Who ever called it "playing God" was an idiot. Creation was exhausting work. Jesse leaned back from the ovascope and rubbed her eyes. How long had she been working? She gazed out the windows as Uriel rose, its baleful orange glare partly shielded by the high jagged peaks of the Joklarfjall, like flame roiling behind dragon's teeth. Above the night sky was black, a bottomless hole, with far fewer stars than she remembered as a child. God work was exhausting, but entropy sucks. She placed her eyes back to the scope, and made a slight adjustment. The dragon embryo was pale white, sickly looking, but had eyes like star sapphires. Eyes, for all their sakes, she hoped could find the winds between the worlds.
[This message has been edited by History (edited April 16, 2011).]
Jeram’s thin gray cloak appeared pathetically inadequate against the relentless ice wind that had ravaged the small caravan these last eight days. But the eastern man, Kadrag’a and Priest of Dragons, had never complained, never shivered, never dropped his strange smile until now. Fear paled his dark, deeply lined face.
Behind him, the white earth was rising and cracking.
Melar hitched up his heavy fur cloak, a vain gesture against the frigid onslaught of his fear. “Have we found her?” he shouted.
Jeram nodded and shouted back, his accent thick. “She is elder. She does not desire waking. She would sleep the world to death.”
Numb shock interrupted Melar's fear as an immense eye bloomed from the shifting white wall like a portal into blue midnight. There were no dragons in the world.
[This message has been edited by alliedfive (edited April 15, 2011).]
The tales of my people proclaim all life stemmed from Her breath. Scorched earth and the seared flesh of the serpent—-descendants of Dregan herself—-is said to have culminated to form Mydions, the priestly-tribe-turned-heretics of my past-fathers. The tribe denied by the peoples of my land. The tribe that has committed sin against Her. We denied Her. Repeatedly we questioned Her existence. And it was I who rallied my tribe against the idea of Her being. Yet, unbeknownst to them and the rest of my people, I am the only one to ever witness Her piercing eyes in the flesh. The only one in all of Myre to ever trace Her pure crystalline scales. And, because of my cowardice—my unfortunate reaction to Her mighty power—no one ever will again.
“Mistress, will you let me die today?” The Dragon girl just smiled and traced her fingers along my cheek, sending a thousand years’ worth of cold through my dying body. I shivered, hungering for the smoothness of her fingertips. Although I became nigh impervious to the rigors of winter, to know her touch was to know the harshest kiss of frost. “But who will play with me then, my love?” Her voice echoed in the dim-lit cave. Once, hot anger warmed my chest, but it has long bled away. Now I couldn’t avert my gaze from the Dragon girl. Her eyes drew me in, glimmering like frozen points of quartz, peering from her scaly face. Watching me. Devouring me. Loving me. “I would be so horribly bored without you.”
[This message has been edited by Foste (edited April 16, 2011).]
The little dragon statue felt like it was made of lead or gold. I drank in the exquisitely detailed ice-white exterior, but the eyes—the eyes of faceted sapphires were what clutched at my heart and told me it wanted me for its own.
I couldn't help but draw my gun and looked down at the little Chinese monk. "You won't be owning this much longer." I sneered as a hot hatred built up inside of me.
"Beware. Evil inhabits Tan Shirui. She has been the bane of our temple for fifteen hundred years."
I wouldn't let him insult her like that and raised my revolver as he slithered away from me along the sandy floor. I sighted along the barrel but before I could pull the trigger, he disappeared into the thin, high desert air.
[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited April 22, 2011).]
Heaving and sputtering dirt from my mouth as I stood up, I managed to shake off most of the soil from my shoulders and hair. You see I'd just dug myself out of the ground.
It was freezing cold and from what I could see in the dim light of the moon, the hill I was standing on was as deserted as before. To top it all, I was naked and my hair wasn't even long enough to cover my chest!
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I heard the bloodcurdling, cackling laughter; the very reason why I'd buried myself in the dirt. Illuminated by the moonlight, the Black witch Empress was riding upon her glacier-white dragon; her sparse white hair gossamer under the moon and frankly,just tacky.
Ugh! I hate it when the Blacks come close to me.
[This message has been edited by mc1ate1mad1cow (edited April 24, 2011).]
quote:First King Desanovian leaned so far forward in his rune carved platinum throne he seemed likely to fall right off and stumble down the worn ivory steps—a portly offering to the glacial white dragon before him.
A courtier bellowed, “I ask you under the oath of the Ancient Orders--did you eat that knight?”
“Of course I ate that night,” The dragon said in an icy voice that sent a wave of chills through the crowd, “I eat every night.” Somewhere behind the collective gasp of nobles and priests a woman screamed.
“So, you ADMIT you murdered Lord Cruxon?”
"I’m sorry. I sometimes struggle with the brevity of your language,” the dragon said, “I most certainly did not murder him. I fear he has fallen victim to the respawn of Wraith Lord Ramidus.”
[This message has been edited by Dark Warrior (edited April 17, 2011).]
The skin folds above her eyes quivered, the sign of another tragic dragon death. Sertia looked into her mirror, for a final time, to see her exquisite eyes of massive star sapphires, and her skin, a translucent white like the glaciers outside her door. She'd have to live among humans to find the dragon killers.
She snorted one last puff of smoke and then plucked out her jeweled eyes. In pain, she moaned a spell and shrunk into the naked form of a white-skinned, white haired woman. She now held shrunken sapphires in the palms of her well-formed hands, but she need only put them to her now-human eyes and she would regain her glorious dragon form. Before courage failed her, Sertia dressed in common clothes and fled down secret passages to the human world, far below.
[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited April 22, 2011).]
Twinkling piano music filtered through the green threadbare velvet curtains as the dragon paced inside her cage. Her snow colored tail hit repeatedly against the steel bars, a heavy thudding sound that made the men beyond the curtains raise their voices as they argued over their poker winnings. Katie kicked the cage hard, her fingers trembling against the edge of her father’s gun, and the beast turned to face her. Don’t look in the eyes, she reminded herself and she focused instead on the creature's open jaws. The curtains opened, and the dragon shifted in fear. Katie dared a glance then, but its clever eyes were still trained on hers. Why?, the dragon’s high scraping voice ripped through her mind. Katie lowered the brim of her father’s hat, and turned to face her audience.
[This message has been edited by shimiqua (edited April 18, 2011).]
The unreality of staring into a dragon's face was shocking enough, but it wasn't Shiela Watkins' top concern at the moment. "I can't breathe!" was what her mind screamed, as she dangled by her neck just below the ceiling, held tight by a massive reptilian fist stretching out of the solid hardwood floor.
You try to summon Gralnor, and believe I will not intervene? The voice exploded into her head, making her eyes bulge.
"It was just a dare! I didn't know it was real!" At least that's what she tried to say. It came out as just gagging sounds.
The gleaming white dragon head scanned around the room full of screaming teenage girls even as one eye fixed her with its gaze.
Foolish hatchling! You risk your precious Dragon blood for mere social dalliance?
[This message has been edited by Corin224 (edited April 20, 2011).]
Eyes are the worst thing about a dragon. Most people say that dragons have beautiful eyes. Yeah, that is if you look at the red, greens, or blue dragons that most people have met. It’s the white dragon’s eyes that are terrible to look at. Shivers run the entire length of your body when you make that first contact. Then, the dread sets deep inside you, like a heavy weight. There is no period of misconception; you immediately know that the white dragon is going to eat you for an afternoon snack. Well, at least that’s what initially happened. Then, all I could hear was laughter so loud that even with my hands over my ears, the volume still hurt. “See, Thomar, that’s how I’ve stayed alive all the years. Who is going to try to hurt me when they fear me so much?”
You refused to come out. Perhaps you knew before birth that the world would not welcome you. Even half-paralysed and curtained off I knew the moment of your birth. There was a collective intake of breath and momentary silence on the other side of the curtain. Then your cry pulled the "professionals" back into action.
Later, in recovery, the nurses saw to our comfort with cool efficiency. They guarded their unease with layers of medical jargon. Occulocutaneous. Autosomal recessive. But away from the bedside they whispered behind their hands. Dragonborn.
I traced the spider-work of veins under your chalky skin and let the terms wash past my spinal headache. To me your searching pink-red eyes were as innocent as any babe's. Beautiful.
Edited for formatting.
[This message has been edited by Ethereon (edited April 20, 2011).]
The woman lay on the bed, bandaged, only her face had been left untouched. A stench permeated through bandages and the hospital sterility, older infections fighting recent antibiotics in cuts and burns and brands. She spoke.
"He had two tattoos on his chest. Battling. Always in battle. A black dragon. And a white one. And the eyes." She shuddered, stifling a sob. "Oo, the eyes."
"A white tattoo?" Constable Kim gently coaxed her onwards.
"White as snow. When the black one was winning, he was gentle. He'd tend our wounds, feed us. Twice, he even let one of us go. But when the white one was winning..." She stopped. Eyelids flickered, eyes rolled back, as if trying to erase the memory. "The things he would do... to us... Despicable things..."
[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited April 19, 2011).]
As he breached the crest of the hill, he instantly leveled his camera and rapidly took pictures. A dozen large flying creatures circled, brush and hunters were in flames. Pteridactals! A hunter fired a dozen rounds. The beasts still flew. Flames flowed out of the tails of the beasts, not the mouth, onto the hunter. It had to be a fine oil chemically reacting to oxygen. One of the beasts banked toward him. He removed his pack and slipped his camera deep inside. As the beast flew overhead, he flicked the pack down the hill. The memory chip would survive even if the camera did not. The tumbling pack disappeared behind the wall of flames that rained into his view.
