Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

    Here are the results for the Feb 2019 Valentine's Day contest:

    Code:
                                1st 2nd 3rd Total
    Martin Is Nice - Lil Drowzy  1   1   1    6
    Midnight Caller - dpaterso   2   3       12
    First Time - Centos          1       1    4
    Fallin' - StoryWriter        2   1   2   10
    The Waiting Game - Concar        1   2    4
    Congrats to... dammit, me... for Midnight Caller, and to StoryWriter for a close second with Fallin'. Well done all for writing something for the contest regardless of how many points you scored. It's all about practicing writing to theme and deadline.

    Thanks also to Mark Somers for voting!

    1st place vote = 3 points, 2nd = 2, 3rd = 1. Note that if I'd included bonus 3 points for everyone who voted, excluding myself because I did the admin, the results would be different!

    You're welcome to post thoughts and comments in this thread.

    For posterity's sake, the discussion thread is here and the entries thread is here.
    Results posted for the Halloween 2020 contest
    in Writing Exercises forum

  • #2
    Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

    Congratulations dpaterso, Storywriter and Lil Drowzy. And, finally, dpaterso, you didn't penalize yourself for doing the work of administrating. I'll try to post a few comments about who I voted for and why by tomorrow (or the next day).

    Thanks again for the contest.
    STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

      Comments on the entries.

      My first place vote went to Fallin'. The idea intrigued me and it ended with a Valentine theme. There was a lot to take in here and it looked like the writer was condensing a longer story into the shorter space, so it came across as rushed.

      My second place vote went to the winner, Midnight Caller. Until the end I thought the dialogue seemed unrealistic when considering the situation. But once I realized there was to be a twist I "got it." I wasn't quite sure how the ending played out, were these vampires or vampire killers (or both)?

      My third place vote went to Martin is Nice. The writer was successful in creating an unlikable (constant chip on the shoulder) protagonist but I thought the ending mellowed her out a bit. The beginning, with the old Polish guy's bankruptcy scam, didn't come across as realistic and I couldn't place the room decor description, but I got the idea it translated to "sparse."

      Unless I missed something, I couldn't quite figure out The Waiting Game. It seemed like the start of a longer script and then just ended. I kept thinking the car "not starting" had some deeper meaning. Maybe this was an endless loop?

      First Time, mine, was just another one of my maudlin scripts. I liked it, but then I usually like what I write. But I think I'm about the only one who does. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this.

      Next writing exercise?
      STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

        My votes went like:

        1st - Fallin'
        2nd - Martin Is Nice
        3rd - The Waiting Game

        And my comments, for what they're worth:

        Martin Is Nice

        I smiled at the opening lines which delivered voice, and I liked the portrait of Eliza's life, and I liked the easy dialogue. Towards the end however I didn't quite get the uncomfortable number of youths thing, like what did Eliza do to gather these people (in their 20s... but children?), and that gave me a last moment wobble. Just missed my 1st place vote.

        Midnight Caller

        Mine! As I posted the entries, I re-read this for typos, and realized at that fateful point that as I edited the script from 11+ pages down to 8 pages, I'd pruned the low-key romance spark between Izzy and Willy that qualified the story as suitable for Valentine's Day. I wonder if anyone noticed? Why did it get so many votes? Which were unexpected. Maybe y'all just liked the idea of a family of vampire hunters and their unwitting visitors?

        First Time

        Nicely written all the way, good character interplay and dialogue, but Jeebus what a downer ending, even though I saw it coming from the beginning. Sorry for not voting for it!

        Fallin'

        This held my attention, I think I would have enjoyed watching the film or however it ended up, gets a vote.

        The Waiting Game

        A readable slice of life, glad it all ended well, good closing line, gets a vote.
        Results posted for the Halloween 2020 contest
        in Writing Exercises forum

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

          Congratulations to dpaterso!

          My # 1 -- First Time: In my opinion this was the best written script, with characters you could really relate to. But I agree with dpaterso -- put Centos on suicide watch. I was hoping for a twist, happy ending.

          My # 2 -- Midnight Caller: I'm a sucker for stories that are written with characters acting normal in really weird situations. Well done.

          My # 3 -- The Waiting Game: It had a realistic feel to it, and in my opinion it went on a little too long in a couple of scenes. But the characters were believable, and I kept getting the feeling this is something that the writer may have really experienced.

          Martin Is Nice: Although it got better as it went (in my opinion), I had a really hard time with this one out of the gate. About thirty years ago I went through a bankruptcy and my lawyer was exactly opposite from Eliza in this story. He was a devious b*st*rd who came up with scams I would have never dreamed of. Eliza, on the other hand, acted more like a prosecutor. (Maybe things have really changed in thirty years?)

