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JUL/AUG July/August 2011 Writing Challenge


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Hi all!

Welcome to the July/August round of the Writing Challenge! Please read this post carefully for new guidelines on entering your submissions! Following in challenge traditions, the July/August round uses an archetype as inspiration for entries.

Joining us on the judging panel for this round is the May/June winner, Captain Della Vetri, who has decided on the following topic for this round:


You're free to interpret that however you like for your entries - will you go for luck, wealth or another interpretation of the archetype?

Guidelines: To participate, create a new thread. The subject of the thread must be the title of your story, preceded by the tag [2011: JUL/AUG], which is a requirement for entries that will be used when we archive the entries at the end of the round. If it is a Work In Progress, denote that at the top of the post itself (in the body text, not in the thread title). As with last round it will be the final draft posted in your topic that will be read and taken into consideration. Any unfinished entries marked as Work In Progress will not be considered for judging and will be moved to the "Character Cafe" forum at the end of the contest. Your work must be entirely your own. No co-authoring. You are welcome to create any character you so desire, but they must be from the Star Trek universe. No "canon" characters allowed. (i.e.- No one who has been on a show.)

Length: No more than 3000 words accepted.

Beginning Date: Sunday, July 17th

Ending Date: Saturday, August 27th

See Also: the Writing Challenge Website

Challenge: “Fortune”

Good luck everyone!

Edited by Tallis Rhul
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  • 1 month later...

That is it, there is no more! The deadline gong has rung and the judging will now begin! Thankyou to everyone who entered, and watch this space for the results!

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So, here it is - the moment you've all been waiting for! It's time for the July/August writing challenge results and reviews!

First of all, a huge congratulations to everyone who entered - it's great to see so many new competitors this round! Without further ado, here are the reviews; each entry has been reviewed by one of our illustrious judging team, whose name appears just under the title of your entry.

All the best everyone!

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Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat by Lieutenant (j.g.) Deven Zell

Reviewed by Lieutenant Alleran Tan

Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat, Latin for "Fortune favours the bold", starts strong. The very first sentence inspires curiosity -- what HAS the character gotten themselves into?

The character of Welles immediately grabbed my interest. The [...]y, brandy drinking, "devil may care" risk taking salvage merchant was a character archetype I quite liked. Generally speaking, I'm quite the multitasker (constantly tabbing between Chrome tabs like some rabid OCD weasel) but this story grabbed my attention and held it, something I find to be a very strong compliment.

The ending was excellent in terms of structure, but it actually surprised me. I was expecting the expedition to fail (although maybe it did, dun dun dun!); I wouldn't say this was perfectly executed, as I think the story lost a bit of its dramatic tension by plainly primarily stating that the goal was impossible... then achieving it without any significant loss. Perhaps if the character had knowledge of some of the eddies and currents which would allow him some advantage over the others? Still, one must be careful not to take the *risk* away from what was happening...

Ultimately, this was a tight, engaging story which was no longer than it had to be, and that's a very good thing. It got stuck right into it, jumped straight into the action, and had a tightly woven ending. I always appreciate any story where I can't pick the ending... the use of the pilot's mantra twice, kind of as a book-end, was excellent.

This was a very pleasant read and I enjoyed it. Well done, Nathan!

Afterthought: I honestly thought my initial review (reproduced unedited above) was a little more critical of the story than I had intended. I can't think of any particular comment I'd address, except to say that once again this was a very enjoyable read and any minor issues with it shouldn't bring the story down -- it's well written and extremely tight. Showing another part of the 24th century that we don't see very often was particularly refreshing. I still maintain it could use just a little tweaking, though, and it would not take very much to make this really five star. Once again well done!

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The True Fortune by Lieutenant (j.g.) Tobias Walker

Reviewed by Captain Toni Turner

From the first paragraph, Mr. Walker rendered an action packed story that grabbed my attention, and ended it with a good moral ending of finding his true fortune in experience. It was an odd little tale, but one that was well-written and thought out, giving us just enough techobabble to be believable.

He painted a picture of the action that could be seen in the mind's eye as he "dodged the bullet" in getting away from his adversaries.

I liked his story, although at times it was hard to believe he was in an "ancient space frame cargo ship" and not a faster starship, but he covered that well enough in his descriptions.

