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Indie Writers Deathmatch 2019 – Battle Royal

The 2019 Deathmatch proudly sponsored
by great independent publisher:

This round has ended.

*** WINNERS ***

Planetfall
Bubbles
A Fish Named Ginsberg
Little
Comedienne
Clearly Mark The Bag
A Taste of Pennies
Little
Illustration by Andreea Dumuta @galactixy_illustrations   Little opened their eyes. The sun, in this place, was gentle and far away, which made the colours of the things close to Little clear and strong. The stalk...
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333
*** WINNER ***
Someone Called Me by My Name
Illustration by Niki Waters @kneesandkeysart   The telephone's ringing was an event I found both disconcerting and incredible—an old rotary style phone suddenly springing to life after years of silence—I let the bright, strange jingle...
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166
*** WINNER ***
Gargling Tree
The slow burn of hot smoke filled his lungs nicely. Swirling smoke inside his lungs, he could just imagine; small twisters in the depths of his being, touching everything with an ashen hand. Plumes of...
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14
There Is a War
Set back from broken paving stones and thickets of snarled weeds, the shadow of the Pollock house looms large upon the earth. Beneath the broken bedroom windows on its faded facade, a wooden rocking horse...
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35
No Offense Intended, Some Taken
In the late winter, just two or three months after she’d begun smoking, Drew begins to feel the weight of something heavy pressing down on her chest. One night she wakes and thinks she sees...
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43
A Fish Named Ginsberg
Illustration by Niki Waters @kneesandkeysart   Hi Greg (Dr. Justice). Here’s a script for you to look at. It’s called A Fish Named Ginsberg. I was wondering if you could give me any feedback and/or...
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106
*** WINNER ***
Planetfall
Illustration by Andreea Dumuta @galactixy_illustrations   Commander Eckhardt looked up from the tablet on his desk at the communications officer who stood patiently before him, awaiting permission to speak. "Yes?" said the commander, failing to...
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269
*** WINNER ***
Orange
I’m watching television. The peculiarly-coiffed gentleman is on again. His mottled flesh is of a queer mélange of hues I would describe as off-putting. I label him orange man. He’s going on about something. The...
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74
A Taste of Pennies
Illustration by Niki Waters @kneesandkeysart   The lightning leaves a taste of pennies in her mouth, an electric tingle in the air. Old Barney in his rumbling bed tosses and mumbles of departed beauties while...
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200
*** WINNER ***
Clearly Mark The Bag
Illustration by Andreea Dumuta @galactixy_illustrations   Abby was pretty sure the dead cat hadn’t been on her doorstep the night before, but she wasn’t certain. Other things she wasn’t certain of included: if the cat...
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118
*** WINNER ***
China Shop Kid
Brett Hanson. Thirty-six. Pleading guilty to murder in the second degree. I’m not a bad guy, your honor. Am I allowed to say that? You’re recording, right? I’m just a guy. I’m just a guy...
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35
Twilight Zugzwang
Jim Bishop stared down the pale curve of his driveway to the point where it ended in a pink-purple sky, and waited for a Cadillac to come into view. Yes. That might work. But hold...
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74
Either Shoot Me in The Head or Shut Your Freaking Mouth
Those were the words Cedric growled as he stared deep into the gorilla’s eyes, whilst still squatting. Although quiet, he knew his voice was so deep, so bassy, that the gorilla would hear it as...
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7
A Fish Out of Water
Mariko was getting used to the United States.  She now knew when she said, “Excuse me,” to someone who replied, “You’re good,” it was not appropriate to ask, “I am?” She had finally realized that...
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12
Bubbles
Illustration by Andreea Dumuta @galactixy_illustrations   Summer heat crowds in the kitchen window but chilled air prickles your arm.  You trace the chilled air back to the small freezer in the room. The lid is...
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90
*** WINNER ***
Comedienne
Illustration by Niki Waters @kneesandkeysart   "You guys have been entirely adequate. Enjoy the rest of the show. Goodnight.” It was her oldest joke. She stepped off the low stage with two minutes left in...
Read the full story
114
*** WINNER ***

