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That Winter Feeling · Original Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
#1 · 10
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher >>HopeForTheFew >>georg
Hi and welcome to this new WriteOff, which won’t be the last one of 2016, but close.
At least, results will be disclosed around Christmas, so rejoice. The winner might win a Santa’s surprise visit, who knows?

In any case, this round is all about Original Fiction and Short Stories which means that you will have to dig into your mind, try your imagination and cobble out at least 2,000 words – but at most 8,000 – to write out a (success) story happening in any universe you deem exciting enough to get and capture the other readers’ attention. This is a challenge we all hope you’ll feel game to take up.

Ponyverse will be accepted but certainly spurned on. You’ve been warned. If you want to write ponies, hold your horses and wait for the next round.

Christmas-themed stories are accepted. You can even feature magical reindeers that glow in the night (such as those living near Chernobyl).

Writing period extends from Friday 9 12:00 GMT to Monday 12 12:05 GMT. Feel free to submit at the last minute, which is Horizon™ self-admitted speciality, but beware of Internet vagaries, especially DDoS attacks directed against the world-famous WriteOff server you’re currently connected on.

As usual, any direct or indirect disclosure of your identity during the review phase will subject you to the harshest punishment: your story will be disqualified and your name put on the target list for the next rotten-tomatoes-throw party, sponsored by RogerDoger ® and sons, Inc.

Ars gratia artis atque in scripto veritas. Fortuna imperatrix mundi, cave canem et vicinum tuum. Vale!
#2 · 1
· · >>Trick_Question
Figures one of these would turn up at the same time as my parents come to visit.
#3 · 15
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>Ritsuko
"I can't talk now, Mom and Dad, I have to write a story about ponies and then figure out how to turn them into humans."
#4 · 7
· · >>JudgeDeadd >>horizon
If anyone is having trouble coming up with a prompt, please consult this list of names for all 326 endings for the video game Shadow the Hedgehog.

Any one of those will do.
#5 · 2
The struggle is real!! :-p
#6 · 6
· · >>horizon
The March to a Darker World
Purification via Ruination
The Last Soldier’s Grim Fate
Seduced By Taste of Blood

ow the edge
#7 · 9
· · >>Astrarian >>billymorph >>Monokeras >>QuillScratch >>horizon
I think we ought to all write stories about Shadow the Hedgehog — especially the authors who have absolutely no idea who Shadow is and are too lazy to google them.

I'm picturing a furry version of Enoby from My Immortal now:

Hi my name is Shadow Darkness BloodMoon Hedge'hog and I have long ebony black spines (that's how I got my name) with blacker tips and white fur like skull earrings and all my FUR-iends tell me I look like Death from Neil Gaiman (AN: if u don't think she's the hottest Endless get da hell out of here!) I'm an herbivore but I have sharp white teeth and breasts. I'm also a cop, and I patrol a city called Zootopia where I'm the top traffic enforcer (I'm seventeen). I'm a goth (in case you couldn't tell) and I wear mostly Hot Topic clothes on the job. For example today I was wearing a black corset and fishnet stockings with matching lace all around it and a black miniskirt and a black badge. I was wearing black eyeliner, white foundation, and blood red lipstick like I'd just bitten my own neck. I was walking in the rain writing parking tickets. A lot of foxes stared at me. I gave them the middle finger.
#8 · 4
· · >>Trick_Question
This is a work of art, especially when plugged into Gizoogle.
#9 · 1
Why not a vice versus?
Turn your Parents into Horses?
#10 · 2
>>horizon Eh, save for the colour choice that's pretty close. Shadow suffers from red and black hedgehog syndrome...
#11 · 3
· · >>Chryssi >>Ritsuko
And so I make my grand return!

Probably. Maybe.

There's only so much a single frog can do.
#12 · 9
You can even feature magical reindeers that glow in the night (such as those living near Chernobyl).

I think I had a dream like this once.
#13 · 1
>>Frogmyre And my (not so) grand return as well!

