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UEMB Writing Competition Volume II Results and Discussion!

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Well folks we did it! We managed to pull off the UEMB's second writing competition. And boy was it ever a tumultuous roller coaster of emotions. From the delay of participants to a judge actually telling me she never wanted to judge again! There's plenty to talk about after the conclusion of this years competition! And I have no doubt that the shit will somewhat hit the fan. I'm really looking forward to the aftermath!

 

So....without further ado....scroll down to see the final results and feedback from the judges!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd place: THE QUEST by @GunStarHero 15/30

Judge scores and feedback

@mthor: 7/10- This is my #2. Kudos for gratuitous violence, obviously the winner of this volume's Macbeth Award (is that what the award for most deaths was?) I enjoyed it, even though I'm not exactly sure what the fuck was happening.

@PhilosipherStoned: 4/10- packed with satire and situational comedy
-equipped with loads of gamer allusions
-Scene building was decent even though it's evident the writer wasn't really trying.
-Maybe it's just due to the satirical nature, but the characters lacked personality.
-points added for epic lolz/

@GuyBeardmane4/10- This is a very ATHF/Xavier: Renegade Angel story.  It's funny, but the "lol teh random" doesn't keep my interest.  The drug deal/threesome is just tacked on in the middle as a sidebar, rather than serving as a plot point.  The quote use was phenomenal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd place (tie): Oh Shit I Didn't Think of a Title by @SwimModSponges 17/30

Judge scores and feedback

@mthor:8/10

This is my #1.

I hate this story. I read to be in a safe place, not to have the pages open up and involve me directly. This was well-written enough to  draw me in before I could realize that I was going to be assaulted - it was a more uncomfortable version of the stories that used to show up occasionally in the pages of the old Alfred Hitchcock magazine, where it ends when the killer is standing behind you and the story is the last thing you'll ever read. Thanks, anonymous writer - I felt oddly slimy after reading this. Well done.

@PhilosipherStoned:3/10-points for the unique interactive reader/3rd person omniscient narrator relationship.
-colorful scene building with a lot of colorful use of symbolism and other lit. devices.
-I caught some typos..Didn't subtract from the material or create confusion for the most part
though.
-The story lacks a plot. Although the author does attempt to use the reader as a character
themselves. 0_0.
-characters lack personality. Although the author/narrator requests the reader fill in the blanks,
this still seems lazy. 
-interesting "psychological thriller" like structure, but not much substance.

@GuyBeardmane:6/10- Good use of the prompt and elements.  Not a fan of the openness of the ending, but it's fitting with the bleakness of the tale.  Shit-hand man is someone I'm going to remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd place (tie): Blowing it Spectacularly: The Lustful Gaze of a Saucy Stepdad by @Chapzilla_2000 17/30

Judge scores and feedback

@PhilosipherStoned:7/10- great dialogue, I enjoyed the screen play like structure as well as the comedy. 
-a good mix of crass dialogue from the characters as well as crude, but colorful wording from
the narrator gave the story a "punchline" like effect while reading it
-more work could've been put into building the scene. I'm still not sure what kind of setting the
opening scene between the protagonist, and the drug dealer was. Inside a car? In an alley? etc.
-characters also lack physical descriptions. How big is the plumbers dick? Was Melody hot? etc.

@GuyBeardmane:10/10- Also, just so we're clear, everything in these replies is something that can be posted on the board as a review.  Especially this next part.

 

First, fuck you for no word wrap.  Review, though, 10/10.  Prompt and elements all there, story feels complete and has a satisfying conclusion.  This is a wonderful short story, very reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk.  Just a good, modern, urban satire.

@mthor:0/10

This is my #4.