88 comments

  1. Larry Brown ( Likes: 78 ) says:

    that’s right, every word, sentence, every bit of subtle yet meaningful dialogue, every image that echoes between the lines…we can do no wrong…

    all first drafts are bad…but it gives you a starting point…

    …once wrote a 78-page story…hated it when I started the 2nd draft…finally after much work it became a 6-page story…but you have to take a lot of the wrong roads to find one that leads to the right place…of course you might still be headed for a cliff…

  2. Larry Brown ( Likes: 78 ) says:

    win or lose, the only thing that really matters is that you keep doing the work…

    the magic formula: bit of talent + bit of luck + ppppppppppppeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrseverance…

    even the greatest writers never lose the ability to be bad…especially on the first draft…

    1. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      Keep on learning. Read the great authors, not just for enjoyment but to tear their work apart and see what makes them tick. I’ve never taken an actual writing class but if that’s your thing, go for it. Keep little notebooks handy. Jot down those ideas that come to you during odd times when your mind is off doing its own thing. I remember when I was in real estate my broker told me to keep a one hundred dollar bill folded up in my wallet. Not to spend, mind you, but to give me the confidence that if I didn’t make that sale today at least I wasn’t going to starve. Same thing with ideas. Squirrel them away. Save them up. Even if you never use them, you know they’re there. Study the language. Work your metaphors. Introduce new words when they’re necessary. Don’t be shy about it, either. Do you know David Foster Wallace introduced over 20,000 new words in Infinite Jest? 20,000!

      And above all, yes. Keep on writing. Ain’t nobody ever edited a blank page yet.

    2. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Corey, get on it. You’re tied with everyone’s favorite troll. Your story should be in the next round.

    1. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      Guess it does help to have 300,000+ Twitter followers, even if 99.9% of them ignore my pleas.

    2. Donnie Schultz ( Likes: 713 ) says:

      For me it’s my coworkers, friends, and family. A small group of people who support you and commit to voting consistently is more valuable than a ton of followers, I think.

    3. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      I was surprised I’ve actually found strangers to follow and vote for me. I don’t have a huge social network to do it…

    4. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      I originally began growing my Twitter feed to peddle my books. Then I began meeting all different kinds of authors. Thousand of them. Great people. I don’t interact with them all, of course, but I look at it as a way to sort of keep in touch. Like Deathmatch. Some of them were good enough to vote for my story and I’ll reciprocate whenever they have something come up and need my vote.

    5. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      This is a competition so I feel the need to again point out that I have strangers voting for me because they like my story. My Twitter followers are almost all writing fans. They are there for the writing.

    6. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      Nice. It is always a special feeling if someone who you don’t know appreciates your writing. I know I always have a problem knowing if friends and family actually like my stuff or if they’re just being nice by saying so. I still remember the first time a complete stranger bought one my books and left a five star review, not because they felt obligated, but simply because they liked my stuff. Also, I have discovered there are a whole lot more people who I don’t know than those I do know. Makes for a much larger market.

    7. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      The first time a complete stranger bought one… Self-published? I only get feedback from strangers.

    8. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      Yes. A successful author friend of mine did introduce me to his NY agent but she wanted four grand before she’d even consider working with me. Basically my stuff sucked. Applebaum was her name if memory serves. The agent. Nice lady, really. So I opted to start my own publishing company, Lost Doll Publishing, and self publish my work under that name. Now I have other authors under the same banner who I publish for. Not sure whether they qualify as self published or not.

  3. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

    Okay so the more I go along here the greater grows my suspicion that my story sucks. All the other stories here are so much better that I can’t even laugh about it. I am thinking along the lines of giving up writing and perhaps taking up I don’t know maybe ballet dancing. I think I’d be really good standing on my toes like they do. What do they call it. Pirouettes. Yeah. I’d be great at that. I can hear the exploding of thunderous applause now. Are they allowed to applaud at the ballet? Maybe. That and I’d probably have to lose like two hundred pounds otherwise it just isn’t happening. But it seems a better alternative than to keep on chugging out stories like A Taste of Pennies. Christ. Where did that title even come from? Hey. I got better stories. Really I do. Anyway. It’s late. I’m sure things’ll look bleaker in the morning. Or the afternoon I guess I should say since I don’t really do mornings. Carry on.

    1. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Dude, I can’t give you a pep talk now. Put off your existential crisis a few days, alright? If you’re really stuck, watch the Wittgenstein film clips on YouTube. That, a cat, and a coffee is my existential crisis medicine.