Sephira felt her arms sag as she sucked icy air into her lungs, desperately holding her ready stance, her knees threatening to buckle. Thirty rods in front of her, Salamarina, The White stood facing her, legs splayed out like a playful 400 ton puppy. Those eyes flashed with the same glee she herself felt even through the exhaustion. Three and a half glorious hours she had dueled this beast, to no avail. She closed her eyes, reaching out to the icy tundra for another surge of energy, but it would not come. The dragon's perpetual grin somehow grew wider and its sides heaved in what Sephira could have sworn was a chuckle. Leaning heavily on her staff, she bowed in concession to the beast, in the same motion reaching into a concealed fold in her trousers for the small stone that was her lifeline, her escape.
Edited multiple times due to cut/pasting the wrong version:
[This message has been edited by Corin224 (edited April 20, 2011).]
The stillness of the ice covered plain was shattered by a loud roar. Shin-La lifted one ivory eyelid. Her luminescent green eye turned skyward and followed the yellow flame as it drifted down from above. Her white leathery skin blended completely into the colorless background, her low body temperature emitting no wisp of water vapor to give her away. Those emerald green eyes merciless gauged when to strike the unsuspecting prey. She waited perfectly still, hidden in plain site. The silvery needle floated to the ground, the heat from the flame melting the ice. The noise stopped and the legs of the rocket sank into the softened surface. Slowly the water froze locking the metal spire in place. Shin-La waited, but not for much longer. She was patient, but it was cold and breakfast was served.
The newborn sun painted a pale orange glow on the white mountain peaks rising from the far side of the huge valley. Gharsha sighed. For three thousand years she struggled to the mouth of her cave to see the sight that never became old. But she certainly felt old and crippled. Twenty thousand years ago when giants walked an Earth that shook from the spells of fell sorcerers, she flew from this lofty peak to hunt and occasionally to breed. Happier days. The roar of a passenger jet jarred her from her reverie as it flew up from the valley floor, sliding through the air as she once did. "There's a cave!" A male voice shouting so close to her ancient prison? Here? After Millennia? She watched the pale blue skin of her arm turn ice-white in fear. Fear? That was a long-forgotten emotion, once lost in the mists of immortality.
[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited April 22, 2011).]
Her Lost Love Mindy wore black. It took her days to find the right Artic outfit. She didn't want to be mistaken for a Polar Bear and eaten. She knew black would peak his curiosity. Plus it fit her mood. As she floundered through the whirling snow something more solid whipped by. A clump of snow or...her heart rate increased with the possibility. But adrenaline and fear exploded in her when something white erupted from the snow in front of her, a bear maybe but...wings stretched out on both sides. It's way too big. A...a head appeared out of the white and snaked her way... The open mouth showed sharp teeth. She tasted bile and thought, Oh god, I've made a bad mistake. But those eyes were his. "You!" it roared, she felt it's hot breath. Than where the white, terrible dragon once stood, a muscular man with wonderful, beautiful, wicked eyes.
[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited April 21, 2011).]
[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited April 24, 2011).]
Kait didn’t know what to expect from her friends but laughter wouldn’t have been one of the items on her list. “A human?” Ethereon managed to say between snickers. “You saw a real live fire-breathing human?” Shimiqua and Owasm rested their heads on each other and bellowed. Foste rolled on the ground in delight. Kait gave them all an evil eye, regretting it didn’t work on other dragons. “It’s true,” she said, wishing it didn’t sound like a plea. “It had a small stick in a paw that wasn’t like a paw, I can’t explain it, but the stick was glowing like ambers in wood. It would put it to it’s mouth and the stick would glow brighter!” Ethereon eyeridges were arched in amusement. “And?” she asked. “It blew out smoke,” Kait said in a whisper.
[This message has been edited by snapper (edited April 21, 2011).]
Entry 20 Explore the Nebula ÒCaptain, weÕre approaching Nebula 130-87,Ó The Captain nodded. This close to the DragonÕs Head Nebula its eyes and mouth looked real. And it wasnÕt all white. His First mate, Rogers, said, ÒRemember we need to keep the helmsman from seeing it.Ó Tony nodded again, ÒI remember when the helmsman refused to go into the mouth. We will find out why it breaths fire. One theory says a freak sun throws off gas. Another theory is that a civilization gathers all of their trash and burns it.Ó ÒIf that last is true than it must be a huge civilization to burn that much every six months. I wonder if the ashes would eventually form a planet.Ó The Captain said, ÒNow, we enter it between those wicked looking eyes,Ó
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On a morning when lawns cried chemical tears of abuse into the air, and mothers assisted their husband's sporting dreams through their children, old Frank Chinchilla sat on his porch. Children rode bikes and rip-boards on the street. Next door, Nick Popos cleaned his Transam, and Mrs. Yu formed masterpieces out of her hedges. A lorry drove up to the house opposite. "Look's like new neighbours" Frank called over the low fence. "They'd better mow their lawns," said Mrs. Yu. "Last ones left it a jungle. Lower's our values, I tell you." "I think it's a rental," offered Nick, to Mrs. Yu's consternation. Several trucks pulled up over the course of the day, but it was the last one that caught Frank's eye - Dragons R Us.
Hann Lee struggled with his heavy pack in the dense brush. His mistress shuffled behind, folded in her white silk robe to ward off the cold. Screams rolled up the hillside from the village below as the Japanese savaged it. Sadness gripped his heart. He had not been allowed him to warn the family that sheltered them. His mistress awakened him early insisting that he take the pack and that they leave immediately. He knew she had seen the danger, but would only use it for her own benefit. As if sensing his weakness his mistress looked his way. The porcelain face was framed by her jet black hair. She fixed him with her jade green eyes. He was lost in their beauty, but still he shivered with fear. He knew in that instant if he failed her, he would be the next to die.
The first thing Shou Ling noticed, after he'd turned a curved corner of the mountain pass, was the old man: He was sitting on a flat stone not far away, wearing only a flimsy, orange loin cloth; an indication that he was some sort of an ascetic. Shou Ling failed to understand why he hadn't budged from his position or how his countenance could remain undisturbed as he stared back at the armed men before him. May be the white dragon ,emblazoned on top of his chariot, was invisible against the snowy backdrop.
“I can see your blazon clearly, Emperor. I also know the full strength of the army behind you. However, I must intimate that I too have a strong Jinn friend; he has 16 arms and is quite tall. I do doubt as to whether he'll be able to fit in this passage...Nevertheless, as it stands, you may not pass.”
[This message has been edited by mc1ate1mad1cow (edited April 24, 2011).]
Spring burned away the deadwood of winter, greenery smoldering beneath the snow on the prairie hills. In the brilliant newness of it Ana stood, trying to believe nothing had died but winter.
The red door in the hillside rasped open, the little white dragon stepping out from the desolate sod house, seeking after her again. The ashen dragon, the Harbinger, had come at Yule to deliver its curse on her family. But afterward it had not slunk away into the night as it ought. It curled up on the hearth and watched with great tears rolling from its smoldering eyes as mother and father and brothers were taken, and Ana was left.
But not alone. The Harbinger mewled, smoke wisping from its jaws. Ana stared at it, fists clenched, then choked on the acrid bite of reality. It wasn’t going to leave her, was it?
[This message has been edited by RoxyL (edited April 23, 2011).]
No one’d ever accuse me of blinking in a game of chicken. That Kraut sure wouldn’t. His plane tangled up with mine, flaming and spitting greasy black smoke, plummets toward the glacier below. Smiling grimly, I pull the ripcord of my parachute, bracing for the jolt up. Life’s too short not to gamble a bit.
The thin ribbon of parachute snakes out from my pack, whistling and flapping uselessly. My smile turns to a string of curses. The wind whips away more as I see what’s below. The ground rises up in icy scales, jagged rocks jutting out like teeth and claws. A round lake, piercingly blue, eyes my approach. I swear it looks alive. One last game of chicken, then. This one with the dragon of death. Grinning, I dive for the liquid eye. I don’t blink. I never do. But at the last moment, the lake does.
The Northern Lights swirled in the evening sky. Shades of blue and red blurred the sinuous edges of a violet ribbon, twisting in the dark cauldron of space. It was an omen, but this wizard whom Sefferal studied from afar seemed to know nothing of magic. Even dwarves could read the sky, and the sky was wrong. The makers were not in their rightful places.
The wizard wore no hat or robe, but shrouded himself in an orange, bulky fabric that simultaneously covered his head and body. Yet he had to be a wizard for he did not carry the vile scent of the man-creatures. With a strange device, he extracted a long, icy cylinder from the frozen ground and examined it. He was oblivious of the ice dragon creeping up on him from behind.
“Paggosious!” cried Sefferal as he raised his Elven bow.
Edited to change a word back to how I had it before my software "fixed" it.
[This message has been edited by philocinemas (edited April 24, 2011).]
Entry 27 The Crystal Tommy studied the white crystal on top of his staff. Brian said, "You got it to work?" "Yeah, I just modified and updated the spell great, etc., grandpa started. Now its more like a Computer AI and it has even more knowledge of how to work magic. IÕm glad I found it in that trunk, it must have been there for a few hundred years." After a pause Tommy said, "Dragon speak." A voice said, "IÕm not a dragon, I just live in this crystal." Tommy frowned while Brain laughed, "Yeah, but Great to the third power grandpa spelled you into that dragon crystal." The voice said, "His grandson carved the dragon, he wanted to impress the ladies and evil wizards." Brain said, "He did good. The wings are great and those eyes are wicked."
