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The Howl in the Dark · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#201 · 2
· on Exuberant Exhortations · >>Hap
Thanks to >>Hap, >>Samey90, >>Miller Minus, >>Monokeras, and >>Cassius for your feedback, which made this story's shortcomings abundantly clear.

For me, to make this story better, I needed to have Tricia be pursuing e-sports in general, rather than League of Legends specifically, to cast the widest net possible (and ditch the Dr. Mundo throwaway joke, I honestly don't know why I thought that would fly).

From the outset, this story was going to be a one-trick pony, with the hope that it would make at least a few people smile. It's just unfortunate I botched the joke badly enough that the whole thing just feels kinda bleh.

Oh well. There's always next round. /shrug
#202 · 2
· on Humph!
What have we here: A Humphalump!

Inasmuch as Humphrey’s appearance was left to the reader’s imagination, I can’t fault his copious and redundant anatomy. I see that Humphrey’s tea is iced, and he’s doing a spit take. I like the flyswatter he holds. Little details like this help me to comfortably assign this piece to a top-tier position. Good work, Artist.
#203 · 1
· on You Are Not Armed
The Silver Metal Doggie. (Well, if so, then that’s quite a colorful subway.)

This piece is rather abstract, and I do have to say that it doesn’t much match the description of the HOWL unit in the story. For instance, the text mentions “shoulder-mounted rocket boosters,” and the mass of irregular shapes on the wolf’s back in this piece don’t add up to anything solidly technological.

That said, It is a pretty, colorful and engaging piece, and definitely conveys the menace that the viewpoint character of the story was facing. That and the execution make this a top tier piece for me. Good work, Artist!
#204 ·
· on Some Assembly Required
A simple drawing, with good perspective on the cabinet, and as easily put together as most of Ikea’s offerings. It definitely meets the goal of illustrating the story concept. (Adding a little suggestive detail in that darkness would have been fun,)

I am classing this as a mid tier piece. Thank you for making it, Artist!
#205 · 1
· on Quolf
Was this drawn to meet the wolf quota, or does it signify the quorum of wolf tales? (Mine is one of the ones you missed tagging, Artist. Ding!)

This is a competently executed, slightly caricatured doodle of a gray wolf. The caption text and speech balloon betray a certain sense of worldly weariness. I will call this a mid tier piece, though in this round there’s not much room for tiers. Thanks for contributing!
#206 · 2
· on Exuberant Exhortations · >>Icenrose
You learn, and your next attempt is better.

Or worse! Then you learn even more from that one.

Writeoff is a great opportunity to experiment, and to learn. So, yeah, try unconventional things. Learn what works and what doesn't. Eventually you'll get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Theoretically. I'm not there yet.
#207 · 2
· on The Clockwork Man
>>Miller Minus

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and feedback. It's not the best story I ever wrote, but I enjoyed writing it. Hopefully you got some fun out of it too.

>>Baal Bunny

Got it in one -- both the story's intention, and it's big flaw.


It's a man dealing with some serious issues. It's all in his head!
#208 · 1
· on At Least Seventeen Pictures · >>Aragon
This story is so inoffensively cute, Miller Minus must have made it.

That or Skywriter.
#209 · 1
· on Exuberant Exhortations
Thanks, yo. ^^ We're all in this together.
#210 ·
· on Musings From a Lonely Boy · >>Cassius
I'm sort of the opposite. There's something about the genre that rubs me the wrong way. Between that and the author's choice of a risky style, I'm not a fan.

The ending came off like a TV ad, where the sad character takes the miracle drug or buys a car or whatever, then puts on a fancy hat and strolls straight towards the camera with a smile as the drab scenery rolls off stage to reveal green grass and picket fences.

The author has clearly written something that resonates with some folks, but I'm not one of those folks.
#211 · 2
· on You Are Not Armed
I will preface this by saying I have not read the story tied to this. Or any story this round, for that matter. So I will be judging these four art pieces by their own qualities only.

