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Old 2011-02-01, 15:53   Link #21
felix
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Changed it to Draft. But if forget to change it by the end of the contest, just consider it final.
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Old 2011-02-01, 16:09   Link #22
Hiroi Sekai
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Sure thing, thanks for the note.
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Old 2011-02-02, 07:20   Link #23
lordshadowisle
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Hi everyone, I'm a long time lurker (in fact, only registered today) but I'm signing up for this competition. Signatures and fanart are beyond me, but writing I can do (hopefully?).

Will be posting a draft in a few days, hope that everyone has fun writing (and reading)!
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Old 2011-02-02, 08:51   Link #24
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@papermario13689, genesis 2

It looks okey overall. Kind of hard for me to read this kind of text, though the overall idea of how to handle the theme is interesting. A little heavy for what is mostly light hearted text maybe, but interesting. Perhaps it would have worked better if instead of the story of Adam and Eve you used the story of how Seasons came to be, or similarly more obscure and less religious material; but that's outside the scope of critique.

I'm thinking you're thinking what I'm thinking and are just going to continue where you left off next month? Since it seems like you could have made a ending, but left it open, intentionally.
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Old 2011-02-02, 14:05   Link #25
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Hey felix, thanks for the C&C^.^

I love criticism, so I'm not going to defend my story in any way. However, I do want to point on a few things. Actually, I'm surprised you say the story of the origin of Seasons is less obscure than the story of Adam and Eve. Not going to critique the critic here^^

About your question, I don't really plan to continue this story in next month's competition. First off, the topics won't match anymore, and second, it's meant to stop there. A cliffhanger. A hanging question.

I'll probably make a few more edits depending what the majority of criticism is. Thanks again for your opinion


@lordshadowisle: Good to hear! Looking forward to reading your entry
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Old 2011-02-02, 14:13   Link #26
felix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
Actually, I'm surprised you say the story of the origin of Seasons is less obscure than the story of Adam and Eve.
Oh no you misread. I meant it as using a more obscure story would have been more interesting (ie. leveraging on the reader not being familiar with the original), not that the story of Adam and Eve is obscure. But like I said, that's just a idea I'm throwing at you so don't think too much into it...
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Old 2011-02-02, 14:17   Link #27
Hiroi Sekai
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Ah! I see, I see. I apologize for that. In all honesty, I don't know enough of the origins of seasons story to be truly inspired by it; Adam and Eve is a different story entirely.

No problem, I'm glad you suggested it at least
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Old 2011-02-03, 21:27   Link #28
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I'll give this thing a shot. Avert your eyes, for your own safety.

Final Draft

Playing at Purpose

“R. Dorothy Wayneright!”
“Good morning, Roger.”
“‘Good morning’ indeed…”
The sun breaks through windows and streams over an old black piano, where I sit. My fingers fly over piano keys, pushing this one and that one, and the sounds of resounding strings fill the air. I turn my head to the man in black—and usually in style. Right now, he just wears a dark heavy coat, unkempt hair, and a foul disposition. The last is no doubt because of the piano, but I feign ignorance. Roger Smith’s face grows a little more irritable with each note as I continue to search for and find the right keys. It’s a typical morning-past-noon.
“Norman is already preparing breakfast,” I say, while the piano sings another meter.
“That’s great, Dorothy, but—”
“Yes?”
He searches for the right words. I suppress the grin that wants to show itself. It’s better this way, honestly. “We’ve been over this already, right?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“The piano, Dorothy. The piano.”
My mouth stretches just slightly as I turn away. “You’re such a louse, Roger Smith.”
I strike a final key and the sonata slowly fades.