I’ve never done an original short story before—let’s see how (badly) this goes. But first, to think of a prompt.
#14 · 1
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony >>devas
Can we write about Sonic the hedgehog?
#15 · 2
· · >>Ritsuko
Can we defenestrate people who write about Seneca Herzog? Or at least cause them to break out in hairy taupe and purple spots?
#16 · 1

As long as you give it your best, who cares what the subject is about?
#17 · 4
· · >>billymorph >>horizon
I move that we all write clopfics for one round.
#18 · 8
· · >>horizon

This fanfic needs more Sonic. Here, let me fix that for you:

"Bastard!" I shouted angrily. I regretted saying it when I looked up cause I was looking into the pale blue face of a gothic boy with spiky blue spines with red streaks in them. He was wearing so much eyeliner that I was going down his face and he was wearing black lipstick. He didn't have sneakers anymore and now he was wearing black boots with chains just like Knuckles' and there was a scar on his forehead now which he didn't hide under foundation because it was a pentagram. He had a manly stubble on his chin. He had a sexy West Coast accent. He looked exactly like Dean Butterworth. He was so sexy that my body went all hot when I saw him kind of like an erection only I'm not sure if horizon wrote me as a boy or a girl so I may or may not have gotten one you sicko.

"I'm so sorry." he said in a shy voice.

"That's all right. What's your name?" I questioned.

"My name's Sonic, although most people call me Vampire these days." he grumbled.

"Why?" I exclaimed.

"Because I love the taste of Mobian blood." he giggled.
#19 · 2
· · >>Ritsuko
>>Remedyfortheheart As this is original fic I think we'd just be writing regular porn.

Don't let me stop you though :P
#20 · 1
the best start for the Single Frog may be to dealing with the Single issue and get another Frog by your side?
Of course you can, assuming you identify your purpetrator and can prove it within reasonbable doubts
I am all with you, right there.
No Fan-Fare, but aside from that ..
#21 · 2
· · >>KwirkyJ
You can even feature magical reindeers that glow in the night....

Oh, no. I couldn't...
#22 ·
Has somebody been watching that 2006 thriller The Last Winter?
#23 · 8
Oh, I missed prompt submission...

I guess I should have submitted more promptly.

#24 · 1
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony >>Posh
I've kinda been curious for a while to have a Writeoff round with the T rating removed from the rules.

It would probably be a trainwreck, but I want to at least try it once.
#25 · 2
Perhaps we could collaborate on one, each writing a chapter, and submit it to a major publisher to see what happens.
Unshorn Came the Stranger could be the title.
#26 · 7
· · >>QuillScratch
>>horizon You know what we should have? A My Immortal-themed writeoff.

If only so that I can put you in your place.

It's MY thing, Orange Horse Man.
#27 · 2
· · >>Posh
Can we generalise this to well-known(-ish) badfics? Because I call dibs on writing in the style of Harrys Brom. That fic is my JAM.
#28 · 2
And prompt is live. I repeat, prompt is live. We are go for write.
#29 · 9
Huh, not the prompt I wanted to win but I suppose I can Let It Go :D


I'll... see myself out.
#30 ·
· · >>billymorph
I just joined this site in order to enter this competition, and I have a few questions. There is an option to turn me anonymous in the "submit story" area of this site, should I make myself anonymous? Is there a place where I can write a description?
#31 · 1
· · >>HopeForTheFew
>>HopeForTheFew In order: yes, you can but most people are happy to have their names on the fic (you'll be anonymous for the duration of the voting regardless) and no.
#32 ·
· · >>Not_A_Hat
So I'll leave my name open then, and I assume there is a writing platform on this site? Thanks mate.
#33 · 5
· · >>HopeForTheFew >>Dubs_Rewatcher
For writing on the site, we basically just have the text box under the 'Fic Submission' button. It works, but I find it easier to write in a separate program and copy/paste, personally.

For formatting, the site accepts BBcode. There's a style guide here, and if you're curious you can test formatting in one of these forum posts, too; basically whatever works here will work in a story.

You can edit a story after submission, up until the contest starts, although I don't remember how off the top of my head. So if you want to check how a story looks on the site, that's totally doable.

If you've got more questions, you can also drop into the Discord chat (link in the black bar up top) and ask around; it's usually more immediate than forum posts, and the people are mostly friendly.
#34 ·
Fair enough mate, and thank you, I appreciate it.

Normally I'll just use a site's writing platform, but, for this case I believe I'll switch over to Google Docs, it should do the job with some proper editing.