[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited April 23, 2011).]
[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited April 24, 2011).]
The apparition of the dragon lay behind the marble altar. Beyond her in the span between the temple columns, the unfinished Great Library and other construction stretched across the horizon. The ethereal haze gave them the same vision of smoky destruction that had driven Nikos here.
Only Seleukos knew the plan. His friend stood like a ghostly figure at the foot of the hill.
The dragon shifted, distorting the view. Her harsh voice asked, “Your will is mine, first-born of King Niketas?”
“Yes.” When the invaders came in four generations, she alone would remain with the power to change the future.
“Very well,” she said and looked down the hill towards Seleukos. “First, you must kill him.”
Sorry guys, I hate to do this, but here's my third entry. I can't resist!
Entry #29 Second Life
The Antarctic chill stung Annette's face as she removed her muffler and goggles. Even in shelter, there was no such thing as warmth this close to the south pole.
"Well, Dr. Westlin . . . here she is," squeaked Dr. Madison.
The dull thud of the helicopter overhead faded slowly, reminding Annette that her last escape wouldn't return for at least a day. She stared dumbfounded at the massive excavation in front of her. What the hell was going on?
"You have got to be kidding me," she heard herself whisper in reply. "Is this some kind of a joke?"
"No, ma'am it's not. We're not really sure what to make of it."
"It's clearly and quite impossibly a frozen dragon! You hauled me 15,000 miles for this? Are you out of your bloody mind?"
[This message has been edited by Corin224 (edited April 24, 2011).]
The primitive people told the explorers about dragons appearing, carrying off their cattle and stripping their farms and ripping trees out of the ground. It did not happen every year. The few who attempted to stop them were burned to a crisp.
The explorers examined the life on the planet and there was nothing that could possibly become dragons. They wrote it off as myth.
Just as the explorers were about to leave, streaks appeared in the sky. After a long wait, A local screamed out, "Dragons!" and the people ran to nearby caves.
The head engineer watched the dragons for a long moment. "They are star ships!" The explorers ran to their battle stations.
entry 31 The Attack The young man planted his staff. He glanced at the frozen empty field then at the white, incoming object. The hood of the tan scholarÊ's robe hid his face but John stood straight. Wings spread out, its talons aimed at him for a second as it dipped and landed in perfect form. John made out the pupils in its wicked eyes. John said, "No way, You will have to go through me first." It seemed to smile but before it spoke John heard very distint screams. Oh no, he had been played; a second dragon attacked the town. John activated his secret weapon, a necklace with a round, three inch wide gem set. A mystic beam ripped through his thermals and the robe. It smacked the dragon and sent it back. John sent a white bolt, from the fist that gripped the staff at the dragon. He turned and started to run for the town.
[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited April 25, 2011).]
Chad strode through pure light, absent of dust or industrial pollution, toward a grassy mound featuring his dragon avatar. He inhaled deeply of spring lawn and a sweet, rubbery scent that his anchor had chosen years ago for George. Lush grass compressed under his feet. "Visual, good. Olfactory, good. Interactive orientation, good."
"Roger," his anchor said. "Auditory and tactile?"
"Checking." He climbed the mound to his growling securibot and asked, "How are you, George?" The dragon silenced and dipped its head to his reach. Its white, blue-tipped scales scratched at his palm. "Good and good," he said for the benefit of his anchor.
"Roger. Are you ready? We weren't given much time to retrieve the queen before the council meeting."
[This message has been edited by aspirit (edited April 25, 2011).]
[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited April 25, 2011).]
Shakara wandered through the ice maze pausing in wonder at the monsters of each juncture. That was the trick to knowing where you were in this one, for no two sculptures were alike. They were all so life like! She had to touch each one to be sure that they really were just frozen water. Her delighted laughter echoed through the passageways, and she dashed to the next one.
Ah! She entered a large circular clearing with at least a dozen openings and the largest figure yet, a sleeping dragon. She clapped her hands and ran to touch the intricate eye ridges.
She leapt back with a startled cry when the most beautifully wicked eyes opened and fixed on her. “Is it virgin time already? And I was having the most glorious nap.” A lazy yawn displayed sharp teeth as long as the poor girl's hand.
Oh dear. I am in a quandry. I can't read further, yet, how will I know that I have to vote for 4th and 5th if I don't.
This was one of the hardest to vote. I thought the 1st place was clear, but then there were 13 stories vying for 2nd to 5th position. So here are my votes:
1st #24 Harbinger of Spring 2nd #28 Visionary 3rd #1 Everlasting 4th #9 Ten Gallon Talons 5th #33 Last Entry
Special Mentions to numbers 3, 10, 11, 12, 16, 23, 26, 32
Best Title: Mad Men Of The Himalayas
Entry #1 Everlasting – This could do without the first two lines (to stop the later information repeat) but was such beautiful description. And the last line was gorgeous.
Entry #2 The Cold Walk – I liked the dialog. Use of fear twice in quick succession detracted (despite the interesting description surrounding the word).
Entry #3 Apostate – Strong voice, almost too strong until I read the last sentence, and then I realised why. Nice job, very close to a vote.
Entry #4 The Luster in Her Eyes – Pure evil. Nice.
Entry #5 Dragonic Possession – Nice start. The premise of the title helps keep one reading this, as does some lovely description.
Entry #6 The Black Witches Of Doon – The last line stopped me on this one. It was a bit too ambiguous in interpretation.
Entry #7 The Last Dragon – Funny. Promises more opportunities for quirky humor, or just some corny puns. I like.
Entry #8 The Shape of Salvation – Nice use of the prompt. Makes for an interesting opening to a story that can go anywhere.
Entry #9 Ten Gallon Talons – I love the reversal of stereotypes here. Love it.
Entry #10 Truth or Dare – Great idea, delivered well.
Entry #11 White Lies – Interesting choice of POV. Risky, but I thought it worked. The final line helped make it work, was a good twist.
Entry #: 12 Ariadne – Nice job. Love the jargon, made it nicely SF.
Entry #13 Yin Yang - Mine
Entry 14 Revelation – If the POV character died, as seems to be the implication, how do we know what was in his thoughts (It had to be a fine...)? Nicely thought out idea.
Entry #15 Cheater – Interesting idea. Not sure if the dragon is playing with her as a friend or as prey. Either way it works well. The last line isn’t quite as strong as I would have liked.
Entry #16 White Dragon – Very nice last line. Love the premise.
Entry #17 Lost in the Mists of Immortality – Nice idea, well developed. Love the change in color. Great title.
Entry 18 Her Lost Love – I liked the POV, particularly the pacing induced by the ...s. Rolled my eyes a bit at the last sentence, but that’s probably more an issue of my taste.
Entry 19 A Chilling Reception – Well, I think you may have discovered a way to make the finals without departing from any coinage – just use KDW as your MC. Very funny.
Entry 20 Explore the Nebula – Possibly a little too infodumpy in the conversation. I had a similar idea, but you beat me to it.
Entry #21 The Hare and the Taxonomist - Mine
Entry #22 Fortunes of War – Ah, someone that used only the eyes from the prompt. I wondered if someone might do that. I found the first paragraph to be interesting, the second was a little weaker, but I would still read on.
Entry #23 Mad Men Of The Himalayas – Love the title. I’d certainly read on.
Entry #24 Harbinger of Spring – Strong, strong opening paragraph. And then we see the idea. And the final line was a brilliant understatement that conveyed her situation.
Entry #25 Blink – Cute. Nice twist. A strong offering, but overshadowed by your first.
Entry #26 The Melting-Cauldron – I love the idea. Mixing, it seems, modern human technology with an entirely fantastical world.
Entry 27 The Crystal – Some fun humor in this. The last line didn’t quite work.
Entry #28 Visionary – Nice twist. Would definitely keep reading.
Entry #29 Second Life – I found her reaction a little over the top. Still, I like the premise, and the voice.
Entry # 30 Dragons Of Balderdash – Great idea. “They are star ships!” could be shortened to “Rockets!”.
Entry 31 The Attack – “Oh no, he had been played” pulled me out, as it is a POV shift in the middle of a sentence. Good idea, though.
Entry #32 Net the Queen – Would definitely read on. I am intrigued as to what the queen is.
Entry #33 Last Entry – Oo, nasty twist on the virgin theme. Would definitely read on.
[This message has been edited by Brendan (edited April 25, 2011).]
Okay so I've decided that I'm going to go about this in steps.
I've read all the entries carefully - it's a tedious task!- and I'm going to submit only my votes now. However, I WILL be commenting on every entry later, when also I'll vote for the best title! Overall, fabulous job everyone!
1st #8 The Shape of Salvation 2nd #24 Harbinger of Spring 3rd #10 Truth or Dare 4th #12 Ariadne 5th #7 The Last Dragon
Entry 4 The luster in her Eyes. Reread, and then would continue on.
Entry 5 Dragonic Possession. I like it. I'd keep on.
Entry 6 The black witches of Doon. I like the frankly just tacky, but the last line stopped me. I wouldn't keep reading.
Entry 7 The Last Dragon. I love a good silent k joke. I'd keep reading.
Entry 8 The shape of Salvation. Lots of S's. I wouldn't read on.
Entry 9. mine
Entry 10 Truth or dare. I like this. I'd keep reading.
Entry 11. White lies. I'd read on, but this opening isn't the hookiest.
Entry 12. Ariadne. Beautiful. My favorite so far.
Entry 13. Yin Yang. Not for me. I wouldn't keep reading.