“I won’t be returning until dinner,” Roger says from behind his newspaper while sipping the last of his coffee. “I’m expecting the negotiations to take a while.”
“Of course, Master Roger,” says Norman Burg, impeccable as ever. “Shall I prepare the megadeus?”
“Big O? What would I need Big O for?”
“You have a penchant for getting into trouble, Roger. Your negotiations always end that way,” I say, a little payback for his rude habit. A black eyebrow rises above the edge of a page. “I’m unsure of how you managed to gain your reputation, Mr. Negotiator.”
Norman chuckles for a second, but a pointed glance from Roger stops him. Roger, smiling, folds up the newspaper and leaves it on the table.
“You’d never think that behind that gentle exterior is a tongue like that. I know better, though,” he says, half amused, half annoyed. “I shudder to think that the old man built you to be that way.” Almost immediately, Roger tries to pull the words back into his mouth, but it’s too late. I stare at him, no expression betrayed on my face. “I’m sorry, Dorothy. I— I shouldn’t have said that.” Roger hurriedly stands up and starts for the door. “I’ll be going now, Norman—Dorothy.”
“Oh, dear,” says Norman with a sigh and a shrug.
I return to the piano and sit down, but I don’t play anything. Instead, I think. About my father, Timothy Wayneright, about why I was built. About how I lost both things. I remember that last night at the Nightin’ Gale, that night when a song ended Father and R. Dorothy began. He had built me to replace his daughter, my origin was her fate. I had been content with that. After that night, that was gone. I feel like a piano left silent for years whose strings have long since degraded beyond being able to play music.
“Dorothy?” Norman asks with a severe look as he steps into the room.
“Hello, Norman.” I try to appear unreadable, but it won’t matter. Norman knows.
“What are you doing sitting here? Dorothy, you should enjoy yourself today,” he says, kindly and good natured. “I’ll busy myself with cleaning this dusty old place.”
“But, Norman—”
“Oh, I’ll be having none of that. I will see you return by dinner, yes?” He smiles faintly. “Off you go.”

I find myself walking outside the domes, heading towards the café called Amadeus. I’m not even at the door when I hear the slow, smooth refrain wafting from the perfectly tuned piano inside. The composition isn’t so precise; the sheet music isn’t exactly followed. But I like it. I turn the knob and open the door, letting more of the sound lift outside and away before stepping inside into the café with dim lights and eased patrons. R. Instro plays his instrument with infallible fallibility.
“What a surprise to see you here, Dorothy,” he tells me, after the piece has finished, “and even more so to see you without Roger.”
I feel something like embarrassment, but I don’t let my face say it. “I’m not always with him, Instro.”
“No, of course not,” chuckles he. “Regardless, I’m happy to have you here.”
Instro invites me to play a piano duet. As always, he plays beautifully, but I don’t put myself into the music, and I know he can feel it. I came so I could find common identity with Instro; he had lost his father as well, and he had almost lost his purpose. I don’t want to communicate these things to him, but I feel a shared identity with him.
“Is there something wrong, Dorothy?”
“No, Instro.” Thoughts and thinking drip from me. They make the floor wet with regretful reminisce.
“Dorothy.”
“This is your old piano, isn’t it, Instro?” I ask, trying to shift the conversation away.
He allows it. “Yes, it is. I couldn’t find another one quite like it. There are very few people left with the Memories to properly craft a piano. Those that do remember make each one with a profound sense of intent. Their origins are very deliberate and their purpose very specific. I can’t imagine a piano not meant to be played.”
I remember my own original purpose, now lost. “Like us,” I say, monotone but despondent. I expect Instro to feel the same way, having lost his own pur—.
“Not like us.” Instro stops his hands. “You and I may be built, Dorothy, and perhaps built with a purpose in mind. In that way, we are similar to this piano. But, unlike this piano, I can create without being played by someone else. We’re more than the sum of others intentions for us, bad or good.”
I turn to Instro, surprised. The emotion in his voice is something I haven’t seen since that day when he broke from his father’s legacy.
“What I was built for doesn’t matter, Dorothy. You and Roger taught me that. Have you forgotten? It is the me now and the legacy I create that determines my impact in the world.” Instro deftly plays a quick, lively tune. “And I am a pianist.”
“Instro.” His words fall on me like feathers. I’m speechless. I had forgotten. Though what I was made for may be gone now, I have something more. I have more. I have Ro—I won’t finish that sentence, I think. I struggle to keep my voice level. “I…thank you, Instro.” I mean it, terribly. He looks at me, and I catch some knowing in the pianist’s eyes.
“And you feel things that your creator may not have meant you to feel, don’t you, R. Dorothy?”
“Yes,” I say, and this time awkwardness finds its way into my voice. Instro nods.
“I have a new piece to teach you. An elderly man with a fragment of memory came in and asked to borrow my piano. He said that it had been written for a woman. But I'm sure it has long outgrown that purpose.” He flexes his metal fingers and, with a flourish, begins to play the notes of what I feel is a very old song.

