Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Writing Challenges » Entries for Titles, Kings and Spaceships...

   
Author Topic: Entries for Titles, Kings and Spaceships...
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Post only entries below...usual format.

Title:

Intro:


Novel title included in prose and author's name:

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited July 03, 2009).]


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Owasm
Member
Member # 8501

 - posted      Profile for Owasm   Email Owasm         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll be the first.


The Sorcerer's Price

Garon's every thought centered on the lost ring. When an ill-advised confession exposed his dilemma, his fellow squires couldn't conceal their mirth. Now walking past the whispers and laughter was like treading on a path of daggers in bare feet.

The young noble racked his brain trying to remember when his fingers last touched the King's signet ring. Garon's future, perhaps his life, depended on finding it before the return of the King in ten day's time.

His insides were as cold as a winter's heart as the options to retrieve the ring dwindled. His rival to the Lady Esmeralda's affections, Ricarrin, the sorcerer's apprentice, might deign to assist in his quest, but Garon sickened as he contemplated the price he might have to pay.


Literary Titles: Author

Path of Daggers: Jordan
Return of the King: Tolkein
Winter's Heart: Jordan
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Goethe


[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited July 06, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited July 06, 2009).]


Posts: 1607 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
snapper
Member
Member # 7299

 - posted      Profile for snapper   Email snapper         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Ender's Game

The mammoth wooden doors to the church creaked. The royal wedding halted, faces turned toward the sounds of thick oak splintering. The doors flexed out like the chest of a giant sucking in its last breath. Then they gave way.
The doors flew open as slivers of debris showered the assembly. At the entrance, obscured by dust, stood a shadow of a giant. The dark figure stepped into the church, ducking under the tall frame of the door. He held a scepter in one hand and anger in his eyes. Murmurs of an evil name circulated, “Ender.”
The king stepped forth. “Who dares to disrupt my sons wedding?”
“It is I, The Ender of Life and Speaker for the Dead. I’ve come to claim my debt. Your son and his bride for your betrayal.”


Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card


[This message has been edited by snapper (edited July 05, 2009).]


Posts: 3072 | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Natej11
Member
Member # 8547

 - posted      Profile for Natej11   Email Natej11         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Last Stand at Maversford

The cries of men marred the peace of this area where man's foot had never trod. Looking down the ravine Dirvan could have believed nothing had happened here; scrub oak choked the area, the dead hidden beneath it. Until he looked up to where the Brotherhood of Avernach fought in turns at the mouth of a cave. A few of Lord Periath's soldiers pressed them, while most gathered dry wood for the bonfire that would draw all the air out from inside, dooming the robbers to choke to death.

In less than a year the robber band would be all but forgotten, even the nearby villages unable to remember the name of. The wind would rustle the leaves of the scrub oak, and the unburied dead would never be discovered.


The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss.

[This message has been edited by Natej11 (edited July 05, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited July 06, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by Natej11 (edited July 06, 2009).]


Posts: 620 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
satate
Member
Member # 8082

 - posted      Profile for satate   Email satate         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One fell from Heaven


I was wrong. I never knew until it was too late but that doesn’t change anything. It was pride, that monster who sneaks up on us unaware and takes us down only when we think we’ve won. Lucille set the quill on her desk when she heard the knock. Master Gillev walked in. He still wore his red robes as if nothing had happened, as if she hadn’t destroyed the whole order.
“My Lady, a messenger awaits.” His bearing was regal, perhaps he didn’t understand the depth of her error. Most of the other arcane scholars wouldn’t believe what she already knew. She couldn’t blame them; it was that same attitude that made her believe she alone knew the answers. Soon they would all be dead and death be not proud.

Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther


[This message has been edited by satate (edited July 06, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by satate (edited July 06, 2009).]


Posts: 962 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Servant of the Frosted Dragon

“To defeat him, you must forget everything I've taught you.”
I spun round. Master Quo'ng Lo's spirit drifted next to me.
“Why, Master?” I frowned. On the other side of the match ring, Jix'ian, my opponent, twirled his sword and grinned at me.
“His use of weapons is unusual,” Quo’ng Lo stroked his white beard and glanced at me. “He weaves spells, so when he strikes and his sword is parried, a shadow of it goes onward to cut his opponent's soul. As the soul fragments, the body slows. It becomes just a matter of time before he cleaves actual flesh.”
“But if I forget everything you taught me, Master, I will die even quicker.” I felt sweat erupt from my top lip.
The master smiled. “Yes, it’s a dilemma, isn’t it?” Then he simply disappeared. The match bell clanged and cheering began.


Use of Weapons by Ian M. Banks

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited July 07, 2009).]


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MAP
Member
Member # 8631

 - posted      Profile for MAP           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Children’s Magic

Hetra hesitated as she stared at the determined, dirt streaked faces of the five children. If she returned their innate magic to them, each child would be more powerful than the entire conclave; she would be releasing a force she could not hope to control. Another explosion jolted the structure of the house above, stirring up a thin curtain of dust. Terrified screams from outside drew the children closer together. Hetra could not doubt her decision now. Her people were dying.