Entry 14. Revelation. No character to sit on, not for me.
Entry 15. Cheater. No dread. I wouldn't keep reading.
Entry 16. White dragon. Works. I'd keep on.
Entry 17. LITMOI. I like this.
Entry 18. Her lost love. I really like this. I'd keep reading.
Entry 19. A chilling reception. I'd keep reading, but mostly because I'm a vain person and like seeing my name in print.
Entry 20. Explore the nebula. Different. I'd keep reading.
Entry 21. The H and the T. I love this. Funny.
Entry 22. Fortunes of war. Works.
Entry 23. Mad men of the H. Reread. I'm on the fence.
Entry 24. Harbinger of spring. Reread. I like it.
Entry 25. Blink. Cool. A little confused at the last line, but cool.
Entry 26. The M-C. feels very D & D to me. Not for me.
Entry 27. The crystal. Confused.
Entry 28. Visionary. Confused who everyone is.
Entry 29. Second life. Makes sense. On the fence if I'd read or not.
Entry 30. Dragons of Balderdash. Hmm. Cool.
Entry 31. The attack. Don't care.
Entry 32. Net the Queen. Cool. I'd keep reading.
Entry 33. Last entry. Made me chuckle. I'd keep reading.
Votes. 1st Entry 21: The H and the T 2nd Entry 12: Ariadne 3rd Entry 24: Harbinger of Spring 4th Entry 33: Last Entry 5th Entry 18: Her lost love
Too many to critique to give any more than my initial impression. It reads harsh, and I don't mean it too. There was a lot of really good stories, and a lot of stories that weren't in my style preference, but still well written. Feel free to drop me a line, if you want to know why I wouldn't keep reading.
This was really hard to decide on. Upon first pass I had over half of the entries that I wanted in my top 5, seriously it was like 16 or 17. There were none that were truly horrible, and only one that I didn’t care for based on content but the writing was excellent. Such wonderful stories! Okay so you already know that I did finally decide, or I wouldn’t be posting. So here goes…
1st place - #10 – Truth or Dare 2nd place - #25 – Blink 3rd place - #24 – Harbinger of Spring 4th place - #8 – The Shape of Salvation 5th place - #4 – The Luster in Her Eyes
HM - #12 – Ariadne - #9 - Ten Gallon Talons
Best Title - #11 – White Lies
1 – Everlasting: This is well written. The scene is well set, the tone is good, and the last line is a very good hook. I would keep reading. Well done, nice entry.
2 - The Cold Walk: The tension is clear and I like the scene you are setting. I’m not sure I like meeting so many named characters so quickly; it’s difficult to place the POV. The last sentence seems like a contradiction, they are looking for her. So wouldn’t that make it “… no dragons left in the world.” I’d rather see, “There were no dragons left in the world, were there?” Still, great imagery and immediacy.
3 – Apostate: Intriguing title. Nice hook. It’s a bit of an info dump, but the tone is good. As long as you go straight from here to showing why “no one ever will again” I think you’re good. The conflict in the MC is good, and you even manage to get by without the name. I would definitely keep reading.
4 - The Luster in Her Eyes: Great hook. Really strong entry. I’d like to read this.
5 - Dragonic Possession: Good hook. My only nit is the title. It’s a good title, and a very good fit with the story, but misspelled. “Dragonic” is not a word, I think what you wanted was “draconic.” Clear scene and conflict, I would happily follow this tale.
6 - The Black Witches of Doon: Not bad, but there is a bit of a disconnect between the tone and the subject. The “you see” also threw me out of the story so that I had to start over in order to try to get past it. Other nits: “as before” (before what?), and “buried myself” (how do you bury yourself?). I like the irreverent tone, but then the rest of the description needs to be a bit more down to earth.
7 - The Last Dragon: I really like the play on words. My only nit, “respawn of Wraith Lord Ramidus” it’s a bit of a bog-down, especially coming at the end of your 13. I like the setting and tone, and how the dragon seems to be the MC. Really nice work.
8 - The Shape of Salvation: I really love this entry. I like the dragons-in-human-form thing and a few authors have done it, but the eyes-into-jewels as the trigger for transformation is unique and awesome. I think you can probably find a better title for this, and a better “sign” than quivering skin folds. But the last line of your first paragraph is a great hook, and I would really like to read the rest of this. Well done.
9 - Ten Gallon Talons: Love the flavor, and placing a (small?) dragon onstage in a western. Very interesting, I would definitely keep reading. For some reason I pictured a small dragon about twice the size of a large parrot, I had to reread it to see that the size isn’t specified. Very cool entry.
10 - Truth or Dare: Love the title. Very well written. Clearly defined scene, and very interesting. Great hook.
11 - White Lies: My favorite title. Interesting premise, the writing is still a little rough. I think it’s the “you” and “your” that were jarring for me. Still, a decent hook, especially with the last lines.
12 – Ariadne: Very interesting, very, very well done. You’ve provided the exception that proves the rule, 2nd person is almost impossible to do well, but I love this piece. I did have to go look up the medical terms, but that was only to satisfy my own curiosity. Niiice.
13 - Yin Yang: Very clear imagery, clear scene and tone. Interesting premise. Nice entry.
14 – Revelation: Love the word “breached” here, such a great mental picture. Instant immersion, strong action and imagery. Adventurous. Like the different take on the fire. Love the dinos as dragons. Good work.
15 – Cheater: Sephira with just that spelling is the name of the dragon in the much disparaged Eragon, too much overlap for me. “Thirty rods,” how long is a rod, and why oh why does this need to be different than something I can picture? “…playful 400 ton puppy.” Love it! “…reaching out to the icy tundra for another surge of energy…” Huh? The end is okay, and you definitely have a premise that you can polish and build on, but it’s not there yet.
16 - White Dragon: Great last line hook. Only nit: “plain sight” not “plain site” at least how you have it used. The premise is interesting, but it does have to build before what is happening becomes clear. If that’s what you were going for then great and it works well enough, but if you were trying for more clarity you might want to restructure it some. I would keep reading though, really great last line.
17 - Lost in the Mists of Immortality: I like this. I like the last line. I don’t like that also being the title. The setting is clear, as is the characterization of the MC, and I like her. I would keep reading because I want to know about that male voice. Is it another dragon? Is it human? Is it only her perception of the engine noise? Definitely interesting enough to keep going to find out.
18 - Her Lost Love: I like this. A few nits: “Arctic” not “Artic,” I would say to go with either “God” or “gods,” and either “terrible mistake” or “big mistake” they flow better. You’ve also already established that the eyes were “his” so I think you can go with “he roared” and “his hot breath” and it will be better. “Then where…” not “Than where…” and the middle of the last sentence needs to be reworded, I get what you are going for but right now it is a sentence fragment, or a couple of fragments mashed together. Okay, now that I’m done with my nitpicking, let me say that I really like the premise here. The mention of polar bears and the overall tone lends itself to UF, and I really like where you seem to be heading. I would definitely keep reading.
19 - A Chilling Reception: This is really fun. Only nit: “its mouth” not “it’s mouth.” I laughed so hard the first time I read this. I can’t quite take it as a serious entry, but I love it for sheer entertainment.
20 - Explore the Nebula: Interesting take on the dragon that’s not a dragon. Nice piece.
21 - The Hare and the Taxonomist: The title left me with a “Huh?” but the prose is entertaining. Not a very strong hook, but not bad.
22 - Fortunes of War: Like the atypical use of “dragon” and like the Asian flavor. Good emotional content. Not a very strong hook, but I would keep reading.
23 - Mad Men of the Himalayas: Nice building conflict, strong tone, good flow. Both characters are decently sympathetic meaning that I don’t want either to lose, that demonstrates a very good balance. I would probably keep reading, although the hook isn’t quite as strong as some of the other entries.
24 - Harbinger of Spring: Love the title. Love the juxtaposition. Strong imagery and emotion. Enough left unsaid to intrigue for answers, but not confusing. Very well done.
25 – Blink: Great! Enthralling, surprising, fast paced, I want to know what happens next! Well done!
26 - The Melting-Cauldron: Interesting. The names threw me at first, and I had to reread it to get it all, but I like it. I can’t think of a better way of saying what you have here, and I really like your premise. Nice work.
27 - The Crystal: Fun. A little fluffy, but fun. Probably good for middle grade, nothing wrong with that. Nice entry.
28 – Visionary: It’s clearly told, and consistent within itself, but I don’t care for your MC having to choose between the lives of his people and the life of his best friend. It’s very dark, and unless you are going to find him a third road to take, I think I’m not going to like him no matter what he chooses. The writing is good, I just don’t care for what you’ve written.
29 - Second Life: Clearly written. Nice premise. You could go a lot of interesting places with a beginning like this. I would keep reading to find out. Nice work.
30 - Dragons of Balderdash: Wonderful title. Fairly lighthearted SF. I would read a short story that started like this, but probably not anything longer. It tickles my funny bone, but I wouldn’t be willing to invest more time than that, as is.
31 - The Attack: Okay, I get your set up, and like the story you’re telling. I think you repeat his name too often, and you can probably say the same thing a bit more vibrantly. So it needs some work yet, but I like it anyway.
32 - Net the Queen: Okay, interesting, I would read on. It’s a good rolling start. Nice work.
Wow . . . this took a lot longer to judge than I thought it would.
Here's the comments, brief as they are. Mostly they're my perception, so feel free to take them all with a grain of salt.
#1 - Everlasting - Great opening lines. I like the intro, but it's hard to tell there would be anything else after it!