 

OK, I'm a boomer. Most women my age are reading Danielle Steel and Norah Roberts. Now, my taste may run more to Harold Schechter and Manfred Lurker, but that still doesn't mean that I have the capacity to sit down and read this as anything

beyond an exercise in cringe. I hereby resign - please don't let me be a judge again, no matter how much I ask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st place: The Bloody Scarab's Wrath by @PokeNirvash 24/30

Judge scores and feedback

@mthor:5/10

This is my #3. Lot of adjectives in there, may even qualify for this volume's Bulwer-Lytton award. Speaking of which, "Scotch" is the liquor, "Scots" or "Scottish" refers to people and/or things from Scotland (unless the Scotch Storm is a bootlegger and/or alcoholic on the side, in which instance a case might be made.)
 
I really wanted to like this - it started like an old noir detective story. Sadly, the characters didn't have the realism of the alley that they stood in. One can't tell if Ash is actually an end-stage junkie who'll give anything just to get the monkey off his back, or a self-pitying dilettante who has to have the latest and greatest. And the Storm (Scots or Scottish, please) is more like a Scottish shortbread - just bland. With the buildup, I was expecting a real badass. The chemistry between the two was rather like that between salt and water - in two separate containers, making Ash's suicide almost enviable.
 
And damn, it started so well...
 
@PhilosipherStoned:9/10-good scene building, and character development. i.e personality, appearance, 
-created their own drug, and a unique way to administer it. 
-lots of character descriptions. Characters were painted well both in a physical, and
psychological aspect (Readers are given a look into their overall psyche)
 
@GuyBeardmane:10/10Great use of the prompt and elements, great way to establish the scene and characters.  Satisfying to read, and wrapping up this little microverse with a nice ribbon.  Good story all around.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And that's it! Huge congratulations to first place winner @PokeNirvash as well as everyone that participate in the competition! 
 
If and when you are ready to read these beasts, they can be found here.
 
Sooooo as far as a prize goes....I honestly don't know what we're gonna do. @Admin_Raptorpat mentioned a custom rank so that is a possibility. I suppose we could find a volunteer to fellatio you. LOL NOT IT! I'm bad at jokes, sorry.
 
But seriously I want to thank all the judges and writers in this years competition. I thought this was gonna suck and it ended up being a good time. Poke also has the option to host the next competition if he so chooses (since y'all mfs hated my prompt) and also I'd like a crack at this! So just let me know what you wanna do, Poke. You competition winning bastard you. Also as far as sub category prizes go, I'll talk to the judges and we'll post them later. The theme of this competition is definitely delays. 
 
Now have fun! Read the stories your fellow board members wrote and feel free to leave your own personal review. Tell us why you agree or disagree with the judges. Honestly, this is the best part.
 
Till next time.
 
 

 

 

 

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Me securing last place so hard two people tied for second: 

 

1e1871e4ed044d02c8b70fdd45f184b2.gif

 

That was 30 minutes well spent writing that. 

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@That_One_Guy don't know if it's just on my end but two of the stories on the website cut off on the edge and I can't find a way to read what's been cut off. 

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1 minute ago, GunStarHero said:

@That_One_Guy don't know if it's just on my end but two of the stories on the website cut off on the edge and I can't find a way to read what's been cut off. 

Checking it out now. 

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1 hour ago, PhilosipherStoned said:

If we do this again we should try to get the word out a lot earlier than the start date. This one seemed a little rushed, and haphazard. 

Some more trial and error to be had - I think @That_One_Guy was saying it was too long last time and people lost interest/forgot about it. 🤣

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3 minutes ago, GunStarHero said:

@That_One_Guy don't know if it's just on my end but two of the stories on the website cut off on the edge and I can't find a way to read what's been cut off. 

It's ok on my end. What stories are they? 

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Just now, avec said:

Some more trial and error to be had - I think @That_One_Guy was saying it was too long last time and people lost interest/forgot about it. 🤣

Yeah announcing it in advance would mean everyone would forget fast af lol

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3 minutes ago, That_One_Guy said:

Yeah announcing it in advance would mean everyone would forget fast af lol

I mean you can announce something more than once.. 

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Just now, PhilosipherStoned said:

I mean you can announce something more than once.. 

