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file Winter 2015 workshop entries are on

03 Feb 2015 00:14 - 03 Feb 2015 00:16 #40209 by Woodclaw
Winter 2015 workshop entries are on was created by Woodclaw
The four entries for the Winter 2015 workshop are finally online , as customary the poll will go online in the next few days.
I'm sorry for the delay in the publication, but there were some technical issues that slowed it down.

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Last edit: 03 Feb 2015 00:16 by Woodclaw.
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03 Feb 2015 00:27 #40210 by lfan
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Woodclaw wrote: The four entries for the Winter 2015 workshop are finally online , as customary the poll will go online in the next few days.
I'm sorry for the delay in the publication, but there were some technical issues that slowed it down.


Thanks to Woodclaw for his tireless production work to get this posted! And thanks to all the participants...

ElF
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03 Feb 2015 15:01 #40221 by TwiceOnThursdays
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I never quite found the time to write a story, but I'm glad to wake up and find new stories to read. I can't wait to work my way through them all!

Thanks to all who entered!
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03 Feb 2015 22:43 - 03 Feb 2015 23:04 #40228 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Winter 2015 workshop entries are on
MY Thoughts On Entries that Aren't my Own

Good batch of stories.

As i said i found this a tricky contest-i wrote over 10,000 words of a story before abandoning, then wrote briefly another before i settled on my entry. This isn't a knock on the pictures-all where good-its a tricky thing fan fiction. A tricky thing.

That said i think all the entries where good and worth a read. My thoughts on the the stories(except one Cold Night in Gotham)...


Ultra Punzel: This is a clever concept, that goes to the heart of the coneicet. You found a character who by there very nature thinks there weak and fragile and central idea is that people force her to view herself. Trapped and fragile. Then you reverse it. Never thought of it, but that really does work for it. Its easy to give Laura Croft superpowers-shes already kind of a heroine. This one....

The problem with the story-well is it doesn't have a lot of conflict. Since the story is entirely from the point of view of Rapunzel we don't get anyone- the prince her "Mother". We only get her flying about and lifting bookcases.this could but The ending itself feels like a sketch and vingettey, then like a grand adventure. Her main acomplishment is to get out of bordeom. Still you do a good job of capturing a character, and her inner struggle which is something.

Lara Croft- and the Torch of Rao. Full disclosure-i started and stopped after about 200 words a tomb raider story. That one fell apart as I couldn't figure out how to do a Tomb Raider story and A Supergirl story

This one does.It feels like the plot of a tomb raider game-everything about it from the globe trotting to the villanesse who is evil perhaps not as evil as she offers -the mentor on his last stand all feel right out of the game-as does the action-you even managed to fit in a puzzle sequence. It really works as it.. Yet Lara Croft has to be both cocksure and vulnerable the same time-how would be a tomb be interesting if she can just punch her way hrough it ?

And yet well you did the supergirl story by the clever coneict that for most of the story she only has part of it-and the villianess has the rest. Its an intresting idea that makes for a kind of fun adventure story that really works. You make Laura seem like laura , The villaness obviously evil but at the same times just flawed enough that you can see whats underneath it, an interesting mentor who does a good job of not caring, and create lots of fun sequences and ideas that are derivative of the game but feel appropriately homagy.

Tink Tink Boom-when the story contest was first announced I figured we would get a lot of stories, of fantasy characters who suddenly get superpowers and BAMMM!!!! this is that kind of that story, which isn't to knock it....but

Well the main character is Tinkerbell.

That feels pretty ambitious. It reminds me a bit of the very old Cartoon “Mighty Man” about a flying brick character...who was 3 inches tall. It has a similar joke- there it was a comedy but the comedy felt more from the fact that it was so out of place. Its worth a smile. And I smiled reading it

This As an exciting adventure tale it has a lot of very small girl does impressive stuff. It works as that. Though my complaint such as it is...is that it feels like its missing something of the magic of the character in fiction. Where not supoed to like Tinkerbell all that much in the original source material, of a woman who out of jeliously and spite does horrible things-shes a fairy that kind of bridges early and modern interpretuations in that shes not completely nice or safe. Here it feels a little safe.

