them meet and have their own little side discussion, Satori knowing Parsee's original intentions. That's backseat writing, though, and in the end it was a cute, fun little read.
Dragon Duty: This was pretty cute, though it needed some polish. A few errors or unfinished sentences, that bit about "past tense" where there really wasn't any. On the whole though, a fun read, did a good job working in referential humor without drowning in it. Considering it came from a picture, not bad at all.
Winter Wolf: Again, cute is the word of the day. Nice read, enjoyable, but it felt a bit stilted. Not quite as severely as the others, but it was enough to feel a little clumsy here and there. The banter wasn't quite on; it's usually got to be light and quick, brisk words for brisk actions. Still, it was a good concept and not bad at all. Other than that, "spicy wolf" felt a little bit shoehorned, and you'd think an adult tengu soldier wouldn't have many compunctions against saying "damn" instead of "darn."
ADULT Ice Queen: ...Wow. Less of a porn, more of a shaggy dog story about porn. Funny and terrifying and full of sympathy pains, and a few "I see what you did theres." Poor Unzan. Amusing end twist.
Wintry Dreamland: The ending wasn't as much of a downer as I was expecting it to be--seemed like Letty knew more than she was letting on about the afterlife, and was just sending the man off to be with his wife again. Pretty good, though the shivering in the stream of consciousness felt a bit off. Pretty solid read, though the porn itself didn't blow my mind.
A Trip to the Beach: This one was a bit more silly than anything. I was imagining this dude trying to get frisky in a parka and an insulated condom. Still, kind of cute and amusing, though the sex itself, as with the other contest entries, was a bit dry. Also, you'd think they would have considered the lack of things to do before they got there, with all the other prep. Maybe bring a picnic basket, at least.
Cabin Fever: So far the most solid porn of them all, but it took things way too far in the other direction. Overwrought prose ruins the action, and this was very overwrought. Even (and especially) in the heat of the moment, I can't really see any woman thinking about her "fertile womb" or being so clinical about her outer labia. Excessive adjectives and description feel unrealistic, even when you're reading from the perspective of a fox youkai super-genius. I suspect you were doing it on purpose to match the character, and if so, I would have tried to strike a balance between her clinical analysis and her primal urges, alternating back and forth as her mind runs. Still, the porn was definitely the best so far.
Melting and Cooling: This one just about struck the right balance between action and description. The big problem was that it felt too stretched out; more like it was written for length. The end result was that the sex felt a bit dry. A male Letty with Okuu was an interesting idea, and being unorthodox didn't really distract me from the story. My main two critiques would be to condense more--same detail level on the action, just not as roundabout in getting there--and maybe not to focus on the "mmms" and "aahs" and "fufus." People make lots of noises, especially during sex. You're not writing a graphic novel, you don't need to worry about most sound effects.
MY PICKS NEWBIES: [x] Curse and Wood.
VETERANS: [x] Epic of the Nine Horsewomen.
ADULT: [x] Cabin Fever.
Newbies: [X] Curse and Wood
Veterans: [X] Epic of the Nine Horsewomen
Smut: I'm refraining from voting in this section because I'm familiar enough with smut writing styles to know EXACTLY who wrote what entries, and I really can't make an unbiased vote otherwise. Sorry fellas.
>>12680 Your take on Cabin Fever is interesting to me in how much it illustrates the personal aspects of smut writing and how one style can't please everyone. For me, I loved that entry, specifically because of the lavish descriptions and "clinical" terms. These are the things I personally actively seek out in smut writing, I think they're way better than vulgar slang and stock prose. Of course that doesn't invalidate your opinion either, but goes to show, to each their own.
Well, off comes the band-aid. A Red December Moon was mine, which I suspect anyone who knows me guessed straightaway. It actually started because of Turtle on IRC, who had the idea for a noir Touhou story but no time to do it. Since my other short idea wasn't winter-relevant enough, I decided to give it a shot.
Contest is over? Well, Curse and Wood was mine, and yes, I did talk to Kriss before using Reina. Glad to hear it won.
I'm surprised no one commented on the source for the short though.
Either way, this pleases the wolf.
Since everyone's revealing themselves now, Dragon Duty was mine. I should have made use of the full two posts for it instead of shoving it all into one, which is what really killed its chances to take home the win. Still, I'm not gonna leave it like this; I'll eventually post an updated version in my /shorts/ thread, once I've got it all polished up nice.
Congratulations to the winners! You folks earned it!
>>12695 Will you be attempting a full CYOA thread of it? I found the snippet interesting, especially when Meiling and others start to find how different Nirn is from Earth, considering Nirn is kinda the more typical fantasy world like Toril from D&D Forgotten Realms, Oerth from D&D Greyhawk, and Krinn from D&D Dragonlance.