Bro you gotta understand that there's maybe 7 people total that would care

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I honestly do.. but what if five of those seven don't even know it's happening until it's too late.. That seemed like what happened this time just about. 

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7 minutes ago, That_One_Guy said:

It's ok on my end. What stories are they? 

Tried zooming in and out but it didn't work. Selecting all the text and then copy/pasting it somewhere showed the text but it won't show on the site for me. 

cutoff1.png

cutoff2.png

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Just now, GunStarHero said:

Tried zooming in and out but it didn't work. Selecting all the text and then copy/pasting it somewhere showed the text but it won't show on the site for me. 

cutoff1.png

cutoff2.png

Thats really really weird. Everything is working fine on my end. Are you using a weird browser or something?

 

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The Quest is cutting off similarly for me too.  I wonder if its bc I'm on mobile?

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@SwimModSponges I really enjoyed your story.  I wish I could read more either without breaking the 4th wall or before that conclusion.

The sounds and skin sensations were soooo good.

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7 minutes ago, avec said:

@SwimModSponges I really enjoyed your story.  I wish I could read more either without breaking the 4th wall or before that conclusion.

The sounds and skin sensations were soooo good.

He took an interesting, and bold angle. I would've gave him some more points I just didn't like the idea of leaving so much up to imagination.. 

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35 minutes ago, GunStarHero said:

Ok, I just got done reading all of the submissions and I think Sponges' was the best one. 

Can you feel that guy on the bus suckling on your scalp? 😂 

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Oh wow... I wasn't really expecting the outcome to turn out this way, but first place and an average score of 8/10? That's something to be proud of. Guess my silver-medal placements in the last two casual online writing contests I entered really paid off!

It's a little early in the morning for me to really go in-depth with return responses, but I'll be sure to let the judges know what I think about what they think later today. Until then, thank you for the feedback, and I hope the rest of you enjoy my story to some degree, even if it winds up being ultimately ironic.

Oh, and as for hosting Volume 3? I'd be honored to, though it may be a while before I announce the kickoff. Definitely a year at least.

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Congrats to Poke for getting first! 

I didn’t want to get too standard with a “drug deal gone wrong” so when I realized that poppers counted, I figured the porn angle would offer a more amusing situation that doesn’t have the hostility of the usual Hollywood movie drug deal with back alleys and shootouts. I did imagine the first part to take place in a cozy L.A. apartment, but I should’ve conveyed that better. I did swing for the fences on what content I put in the story so I get if people were turned off by the porno premise or vomiting on tainted ecstasy. With this in mind, apologies for ruining things for Mthor. 

But it’s an honor to share second w/ Sponges. It’s always nice practice to do these contests and I’m proud of mine particularly because it wasn’t fanfiction like my past entry that mashed up Fast & Furious with Fate/Stay Night. It’s the kinda push I needed to get more ambitious with my work and balance tension with fun. 

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Well, i'm a little bit disappointed that my story didn't lead people to shit in their hands..

I can't wait to read all the submissions later today, congratulations @PokeNirvash!

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RESPONSE FORUM #1: THE JUDGES

Let's start with the elephant in the room (though really, it's more a miniature elephant than anything). @mthor, your thoughts are about where I expected (and feared) at least one of them to be based on the feedback from two years ago. I feel my previous effort failed because I focused on too many characters and settings within a word limit that couldn't accommodate all of them in an adequate fashion. I felt limiting the action to two characters and a single setting would be an improvement - given the 5 score and your initial expectations, I feel I succeeded there - so it's somewhat disappointing to hear that the characters were bland and/or predictable. But hey, better boring than terrible, I say. When I wrote Ash's demise, I wrote it as if he didn't know eating the scarab would kill him straight away after a brief surge of power, though considering his inner turmoil, that alternate interpretation could work, and that sort of thing is why I enjoy getting feedback on things, almost to the point of being a junkie for it. (A lot like Ash!) As for my misuse of the word "Scotch" as an adjective, I was inspired to use that instead of "Scot" or "Scottish" by the Garth Marenghi episode "Scotch Mist", or alternately that one summer adventure game on Cartoon Network's website where Edd described Scotch Tape as hailing from Scotland. But most importantly, "Scotch Storm" just sounds cool. Finally, I'll take that Bulwer-Lytton comment as a compliment; I've occasionally browsed through and read previous winning entries as of late, and getting to be one of them would actually be quite the accomplishment, like getting last place in a party ranking on purpose. (92nd out of 100 will have to do, and that's fine by me.) Overall, your opinion is subjectively disappointing, but objectively understandable. So in short, the same as all the negative opinions of things I like, but more "meh" than "boo", which in itself is worthy of respect.