I return home that evening, before dinner. Norman greets me on the way in and gives me a kind smile before returning to his preparations. I think he senses that everything is well. Stepping over to the piano, I think about what Instro has said. I sit and play the new meters on the old piano, letting the notes flow this way, that way, every way. I don’t think about the sheet music or the symphonies or the solo piano concertos that came before. What comes out, I think, is beautiful.
“Well, well, I haven’t heard this one before,” says the Negotiator. He alights with a smile.
“You’ve returned, Roger. Did you not need Big O this time?”
“That’s right. It seems my reputation is deserved after all.” He approaches me nervously. “Dorothy, about before, I—”
“It’s fine. There is nothing that should be said.”
“Oh?” There is a questioning pause. I nod my head.
“Yes. There’s nothing to worry about.”
He chuckles and sits down next to the piano. “Thank you, Dorothy.” Relief lifts him, and I’m happy to see it that way. I see his fingers moving to the melody. “So, where does this wonderful sound come from?”
“The origin doesn’t matter, Roger.” I say it with pride welling in my chest. “Do you need to know to appreciate what I am playing now?”
“No, Dorothy, I suppose I don’t,” he says, chuckling lightly. “It’s not often a man can appreciate a beautiful girl playing a masterpiece just for him.”
I turn away and smile a little more fully. “You’re a louse, Roger Smith.”

Last edited by WordShaker; 2011-02-13 at 04:26. Reason: A final draft, I think.
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Old 2011-02-03, 21:40   Link #29
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Double-post to separate story from this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
Genesis II
Now that's rather dark take. I'm a fan.

Though, I'm seeing something that's kind of inconsistent, or may just be my own misreading. Adam has amnesia, that's pretty firm, but then you say he "wished was to go back to his old lifestyle with his two sons and wife." Is the phrase "no memories except for the fact that mankind had left him in this cruel world" artistic flourish, then?
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Old 2011-02-04, 06:49   Link #30
felix
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@wassupimviet, I have some trouble visualizing the setting and some relationships between characters, but overall looks okey.
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Old 2011-02-04, 10:47   Link #31
zebra
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Oh I really like this contest idea!

I'm unsure if I'll participate, but I'll defnitely lurk and hang around to see what's going on
I'm gonna read the already posted drafts/entries in all peacefulness later, but I can't promise any useful critique or such.
Useless lurkers, huzzah!

Just wanted to praise the contest actually
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Old 2011-02-04, 16:27   Link #32
Hiroi Sekai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wassupimviet View Post
Double-post to separate story from this.



Now that's rather dark take. I'm a fan.

Though, I'm seeing something that's kind of inconsistent, or may just be my own misreading. Adam has amnesia, that's pretty firm, but then you say he "wished was to go back to his old lifestyle with his two sons and wife." Is the phrase "no memories except for the fact that mankind had left him in this cruel world" artistic flourish, then?
Thank you for your opinion^.^ The whole idea was that it wasn't amnesia that Adam had, but his memories could be controlled at will by a greater power. It was intended that Adam wanted to return to his one memory of his previous life, but had to obey the order to stay away from the forbidden fruit no matter what. He can't, and the whole process loops again until he can learn to obey, which would cause sin to vanish from the world for all eternity. Of course, the story is only very loosely based on the original.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra View Post
Oh I really like this contest idea!

I'm unsure if I'll participate, but I'll defnitely lurk and hang around to see what's going on
I'm gonna read the already posted drafts/entries in all peacefulness later, but I can't promise any useful critique or such.
Useless lurkers, huzzah!

Just wanted to praise the contest actually
That's perfectly okay, even having readers is always uplifting Thanks for your comment
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Old 2011-02-04, 18:26   Link #33
felix
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Note to self: watch for unclosed tables. Yey for paragraphs moving on top of the table if not properly enclosed and making a big unintelligible mess

v1.2.1 / edit 1
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Old 2011-02-04, 20:17   Link #34
The_Seth
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@wassupimviet, that was a lovely story. I really enjoyed reading it and the relationship between Dorothy and Roger certainly reminded me of past relationships haha.
I really like the style you write with and look forward to reading more of your works.
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Old 2011-02-04, 22:51   Link #35
Hiroi Sekai
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And yes, I agree. I like your choice of words in many parts and I like how the ending line reminisced on the beginning, albeit being a short story altogether. A good show indeed.
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Old 2011-02-05, 06:58   Link #36
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Thanks for the comments all, kind denizens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
@wassupimviet, I have some trouble visualizing the setting and some relationships between characters, but overall looks okey.
Oy, that's a pretty great point. I'm editing the thing for clunkiness, so I'll give it a few work-overs and see if I can't fix some of that at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Seth View Post
*praise*
Quote:
Originally Posted by papermario13689 View Post
*praise*
Aw shucks, now I'm all embarrassed and all that.