Hetra took a deep breath and opened her arms. “I summon the return of the native magic to these children.” Her silver amulet flared with scorching white light, burning her through her thin blouse.

THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE by Thomas Hardy

[This message has been edited by MAP (edited July 07, 2009).]


Posts: 1102 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimiqua
Member
Member # 7760

 - posted      Profile for shimiqua   Email shimiqua         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Famous Last Words

Human's are so creative, Oh**** thought as she dodged a heat seeking missile. They came up with such fun things. She ducked behind a bush, her gelatinous arms absorbing the color of magic leaves. A mass of soldiers armed and wearing cute camo uniforms marched past her unaware. No human could find her crew, not with their eyesight. Whatthe stood against a brick building, his handsome outline almost invisible. Godinheaven stood on the street absorbed into a blue Nissan Sentra. Iwonderwhatpeteisdoingnow was missing, but that was just like him. She bet he was eating that little girl they passed, he always had a weakness for blondes. No matter, three would be enough. Oh**** leapt onto the back of a rear soldier, absorbed the camouflage pattern, and clutched his shoulders with webbed toes.


The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

[This message has been edited by shimiqua (edited July 09, 2009).]


Posts: 1201 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jeff M
Member
Member # 7828

 - posted      Profile for Jeff M   Email Jeff M         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Mice of Wrath

Vengeance was simply not something anyone expected of mice. And men just continued their experiments, never questioning this assumed truism. So when apprentice lab technician Wally Twinklemore found himself alone in the university lab that particular Thursday night, he barely noticed the dozens of white mice scurrying around their cages. Rather, he leaned on the lab bench, engrossed in his phone conversation.
"Oh c’mon Jeanie, I’m all alone here tonight. Yeah, it’s the lab building. Turn left just past the IHOP and it’s two blocks east of Eden Avenue. Okay, hurry." He snapped the cell phone shut and dropped it in his lab coat pocket.
Wally glanced out the windows overlooking the quad. "Hmm... dark tonight. The moon is down to the last quarter," he mused with his usual scientific accuracy.

Of Mice and Men: John Steinbeck
East of Eden: John Steinbeck
The Moon is Down: John Steinbeck


Posts: 159 | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kaz
Member
Member # 7968

 - posted      Profile for Kaz   Email Kaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sleeper of Mars

I was twelve the first time I saw Mars up close. Of course, when I say up close I mean from a platform orbiting what was going to be Mars’ atmosphere centuries later. Now when people want to see Mars they take a shuttle and an hour later they’re breathing the air. But nobody wants to see what it looks like from its orbit anymore. When I was on that platform I didn’t see a red Mars as much a brown one, but that didn’t make it any less impressive. I could imagine the paradise we were going to build. I could see cities stretch out like a spider’s web, burning bright at night with all the lights on Earth and plenty more to spare. That’s the spectacle I fell asleep to when they put me in hibernation years later. but it wasn’t what I woke up to. Was it spectacular? Yes. But tamed? No.

Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson.


Posts: 72 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bemused
Member
Member # 8465

 - posted      Profile for bemused   Email bemused         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Few and Far Between"

"We're not as small as they think," said the hitchhiker's guide. "To the galaxy jumpers, our race seems insignificant. Admittedly, there aren't a lot of us left. But don't let that fool you. Each one of us takes up our fair share of space." As they came around the moon, he relaxed and gestured toward the viewport as if that was enough to prove his point. The vast lattice work structure of the mining station shimmered into view, filling the emptiness of the void. "I only wish I could take you farther, but I've strayed far enough off route already. It was worth it though. For the company. We humans don't see enough of each-other out here in the expanse."

His passenger remained silent.

"When was the last time you made it to Home?"

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited July 09, 2009).]


Posts: 99 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Descended from the Sky


The gods themselves stepped aside before the wanderer. It was a mirror dance; he was like them. Vomisa saw this. She had seen there was a deepness in the sky, a time of changes. The moon and the sun had foretold it, but it was as subtle as the stations of the tide, when the two titans fought over the heart of the slow river, tightening and loosening their holds on her.
Long ago this had been the fountain of paradise. That was before the Forever War, before the left hand of darkness had descended from the sky and smitten the Earth like a fire upon the deep. Until now, the gods had no enemy but time, that and the dispossessed, Vomisa and the other meager remnants of humanity. But this was the sign. The demolished man had appeared out of the devastation, coming as a stranger in a strange land.


The Gods Themselves, by Isaac Asimov
The Wanderer, by Fritz Leiber
Mirror Dance, by Lois McMaster Bujold
A Deepness in the Sky, by Vernor Vinge
A Time of Changes, by Robert Silverberg
The Moon and the Sun, by Vonda N. McIntyre
Stations of the Tide, by Michael Swanwick
Slow River, by Nicola Griffith
The Fountain of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke
The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin
A Fire upon the Deep, by Vernor Vinge
No Enemy but Time, by Michael Bishop
The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester
Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein


[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited July 09, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited July 11, 2009).]


Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
1. The Sorcerer’s Price: A lot of telling in this piece, which makes it less immediate. You also call him ‘Garon’ and a little later ‘the young noble’. I think this is something to be avoided so early in a story. You have already mentioned ‘fellow squires’, so we know he is gentry. Your title insertion ‘Path of Daggers’ (the first on your list--see rules) sticks out slightly from the rest of your prose. The is a hook, though...

2. Ender's Game: Prose is good. I like the’...like a giant’s chest...’ line. Good start. Title insertion is good.

3. Last Stand at Maversford: I like this one , and so nearly liked the title insertion...but ending the sentence with ‘of’ doesn’t quite work. The POV character doesn’t do much...

4. One fell from Heaven: The title insertion doesn’t work. The prose is pretty good and has a nice quality, but I am not getting a hook, because i don’t really understand the situation/threat.

5. The Servant of the Frosted Dragon: Mine.

6. Children’s Magic: I get the situation and the dilemma and the sense of urgency. She decides what to do and then does it. The hook is what will the children do with this power? The title insertion works...

7. Famous Last Words: I’m not into the names. I am interested in the situation and the apparent levity of the MC faced with the human attacks. The title insertion doesn’t work for me.

8. The Mice of Wrath: I like this one. Something’s gonna happen.
9. Sleeper of Mars: Nice vision, mild hook.

10. Few and Far Between: Nice insertion. Prose is good, but not getting much hook--it’s there but it’s wild.

11. Descended from the Sky: I am torn on this one. It has some beautiful imagery and turns of phrase, but I am conscious that a proportion of this is someone else’s title. Title insertion is good. As to creating a desire to read on, I would struggle. It’s a bit like a very rich cake, a small amount is fantastic, but a lot of it would be too much--too convoluted.

Votes:

1st: Ender's Game
2nd: The Mice of Wrath
3rd: Sleeper of Mars

Best Title: Descended from the Sky

Best Insertion: Few and Far Between

(Hats-Off Mention: ‘Descended from the Sky’ for the collage of so many titles into a cohesive intro...well done.)


[This message has been edited by skadder (edited July 12, 2009).]


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
snapper
Member
Member # 7299

 - posted      Profile for snapper   Email snapper         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Sorcerer's Price

Clear conflict, not sure what Garon is. Squire? Noble? Mage? The opening line is to much of a sudden start, IMO, but I am hooked enough to keep reading.

A nice inserts on the titles. Barely noticed them.

Last Stand at Maversford

I had to read this a few times and I’m still not clear what is going on. Are the robber’s the men or the Lord Periath’s soldiers?
Part of me thinks this is Dirvam reminiscing. Nice work on inserting the title. I liked the second paragraph.

One fell from Heaven

Confused by the opening. Is it pride that allowed the monster to sneak unaware on them or is the emotion that is pride that is their monster? Curious to know what is going on.
The title insertion looks like a grammar error. (and death was not proud.

The Servant of the Frosted Dragon

I liked this premise so much that I want to see this story completed. One of the best hooks that I ever read in these competitions. The title insert was too subtle and didn’t have that deep feeling a competition like this should have.

Children’s Magic

Nice title insertion; has that intrinsic tie in into the plot. I find this opening very hooky. The info is a little crammed. If you were to continue this I would suggest stretching things out.

Famous Last Words

I really want to know what the name is. Oh’S***. Oh’F***,… makes the entire piece funny. Actually, the entire is funny. Loved the voice, looks like a great story.
The title insertion does not work, IMO. I would have cut magic.

The Mice of Wrath

Not bad, I kinda of liked it but the first two sentences were awkward. Interested to know where it was going. Not all the title insertions worked but extra credit for using all Steinbeck classics.

Sleeper of Mars

A very good premise (this is going to be tough). The title insertion is smooth but not deep. I like the sci-fi flavor, a lot. Great prose.

"Few and Far Between"

Another good hook. The title insertion is the best for two separate sentences. The opening is very good. I can see a story brewing and the title makes a good hook by itself.

Descended from the Sky

Wow, What can I say? A lot of work went into this. My hats to you. As an opening, man all those titles make it cliché.
Makes want to read the Forever War again. Loved that book.

Best Title One fell from Heaven

1st The Servant of the Frosted Dragon

2nd Sleeper of Mars

3rd Famous Last Words

…but I really liked them all. You guys are getting good at these challenges.

Best use of titles Children’s Magic

I should be voting for Philo’s but this one worked right into the story.

[This message has been edited by snapper (edited July 12, 2009).]