#35 · 1
· · >>QuillScratch
>>QuillScratch You can just danube on out of here with that bromine.
#36 ·
· · >>Posh
Suddenly, Quill on fire!
#37 · 1
>>QuillScratch At least the fireprompts are gone.
#38 ·
I'll have to bow out yet another time.
My office mail server has crashed, I'm doomed to spend all my weekend setting up a new one :( Unless a miracle happens, no way for me to get enough time to write :/

Good luck folks!
#39 · 2
· · >>Not_A_Hat
mostly friendly


Screw you Hat
#40 · 2
· · >>Posh
First attempt: "That Winters Feeling" (discarded)

I just spent several hours researching the death of Jonathan Winters in order to write a story in "New York Post Opinion Column" format where, ten years later, the funeral director's daughter reveals they cannibalized parts of Winters' body, and it made them act like him and laugh.

Then I wondered what the fuck was wrong with me and came to my senses. :V
Post by Trick_Question , deleted
#42 · 4
· · >>Trick_Question >>Chinchillax >>GroaningGreyAgony
I'm kind of regretting voting for this prompt. I figured it would be easy to come up with some sort of seasonally themed story, but now that I'm trying to nail down an actual idea and premise, I'm drawing a pretty hard blank. :(
#43 ·
· · >>The_Letter_J
Think about something you want to write that has nothing to do with the prompt, then modify it significantly to fit the prompt in some roundabout way.

I find the prompt is more useful as a modifier than an initial muse. It makes me do things with my story I would never have thought to do otherwise, which leads to creative stuff.
#44 · 2
The prompt’s “That Winter Feeling.”
Write of that winter feeling!
Evoke that winter feeling
With your prose,
Hurry up and go!
#45 · 1
· · >>Trick_Question
You could just write a story you wanted to write anyway, but set the time period during winter.
Post by Trick_Question , deleted
#47 · 3
· · >>Trick_Question
then modify it significantly slightly to fit the prompt in some roundabout way.

#48 · 1
>>Trick_Question The only thing wrong with you is that you didn't pursue this concept to conclusion.

You must revisit it sometime.
#49 · 3
I’m drawing a pretty hard blank.

Blank… white… snow! See, you’re most of the way there.
#50 · 1
>>Dubs_Rewatcher Eat a snickers, Dubs, you're surly when you're tired. :V :V :V :B
#51 ·
>>Monokeras You know, when you run that latin phrase through Google Translate, you get:

The grace of his art, and in the writing, the art of the truth. Fortune, Empress of the world, beware of the dog and your neighbor. Goodbye!
#52 · 3
· · >>Chryssi
People seem to be struggling with inspiration, so here are a few interesting things I pulled together.


Hades and Persephone

Lamposts on Ice


Woods in Winter - William Longfellow

Winter Evening - Georg Trakl

Winter Stars - Sara Teasdale


Snow Maiden - Russian

Jack Frost - Various

Fimbulwinter - Norse

I'd add a prose section, but then people would spend time reading it instead of writing. :P

Maybe this'll spark some thoughts for you guys. Or maybe it'll just distract you for a while...
#53 · 1
>>Not_A_Hat Knowing me, it’ll probably end up distracting me instead. :p
#54 · 2
Well things are looking up. Might be able to cobble some words finally! i even got an idea!
Post by Trick_Question , deleted
#56 · 2
· · >>TheCyanRecluse >>horizon
Inspiration? Check!
Time? Check!
Motivation? ....

Has anyone seen my motivation? I seem to have lost it.
#57 · 2
· · >>horizon
Tell me if you find yours. Mine might be hanging out in the same place!
#58 · 3
· · >>TheCyanRecluse
>>TheCyanRecluse >>007Ben
It's awfully rude of all of our motivations to go to a party without inviting their plus-ones; i.e., us. :(

We'll show them. We'll sit here staring at our computer screens and not writing.
#59 ·
· · >>Bachiavellian >>Trick_Question
So, uh, lets say a story is set in the same universe with the same charachters with the same names, does that count as giving yourself away or do you just make it really easy for the guessers?
#60 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
There's actually a rule specifically against it.

may not submit works explicitly connected to another work of theirs

Honestly, though, I've never seen any bans based on this rule. As long as it's not blatant, you should be okay, but I would still suggest changing the names and some in-universe details to make it conform with the "Original" requirement.
#61 ·
· · >>Monokeras

I think the only reason this rule exists is to preserve anonymity. I suspect it's a redundancy to remind writers not to be stupid. If nopony can tell that you're writing something connected to another work that ponies know is yours, then you should be fine.