But it is good for a smile, and I like the non ending ending of the story. Perfect note to go out on. For what seems to be a good contest.
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05 Feb 2015 15:41 #40251 by Woodclaw
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Okay feedback time. It has been a while since the last wrokshop, so I might be a little rusty at this.

One Cold Night in Gotham ... by Castor (Beta Alert)

SInce I'm privy to some of the development of this story, I must say that it gave Castor some real credit. Like he said, he was planning to work on a different subject, but he scrapped all of his work and went with this in 3 days or so. Unfortunately this is also the source of the story major problems. The set-up is very well done, it works on the usual inner monologue that is Batman's signature trait and adds some funnier hints that help relieve the gloomy effect usually associated with him, but it fails in keeping the tone consistent until the end. Having talked to Castor during the beta, I know what he was aiming for and I think he missed the mark a bit. The story works, but not the way he intended, I think. The important dynamic of Batman failing to learn anything meaningful and being left in the dark, just like the audience doesn't really show in a significant way. The action is delevered well enough and the metal whip trick is pretty neat and it pays homage to Catwoman's roots.
Overall a nice teaser, but not very memorable.

Ultra-Punzel by Argonaut

Like Castor's, Argo's entry suffered from some 'post-production cuts' as he noted himself in another thread. The result is a single chapter of a potential ongoing story that shows some real promise. I'm not familiar with Rapunzel -- so I can't really comment on how close he sticked to the source material -- but the way the dialogue and the scene are set really fits the light comedy that is one of Argo's strong points as a writer. The biggest downside for me is the feeling that she mastered her powers a tad too fast, which is something that often makes my suspension of disbelief dwindle a bit in stories based around casual empowerment. There's not much action to speak of, but the descriptions are very clear and work as a whole.
Final verdict: a nice start, but only a start.

Tink, Tink, Boom! by Larafan

This story started with a really big drawback for me: the main character. The Disney's version of Tinkerbell isn't a character I like in her original incarnation (I don't know much about the Pixies movies). In spite of all of that I found this story to be very enjoyable, as Castor noted it's the kind of story that goes down the "easy road" of just adding powers and see how far that concept can go, but it does so in a rather effective way.
The has great timing, keeping the action and dialogue flowing at a steady pace which keeps the reader entertained, there is no real downtime. I think that the greatest trick is Tink's size. What could really be a downside to the entire story actually make it much more fun to read. The difference is size makes watever Tink achieve seem even more impressive, it's like the usual "petite girl" trope, but actually much stronger.
Now I have two and half big negatives I need to address. The first is the usual power mastery thing, which is much more noticeable here than it is in any other of the entries, it really takes a lot of points out of the story for me since Tink doesn't simply knew what she can do, she also has 100% perfect control over it without even trying. The second is speech, I think that something is really missing here, especially regarding Hook. Maybe it's because I've never watched the Disney movie in English, but I always pictured the good captain as a much more verbous speaker. Tink sound similarly flat, although is a bit less noticeable. This lead me to my final problem, like Castor noted, I don't feel the style and the magic of the characters in this story, which hurts it a bit.
Of all the entries this one is the one that makes me interested in seeing where it would go.

Lara Croft and the Torch of Rao by Geekseven

Possibly the only self contained story of the workshop, this effort by G7 really hits some high notes. Like LFan's story this plays like an action story, but with a more complete and structured background, which makes it a more effective story in my eyes. It plays like an action movie/videogame, which is 100% pot on for the character. The other high poiint for me is that, in the end, Lara solve the situation not with her power, but rather with her human skills. This helps a lot to make a story which is much closer to my usual tastes and adds a nice extra dimension to the confrontation between Lara and her opponent. This bring me to my biggest negative so far: characters. My first, small, gripe is that G7 decided to go with the classic Lara -- opposed to the 2013 reboot -- a character that I really don't like that much because of her dull characterization and very 90-ish style. While I like to see a kickass leading lady, the classic Lara always felt to me like a character that was tough just because, without any real depth to her. The second are the secondary character. Maybe it's because of the length of the story but they really felt underwhelming to me: they are appropriate for their role, but nothing else, they read and play like tropes with legs and not much more. I know that G7 made a point of shaving off the unnecessary bits to this story, but maybe adding a little more here and there would have breath a little more life into them.
As a stand alone story I think that this work beautifully and it's very true to the source material, but I really think that it needed a bit more life here and there.

