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SGInc Story Workshop 2.5 Poll and Comments

29 Jul 2006 11:35 #6387 by admin
There were 4 entries:

21st Century Magic: Do You Really Think You're Worthy of Me by Yags
Adrenaline Adrienne by Marknew
Cement Boots by Conceptfan
My First Time by JKap

Read them in the SuperWomenMania StoryBank ( http://www.superwomenmania.com/storybank/index-d.html ) and vote for your favourite here.

Comments on the stories should be posted on this thread too!

The poll will run for our standard 7 days.


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01 Aug 2006 02:49 #6415 by JKap
Real tough to choose. I thought the other 3 (besides mine) were all really well done & had a surprising amount of plot development considering the word limit. I'm almost embarrassed of mine now having seen the other 3 :oops:

Loved CF's but I didn't feel like it fit the theme of the workshop as the girl's powers had been revealed (at least to herself and her father) before the story even began.

Almost gave the nod to Yags for the great use of that jump-around narrative structure - which was both ambitions & surprisingly effective. The story itself was great fun.

But in the end I gave the vote to Marknew. What can I say? Since a long time ago, I've loved the distinct girl/boy dynamic in all of his stories. This one was another great example. Spoke to me viscerally & cerebrally. Was a fun read. Nice job Mark.

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03 Aug 2006 06:30 #6433 by YAGS
Heh. Thanks for the praise, JKap. I know what you mean about feeling embarrassed about your story, not because I think your story is bad or anything, but because I feel the same way about my own. Maybe I'm just being my own worst critic, but I honestly feel as though my entry is the worst of the four in this workshop.

I went back and re-read it before reading the other entries, just to refresh my memory from the distance of a month or so since I finished it, and I don't think it was very well written. I don't know why, but it just seems sloppy and amateurish to me. I like the plot, and I think the jumping around chronologically was a worthwhile experiment, but I just don't like my own writing style very much. If I could put my finger on why, I would be a much better writer.

As for your story, JKap, I really think it was the best written of the four, stylistically. But it seems that you spent too much time describing the emergence of her powers and then stopped short of describing what she does with them. You've got style, but not much substance in this story, while I have exactly the opposite problem in mine, I think.

CF's story was good, but not his best work. Maybe it's just that I've read so many of his other stories, but I know he's capable of writing tons of great descriptions and detailed action scenes that are better than this. I think I end up having this reaction every time he enters one of the short theme workshops. I think his style is just better suited to longer stories, with the obvious exception being his outstanding "Candlelight" from workshop 2.4.

As for MarkNew's story, it's another one that I think is good, but not his best work. I'm not sure why, but the action scenes at the end just didn't grab me. The dialogue was good, but I think maybe there was too much of it, given the short word limitation, where those words could have been better used elsewhere.

So I guess my point is that I think all of the stories here were pretty good, but I don't think any of them could be called masterpieces. I hope no one's offended by the negative comments, as I really think there was more good than bad in all of these stories. I liked them all, and I just offered this level of criticism in the hopes of helping everyone (myself included) improve our writing. I hope everyone will offer constructive criticism of my story, as well.

As for this workshop as a whole, this is one case where I think the 1000 word limit hurt all of the stories by being too limiting, and no one really played into it perfectly, as several writers have done in the past workshops. I actually haven't voted yet, because I really think it's a tough call.

I was also surprised by the low number of entries. Is everyone on summer vacation or something?

On a personal note, this will probably be my last story submission for a while. I'm working on some other things in my life right now that are very time consuming and eating up all my free time. I'll still hang out here to take breaks now and then, but I won't have enough free time to really work seriously on writing for at least the next 3 or 4 months.

YAGS

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03 Aug 2006 21:29 #6436 by marknew742
Replied by marknew742 on topic SGInc Story Workshop 2.5 Poll and Comments
This wasn't our best effort guys. Mine included. YAGS is exactly right about my story. I got the ratio between set up and empowerment exactly wrong here. I should have left a few paragraphs for her to have some fun with her strength. It would have been a little hard to reconcile with her powerless, clueless, fearful personality. Still, I should have done it.

I agree with JKap that CF didn't quite get the theme here. Good story nevertheless but, man, you gotta stay on topic.

I liked the idea of the JKap story and the dialogue. The jumpiness detracted from it a bit, and I was disappointed that the power was on loan. I didn't quite understand why she got it and why it left. And again, on this topic thing, her powers didn't really "emerge." They were given to her and then taken away. So again, not quite on topic. But enjoyable nevertheless.

And then the Yags story. Right on topic. Good descriptions of growth. Good ecstasy and the right ending. But like mine, it stopped when we were just about to have some fun. Isn't that the problem with 1,000 words? But still fun.

Thanks guys. The stars were aligned right and I'm glad I was able to participate this time with you.

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05 Aug 2006 16:01 #6443 by YAGS
Congratulations, JKap. Looks like you won.

So besides the pathetic turnout among writers in this and workshop 1.8, does anyone else here think it's pathetic that the only people to even comment on the stories were the writers? Is everyone gone for the summer or something? Where is everyone lately?

