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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Writing Challenges » 13 LineChallenge - Snow/Ice and Faith/Resolution

   
Author Topic: 13 LineChallenge - Snow/Ice and Faith/Resolution
Tiergan
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First off, I shamelessly copied and pasted from Axeminister's thread. It has been a while since I posted a challenge, back in the glory days of the Captain Hook Challenges.

Trigger:
It's that time of the year, which brings to all many different feelings. So I thought we would throw some of them together in a 2 part trigger.

1) This time of year makes me think of cold weather, therefor: Snow and Ice.

2)Faith(The holidays: But Faith doesn't have to be the religious kind) and Resolution(New Years: Come on, you know this is the year you will lose that weight and get in shape).

Please create a title. (Titles can be difficult, thus, a challenge.)

Number your entries (ex: #1) below. I am more of the fan of only 1 entry as I want your best effort, so lets keep it to 1, unless everyone would prefer multiple entries, then I will succumb to peer pressure.

Contest starts today, January 2, 2016 and runs for two weeks. (Longer because folks don't stop by as often as they used to.)

Be sure to click the "full reply form" box below before measuring your 13 line entry. That box is 14 lines long. Keep em at 13, folks. If you see a scroll bar pop up in your window, you may have gone too far.

Voting goes from January 15 - January 21st

Scoring:

Vote for your favorite three:
1st place gets 3 points
2nd place gets 2 points
3rd place gets 1 point

Short crits are welcome.

I will open a thread for entries, lets keep all discussions and questions on this thread.

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Grumpy old guy
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Snow and ice, it was 40 degrees C here a few days ago.

Phil

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axeminister
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
Snow and ice, it was 40 degrees C here a few days ago.

Phil

Sounds like a challenge!

Tiergan,
Are you thinking we've have all of those items in each 13? Or pick one of the three:

Snow/Ice
Faith
Resolution

Axe

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extrinsic
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The thread title contains a grammar consideration that entails the answer of what the challenge's prompts are, albeit subject to interpretation: "Snow/Ice and Faith/Resolution." The forward slash glyph means or, where the intent is and, which would be a hyphen instead of slash. Snow and Ice and Faith and Resolution. They are prompts though, not rubrics, and as well subject to interpretation.

For me, the snow and ice parts differ from faith and resolution by degree of personal influence. Faith and resolution are by default personal; snow and ice are impersonal by default. Snow and ice are external setting features and possible foreshadowing motifs or a matter of a personal complication, problem and/or want or both.

Faith is belief, personal belief perhaps shared by a group: spiritual and value systems beliefs, perhaps cultural and social beliefs, too.

Resolution is a tricky word for a writing challenge. The term applies to a few specific writing topics; one, the outcome of a conflict resolution narrative; two, the third sequence segment of a preparation, suspension, resolution sequence structure, though "resolution" in that case compares to tension relief. In the case of a New Year's or similar resolution, resolve is resolution -- I resolve to . . . and is itself a kind of belief that anticipates faith, of the self at least.

Snow and ice and faith and resolution, and perhaps a fantastic motif -- science fiction, fantasy, or horror, perhaps others -- to me, seems ripe for using cold for foreshadowing purposes and of a personal, emotionally charged quality. On the other hand, snow and ice as well could be an antagonal personal complication.

Right now, for example, folks hereabouts are concerned winter sports might not be on the roster this year and long-range winter weather forecasts agree. The current Pacific Ocean El Niño is to blame for no snow or ice on the slopes. Winter sports tourism is hurting. The beach tourism season, though, is extended.

Want? A ski slopes resort wants snow and plenty of it. Problem, none is forthcoming. What to do? Believe snow will come? Resolve to ride out the season hunkered down? Add in a fantastic motif? What about a moral human condition? Say, a bargain with the devil to make it snow, which invokes faith and selfish, wicked self-interest and self-gratification. Spiritual-horror motif.

Fantasy motif, a hired weather maker comes to make it snow and charges a high price for success. The weather maker is a charlatan? A true weather maker sets things right?

Or a rivets and chrome science fiction motif: an ominous alien machine come to visit that miraculously provides ample cold, snow, and ice, and complication problems. Belief could be inspirational motivated; that is, belief that, if you build snow on the slopes, tourists will come. They don't, though, because the snow machine has an ominous reputation: it feeds on tourists. The proverbial tourist trap. Hah!

[ January 03, 2016, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Tiergan
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quote:
Originally posted by axeminister:
quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
Snow and ice, it was 40 degrees C here a few days ago.

Phil

Sounds like a challenge!