Posts: 3072 | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kaz
Member
Member # 7968

 - posted      Profile for Kaz   Email Kaz         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Sorceror's Price

Definitely a lot of telling here. You could have easily explained that Garon can't find some ring and might be forced to make some sort of unpleasant deal to get it back. But there is a bit of a hook at the end. I'm wondering what kind of person this sorcerer is and what Garon will have to do to get back the ring.

Ender's Game

How come people in the crowd can tell it's Ender but the king has to ask who it is, especially seeing how they seem to be personally involved. Also, why is Ender an evil name? And just saying scepter seems generic to me. I mean, I'm no expert on scepters but surely there's more than one kind. My biggest concern, though, is whether I'd enjoy reading about the schemes of this apparently evil protagonist. Might be fun, though, Especially because a king just isn't going to give up his son and daughter-in-law.

The books titles were used efficiently, but stood out too much for my taste.

Last Stand at Maversford

Ok, all that is groovy, a very dramatic fight, but it's over. What now?

Also, improper use of the semicolon. The two sentences have to be closely related to warrant a semicolon.

One fell from Heaven

Well, first she destroyed the order, then she didn't, then she did it figuratively. It just hasn't happened yet. The others don't understand what's going to happen because they aren't fully aware of what previously occurred, though Lucille seems to have not bothered explaining it to them. It's somewhat confusing. The title insertion doesn't work, either.

The Servant of the Frosted Dragon

Well, that is a dilemma, isn't it? Sounds like one of those annoying riddles with a fairly simple answer. I'd be a lot more interested in this, though, if all that was being promised to me wasn't, essentially, a fight. Albeit an interesting one, but still a fight.

Children’s Magic

Child warfare, nice. J/k. Well,

Famous Last Words

The names work really well here. What are these anyway, super assassin alien man-eating chameleons? I expect laughter. I don't get the title use. Absorbing the color of magic leaves? I hadn't realized the bushes were magical too.

The Mice of Wrath

Mice with a vengeance. Mischief is assured.

Although, does Wally actually expect his girlfriend to be able to tell which way is east? I am not convinced by the use of the first title.

Few and Far Between

Not much of a hook here for me. The protagonist has no apparent goal he wants to accomplish, no hint of a conflict. I'm still curious though. The mood you establish works very well for me. When was the last time he made it to Home, indeed?

Descended from the Sky

I was pretty confused the first time I read it. Maybe it's just me, but I had a bit of trouble understanding what was going on. Still, must have taken quite a bit of brainstorming to put all those titles together.

Votes

1 - The Mice of Wrath

2 - Few And Far In Between

3 - Famous Last Words


Best title - Mice of Wrath
Best use of titles - Descended from the Sky Arguably so.

[This message has been edited by Kaz (edited July 12, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by Kaz (edited July 12, 2009).]


Posts: 72 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Natej11
Member
Member # 8547

 - posted      Profile for Natej11   Email Natej11         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Sorcerer's Price: The title insertions were good, although most of them were so well known I picked them out immediately. The intro itself seemed almost like an info dump, light on action and heavy on summary.

Ender's Game: The detail of this intro was good, you knew immediately where you were and what was going on. My problem was with the title you practically tell us what other titles you'll be using, and the intro seemed very much inside OSC's world, like a fan fiction.

One Fell from Heaven: I like the title. I think having the title insertion at the very end drew attention to it. The premise was good, but beginning with philosophical internal dialogue didn't quite work for me.

The Servant of the Frosted Dragon: Good title insertion. Not sure right at the beginning of combat is where I would have begun the story, but it certainly sets a fast pace.

Children's Magic: The title could use some work. It seems more like a working title. The intro is good, sets the stage for what's to come and makes you care about what's happening.

Famous Last Words: Good title insertion. Full marks for creativity, although I had to see the MC's name used a few times to realize it WAS a name and not a simple expletive. I would keep on reading.

The Mice of Wrath: I like the title. Definite potential as a comedy if you can swing it. Good title insertion.

Sleeper of Mars: Good description and genre placement. It starts off a little slow, which isn't a bad thing but for hook value might be an issue. Couldn't even begin to guess at the title until I read which one it was.

Few and Far Between: Since the title was at the very beginning, and a well-known one, it was immediately recognizable. You broke it up good and did a good job of making it something else. The intro itself was good, reminded me a little of Titan A.E.

Descended from the Sky: Again, the vast number of title placements is impressive. The fact that it actually reads with coherence is quite the achievement. That said, as an intro itself it's very metaphysical and somewhat vague. I don't really have any idea what's going on, and if the writing continued to be like that I'd probably stop reading fairly quickly.

Votes:

1. Famous last words.
2. The Servant of the Frosted Dragon.
3. Children's Magic.

Best Title: One Fell from Heaven.
Best Title Placement: The Mice of Wrath.


Posts: 620 | Registered: Mar 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Owasm
Member
Member # 8501

 - posted      Profile for Owasm   Email Owasm         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 

Ender's Game
Lots of action. I don't quite know why it's a shadow of a giant and not just a giant. However, the hook was strong, leading me on.