That out of the way, I really like this one. The colors blend super well, it's just disproportional enough to convey what it is without looking cartoonish, the weird... thing on its back really makes me want to delve deeper into the piece, and you got the almost glow-in-the-dark-ness of the wolf spot on.

Oh, and I absolutely love the contrast between the black floor? Wall? Background of the top half, and the colorful, attractiveness of the floor under it.

However, the way the head is tilted down makes it look more sad, or lonely, than menacing, which I believe was the goal with it. Regardless, again, I really like this one.
#212 · 1
· on Quolf
Again, haven't read any of the stories.

Anyway, I also quite like this one. It may be simplistic, and fairly quick-doodle looking, but that's part of the appeal. It's not meant to be perfect, and it knows it. I also really like how you went the extra mile and gave it a semblance of fur/ hair. That takes what would have otherwise been a crude, simply not good piece, and turns it into something amazing.
#213 · 2
· on Humph!
Once more, haven't read any stories this round.

This piece, I will admit, is... not really my style. But even so, I can recognize the skill and care that went into this. I really quite like the juxtaposition of the right (from the viewer) eye looking surprised and shocked, which coincidentally is the less shaded half of the... being, and the left eye, which looks sinister, crazed even.

It really is drawn well, even if not my style.
#214 · 1
· on Some Assembly Required
And... then we have this one. Which, unfortunately for me, depends heavily on the story it's tied to. I haven't read any stories.

So... basically, this one, with it's simplistic and childish feel to it, is not one I enjoyed. I would have loved to see something more independent than this is. But, hey, you did more than I did simply by participating.
#215 · 1
Well, still didn't get to do any reviews for the final round, but at least I've voted for them. Can't wait to see which ones get top billing.
#216 ·
· on Some Assembly Required
It's a great idea but as others are pointing out it had so much more room for potential. Something in the chest, a little more variety for our IKEA-man's body language, something of that sort.

Hell, even a random Swedish word that related to the story would have been neat.

But whatever, it's still a fun idea and I'm glad somebody did it. Thanks, you!
#217 · 1
· on You Are Not Armed
Great use of colours, and I would have liked some more solid lines, and speaking of li...ons, this guy looks more like a lion than a wolf.

Also shoutout to giving him a tragic expression, it fits with the story very appropriately.

Top drawer, Artist.
#218 ·
· on Quolf
The black lines being so scruffy makes the wolf look like he has actual facial hair on top of his fur (MLP style), but I can appreciate that this was done using a new medium and that the resources were used to their fullest.

Also, why isn't there an 'a' before the 'woo', or an 'f' after it? Kinda threw me.

But still, this piece wins the prestigious G O O D B O Y E award, and that's something.
#219 ·
· on Humph!
There is quite a bit of skill on display here, and I can appreciate, Artist, that you selected a story that gave you a lot of artistic license to mes around with.

One thing I find weird is how you gave him such a clear and discernible face on the side that's facing the viewer. I get that he has many faces and parts thereof, but the way it's drawn seems to split his attention between me and the pest problem at... tendril.

But whatever, this is still great, and it's my favourite of the lot for the creativity on display. Good show!
#220 · 2
· on The Call of the Wild · >>Monokeras
I had to think this one over for a while, but I can put several meaningful interpretations on this story. All I’ll say for now is that the most heartbreaking thing in life is to spend it listening for a call that never comes.

Thank you, Author.
#221 · 1
· on Journey to the Waru Wolf of Arukadiland
This entry made more sense than many of the others, but I admit it took a bit to get into it. I think it could use a stronger opener.

So here we have an explorer in the golden age of exploration. Pith helmets and Doctor Livingston, I presume. Never get out of the boat.

Her acceptance of slavery didn't bother me, it being a period piece and all. She did mention "war and slavery" and corporate exploitation being Sin with a capital S.

She had a consistent and distinct voice, but the choice of a diary format sort of robbed the tension from the story. If she had died, we wouldn't know about it. This means you have to get your tension from some other source; maybe her civilized religious notions versus slavery or her naivete versus the cruelties of tribal warfare. But none of those were more than background flavor.