          Mine -- Fallin': About a hundred pounds of crap stuffed into a fifty pound sack. Centos was right -- I needed more room. At least ten pages would have been great. I also broke a rule I normally set for myself in these short competitions. This is a story I'm playing with for a full length screenplay. Kind of it's own "alternate time line". Missing is any sense of peril. In the real story people murdered Danny's parents and since he has no idea who, he goes after scumbags, more or less randomly, then escapes. Silvia's group, aren't exactly the greatest people on earth, and could be responsible for the murders of Danny's parents. They despise "Stringers" and in the full length version so did Silvia (who is kind of brainwashed), at first. It takes her thirty or forty pages to change her mind and fall for Danny and help go after his parents killers. I tried to hint at some of this stuff, but in eight pages that's a lost cause and only causes confusion.

          General Comments
          I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I wish more people would use these contests. It's a great -- no cost -- way to play with new things and find out what might work and what's a disaster. I played around with a lot things, in this contest, that I've never tried before. A couple of things I'm kind of happy with and will work on -- a couple of things -- not so much. What's great about more people and more comments is if fifteen out of twenty have the same criticism, that's probably something you ought to look at.

          In my opinion this is the most valuable forum on Done Deal.

          Thanks again, dpaterso, for putting this together.
          Last edited by StoryWriter; 02-17-2019, 11:26 AM.
          "I just couldn't live in a world without me."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

            Thanks for the comments, appreciated!

            Eyeballs on your writing and free feedback, what's not to like.

            Yep more people would be nice, alas we've lost too many over the years and/or they just don't visit as frequently any more, what can ya do.
            Results posted for the Halloween 2020 contest
            in Writing Exercises forum

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

              Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
              First Time

              Nicely written all the way, good character interplay and dialogue, but Jeebus what a downer ending, even though I saw it coming from the beginning. Sorry for not voting for it!
              Originally posted by StoryWriter View Post

              My # 1 -- First Time:
              In my opinion this was the best written script, with characters you could really relate to. But I agree with dpaterso -- put Centos on suicide watch. I was hoping for a twist, happy ending.
              What's funny is that I didn't consider this script a "downer" at all. I looked at it as a successful life, well lived. (Maybe I'm insane?)
              STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

                Originally posted by Centos View Post
                What's funny is that I didn't consider this script a "downer" at all. I looked at it as a successful life, well lived. (Maybe I'm insane?)
                Heh I wouldn't go that far. So maybe I used the wrong word, maybe the story was "touching" rather than a downer, although downer is the feeling it left me with. Like I said, nicely written.
                Results posted for the Halloween 2020 contest
                in Writing Exercises forum

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

                  Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
                  Heh I wouldn't go that far. So maybe I used the wrong word, maybe the story was "touching" rather than a downer, although downer is the feeling it left me with. Like I said, nicely written.
                  No, "downer" is fine. I was just saying that the story effected me differently then it did you or Storywriter. I think I'm the one who is "out of the loop" here, not you. Besides, honest criticism is the best feedback you can get, and I think you told me honestly how this story effected you. I thank both you and Storywriter for your comments.
                  STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

                    Same basic mood, happier ending. (I wrote this one eleven years ago, still on the newsgroup archived by Goodle. I was already wordy. Should probably look into writing novels.)

                    I didn't proofread it or anything. So any mistake I made back then is still there.

                    Code:
                         CLAWS
                    
                         FADE IN:
                    
                         INT. KITCHEN -- NIGHT
                    
                         A slight breeze ruffles the lace curtain, which is tangled 
                         in the stems of a potted ivy plant sitting on the window 
                         sill -- its leaves flow down toward the sink.
                    
                         The sound of the dripping faucet competes with the gurgling 
                         of a stream outside, and with the buzz of flies, who circle 
                         lazily beneath a dim light bulb, occasionally landing on its 
                         pull string -- which trails down toward a 50s style, chrome 
                         edged, red Formica table.
                    
                         Beneath the light, VERNON WAGSTAFF, stubbled chin, thin and 
                         wrinkled, wearing a well-worn bathrobe, sits motionless, an 
                         old-fashioned fountain pen in his hand, while he stares down 
                         at the blank pad of paper in front of him.
                    
                         He squints and leans close to the pad.  He moves the pen 
                         over the paper, but it leaves no mark, so he shakes it until 
                         droplets of ink appear on the table.
                    
                         He writes.
                    
                                               VERNON (V.O.)
                                   Dearest Ellenor...  It's with a heavy 
                                   heart that I...
                    
                         He impatiently scratches out the words, and rips the page 
                         off the pad, crinkling it into a ball.
                    