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06 Feb 2015 02:49 #40255 by oogber
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I liked them all.

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06 Feb 2015 03:56 - 06 Feb 2015 03:57 #40256 by inactive
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Woodclaw wrote: Lara Croft and the Torch of Rao by Geekseven

Possibly the only self contained story of the workshop, this effort by G7 really hits some high notes. Like LFan's story this plays like an action story, but with a more complete and structured background, which makes it a more effective story in my eyes. It plays like an action movie/videogame, which is 100% pot on for the character. The other high poiint for me is that, in the end, Lara solve the situation not with her power, but rather with her human skills. This helps a lot to make a story which is much closer to my usual tastes and adds a nice extra dimension to the confrontation between Lara and her opponent. This bring me to my biggest negative so far: characters. My first, small, gripe is that G7 decided to go with the classic Lara -- opposed to the 2013 reboot -- a character that I really don't like that much because of her dull characterization and very 90-ish style. While I like to see a kickass leading lady, the classic Lara always felt to me like a character that was tough just because, without any real depth to her. The second are the secondary character. Maybe it's because of the length of the story but they really felt underwhelming to me: they are appropriate for their role, but nothing else, they read and play like tropes with legs and not much more. I know that G7 made a point of shaving off the unnecessary bits to this story, but maybe adding a little more here and there would have breath a little more life into them.
As a stand alone story I think that this work beautifully and it's very true to the source material, but I really think that it needed a bit more life here and there.


Good stuff. I think you hit the nail on the head as far as characterization. As it happens, even the work I did trying to cut "unnecessary bits" was focused on plot and language choices. Very little of what got cut would have added much in the way of characterization. In fact, my character notes are pretty much unchanged from before my first draft, whereas my plot notes changed a lot.

I tend to give short shrift to the characters and that's something I need to be aware of.

- GeekSeven
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06 Feb 2015 05:45 #40257 by oogber
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Your blog on writing is good and interesting!
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06 Feb 2015 16:39 #40261 by lfan
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Woodclaw wrote: Tink, Tink, Boom! by Larafan

This story started with a really big drawback for me: the main character. The Disney's version of Tinkerbell isn't a character I like in her original incarnation (I don't know much about the Pixies movies). In spite of all of that I found this story to be very enjoyable, as Castor noted it's the kind of story that goes down the "easy road" of just adding powers and see how far that concept can go, but it does so in a rather effective way.
The has great timing, keeping the action and dialogue flowing at a steady pace which keeps the reader entertained, there is no real downtime. I think that the greatest trick is Tink's size. What could really be a downside to the entire story actually make it much more fun to read. The difference is size makes watever Tink achieve seem even more impressive, it's like the usual "petite girl" trope, but actually much stronger.
Now I have two and half big negatives I need to address. The first is the usual power mastery thing, which is much more noticeable here than it is in any other of the entries, it really takes a lot of points out of the story for me since Tink doesn't simply knew what she can do, she also has 100% perfect control over it without even trying. The second is speech, I think that something is really missing here, especially regarding Hook. Maybe it's because I've never watched the Disney movie in English, but I always pictured the good captain as a much more verbous speaker. Tink sound similarly flat, although is a bit less noticeable. This lead me to my final problem, like Castor noted, I don't feel the style and the magic of the characters in this story, which hurts it a bit.
Of all the entries this one is the one that makes me interested in seeing where it would go.


Thanks for the comments, Woodclaw. Regarding the use of Tinkerbell for a story, I knew that it was probably one of the most polarizing characters available, considering that she was a fairy and is a very, wholesome G-rated character to boot. That was one of the reasons I chose her -- along with the challenges of the constraints of her 6" stature -- as I thought it would be a challenge.