    2. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      Nah. Wittgenstein sucks worse than I do. And it’s nearly 3am so coffee ain’t gonna cut it. Chomsky. Where are you when I need you, buddy?

    3. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      The one where Wittgenstein threatens suicide over a v sign and the one where he lectures his dumb students about the meaninglessness of philosophy just capture the right mood for me.

    4. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      The suicide meme is actually an interesting take on serial killers. If you’re into that sort of thing. I sense a story lurking there somewhere. You don’t commit the deed yourself but rather compel the victims to act on their own. Who was it that was famous for that? Rasputin? I’d google it but that takes all the fun out of imagining the outcome.

    5. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      I don’t know how you go from Wittgenstein but you see? Just keep at it.
      This seems like a weird tangent for midnight so I deleted most of what I had to say…

    6. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Thanks Dan for being the other engaged commenter. Being completely respected on the internet was probably too much to ask for, but we almost made it.

    1. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      And something about semi-colons too but in this pc world one must watch what one says about such things.

  4. Larry Brown ( Likes: 78 ) says:

    at the end of the day we each need to continue to chase that dot in the distance in our own way…the dot one never quite reaches…we can always find flaws in our stories but we keep chasing (think hamster on a wheel)…

    1. Dan Glover ( Likes: 618 ) says:

      That’s right, Larry. No matter how long I work at a story I am never satisfied. I don’t know about you but I’ve come back to stories years later and say hey. Look. That could be better put this way. It is all a process, I suppose.

  5. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

    Signing off for the day… sad to see that people here are reduced to tantrums when weaknesses in their writing is pointed out. I honestly thought this was a deathmatch… for fiction. You do realize that fiction is a made-up story, right?

    I’ve really enjoyed reading the stories… lot’s of variety… and stirring up people’s ire. I also enjoy being disliked, so thank you for feeding my wicked/talentless soul.

    To quote Edward Abbey, “I piss on you all from a very high place.”

    Happy glove-puppeting… Keep up the good fight and write on!

  6. PjLucy1 ( Likes: 22 ) says:

    Wow! So much anger and hatred.
    I loved A Fish Named Ginsberg! Fiction but it really hits home. We’ve all known someone like Fred, even if we never realized it.

    1. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Yep. Nope. But if Fred (great name!) is a fully realized character for you, I’d urge you to actually read. Google something substantive. We all know Fred because he’s as interesting as a soap dish, like most people.

      But “A Fish Named Ginsberg” isn’t fiction. It’s a choppy screenplay that avoids the bothersome issues of point of view and voice. A complete cop out for someone calling themselves a writer.

      And this is called deathmatch for a reason. Grow some skin, and read. I’ve read all now (to my psychological and aesthetic detriment).

      Old man Bishop is an actual character, if you even read TWILIGHT ZUGSWANG. Otherwise, enjoy your heavy petting.

    2. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Grow some skin? Who was complaining about having their feelings hurt? I haven’t seen anyone personally offended by your comments. They make me sad for the world we live in, but I’m not wounded by them, nor is anyone else, as far as I can see…
      Projection? Seems like projection.

    3. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Also, voice is just as important for screenplay, if not more… It strips a story to voice alone. I write in many formats (poetry, prose, script…) I don’t consider any cop outs as they all have their own challenges.

    4. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Neat. I write poems and screenplays and nonfiction too. But this is a fiction contest (or so I thought). “Ginsberg…” is not even experimental in nature, just straight up screenplay.

      And okay… voice is important for characters in a screenplay, sure. But your “story” has no narrator except for the bookends (obviously tacked on) and zero point of view. These elements make fiction fiction, and would give the added depth “Ginsberg…” so desperately needs.

      Make no mistake… your screenplay is accessible and a quick read. Millenials and the short-wired will love it.

      But TWILIGHT ZUGSWANG? At least it makes a reader think, even if only about dried asshole rings.

    5. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Who decides whether or not their story makes readers think? I would think that would be the readers. You insist you’re the best and yet you may have the only story without a single positive comment. Sure you can spew your usual bile about the people here, but no brilliant story is going to be disliked by all readers. You are the first to tell others theyre only living on the delusions of those close to them. And yet you are held up by yourself alone. You haven’t made me think. Your biggest criticism of me relies on the definition of fiction. Yawn.