The conflict here was between her wanting to find mythical creatures, and... not finding them. Her belief in the wondrous and the reality of a broken world she accepts without question. Her faith was in the idea that the world harbors mysterious wonders, and she took risks to discover them. In the end, her faith was shaken but not broken.

I think this was a good story, but it could use a stronger opening. The theme needed to be hammered home with a bit more focus, but I liked it, once I got into it.
#222 · 2
· on Musings From a Lonely Boy
>>Baal Bunny


Much like I've stated on Clumsy, an entry like this comes with a split in the audience. There are some people who enjoy this sort of thing and some people who don't. I've always been the type to take my lumps over this and recognize my entries are written to a niche audience, but I was pleasantly surprised to win most controversial this round, especially since Clumsy was such a larger point of contention and visibility during the competition.

Obviously there are some more lumps you take when writing in such a heavily perspectival format; the writing isn't precisely clear and deals with a set of loosely connected free form ideas similar to a free association exercise rather that something neatly and cleanly tied together by a concrete transitions.

As such, I was on the look out for several bits of critique to see if I accomplished my goal of what I set out to do with this entry, mainly those that were saying my voicing was off for someone or that the story itself was hard understand, which basically didn't manifest. I didn't have any qualms about jostling the reader out early under the initial understanding that the story was "angsty" because that perception (and dismissiveness of the reader) is an underpinning which sells the "twist" of the conclusion—which is to say the narrator is actually more self-aware and matured than what is initially implied. That's the "arc" of the story, the narrator developing a sense of empathy and solidarity, having that epiphany moment about that world around him.

My intentions with this piece were very sincere and the piece itself I believe is the result of me trying to frame certain thoughts and emotions I've had myself during an age where it's difficult to make sense of those emotions or empathize with other people. I think a good amount of people keyed into the emotional legitimacy of what I was writing and found the experience relatable (esp. >>Aragon who repeatedly expressed anxiety of critiquing this entry for fear it might upset me) and that makes me feel like I did justice to those sulky teenaged thoughts and feelings.

I feel like I satisfied most of what I set out to do with this entry, impressed the people who I wanted to impress, and did it well enough to make finals despite writing in a highly non-traditional, loose format. Can't ask for much more than that.

I appreciate the kind words from everyone.


This story to me it's a clear example of "lower half of the ballot"

But AndrewRogue told me it was a "clear finalist." Are you calling AndrewRogue a liar?

Also someone told me the protagonist sounded like Regidar, so from now on, the narrator is now Regidar.
#223 · 1
· on When Insides Turn to Outsides · >>aconcernedparent
Okay, um, I thought it was a potentially good idea, If I didn't think it was good, I would have just ranked it low and stayed mum, I didn't want a low ranking to go without comment, and I didn't want the author--presumably you?--to think that the low rating was because I disapproved of the story inherently, just that it is was outside the rules as I read them.

I didn't call it gore porn. I was trying to say something nicer than a straight low ranking would have conveyed. Does that make sense? I do hope so. I never intended to evoke hostility.

Also, at least one story you're quoting got a low score from me for exactly the same reasons, so you might want to reconsider the blanket accusations of hypocrisy. I only spoke up here to try and give you support.
#224 · 2
Huh. Surprising results. Just goes to show prediction is a mug's game. Congrats to the medallists.

Also, in case anyone's wondering about my guesses: yeah, with two or three exceptions, I honestly picked names at random in the hope of getting lucky. Nothing personal if you're wondering "WTH?" to any of them. Also also, I don't even pretend to understand how certain people keep guessing mine so consistently.

At least I dodged the "Most Controversial" award this round. Man was I getting sick of that torch icon. I'll take "Most Inspiring" any day of the week.
#225 · 2
· on Meat · >>Ion-Sturm
Thanks to everyone who replied! >>Ion-Sturm, I wasn't going for "wendigo," I was going for "werewolf barely keeping himself in check." That's not your bad, that's my bad for not making it clear or disambiguating well enough.