I wasn't too familiar with the Fairy canon or background (kids were never into Peter Pan or Hook) so all my source background was what I'd seen of Hook (starring Robin Williams) as well as some research on YouTube and Wiki for the fairy information (e.g. pixie dust colors, Zarina, Periwinkle, etc). The more I researched, the more the story came together, but unfortunately, the more the time lapsed. To meet the deadline, I had to cut some corners on characterization of the pirates and some of the "power discovery" stuff I wanted to write. That's why at times, it seemed rushed (as you pointed out), especially IMO the scene where Tink confronts Hook. Your point about the dialog is a fair one. I sometimes get caught in the trap of writing prose more like a screenplay (less wordy dialog and relying on actions) ever since the Awakening. Some of the terse dialog was by design (ran out of time) but re-reading it, it seems very rushed. Your comment about Hook being more theatrical was also taken to heart.

One additional "dialog" point I wanted to make -- and an explanation for Peter Pan purists -- is in the original Peter Pan animation Tinkerbell never spoke (she does though in the fairy movies). It is explained that we only hear a bell sound when she's talking because fairies are so tiny, their voices cannot be heard clearly by humans. I was going to go into this more and explain that Hook could now hear her actual words because her voice was also "super". This was to be explained right after her first transformation when she spoke and her voice basically shook everything around her. This -- like a few other things -- was left on the cutting room floor. :P

As far as the mastery of powers, I'll admit I'm a little inconsistent, but there was some stuff on Tink "experimenting" (e.g. pulling the chain) to test how strong she was. Likewise, while the "x-ray vision" scene didn't allow for her to learn from her mistakes, it did show that figured out how to do it (or at least that was my intent). I admitingly am very impatient with the "powers thing" and don't like to spend time on the common tropes such as "breaking something at first not knowing your own strength". I kinda cop-out and have her somewhat adjusted to her powers and in control once she discovers them.

I was disappointed that the story had to be truncated where I did, but seeing that I rushed through certain parts, I did not want to rush through her showdown with Hook. It will be more detailed and a "slow burn" as she systematically dismantles him and his ship. It's coming sometime -- hopefully soon....

ElF

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07 Feb 2015 05:23 #40283 by TwiceOnThursdays
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Figure I'll give my two cents on the workshop entires. I have to say I was really impressed by all the entries, there wasn't a weak link in any of them.

Ultra-Punzel

Fairly short, I wish this had been a bit longer, so if I have a critique on the story that's probably it. "Could have used a bit more!"

I have seen the movie, and this fit right into the initial run of the movie, and I thought that worked really well. It was also night and light-hearted, much like it's source material, both could have easily been much darker and are saved by Rapunzel's sunny attitude.

Only think I missed here is if she's like other kryptonians -- her hair might be difficult to cut now. That leaves her spent hair useful for something and also poses her a problem of figuring out how to cut it. (Superman apparently uses heat vision to cut it.) Not really something the story has to address, but it was a point in the movie that she had to keep cutting it .... and now scissors won't work, and it'd soon be a real problem....

Lara Croft and the Torch of Rao

I've only barely played the Lara Croft games, so I can't judge how true this is, but it felt like a video game plot. And it worked well within those confines, and is a case where I think the story suits the subject matter perfectly.

I Liked Lara NOT getting invulnerability (which would have meant she could have just walked through the traps/fights) and not getting heat vision. She was at a definite disadvantage, especially as she didn't want to do wanton destruction of tearing up the building and using large chunks as weapons.

And I really appreciated that it was her cunning and skill that won the day. She out-thought her opponent, using powers her opponent would have thought useless.

One Cold Night in Gotham

First I have to say I'm glad that Castor used this, as I commissioned the original piece. (and I just realized that I've not published it in my gallery!) So it was nice to see it spark a story idea. MRO16 draws a really cute catwoman.

I REALLY liked Batman here. I'm a bit tired of the grim-n-gritty Batman, and it was nice to see a bit of humanity and humor given to the Caped Crusader, including the acknowledgement of a relationship with Catwoman. I also like Batman being sure he knew what was going on, so missed the clues that more was going on, not that it would have done him any good. I've a saying that I came up with working tech support "It doesn't matter how smart you are, if you don't bother to stop and think." This is a classic case of Batman not really using his brain to notice what was going on, because he was sure he knew what was going on. (Sherlock Holmes would have been disappointed in Bruce!)