*is bashful*
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Old 2011-02-05, 08:28   Link #37
felix
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@wassupimviet, it may not need fixing. It's not necessary to convey the setting or relationship if you focus on everything else more. Play your strengths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strunk & White's The Elements of Style
Omit needless words.

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
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Old 2011-02-05, 13:32   Link #38
Hiroi Sekai
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I agree with felix. Taking criticism well is always a good sign for a writer, and so is editing. All you need to remember is that in the end, it's your piece of writing. Don't be making every edit that is suggested to you!
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Old 2011-02-06, 12:12   Link #39
lordshadowisle
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Here's draft 1. I've put it in a spoiler.

Spoiler for ORIGIN STORY:


Spoiler for LATEST DRAFT:


Only made very minor edits.

Last edited by lordshadowisle; 2011-02-14 at 07:19. Reason: Entry update
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Old 2011-02-06, 18:59   Link #40
felix
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@lordshadowisle

*reads first few paragraphs*

Woohoo, this is great already!

Hope you don't mind if I treat this as a sort of proofread + critique. Bear in mind these are just suggestions, please make sure to ignore half the nonsense I say, kk?

Quote:
Intense pain, chest area.
Somehow it seems off. The comma is too weak in this case. It's not really getting the feeling, which I'm deducing I should have been getting from reading ahead, hehe.

How about
"Intense pain. Chest area."
or
"Intense pain— chest area."
You also don't need to be so reserved with exclamation marks. Yes, you should use them very very rarely, if they are to have any effect; but this is a good case to use them. So
"Intense pain— chest area!"
Quote:
I took down the gangster easily enough, but I didn't expect him to manage to hit me.
This is one of the few cases where it makes sense to use a semicolon instead of a comma, a mdash is also better in my opnion (hold Alt and then press 0,1,5,1).

Quote:
Firing his handgun with one hand, not at eye level; unaimed, random shots.
What's eye level? Maybe
"Firing his handgun with one hand. No aim. Just random shots."
or to keep it more chaotic.
"Firing his handgun with one hand; no aim… just random shots."
Don't be afraid to make sentences with say no verb and so on. You can use the period for long pauses, like in the former example. Since this is a monologue its all good.

Quote:
No, that is only the origin of the Vigilante feared by the Undercity.
Shouldn't you use the uncapitalized version, or is it a nickname?

Quote:
Bulletproof armor, procured from military surplus and manually thinned to decrease physical burden while still being capable of stopping small-arms fire.
"while still being" made the sentence a little clunky when I read it, how about
"Bulletproof armor, procured from military surplus and manually thinned to decrease physical burden, yet still capable of stopping small-arms fire."
This one might need more work though; on the first half.

Quote:
Guns, a final [last] resort when all other avenues are exhausted
Quote:
And training, much [a lot of] training and experimentation. On how to apply and wear gear for maximum mobility and effectiveness. On the areas of weakness in bulletproof armor and how to reinforce it, how to exploit it.
Dunno about the second part on the last one, but probably needs pruning or rephrasing, to make it flow better with the text before it.

Quote:
They even formed an informal task force in the heavy crimes unit dedicated to acting on my tip-offs.
Plot hole. You said earlier in the story, after the boss-man was changed the police were now unresponsive. So, what happened to this unit? Also, it's a little forced, it can be toned down while keeping to the idea. I mean would the police support a vigilante? probably not. It could probably be a "response protocol" or something along those lines.

Quote:
It was after all a big story- "Bright girl on scholarship killed by addict father".
Quote:
The follow-up story a few months later made news too- "Murdering parent killed in mob gunfight".
A ellipsis … or colon : would be better I think. Comma might work too.

ps. story is great, gj
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