Glad those of you who liked it liked it! I think correcting for the "wendigo" problem with a little more explanatory lead up might have fixed the "out of nowhere" factor that >>Monokeras and >>Haze noted.

Thanks for reading and congrats to the winners!
#226 · 2
Congrats to all the winners!! 🎉🎉🎉

Nice job everyone on all the stories. I enjoyed them all thoroughly, even though I may not have commented on them...

Hope to see you guys in two weeks!
#227 · 1
· on The Light in the Dark · >>Miller Minus >>Hap
Reply to Reviews-

So, maybe a little better, since the scoreboard placed me second to last (penultimate, I reckon?). Eh, it's not much.

Looking at the results, I prefer to stay hidden, but BlueChameleonVI hunted me down like H.O.W.L. now I'm Salsa. :Raritydespair:

Sorry I didn't get around to replying earlier, I was busy, but thank goodness I had time to get my votes in. Also, if this sounds flat like the rest of my writing, forgive me.


Sorry it was confusing. 750 words ain't too much to work with. It was definitely one to experiment with, but now I know.

Just for the record, the ankle was twisted on a rock. Also, you pointed out on “how do you not feed it?” something that didn't occur to me while creating this. Thanks! Now I know that to cover all possible questions that will help the reader understand, but at the same time, leave out others so the reader can fill it in with implications.

You helped me solve one of my biggest problems! Or led me onto the path to solve it! Thanks so much!

>>Miller Minus

Yes… that darned dialogue tagging… no less than my tracks. It gave away my anonymity easy. So, after looking from the Fimfiction help, I need something a little more defined to help correct dialogue tags. Do you know a good one I can go to?

I also agree that this would've been better on the Short Story round rather than the Minific round. So, with a better idea of how long 750 words is, I can move on!

Thanks for reading! (In reply to your last line).


Your last line… Thank you so much!

Yes, again, I must say, this wasn't a good batch due to the story lacking context. The readers need rooting, one that this piece lost space for.

So, with the long list of rookie mistakes you can point out, what is the number one mistake rookies run across that I should look out for? I want to get the hunters off my trail, and to do so, I need a lot more practice.

-Final Remarks
Again, thanks to everyone who read this. By the comments, I could tell it was a painful read.

As for this piece, it will go into my hope chest drawer along with the other pieces. It's not completely trashed, though it needs a lot of work.
#228 · 1
· on Better Devils
Congrats! I liked this one a lot and only its lack of solid narrative--difficult in the time frame permitted--kept it from my personal #1.
#229 ·
· on When Insides Turn to Outsides
I'd assumed it would be disqualified. Was surprised when it wasn't.

You're fine, dude.
#230 · 4
· on Better Devils
Thanks to all the people who commented. I’m fairly sure that I shouldn’t have won, but I’m thankful y’all enjoyed it so much.

Good luck to everyone in the next contest.
#231 · 5
· on At Least Seventeen Pictures


I suspect the choice you made was not fully innocent. Write about children is like writing about foals in pony rounds, it’s a good way to earn general appreciation.

Funnily enough, this didn't even cross my mind when writing. I was kinda lost and had no idea what to do with the prompt, so I just thought about something unwolfish that could howl in the night -- a kid -- and then I thought of some kind of story with a moral I liked that I could tell.

I kept going back to how as a kid I was scared of the dark, but when I was taking care of my little brother, who was ALSO scared of the dark, I would suddenly stop caring. So I just went, eh, fuck it, that's an idea. Not the most original, but I certainly was not expecting people to think that its main purpose was it being cute. I like writing children, so I just wrote that -- the cute factor was kind of an accident.


Yeah I pretty much agree with this. I posted this because why the fuck not, but I'm not super happy with this entry, I think it's really bland. I took it as an exercise -- tell an entire story in 750 words and make it so it doesn't feel like you're rushing -- and a way to practice a kind of voicing I enjoy. The plot and the idea behind the story are IMO nothing to write home about.

Thanks to those who liked it, tho. Y'all legit.