YAGS

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07 Aug 2006 16:41 #6454 by conceptfan
Replied by conceptfan on topic SGInc Story Workshop 2.5 Poll and Comments
Congrats to JKap - a worthy winner. Great to see a new writer on the scene, and what a start! Can't wait to read your next effort.


No complaints about the lack of votes for my story as it was fairly crappy and yes I did kinda play a bit too loose with the topic (so that I could use the same character again) She WASN'T the guy's daughter, BTW. He'd hired her for the day (for the usual fee)...

So besides the pathetic turnout among writers in this and workshop 1.8, does anyone else here think it's pathetic that the only people to even comment on the stories were the writers? Is everyone gone for the summer or something? Where is everyone lately?

Good point about the comments. And good questions.

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07 Aug 2006 18:26 #6456 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 2.5 Poll and Comments
Okay, here's my two cents:

First of all, as always, a vote of thanks to the four authors for the time and effort they put in to satisfy our ubergirl jones.

Four solid entries, from writers who know how to tell a story and what buttons to push. But none of them really stood out. Maybe it was the theme, but individually the stories seemed somewhat pat and predictable, and collectively they seemed to be plotted along rather similar lines. And I concur with Marknew -- they ended too soon! I realize that the theme obliged the writers to focus on the emergence of power, but I found myself wishing for more display of power.

So ... solid B's all around.

I've already sent feedback to two of the authors. As for the other two ...

YAGS: Your prose is clear and readable -- far from "amateurish." The back-and-forth chronology is an interesting device ... but I'm not sure it added anything to the story, which I think would have been just as effective if the events had been presented in a more straightforward sequence. And like Marknew, I was disappointed to see Janie's powers fade away -- also puzzled, since that hadn't happened to the girls in your previous stories.

JKap: Sexiest transformation scene won my vote. I hope "My First Time" isn't your last time!

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07 Aug 2006 20:24 #6461 by YAGS
Argonaut,

Thanks for the critique.

For your first comment, on all four stories not having enough actual displays of power, I was aware of the limitation in how much would be possible in such a short format, and I really tried to include lots of power usage. Unfortunately, that didn't leave a lot of room for detailed description of each power being used, which was probably my downfall. My story, like the rest in this particular workshop, probably could have been better if it was twice as long.

As for your comments on my story, I think the jury's still out on the non-chronological storytelling style. I think this story was too short to bother with that, but I think it was a good learning experience for me, as now I know what to do if I decide to write a longer story that way. It's a learning process. I don't consider myself an writer so much as a student of writing right now.

As for Janie's powers just being borrowed, there are actually two reasons for that - an "in story" reason and a "meta" reason.

The "in story" reason will be presented in a later story. The short answer is that they weren't "her" powers. The person who actually has the magic power and passed it to her will have a story focusing on them specifically some day, and it'll explain it. I did check with admin before submitting the story to see if it was "close enough" for the workshop theme, and I was told it was.

The second reason for it is the "meta" (out of story) reason. My 21st Century Magic series is supposed to be about a lot of ordinary people gaining relatively low level powers. I actually have several story ideas that I'll never post to SWM when I finish writing them, simply because the powers displayed in those stories aren't strong enough to fit in with the theme here. If there are too many "heavy hitters" with Kryptonian-level powers, it weakens the overall theme, and I wanted to be able to write this story with Janie having nearly unlimited power, but not have to leave her so powerful that she'd unbalance the whole universe I'm creating.

As for the very powerful characters in my last two stories here, they are two of the most powerful women in that world. In fact, one is clearly THE most powerful, and my workshop 1.8 story would have been about her if I'd had time to finish it. The other is less powerful than you'd think from reading that particular story. Both of those characters will be explored more in later stories. No plans for a cat fight between the two yet, but if I keep writing about them both, it's pretty much inevitable, given that they're on opposite sides of the law.

YAGS

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08 Aug 2006 22:09 #6471 by JKap
I won!? WTF?

So now what happens? I decide on a topic for the next workshop, right? This was entirely unexpected. I'll need a couple of days to decide which of my favorite ubergirl themes I wanna assign for the next topic. I guess I should also say thanks to everyone who voted for mine though. I dunno what you were thinking, but thanks!

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11 Aug 2006 01:14 #6496 by YAGS
I notice that there are no threads to discuss topics for the next two workshops yet. Due to the low turnout, is there a debate going on behind the scenes about whether or not to continue having workshops?

I think maybe two at once is too much, and some people just can't keep up with all the writing. Maybe just one for now, to see how it goes?

YAGS

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11 Aug 2006 20:57 #6501 by oogber
Replied by oogber on topic SGInc Story Workshop 2.5 Poll and Comments
I've been wanting to enter in these contests, but I've never really written, so I'm hesitant.

But please, do keep putting up more topics. I honestly do want to participate, and maybe the right topic will get me going!

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13 Aug 2006 01:00 #6509 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 2.5 Poll and Comments
A lot of writers (and would-be writers) have suggested themes for previous workshops, and they may be reluctant to bring up the same ideas again and again.

