Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Year 1, Week 18: Results!

Hey guys! Guess what's coming up in four days! That's right, it's FREAKIN' NANOWRIMO!

What's National Novel Writing Month, you say? Well. It's the perfect opportunity for any cracked flash writer to really go all out, particularly if you've never done it before. Ever wanted to write a novel? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO DO IT. 50k in 30 days? It sounds insane, but--

We have fath in you. 

On this note, all of your judges are participating in NaNoWriMo, and CFFC is going on a hiatus until after November. 

You heard that right: There will be no CFFC competition from October 31st (Happy Halloween!) to December 5th. Instead of the regular competition, we'll just be running CFF! On the five Saturdays that we're taking hiatus from the norm, we'll post a five or so prompts to write from on the site. We want you to write and send us your stories to from Saturday to Tuesday evening. OR, if you're participating in NaNoWriMo, send us excerpts of your stories (up to 300 words only, please)! Then we will post these stories and excerpts on the site in place of our usual judging (as long as they follow the rules) :D (We'll send reminders, like normal :) )

Now! Onto Week 18 results!

Honorable Mention

Red Fleece's Too Many Superheroes

Rin: This story made me laugh. The great classic of a superhero and supervillain, with a tone and setting to match! The bantering dialogue was light, amusing, and moved the story along at a good pace, which kept me distracted from wondering what the villain was doing and expecting the superhero to break loose and stop her. But then Bloodnok started counting down and everything did a 180 from light and amusing to dread. Because of all that set up, the twist at the end had an even greater impact and that last line was definitely my favorite. Nice job! 

Mars: Aw snap. I like this sentimental kind of story--I'm not big on super stories, but this does make me a little nostalgic as I consider Bloodnok's perspective on things. Once upon a time, there was Superman. Then came everyone else. Favorite line was, "Nice try. I won't fall for that again"--I laughed out loud (She fell for it ONCE already? XD Ah, classic villain mistake). The character dynamics are nice; the way Bluebottle and Bloodnok talk to each other definitely makes them feel like old friends. Or, well, enemies. Frenemies. I also wonder if the villains copyright their names? That would be amusing. Heh. 

First Runner Up

Steph Ellis' The Auction

Rin: I LOVED the descriptive details in this piece. I felt the anxious tension, like I was standing on that platform with them and it was easy to envision. The whole piece moved at a good, smooth pace and I enjoyed the touch of flipping the usual conspiracy theories out there of the government covering up alien existence, but with us as the 'alien lifeforms'. The fact that the aliens knew what humans called themselves brings to question whether they actually saw us merely as 'creatures' or if they acknowledged us as another sentient species and yet carved us up as delicacies anyway and gives this piece a perfectly creepy tone. My favorite line was 'As Fay’s eyes adjusted to the gloom, she began to make out the ghostly faces watching their progress, their hungry gaze sliding over the two as they passed by.' It gave me the shivers! That last line is fantastic, wrapping up the story perfectly!

Mars: Ooo, a dark one. That last line is a kicker as always--"In her head, Fay could already hear the knives being sharpened." The overall tone of the piece is reflected in that one, hopeless imagining. The suspense, and the visuals, leading up to it are exellent; my favorite bit was, "cutting them adrift in a black sea." It paints a stark picture. I was also amused by the whole 'there are no conspiracies here, people' bit; it's a nice reflection to what Earth would say about aliens. 

Y1W18 Winner!

Patrick Stahl

with Special

Rin: This story reminds me of some of the anime series I've adored. The interaction between the characters was sweet, had a good flow, and I like how they talk like kids would and not like adult engineers/geniuses, despite being mentally advanced. I like how the story is layered with the lighter tone of these two innocent kids and back-dropped by a sinister vibe of the unknown history of the scar. Makes me wonder what the purpose behind the experimentation was. Why did they start making kids special? What happened to the older people that were special? Would have liked to see a bit more description of their setting, so to get a better immersion into the story, but otherwise, this was great! 

Mars: I enjoy the idea behind this. It took me a moment at the end to realize what he meant by the people who used to be special--just old, learned people. It's also a sort of horrifying idea that the people of this world, or this future Earth, are willing to cut into children's heads to give them super intelligence. I thought it was an excellent choice to write this from the view point of children instead of wizened, possibly gritty, older people, since it gives it a very innocent tone that conflicts with the need to mutilate children for military purposes. I think the only thing that feels missing from this story is movement--there's not a lot of conflict, other than Laura's concern about not being special. Other than that, I liked how well this was written, and how it gives a lot of clues into the setting without actually coming out and stating it. 
“I thought that we were special,” said Laura, tugging on her big brother Nolan’s sleeve. 
Nolan mussed his sister’s hair. “We are. Why would you think we aren’t?” He picked Laura up and spun her around. 
She giggled, spreading her arms out like a fighter jet. “There’s another boy my age in my class. And he has the scar on his forehead too.” 
Nolan set Laura back on the ground and sat down. He patted the floor beside him. “We aren’t the only special ones, no. There are two others in my class and a few more in my school. But we are special.” 
“Everyone is special, when you put it that way,” said Laura. 
“Little sister, being special isn’t really about who you are, it’s about what you do. Not everyone does what we do, that is for sure.” 
“All I do is build prototypes for military sidearms. It’s not exactly difficult work.”
Nolan laughed. “Did mother ever tell you a story about when she was six years old, like you?” 
“A couple times. She had a lot of fun.” 
“Right. Most kids can’t do what you do, or at least they don’t.” 
“But you design aircraft carriers. That’s way bigger than what I make.” 
“I’m eight years older than you, little sis. When I was your age, I worked with knives.”
Laura smiled. “Nolan, why is your scar so much bigger than mine? Are you extra special?” 
Nolan shook his head. “I was one of the first children they tried to make special. They weren’t quite so good at it back then.” 
“Well what did they do before they made the special people?” Laura asked, her brow crinkled. 
“Oh, there have always been special people. They were just a little older and they didn’t have the scar.” 

See you on Saturday for five weeks of fun! Or Sunday, since Saturday is Halloween. Or Monday, since Sunday is the start of Nano. Anyways, WE'LL SEE YOU THEN :D

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