    6. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Now you’re cooking with gas, Jill! Way to go…

      And you’re right… I have no friends. Zero. I’ve alienated everyone I know with my acerbic comments. My family doesn’t like me. My dog doesn’t like me. Hell, I don’t like me. I often sit at the edge of the bed, staring at the floor, etc. Happy now?!

      But I’m not spewing bile, unless acerbic comments are bilious. Perhaps they are.

      Glad you’re winning the popularity contest, to be honest. Of course nobody is actually reading anything except for the authors.

      But Broken Pencil was wrong about “learning something” about writing, even if a writer doesn’t get the votes. So far I’ve only been exposed to the same dilemma I’ve known all my life… and that is I must share my shadow with posers and wannabes. Not just in the realm of coffee shops and grocery aisles, but in the sanctity of what I love and care about… storytelling.

      Take a nap if you’re tired. It’s good for you.

    7. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Now you’re cooking with gas, Jill! Way to go…

      And you’re right… I have no friends. Zero. I’ve alienated everyone I know with my acerbic comments. My family doesn’t like me. My dog doesn’t like me. Hell, I don’t like me. I often sit at the edge of the bed, staring at the floor, etc. Happy now?!

      But I’m not spewing bile, unless acerbic comments are bilious. Perhaps they are.

      Glad you’re winning the popularity contest, to be honest. Of course nobody is actually reading anything except for the authors.

      But Broken Pencil was wrong about “learning something” about writing, even if a writer doesn’t get the votes. So far I’ve only been exposed to the same dilemma I’ve known all my life… and that is I must share my shadow with the lazy. Not just in the realm of coffee shops and grocery aisles, but in the sanctity of what I love and care about… storytelling.

      Take a nap if you’re tired. It’s good for you.

    8. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      OK I knew we were headed for a blow up/confession of some deep wound. I’m not really sure where we go from here.
      Have you considered that maybe it’s not everyone else, maybe it’s you? Is that too much to even consider?
      There’s a forensic shrink on here, maybe he can help?
      You assume if the results are in your favor they mean something. If not? No one important is reading. Even though many people here have been successful in the literary world, we can’t possibly know anything…
      My view of the contest isn’t based on whether or not it fuels my ego. But this is just getting sad.
      Did Broken Pencil invent this guy for entertainment value? Is it Trump? Or just 2019?

    9. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      You ever hear of irony? Satire? Can you separate folly from reality? Is this not deathmatch?

      I have nothing to prove, nothing to hide. Ego? Look in the mirror (or online). No… I’m just responding to your submitted “story.” And I thought the writers here were tough, not wilting flowers.

      Sorry to hear that you’re sad, but maybe your success is just a different measure than my own… good for you!

      Notice paragraph structure. Flow. Keep up the blind swipes at character rather than focusing on the writing.

      Finally, Trump sucks major ass, and your desperate attempt at insult only matches his own. Go tweet something. Go full hypocrite instead of hiding behind empty rhetoric.

      And read something…

    10. PjLucy1 ( Likes: 22 ) says:

      Again, great story Jill!

      It looks like your story hit home for Joshua too. No doubt he relates and even sees himself in Fred, and he’s likely upset by that.

      I read Twilight Zugwang and found it arrogant and cocky and even insecure on some level. Those are perfectly fine traits for a narrator if there’s a point. Was there a point? The “story” is a sad attempt to make the reader see you the author as the most important component in writing or storytelling. You have a dysfunctional relationship with your audience, and likely have them in your personal life as well… Re-reading the opening line about a dozen times was original. Way to go, I’m sure you didn’t expend many brain cells coming up with that.

    11. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Hello, Ms. Cellophane, aka PJLucy1! Looks like you just can’t help being a jerk, just for the sake of being a jerk… even going so far as to give false praise and crapping in places where you have no right to crap. I’m not surprised, and I feel sorry for you, honestly. If only you could write… then your commentary might matter.

      “Ginsberg…” didn’t “hit home” on any level, except reminding me of what I’m forced to read when culling slush piles. You don’t know squat about writing, or craft, and you don’t even read books. All you do is play on your cell phone… like now.

