Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Good stories

The Clarity of Night flash fiction contest has ended and the results are up.

Congratulations to Aerin on taking second prize both for the main contest and for the Readers' Choice! Other friends got well-deserved honourable mentions: Precie, Peter and Shona.

All the winning and honourably mentioned stories were well-written but I have to admit to a certain disappointment. I really thought Jane's humorous piece deserved to be up there with the greats. I actually found the winning entry too strong for my taste despite, or maybe because of, its being beautifully written.

I've realised that I like my fiction gentle, funny and upbeat. What sort of stories do you like to read?


Old Kitty said...

Oh wow. I really liked the winning story - it was disturbing and sad and lonely and evil. I really felt my skin crawl and hoped and hoped for redemption but of course human greed is another thing altogether.

I also liked Aerin's story too - brilliant narrative, great ending - lovely.

Guess I'm not fussy about the content of a story - so long as the story touches me in some way whether in hope or despair!

Well done everyone!!

Take care

fairyhedgehog said...

Kitty, no doubt the winning story was brilliant, just too cruel for me! And yes, Aerin's was wonderful.

Sarah Laurenson said...

In a longer work - the tone of the winner is not my thing. But in a short piece, it was beautifully crafted, evocative, just an overall amazing use of 250 words.

I think it quite telling that the readers choose the same top three. I also noted that the number of overall entries was a lot lower than the last contest when all of them were posted. I think there were about 240 before and this time only 170 or so.

I had 10 on my short list, but I also had not finished reading them all. Of those 10, I picked two of the top three and only 2 of the honorable mentions.

It's a very subjective business.

fairyhedgehog said...

Sarah, I also noted that the number of overall entries was a lot lower than the last contest when all of them were posted.

It's funny that I felt safer entering this time because I thought that if my story was really below par, no one would ever have to see it!

There is a lot of personal taste involved but the level of agreement suggests to me that there might be a general recognition of excellent writing too. Except from people like me who don't have strong stomachs!

Summer Ross said...

I like strong MC's usually ladies with a bite lol, good plot lines both comic relief and dramatic. oh by the "waves" I'm new to following you :)

fairyhedgehog said...

Hi Summer, good to see you in here! I like ladies with bite, too. Tanya Huff writes some of my favourite protagonists.

Love your blog! Very stylish.

Unknown said...

The winning entry definitely elicited a lot of emotion in me, which is I think largely what I look for. If it can twist my heart AND employ excellent writing, it's a winner in my eyes.

That said, I agree that humor doesn't seem to get the credit it should. Humorous writing can also be poignant and heart-tugging. And good humor is SO DIFFICULT to write! It's a skill that should be lifted up more often.

PJD said...

I read the CoN entries with a bit of a different eye than I do a longer story. When I read books or short stories, I want to get to know the characters and understand what they're going through, see them working things out and really get into their heads and hearts.

With flash, I like a clever aspect--either a delightfully twisted approach to something, or a brain bending "a ha" moment. I got a chance to read Aerin's first draft and actually liked it more than what she eventually submitted because the revelation at the end was more subtle and, in my opinion, made Mrs. Carruthers far more intriguing and less Miss Daisy. And that's one of the things I loved about it, that twist that could be missed if you're not paying close enough attention. A bit like enjoying an Escher drawing, or an optical illusion when it finally flips for you.

With CoN, I also read as if I were a critique partner because I wanted to comment on the story itself, not just "yay" or "boo."

fairyhedgehog said...

Steph, I agree that the winning entry was very emotive indeed! I suppose I'm just a wimp - but I can live with that!

Peter, Aerin's story was definitely subtle and intriguing - one of those that leaves you wondering. I like the analogy of the Escher drawing!

McKoala said...

Thanks for the shout out! Yes, I thought Janey would be up there too!

fairyhedgehog said...

McK, I wasn't sure how to shout out for you, so I stuck to the name you'd used! Well done!

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