As for your title... I'm not seeing how it's related to the piece aside from that line at the end. Am I missing a deeper connection?

Nah you're not missing anything. I finished it, had no idea what to call it, and I just went for the first sentence I could find that sounded good. The title means nothing per se.

>>Baal Bunny
Shit that is actually pretty cute a concept, especially if it's mentioned at the start -- 'he didn't say Mommy, he said Mom, beause that sounded more grownup/that's what Dad called her' -- but then he slips back to 'Mommy' and the narration doesn't call attention to it.

Now I'm iffed I didn't think of that myself. Dang.
#232 · 1
· on The Call of the Wild
Congrats to everyone, and especially the medalists. Good job!

Thanks to both. Thanks to all the others who read and ranked it above average. As I said on Discord, this was written on the back of an envelope in about zero time. Frankly, I didn’t expect it to advance into the finals. Finally, the GGA dedicace was there because GGA likes talking animals stories.

See you in two rounds. Take care all.
#233 · 2
· on The Light in the Dark · >>PinoyPony
Thank you again for entering the contest! I didn't find your story to be painful at all, for the record.

Here's a resource for you as requested.
#234 · 2
· on The Shooting Star
Well, this is gonna be awkward.

Part of me thought this was going to be a Top 3 candidate for sure, and part of me was also low-key wrecked by the fact that it had gone three for four days without a comment. Something had to have gone wrong, right? But I guess placing 6th is pretty good, even if it's just a participation ribbon.

I pulled all my resources (what little I had) into revising The Shooting Star, as opposed to leaving it as it was and writing a second entry. In hindsight this was the right move, because originally it was even more redundantly written and had a bittersweet ending that didn't fit the overall tone whatsoever. Ultimately I wanted to write about a life that fails to fulfill its calling, or rather a life that proves to be utterly meaningless, since the shooting star failed at its sole purpose.

>>Miller Minus It is a rock. A pretty big one, though. I set out to make the shooting star distinctly non-human, and I might've gone too far in that regard. There's a reason why in SF literature the really "alien" aliens are often made supporting characters, and not protagonists that the reader has to follow around and relate to. It's an inherent flaw in the set-up, I think.

>>BlueChameleonVI The difference between being "thankful" for having only one goal in life and being desperate about it is kind of a blurry one. I wanted to go for a "This is how we live" kind of sentiment, but I might've made the protagonist seem too eager to kamikaze grant wishes and then die. That's something I'll have to think about if I expand this story, which I might.

>>Monokeras It's a pretty cut-and-dry story, structurally. It has a beginning, middle, and end. But I do agree that it's very thin, or narrow or whatever, as BCVI said. It works fine for a minific, but even then it's extremely unilateral.

Aw well. I did good, and that's the most I can ask for. I wrote an entry I don't regret writing, unlike the last round I was in.

Best of luck to everyone, assuming we'll all be participating in more of these.
#235 · 3
· on The Light in the Dark
Seven hundred fifty words is not kind to anyone.

Nobody can think of all the questions that readers will have, and it's impossible for you to realize where your own blind spots are (or, rather where you can see what the reader cannot). That's why it's essential to get input from someone else! The #mentors channel in the discord server is very helpful. Try to get your story done early enough to get feedback on it.

And the balance between mystery, letting readers figure it out, and spelling it out for them... Well, that's a fine line that many of us fall on the wrong side of more often than not.

While many of us like to think of ourselves as clever, subtle writers... we are pretty dumb readers. The symbolism, or subtext, or trail of clues may seem obvious to you, but it probably won't be to the readers.

Good luck, and I look forward to unknowingly reading your next entry!
#236 · 1
· on The Light in the Dark
>>Miller Minus
Got it! Thanks again!
#237 · 2
· on Humphrey's Pest Control Problem
>>Miller Minus

So this did better than expected :D Seriously, it's been a while since I did a mini-fic write-off, as pretty much everyone picked up on when I completely messed up the paragraph spacing. Ah well, given that that seemed to be the only major criticism I figured this story might be a bit of a sleeper hit and wasn't disappointed, which is good because I got pretty fond of good old Humph!