Next up, @PhilosipherStoned. Not a whole lot to say here - there's always a relative abundance of words when you're stepping up to defend your work, which is one reason I suck at defending others' work, especially when the opposing party refuses to acknowledge that I can be interpreted as right by others, but I digress - but I appreciate the compliments towards physical and character-based world-building. I fear I might have wasted too many words on the place setting, but when I write, I write to help the reader visualize what's being read to them. This means describing the characters' appearances and their surroundings clearly and concisely enough for them to interpret it both my way and in their own way. Classic literature is terrible at that, which is why I zone out when reading it. My entry wasn't like the anime-styled stories I normally cook up and occasionally write, but my style from that category seeped into here, and I'm glad to hear that it did so enough for me to get your seal of approval. The character development compliments were very nice too! Who says someone has to be either one thing or another? It's perfectly fine if they're both!

And of course, @GuyBeardmane points out the core criterion on which these works were judged: the fusion of the required elements. While I can't say I played out numerous scenarios in my head concerning how this shit was gonna go down, the idea of "purchasing drugs in exchange for getting consensually NTRed" was very much prominent, too prominent for me to pass up! The negotiation breakdown resulting from it being a devil's threeway was, I felt, the perfect fusion of those two elements. The "whose line is it anyway" requirement was the toughest piece to place, but once I got into the gist of writing the story, to the point of knowing exactly where I wanted to go, I figured out where and when to place it. The arrangement of the elements was easily the most fun part of the writing process - outside of writing some of Ian's dialogue like a Scot outside Scotland would say it - and I like to believe my success there got me the brunt of the points. The story was admittedly self-contained, but the way I ended it, it could potentially serve as a pilot script for a story series following the Scotch Storm as he deals with the various junkies he deals to and their wide range of personalities, with Ash serving as a key example of just how crazy it gets without pushing too much of the audience away. If I ever get around to revisiting this "microverse", as you so succinctly put it, I might make good on that "pilot" promise. Maybe then we'll finally get to see the Scotch Storm's hidden badass that we all know he has. :D

Also, to the last-minute mystery judge who didn't get their feedback in on time, thanks for taking the time to read my work, and I hope you enjoyed it along the same spectrum the above three did.

Thoughts on the other story entries coming even later.

Edited by PokeNirvash
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Well y'all heard it here first! The next writing competition will be hosted by @PokeNirvash! It'll be a while, but I look forward to it :)

I'll get to take last place for once 😎

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While I didn't spend much time on mine I'll at least explain it a little. It's written in an absurdist, satirical style, paying homage to over the top 80s and 90s B movies. Especially ninja movies where heroes are invincible, unstoppable killing machines of presumed justice and villains come stocked with an army of idiots. 

 

I can see my decision to pick up the prompt and toss it to the side were not appreciated by any of the judges. That's fine. I wrote what I wanted to write and tried to acknowledge and immediately ignore the prompt for a cheap laugh. Most of it was cheap laughs, again, poking fun at B movies. And then I just killed every character because that's funny to me. Hope it was good for some laughs. 