I thought the title insertion rather blatant.

Last Stand at Maversford
I thought this opening a bit clunky and I was trying to get the timing placed right. It interrupted the flow too much.

The title insertion was at the expense of smooth prose, although an extra half a point for splitting it in two sentences.

One Fell from Heaven
I felt this was one of the more intriguing openings. It was presented from a very personal POV. I thought the hook was defused by the last two sentences including the title insertion, which was tagged on to the end.

The Servant of the Frosted Dragon
Loved it. We learn so much within the words and want to learn more about Master Quo'ng Lo who steals the show.

The title used within the hook was a bit insipid and wasn't nearly as clever as the prose.

Children’s Magic
Although the opening worked well, there was something about it that didn't work for me. Perhaps due to the fact that the children didn't have any voice in the opening, making the whole opening a Tell.

The title insertion was done well.

Famous Last Words
This was very funny. Suitable for a Terry Pratchett title. Liked the voice and very imaginative. The tableau is the hook.

Unfortunately, the title insertion stuck out because it was the only mention of magic. Everything else was SF.

The Mice of Wrath
It looks like funny things will ensue, but the opening wasn't quite hookie enough. It's a guy in a lab, trying to get his girlfriend over to keep him company. The mice are upset, but so far the only inkling we get of tension is through the title.

I thought the 'moon' title insertion particularly unnatural. East of Eden was put in well.

Sleeper of Mars
This started with too much exposition and led up to a "waking up" opening. Moderately hooky, but with a tired premise.

The title was embedded well.

Few and Far Between
I wasn't hooked on this one. It's an interesting premise and one that makes for a good story, but as an opening, there wasn't enough for me to sink my teeth into. I don't know what Home is so it doesn't have much meaning for me. With a silent passenger, I don't even know if the passenger is really human.

I thought the title was inserted well enough, but I don't see you can hide a title with hitchhiker's guide in it. Even with it split.

Descended from the Sky
This seemed to be too much adjective and simile laden with terms foreign to me. I mean as I start reading this how am I supposed to know what a demolished man appearing out of a devastation is? I am confused about all of these competing images and words... too much so to be hooked.

Certainly a title tour de force. But that's not what the challenge was for.

Votes

1 - Servant of the Frosted Dragon

2 - Ender's Game

3 - Famous Last Words


Best title - The Mice of Wrath
Best use of titles - Children's Magic
Special Honorable Mention - Descended from the Sky


Posts: 1607 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MAP
Member
Member # 8631

 - posted      Profile for MAP           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really liked all of the entries, so this was tough.

Sorcerer's Price

Nice hook at the end. I would definitely read on because of the love triangle and the compromised situation of Garon.
The simile of the path of daggers seemed a little overdramatic, but maybe that is just Garon's personality.

Ender's Game

Good prose. I especially liked the line "The doors flexed like the chest..." I don't understand why everyone knows who Ender is but the King, especially since he is a giant (making him hard to mistake) and was betrayed by the King. I would think he would be smart enough to know who Ender was.

The Last Stand of Maversford

The title insertion did not work for me. "...the name of." I wanted something after of. Some nice prose, but I needed more of a hook than an overgrown battlefield. If I knew Dirvan's relationship to those in battle, it would have been a better hook.

One Fell From Heaven

Very Hooky, I want to know what she did and how she can fix it, if she can. The insert title stood out a bit, but I think it was suppose to for dramatic effect.

Servant of the Frosted Prayer

Great title insert, seamless. Good hook as well, and fast paced.

Famous Last Words

Interesting premise, but I don't see much tension yet. It seems that the monsters won't have any problems doing whatever they want with the soldiers, so I am not entirely hooked, yet.

The Mice of Wrath

I really liked the first paragraph, but then you lost me with the phone call. Universities are pretty hard to miss, so giving her instructions to the University doesn't make sense. If he was telling her how to get to the lab building on the university that would be different, but there would not be an IHOP on campus.

Sleeper of Mars

Loved it. Totally drawn in by the narration, and the last line was very hooky. Definately want to read on.

Few and Far between

Don't see much of a hook besides humans being an endangered species. I also wonder why the guide is telling the hitchhiker this. Doesn't he already know if he is traveling through space far from home? I would have preferred to know more about the hitchhiker or MC at this point than how aliens think about humans.

Descended from the Sky

I like the prose and how all of the titles are weaved in, impressive. It is a little vague though. I am a little hooked and rather confused.

1st place Sleeper of Mars

2nd place One Fell From Heaven

3rd place Sorcerer's Price

Best Title Descended from the Sky

Best title insert Servant of the Frosted Dragon

Thanks for the contest Skadder, this was fun.

[This message has been edited by MAP (edited July 12, 2009).]

[This message has been edited by MAP (edited July 12, 2009).]