This story, as most of my good entries are, was an inspired piece. As in, I was sitting trying to come up with something to write and putting off cleaning up all the spiders than have infested my flat over the summer. I've always wondered what spiders think about us destroying their hard built webs. It was only a little jump to make the humans the annoying pests with some incomprehensible creature looking down on them, fretting about whether it was cruel to go about squishing them.

Anyway, thanks again everyone who voted and left a review. To answer a bit of specific feedback

Your analogy structure is charming, but it is still a bit of a cop-out, and I wonder if the laughs couldn't be elevated through some bits and pieces of what I can't understand.

It's a fair point. This probably needs a few more passes to be properly clever rather than just funny for the weirdness value. The original idea was that, despite the preface telling you the analogy is useless, it's actually exactly what's happening. That kind of fell flat a bit in the execution. Again, it needs some work to go from smart sounding to actually clever.

You tell us that the story is about evil sort of “gods”, but nowhere I see them being really “evil”. They rather seem to be mild, or even meek. You try to give us a sort of Lovecraftian twang, but Lovecraft’s gods seem way more ruthless and threatening.

I'm not sure I ever said they were evil. The subversion of the Lovecraft trope is actually kind of the point. Humphrey isn't some benevolent god looking over the welfare of Humanity, but he really doesn't want to do anything proactive about the problem and has rationalised it away as a vague protective inclination. He's not acting in a moral way that we'd understanding, but practically he's still showing sympathy towards Humanity. Kind of like me and the spiders, I wasn't looking after them but by not doing the cleaning I was still helping them out.

Though, I did actually clean up the spiders in the end...
#238 ·
· on Meat · >>Skywriter
I get that's what you were going for, I noted it was a werewolf in passing, point was that more fitting options existed (in my opinion). "Werewolf all along" is kinda an anti-twist. "Accidental cannibalism results in Wendigo" feels like it would have more punch; he's had the appetizer meatball, now he wants the main course in the form of ribs.
#239 · 2
· on Meat · >>Skywriter
I thought it was the 'wendigo' option as well. To me that's just too well established as a monster linked with cannibalism.

Nice story though, as always, Skywriter. A little darker than I'm used to from you!
#240 · 2
· on Meat · >>Cassius
Okay, I misinterpreted what you meant when you said I had gotten it wrong. Sorry!

>>Cold in Gardez
Yeah, I guess that's what you get when you let me out of the Ponyverse?
#241 · 3
· on Meat · >>Skywriter

I wanted to give a review of this story, but unfortunately, I didn't have the time to give an in-depth analysis, so I'll just leave the positive side of the comment I was going to make.

The first half of this story is excellent, creepy, and genuinely unsettling. There's something so very uncomfortable about the whole scenario, the sexualized undertones, the weirdness and creepiness of the entire situation itself. This is one of few stories I've read in a long time that has actually gotten me to feel a little uneasy reading it, but the prose and conceit keep the reader interested and engaged.
#242 ·
· on Meat
Thanks. I take it the omitted negative half focused on the weak ending, as others have noted. I appreciate your reading it!
#243 ·
· on Night Hunting
Night Hunting: A Retrospective

I think the biggest issue with this piece is that it does too much set-up for a relatively simple action. The entire first half builds up why Jake finds himself here hunting this wolf, then it just kind of happens. I suppose it might've worked better if I'd just did it all in one scene, or if there were other characters for Jake to work off of (the original draft had a Native American come across Jake and spout weird nonsense). It's not a complex story, so it doesn't need such a rich backstory.

In conclusion, I like the story concept, but will probably have to find a different way to execute it.

In the first draft, it was specified that Jake had parked his truck just off the road, and walked because the terrain was too bumpy and rough to drive safely over. Don't know why I deleted that, but that's the explanation in my mind.

