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  #1  
Old 07-12-2010, 06:10 AM
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If you have any comments on either Contest (Prose/Poetry) or any of the entries then please leave them here. Please encourage and help fellow writers by sharing your thoughts here.

Also a round of applause for the winners of the Copy Contest ScribblerKing, midwestamp and gary_wagner.

If you have entered the contest and see a comment here that makes you want to change your entry, please don't! Editing after you've posted will disqualify your work. The staff is happy to make minor spelling or spacing corrections for you, but significantly changing your piece after you submit it isn't fair to other people.

Thanks!

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Old 07-23-2010, 06:58 PM
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I really liked Mister URL's prose piece.
It held my attention and I was rather scared at the end of it.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:54 PM
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I haven't got round to reading the prose pieces yet, but I shall comment on R.J Nightfalls. Although I don't know if there is a rule against commenting on competitors? If there is delete this and PM please?

Anyway, I suppose the text itself is fine, it just doesn't read like a poem to me, there's no rhythm or anything, no apparant techniques or anything. To me it just seems like a portion of text from a novel or prose that has just be placed into a segmented format.

I admit to not being that smart when it comes to poetry, as you can see from my poem I just write what I enjoy and don't think much about technique. So if I'm wrong about his poem, I'd like to be corrected as it would help me to understand it better I think.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:29 AM
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The only rule in regards to comments is that you may not edit your entry for any reason after submitting, even if you have gotten useful feedback.


Oh and on a tangent, poetry does not need to rhyme, that is one of the great misunderstanding that most are thought in school.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:29 AM
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I understand no rhyming is needed, but I feel there is a differance between not rhyming in a poem and just writing out a story in parts to make it look like a poem. I feel there should be at least a rhythm that comes across when you read it.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:01 AM
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Laguna, I'd like to say I thought your poem was hilarious. The lines "Worms for breakfast, suits you Mole!/suits you just fine within your hole!" had and still have me laughing out loud like an idiot. Good stuff.

I haven't read all the others, am just skimming at this point.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:16 PM
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I' ve read both prose pieces submitted by Mr. URL and Morechoiriel and I'd like to share a few thoughts about them.


First of all, I'm impressed by both and I'l be very happy if I'm able to write anything as good as either of them. None of what follows diminishes the merits of either story, these are just observations, doubts and probably a lot of picked nits. One of the major reasons I'm impressed is that, even though both stories are self-contained and don't need any more explanation or exposition, they also feel like they could be part or the start of something bigger. Both of them make you curious to learn more about the protagonists and the world they inhabit.
“The Wall” maybe pulls of an even bigger feat than “Journal” because whereas the latter takes place in our own very (all too) recognisable world, the former created, in a few sentences, an entire world. Even if you don't get to hear a whole lot more about Rockville and the rest of this underground world, you get the feeling of the place. Big kudos there, then.
That's not to say “Journal” doesn't wet the appetite. It does, although in an entirely different way. I don't care if the author of the journal says his “name doesn't matter, just call me the last human”, it does matter. It matters because I want to know more about these people, about their lives, their family, their daughter (grandchildren?). Mr. URL's piece may appear to be emotionless, it is anything but. It rings with despair and longing. And yet.
And yet, in trying to clear his story of all emotions but despair, I fear MR. URL has gone too far. I'm willing to accept the narrator doesn't consider his own name of any importance, but that of the woman he's been married to for the last 40 years? I find it hard to believe that he wouldn't mention her name, or that of his daughter. I think naming them would/could have made this piece even more human.
There is even an argument in this story that, I believe, only strengthens my point. The narrator tells us he and his wife were acting like teenagers, and were sappy, overwhelmed with love and emotion as only, indeed, teenagers can be (or at least that's what we're always told). Again, I think that a man who is overwhelmed with love and emotion for his wife of forty years would at least mention her name.
It is at this point in my critique that I feel I should point out a few niggles that have been bothering me in “Journal”. I have no quarrel with the general tone, or the voice if you will, of this story (at least not of the 'journal' part, the second part I'll address later), even if, on a few occasions, it seems the narrator must be a very literate and/or articulate person. E.g.: “It is unlikely that the Iranian hard-liners even had a chance...” It almost sounds as if it could come straight out of a history book. Couldn't “I don't think the Iranian hard-liners even had a chance..” also have done the trick? Others examples could be “the havoc could still have been stopped” or the use of the verb “prevailed”.
But even then, I could have gotten past this without major injury, if it weren't for the gin and pills. I'm afraid that even the most articulate professor of English literature would have a very hard time writing such a piece of prose, with those phrases, when he's taken what can only be described as and is supposed to be a lethal cocktail of drugs and alcohol. Sorry, I don't see that happening. Had he written his journal, or at least the first part of it, before taking his gin, I'd have no qualm. As it is, to me this doesn't feel right.
Nor does the sudden change of narrator. If the first part of this story, we're reading the journal of the supposed last human, then what are we reading next? Who is telling us the second part of the story? It can't be the author of the journal, since he's dead. Who then? I know I'm nitpicking here, but as it is, the two parts don't fit as well as they could. Maybe the use of quotation marks bookending the “journal” part could have helped, but I'm not sure about that either. Or starting his second part with something like “The author of this journal was wrong, he was not the last human...” or “This last human had no idea of the hell that awaited the war-lovers that caused all this destruction...”
I'm well aware that the greater part of my criticism has been directed at Mr. URL's piece. That's not to say I think his story is less good than “The Wall”, it's just that these are points that struck me with his story. I'm still not sure which one of these would get my vote come October, I guess I'll have to sleep on it a few times and re-read both of them another couple of times. Or wait till someone else decides to enter the competition. They have their work cut out, though.
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