#2 - The Cold Walk - Not sure I get it. There's lots of description, but I have no picture of where we are or what's going on. I would keep reading, but not hooked.
#3 - Apostate - Hmm . . . I'm on the fence. My initial reaction is not positive, but it's better the more I read it. I guess I'd like something to happen, not just get an infodump about what happened in the past. It's a good infodump, just . . . not really a story yet.
#4 - The Luster in Her Eyes - I like it okay once I've re-read it a bunch, but I had a REALLY hard time figuring out who was talking.
#5 - Dragonic Possession - Could be an interesting story, but I have literally zero interest in the MC, who seems like someone I can't POSSIBLY imagine being a protagonist.
#6 - The Black Witches - Not a bad 1st person narrative, but there's some awkward parts that threw me a bit. "You see" and "Ugh" just kinda pull me out of the story . . . not sure why. Other than that, an okay start, and I'd keep going.
#7 - The Last Dragon - Not bad, but it's hard to take the story seriously when it starts with a phonetic pun. I like it, but not quite a hook for me.
#8 - The Shape of Salvation - I like this entry, but it feels a bit self-contained for an opening. Nice idea, though. Makes me wonder where it's going.
#9 - Ten Gallon Talons - Definitely hooked. NOt sure I have the setting QUITE yet, but I'm VERY curious what happens next. One of my faves so far.
#10 - Truth or Dare - Mine - I DESPERATELY wanted about 5 more lines for this! *sigh*
#11 - White Lies - I feel a bit cheated at the twist. Your narrator is TELLING me something, then changing their story. For this to work, I'd like to know the narrator merely BELIEVES what he's saying. This opening makes him sound as if he's speaking authoritatively. I like the idea, just not the execution.
#12 - Ariadne - WOW! The second person thing is just killing me here. If I knew who was speaking and who they were addressing, I'd be a bit more receptive, but I think the voice is just too much for me. Very smoothly written, though, and VERY descriptive. Almost enough to make me forgive the voice.
#13 - Yin Yang - Well written, but you got on my bad side by stealing my dragon tattoo story! In all seriousness, however, I think I would rather have SEEN the bad man's personality change as his tattoo changes, rather than hear a description. It just loses some of the tension having a nobody character retell it. Then again, it is only an opening. On the fence, but I like the idea.
#14 - Revelation - I'm just not seeing this in my head, I guess. There's so much 'immediate danger' going on, but I have no idea what the stakes are, or even really who the players are. I want to like this, but I'm just not hooked.
#15 - Cheater - Mine. Again . . . I wanted like . . .5 more lines.
#16 - White Dragon - I think the seting is just a bit too foreign to me. I'm not understanding quite enough of what's going on to get invested yet. I could like it, but I'm not sure this intro has me yet.
#17 - Lost in the Mists . . . - I think this has to be my favorite. I REALLY find myself wanting to know what happens next!
#18 - Her Lost Love - I think for me this one is too much "stream of consciousness" for me. I want the narrative to describe things for me, such as how the MC is reacting, not have the narrative BE the MC's thoughts. Not a bad idea, but I'm not quite hooked. If it weren't for the title, I would have NO CLUE what's going on.
#19 - A Chilling Reception - I laughed really hard at this and realized afterward that I had completely missed the story. I think the names were just too distracting. After a few reads, I'm still laughing, but I wish for different names.
#20 - Explore the Nebula - Just not quite so interested in this. I get a nebula LOOKING like a dragon, but acting like one . . . my 'yeah-right-o-meter' kinda spiked on this one. Just seems like too much of a stretch to fit the prompt.
#21 - The Hare and the Taxonomist - Dragons R Us . . . *ponder* . . . Hmm. Got a big wiggle on the 'yeah-right-o-meter', but I would read another 13 lines to see where it's going. I guess you call that a successful hook, huh?
#22 - Fortunes of War - I kept looking for the prompt, 'til I realized it was the eyes. Okay, but I'm nowhere near as affected by this tragedy as the MC. Kinda makes me feel like I missed the boat already. Not bad, I'm just not very interested.
#23 - Mad Men of the Himalayas - Too much description, I think. Not bad prose, I'm just not interested yet.
#24 - Harbinger of Spring - I like it. I want more, for sure.
#25 - Blink - I like the setting, but a combination of my 'yeah-right-o-meter' (I may need to get that thing calibrated!) and the present tense thing getting my way kinda sunk this story for me. I am a bit curious what the MC means by the the lake 'blinking', so you didn't completely miss, but not sure how far I'd keep reading.
#26 - The Melting-Cauldron - I really want to like this, but I think too much unexplained context for me. I just need one or two more things I can ground myself in. I feel like I should know who this orange-clad man is, and it's killing me that I don't. SO closed to hooked on this, but just too much for me, I think.
#27 - The Crystal - I like the idea of a couple boys playing around with magic they don't know about, but I just didn't quite buy this particular incarnation. I think it seemed to gimmicky or buzzwordy or something. Not sure what.
#28 - Visionary - I get the twist, but I think it's too much for an opening. I don't even know these characters yet . . . it's hard to feel shock that one of them is supposed to be killing the other at the moment. Is it a BIG price to pay, or just the cost of doing business? I just had a hard time getting invested so quickly.
#29 - Second Life - Mine again - THIS one got me REALLY excited, to the point of researching excavation techniques in Antarctica. There will definitely be a long version of this on!
#30 - Not sure what's not grabbing me about this. I think it's too much 'telling'. Give me an explorer, a primitive person, and a Rabbi (whoops! No Rabbi . . . that was a joke I heard!) and let me see them talking and reacting to the streaks in the sky, and I think I'd be MUCH more interested. As it is, it just feels kinda blah.
#31 - The Attack - It seems that John's thoughts and the narrator's are kinda bleeding through. (the "Oh no, he had been played" feels REALLY awkward) That, and SO MUCH happens so quickly, it just feels a bit contrived at the end. I like the first paragraph, though. It's a great image, even if it doesn't carry over into the last paragraph.
#32 - Net the Queen - Just too much context I don't have, I think. I'm just not at all sure what's going on here.
#33 - I love it, but the last sentence seems to change PoV suddenly. I definitely want to see what happens, though.
My Votes 1st - #17 - Lost in the Mists of Immortality 2nd - #9 - Ten Gallon Talons 3rd - #24 - Harbinger of Spring 4th - #13 - Yin Yang 5th - #33 - Last Entry
This was a great one! Lots of cool entries, but I gotta say as much as I enjoyed entering multiple times, I think it should probably just be one entry for the next one. Great prompt Josephine! This one got my creative juices going, for sure!
Whew! Lots of good stuff here. Nicely done, everyone.
Ice Dragon Crits
#1 Everlasting: Solid writing and hook. Nice innuendo with the ‘far fewer stars.’
#2 The Cold Walk: The writing was clear, the actions easy to picture. It had me hooked till the last line, which felt a little forced.
#3 Apostate: The last part of this was the strongest, his betrayal. If it were less ‘prologue-y’ and more current action it could be stronger. Flashbacks can wait till we’re hooked.
#4 The Luster in Her Eyes: Love the dragon girl idea and the disconnect where he thinks she’s loving him, yet she merely mentions being bored. Definitely hooked.
#5 Dragonic Possession: Very good set up. The level of his manipulation by the statue came across just right. Well done.
#6 The Black Witches of Doon: Nice action. It was easy to see what was going on. But, I didn’t really care about the characters yet, and since I had no emotional stake, it made it harder for me to care.
#7 The Last Dragon: The play on night/knight was a nice hook for me. I liked the light-hearted tone. Once the Wraith Lord was mentioned, I wondered if the story would still proceed that way.
#8 The Shape of Salvation: I really like the premise of this story. It was a definite hook and I could already begin to imagine a lot of possible scenarios. I did find the first sentence awkward.
#9 Ten Gallon Talons: Lots of good stuff here. The audience was not scared of dragons, they just raised their voices. Why was she wearing her father’s stuff and obviously knew the dragon? Nice, nice hooks built in subtly.
#10 Truth or Dare: Fun concept and nice tail that the girl has dragon blood. Here’s where I was unclear. First I pictured just a hand coming out of the ground. Then there was suddenly a head looking around. A little clarity will clean it right up.
#11 White Lies: The switch between ‘you’ and ‘I’ didn’t feel right for me. Just not sure it’s tight enough for my tastes.
#12 Ariadne: I always look forward to your stuff. The prose is so crisp and the concepts unique. No different this time. Very nicely done.
#13 Yin Yang: Very nice premise. I’m a little squeamish toward what looks to be some horrific content, but this was definitely hooky. Felt like it could be tightened up a little somehow.
#14 Revelation: the hard thing about 13 is packing in enough to get to the hook. In this case, it seems an unfair task. This is nice action if it were spaced out more. Feels cramped in 13, though.
#15 Cheater: between the title and the last line, I’m definitely hooked. I like the swagger of the characters.
#16 White Dragon: ‘breakfast was served’ is a great hook. I liked this. It had a lazy feel to it, not an urgency since it was told from the dragon’s POV, but there was still tension.
#17 Lost in the Mists of Immortality: nice tight writing pulled me in. A little confusion and redundancy on the last two sentences and the 20k yrs infodump pulled me out of the flow.
#18 Her Lost Love: this fits very well in the YA world you so often write. It had good tension and promises some interesting backstory.
#19 A Chilling Reception: *snort* this was great. And really, the dialogue and descriptions of their reactions was very realistic. Nice.
#20 Explore the Nebula: the idea is good, but I felt the dialogue was stilted and infodumpy.