Posts: 1102 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimiqua
Member
Member # 7760

 - posted      Profile for shimiqua   Email shimiqua         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Sorcerer's Price: It doesn't feel very immediate. There is only one line that shows what is going on before you show Garons thoughts, and I personally would like to find out all this information as it comes. The insertion(s) feel obvious to me.

Ender's Game: Okay I think the title doesn't work for me, but the prose is pretty good. I would read on. The insertions feel a little obvious, with the title, Shadow of the giant, speaker for the dead.

Last Stand at Maversford: Great insertion. Good title. I would like to get a better glimpse of who Dirvan is though I think another mention would make me care more if he lives or dies, as is I could go either way.

One fell from Heaven: I like the title, and the opening sentence, makes you jump out to read it. It kind of fades near the end though, and then the title insertion felt really obvious to me.

The Servant of the Frosted Dragon: Good hook. Good insertion. I would read on.

Children's Magic: Great. I love this idea, and it is very well done. I would keep reading. Very immediate, just awesome. Good insertion too.

Famous Last Words: Mine. I'm ditching the word magic. Oh, and the name is like Ocean substituting the n for a t.

The Mice of Wrath: I like it. Good lead in to the action. I think a quick mention of the mice again, perhaps after the word quad, would strengthen the dread.

Sleeper of Mars: The jumping back and forth needs a bit more clarity, I get it, but I'm having to think to understand it. Good idea though, and I didn't catch the insertion when I read it.

Few and Far Between: My issue here is that the plot and the insertion are to similar, and the insertion in the first sentence, seems kind of obvious. The story though is really interesting, and the prose is good. The hook to me is the silent hitchhiker. Good work.

Descended from the Sky: You are a god amoung men for this, you know that. The title is good, the story though is a little vague. I don't know if it is usable in any other format.

Votes
Best Title: Descended from the Sky

1, Children's Magic.
2, Mice of Wrath
3, The Servant of a Frosted Dragon

Best Insertion: Descended from the Sky

Good work, and thanks for the challenge. By the way the name is OhS*** in case you were wondering.

~Sheena


Posts: 1201 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bemused
Member
Member # 8465

 - posted      Profile for bemused   Email bemused         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 

1)The Sorcerer's Price: This one was a little heavy on the telling for me, particularly the second sentence which could have been a very compeling scene in its own right but felt rushed through by trying to squeeze all of the info into the opening. As for the insertions, the return of the king was nicely sliped in, it felt releveant to the plot and not forced. The otherone's didn't feel as smooth.

2)Ender's Game: I liked the prose and the imagery (especially the giant's breath bit), and as an intro this would hook me. Using the title Ender's Game feels out of place and works against your insertion, especially since your piece is working hard to create a different image of your Ender. Giving him the same title of speaker didn't work for me.

3)Last Stand at Maversford: Great prose, very compelling. This intor was the most... enchanting I suppose would be the word. It was very vivid. I like the title you chose to insert and it is well hidden. My one hangup is ending a sentence with a preposition, it just sends up red flags in my mind. Otherwise excellent, and I would read on.

4)One fell from Heaven: As a straight up intro, this one is great. Compelling, hooky, suggests a great deal of depth and backstory but not in a gimicky forced media res way. The title insertion though doesn't work as well for me, it feels tacked onto the end and in a slightly different voice. Granted it is a difficult wording to hide. It does reflect back on her mussings about pride at the begining though, the cohesion is its saving gravce.

5)The Servant of the Frosted Dragon: Good dialogue, interesting title and well hidden insertion. I like the description of the spell weaving and how this will affect the sword fight. I also like the dilema that is being set up. Without knowing what he was taught though it is not clear while he would have to forget everythig instead of just dodging instead of parrying. It feels a little melodramatic for his master to say that. On a minor note, being that it is in first person pov, refering to Quo’ng Lo as "the master" in the last line feels a bit off. I would definetly read on though, because I think the first person pov would be very compelling when facing a swordsman weilding the magic you have described.

6)Children's Magic: The fact that the title insertion is used as part of an incantation makes the strangness of the wording a none issue. Also in joining the word native and magic to create one idea, the title is even more effectively integrated and hidden. Add to that masterstroke a compelling intro with iminent danger, a dash of mystery and a clear choice that will have significant ramification and you have an intro that excells at all levels of this challenge.

7)Famous Last Words: The imagery of "absorbing the color of magic leaves" was a bit confusing for me. Otherwise the strangly frightening and humours chamelionesque creatures are both unique and interesting. The idea that they are on a mission of some sort works well as a hook, as well as the way their names may relate to the title. I would read on.

8)The Mice of Wrath: All of the title's are well integrated, particularly Of Mice and Men. I like the fact that you are taking titles from what are all more somber books to create a story of vengfull mice. Not saying that it couldn't have some gravitas, but I feel humor is the more appropriate path. Also, there is a palpable sense that something is about to go down.