And, I cracked up at some of the little human bits, Batman Listing off Catwoman's attributes:

Occasionally used gimmicks and clawed gloves. They had sex occasionally. She liked to favor her right side when fighting and expose her left, especially when extending her whip, but she was smart enough to know this and to use it in combat. Her breasts where natural, and felt spectacular. Her whip varied from about 6 to 18 feet long and usually was a cat-o-nine-tails ending, which his armor could stand – but only once – a couple of blows and he would be in trouble.


I like how interspaced in his clinical description of her fighting ability, are things like "we had sex" and "her breasts were natural and felt spectacular". I much prefer a human Batman to one who is grim and coldly clinical. I also like that Batman seemed to be trying to sell this story to himself, how great and awesome Batman was.

I loved the metal whip. Very nice mix of her new powers and her old MO. I thought that worked pretty well.

Also, a pretty good ending to the story. Fairly simply, but his the right note, with a nice touch of her jumping down 54 floors.

Tink, Tink Boom!

I have to agree with an earlier comment. This is the story I most want to see continued.

I can't say I'm all that familiar with Tinkerbell. I've probably forgotten half of what I know and I know nothing of the other newer animated movies. It all worked in context in the story though, you pick up what you need.

I like that the story started in the middle... we don't need to live the assault, we get to see the aftermath in Tinkerbell. And that's a good setup. It's masterful story telling that paints an entire scene with a few words, and keeps the story going.

The descriptions of the potion mixing were great and vivid, as was Tinberbells transformations scenes. I must admit, the descriptions of pixie dust mixing were pretty awesome, but I also read through them with part of my mind going "yeah yeah, let's get to the good part!" and I had to force myself to stop and read through them. Well worth it, and I think it does make the payoff better. I guess it's the eternal pull in this kinds of story. I WANT to see the transformation and her use her new found powers -- but if it's not grounded in something, the payoff is less. Fortunately this section was fun to read, and that helps keep the reader on track until we get to the good part.

The part that I loved about this story in the incongruity of it. That a small tiny fairy could get a bit buff and then be ultra-powered. But really, what does size have to do with powers like this anyway? Functionally there isn't much difference between Supergirl lifting a whale and Tinkerbell. They're both too small to actually do it. But I really liked such a tiny being having such awesome power.

And there are a nice variety of strength feats. Crushing a cannon between her legs, pulling a ship down to the depths slowly by it's anchor, stopping cannonballs mid-flight, lifting a whale, etc. I loved the sequence where she's learning she's so strong by easily pulling the ship under. I also liked the mixture of her enhanced senses and people looking at her through telescopes and realizing that she could easily see them, and she knew they were looking at her. I think this great variety of feats, coupled with Tink's size make this story a nice and fun treat.

I'm still not sure how I'm voting, I'll have to sit and think on this. All of these stories were excellent.
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08 Feb 2015 13:13 #40296 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Winter 2015 workshop entries are on

TwiceOnThursdays wrote: Figure I'll give my two cents on the workshop entires. I have to say I was really impressed by all the entries, there wasn't a weak link in any of them.

One Cold Night in Gotham

First I have to say I'm glad that Castor used this, as I commissioned the original piece. (and I just realized that I've not published it in my gallery!) So it was nice to see it spark a story idea. MRO16 draws a really cute catwoman.

I REALLY liked Batman here. I'm a bit tired of the grim-n-gritty Batman, and it was nice to see a bit of humanity and humor given to the Caped Crusader, including the acknowledgement of a relationship with Catwoman. I also like Batman being sure he knew what was going on, so missed the clues that more was going on, not that it would have done him any good. I've a saying that I came up with working tech support "It doesn't matter how smart you are, if you don't bother to stop and think." This is a classic case of Batman not really using his brain to notice what was going on, because he was sure he knew what was going on. (Sherlock Holmes would have been disappointed in Bruce!)

And, I cracked up at some of the little human bits, Batman Listing off Catwoman's attributes:

Occasionally used gimmicks and clawed gloves. They had sex occasionally. She liked to favor her right side when fighting and expose her left, especially when extending her whip, but she was smart enough to know this and to use it in combat. Her breasts where natural, and felt spectacular. Her whip varied from about 6 to 18 feet long and usually was a cat-o-nine-tails ending, which his armor could stand – but only once – a couple of blows and he would be in trouble.