The father passage was back when the story involved Jake coming across a drunk Native American, and I kept it in because I simply liked how it was written. As for the wolf and Jake meeting, the first draft clarified that Jake had been watching this area for days and found plenty of wolf tracks, and that he was hunting the wolf because it was attacking ranchers' cattle (hence the line about the wolf "killing cattle"). I deleted those passages because I thought it gave the piece a more dreamlike feeling and I hated all the exposition about his purpose, but I guess clarification was needed to some degree.

The one thing I take issue with is you saying that Jake wasn't characterized. I thought that his reminisces about his father and wanting to sound tough to his fellow bar patrons gave him motivation, and his brief tinge of guilt does show that there was something behind his cold exterior. I don't think he needed much more characterization than that, but different strokes, I suppose.
#244 · 2
· on Writing Pains · >>georg
Writing Pains: A Retrospective

So given how I actually lost cumulative points for writing this story because it was rated low enough, I hope you all enjoyed this story about a fellow Writeoff author, because I'm never doing one like this again. Though there's also the fact I know so little about y'all that I don't think I could do a solid comedy fic about any of you without resorting to bland comedy tropes. Hell, I wasn't even sure Monkeras was French and simply thought he was because of one of the stories one of you wrote.

As for the creation of this story, I wrote this while I was taking a break from writing my other story, Night Hunting. I chose the plot simply because I saw Horizon's comment about how he wasn't doing the WriteOff because he was going camping, and thought it'd be funny if he was forced to fight WriteOff as a being. I didn't find the end result that funny, but I uploaded it anyway because I though some of you might find some amusement from it. And given how Night Hunting was pretty disappointing as well, I think I'll focus on just doing one fic per round from now on, just so that the stories are more solid.

Thanks for the comments, >>Miller Minus,>>Anon Y Mous,>>No_Raisin, and >>georg. I hope this story didn't irritate you too much.
#245 ·
· on Writing Pains · >>libertydude
>>libertydude Heck, no. I loved it. (although it was not on my slate, if I remember right)
#246 · 1
· on Writing Pains
I'm happy you liked it. I'm going to try doing more polished work from now on, but at least this fic gave folks a few chuckles.
#247 · 6
· on Clumsy
Miller Minus is Clumsy

So, Cassius has been asking me to do this retrospective, and I know he only wants me to because then he has written proof that he was right all along, but since he, and others, might be legitimately interested in what I have to say for myself, then what the hell.

But he is right. Just for the record.

This was a story about a victim. A story in which this victim achieves some semblance of victory, and can find a reason to smile despite everything. Or at least, that was my intention. For some, that didn't come across. I see how that happened. Mistakes were made. That's fine. I'm over it.

And I wasn't going to write this retrospective. I was perfectly ready for everyone to forget this story ever existed, and I was thrilled at the idea of moving on with my life. But now there's a new story in the latest round that, as far as I can tell, is accusing people who liked my story of only doing it because they felt like that disliking it might disrespect abuse victims. Like they're lying to themselves, or the fact that they liked my story is some defect in their thinking.

Or something.

I honestly have no earthly idea what it's saying. But at this point, fuck it. I'll defend myself and those who liked my story, because staying quiet is clearly not working.

(edit: it's being pointed out that No Need might not be meant to be taken seriously. If that's the case, then it's a successful troll, well done author. But I felt the need to comment on all this stuff anyways)

And, not to mention, because this whole round was really stressful. Fun, in some ways, for sure, but really just incredibly stressful. It's one thing to have to sit back and say nothing when people are misinterpreting my story (through my own fault!), but it's a whole different thing to sit back and watch people shit all over my story because they didn't like the fact that their opinions were being challenged.

Uh-huh. This review is going to get a little sour grapes at times. Wahey, let's get going.

Miller Minus is a Bad Writer

Hey, Mono, how's tricks?

I knew going into this that I probably wasn't breaking new ground here. I hoped I was at least dipping my toes in new ground, but even that's arguable. One thing I will say is that I thought the topic was a risk going in, and in no way a sort of "easy mode". I've seen claims that sad stories (and/or long stories) are easy ways to do well, but I disagree. I think the degree of difficulty is higher, and possibly that leads to them having a stronger impact when done well.