You might want to ask Roger to be sure, however.
#62 · 2
Done! DONE! :P
#63 ·
That rule was explicitely added in the wake of the minific round where someone (FishOnFire?) wrote a 2,100 word fiction (s)he submitted in three chunks (Also Aristophanes?).
#64 · 2
Inspiration has once again arrived fashionably late. Let's see if I can bang something together before the end of the day.
Post by Trick_Question , deleted
#66 · 1
I got drunk at a Christmas party and ended up seeing a midnight show of Rocky Horror then sitting at IHOP until 2 AM. So, we'll see how the hangover plays out into story time.

I knew I should have worked on it more yesterday.
#67 ·
Yeah! Screw those guys! They're jerks anyway!

Seriously though... I have about 5 hours or potential writing time left... And I haven't typed a WORD yet. I've got SEVEN basic ideas for potential stories... And absolutely ZERO motivation to actually churn any of them out.

Maybe I should just throw my ideas out here, for use by somebody else who has energy and motivation, but lacks an idea? Cause, sadly enough, I don't think I'm going to get an entry in this time. :/
#68 · 1
· · >>Ratlab >>TheCyanRecluse
Sorry, guys, but I haven't had a proper winter in over a decade (lived in a desert-y area), so I have no idea what to type. I'm going to have to sit this one out.
#69 ·
· · >>TheCyanRecluse >>Ratlab

Then what does an improper winter feel like? Nothing says your winter has to be stereotypical.
#70 · 1
· · >>Ratlab

Yeah. It doesn't have to be a LITERAL winter. Personally, I was going to go with a 'winter of the heart' sorta thing. Or a cold hearted person.
#71 · 2
>>Ratlab >>TheCyanRecluse

Or it could be an office party on a Star Destroyer where they have some roast Ewok to celebrate having disrupted a strange ritual on Kashyyyk.
#72 · 3
Inspiration? Check!
Motivation? Check!
Time? ... Ahhhh! It was just here a minute ago!
#73 · 1
Really wish I had come up with this idea twelve hours sooner; I'm not going to be able to do it justice as it is. Oh well. See you guys in the next one, I suppose. :P
#74 ·
Well, I think I'm bowing out. I knew this would be a tricky weekend with three play performances and a Christmas party, but... I got more of 'that winter feeling' than I wanted with a snow-storm as well, which added a few extra hours to our trip.
#75 · 2
I can safely say that I enjoyed that experience immensely.
#76 ·
Well, this is bad. I forget that this started three days earlier and now only have less than twelve hours to create something completely original and present it in an interesting way. I'm not entering this one. Darn.
#77 ·
I’m out. I can’t finish what I have in time without ruining it, or myself. Good luck to everyone else!
#78 · 3
· · >>Monokeras >>Haze >>horizon >>AndrewRogue >>Trick_Question
Starting a pool now. How many fics will we get:

- About the holidays?
- About children reuniting with parents whom they have become emotionally distant from?
- Thinly veiled Hearthswarming Eve retellings?
- About someone's first snow?
- About a family member who dies of cancer/AIDS/some other terminal illness around the holidays?

Add your own guesses!
#79 ·
>>Cold in Gardez
Do you think there'll be more than ten stories this round?
Looks like many people threw in the towel… :/
#80 · 5
"Okay, managed to bang a story out just in time to give this writeoff thing a shot, pretty sure everything is formatted correctly, should be no problems, let's go ahead and submit so I can get some sleep-"



#81 · 2
>>Cold in Gardez
I'm gonna combine all of the above.

also includes Elsa and Anna
#82 · 4
Ergh. I no longer feel quite so bad about my own writer's block this weekend, seeing the attrition rate in the thread. Original Fiction is a challenge to begin with, and this prompt isn't doing us any favors.

The good news is that I've got about 105 minutes to go and I think I can wrap this up in another scene and a half. I should limp something in just under the wire.

... I am becoming increasingly more grateful as I age that I normally avoid caffeine, so that I can slug a can of soda when I desperately need to make that final 12-hour push.
#83 · 4
>>Cold in Gardez
I'm going to guess four stories which meet at least one of those descriptions.

Six if you count weird sci-fi or fantasy variations of the basic theme.

My gut says that seems low, but I have faith that Writeoff authors will go farther afield. (And also that submissions will be light.)
#84 · 2
*limps across the finish line*

It ain't pretty, but it's in.