I like how interspaced in his clinical description of her fighting ability, are things like "we had sex" and "her breasts were natural and felt spectacular". I much prefer a human Batman to one who is grim and coldly clinical. I also like that Batman seemed to be trying to sell this story to himself, how great and awesome Batman was.

I loved the metal whip. Very nice mix of her new powers and her old MO. I thought that worked pretty well.

Also, a pretty good ending to the story. Fairly simply, but his the right note, with a nice touch of her jumping down 54 floors.
.


Thanks. Didn't know you commisioned the peice, which if nothing else did a good job of suggesting a story.

The trick for me was to kind of play with the idea of Batman as the ultimate badass, who is both very sure of his badassary and kind of trapped by it. I get people who say this is "more human" batman, but to me it was a very grim and gritty batman if you lift up the suit and see the gears moving underneath. Human gears, batman isn't a robot(this isn't the 70s) but you know what i mean. He is mortal and human and that was the trick.

After writing Tales of Mazing Girl who the last half of the stories are all about "what if Supergirl was dating Batwoman--but from Supergirl perspective" i kind of wanted to play with the theme of the most powerful being in the galaxy dealing with someone who thinks they are the most powerful being in the galaxy. As Woodclaw put it the real trick is of course Batman Learns nothing at the end,.

And glad you liked the touches. A metal whip was a fun thing to play around with, and thanks for Woodclaw for suggesting the epilauge.

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08 Feb 2015 15:28 #40299 by circes_cup
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Generally, I really struggle with fan fiction. I have always had a personal prefrence for stories that use original characters, rather than stories which use previously established ones. As a result, I am certainly not the most qualified person to comment on this workshop. But putting personal perferences aside, I really admire some of the other ingredients that did go into these stories.

UltraPunzel

I thought this did a great job of capturing the feel of a fairy tale. Argonaut's writing has received many deserved accolates, but one aspect of it does not get much attention: his fairy tales feel like fairy tales, his Golden Age-type stories feel very Golden Agey. And the feel of the story hangs with the reader much longer than the particulars.

This story was a fun, light-hearted take on being super, where the need to be super was driven not by an invasion or a war or a monster but simply by the long, unsated desire to get out of the house.

Tink Tink Boom

When I first heard of a story based upon a six-inch uber-girl, I groaned inside and wondered how I was going to enjoy it. As it turns out, I really did enjoy it. Rather than let diminuitive size be an annoyance, Lfan contrasts it with her overwhelming power, making her power all the more evocative and dramatic. What she does with that anchor chain and that ship, damn....

One Cold Night in Gotham

Castor has always been a fan of complex characters -- strong on the outside, but weaker and unfullfilled within. Sometimes, I feel like he has trouble tying the two layers of the character together -- where the real story is playing out in tortured conversations in a diner, and all the superhuman stuff becomes only a distracting day job.

But here, Castor performs wonderfully. Batman's paradoxical, tortured relationship with Catwoman does not compete with the superhuman storyline: it IS the superhuman storyline. He is attracted to her but has a competing senese of duty. He will keep fighting her, despite the fact that he cannot win. And now, he's been bound up at the scene of the crime; will the police think he's gone rogue and arrest him? Will Catwoman bust him out of jail out of boredom, because the cat always needs a toy? There's plenty of fuel left in the tank of this story, and I hope Castor continues it.

Lara Croft and the Torch of Rao

I enjoy G7's writing, but I think he carved out a tough job for himself with Lara Croft as the subject matter. Although Lara -- as we know her at the start of the story -- is not super, she's certainly strong. Physically, she's a good fighter, and woe be the man that raises a hand to her. Emotionally, she fearless. That doesn't leave G7 much latitude to show a dramatic transformation. In this story, when she gets flight powers, they become just another tool that immediatly goes in her arsenal, right next to the thigh-holstered guns. Through no fault of G7's, the fact that Lara Croft is the starting point for this story took some of the fun out of it for me, and is an example of why I struggle with fan fiction. If G7 had been able to write this with fresh characters, I could see it feeling very different. Imagine a mousy, insecure archeology grad student pitted against an evil child of priveledge who also happens to be a strong man -- and how much the tables turn when she assumes the Torch of Rao! Again, I enjoy G7's writing, but I think there are more worthy recipients of his talent that a Lara Croft character.
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08 Feb 2015 16:47 #40301 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic Winter 2015 workshop entries are on
Thx, Circes! As a point I should make, the gaffe of the 'water bug' scene was inspired by one of the scenes from the "naval battle" near the end of DDI. For full disclosure, the "swirling colors" scene of the pixie dust was also an homage to a scene in Marknew's Super One, one of my favorite stories in the genre.