And as for it being "lol random" that's not entirely accurate but it does allude to the style I decided to write this in. I channeled my inner, early 2000s internet ninja and tried to make it reflect the flavor of over the top, suburban ninja teenager fantasies you might read back then. 

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RESPONSE FORUM #2: THE OTHER ENTRIES

@GunStarHero For the last place prize, your story was pretty fun, even though yeah, I can see why it got last place. But at least you acknowledged the prompts instead of discarding half of them outright like the below entrant. I really liked some of the wordplay in your descriptions, especially this sentence: "The Hellevator began to shake, rattle, but thank the spirits, it did not roll." And the ending was delightful absurdity, the kind of Kill 'em All ending that doesn't make the audience feel like shit. Take notes, Saikano!

@SwimModSponges This was definitely a strange one, so strange it didn't even follow half the prompts! (No mention of threesomes, a missing "wow", etc.) But all in all, I can see why your works are decently regarded here. Your somewhat nameless story read like a segment from The Shivering Truth, though the whole scene where the reader gets beaten by their colleagues for the actions taken by the scab covering his shift felt more like a non-sequitur from Xavier: Renegade Angel. I'd pay money to see a claymation adaptation of that in the show. Maybe you could sell your script to Vernon Chatman and hope that accomplishment comes to pass, or don't. Like the outcome of a Shakashuri Blowdown, it's entirely up to you.

@Chapzilla_2000 I don't know what possessed me to picture Frank as a guy in his late 20's with facial hair instead of a hairless twink in his early 20's (I blame the name "Frank"), but that's probably the result of the slippery slope that led me to finding this attractive. :S(I know, I'm not proud of it either...) But I'd have to say this story was the best of the bunch, in regards to adherence to the prompt. I'd say it even surpasses mine, since you managed to fit in at least three different characters and two settings while allowing the story to flow smoothly, unfortunate climax included, and still keep it under the max word limit. What would you say to us doing a collab one of these days? It doesn't have to be immediate - especially with no less than five examinations looming over my head in the coming two-month period - but it's something to think about.

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@PokeNirvash I think Sponges use of the threesome was including the shit-hand man, the main character, and the reader all coming together for a mind fuck. Which was also his "wow" moment. 

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3 hours ago, GunStarHero said:

While I didn't spend much time on mine I'll at least explain it a little. It's written in an absurdist, satirical style, paying homage to over the top 80s and 90s B movies. Especially ninja movies where heroes are invincible, unstoppable killing machines of presumed justice and villains come stocked with an army of idiots. 

 

I can see my decision to pick up the prompt and toss it to the side were not appreciated by any of the judges. That's fine. I wrote what I wanted to write and tried to acknowledge and immediately ignore the prompt for a cheap laugh. Most of it was cheap laughs, again, poking fun at B movies. And then I just killed every character because that's funny to me. Hope it was good for some laughs. 

And as for it being "lol random" that's not entirely accurate but it does allude to the style I decided to write this in. I channeled my inner, early 2000s internet ninja and tried to make it reflect the flavor of over the top, suburban ninja teenager fantasies you might read back then. 

I laughed, to be sure.  Especially at the "oh shit lava" at the end.  Admittedly I was critiquing from a pedestal and focused mostly on the guidelines set in the rules.  But I stand by my ATHF comparison.  Felt very much like a Master Shake moment at the end.

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1 hour ago, GuyBeardmane said:

I laughed, to be sure.  Especially at the "oh shit lava" at the end.  Admittedly I was critiquing from a pedestal and focused mostly on the guidelines set in the rules.  But I stand by my ATHF comparison.  Felt very much like a Master Shake moment at the end.

Oh I 100% sabotaged myself on the prompt. Very intentional. 

And I appreciate it. I actually got a sort of internship with [as] back when I was in college for writing something in a similar style. They kept me on online and eventually made me a Helper when that became a thing. 