Tiergan,
Are you thinking we've have all of those items in each 13? Or pick one of the three:

Snow/Ice
Faith
Resolution

Axe

I was thinking pick 1 from each of the two, snow or ice, and then Faith or Resolution

Sorry for the confusion. [Smile]

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axeminister
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OK, I know what I'm going to write.

It's sad that I have to specifically find time to write only 13 lines...

Axe

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tesknota
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I did something! Which is surprising, because I've been in the biggest slump. Thanks Tiergan! It was fun. =)

Shall we maybe extend the deadline another week or so? I dunno about everyone else, but I've been sort of busy these few weeks with beginning of the year stuff.

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Tiergan
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Glad it got you to write tesknota, that is the goal. If people want we can extend it.

My opinion would be to get the votes and thoughts in on this challenge and put up another challenge right after. But I am open to opinions.

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extrinsic
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I of both minds, extend or don't or both. Snow/ice and faith/resolution, table II?
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Tiergan
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I say we vote this puppy up
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pdblake
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Ok, I've voted. I surprised myself with this one as I didn't intend to participate, but something suddenly came to mind [Smile]
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telflonmail
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In which thread should voting take place?

[ January 18, 2016, 04:46 PM: Message edited by: telflonmail ]

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pdblake
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Ah I see. I'll edit my crit accordingly, though a private word instead of a public flogging would have had the same effect.
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Tiergan
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quote:
Originally posted by telflonmail:
In which thread should voting take place?

The entry one is preferred. It allows you to read the entries and comment at the same time.
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Tiergan
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quote:
Originally posted by pdblake:
Ah I see. I'll edit my crit accordingly, though a private word instead of a public flogging would have had the same effect.

Say what? [Smile]
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telflonmail
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quote:
Say what? [Smile]
The unavailability of displaying the "f" word on the site.
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pdblake
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quote:
Originally posted by Tiergan:
quote:
Originally posted by pdblake:
Ah I see. I'll edit my crit accordingly, though a private word instead of a public flogging would have had the same effect.

Say what? [Smile]
I criticised the censoring of the 'f' word, not realising that it was the site doing it. I edited my crit after being ranted at. Said rant has also been edited I notice.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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If I edit anyone else's post on this forum, there is a little notice at the bottom of the post that says I edited it.

Just want to make sure I understand what you all are saying has been going on here.

The censoring referred to was set up in the software when this forum was created--before I became administrator. That said, I am fully in favor of certain words being made unreadable (even though people can figure out what they are).

Also I am unaware of any "public flogging" having taken place. Was that in this topic? (Going to go check the other topic as well.)

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Okay, I went back over recent posts, and I see what happened.

I wondered why one particular post seemed to be repeating itself. Occasionally the forum software will glitch out and a post will appear twice (at least, I think that's what causes it), but I've only ever seen it do a double posting.

I hope things have calmed down now.

Thank you.

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extrinsic
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A censored word, like the one on point, to me and to the commentator who noted that it was a consideration worth notice, can cause a reading speed bump, which to me is what the point is.

An innocent synonym could be used instead, some idiom, like screwed, with strong and fresh emotional charge. Or an innovative expression, likewise emotional charge, like got the wrong end of the outhouse push stick.

Or the traditional publisher workaround, first letter, four hyphens, tense or other suffix: f----ed, a----hat. s----wipe. Four hyphens regardless of glyph number omission. Four hyphens is typescript and publication formats and doesn't conflict with three-hyphen em dash or two-hyphen en dash or other script types' dash customs. This method shows the intended word for in-the-know readers and also that an omission is a writer's intent and not a machine's auto-censorship.

This censorship is a Hatrack custom -- the intent is to keep content within wholesome family value parameters for general public consumption. I feel responsible appreciation of Hatrack's value customs warrants consideration.

On another hand, the custom encourages innovative expression; that, to me, enhances the custom and values systems influences upon writers. Try a different and perhaps more appealing way and see if it works more artfully. Have I said I'm subversive? Hatrack's censorship custom delights my subversive nature -- how to subvert the custom and stay within its spirit and letter.

And later, if a fragment becomes a wanted submission, if the house accepts such language, a story can be revised for that audience.

Edited: By the way, an expletive is a word empty of meaning. Overuse of obscene words makes them meaningless though still objectionable to sensitive sensibilities.

[ January 19, 2016, 12:36 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Grumpy old guy
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I suppose I should offer some explanation for dismissing out of hand the three first person entries in this challenge. It's quite simple: They would have a snowball's chance in Hell of ever getting past a slush-pile editor.

The moment you use the perpendicular personal pronoun your literary goose is cooked. Don't believe me, then look in any bookshop. Pick 50 fiction titles at random and count the number written in the first person. If you find even one then that's an aberration, two or more and that's a different reality.