ElF


circes_cup wrote: Generally, I really struggle with fan fiction. I have always had a personal prefrence for stories that use original characters, rather than stories which use previously established ones. As a result, I am certainly not the most qualified person to comment on this workshop. But putting personal perferences aside, I really admire some of the other ingredients that did go into these stories.

UltraPunzel

I thought this did a great job of capturing the feel of a fairy tale. Argonaut's writing has received many deserved accolates, but one aspect of it does not get much attention: his fairy tales feel like fairy tales, his Golden Age-type stories feel very Golden Agey. And the feel of the story hangs with the reader much longer than the particulars.

This story was a fun, light-hearted take on being super, where the need to be super was driven not by an invasion or a war or a monster but simply by the long, unsated desire to get out of the house.

Tink Tink Boom

When I first heard of a story based upon a six-inch uber-girl, I groaned inside and wondered how I was going to enjoy it. As it turns out, I really did enjoy it. Rather than let diminuitive size be an annoyance, Lfan contrasts it with her overwhelming power, making her power all the more evocative and dramatic. What she does with that anchor chain and that ship, damn....

One Cold Night in Gotham

Castor has always been a fan of complex characters -- strong on the outside, but weaker and unfullfilled within. Sometimes, I feel like he has trouble tying the two layers of the character together -- where the real story is playing out in tortured conversations in a diner, and all the superhuman stuff becomes only a distracting day job.

But here, Castor performs wonderfully. Batman's paradoxical, tortured relationship with Catwoman does not compete with the superhuman storyline: it IS the superhuman storyline. He is attracted to her but has a competing senese of duty. He will keep fighting her, despite the fact that he cannot win. And now, he's been bound up at the scene of the crime; will the police think he's gone rogue and arrest him? Will Catwoman bust him out of jail out of boredom, because the cat always needs a toy? There's plenty of fuel left in the tank of this story, and I hope Castor continues it.

Lara Croft and the Torch of Rao

I enjoy G7's writing, but I think he carved out a tough job for himself with Lara Croft as the subject matter. Although Lara -- as we know her at the start of the story -- is not super, she's certainly strong. Physically, she's a good fighter, and woe be the man that raises a hand to her. Emotionally, she fearless. That doesn't leave G7 much latitude to show a dramatic transformation. In this story, when she gets flight powers, they become just another tool that immediatly goes in her arsenal, right next to the thigh-holstered guns. Through no fault of G7's, the fact that Lara Croft is the starting point for this story took some of the fun out of it for me, and is an example of why I struggle with fan fiction. If G7 had been able to write this with fresh characters, I could see it feeling very different. Imagine a mousy, insecure archeology grad student pitted against an evil child of priveledge who also happens to be a strong man -- and how much the tables turn when she assumes the Torch of Rao! Again, I enjoy G7's writing, but I think there are more worthy recipients of his talent that a Lara Croft character.

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17 Feb 2015 01:28 - 17 Feb 2015 04:38 #40437 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Winter 2015 workshop entries are on
Ultra-Punzel by Argonaut
Full disclosure: I was a beta-reader for this and subsequent chapters.
As presented, this was probably the most frustrating entry. Argonaut's writing is as good as ever and he continues his streak of perfectly capturing the tone of the subject matter of a pastiche (I haven't seen Tangled, but I have seen other Disney Movies), but the story barely gets started before it stops. I've read early drafts of subsequent chapters and I like how the story continues, but what we have now is only the overture.