      So go ahead and “write” something else with your thumbs and post it…

    12. PjLucy1 ( Likes: 22 ) says:

      From the song Mister Cellophane by John C Reiley

      If someone stood up in a crowd
      And raised his voice up way out loud, and waved his arm and shook his leg you’d notice him…

      And even without clucking like a hen, everyone gets noticed, now and then. Unless, of course, that person it should be Invisible, inconsequential me

      Cellophane, Mister Cellophane
      Should have been my name, Mister Cellophane…”

      These lyrics describe the impression I got from reading all of your comments. You’re screaming to be recognized as the best at something, even if it’s shit talk. But you’re still lacking the talent. Getting noticed is great but being remembered is better. Your story is unmemorable and unimpressive. And you give your insecurities away in your denials. Maybe Jill was spot on in her comments about impotence.

    13. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Perfect. Thank you for proving my point.

      John C. Reilly didn’t write the song… it’s an old one. He sang it in the movie-picture you saw. Wow. Remember?

      But you didn’t know that…

      By the way, did you ever in your life write any stories, PJLucy? Have some fiction or such we can see? Online or print? Anything? A poem? A piece of flash fiction?

      I’m using my real name, PJLucy. Are you?

      No, you’re not. So you’re a coward, gathering cowards. Good for you.

      Enjoy your pathetic-ness. I’ll respond to people who have something substantive to say, even if they’re stupid. But you? Dumb is permanent. Goodbye!

      #MeToo

    14. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Okay this has all just been ridiculous but not particularly offensive. Using the #metoo hashtag? That’s offensive.

    15. ReverendJoseph ( Likes: 6 ) says:

      Oh, no! Duh-duh!

      #MeToo

      #MeToo

      #MeToo

      Screw you and your pansy-assed political correctness. A step too far, indeed.

      #GoFuckYourself

      Like that better?

    16. PjLucy1 ( Likes: 22 ) says:

      Calling me dumb was predictable, and maybe true, jury’s still out on that. You’re such an important, talented, and intelligent person. Feel better? I definitely didn’t mean to offend.

      I feel honored though, that you continue to respond to my “dumb” comments, I’m sure it is beneath you. In fact, isn’t this whole competition beneath you? Why are you here? Aren’t you a best-selling author or has your stuff been mostly self-published?

      This competition is for readers to comment and vote on these stories. I’m fulfilling my duty. I’ve chosen a side. Know your Dante?

  7. Corey Redekop ( Likes: 24 ) says:

    I’m really enjoying perusing the stories. I’m of course reluctant to vote for others out of pure self-interest, but rest assured, I’d be clicking ‘VOTE’ on many stories otherwise.

    1. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Great comment. Utterly useless and politic, but thanks.

      If you know your Dante, those who don’t choose sides have a special place in hell.

      But yeah, I’m enjoying the reads too. For your story, I love the steady plod of “Noun-verb…” sentence structure. It reminds me of my heartbeat, which is temporary, which reminds me were all gonna die. Again, thanks!

      JDC

    2. Corey Redekop ( Likes: 24 ) says:

      “Those who don’t choose sides have a special place in hell.” Methinks you’re overstating the importance of this exercise. I doubt my immortal soul is in any peril.

    3. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Does that mean if I don’t know my Dante I don’t get a special place?
      Yes, the double negative I designed just for you.
      As you say, utility is important.

    4. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      And all of your flat, canned prose? You did that for, what? Thanks for choking the world with boilerplate mediocrity. I feel so… indifferent.

    5. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      The way you speak suggests you feel impotent, not indifferent. It’s amusing and sad. The thing is, when you insult everyone and everything in the exact same way, spewing the same predictable bile, your comments lose all power.

    6. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      ::yawns::

      Nice comment, Jill. Nothing to do with writing, as my comments are. But avoidance is a healthy coping mechanism… like pretending you’re a writer and have cogent opinions.

      Do you just use Google translate? Cut and paste from http://www.blandcomment.com?

      Please write something, ANYthing fresh or original. Give it a try… go!

  8. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

    “Planetfall” has the most votes so far??? With this:

    “Commander Eckhardt looked up from the tablet on his desk at the communications officer who stood patiently before him, awaiting permission to speak.”

    Fuck, that’s a clunky, ugly sentence. It just rolls off the cinderblock.

    I wonder what will happen to Commander Eckhar…. Edcart… whatever!!

    Oh, right. I already know and it doesn’t matter.