But thank you for your comment!

I agree with this a lot. I mean, the Howl in the Dark application you saw was, er, not my intention, but what you're saying about this being an "Issue" story, and how the themes and messages surrounding that issue weren't clear or unique enough. Yeah. That's pretty on point. So thanks!

Oh, bother. It's too bad you didn't like my story but that's totally fine with me. Nothing in this comment to upset me, no sir. Doot dee too, moving right along.

Well hey, nothing I can do about you not liking it. That's just fine, friend, and thanks for the feedback. There's nothing you said that upsets me particularly.

And now that I've responded to Hap and No Raisin politely, let's do it not so politely.

Miller Minus is Angery


Real talk:

I didn't appreciate this comment.

I didn't appreciate this comment.

And I couldn't help but notice that the nastiness only came out after someone had disagreed with you. When I start seeing comments like these, I can't help but start ignoring the rest of your criticisms, because it starts to seem like you're taking the story personally.

But it's an emotionaly charged story, so I get it, and I'm not going to hold it against you. I just have to call out mean-spiritedness when I see it. I hope we can still be friends.

Miller Minus is a Good Writer

All the good stories I've read have no comments. Hardly fair, dang.

Time makes comedians of us all, doesn't it?

Thanks for stopping by Ara! And congrats on your medal, it was well deserved. No Raisin is right, the voicing in yours was stronger than in mine, though I will say that your characters were younger, so we were really riding different beasts.

Or were they riding us?

Thanks, Oblo.

Now please stop meddling in the US elections.

I'm putting you under the good heading and there's nothing you can do to stop me.

Thanks for another long-long review, I pretty much agreed with everything you said. The italics are part of a habit I have where anything being said by someone not in the room needs to be highlighted as such, as a way to remind the reader that their voice sounds different. I don't know. I like it. And… I guess it's a way to minimize dialogue tags, too. But that's secondary…

And yes, Tyler sucked. I was essentially modelling Matt's timid dialogue around the protagonist of Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade, but Tyler fell by the wayside and had nothing to him. A lot of his lines weren't improved upon because it felt like I would have to expand, and I had no more room. And yes, I understand that that's my fault.

Hi Dubs! Thanks again to yourself and Quill and NaH for your radio show, the conversation was very interesting. I'm glad you caught the "violence begets violence" aspect of the story! I was starting to wonder if it was too obscure :|.

And thanks for sharing the song! I'm partial to happy songs where the lyrics are kind of horrible. I don't know why it is.

Oh, and also, shoutout to NaH, if he's reading this, for being the only person who called out Tyler's ridiculous reaction to the pranks. The things I cut for wordcount…

Miller Minus is (subheading not found)

Well, that's all from me, and in the end, I'm going to look back on this fondly. I've learned a lot, both in terms of my writing, and in terms of writeoff… etiquette, let's call it. When I write my magnum opus about how being raped is a real bummer, it won't be nearly as controversial as this, I promise.

Anyways, see you guys later, and thanks ag—… Hang on, I just stepped on something...

It's… a sour grape.

My entire floor is sour grapes.
#248 · 1
· on Writing Pains · >>libertydude
So apparently nobody bothered to inform me of this until after my return. Making you some sort of prophet or something.

I'm flattered, and this is hilarious (though given the heavy meta content I'm not surprised it didn't score terribly well).

I do have to wonder in what universe I could be described as "moderately attractive". I don't own a "Party Naked" T-shirt, but I do own a T-shirt from Las Vegas that reads "Bad Decisions Lead To Good Stories" (with a picture of two beer cups). I've never been to France, though it's on my bucket list. The bit about my magical powers is, however, 100% correct.

Thank you! :D
#249 ·
· on Writing Pains

Well, I'm happy that you were amused by it. One of the reasons I don't plan on doing a story like this again is simply because you never quite know how the real-life subject will react to it. I prefer the freedom of using original characters anyway.

Though maybe I'll reuse the Monokerasian Frenchman again...