& so we have our second #SatSunTails winner!
I’ll hold another one next weekend and hope slightly more people enter. If you can help by promoting it on your blogs, twitter, G+, facebook etc, that would be great.
But for now, let’s get to the winners!
Runner Up Mentions
Such a great narrative. The staccato rhythm has us uneasy yet sure of our protagonist and his forthright ways. And the last lines were wonderful.
A really fantastic story, the tempo was as cool and unfaltering as the description, leaving the reader with more questions than answers at the finish line.
Jeffrey always produces wonders, especially those with comic twists and this tiny tale is one of his best. The dialogue, too, is spot on for the piece.
I’m sure that when you read this you will appreciate why I chose Margaret’s entry as the overall winner. She builds the tension beautifully up until the final moments. Enjoy.
Dust coated his withered skin, seamed his dark eyes.
Still he watched.
Around him arid winds laid waste to the barren fields, tattered his robes.
Still he watched.
He watched as the three moons circled in the tawny sky.
He watched as skeletal bushes bloomed, faded, bloomed again.
He watched as dwellings were built, the salt smell of labour drifting in the parched air.
He watched as they were razed to the ground.
He had been The Watcher for three millennia. It was his birthright. To watch for the Prophecy Fulfilled. The Coming.
The Watcher was bored.
As the billionth sandstorm raged across the brown plains of his home planet, the Watcher yawned. Stretched. Closed his eyes.
In his ear-splitting indifference, he missed The Coming and failed to give The Welcome. Two days later (when the Apocalypse came) he was heard to cry, “At least it makes a bloody change!”
Now, as promised, I shall critique three entries…
There are a few points to be made with Gina’s entry, but the main one is to use less similes in order not to clutter up and cause confusion in the text. For example, ‘her camera strap hung around her neck like a noose’ over complicated the text. Now, I love imagery in text, but you don’t don’t have to create that with an abundance of words. Cutting back on similes sometimes helps so the text isn’t peppered with ‘likes’ or ‘as this as that’. Too many of these and the reader may forget what you were trying to describe in the first place. In fact, here Gina could have said ‘the camera strap noosed her neck’. Not only does it cut short the word count (providing more room for more story) but it’s cleaner, less jumbled and you can fit in the sharp snap through the alliteration and the aural quality of the words.
When you’re writing, it’s always more memorable for the reader when you involve all of their senses in a tale.
I loved David’s description of the air being ‘clammy and clingy’. That really appealed to my senses. However, there was a little too much repetition of the word ‘mother’. Sometimes it helps to use something less specific such as ‘woman’, just to cut down on repeating too much as that often leads the reader to become disinterest. Occasionally, though, it does work really well when racking up the tension in a story – usually if the reiteration is a similar sentence or sentence beginning used over again to cause emphasis.
I did love Wendy’s tale and if it wasn’t for the ending, I’m sure she would probably have made it into the three runners up. The tension in the story had built up so wonderfully, but I felt that, with the small ending paragraph, this was doused somewhat. Shorter sentences would have faired better with the previous tempo and stronger similes than ‘as far away as possible’.
So thank you to all of those who entered. The criticism is never meant to harm. It is there to help you better your writing and someday win overall. I’m sure it will also benefit those who were not criticised. I hope this has helped you as well as encouraged you to join in again next week!
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