#21 The Hare and the Taxonomist. So much good stuff here. ‘wept chemical tears,’ – fabulous. And I felt like I got to know a whole neighborhood in 13 lines. The whole thing promises a very fun story.
#22 Fortunes of War: liked the idea of this. I would almost like to start with them sneaking past their sleeping hosts w. him unable to warn them. That’s what caught my attention, and it’d be stronger w/o the flashback. Then we could see her cruelty in action.
#23 Mad Men of the Himalayas: nice tightening of this from the first version. Fun concept, too.
#24 Harbinger of Spring: mine
#25 Blink: mine
#26 The Melting Cauldron: Like the elves view of a scientist. The last part of the first paragraph still seemed sort of rough.
#27 The Crystal: liked the ‘wanted to impress the ladies’ and upgrading magic like a computer. The dialogue could have been tighter.
#28 Visionary: okay, if I’m getting the premise right, this guy is giving up his will to save future generations by allying with the dragon? If that’s it, it’s way cool. But, my problem is, I’m not sure. The people and ideas are hazy and need some focus.
#29 Second Life: the dialogue left me a little confused, especially the ‘you hauled me out here for this?’ line.
#30 Dragons of Balderdash: I like the idea of this, but there is so much to tell it sounds choppy and infodumpy. I’d rather be drawn into a personal point of view than be left so distant.
#31 The Attack: there is a lot of exciting action here. It seems like pages worth of action. Compressed into 13 lines I think it loses some of its power.
#32 Net the Queen: Good solid writing and an interesting premise. I am curious what the queen is and would read on.
#33 Last Entry: I loved the last paragraph – ‘is it virgin time already’ – ha. Parts of the first paragraph left me hazy – ‘the trick to knowing where you were in this one’ – had she been in others? Overall good.
First: #12 Ariadne Second: #21 The Hare and the Taxonomist Third: #15 Cheater Fourth: #9 Ten Gallon Talons Fifth: #18 Her Lost Love
I'm going to call all of the entries where a dragon is sneaking up on someone, ready to strike, or talk of eating the MC as 'Dragon Claw. I thought this group of beginnings were quite impressive. It's a lot of work and my hat's off to Josephine.
Entry #1 EVERLASTING Too languid to hook me. Good imagery and a very imaginative scene
Entry # 2 The Cold Walk Dragon Claw Great Imagery and the promise of an interesting world
Entry #3 Apostate I found this more of an infodump or prolog. Not hooky for me.
Entry #4 The Luster in Her Eyes This seemed a more appropriate ending, than beginning. Some intriguing elements, but when you say the guy is dying, my interest fades away.
Owasm Entry #5 Dragonic Possession My entry, but just a word on Dragonic. I made it up. It's a word play on Demonic, but, hey, it's all about dragons here, isn't it?
Entry #6 Title: THE BLACK WITCHES OF DOON Dragon Claw. I had a hard time understanding what was frankly, just tacky, so the hook didn't sink in.
Entry # 7 The Last Dragon You give your dragon much personality, but that reduces the strength of the hook. He could just as easily said, my dog ate my homework. I liked the setting though and the knight/night joke was good.
Entry # 9 Ten Gallon Talons I had a hard time thinking where the edge of a gun was. Took me right out of this promising beginning. The questions didn't make much sense to me at this point and might be better placed after the ending or right up front. It defeated the hook, for me leaving unsaid what I, to this point, don't care for. Good title.
Entry #10 Truth or Dare Dragon Claw. I loved the screaming teenage girls, but I failed to understand who the dragon was talking to about risking dragon blood and it's relationship to social dalliance and that did this one in. the beginning also didn't pull me forward to the next page strongly enough.
Entry # 11 White Lies Dragon Claw. I didn't see the relationship between the comment at the beginning and the teasing of the MC. This ended up begin more vignette than beginning.
Entry #: 12 Ariadne I liked the premise, but for some reason, this didn't pull me in. Again, more of a vignette than an opening. It might not be polite to use a newborn babe as a hook ☺
Entry #13 Yin Yang I loved this one. The promise of so much evil, yet fighting an eternal fight on the man's chest, ruling him. The hook pulled me right in.
Entry 14 REVELATION Dragon Claw. Although tailgunning Pterydactyls was very interesting, indeed. I don't know where the beginning takes us with the Omni POV, creating a prologue.
Entry #15 Cheater Sephira is really close to the dragon name in Eragon and that spoiled this one for me. This was very close to a Dragon Claw rating. I thought the 'lifeline' bit made this survival a bit too pat and nearly felt like withholding.
Entry #16 White Dragon Classic Dragon Claw. As a micro-story, I thought this enchanting, but as a normal story I wondered where do we go from here?
Entry 18 Her Lost Love Spelling killed this one for me (Arctic, pique) and grammar. A bit of a bait and switch in my mind. Her being bait and switching for a lover. I felt cheated on this and likely would not move on.
Entry 19 A Chilling Reception I didn't know dragons ate snickers, but Ethereon does. Don't know where you'd take it from here, but I truly enjoyed reading it.
Entry 20 Explore the Nebula I couldn't see the hook in this. It was an explanation of an idea, but that wasn't enough for me.
Entry #21 The Hare and the Taxonomist Cute sentiment, but I couldn't quite stretch my suspension of disbelief to take it beyond a chuckle or two… and I did chuckle.
Entry #22 Fortunes of War A bit too much deviation from the prompt. However dragon ladies have always been in my mind Chinese, so that makes some sense. I didn't know what constituted failure so I couldn't embrace this opening and move on.
Entry #23 Title: MAD MEN OF THE HIMALAYAS A novel version of Harvey. This didn't go quite far enough for me. I enjoyed the scene but this one didn't sing to me.
Entry #24 Harbinger of Spring This had a great little story told in the beginning. I had problems figuring out who took her parents, the Harbinger? There are a lot of currents flowing here and that would drive me to the next page.
Entry #25 Blink Dragon Claw. Like the blink bit, but can a dragon be that impossibly large to be mistaken for a lake? I liked the voice in this, especially, but I don't expect the MC to survive the fall.
Entry #26 The Melting-Cauldron Dragon Claw. Once I separate the narrator from the ice dragon, I understood what the story said. I'd read on, but I's also be prepared for something odd. Elves, dwarves, dragons and orange suited space researchers.
Entry 27 The Crystal I couldn't quite understand what was going on and was tripped up on the great, etc., grandpa. Don't see the hook here.
Entry #28 Visionary Nearly Dragon Claw. I wonder if you didn't mean when the invaders come in four generations. I had a bit of trouble accurately getting this in my mind and then it became hooky. However, my sentiments are for Seleukos and I don't quite know who the POV is, the first born or the dragon?
Entry #29 Second Life I couldn't, for the live of me, understand why Dr. Westlin wouldn't be astonished at the frozen dragon. I can't see why Dr. Madison would be out of his bloody mind and that spoiled this for me. An upside down version of the Thing from Another World. (1951)
Entry # 30 DRAGONS OF BALDERDASH Nearly Dragon Claw. The title using balderdash connotes a whimsical tale of mirth and mayhem, yet this is played straight. Don't the explorers come from the stars? That took the wind out of the hook's sails. However I think this promise, but the beginning needs to hint at somewhat different things to come. A twist is not the same as a hook IMO.
entry 31 The Attack Dragon Claw. There were too many references to the MC in the first paragraph to enable the beginning to start smoothly. I wondered why, without any conversation, he immediately went to displace the dragon away from him. Was the dragon still there? Did John run away from the white dragon or towards the other one attacking the town? I'd like to know that in order to be hooked. Although I sort of like John's spunk as the MC.
Entry #32 [*number corrected] Net the Queen Dragon Claw with a twist. Now, I have to figure out that the dragon avatar is like an Avatar avatar. A real entity that an operator can use. If that is the case, this is intriguing and makes sense. I was thinking avatar as in RealLife avatar, a computer representation of a person in a game. Once I got myself grounded, I found that this is an interesting situation. I'd rather see the avatar getting grounded and know I was in a different world. I'd read on, once I had my bearings and that my interactive orientation was good.
Entry #33 Last Entry Definitely Dragon Claw. Where do you go from here? I can't see the hook anywhere. A bit predictable.
Shakara's name should have been Mary, given the teetotalling aspect of Dragons. Or if the dragon isn't a teetotaller than the bloody variety.
1. #13 Ying Yang. Tattoos fight for dominance. Such promise for an interesting story. 2. #12 Ariadne 3. #16 White Dragon 4. #24 Harbinger of Spring 5. # Chilling Reception. I'm a sucker for recognition. Title: Ten Gallon Talons. It just sort of rolls off the forked tongue.
#1 EVERLASTING – I think this is a person making an astronomical observation. Nice prose.
# 2 The Cold Walk – read it twice and I’m still not sure what’s going on. Last line did not help to clarify it for me.
#3 Apostate – this reads like the beginning of an action movie (Conan-ish). Nice writing but the hook lacks a tasty enough bait.
#4 The Luster in Her Eyes – had all the elements that would normally hook me but it ain’t quite there. I’m thinking the opening is too rushed.
#5 Dragonic Possession – this reads as if it is three pages into the story already. Feels like an Indiana Jones off-shoot.
#6 THE BLACK WITCHES OF DOON – hmmm, not working for me. Perhaps it is because the protagonist is talking to me. Reword the first paragraph and you may have had me.
# 7 The Last Dragon – Dragon on trial? Italicize admit, not capitalize. This is coming off as a light comedy, needs a better opening punchline, IMHO.