>>Cold in Gardez

#85 · 5
· · >>Monokeras
Alright, 25 whole minutes left to write a second story! :V
#86 · 1
Horizon you’re clearly the best!
#87 · 4
· on Everybody's Fool: Chapter 47 PLS NO FLAMES

Let’s do this.

Pls remember to leave a revew and say nice things.

Do I really have to make it nice? It’s almost 1:30am and I feel like being a bit snarky at the moment. I hope that’s all right with you.

I’m sure it goes without saying that this story is terrible, but it’s hilarious as hell. The only major complaint I have is that you didn’t start at Chapter 1.

I appreciate the amount of subtlety you put into your insults directed at Roger—I’m sure he’d appreciate it too. And the author’s notes were so informative, in fact, that I can now properly understand (for what it’s worth) the motivations behind the characters’ actions. Oh, and I forgot: the other complaint was that there wasn’t enough sex, though I can’t fault you for this.

Hearing his name was like an icicle stabbed through my heart (AN: because it is WINTER).

Okay this is cracking me up so hard. Why am I taking this seriously.
#88 · 5
· on Everybody's Fool: Chapter 47 PLS NO FLAMES
I am weeping tears of blood.

Because blood reminds me of death. It is GOFFIK blood. If u have prep blood GTFO.

Edit: I like this story's treatment of the prompt. Enoby's Sahdow's feelings are simple yet complex. Just like winter.

Edit^2: This story has made me realize that my ability to edit comments is all Roger's fault. FUK U RODGER

Edit * (Edit * Edit): Wow I found out I din't review the story. (CN: lol oops) So here goes.

This is a story about Shadow Injoke Gothblood The Hedgehog (AN: "The" is his middle name) and his aventures in Zootrolia. If you read the preview in >>horizon and >>QuillScratch then you did not read this story, unless you also read this story, in which case you did. It has good parts, like when nuclear winter destroyed the world so the sky wept bitter tears of snow like my dearkened heart. Zootropica survived though. Fukking preps.

Things I think this story could have done better: Chapter 51.

Things I liked: Zootonia was very consistently described.

Things I hated: Shadow didn't wear enough black in his name. It should have been ██████ to better describe the pain in his everything.

Things I liked: The repetition.

Rating: 0/10 no zombie goasts.

Plz like & comment my new review structure
#89 · 2
· on Prologue to Winter
This story had an interesting start, with its Ship of Theseus cloak and suggestions of fantastic things at work. Rimis's encounter with the farmers had an almost fable-like sense to it. Easily my favorite part of the story.

The part with the snow was a bit weaker. Then the ending... just cut that part out, author. It serves no purpose -- in fact, it serves a negative purpose, summarizing the entire story that we've just read, thus negating all the effort that we put into reading it. It's the information dump that novice authors tend to put at the beginning of their stories, and it doesn't do any more good here at the end.
#90 · 3
· on Everybody's Fool: Chapter 47 PLS NO FLAMES
Ok, I have found a category in which this story gets a #1 rating: Title Hook.

Otherwise known as clickbait, a title hook is that One Simple Thing To Help You Lose Weight or Seven Secrets Of Investment Your Broker Won't Tell You. The Flame, The Fox, and the Frozen Blade (with Oxford commas) comes in second, and thankfully is on my review list.

I think I'll stop there while I'm ahead.
#91 · 1
· on Like the Old World
This one had a rough start for me. There was a lot to convey, and it took a while (and some rereads) for me to understand the scenario.

That one was a skeleton was clear earlier and the differentiation in voices was useful, but it took me a while to identify who was who. It didn’t help that ‘breast’ made me think one of them was a female human, which turned out to be completely wrong.

There were a few grammar goofs, but nothing too major

Also, how would a skeleton even get cold? Does not compute.

There were places that felt a little tell’y: for example ‘exploded in agitation’ – I felt that the ‘in agitation’ was clear from context.

The worldbuilding was interesting; it didn’t seem small, and from what we saw contained an interesting mix of old (presumably our) technology, and magic. Some variations as well within that; third eyelid and multiple horns/tails

The message of the story was sweet, but even though ‘this time it felt different’ the rift between them seemed relatively shallow and easily mended. Another factor was that I didn’t have enough of an emotional connection to the characters for it to really resonate with me.