The truth is that there is no good reason to ever write in the first person UNLESS that's the only way you can tell the story. And I only know of two stories that can ONLY be told in first person POV: Moby Dick and the Sherlock Holmes stories.

So I nail my colours to the mast and hereby declare that I will hereafter ignore all first person stories and submissions I come across unless they are demonstrably and obviously EXCEPTIONAL.

Good luck with that.

Edited later: Let me correct myself; Watson's narration could be written in second or third person, but I think it would loose something. Ishmael, on the other hand, cannot be other than what he is: the first person narrator who was there and saw it all unfold.

Phil

[ January 20, 2016, 06:44 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
I suppose I should offer some explanation for dismissing out of hand the three first person entries in this challenge. It's quite simple: They would have a snowball's chance in Hell of ever getting past a slush-pile editor.

The moment you use the perpendicular personal pronoun your literary goose is cooked. Don't believe me, then look in any bookshop. Pick 50 fiction titles at random and count the number written in the first person. If you find even one then that's an aberration, two or more and that's a different reality.

The truth is that there is no good reason to ever write in the first person UNLESS that's the only way you can tell the story. And I only know of two stories that can ONLY be told in first person POV: Moby Dick and the Sherlock Holmes stories.

So I nail my colours to the mast and hereby declare that I will hereafter ignore all first person stories and submissions I come across unless they are demonstrably and obviously EXCEPTIONAL.

Good luck with that.

Edited later: Let me correct myself; Watson's narration could be written in second or third person, but I think it would loose something. Ishmael, on the other hand, cannot be other than what he is: the first person narrator who was there and saw it all unfold.

Phil

Okay, I'm sorry, but I can't just let this stand.

Fight Club is written in first person. A lot of Chuck Palahniuk's stories are, actually; it gives them a raw, emotional impact that would be missing were they in third person.

The Dexter series (Dearly Devoted Dexter, etcetera) is written in first person. I will admit to not having read all of the novels yet, but they're on my to-read list (I liked the first one).

Fahrenheit 451 is written in first person. Does that make Bradbury wrong?

I'm not saying first person is always the way to go. There are plenty of stories where third is preferred. However, how are we supposed to learn how to write extraordinary first person if we don't practice? Nobody wakes up good at writing. No matter how much natural talent someone has, they have to practice. How will you know if any story written in first person is good if you refuse to read it and give it the chance?

If you don't like the perspective, that's fine. But that's no reason to tell earnestly aspiring writers that they will fail simply because they're trying to take the more difficult road. A properly written story in the first person is gripping in ways that third person can never be because it puts the reader in the perspective of the viewpoint character.

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extrinsic
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Two questioned expressions about my entry -- "Rely on they" and "Dog hatches" are both from longstanding nautical tradition.

"Rely" is customarily an intransitive verb, takes an object, often a prepositional phrase. Nautical traditions exercise grammar discretion more than exact "rules" conformance. The use is an intransitive verb, though: "Rely -- on they are the advised commands, your duties" "You" implied subject, imperative mood, a command. Predicate Verb "rely." Preposition of the object phrase "on." Object "they are the advised commands, your duties".

My intent is a speech stream-of-consciousness method. And inspired by command and control direction taken from nautical traditions with a futuristic twist. To wit, imperative mood of an advisory, indirect nature akin to a command uttered, like the captain requests your presence before the mast ("mast" to mean a disciplinary action conducted at a specified location, traditionally the main mast of a sail vessel) and no option except to abide the request.

A dog is a mechanical fastener that secures a movable part -- again, a nautical tradition. Dogs secure hatches: vertical doors, portholes, lockers (storage cabinets and luggage trunks), and horizontal cargo and personnel accesses.

Overall, the intent is implication of a nautical extra-planetary milieu. However, for broader audience access and appeal, some adjustment indicated. Probably more foreground of the complication intro -- resentment of imperative authority -- and less immediate nautical terms use.

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extrinsic
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First person's singular challenge is its strength and all too often congruent shortfall; that is, default close distance. Two qualities first person enjoys are subjectivity and internal discourse. A much noted shortfall is under- or undeveloped viewpoint agonist-narrator character. Bald physical appearance self-descriptions don't develop character on their own; they could be emotionally charged commentary and unreliable narration in masterful hands.

A Mary Sue or Marty Stew writer surrogate, for instance, could be portrayed as belief the individual is as perfect as perfect can be, though by imaginative development is shown to be otherwise. That then sets the story's point and is a satire.

Such a story's outcome then is a self-revelation of the individual's hubris, what the story is really about, a human condition, a moral vice of excess self-pride. Package the real story in a grand and dramatic action, a tangible complication congruent to the intangible one of hubris and that cannot be satisfied or resolved without the self-realization.

