Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Calle
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Calle Rainbow Writer

Contest Mod Seen 10 hrs ago

Welcome to the Voting and Feedback round for RPGC#30!

Voting and Feedback guidelines
  • Please take your time to read through all the entries before voting for your favourite work. The reasons you base your vote on are up to you, as long the vote isn’t based on whether or not you like the author.
    It would be nice if you could share why you voted for a specific work.
  • Giving feedback is optional but highly encouraged. When giving feedback you should be respectful and constructive. It’s good to point out any flaws or the things you feel could be improved or why you didn't like something, but don’t be mean.
    Make sure to point out what you liked or what appreciated in the entry too.
  • Contestant may and are encouraged to vote for and give feedback for the other entries, but don’t vote for your own entry. If contestants wish to withhold a vote and only give feedback, that is good too.
  • The entries are anonymous unless the writer asked for having their name added. That being said, writers may claim their work at any time during the voting period.
  • The entry with the most votes will win, but in case of a tie a Contest Mod will cast the tie-breaker vote.
  • You can vote for entries and post your feedback in this thread, but if you rather have your vote and/or feedback be anonymous you can PM it to @Calle.
  • The voting period deadline is February 15th, 9:00 CET, which is 8:00 game time (both times are in a.m.).

The Entries

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by V a s h
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V a s h Wanderer

Member Seen 1 mo ago

First, thank you for taking the time to put this all together @Calle.

Second: my vote is going to By Which The Stars Are Hung. I will edit in feedback for all entries later.

EDIT: Feedback has arrived.

Thank you for the reading, everyone. I hope you all continue to write and strive to be greater every day.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Nevix
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Nevix Says "Yello?" When Answering Phone

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I'm voting for "God is Great." I don't want to get pretentious, and I don't want to make myself out to be some kind of expert, but what I am is somebody who's had a keen interest in the conflict in Syria (and the rest of the Middle East) for a long time. I've read a lot of testimonials and such from people who live in the area. There's a real heartbreaking quote from this Pakistani child where he says something to the effect of "I always pray for grey skies. When the skies are gray, the drones don't come."

"God is Great" is one of the most human depictions of the reality of life in the countries devastated by the forever wars of the region. A story about a boy and his uncle is an infinitely more effective statement on the issue that any talking head on a cable news network could manage. I think the decision to keep the circumstance of the father's death ambiguous was a good one, even with the dialogue that implies that he was at least seen by his killers to be a terrorist. I get the sense that this is a story that could have been 200 pages if @V A S H wanted it to be, and I get the sense that the writer knew these characters inside and out.

I'm starting to ramble a little bit so I'll leave it there, but that story was great.
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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Kassarock
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Kassarock I had a fancy colour one of these, then RPG died

Member Seen 27 min ago

My vote goes to God is Great by @V A S H.

There were some other good entries this contest, but that was story I emotionally connected with strongest, and it was also the only story on which I could literally find nothing to pick apart or criticise. Absolutely fantastic work, I look forward to seeing more of your writing in the future.

Some feedback for the other entries:

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Salenea
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Salenea Gatewatcher

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My vote goes to: By Which the Stars are Hung.

It is beautifully and skillfully written, the words just suck you in and won't let you go. I love how the picture got painted with words and how the bittersweet journey on which the Kalleth took us came to an end. Thank you for this magnificent story.

Alaska Tales: Thank you for taking me on journey through Alaska and to the Northern Lights. I enjoyed the travel very much ^_^ Hope the dogs had their beauty sleep for the journey back.

God is Great: Thank you for taking me to Syria and live with Faariq through his fear, his sadness, his sorrow under the vast night sky. It is a compelling story and masterfully written.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Calle
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Calle Rainbow Writer

Contest Mod Seen 10 hrs ago

It looks like we have a tie between By Which The Stars Are Hung and God Is Great. Which means we need a tie-breaker vote.
And you two are not making this easy for me.

Both stories are about death and loss. Someone died and the main character lost someone dear to them. Both stories also leave us with questions that are never answered and leave room for a part 2 that we would all like to read. (Maybe a continuation can be written for another RPGC?)
I just want to say they're both good stories. While there are some similarities in themes, they are different in execution, and therefore it's not easy to determine a winner.

By Which The Stars Are Hung has wonderful imagery; it's a powerful, emotional and eloquent piece. The descriptions throughout are beautiful and the emotions are strong. This is a high-quality story.
I'm assuming he's at his daughters grave because of the mention of freshly turned earth and not able to look ahead, but later there is also mention of grief held back too long, so it's not easy to determine how long ago she died.
His implied death and heart-attack is definitely a powerful part of this story and how it's described was amazing, but it also raises questions. Was he grieving for so long his heart gave up? Where there underlying medical conditions and was this sudden loss too much for him? With the unclear timeline and little background information, it feels as if this death just happens for no apparent reason. In a story it's not only important to describe things in a way to captivate the reader, but also to suspend the disbelief of the readers.
And the ending: the Norse mythology came out of nowhere, and while it was an intriguing twist no-one saw coming, there is also nothing done with it. It doesn't change the understanding of the story; with or without the part of the deep voice that suddenly spoke we still have a story about a man who grieves over his dead astronaut daughter.
But wow, this story was beautifully written.

God Is Great is placed in Syria with a simple mention, but that in itself doesn’t say much about the setting without knowing when it takes place. The story could have benefited from a bit more setting of the scene in the beginning; a mention of Faariq forgetting his worries for a moment because of the game, or some physical evidence of armed conflict as they drive away. Or something else that hints at problems in the country. Even with that, the death of the father will still be a surprise, because the way it’s written the reader is as clueless as Faariq as to what is going on.
In the end we don’t know if Faariq’s father is good or bad and what role the uncle plays in it all, but we can sympathize with Faariq and his sorrow and the comfort he receives from his stern uncle and his religion.

My vote is for God Is Great. And I will update the Hall of Fame later today.
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