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22 hours ago, That_One_Guy said:

Sooooo as far as a prize goes....I honestly don't know what we're gonna do. @Admin_Raptorpat mentioned a custom rank so that is a possibility. I suppose we could find a volunteer to fellatio you. LOL NOT IT! I'm bad at jokes, sorry.

what is the rank gonna be? we gonna do something permanent winner's choice or something like the rotating fantasy football rank?

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39 minutes ago, Admin_Raptorpat said:

what is the rank gonna be? we gonna do something permanent winner's choice or something like the rotating fantasy football rank?

Winners choice? 

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22 hours ago, That_One_Guy said:

Thats really really weird. Everything is working fine on my end. Are you using a weird browser or something?

I'm on Firefox/Mac and GSH's was the only one cut off like that, so I still haven't read it (it looked interesting from a brief scan).  I tried changing the zoom, but that just made it cut off at different words.  So it's like the document is too large for the space, regardless of the text within its borders.

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28 minutes ago, Gina Szanboti said:

I'm on Firefox/Mac and GSH's was the only one cut off like that, so I still haven't read it (it looked interesting from a brief scan).  I tried changing the zoom, but that just made it cut off at different words.  So it's like the document is too large for the space, regardless of the text within its borders.

Yea I got the other story to eventually stop clipping but nothing worked on mine. You can select and copy paste it into a blank word document, though. So the text is there, just not visible. 

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Yeah, I ended up doing that.  :)

I enjoyed your story, but I think you used some words that don't mean what you think they mean (if they were intentional, then it wasn't obvious enough). >.>  But I'm a sucker for wordplay like "What lies before you is a throne of lies," and I usually enjoy a good wrecking ball to the 4th wall.

@PokeNirvash  Sponges couldn't have been clearer about the threesome. "We are a triumvirate. Myself, the father; the creator. The s**t-hand man; our prodigal son. You, the reader, the observer, the holy ghost which breathes life into the work."  That line was actually kind of weird to read, since I'd just posted over in OA that very sentiment, albeit not so poetically phrased.

If I'm still around by then, and get enough warning, I might whip out an entry.  Y'all have inspired me.  I might've done this round, but I couldn't work up any enthusiasm for the drug deal and threesome requirements.  I do better with genres, settings, a character, a line, and/or word count as limiting parameters than specific situations.

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15 minutes ago, Gina Szanboti said:

 

I enjoyed your story, but I think you used some words that don't mean what you think they mean (if they were intentional, then it wasn't obvious enough). >.>  But I'm a sucker for wordplay like "What lies before you is a throne of lies," and I usually enjoy a good wrecking ball to the 4th wall.

 

Which words did you think I misused? 

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5 hours ago, Gina Szanboti said:

Sponges couldn't have been clearer about the threesome. "We are a triumvirate. Myself, the father; the creator. The s**t-hand man; our prodigal son. You, the reader, the observer, the holy ghost which breathes life into the work."  That line was actually kind of weird to read, since I'd just posted over in OA that very sentiment, albeit not so poetically phrased.

Ohhhhhhh. I must've forgotten about that line. Whoops.

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On 2/5/2020 at 11:06 PM, PhilosipherStoned said:

Lol did the porn story trigger someone?

Yes, it did, but not in the way you think - I had a flash of this guy showing up at the ER post-incident, puking all over the place and lying about why, demanding instant relief and sympathy. In fact, if the story had been set 25 or 30 years ago, I'd have sworn that he'd been one of my patients.

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Thoughts on the stories-

The Bloody Scarab's Wrath- Damn, that's some descriptive world building right off the bat, awesome job. The dialogue rings true, the situation is messed up surely but absolutely believable. You took to the prompt as naturally as if it had been chosen specifically for your story, not the other way around. Bravo and well done.