9)Sleeper of Mars: There is no clear hook here for me, the introduction is more about setting a certian mood though and does this well. (my own entry faces a similar problem I think). The insertion is done well, but isn't a particularly difficult one to fit in (not that that was a requirment). In that sense the title was well chosen for your puroposes.

10)Few and Far Between: Mine, I was trying to craft an intro clearly inspired by the title I inserted but creating a drastically different mood. I wanted to challenge myself to rework a very recognizable title. I also went a bit over 13 so some of it was cut. I think I might actually follow this story though, and see where it leads me.

11)Descended from the Sky: The fact that this intro approaches coherence is a feat in and of itself, well done. I would love to see what this story would look like with out the nearly suicadal mosaic approach.

Votes
Best Title: Descended from the Sky

1. Children's Magic
2. The Mice of Wrath
3. The Servant of the Frosted Dragon
Best Insertion: Children's Magic

Great challenge, this reallly helped shake me from my writing stupor. Thanks skadder.


Posts: 99 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
snapper
Member
Member # 7299

 - posted      Profile for snapper   Email snapper         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I concur. Despite the limitations of the challenge, these were some of the best openings that I have read on hatrack.

Great job everyone. Nice challenge, Skadder.


Posts: 3072 | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There are three more people who need to vote...
Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
satate
Member
Member # 8082

 - posted      Profile for satate   Email satate         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Sorcerer's Price - The style feels distant and less immediate and fails to grab me. The second sentence sounds like I'm reading a summary of what's happened. The title insertions are pretty good though.

Ender's Game - I like the imagery/theme of a giant in this one and a good hooky intro.

Last Stand at Maversfor - I'm confused by the timing in this one. The title insertions was good, I had to look for it.

The Servant of the Frosted Dragon - Nice intro, I like it and the title insertion is good.

Children's Magic - Good beginning and the insertion is well hidden.

Famous Last Words - I like it, fun engaging, good voice.

The Mice of Wrath - Cute, good hook. I'm left wondering what the mice are going to do.

Sleeper of Mars - This is one of my favorite. I like the set up and am left wondering what has happened.

Few and Far Between - The title insertion didn't work for me. I kept expecting the hitchhikers guide to be a book and then I was wondering why the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy book was in your intro.

Descended from the Sky - Dang that's a lot of titles. The intro is a bit too confusing for me though. I'm not sure what is happening.

Best Title - Descended from the Sky
Best Insertion - Children's Magic

1st - Sleeper of Mars
2nd - Famous Last Words
3rd - The Servant of the Frosted Dragon


Posts: 962 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Two more...
Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jeff M
Member
Member # 7828

 - posted      Profile for Jeff M   Email Jeff M         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Sorcerer’s Price
It took me a few reads through to figure out what the 2nd sentence meant. Unfortunately, on a first read, this lost me. It’s got a hook and sets up the story well, but I’m missing any sort of emotional connection. A fine integration of titles, though if it were me, I’d get rid of the “a” before “winter’s heart”.

Ender's Game
My senses have been stimulated… I can clearly see this scene in my head. And it’s one big giant hook. Maybe “...stood a shadow of a giant” would’ve been better as “...stood a giant in shadow”? It’s the giant standing there, not the shadow. Otherwise, solid writing.

Last Stand at Maversford
Isn’t the first sentence an oxymoron? How could there be cries of men in a place where men have never been? The phrase “could have believed nothing had happened” is awkward. The last paragraph gives away the rest of the story. Marks for effort at the title integration, but I’m not sure it’s the best grammar. Still, I like the premise, and would read on.

One fell from Heaven
You picked a difficult title to integrate... kinda Shakespearean lingo, which makes your last sentence a bit awkard. Otherwise, this is solid. The prose is excellent and I’m intrigued enough to continue reading.

The Servant of the Frosted Dragon
A bit “talky” but I enjoyed it. Based on this brief exchange, I don’t know if first person is the best choice, because it feels like the Master might be the more interesting character. Seamless integration of title and I’m drawn into the story enough to continue reading.

Children’s Magic
A little bit info-dumpy, which I think may be a function of starting at such a dramatic event. Maybe this story started too late? The hook is there, but I think I’d feel it more if I had a little bit more setting and character to go on. Smooth title integration.

Famous Last Words
I picture a “missile” as a really, really big thing, so had to adjust my perception after the first line. Love the “cute camo uniforms”. Good action without being overwhelming. It’s got good flow and I like the writing style. Regarding the title placement, does the bush have “magic leaves”? Not sure about the names, but I appreciate you trying something different.

Sleeper of Mars
I was scratching my head over the time frame until I got to the “hibernation”. I’m not strongly hooked. While the story is well set-up, it’s done in a very matter-of-fact way that doesn’t evoke much in the way of sensations or emotions.

Few and Far Between
I loved the title integration, but maybe there should’ve been a line or two in front of it to show us the setting of a hitchhiker and the “guide” who picked him up. I’m not sure who or what is talking at the beginning. I like the style and I like the imagery and I’m drawn into the story.