#8 The Shape of Salvation – hmmm, the title helps but this still isn’t grabbing me.
# 9 Ten Gallon Talons – Nice. Favorite so far. Excellent exposition. I have a good idea of where and why and without the author telling me any of it. Only nit, an echo of she in one sentence.
#10 Truth or Dare – not bad. A nice way to start. Sounds like a hex summoning going on. I’d keep reading.
# 11 White Lies – needs some rewording for the prose to read smooth. Like your title and what you had in mind.
# 12 Ariadne – Not entirely sure what is going on. A human birth has dragon in it?
#13 Yin Yang – Not entirely sure what is going on in this one either. The two people are victims of a dragon attack? Odd behaving dragons if it is.
#14 REVELATION – one adverb too many. This, I think, needs to slow down a little bit. The opening needs to be stretched so the reader can be grounded into the story.
#15 Cheater – I like your style. Nice prose. Your opening is easy to fall into. Not completely grounded but I would keep reading
#16 White Dragon – Not bad. May I suggest you change the last word to “waiting’?
#17 Lost in the Mists of Immortality – I was liking your first paragraph, the passenger jet from the valley floor and new voice threw me out of your piece. Too rushed.
# 18 Her Lost Love – A dragon appears to court a young lady? Sounds like he has a strong personality.
# 19 A Chilling Reception – What’s the matter? Couldn’t think of your names for your characters?
# 20 Explore the Nebula – Sci-fi. Unlikely the nebula would look like a dragons head from up close. Too rushed and pulpy for my tastes.
#21 The Hare and the Taxonomist – Light tale, it appears. Nice start. I’d keep reading.
#22 Fortunes of War – This opening isn’t quite doing the job for me. Got a man in hiding, with his mistress, and Japanese. The dots aren’t connecting for me.
#23 MAD MEN OF THE HIMALAYAS – Is it supposed to be ‘May be’ or ‘Maybe’? Does Shou Ling have an engraved dragon on his chariot or is there a white dragon over the chariot? The info in this opening needs to be stretched out. Too crammed for me.
#24 Harbinger of Spring – A dragon comes to deliver a curse but never leaves? And now the MC doesn’t want it to go? Not sure if I have that right.
#25 Blink – Pretty good. If you’re going to pursue this, I would lengthen the opening. This comes off a but crammed but I’m still hooked.
#26 The Melting-Cauldron – I think the wizard Sefferal is describing is a spaceman. Okay, but likely not my top 5.
#27 The Crystal – The dialog is a bit off for me. Needs a little bit of tweaking but I think you may have something here.
#28 Visionary – The story is a lot bigger than I am grasping at this point. An awful lot to soak in, in 13 lines.
#29 Second Life – Nice opening! I liked it. Clear and appropriate way to begin.
# 30 DRAGONS OF BALDERDASH – Intriguing idea. I liked it but it came off as a bit info-dumpy. Rethink it and you may have a winning idea.
#31 The Attack – This reminds me of a video game.
#32 Net the Queen – Is Roger a character or an acknowledgement or greeting on a walkie-talkie?
#33 Last Entry – I liked this bit of a surprise.
First - # 9 Ten Gallon Talons
Second - #29 Second Life
Third - #21 The Hare and the Taxonomist
Fourth - #25 Blink
Fifth – #10 Truth or Dare
Best Title - #17 Lost in the Mists of Immortality (excellent title)
Lots of great entries. This is going to be challenging.
Entry #1 EVERLASTING
Hooked by the opening line. Found the name of the mountain to be a mouthful. Like the SF slant to the story. Nice prose.
Entry # 2 The Cold Walk Confusing. Not sure if I'd read on.
Entry #3 Apostate Verges on an infodump, but interesting enough to keep me reading.
Entry #4 The Luster in Her Eyes Mine.
Entry #5 Dragonic Possession Nice set up and hook. Like the way the prompt was incorporated. The main guy annoyed me though.
Entry #6 Title: THE BLACK WITCHES OF DOON Not sure where this is going. Couldn't grab my interest.
Entry # 7 The Last Dragon Made me laugh. I'd read on since the start is fairly promising. It's the kind of story that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Entry #8 The Shape of Salvation Smooth prose and killer hook. Great.
Entry # 9 Ten Gallon Talons Hooked by the setting and the fact that the dragon is in a cage. Beautifully written.
Entry #10 Truth or Dare Dark and mysterious-great mood. I'd read on.
Entry # 11 White Lies Not sure what to make of this one. The slang didn't sit well with me here.
Entry #: 12 Ariadne Killer hook. Love the voice. Mysterious, but not obscure. Great!
Entry #13 Yin Yang Awesome idea-battling tattoos. Definitely hooked.
Entry 14 REVELATION Too chaotic. No character to identify with.
Entry #15 Cheater Interesting, I'd read on. The measurements and the 400ton puppie similie seemed a bit off.
Entry #16 White Dragon Exciting opening. Strong prose. I'd read on.
Entry #17 Lost in the Mists of Immortality Strong hook using beautiful imagery. I am a sucker for the classical sword and sorcery stories, especially if they are well written.
Entry 18 Her Lost Love Interesting, cuts right to the chase. I like the dread-inducing mood. I'd read on.
Entry 19 A Chilling Reception Rolling on the ground in delight, I am! I expected a humoristic piece as soon as I saw snapper's entry, but this one caught me unprepared. Great stuff.
Entry 20 Explore the Nebula Great idea but a little too infodumpy to make it work as an opening. I'd love to see where this is going.
Entry #21 The Hare and the Taxonomist The last line got me. Seems to be leading to a hilarious romp.
Entry #22 Fortunes of War Strong descriptions coupled with an interesting subject matter. The only nit I have is that you did include the "eyes" part of the prompt, but I don't see the dragon (I assume his mistress is one, but i think you could dispense a hint or two)
Entry #23 Title: MAD MEN OF THE HIMALAYAS Love the conflict you set up. The voice is quite strong too, which makes this intro a really good read.
Entry #24 Harbinger of Spring Terrific imagery (a lot of strong verbs) and voice. I really care for the character.
Entry #25 Blink I really want to like this one, but it seems a little bit hurried.
Entry #26 The Melting-Cauldron I got nothing against stories which have a more sedate pace, but I don't have a sense of conflict here. The opening was really lyrical so it's too bad that there's not a stronger hook present.
Entry 27 The Crystal I'd definitely read on because it seems to be a very unusual story. I especially like the dialog.
Entry #28 Visionary I have a trouble indetifying who wants what here, or what the general conflict is.
Entry #29 Second Life Love the idea of a dragon excavation. Would definitely read on.
Entry # 30 DRAGONS OF BALDERDASH Good voice, but it lacks characters.
entry 31 The Attack I don't have a reason to care for the conflict here.
Entry #32 Net the Queen
I want to know what's going on here. There's just enough information here to keep me simmering.
Entry #33 Last Entry the beginning was a bit confusing but the "virgin time" line got me completely hooked. I would love to know how this one is going to play out.
I don't intend to be curt; I just focused on things that caught my attention.
So here goes:
1.The Shape of Salvation 2.Everlasting 3.Ariadne 4.The Made Men of the Himalayas 5.Ying Yan
Sorry I'm tardy. Here are my votes and comments:
#1 EVERLASTING: Mine. [Hastily written. I wanted to be first. And I chose sf rather than fantasy as I suspected this would be a less common entry. I also wanted an end-of-humanity/end-of-universe conflict, a sort of Pern meets Cities in Flight. If this goes anywhere, it will be a primarily character-driven reflection of the best and worst in humanity. Do we deserve to be saved from our circumstances, from ourselves?]
# 2 The Cold Walk – Rich evocative language, requires measured reading. I concur the last line seemed out-of-place or incomplete.
#3 Apostate – Dense writing. Too much exposition to hook me, but the story elements narrated are intriguing.
#4 The Luster in Her Eyes – Good opening hook. However, there is a bit of "campiness" to the scene, seemed more of a spoof/parody. As I couldn't decide if this was intentional, it didn't work for me.
#5 Dragonic Possession – I like the grittiness of this. The world depicted is captured well with a sparsity of prose. I disagree this is reminiscent of Indiana Jones; instead, I was reminded more of horror in the tradition of Lovecraft.
#6 THE BLACK WITCHES OF DOON – I found the imagery only partially realized, and no emotional attachment to the narrator or the conflict presented. Just felt incomplete to me. [P.S. "Doon" was a novel parody, and poor one, of Frank Herbert's award-winning novel. Put me off a bit.]
# 7 The Last Dragon – Ok. I'm a lover of wordplay, and this reminded me of L.Sprague de Camp's Incomplete Enchanter and Goblin Tower stories and Robert Don Hughes' The Prophet of Lamath. Fun.
#8 The Shape of Salvation – Hey! I used "star sapphire" dragon eyes first! Oh, well. I liked the idea of a dragon masking as a human being seeking revenge for the killers of her kind. Though to be credible, there will need be human magic to counter dragon magic. The plucking of the eyes scene was weak. That would hurt. I want to feel her/his pain of loss, the physical pain emphasizing the emotional one--and only possible because of the stronger desire for justice. Not fully realized for me. Make me care. Nice title, just don't see its relevance--yet.
# 9 Ten Gallon Talons – Like the way the scene and conflict slowly coalesce. A girl's coming of age story? A dragon western? What's not to like?
#10 Truth or Dare – Where's Buffy when you need her? Dragons and the occult. Fun. Right up my kabbalistic mystical alley (watch out for iron gargoyles on the fire escapes).