For what that's worth, Herman Melville's Moby Dick is exactly that: an individual and nature and the hubris complication of the individual self-realized, too late to avert disaster, Captain Ahab the specimen in particular, Ishmael more bystander-passenger-observer than agonist. To me, the story is a fishhouse liar tale-type: The fish that got away was this enormous whale of a whopper and only I, your dear Ishmael, am survived to tell the tale. Exquisite.

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Grumpy old guy
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quote:
. . . Fahrenheit 451 is written in first person. Does that make Bradbury wrong?
I will take this to a more appropriate forum in the near future, but I will answer the observation by Disgruntled Peony favouring first person.

I never said anyone was wrong in their choice of POV, just that they won't get published. It''s people like me who guard the portal into the publishing world and as a standing brief to the submissions mail-room (if such a thing exists anymore), stories not in a genre the publisher supports get instant rejections, and 1st person POV manuscripts get instant, automatic rejections. It's how the world works. Sorry.

There are exceptions, of course. If you have a name, a reputation, and a body of published work then you can write anything you damn well please, but your publisher may still refuse to publish. But, if you're Mary-Sue from Bloomington with no writing credits, learn what's acceptable submission format (3rd person, past tense), what's wanted, and how to toe the line. Then one day, if you're really lucky, you just might get published.

But, please, prove me wrong. I earnestly hope you can but I won't hold my breath,

Phil.
(Bursting bubbles as I go)

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pdblake
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:


A dog is a mechanical fastener that secures a movable part -- again, a nautical tradition. Dogs secure hatches: vertical doors, portholes, lockers (storage cabinets and luggage trunks), and horizontal cargo and personnel accesses.


Thanks for that. Nice to learn something new [Wink]
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wetwilly
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I agree with Disgruntled Peony; I think Grumpy Old Guy's blanket rejection of 1st person is strange and, well, wrong. Just so we get our facts straight, though, Fahrenheit 451 is not in 1st person. 3rd person past.

G.O.G.: People like you guard the portal to the publishing industry? What on Earth do you mean by that? That's a claim that could use some further explanation/evidence.

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Grumpy old guy
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Editors, wetwilly. I sub part time. And yes, there are minions who open the physical mail submissions or scan the e-mail submissions and they are the first line of rejection--checking genre AND POV. As I said, most mainstream publishers will auto reject 1st person on sight. Don't believe me? Check out last years publication statistics for general fiction and genre titles and see how many 1st person went to print.

Niche and fan-fic are different kettles of fish, as are vanity self-publishing stats. Apparently there are phone apps out at the moment which are interactive 1st person stories--but hey, they hardly count.


Just remember, I'm talking about getting published, not the relative value of one POV over another: Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat is one of may favourite books.

Phil.

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Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by wetwilly:
Just so we get our facts straight, though, Fahrenheit 451 is not in 1st person. 3rd person past.

Thank you for the correction. The fact that I remembered wrong proves I am long overdue for a re-read. XP
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wetwilly
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It's on my required book list as an English teacher, so I read it every year.

G.O.G.: valid answer. I hereby sup upon humble pie and accept that 1st person is a harder sell.

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extrinsic
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quote:
Posted by Tiergan, from the Ice/Snow and Faith/Resolution entry thread:
Entry #5, 'Far Ice and a Sight-See', was unfortunately too technical for me to immerse myself in at a personal level. However, reading over the opening again I do like Gaoul's character and the situation he finds himself in. If the story had opened with the second paragraph instead of the first and the destination details had been explained in a more approachable manner, this would have appealed to me far more. It might well have made its way into one of the top three spots.

"If the story had opened with the second paragraph" is an astute observation I overlooked for the draft. Time and meditation, you know, upon reflection, led to assent and a revision strategy. Critical readers are godsends. And, well, easier for critical readers to identify what works and doesn't then a writer to self-identify when a creative mind is stuck on one track.

The causation of the fragment is subtle and ambiguous to begin with, no clear time sequence priority of the segments, any event order doesn't change per se the causal sequence. One event is as good a beginning as another.

However, an antagonal sequence does inform the causal sequence and develops the tensional sequence. In other words, stronger and clearer to open with the second or even third paragraph first and adjust accordingly. Later, the prompter motif can be used for its intended function of developing the event, setting, and characterization, when those details matter to events, settings, and characters, and secondarily as a details source.

Much as I do emphasize a logical structure sequence, causality, I miss what works for readers, too. In this case, the antagonal sequence features unlock a natural and best practice causal sequence structure. Lesson learned, again, stronger, and a new or new approach to a tool for blunt revision assessment. Fabulous.

[ January 22, 2016, 01:54 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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