Descended from the Sky
You have read it a few times to figure out what’s going on. With all those titles packed in there it reads more like poetry. But it does make a story, so kudos for that.

1: One Fell From Heaven
2: Famous Last Words
3: The Servant of the Frosted Dragon

Best Title: The Servant of the Frosted Dragon

Best Insertion: The Sorcerer’s Price



Posts: 159 | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Sorcerer’s Price
The opening sentence is good, although I, myself, have recently been avoiding the word “thought” in my fiction writing, because I find the word a bit telling. The second sentence is telling and a little info-dumpy. I liked the third very much. Not sure if nobles typically become squires? Second paragraph is a bit melodramatic. The metaphor at the beginning of the third could be stronger if it were reworded. I liked the hook at the end.

Ender’s Game
I saw the title and had a hard time getting past it. I feel the “to the church” phrase weakened your opening. I love the imagery up until “stood a shadow…” I understand the giant’s “obscured”, but I wrestled with whether a shadow could stand. “Stepped” was a bit weak. I agree that it is obvious who is disrupting the wedding – could be reworded. I had a hard time with the title inserts, and your ending was a bit cliché as well.

Last Stand at Maverford
I liked the dramatic wording of the first sentence, but I’m not sure how “man’s foot had never trod” there when the dead are “hidden beneath it”. Consider using “fire” instead of “bonfire” – less celebratory. I was not sure which ones were “the robbers”. The dangling preposition was distracting. Are “the unburied dead” in an underground cave? - this wasn’t clear.

One fell from Heaven
Great title (I promise I wasn’t copying you). I really liked the first paragraph – great voice! “Most of the other…” is a little indefinite – consider being more specific. What “was that same attitude”? – what attitude were you referring to? “death be not proud” was out of place. Overall, I liked it; I wasn't drawn into the actual hook, but I would have read on because of the prose.

The Servant of the Frosted Dragon
I really liked this – nothing to critique, except the wording of “It becomes…” didn’t sound quite right.

Children’s Magic
Something about the first sentence bothered me – later I realized it was because I don’t really “see” the children. In the second sentence, the word “innate” didn’t sound right to me – I think “native” would have been better, even though it’s used later. I liked the “Another explosion…” line. The wording “drew the children closer” could have been stronger. “I summon…” was a little awkward, maybe “I call for…” Wasn’t sure where the amulet was on her body.

Famous Last Words
I liked the first two sentences, but I wasn’t sure if the missile was fired at her or at something else. I’d leave out the word “magic” before leaves. I liked the description of camo uniforms as “cute” – liked the voice. Enjoyed the creature’s names. Uncertain whether these are two or three dimensional characters – why couldn’t the soldier feel her jump on his back?

The Mice of Wrath
I really liked the first sentence, but it would have been better grammatically if the second had followed a comma. Use “he said” instead of “he mused”. Otherwise, I liked this very much. Makes me want to keep reading. This kind of had a 50’s sci-fi movie feel to it.

Sleeper of Mars
The second sentence confused me – consider sticking to his actual memory of what it looked like, then show what it looks like now. The phasing in and out of different eras of memory was disorienting. I did like the prose, however.

Few and Far Between
Great character and voice. I liked the opening, but I didn’t understand why the hitchhiker, whoever he was, needed a guide – if you continue this, I’d drop “hitchhiker’s”. “Viewpoint” and “point” were too close. Otherwise, I really liked this.

Descended from the Sky
This didn’t actually take that long – version 1 was about an hour and then some tweaking (this was version 3). I couldn’t think of a title to include, so I went to a list of Nebula and Hugo winners and it evolved from that. “Vomisa” is a palindrome. The word “fought” should have been “fight”. Honestly, I feel like the last two sentences was where it fell apart. Yes, it was intentionally vague – think Battlefield Earth meets Dark City. And yes, it was very cliché! I knew it probably wouldn’t place, but it was fun to write – and I made it a personal challenge to myself. Skadder, thanks for giving me the opportunity to amuse myself (and a few others).


Best Title: One fell from Heaven
Best Insert: Mice of Wrath

1st: Mice of Wrath (only because I would be curious about it and I am not a cat, but I am a Steinbeck fan)
2nd: The Servant of the Frosted Dragon (best in flow)
3rd: Few and Far Between (good, but tough choice – barely beat out two or three others)

[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited July 16, 2009).]


Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, since all the participants have (unusually) voted...I am going to close the voting and give the results:

1st place: Servant of the Frosted Dragon by skadder.

2nd place: The Mice of Wrath by Jeff M and Famous Last Words by shimiqua.

3rd place: Sleeper of Mars by Kaz

Best title: Descended from the Sky by philocinemas

Best title insertion: Children's Magic by Map

Well done to all who entered.

[This message has been edited by skadder (edited July 16, 2009).]


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
skadder
Member
Member # 6757

 - posted      Profile for skadder   Email skadder         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I thought all the entries were excellent.


Posts: 2987 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2