I've culled some suggestions from previous threads:

1. an ubergirl-themed episode of a TV show (of the writer's choice). Some members were intrigued by the possibilities; others were opposed to the idea. The obvious drawback is that some readers may not be familiar with whatever show the writer is referencing. A related suggestion was "ubergirl-themed reality show." This, too, presents lots of possibilities, but it has the same drawback -- and there are probably writers (like myself) who aren't familar with the conventions of this kind of show.

2. "My wife/girlfriend has become super." This has been suggested several times and received enthusiastically. Maybe its time has come?

3. YAGS has proposed a workshop allowing writers to use any of the previous workshop themes. I think many of us have had an idea for a particular workshop, but weren't able to write (or finish) the story for whatever reason. Here's our chance!

4. Some of our most successful workshops have used an "ubergirl vs ..." theme: ubergirl vs army, vs ubergirl, vs weapon. What else can we pit an ubergirl against?

a. ubergirl vs uberman. Sounds comic book-y, but doesn't have to be.

b. ubergirl vs force of nature (volcano, hurricane, etc). Perhaps better suited for a "short" workshop.

c. ubergirl vs New York Yankees ... hardly an ubergirl-worthy challenge, but it would be fun to see!

5. Here's a new suggestion (I think) -- "ubergirl/ubergirls conquer/rule the world." A epic theme! Conceptfan could update "Empress Ria," and Dru could give us a sequel to "The Immigrant."

6. How about "Tales of the Transformatrix" -- stories set in the world of "Transformatrix 4000," but standing outside the main story-line.

7. Or "My Super Ex-Girlfriend: The Sequel" (could include "My Super Ex: Deleted Scenes" and "My Super Ex: Alternate Ending"). Okay, probably too narrow a theme, and too limited in its appeal -- but it would be fun to see what various members come up with.

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13 Aug 2006 05:13 #6513 by YAGS
Re: Argonaut's suggestions:

1. Keep it general. Make the theme just "TV" and let people take that any place they want, from a fanfic episode of a show to an ubergirl TV show, to a story about an ubergirl throwing a TV at someone. The more general it is, the more participants we're likely to get.

2. Yeah, this one's pretty obvious, and accessible for new writers. And it keeps coming up. One of these days we should actually use it.

3. I had several story ideas myself that I didn't get a chance to finish, which is where this suggestion came from. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

4. Oh yeah. Ubergirl vs the Yankees. Uhh... sure.

5. This one actually seems like it might be difficult to write. It's right up CF's alley, but I don't know if I could do it.

6. Interesting suggestion. I've been staying out of that one, just because it's got too much going on, so adding a side story might be interesting. I'd have to think about it.

7. Again, keep it general. Anything related to the movie (alternate ending, deleted scenes, sequel, or even how you'd have done it instead). One thought, though: save this one for after the DVD release, so everyone gets a chance to see it.

Here's another suggestion along the lines of #7: Everyone writes their own sequel to The Awakening. (You all have it on DVD already, right? This and My Super-Ex are both MUST SEE films for anyone who likes this genre enough to visit this forum). Where it leaves off leads to an obvious continuation, so it would be interesting to see how different writers handle it.

I'm not really thinking of workshop themes right now, so no more suggestions. Just wanted to respond to Argo, really.

So, when are we going to have the official threads to discuss the next workshops? I know I said I wouldn't have time to do any writing for a while, but if it'll help the workshops keep going, I'll make time, even if they're not my best entries.

YAGS

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13 Aug 2006 06:52 #6514 by yaracyrrah
Replied by yaracyrrah on topic SGInc Story Workshop 2.5 Poll and Comments

Keep it general. Make the theme just [X] and let people take that any place they want. [...] The more general it is, the more participants we're likely to get.


If you pick a general theme, it would probably be a good idea to list several specific ideas within that theme, for folks who aren't overflowing with ideas and need some prompting to come up with one.

Or, if you pick a narrow topic, don't disallow people who see it and get a tangential idea that doesn't fit it. (Personally I'm not sure why the contest topics are anything more than encouraging suggestions, but that's just me.)

Disclaimer: I still won't contribute anything. I don't contribute because I just plain can't write stories. :_-(.

--Y

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14 Aug 2006 15:53 #6518 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic SGInc Story Workshop 2.5 Poll and Comments
Oops -- the suggestions I posted yesterday were for the next "long" workshop.

A few possibilities for the next "short" workshop (culled from old threads):

1. superwoman uses her powers (secretly or openly) in the workplace

2. superwoman causes destruction through careless/inexperienced use of her powers

3. superwoman changes from secret identity to super identity (or vice versa)

These wouldn't have to be the exclusive (or even primary) focus of the story -- just incorporated as a motif.

Or how about ...

4. superwoman's day off / night out / spring break / vacation ...

5. superwoman deals with unwelcome attention -- harrassing boss or co-worker, persistent suitor, obnoxious pick-up attempt ... This is kind of a reversal of the scenario of "My Super Ex."

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