Very well done, Tobias. I look forward to reading more of your work in future challenges.

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Good Fortune, Good Friend by Lieutenant Commander Hannibal Parker

Reviewed by Captain Toni Turner

Mr. Parker's descriptions of the two friends showed good insight to their differences, and they complimented each other very well. His set up for the fight with the Nausicaans was novel and excuted with ease. I suppose me being a woman, found it difficult to believe that the woman couldn't have handled the situation and didn't need rescuing, but then he disspelled that notion with the fact she was looking to pick him up.

It was a good story of friendship and well-written, and although I didn't count the misspelling against it, you may want to use spell check on your next submission. I loved the humor in the punch line at the end, especially coming from a Vulcan. It was an entertaining piece and excuted very well, making me want to read more of Mr. Parker's Writing Challenger stories.

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You Are My Fortune by Lieutenant (j.g.) Aditeya Asa

Reviewed by Captain Della Vetri

As a whole, the story was a nice read - the idea of a bunch of kids haring themselves off in search of action, adventure and such is one that pretty much anybody is likely to recall having daydreams of when they were younger!

That said, it did require a higher than normal suspension of disbelief. The impression I got was that we were looking at a group of young kids, and whilst that does make some of the s[...]es they get into quite plausible, *how* they got to that position was sometimes a bit of a stretch. In addition, I found the structure a bit hard to get my head around at times, which made it perhaps a bit less enjoyable a read for me...

All that said, I can definitely see a lot of potential for future works as writing style and such get smoothed out, and I sincerely look forward to seeing more from this author in the future!

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Your Lucky Day by Lieutenant Saveron

Reviewed by Captain Della Vetri

If ever I've come across an example of the saying "every cloud has a silver lining", I think this would be one. I have to admit that at first, I didn't really have that good an opinion about the protagonist as a person - but given how fast that opinion formed, I have to give credit to the author!

Perhaps because of that feeling, seeing things come right for him in the end, after everything that happened to get him to that point, actually made me feel glad for the guy...

From a writing standpoint, the story perhaps didn't flow quite as smoothly as I might have expected, but once I got used to it, it didn't seem to be that big an issue - it was an enjoyable read, and I'd be quite content to see more!

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Miner, Miner, Forty-niner by Commander Tal Tel-ar

Reviewed by Commander Tallis Rhul

The chronicle of Angus, the old miner who's struggling to cover his debts in search of a more comfortable life, is both human and engaging. The attention to detail in the description of the conditions in the mine shaft help to instantly build a great deal of sympathy for Angus, as he works himself into an increasingly more dangerous situation. Could he turn around and go home? Yes. But he doesn't, because he's determined to build a better life not only for himself, but also for his family.

The layout of the piece was somewhat sparse, using extremely short paragraphs throughout. While on the surface of things it might seem that this would make a piece of prose easier to read, it actually works the other way, as the readers is constantly making leaps between two or three sentence clusters, which can make reading a disjointed experience. Try to experiment with using longer paragraphs. As a general rule, a paragraph change should come about due to a new person taking up dialogue, a jump forward to a new time period, or to emphasise the beginning of a major event.

I felt that one of the strongest aspects of this entry was the way that the cave-in was dealt with. We'd just seen Angus get his pay off, and I felt like I was approaching a point where I was wondering whether or not greed was going to get the better of him and he would pay the price. With very little effort, the final section of the passage was deployed, opening with an ominous rumble that turned out to be the start of a happy ending, and a great deal of relief - Angus had escaped.

Well done on another successful and well-plotted entry.

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Well, that's it - the judges have deliberated, cogitated and digested, and I believe it's about time that I revealed the result of their vote! Again, many congratulations to everyone for their entries!

In second place this round was...

Lieutenant (j.g.) Deven Zell with Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat!

And congratulations to this round's winner...

Lieutenant Saveron with Your Lucky Day!!!

Keep your eyes peeled for the launch of the September/October writing challenge - as this round's winner, Lieutenant Saveron will be tasked with picking the topic and joining the judging team. We all hope to see this round's candidates re-enter, alongside those who have entered before but didn't get chance, and even more new blood next time!

Until next time!

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