It might have helped if we’d had more context; some time to get to know them – scenes that show their normal interactions. Maybe show Ariel making the gift and all the effort she expends, so we’d know her hopes going into it.
#92 ·
· on Hiemsurb
Hiems Urb
Latin for "winter city", eh?
Post by Trick_Question , deleted
#94 · 1
· on The Saxophonist · >>Exuno
I'm of very mixed feelings on this story. There's a lot of work put in, and there's also some strong turns of phrase and a fairly propulsive plot, but nothing hangs together right.

Most crucially, the characters drove me crazy--they're such a collection of crudely drawn outlines filled in with smarmy tics that it makes the experience of reading insufferable. (And not only Sam; Alan is just as bad in a different way. The other characters-Evie, Sarah, Norton-are just cutouts for plot purposes) Mainly, no one ever feels like a real person-a guy like Sam would really be into Pokemon Go? Alan would really make any of the decisions he makes? That's part of it, too: I feel like the story wants me to sympathize with Alan but he is also a selfish dick, even if it's hard see that when he's in the orbit of the blazing sun of dickishness that Sam is. If the story had risen to the level of farce, all this might have worked, but the bedroom scene and the saxophone bit didn't pay off in any satisfying way.

I wish I knew how to offer constructive advice: I can see lots of pieces here, and some of the individual bits of writing are great, but they all add up to a story that left me completely cold. Still, humor is subjective, so perhaps this strikes others better than it did me.
#95 · 9
· on Everybody's Fool: Chapter 47 PLS NO FLAMES
This story is exactly what I hoped it would be when I saw the title. The fact that I am still not sure if that is a good thing or not probably says a lot about this story.

If i dont get at least intu the finals of dis DUBM CONTEST im not evn goin 2 write a respons. HA!

What's the cutoff before prelims are canceled and we go straight to finals? Because with only 17 stories in this round, you might have made it by default. Not that you wouldn't have made it anyway, of course. ;p

AN: SO APPARENTLY this stupd contest has a MINIMUM WORD COUNT. I was gonna enter 1 of my chapters 4 it so I could get some revews from ppl NOT TROLS cause i want 2 get bettr. But 2000 words is just 2 MANY 4 a chaptr! So I hav 2 write MORE until I hit that limit!!

No character in any story has ever been so relatable to me.
#96 ·
· · >>Fahrenheit
Oh Fahrenheit is in? That's nice!
#97 · 2
· on The Flame, the Fox, and the Frozen Blade · >>AndrewRogue
Sounds like this was the story version of a fun D&D campaign.

That's not a bad thing. (Most of my recent writing has been journals and backstory for my own campaign) And using frequently used vocabulary like "Paladin" and "Adventurer's Guild" is a good way to establish that quickly. However, if you ever publish this, you may want to switch it to be a specific fantasy world of your own creation; switch around some of the titles (Paladin -> Knight), and include more details that will differentiate it from other fantasy worlds.

This didn't really grab me, but you still did a very good job! I especially liked Yseult's efforts of breaking Fox stereotyping.
#98 · 4
· on Everybody's Fool: Chapter 47 PLS NO FLAMES
I feel somewhat responsible guilty proud that someone wrote this beautiful Shadow the Hedgehog fic.

I have to give props to the author. I have terrible OCD when it comes to my writing, and I think I would be entirely unable to write a single sentence of what's in this story without feeling actual pain.
#99 · 2
· on Everybody's Fool: Chapter 47 PLS NO FLAMES
What? Shadow's a girl? I hoped this would be about hot yaoi sex, -99999999/10.

In all seriousness though, while I chuckled a little at the beginning, after two chapters I just skimmed the rest.
The time when "Repercussions of Evil", "Full Life Consequences" and "My Immortal" were original, fresh and funny is long past. There isn't anything about this story that'd elevate it above the rest.
#100 · 1
· on The Saxophonist
I'm kind of in complete agreement with >>Ferd Threstle , at least.

I don't think I'd go as far as saying your characters are poorly written – they're not, really, they have very consistent and noticeable traits – but... I don't actually like any of them. There's no real charisma. I think it might be that you hit the characterization button a bit too steady – every paragraph is a soft repetition of "Sam is sleazeball" and "Alan is a stick in the mud", without letting any particular moments stand out and really flaunt that. The essence of humor is in the timing and managing your audience's tension. Varying the build-up to each punchline, and occasionally throwing in a surprise or subverting their expectations.

Title should have been: The Sexophonist