At the moment? DD is staying as a oneshot, albeit one that's going to get an updated version at some vague point in the future. Mostly because of things like >>12697 mentions, because I am not very good at Elder Scrolls lore, even though I've played all five mainline games at one time or another.
That's not to say I'm opposed to the idea of making it a full CYOA, but right now I've got to get through my story in /sdm/, and then I've got a story for /th/ planned before I can entertain any ideas of more Skyrim Guardsman Action.
That it was the first time you wrote female perspective? Ennh, like I said in >>12680, women don't generally look at themselves and start going into lurid prose about their sexy bodies, though in your defense it matched the descriptiveness level throughout the piece.
I’ll be claiming Winter Wolf in the name of Axl, a writer who crawled out of the underground, and Meg, my ever dependable friend, proofer and co-writer.
The two of us co-wrote this story with me as the main writer and him helping me smooth it out.
And how I’ve waited to be able to respond to some of you.
>>12605 >The *actions* are described well, but the characters performing them aren't - in fact, they aren't even named, except for Aya.
Believe it or not, but that was a conscience choice. Meg even asked about the same thing doing editing.
Though, let me tell you just how hard it was to keep her name hidden for an entire short. I wanted to avoid repeating descriptions such as “the wolf” as much as possible, so I just ended up with a cluster-fuck of ‘her’ ‘her’ ‘her’ instead. It was a pain to read through myself, so just be glad I got it sorted out to a readable level before I released it.
>two wolf tengu. (I think?)
You’ll be in for a surprise if you decide to read the CYOA version of this, once I decide to start it.
>>12612 >Male? See, I thought they were all female, and nobody is straight in Gensokyo.
The likes of you disgust me to no end.
>>12626 >A sweet story of rivalry between lovers
There’s entirely too few of those on the site. Nevertheless, I commend you for pinpointing the exact feel I was aiming at. I didn’t think it was that clear to be honest.
>Though Aya's appearance seemed like a bit of a non-sequitur to me - what was her reason to interrupt the lovey-dovey time aside from having their company for a little bit?
Oh that? Of course you would have no fair chance at figuring out why Aya was there.
Winter Wolf is in a prequel to a story I’m planning down the line. Thanks to all the prep work I’ve already done for it, their exact relationships have been laid out. While it won’t occur doing the story, it’s still a part of their past, part of what developed them and their relationship. For you, just a detail that probably shouldn’t have been there. To me, an important event that helps define the characters even more.
>>12680 >spicy wolf
Honestly, when we were editing it that seemed like one of the better choices. In context, we tried to appeal to actual tastes here. “Spicy” was supposed to compliment “Sweet”, though in retrospect it might have been better if we chose another word, instead of brushing it off as a minor detail.
>you'd think an adult tengu soldier wouldn't have many compunctions against saying "damn" instead of "darn."
This is actually because of my character, not hers. I don’t like cusswords in the slightest, and I tend to avoid them, and avoid developing character that’d use them. For me to actual cuss, would be to have been pushed close to my limit.
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, should have used this image.jpg
Oh, wow, I won? Yay me, I guess! I've never been good at celebrating victories, but I'm really happy nonetheless.
Yes, the Nine Horsewomen was my story. My intention, as >>12624 half-guessed, was to write a piece of comedy as stupid and B-series-y as I could, while still maintaining a semblance of coherent plot. Mostly, I wanted to prove myself I was able to make someone laugh with my little funnies, since I consider myself more of a serious writer. Also, I wanted to make up for that half-assed attempt at the last Writeathlon. Looking at the results, I guess I did it, though it's clear my humor is not everybody's cup of tea. Well, nothing really is.
Most of you pointed out how incredibly long it was, and that it extended much more than necessary. And you would be right, because initially I intended it to be about half as long. But my brain decided to add unnecessary details to ramp up the stupid awesome factor. "You know what is cool? Weapons made of candy! Zombies too. Zombies are always better in our book. How about you put Mima? Everybody loves Mima!" And I couldn't stop, even though I knew it was dragging for too long. So yes, the same critique I did to Curse and Wood and That's why I assault Orin can be applied to mine as well.
Well, now that this is out of the way, I will try to focus on finishing one of the two stories I'm writing here, and then I'll begin to work on that pirate CYOA I wanted to make for a long time. After the finals, of course.
>>12710 It's clearly a conspiracy. People who associate themselves with online touhou fanfiction communities regularly could never possibly show an interest in writing shorts for a contest. When the vast majority of writers on the site are on IRC it'd be mad to expect any of them to actually write something.
Well, that was less "a woman" thing and specifically Ran, the "super youkai genius". I tried to communicate that slightly-alien sense of perception through the narration, but from what people are saying it seems to have detracted more than it helped.
Right on! I wrote Melting and Cooling, along with my friend who does the genderswap story. I wanted to do something a bit different from the Letty-on-MC action I'd been seeing, with comfy, cozy sex instead of death by exposure. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Thanks for the votes!