                                               VERNON
                                   Sounds like a damn business letter.
                    
                         Vernon starts again.
                    
                                               VERNON (V.O.)
                                   My Beautiful Ellenor... I'm wishing 
                                   now that I hadn't sent you away to 
                                   see James.  As you now know, he and 
                                   Lily are fine and so are the kids.
                    
                         I just didn't want you to be here when it happened.  But... 
                         maybe...
                    
                         He stops again and rips the sheet from the pad and wads it 
                         into a ball.  Then he puts the pen down, gets up and paces 
                         the floor.
                    
                         He stops in front of the sink.  Beside it, on a set of 
                         knickknack shelves nailed to the cupboard sits a "50th 
                         Anniversary" plate, with a picture of he and Ellenor (thin 
                         and wrinkly like him) taken at the anniversary party, screen 
                         printed on it.
                    
                         On the upper shelf sits a cracked picture frame with a black 
                         and white photo of much younger versions of himself and 
                         Ellenor.  A small, black child is sitting on Ellenor's lap.
                    
                         They all smile broadly.
                    
                         Beside the picture, sits an empty bottle of wine.  Its label 
                         is faded -- yellowed Scotch tape keeps a ripped corner from 
                         falling off.  Vernon smiles slightly as he lifts the bottle 
                         and wipes the cobwebs off of it.  He also picks up the picture 
                         and places both items on the table by the pad.
                    
                         He sits down and starts writing again.
                    
                                               VERNON (V.O.)
                                   In front of me sits the bottle and 
                                   the picture of James, taken the day 
                                   the adoption was final.  I remember 
                                   how excited and happy we all were, 
                                   and our first "night picnic."
                    
                         INT. KITCHEN (WHEN NEW) -- NIGHT (FLASHBACK)
                    
                         A young Vernon, late 20s, black hair, thin, in dress clothes, 
                         dries dishes at the sink and places them in the cupboard.
                    
                         A young Ellenor, late 20s, red hair, pretty, walks into the 
                         kitchen.  Her eyes are bright.  She smiles wide as she tries 
                         to untie apron strings behind her back.
                    
                                               YOUNG ELLENOR
                                   Finally.  Asleep.
                    
                         Vernon puts down his dish towel and reaches out to help.
                    
                                               YOUNG VERNON
                                   Here, turn around.
                    
                         He fumbles with the knot but gives up and, instead, slides 
                         his hands around her slender stomach and pulls her close as 
                         kisses the nape of her neck.
                    
                         Ellenor twists her head around so their lips can meet for a 
                         long kiss.
                    
                                               YOUNG VERNON
                                   I'm thinking this might be a good 
                                   night to get the bottle down.
                    
                         They both look up at the empty wine bottle sitting on the 
                         shelf.  Its label is new and brightly colored.
                    
                                               YOUNG ELLENOR
                                   It's James' first night and...
                    
                         But she finds it hard to concentrate with Vernon nibbling on 
                         her ear.
                    
                                               YOUNG VERNON
                                   Let's grab a blanket and head down 
                                   to the stream.
                    
                         Ellenor giggles.
                    
                                               YOUNG ELLENOR
                                   Vernon!
                    
                         Vernon releases her, so he can twirl her around and kiss her 
                         again.  When they stop they're both a bit flushed.
                    
                                               YOUNG ELLENOR
                                   Okay, I'll get the blanket.
                    
                                               YOUNG VERNON
                                   I'll get the bottle.
                    
                         Ellenor exits the kitchen.
                    
                         A small gust of wind bows in the lace curtain and Vernon 
                         reaches over the sink to pull the window shut.  The sound of 
                         the gurgling stream is silenced as the window closes.  He 
                         grabs the bottle.
                    
                         Ellenor returns with the blanket and, as Vernon opens the 
                         door, it squeaks.
                    
                                               YOUNG ELLENOR
                                        (whispering)
                                   James is a little restless, so--
                    
                         James, 5 years old, bleary-eyed, is standing in the doorway.
                    
                                               JAMES
                                   --Mama?
                    
                                               YOUNG ELLENOR
                                   Yes, little one.
                    
                                               JAMES
                                   You gonna' leave?
                    
                                               YOUNG ELLENOR
                                   No, son, we're just--
                    
                                               YOUNG VERNON
                                        (grabbing a picnic 
                                        basket and shoving 
                                        the bottle in it)
                                   --Going on a night picnic, son.
                    
                         Ellenor hands the blanket to Vernon and picks up James.
                    
                                               YOUNG ELLENOR
                                   Why don't you get the picnic set up.
                    
                         I'll rock James to sleep again and be out in a bit.
                    
                         She shoves a lock of hair off Vernon's forehead.
                    