# 11 White Lies – Kudos for staying close to the prompt. Young adult fare, I surmise. Didn't hook me, though. The mix of trying to establish both a fear of dragons with having a casual conversation with one I found discordant.
# 12 Ariadne – I may not be bright enough to follow this--yet. Seems like a bond between a handicapped individual and a "dragon born", both being undesirables. A sf setting (I like the use of "autosomal recessive"), so points for that. I'd read further to see if things clarify for me--but would stop if they do not.
#13 Yin Yang – I like the concept. Black and white dragons (Yin and Yang), our evil and good, selfish and selfless inclinations. A Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde story. Who placed the curse of this tatoo on the man and why? How will this constant internal human battle be resolved? Good potential here. An occult "dragon" story with a detective story twist.
#14 REVELATION – Got stuck on the spelling: Pterodactyl. Not sure of the setting or conflict of the narrator.
#15 Cheater – I had some trouble with your prose, name selection, and (once) your punctuation: Salamarana the White. The "puppy" reference also through me a bit. A friendly three and a half-hour duel? A bit incongruous. Perhaps slow this down a bit. And if you are going to begin with a duel, perhaps have a duel and later reveal its some sort of competition?
#16 White Dragon – Good evocative writing. I like the transition to the sf in this, but the ending "dinner is served" is out of place and kills it.
#17 Lost in the Mists of Immortality – I liked the voice, the story from the perspective of the dragon, her aged nostalgia of youth and might, and her current self-doubt and fear. I disliked her casual human-like comment, "Happier days" and the cliche "mists of immortality."
# 18 Her Lost Love – Some good stuff, here, LD. I love the short quick sentences. They hooked me. The dramatic entrance of the dragon/man shapeshifter and the revelation there is a relationship (presumably romantic) between the characters...well, I'd read on. One of the better pieces I've read of yours. One quibble: You mean "Then" not "Than" in the last sentence.
# 19 A Chilling Reception – Cheat! Playing to the vanity of your audience judges! Far off prompt! Trite! And...and...you didn't include me. Other than that, it is a fun bit of fluff.
# 20 Explore the Nebula – Not formatted correctly, difficult to read, no hook. Your prior entry (#18) was superior.
#21 The Hare and the Taxonomist – Fine writing, almost homiletic in style. I'd read further, but I believe this is too far off prompt.
#22 Fortunes of War – Clear prose. Mystery woman. Not the typical dragon story...then again, there is no mention of a dragon.
#23 MAD MEN OF THE HIMALAYAS – Excluding the quibbles in the sentence structure noted by others, the scene is well set, and there is rising suspense for impending battle. However, my quibble is the dragon element is cursory and Orientals and Dragons too common a theme.
#24 Harbinger of Spring – I liked the seasonal injury, and who can resist a baby dragon? But the story was confusing to me.
#25 Blink – Great prose and opening action that defines the MC. Struggled with the tense. Cursory dragon reference without evidence of being a dragon story.
#26 The Melting-Cauldron – Pilot/spaceman, dragon, and elf? I find I can accept the first two or the second two in combination but not all three. But it would be interesting to see where this goes. Deviates from prompt, though
#27 The Crystal – Still have trouble with formatting and punctuation. I like the story elements, though simplified young adult, and the unique way the prompt was incorporated.
#28 Visionary – I'm not sure of the setting, characters and their motivations, or conflict. I'd concur that there is too much attempted to be conveyed in the lines allowed. I'd like to know more.
#29 Second Life – Excellent. Setting, character, conflict clearly and concisely established. Good use of prompt--except for the lack of mention of the dragon's eyes.
# 30 DRAGONS OF BALDERDASH – Good Hugo Gernsback ol' style sf. But no ice, no dragon, no wicked eyes per the prompt.
#31 The Attack – Didn't grab me. Though stuck to the prompt.
#32 Net the Queen – Crisp style. I like it. Mixture of sf/dragons and gaming? Partial incorporation of prompt.
#33 Last Entry – Clear style, to prompt, yet virgin-eating is a bit cliche, and where and why the MC is where she is and her joy at being there is never clear. Tough to care for her .
My picks: Tough. Many good entries, but some that did not stick to prompt; and others that are not as good who did. However, per the rules, I need give those who did both the greatest weight:
1. #9 Ten Gallon Talons 2. #18 Her Lost Love 3. #7 The Last Dragon 4. #5 Dragonic Possession 5. #29 Second Life. HM. #13 Yin Yang
Best Title: The Hare and the Taxonomist (though I did not use the prompt to decide this)
Respectfully, Dr. Bob
[This message has been edited by History (edited April 27, 2011).]
Entry #1 - EVERLASTING - The first line turned me off from the rest. Last line was cool. - 4
Entry #3 - Apostate - Read like a summary. I’d actually try to show some action here because something interesting is definitely happening. - 3
Entry #4 - The Luster in Her Eyes - Not sure what the hook to read on here is. I didn’t get the specific conflict. - 4
Entry #5 - Dragonic Possession - Little bit cliché. Probably wouldn’t read on, but the characters seemed interesting. - 6
Entry #6 - THE BLACK WITCHES OF DOON - The reader address, “you see”, jarred me. Wouldn’t read on. - 2
Entry # 7 - The Last Dragon - Not enough new or interesting here for me. Which is, I suppose, the reason that dragon stories have fallen out of favor. Lots has been done. - 5
Entry #8 - The Shape of Salvation - First couple sentences feel like some POV strangeness is happening. Also the mirror cliché. I would probably read on though. Clearly written. - 6
Entry # 9 - Ten Gallon Talons - Pretty cool open. Seems unique. Clear hook. I dig it. - 7
Entry #10 - Truth or Dare - Didn’t like the first line. Subject matter and time and place just aren’t personally interesting. Wouldn’t read on. - 5
Entry # 11 - White Lies - Didn’t like the POV. “Most people”, “Yeah, that is” etc. Little confused about whether the event is happening now or in the past. - 2
Entry #: 12 - Ariadne - You do a cool thing here with parental resonance. I was brought in mind of my child’s birth. I’d read on. - 8
Entry #13 - Yin Yang - Unique idea that is makes a good hook. I think you may be starting this story too late though. Flashback starts always make me wonder why you don’t just tell the story your character is telling. Would read on. - 7
Entry 14 - REVELATION - I’m a little confused about the special relationship of everyone here. Nothing unique enough to hook me. - 3
Entry #15 - Cheater - I can’t help but wonder why we are just now being brought into this story, 3.5 hours after the battle started. Also, I don’t really care who wins. - 4
Entry #16 - White Dragon - This one has some nice imagery, but the wall of text description made me a little bored. I could have used some feelings, thoughts or something. - 5
Entry #17 - Lost in the Mists of Immortality - I like the fear angle. Unique for dragons. I got a little glazed over on the thousand years summary. - 6
Entry 18 - Her Lost Love - Seems like a comedy. Those never hook me. No problems per se. Just not personally hooked. - 4
Entry 19 - A Chilling Reception - Haha. I think we need a challenge where the stories have to involve forum members. - 3
Entry 20 - Explore the Nebula - Unfortunately the weird O’s made this near unreadable. I like the scifi take on the dragon concept.
Entry #21 - The Hare and the Taxonomist - I really like the feel of this one a lot. The first line was pretty over-wrought for me, though I liked the “chemical tears” even though I didn’t know what you meant by it. - 8
Entry #22 - Fortunes of War - I feel like we missed something here. Started too late? It seems like your “inciting” event has already taken place, making you back-track. - 5
Entry #23 - MAD MEN OF THE HIMALAYAS - A lot going on here, and I’m lost. Cool ideas, maybe too much to mention in the open. - 3
Entry #24 - Harbinger of Spring - First two sentences are pretty, but melodramatic for an opening. Felt like artificial weight. Second part is a summary. I think you started this one too late, and that’s why you had to back-fill why the dragon was there. Enough interest for me to read on. - 7
Entry #25 - Blink - Character is somewhat flippant and unconcerned for his fate. Therefore I am unconcerned also. I feel like I have read the whole story here. - 4
Entry #26 - The Melting-Cauldron - I like the subject matter here and the prose is silky. I’m a little fuzzy about where everyone is in relation to eachother. They all seem to be floating. I would read on, though. - 8
Entry #27 - The Crystal - Interesting take. I’m a little confused about what they are talking about. Nothing really hooking me. - 3
Entry #28 - Visionary - Really confused. There are a lot of names and places in the first couple sentences. Sounds like interesting stuff, but without my bearings I lose interest. - 3
Entry #29 - Second Life - Cool idea. I don’t really follow the last sentence and why she is upset. “You hauled me 15,000 miles for this?” Is she not impressed by it? Shocked? I can’t tell. - 4
Entry # 30 - DRAGONS OF BALDERDASH - Feels like a summary. Writing feels stilted. - 3
entry 31 - The Attack - Why call it an “incoming object” when the POV character knows it’s a dragon? I feel like this is pretty standard D&D stuff that I’ve read a lot of. - 2
Entry #32 - Net the Queen - Interesting subject, but nothing really pulling me forward. No conflict or hook. - 3
Entry #33 - Last Entry - Feel like I missed something before this. Is this really the start of the story? Also, after 32 entries my brain is mush. - 2
1st place - Entry # 9 - Ten Gallon Talons 2nd place - Entry #: 12 - Ariadne 3rd place - Entry #21 - The Hare and the Taxonomist 4th place - Entry #26 - The Melting-Cauldron 5th place - Entry #13 - Yin Yang