    JDC

    1. Donnie Schultz ( Likes: 713 ) says:

      Your inability to read the stories before commenting certainly speaks to your character, and validates your bio. Good job writing that thing, by the way. It’s a real crowd pleaser.

    2. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Okay, “Donnie,” if that is your real name. Is this Trump? No fake personas allowed.

      Glad you actually edited your response before posting. You are clear and straightforward and lacking any voice or nuance. But so is your prose, and your story.

      I read it. The only inability here lies in your talents, even to tell a predictable, tedious story.

    3. Donnie Schultz ( Likes: 713 ) says:

      You’re so funny! I’ve heard better stuff at third-rate open mics in North Hollywood.

      For someone who can’t tell a story and can’t critique writing, you certainly feel comfortable tooting your own horn about the same. Ever heard of “show, don’t tell?” No one is going to take you seriously if you can’t walk the walk.

      Why don’t you go whine and complain to your 11 votes and let the real writers talk about writing. Say, couldn’t you get Anonymous to join in? Seems like you should be winning this thing if your outrageous claims are actually true.

    4. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Oh, Donnie. I realize this is a popularity contest. Most people like McDonald’s and Taco Bell, so of course this isn’t a real measure of quality. I’m surprised I have as many votes as I have… being the only writer in the room.

      But at least I’m not delusional. Your writing is really, really bad. I’m sorry to be the only person who reads voraciously to tell you this. I’m sure your parents and online friends are proud of you. And good for you for your thin opinion.

      If you put half of the energy contained in your posts and applied it to your prose, you might one day write something worthwhile. Keep at it!

    5. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      “being the only writer in the room.

      But at least I’m not delusional…”

      I admit this is the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

    6. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Ooooh!

      Zing!

      Poor Donnie.

      You need to see funnier things if that made your week.

      Get out more maybe.

      Maybe if you get out more, it will prevent you from writing pages and pages of explication via dialogue, concerning a plot that is as plodding as it is unoriginal. Perhaps you getting out more would prevent you from choking the world on bad dialogue like this, found in “Planetball.”

      “I’m glad you’re coming with me, Elon,” said Kathra as she opened up the silver case once more.

      “I am also happy for the opportunity to stay with you, Kat. I find you a peculiar and interesting individual.”

      Jesus Christ.

  9. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

    “Planet Fall” has the most votes so far? With this opening line???

    “Commander Eckhardt looked up from the tablet on his desk at the communications officer who stood patiently before him, awaiting permission to speak.”

    That’s a lousy sentence, kid. Like, really fucking bad. “It was a dark and stormy night…” is better.

    Oh! What ever will happen to Commander Eckhardt?

    Jesus. If the kid can get his shitblog friends to vote for this pile of excrement, good for him. I’m always proud of short-bussers.

    JDC

    1. Gnonpom ( Likes: 111 ) says:

      Congrats Cochrane: unlike your story, this comment is at least semi-coherent: you are making progress!

    2. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Gnopun expecting coherence is an entitled expectation of the reader and I’m the author, I’m the one stuck writing the story! All you have to do is lay back and take it, I’m stuck with it. Sure I may have published several stories all by my lonesome, but it would be arrogant to tell you their titles or list the exact number (I’ll provide a link at the bottom.) Anyway, where were we? The protagonist was just taking a dump?

    3. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      You should both be proud. I’m sure your moms are, friends and family… encouraging you in your pathetic race to find some sense of self, checking the world with the feeble shudder of your loins.

      Gnopom can’t even write a comment without a typo or mistake.

      Talbot showed she cannot come up with a singular original thought. But hey, great work.! I’ve heard the short bus was actually fun. Good for you. And yes, you’re special.

    4. Jill M. Talbot ( Likes: 720 ) says:

      Anyone who thinks their thoughts are original needs to read more. But this is losing fun. Competition is fun. Comments resembling an incel about to take out his impotency on an unsuspecting crowd? That’s not fun.

    5. Joshua Cochran ( Likes: 28 ) says:

      Awww. So sorry you’re not having fun, but neither are the few people to read your story. A tired framing device, and not great second person… no real investment for the reader.

      Look here:

      https://www.janefriedman.com/point-of-view/

      And that’s your second reference to impotence in your comments. Problems in the bedroom, Jill? Get your man some pills if he needs them and stop taking out your wet noodle problem on me.