One Cold Night in Gotham by Castor
Full disclosure: Catwoman would have been my second choice.
More of a character study than a story. Still, when the characters are as twisted and entangled as Batman and Catwoman, you know it's going to be a fun ride. As usual, Castor brings ideas, energy, and some very nice turns of phrase to his writing. Often these are enough to carry the story, but there are also a lot of rough edges. My favorite story of Castor's is 272, where I feel he took the time to smooth out the edges without losing the original idea. Fun and I'm glad Castor was able to put this together in a short period of time.

Tink, Tink, BOOM! by LFan
Full disclosure: I never liked Tinkerbell. She's a brat.
Lots of energy, lots of nicely described action, and I am a big sucker for scenes of ubergirls sinking ships. But as with Argonaut's entry, I would have liked some closure to the story. What happened to Peter and the rest of the Lost Boys? My recollections of Tinkerbell are that she is profoundly selfish and tempestuous, so it's not a big surprise that she would be more interested in mayhem than rescue, but I want to see the rescue/vengeance taken to its conclusion. Also, and this may just be my issue, but it's hard to take the word "sexy" seriously when it's applied to a six-inch tall fairy. Still, a lot of fun ubergirl mayhem.

- GeekSeven
Last edit: 17 Feb 2015 04:38 by inactive.

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22 Feb 2015 01:46 #40508 by argonaut
Replied by argonaut on topic Winter 2015 workshop entries are on
Belated feedback on the workshop stories.

First up: "Lara Croft and the Torch of Rao," by GeekSeven.

A well-crafted action story. As a beta-reader, I know that GeekSeven put a lot of effort into keeping the story tight and focused, and it paid off. The action moves along at just the right pace -- not too rushed, but not too bogged down in detail -- and builds nicely toward the climactic confrontation between Lara and Cassandra. Parts of the story appear to be an homage to Lara's origin as a video-game character, as she navigates mazes and solves puzzles and gathers artifacts. I found it to be a bit lighter on characterization than most of GeekSeven's stories, probably because he's writing about an established character whose personality and motives are likely to be familiar to most readers, Still, a highly enjoyable story whose strong showing in the poll comes as no surprise.

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22 Feb 2015 04:04 #40509 by argonaut
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Next, "Tink, Tink, BOOM!" by Larafan.

This has the ingredients of a classic Larafan story -- a vivid, detailed description of the heroine's empowerment and her exhilaration as she puts her new abilities to the test. Tinkerbell's tiny size gives her super-feats an entertaining novelty: I especially enjoyed the image of Tink pulling a pirate ship underwater by a chain whose links are as big as she is. I did feel that the rescue of Peter and the Lost Boys was taking a back seat to the destruction of the pirate fleet, but Larafan can pick up that thread in Part II. Hook strikes the right note of oily villainy, and I look forward to his next confrontation with Tinkerbell.

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22 Mar 2015 19:51 #41121 by argonaut
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Chapter 2 of "Ultrapunzel" has been posted. As always, a tip of the hat to Woodclaw for his able librarianship.

Several members said that they liked Chapter 1, but they felt it was more an appetizer than an entrée. I hope they find Chapter 2 more filling!

A line in the chapter is a slight re-wording of one of my all-time favorite movie quotes:

"Today my jurisdiction ends here."

Can anyone identify the movie, and the actor who delivers the line?
The following user(s) said Thank You: furbutt4

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22 Mar 2015 19:54 #41122 by lfan
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argonaut wrote: Chapter 2 of "Ultrapunzel" has been posted. As always, a tip of the hat to Woodclaw for his able librarianship.

Several members said that they liked Chapter 1, but they felt it was more an appetizer than an entrée. I hope they find Chapter 2 more filling!

A line in the chapter is a slight re-wording of one of my all-time favorite movie quotes:

"Today my jurisdiction ends here."

Can anyone identify the movie, and the actor who delivers the line?


Silverado....john Cleese as Sheriff Langston after Danny Glover shoots at them.... :p. One of my alltime faves.....

ElF

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22 Mar 2015 20:01 #41123 by argonaut
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And the no-prize goes to Lfan.

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22 Mar 2015 20:14 #41124 by argonaut
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To get the full effect of the line, you have to hear Cleese deliver it:

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