Blowing it Spectacularly: The Lustful Gaze of a Saucy Stepdad- *reads title* Oh boy... this is going to be something all right. There are a couple of jumps in tense here; "asked" vs. "sighs" etc. Lol, whippets. Poppers are easy to get, they sell them at most sex stores. Just tell them the electrical contacts on your vibrator are getting corroded and you need something to clean them with; that's what they're legally sold for. Oof, telling your guy you're looking for another supplier, and telling him that supplier by name... Gonna have a bad time. Holy fuck no lube? what kind of an ammeter hour porn shoot is this?!?!?!   *gets to the ending* On the hole it was a decent story but it left a bit of closure to be desired. I kind of felt like the build up was more satisfying than the payoff. Heyo. Hey wait a minute where's the stepdad at? The scene was between Mom/son and the plumber...

The Quest- This one cuts off for me, so that sucks. I tell ya what though, it sure does hit the ground running. The required plot elements didn't feel natural, then, no part of the story did, so that's what you were going for. Crazy shit man, crazy shit.

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Thoughts on the judgments of my stories:

Mthor- thanks, I read this to my wife  while it was halfway done (I got to the point where the shit hand man was chewing on your hair) and she just shouted "WHAT THE FUCK." Drawing people in and then repulsing them was 100% my goal.

philosopherstoned- didn't really try to have much in the way of symbolism or anything, and one of the criticisms I got from the last contest was how much time I spent just describing one environmental set piece so I tried to shy away from doing that again. Lack of plot/personality was intentional, wanted to have a blank slate for the reader to mold themselves onto, plus some pain for them to empathize with. The cheese sandwich factory scene was sort of pointless, but I didn't know exactly where my story was going at that point and I wrote the whole thing in a big stream and when I do that I don't go back and fix/edit/change things. What I put on paper stays on paper.

guybeardmane- the shit hand man will always be with you. He's part of you now. He's part of us now.

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@PokeNirvash

I didn't mean be quite so harsh - Like I said, I really enjoyed the initial description of the alley, and with the scene lighting the cigarette, I was settled down for a little bit of something hard boiled and Mickey Spillane-ish, so it may have been more that my expectations for the characters didn't allow for what you were trying to say. If so, I apologize. But I still think that Ash was going to kill himself, if not with the scarab, then some other way, and within the not-too-distant future.

As for the Scotch/Scottish thing, well, I may have started life with a Slavic surname full of awkward consonants and minimal vowels, but I married a man whose grandfather was from Glasgow. The distinction was made early in our relationship, and, had we had a pre-nup, I'm sure that observing it would have been one of the terms. It's just one of those knee-jerk things - I mean, the in-laws haven't made me wear the shock collar in years...

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On 2/6/2020 at 9:30 PM, GunStarHero said:

Which words did you think I misused? 

Heh, I was afraid you were going to ask me that.  Now I gotta go c&p it and reread it again.

"Everyone stopped and postured to the dying man if he would appreciate any assistance to the other side."  I think you were after a word that means "asked" like "inquired of" but maybe you meant "proposed."  But if so, then making it a conditional (if) becomes awkward.  Me, I'd just rewrite the whole sentence as "Everyone stopped and pondered whether they should assist the dying man to the other side."  Or something.  Because "postured" doesn't mean anything here, so I'm still not sure what you intended to say.  :/

[I did like the whole recurring "me-shaped wound" bit.  But I think you jumped the gun on the prophesy joke by revealing it in the previous sentence. One step too meta. ^_^]

"Papa is in peril?" I eked out.  "eeked out" maybe?  I assume you were going for the onomatopoeia, but "eked" is already a word that means something entirely different.

"I barked into the hallowing abyss."  Hollow?  Hallowed?  Howling?  "Hallowing" would be making holy, which I'm not sure that an abyss can do.  :) 

"We waited with baited breath"  Bated.  Although in this story, maybe their breath was baited with something to attract monsters?

There were some other typos and grammar issues, but everyone has those, and I'm not dealing with that. :P

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3 hours ago, Gina Szanboti said:

"I barked into the hallowing abyss."  Hollow?  Hallowed?  Howling?  "Hallowing" would be making holy, which I'm not sure that an abyss can do.  :)

Maybe hallowed. Or harrowing 

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