                                               YOUNG VERNON
                                   Okay, but hurry.  I'm really...  
                                   hungry.
                                        (END FLASHBACK)
                    
                         INT. KITCHEN -- LATER
                    
                         There are now more than ten crumpled sheets of paper on the 
                         table.  Vernon is still writing on the pad.
                    
                                               VERNON (V.O.)
                                   I'm not good with words.  But I love 
                                   you.  I always will.  And...
                    
                         The back of his hand splits open and a chunk of dry skin 
                         falls off with a thump.  A thick, milky liquid drips out on 
                         to the table.
                    
                                               VERNON
                                   Already?
                    
                         A white claw slides out of the opening.
                    
                         INT. KITCHEN -- LATER
                    
                         Ellenor, her eyes puffy and moist, enters the kitchen.  She 
                         unbuttons her sweater.  Her voice is raspy with emotion when 
                         she calls out.
                    
                                               ELLENOR
                                   Vernon?  I couldn't go... I...
                    
                         She sees the picture and bottle on the table and slumps to 
                         the chair to read the note.
                    
                         Her expression changes, and she quickly grabs the other notes 
                         and reads them.
                    
                         She sees the dried skin and milky goo and her face brightens.
                    
                         INT. BATHROOM -- CONTINUOUS
                    
                         The lights are out.  The moon silhouettes a claw foot bathtub, 
                         where a man sits quiet, his hands covering his eyes as his 
                         shoulders slump.
                    
                         The door opens.  Ellenor steps in and turns on the light.
                    
                         A young (early 20s) version of Vernon sits up quickly, water 
                         and soap suds splashing over the edge of the tub.
                    
                                               VERNON
                                   Ellenor?  I--
                    
                         But Ellenor is smiling.
                    
                         ELLENOR
                    
                         OH MY.  I HAD FORGOTTEN HOW HANDSOME
                    
                         you were.
                    
                         She gently touches his chest with her fingertips.  Her 
                         brittle, blotched skin contrasts sharply with Vernon's fresh, 
                         flexible new skin.
                    
                                               VERNON
                                   I wanted to tell you.  I--
                    
                         She presses her fingers his lips.
                    
                                               ELLENOR
                                   Shhhh.
                    
                         The back of her hand cracks open.
                    
                         Vernon lights up.
                    
                                               VERNON
                                   Ellenor!
                    
                         She turns back to the door and picks up an object she left 
                         outside the door.  It's the battered old picnic basket, with 
                         the empty wine bottle poking out one side.
                    
                                               ELLENOR
                                   I think we'll be needing this a little 
                                   later.
                    
                         Claws glide out of openings in the back of her hands.
                    
                                               ELLENOR
                                   But first, let me slip out of this 
                                   old thing and into something more 
                                   comfortable.
                    
                                                                            FADE OUT:
                    STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

                      Yeah a happier tomato surprise Sci-Fi/Horror ending, for sure, lol.
                      Results posted for the Halloween 2020 contest
                      in Writing Exercises forum

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

                        Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
                        Yeah a happier tomato surprise Sci-Fi/Horror ending, for sure, lol.
                        Yeah, but it was fun.
                        "I just couldn't live in a world without me."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

                          Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
                          Yeah a happier tomato surprise Sci-Fi/Horror ending, for sure, lol.
                          I had never heard the term "tomato surprise" before. So I looked it up. According to the first thing I found on Google, this would not be a "tomato surprise" but a "tomato in the mirror" (another term I never heard before).

                          Contrast Tomato Surprise with Tomato in the Mirror, in which the protagonist (rather than just the audience) learns a surprising fact that causes everything that came before to be reevaluated. If the twist comes as a surprise to the protagonists, it is probably a Tomato in the Mirror rather than a Tomato Surprise.

                          Personally, I just thought of it as a twist ending.
                          STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

                            Not trying to be pedantic lol, but Ellenor already knew what she was inside the human disguise, she didn't look in a mirror and think OMG claws I'm an insectoid! It was a tomato surprise to me, though! SPLAT!

                            Twist ending, sure, it's that too. Not Planet Of The Apes level twist ending, Statue of Liberty head on the beach. But okay.

                            Arguing over definitions is almost as fun as the contests, where's ComicBent when you need him?
                            Results posted for the Halloween 2020 contest
                            in Writing Exercises forum

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Results - Valentine's Day '19 contest

                              Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
                              Not trying to be pedantic lol, but Ellenor already knew what she was inside the human disguise, she didn't look in a mirror and think OMG claws I'm an insectoid! It was a tomato surprise to me, though! SPLAT!
                              Half "tomato surprise" then? Neither knew the other's true identity, so each was surprised at the end.
                              STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X